Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

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Granddaughter of Oceanus, daughter of Titan Helios and sea nymph Perseid, Circe was different from the start. While her siblings discovered their unique gifts very early on and gained their independence—either by claiming their inheritance, like Perses and Aëstes, or by marriage to a wealthy demigod, like Pasiphäe—, Circe remained among her family in the halls of the gods. Her love for young fisherman Glaucus changed everything. Circe used a potion to transform Glaucus into a worthy suitor. Glaucus, seeing his station changed, fell in love with one Circe’s cousins, a sea nymph named Scylla. Out of jealousy, Circe put a potion on Scylla’s bath and, unintendedly, transformed her into a monster. Circe’s confession forced Helios to go to see Zeus, for witchcraft is something that gods fear can tip the balance of power. Zeus declared an eternal banishment for Circe from the halls of the gods to the island of Aiaia.

Exile was not easy but, as Circe learned, it had its advantages; being away f…

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (♦♦♦)

After Katniss rigged the Hunger Games in Catching Fire, there's no mistaking the airs of revolution. Several districts are in revolt, and Katniss has decided to become the symbol of the insurrection against the Capitol, as the Mockingjay. Peeta and other victors are being held captive in the Capitol as emotional currency against the rebels and Katniss in particular.

Whereas in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire the fastuous Capitol contrasted with the subdued way of life in the remaining districts of Panem, in Mockingjay, Part 1 there is no beauty, no appeal, no excess. Gone are the colorful characters delivering outrageous remarks such as the best way to taste every delicious morsel at a party is by throwing out what you have already eaten.

The Panem of Mockingjay, Part 1 is at war, and it shows in the rubble from aerial bombings, in the uniformity of the gray attire, in the lack of makeup or other color except gray or white. Even Effie is wearing uniform.

Mockingjay has a more somber, gritty feel than its predecessors, leaning heavily towards boring, but it sets the tone for what I expect will be a grand finale.

Never has the lack of chemistry or ambivalence of Katniss towards Gale been more apparent than in Mockingjay, Part 1.

Most of the characters from the franchise reprise their roles yet again. Julianne Moore as President Coin, the leader of the revolution, is a welcomed addition, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman reappears as Plutarch, in one of his last films before his untimely death.

Comments

  1. Just finished reading Mockingjay last week and then saw the movie, part one. I thought it was an excellent adaptation and I love how both the book and the movie just got more dark than ever. Julianne Moore-yes!

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    Replies
    1. I wasn't too fond on Mockingjay, part I, but I suspect it lay the foundation for a grand finale I have yet to see.

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