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November 14th, 2010

Writer's Block: In the jungle

Which animal would you choose to be for a day, and why?

A black jaguar.  Cool sleek. They hunt both on land and water. Lounge in trees looking fabulous!  lol.
Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Movie Review - Skyline

Skyline

Staring: Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, David Zayas, Donald Faison, Brittany Daniel, Crystal Reed, and more.

Premise: While in LA to celebrate the birthday of a friend, Jarrod and Elaine become witnesses to an alien invasion.

Review: The special effects and imagery for this film were awesome. It had many stunning visual moments. As the principals, Eric Balfour (SyFy's Haven) and Scottie Thompson (Dinozzo's one true love in NCIS) did a great job as did the rest of the cast. On the most part, their reactions were believable for the amazing circumstances they find themselves in.

Where the movie had issues was with the story and presentation of events. First they fell to the cliched 'Let's give the audience a taste then slam them back hours/days before the event'. recently it seems movie and TV peeps don't think the audience has the patience for a story to get started at the beginning. 'Walking Dead' premiered a few weeks ago using the same gimmick. Personally, I think it's a crutch and overused. But that's just me.

The aliens and their odd tech was fascinating. Loved that they sneaked in to take a sampling of humans to test them and see if their nervous systems and brains would work for what they had in mind. The characters have no science backgrounds, so the audience is left to its own devices to figure out why things seem to work as they do. All the hints are visual cues. And for the most part worked great.

The physical changes to humans when they saw the light was also great. Good visual cues too for when Jarrod grew a slight resistance to it. The whole concept of the light worked beautifully for me.

Where they truly seemed to lose it was at the end of the film. Either they should have stopped at the spot it originally seemed to - we can live with the bad guys totally winning every once in a while, right? Or they should have tacked on another ten minutes to the five minutes they added to what felt like the ending spot. (I actually liked where the extra five minutes took us - giving us hope and inside the ship- but they didn't take it far enough.) As it was, the extra minutes made the end awkward. Worse, they did just a little more with figurines during the credits and if you weren't looking at it, you'd miss it. Made it feel like they'd run out of budget or something and just tacked on what they could. Did not do themselves any favors here.

Rating: Acting/Special Effects 4 out of 5. Script/implementation 3 out of 5. As hubby likes to say, probably better on cable. :(
Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


JEWEL OF THE GODS

(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!


Excerpt:
"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."





INNER DEMONS

(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!


Excerpt:
The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.



WILLING SACRIFICE
(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”

Excerpt:

Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”



IN THE SERVICE OF SAMURAI
(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”

Excerpt:

Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.



VASSAL OF EL
(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”

Excerpt:

Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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