Mickey Mouse: Castle of Illusion (1990) Review

Castle of Illusion was the first game released in the Mickey Mouse Illusion video game series, it first released in 1990 for the Sega Megadrive/Genesis with an 8 bit version for Master System and Game Gear coming in 1991. The Game was developed and published by Sega and in 2013 it was remade for PSN Xbox Live Arcade and PC.

In this Review I will be looking at the original 1990 release and discussing the Master System and most modern release in smaller details afterwards.

Minnie Mouse has been kidnapped by the evil witch Mizarabel with the intention of stealing her beauty, Mickey chases her to the Castle of Illusion and needs to explore the enchanted rooms filled with fantasy worlds in order to find and rescue Minnie before it is too late!

The game is a 2D platformer and runs extremely well considering how much the small 4mb cartridge is rendering, it uses a traditional playstyle with the main goal being to reach the end of a stage but with a lot of varying obstacles to deal with including under water segments, puzzle solving, maze like levels with lots of dead ends and secret passageways and timed segments which involve avoiding giant rolling apples.

Each door hides a different themed world each with unique enemies and stage layouts. Mickey first explores an enchanted forest, then a kingdom of toys, a Stoney kingdom with waterfalls and terrifying storms…….. and so on

The goal of the game is to collect 7 gems in order to build a rainbow bridge and rescue Minnie from Mizarabel, in order to survive the many enemies and bosses in the game Mickey is given three ways to defeat the bad guys, the most commonly used move would be the butt bounce performed by pressing the jump key after jumping in the air, you can throw apples and other smaller items as ammunition and occasionally you will find blocks you can pick up and throw.

For me personally the best part of the game was the memorable and challenging boss fights, almost every world would end with a giant monster to battle but they aren’t anything scary in order to fit in with the cartoony exterior. The fights themselves are each very challenging with unique patterns that must be learned in order to defeat them, the bosses were what always ended up giving me a game over.

funnily enough the final boss battle is one of the easiest in the game, there are spots where you can stand still easily avoiding Mizarabels attacks.

The game is absolutely stunning and visually impressive for an early Genesis game, not only does each world have a unique visual style and colour palette but the game is packed with background details to help give these worlds character and personality.

The game also runs very smoothly and is highly animated with lots of details given to character sprites and Mickeys facial expressions.

The music is very good, the tracks are simple and pack the game with plenty of whimsy, there isn’t anything here that could be considered amazing or anything that would make it into the history books for being recognisable but what we did get worked well and suited this game perfectly.

Castle of illusion is a game that had been on my radar for a very long time, I have owned the sequel Land of Illusion for a long time now and have reviewed that game.

My overall take away from Castle of illusion is that it is a game packed with personality, creativity and love, it is a fairly simple adventure you will get game overs but after only a few resets you should be good for reaching the end credits.

I do think the lack of a password system can be an issue especially if you haven’t got time to do this in one sitting, the sequel also had this problem but handled it substantially better by having unlimited continues so even if you did die you were never forced to reset the game.

Looking past this what we do have here is a substantially excellent Genesis title which holds its own by being a pleasant surprise for gamers, Genesis was well known for being marketed towards older gamers by having more sports and shooters compared to competitor Nintendo.

Castle of Illusion managed to blow away expectations in almost every category visually it is beautifully stunning with its art style and animations, the simple music works well for the game and each world has its own personality by changing the art style, enemies and ammunition, the only real downside is the 2 continues and lack of a password system but the game isn’t really that difficult so I think I can look past this.


Master System/Game Gear versions

I will be honest its a little hard to review this version because I’ve never played it, however from what I’ve seen from a full gameplay video that it is a completely different game with unique level layouts and boss fights, it is more par with the games sequel Land of Illusion a game I have given high praises too.

The plot remains the same and the only main difference is the boss battles and unfortunately the lack of graphical details, this was much more difficult to pull off on 8 bit hardware and Land of Illusion had the same issue with looking a little dull.

The boss fights are a bit lackluster as well compared to the far superior Genesis game, they are a lot simpler here and simply don’t bring across the same amount of personality.

