Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

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…

Insurgent (♦♦♦)

For 200 years, humanity has been confined within the walls of a city, and people have been organized into five factions (Amity, Abnegation, Erudite, Factionless, Dauntless, and Candor) following aptitude and character traits. Erudites rule them all. But there are certain people with some percentage of the other traits; those are called Divergents.

After Jeanine, the leader of Erudites, quashed a revolt from the Abnegation faction, the Divergents are on the run and being chased so Jeanine can use them in simulation experiments to open a secret box, containing a message from The Founders, which only a special divergent can unlock. Turns out that Tris Prior is a hundred percent Divergent...

I more or less enjoyed the first installment of the Divergent trilogy, but the second film, Insurgent, was quite disappointing. I didn't remember what happened in the first movie, so I had to proceed in the dark and that proved a big mistake.

After the experience of the Twilight franchise (ENM, BD-I, BD-IIin which the acting was below par but the story was gold, studios have decided to make stronger cast selections for young adult adaptations. Such was the case in Beautiful Creatures and in the phenomenally successful Hunger Games franchise (HG, CF, M-I). The Divergent trilogy is not an exception. So we see actors/actresses of the caliber of Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer and Ashley Judd in supporting roles. Despite their young ages, actors Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Ansel Elgort also bring star power to the films. However, in spite of Tris Prior being as butt-kicking and a badass heroine as Katniss Everdeen is in the Hunger Games, the powerhouse cast feels wasted given how poor, as in Beautiful Creatures, the source material is. And as it turns out, the big reveal at the end doesn't justify the overacting.

I frankly put up with the plot just to enjoy the chemistry between Shailene Woodley and Theo James, which unfortunately in Insurgent is virtually non-existent. We don't care about the factions, the characters, or their struggle, and the only reason I would watch the third movie is to close that gap and leave it behind.

Shailene Woodley (Tris Prior), Theo James (Tobias Eaton, a.k.a Four), Ansel Elgort (Caleb Prior, Tris' brother), Kate Winslet (Jeanine), Naomi Watts (Evelyn, Four's mother), Ashley Judd (Natalie Prior, Tris' mother), Zoë Kravitz (Christina)


  1. Think I'll be giving this one a miss!

    1. Yes, Dorothy, the only appeal left from the first installment is that the trilogy is mid-way through. Definitely a miss, and that's a shame!


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