Some of the Bosses are completely different to the Genesis version they are not particularly memorable here but do a fine enough job to fit in with each worlds theme .

Like I said I cant rank this one or really give it a full analysis as I do not own it nor have I played it, maybe I will one day if I get the chance but for now I am eager to see how the Genesis HD remake held up.

Remake (2013)

2013 saw the release of the Castle of Illusion Remake, it was developed by Sega Australia and was released for the PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and mobile.

The game is a direct remake of the original Sega Genesis version and was very faithful to the source material.

The two biggest changes here are visuals and gameplay, graphically for 2.5D the game looks very impressive for its era not using the traditional realism seen in other games but focusing more on cartoon visuals and smooth, colourful objects and visually artistic background set pieces.

The game now takes place in an open hub world allowing you to re-visit stages as you please.

Levels now have multiple collectibles which will give you special unlockable such as new costumes, character statues and concept art.

While levels now added more paths and new secrets to discover the game had become much easier offering little to no challenge until facing the final boss

Our favourite composer Grant Kirkhope was brought on board to do the soundtrack for this remake and while I can always appreciate his work and this is very excellent and full of charm I prefer the the original soundtrack just a little bit more if only for its more retro sounds and style.

After playing the remake I can definitely recommend it as a way of experiencing this game, it is a little easier than the original game but adds a save feature and a fair bit of replay value that gamers will appreciate.

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Check the link below for my review of this games sequel !


The Stand (1994) Review

Welcome to our fourth Stephen King deep dive this time we will looking at his Novel The Stand and its two mini series adaptations, the goal in this series is to see which adaptation has the closest ties to the original book, we always discuss the novel last so we will begin with the 1994 mini series directed by Mick Garris.

The series was given a large budget and consists of 4 episodes coming in at a total of 6 hours long and this did not include commercial breaks.

The show starts with a police officer and his family escaping a secure facility which is housing people who are sick with a new and top secret deadly virus.

After this we begin to slowly meet our main cast of immune persons but not before one of the best opening credits I have seen in a TV show.

It pans across the facility showing all the dead of scientists with (Don’t Fear) The Reaper by Blue Öyster Cult playing in the background, the lyrics to this hit song are actually very important and have a lot meaning when tying it to this story.

All our times have come
Here but now they’re gone
Seasons don’t fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain
We can be like they are

The Reaper in the lyrics could be referring to the virus but personally I think its a warning of Randall Flag the evil entity of the series with the song being a message to our heroes not to fear him as they will have the power of God behind them.

In fact the show its self doesn’t go too deep into this new pandemic and does have a lot of religious morals, especially when you consider the portrayal of Mother Abigail by the late Ruby Dee, I strongly believe that coming up with a overly positive and serious religious character can be extremely difficult to pull off but Ruby does a phenomenal job here.

Mother Abigail is definitely considered an embodiment of Christianity in her character that initially only appears in dreams to our band of heroes who each share an immunity to the virus.

Speaking of the remaining cast I will say that I was thoroughly impressed with how well casted the series was, I haven’t read the book yet so it’s difficult for me to pinpoint whether these portrayals are accurate to the original novel but everyone here did a phenomenal job.

Some were big names were tied to this production including Gary Sinisi, Molly Ringwald, Jamie Sheridan, Rob Lowe and Bill Faberbakke to name a few.

Jamie Sheridan plays main Villain Randall Flagg, the demonic character who starts splitting up our surviving heroes turning them against each other,  he is a little goofy in this although still maintains his serious side, he is definitely a threatening villain but I really struggled to understand his motives other than taking over the City of Las Vegas.

There are two roles in this production which represent persons with disabilities, one of these characters Tom Cullen is portrayed by Bill Fagerbakke who is best known as the voice of Patrick Star on Spongebob Squarepants, Bill was fine in this but its hard to look at his portrayal as Mentally Handicapped more than simply dim witted. I think when you look at other portrayals in films such as Whats Eating Gilbert Grape, Rain Man or Riding the Bus with my Sister that tackle the mentally challenged in much more realistic portrayals they became much more impactful and memorable due to the realism behind them.

Rob Lowe is here 10 years prior to his work in the 2004 Salems Lot mini series, here Rob plays Nick Andros a deaf-mute and one of the main heroes of the series. Rob is amazing in this and he gives a very respectful portrayal to his character and never tries to over play the disability. He has very few speaking lines during dream sequences but without his voice it gives the character much more personality and in many ways helps to show Lowe’s talents and range as an actor, I look forward to seeing Rob in more productions in the future.

I have only spoken here about my personal choices for the most discussable performances of the production but as a whole everyone does a great job and I don’t think I could pin point a single performance that I thought was badly casted.

I think if I had to say anything about the performances here I would say that there are definitely some sillier characters that I feel were somewhat unnecessary but none of them are massively important roles so I don’t feel it particularly matters.

The show deserves a lot of recognition for its variety of memorable sets, this production might have more locations than any other production of a King book (at least from what we have seen so far). There are so many to choose from but my 3 favourites are Mother Abigails Farm, Las Vegas and the abandoned town where Nick and Tom get shot at by Julie Lawry.

I think if this production struggled with anything I would say pacing, you see while this still comes in at 6 hours the book is huge, in fact its one of kings longest. I haven’t read it yet but I do feel that this production skipped over a lot of plot in order to cut down the production times, for example one of the episodes starts with Stu trying to perform surgery on another survivor, there was no mention of this in any prior episode so it comes out of nowhere.

Another example would be Christina’s relationship with Randall Flagg, a relationship which comes out of nowhere and very quickly falls apart due to certain circumstances.

Tom Cullen being sent away from the other members is another random moment without much background, I never really understood why this was done or why he got hypnotised other than maybe to find the members who turned evil?

I had a really good time watching this series, it had a great cast of likable characters and a story that was almost perfectly told if not for its pacing issues and a couple of sillier performances that I feel slightly took away from the realism that the rest of the show was portraying. Looking past its few issues what we have here is a fairly fantastic television series that makes efforts to respectfully portray more sensitive subjects, beliefs and needs.

If you ever get the chance check this one out, so far during this massive Stephen King Project it is the best TV series and will be hard pressed to get beaten anytime soon.

Up next is the 2020 series will this one offer anything new or will it not compare to the 1994 version?

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Book Review: The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Callodi

Originally starting as a series of newspaper serials in 1881 the stories of a mischievous puppet were very popular and after originally ending on a dark note with Pinocchio being hanged as a warning to children to always listen to their parent, popular demand encouraged Callodi to continue the story in 1882 before finally combining the best parts to create a featured novel titled The Adventures of Pinocchio releasing the following year.

The book is extremely dark for a children’s novel and really takes the whole consequences of our actions to a whole new level.

The character of Pinocchio in the novel is in my opinion a complete scumbag, he is a very unlikable character who doesn’t seem to have a very good nature about him especially in the earlier chapters of the book.

Some examples of the puppets bad choices includes false accusations of abuse resulting in Geppetto getting jail time.

Killing the talking cricket with a mallet

Gepetto sells his only coat to buy Pinocchio an ABC book, Pinocchio sells the book to enter a marionette show.

The consequences of Pinocchio’s actions are often very dark as well, in one chapter Pinocchio is strung up in a tree and left to suffocate to death, other forms of punishments include the character turned into donkey, being burned alive, imprisoned, being eaten and much more.

Unlike in the Disney adaptation we do actually get more insight into the fate of Candlewick, Pinocchios closest friend, in the book after turning into a Donkey, Pinocchio is sold to the circus and Candlewick a farm, later in the book Pinnochio finds him dying from being starved and overworked and yes he actually dies!

Callodi does a really great job of portraying Pinnochios conscience and understanding of right and wrong throughout the story, it begins with the puppet being extremely selfish and not even considering other persons than himself and while it takes a long time before he has proven himself enough to become human.

A great example and a rather frustrating moment is when Pinocchio meets the coachman, he knows not to go to the Island of Toys there isn’t even any room in the carriage but even after thinking it over he rides one the Donkeys, leaving his father again and this time the day before he was to become human!.

With how dark this story actually is, it is surprising that the novel is written in a more simplified text and layout, it is clear that the story is intended to be read by very young children or to be read to them by an adult. I respect the book for not holding back on its morals, I have stood by that with children it is always better to be upfront with things even though they might not listen.

I had a bit of a Pinocchio moment when I was younger, I remember me and a friend were playing in neighbourhood park and a stranger pulled up in his car and offered £2 each to dump bags of innards from animals he had gutted, stupidly we got in the car and did the job, we were lucky to be dropped back at the park. I remember I went home and got a proper telling off, I never got to keep that money and while at the time I resented my mother for it looking back now I’m really lucky to be alive.

what about you guys any “Pinocchio” moments from your past you want to share?

I really enjoyed this book and was genuinely shocked with how dark and scary it could be at times, if I read this as a child I would have been terrified but considering my previously mentioned stupidity perhaps that wouldn’t be a bad thing!.

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Hogwarts Legacy (2023) Review

Hogwarts Legacy is an open world action-adventure-role playing game developed by Avalanche Software and published by Warner Bros Games.

The game had initial sales concerns due to some people choosing to pirate the game in order to not support J.K Rowling and her Antisemitic and transphobic views but even after these concerns the game went on to make an astonishing $850’000’000 in global sales in its first two weeks.

The game takes place in the late 1800’s and follows a new 5th year Hogwarts Student who gets wrapped into a wizarding battle revolving around an ancient dark magic which had been trapped inside of an secret repository, throughout the game the player will learn through pensives the dangers of the magic and at the end of the game can decide weather they want to free it or not.

There are three additional major side game plots that have the player deciding outcomes and how relationships will develop, these each tie into three in game houses Gryffindor, HufflePuff and Slytherin.

It is a bit lame that Ravenclaw never got one of these relationship quests but we did get astronomy tables as a unique collectible in the game just kinda wish my house had a much more thought through side story.

The three remaining stories each tie into the in game playing styles, HufflePuff focuses on Poppy Sweeting capturing magical beasts and taking out the poachers that are capturing them.

Gryffindor focuses on Natti Onai an African student who wants to seek justice against dark wizards due to her fathers murder in Uganda.

Slytherin definitely the best side side story focuses on Sebastian Sallow and how he desperately wants to access Dark Magic to save his sister Anne, this side story is the only way to learn the three dark magic curses including the Killing Curse.

Throughout the game you can attend classes to learn spells and you will also need to finish assignments these are normally just challenges to help you get used to how everything works, making potions from collected materials is necessary to keep yourself alive and can give you extra spell damage or defence against tricky enemies and bosses. Learning and developing new spell rotations is also highly recommended to learn how to use different combos to make sure you can get through the games thorough combat system.

Quests and lessons are not the only thing to do in the game, the wizarding world is massive and while you only remain in the Scottish Highlands surrounding Hogwarts Castle there is a plethora of areas to explore, collectibles to find and larger enemies to exterminate.

One issue I had with the game was definitely the crafting system, you can use herbology to grow plants and can brew potions providing that you have the correct number of items requested. It is impossible to do this anywhere but also there are real world time limits to crafting, the herbology I managed to work around by turning the room of requirement into a greenhouse, I rarely used plants so having them constantly replant themselves was useful, potions however were a real pain.

Wiggenweld potion will heal you when drink it and you can only store 25 at a time, when you run low you must go to the potions class and wait 15 seconds per potion to get them back, lets say you had completely ran out, if you wanted a full set of 25 you would need to wait around 6 minutes to brew a new set, in a mobile game this is acceptable because its free but when I have just spent £70 on a videogame having to wait around sucks!.

This could be fixed if you could simply brew as many as you want at once or you have no time limit and you allow players to craft anywhere from in game menu providing they have the necessary materials.

The only other issue I had with the game was the beast system, you can capture magical creatures in the game and release them into sanctuary’s via the Room of Requirement, here you can pet them, play with them, breed them and feed them to get new materials for upgrading your gear and adding special upgrades such as additional fire damage or better defence against Goblins etc. To be honest I hardly ever did this because you change gear so often by simply picking up better stuff that it just got annoying and I realised that I was doing fine enough without this feature.

I think it would be better if the beasts could assist you in combat or another way could be that if you did certain beasts missions you could unlock permanent upgrades that are attached you character and not specific items of clothing.

Apart from my small complaints general gameplay and exploration is fantastic, the world has had a lot of love went into its development, I love that you can freely explore Hogwarts Castle and all that surrounds it.

If you only focus on the main story the game is pretty short but if like me you focused on doing all the side quests and a fair bit of general exploration you will realise that there is so much to do and a ridiculous amount of content in this game. The majority of tasks will see you battling enemies and thankfully the game has really good combat system which can seem a little overwhelming but once you get a feel for it and start to create your own spell rotations and fighting styles it truly is one of the most satisfying combat systems I have ever used.

I found an offensive approach worked best for me using yellow magic to temporarily hinder my enemies before blasting them with my red attack magic to go in for the final blow worked best, when I was dealing with a lot of enemies the chomping cabbages I grew were seriously helpful for taking care of those health bars.

You can block in the game but I actually found it a lot easier to switch between attacks and dodge to quickly take down enemies while keeping myself alive.

I wont go over all of the side content but I do want to highlight the ones that I particularly enjoyed doing, I never went for 100 percent in this as I didn’t really feel a need to and only did the things I had the most fun with.

Merlin Trials are special puzzles hidden throughout the world by the Wizard Merlin, completing these will increase your gear slots, there are a lot of these but they generally come in certain varieties, set fire to all of the columns, move the boulder into the hole, find and return the missing fireflies, blast the items and traverse across the obstacles.

The big troll battles were really fun an could get challenging at times, these were really satisfyingly to beat and also gave you troll bogies one of the more rare crafting items.

I also did the general collection missions including finding the flying keys to retrieve house coins and the demiguise statues. The house coins will eventually allow you to open a chest unique to each common room and the demiguise statues will allow you to upgrade alohomora so you can open level 2 and 3 locks.

Visually from afar the game is beautiful and has some realistic visuals and uses colours extremely well to emphasize the atmospheric values of each in game area, it has some really great fog effects and even though there can be a lot happening on screen in one moment the game always remains well animated and I didnt experience any lag or other gameplay related problems.

Once you approach objects and characters up close there is some distinct drop in graphical quality, facial features become flatter and most things become more pixelated but it never really takes away from the experience the game offers.

The games soundtrack took direct influence from the John Williams score of Harry Potter and Philosophers Stone, even going as far as basing some of the tracks here on those original compositions. The music really is magical and makes you feel like you are the world of Hogwarts.

There is a fantastic video from Youtuber Charles Cornell a Jazz Pianist who discusses the influences in much better detail

I am so happy that this game was successful especially after it’s initial sales concerns because it really is a wonderful videogame and it offers so many details and secrets that you will want to keep coming back to it time and time again.

It isn’t perfect I feel like some changes to the crafting systems definitely need to be made in order to better experience a potential sequel but also we need consequences. The game allows you to make good and bad choices but none of them effect the outcome of the story enough to warrant taking different paths.

No matter what you choose you will always be heading towards that light hearted ending, you cannot become fully evil in this and while I normally go down the good path I think a consequence system similar to the Fable series would have been a great choice here and is something I really want to see in future games.


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Book Review: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

The Woman in Black is one of the most recognisable ghost stories to come out of Great Britain, the story of Arthur Kipps travelling to the home of his recently deceased client in the the far and withdrawn village of Crythin Grifford, where he is slowly driven mad by his obsession with the ghost of Jennet Humphrey has stuck with its readers for years to come and is a truly spine chilling tale.

As per usual once I purchase a book I do a bit of research into the author, this time it was Susan Hill who wrote the tale as part of her series “A Ghost Story”, the book was released in 1983 but it is written with such a brilliant gothic style that you could easily be tricked into thinking that it was a much older spooky story from hundreds of years prior.

To be completely honest the story is so perfectly written and crafted that I don’t have any criticisms so this is going to be more a celebratory review where I can share my appreciation for a horror book that truly sent a chill down my spine.

Its cold and crisp Christmas Eve and Arthur Kipps is visiting his family, during the fun and games of the night a challenge of scary stories is brought amongst our party goers, in a circle each person tells a tale in order to spook the guests, the idea scares Arthur as he has truly experienced the paranormal and lived to tell the tale, left only with haunting memories and a broken heart.

We read the novel from Arthur’s point of view it is written as such that Arthur is telling the ghost story of the Woman in Black of Eel Marsh House.

Arthur is visiting the house to gather the affairs of his recently deceased client Alice Drablow, the house is in utter despair the papers are everywhere and everything is in a mess. The towns folk begged Arthur to not spend the night inside of the home but he didn’t head their warnings and stays anyway.

Throughout his stay in the village of Crython Grifford Arthur keeps seeing a Woman dressed in traditional black mourning clothes, the eerie specter begins to drive Arthur mad as he researches the presence leading him down a rabbit hole of theories, child murders and genuine fear that himself or his family may become the next victim of the Woman in Black!.

The book is truly terrifying throughout its gothic nature and disturbing story telling the deaths of children as innocent as they can be is always something we don’t want to think about and this story uses such a dark premise to make the reader truly feel threatened by its antagonist and will have you secretly praying that you don’t meet eyes with such a grizzly ghoul.

The story is perfectly written and to be loved by any horror fan although trigger warnings for the deaths of children and one near the end of the novel which is particularly horrible to read about might put some readers off.

There are multiple adaptations of the book and I am pleased to say that I think I have seen all of them the most recognisable would probably be the Daniel Radcliffe adaptation from 2012 my least favourite due to its major differences to the original story even adding a “happier” ending compared to most other versions.

My most recommended would either be to watch the 1989 adaptation which is much scarier and has fewer changes apart from its ending, it also has an excellent cast and is truly almost as scary as the book.

Finally the play I remember being very good but to be honest it has been a long while since I last saw a production so until it is fresh in my head again I cant truly give too much opinion on it.

I hope that by reading my review you have been encouraged to go out and grab a copy of the original book and experience it for yourself, if you don’t enjoy reading there is also a fantastic audible version narrated by Paapa Essiedu, I found this after reading the story and the production was so fantastic with original music, back ground sounds and a brilliant reader to build the atmosphere it is a great option… It is also FREE !! yep free of charge courtesy of audible so please check it out if you can.

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Book Review: The Shining by Stephen King

I will be using illustrations from various illustrators all copyright belongs to them and I highly recommend checking out their websites

Finally we are here and after reviewing it’s two screen adaptations it is time to talk about Stephen King’s third horror novel The Shining.




The book of course revolves around Jack Torrance the new off season caretaker for the Overlook Hotel who is slowly driven mad by the ghosts of its past patrons.

Now I don’t need to tell anyone that we already know which adaptation is more accurate since King has always hated Kubrick’s version.

King made his own television adaptation of the book which was decent but didn’t really work for scares.

In a surprising turn of events what never worked for the screen was terrifying in the writing.

In the story Jack is the most important character only emphasised by Danny’s ability to shine. 

Jack torrence is a flawed man in the book a recovering alcoholic who is in the midst of a divorce after he broke his sons arm in a drunken rage. He had not long also lost his job after attacking a student who slashed his tyres.

Jack has been sober for 5 months and all things considered he is slowly repairing his relationship with his family, taking up work in an isolated hotel which has no alcohol seems the perfect opportunity for Jack to earn some money and find inspiration for his writing, not realising the sinister plans the ghouls of the overlook are hiding.

Wendy a much more powerful character in the book is desperate to have her marriage problems fixed after experiencing her parents divorce as a child and doesn’t want Danny to take on the same emotional impact.

As seems to be a pattern in Kings book child abuse is a theme not used lightly in the novel with Danny Torrence looking back at past events where jack has been physically abusive towards Danny.

Wendy blames many of Danny’s injuries at the hotel on Jack even though it was the ghosts such as the lady in the bath.

It is implied that overlook wanted jack to get the blame as part of their plan to slowly corrupt his mind.

Jack remembers his father beating his mother when he was drunk, early on he is ashamed of this but as the hotel tightens it’s grip over him he begins to have more sympathy and believes that he needs to punish his family.

King leaves so many questions for the readers in his writing, the biggest here is what is exactly is the Overlook Hotel?

From face value it seems to be a haunted hotel which inhabits some rather nasty ghouls but when you really sit back and theorize over it the overlook very well may be a living organism.

King always writes in way that never puts the ghosts in blame for what happens, it is always referred back to the Overlook. 

„This inhuman place makes human monsters.“

A quote from Tony to Danny and one that emphasizes this point, the Overlook is using manipulation and controlling people to change within its own walls. 

Those who die in the Overlook are trapped there in spirit, the hotel prays on the weak and tricks them into killing the stronger members first. This is not only seen through how the Hotel effects Jack Torrence but also  it’s previous victims Delbert Grady and his family. 

Compared to kings previous novel Salem’s Lot I didn’t really find this book as scary but I will say that you can take certain scares from the book more seriously than the 1997 miniseries. 

One thing that does work much better in this book than either adaptation is Tony, Tony is never visualised but is a distant voice which calls out to Danny dropping simple auditory warnings of what’s to come. 

In a later revelation we learn that Tony is simply Danny communicating with his 15 year old self 10 years into the future, making sure that everything goes to plan and Danny survives his father’s murderous onslaught.

there is a very good theory going around that Danny inherited his shining ability from his father, Jack having the ability and not realising would help explain things, especially how he manages to directly communicate with the spirits of the Overlook.

The shining is Stephen King’s best book yet and is in opinion a perfectly written horror story, it isn’t overly scary but has some creepy overtones and with its smaller cast and singular location the plot is easy to follow and never feels it gets off track.

It’s a story that has a conclusive finale but will leave readers thinking about it’s narrative and theorising it’s supernatural aspects.

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The Shining Mini Series (1997) Review

By now it is no secret that Stephen King has never cared much for Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of his third novel The Shining so in 1997 he decided to produce his own version, King hired Mick Garris to direct the series and filming was shot at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, the Stanley was the real world hotel King stayed at which inspired his original story.

The story here very much remains the same with recovering alcoholic Jack Torrance becoming caretaker for the Overlook Hotel during the off season and gradually being convinced by the Hotels ghosts to murder his family

Casting here was pretty decent with Wings star Steven Weber taking on the Role of Jack Torrance and Rebecca De Mornay playing wife Wendy.

Both of these guys are great and share a really nice on screen chemistry, Weber brings so much more to Jacks character than we got to see with Nicholsons approach, I think this is because in this version Jack manages to gain a lot more sympathy from the audience as we can see a genuinely nice guy and loving father who is conflicted between the love of his family and the Hotel.

Rebecca De Mornay brings so much more to the character of Wendy Torrance, here we get a strong female lead with guts and backbone, her portrayal is not only mothering but a powerful protector and somebody who wont let anyone get in the way of her family.

Danny Torrance is this time played by Courtland Mead and he is awful, I’m sorry I don’t normally go in on child actors but this kid is so annoying and his portrayal come across a bit forced, it probably didn’t help that King hired a 9 year old boy to play a five year old so Mead had to dumb down his speech and behaviours to try and match those of the correct age.

Another odd choice was the casting of Tony, Dannys imaginary friend here he is played by Wil Horneff who is fine enough but my god the dress sense its so 90’s it doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the series and makes him come across a little bit silly, “Clarissa explains it all” eat your heartout!

The late Melvin Van Peebles plays Dick Halloran and he is a gemstone in this, I love him so much he plays a much more prominent role in this compared to Scatman Crothers in Kubrick’s version. Van Peebles Halloran so much character and becomes a grandfatherly figure to Danny, the two communicate via the shining much more frequently in this as well helping us an audience to realise his greater importance in all of this.

While the casting was almost spot on basically everything else was hit or miss, the general effects were pretty bad from a CGI standpoint which can be seen during the scene where Danny is almost attacked by the hedge animals, makeup and physical effects on the other hand were excellent with realistic blood splatter and genuinely scary makeup, my favourite was the dead lady in the bath, I actually prefer this look to the lady in Kubrick’s adaptation.

got this video from https://theshining237.com/2017/10/16/shining-vs-shining-lets-put-the-1997-king-miniseries-up-against-the-1980-kubrick-film-and-see-what-happens/ check this website out for a great comparison of both versions

Line delivery was genuinely so cringe as can be seen in the video above, mostly from Jacks end with wonderful lines like “Up to room 217, where do think I’m going out for a pizza” and “Congratulations, Dick you’re a Publisher’s Clearing House winner and here’s your prize”

At this point I haven’t even read the book but I know this is more accurate especially with King producing the series and I want to point this out because Kubrick made changes to the original story for a very good reason which I feel is made clear after watching this adaptation.

Words cannot always adapt well to screen !! What may be considered scary in a book will not always come across as scary in a cinema, Kubrick thought this about the animal shaped hedges so instead he used a hedge maze for his finale, we feel Danny is in danger here he is lost trapped in a labyrinth with his possessed father who wants to kill him, Topiary isn’t scary but the thought of being lost and trapped most definitely is.

Jacks death was changed in Kubrick’s too having him freeze to death trapped in the Maze, in the 1997 mini series Jack dies when he blows up the Hotel a satisfying finale but I preferred Kubrick’s because it gave the audience the sense that Jacks soul was taken by the Overlook and it was still open awaiting new victims.

It does get rebuilt at the end of the 1997 version but it just doesn’t carry the same energy as Kubricks adaptation.

The biggest sin of all with this version is just how generally boring it is, we see a lot of character development but its done through far too much dialogue, the majority of this four hour and 30 minute production is talking with any action and scares being few and far between, I feel like King was trying to build up the suspense like he excellently does in his books but again for a TV production playing it out like a novel just doesn’t work and by making this King did nothing but make himself look a bit foolish, he is entitled to opinions on Kubricks version but he would have been better off leaving that be the only adaptation he was never going to beat it and at the end of the day the film still would have drove book sales so the original story would have been read by millions no matter what!

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The Last of Us Part 2 (2020) Review

The Last of Us Part 2 is the sequel to the excellent 2013 hit The Last of Us, the game was developed by series creator Naughty Dog and was published exclusively by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4.

The game this time focuses on two main characters Ashley Johnson reprises her role as Ellie and Laura Bailey was brought in to play Abby.

Ellie’s main goal in the game is to kill Abby after she kills Joel by beating him over the head with a golf club, the reason for killing Joel is revealed later on in the game and is a plot point I will not spoil here. Joels brother Tommy heads to Seattle on a Solo mission to hunt down his brothers killer, Ellie and her new girlfriend Dina leave to find Tommy and help him get revenge for Joels death.

Abby is playable in the second half of the game, her journey takes Abby to try and rediscover the purpose in her life after she kills Joel. Her reasons for the the violent way that Joel died are revealed during these chapters along with showing us her relationship with boyfriend Owen and pregnant friend Mel.

Purpose is a theme played with heavily throughout the game and both playable protagonists have to try and get to grips with what is important in life. Revenge is something which effects both characters Ellie is desperate to kill Abby hoping that it will heal her pain from losing Joel, she is so hell bent on this fact that she is blind to the world around her.

Abby is having the exact opposite problem she has killed the person she was after but she is still pained, she realises that her emotions are not going to heal, everything will never be ok again so she is desperate to try and make the most of what she can, later on in the game she even teams up with an enemy of her group and has to choose which path she wants to follow.

Ellie is painted very differently in this game compared to the first and thanks to the excellent writing by Naughty Dog you will be rooting for her in the beginning and later on realising that Ellie is very slowly becoming dangerous, I never knew how the story was going to affect me, at first I hated Abby but by the end of the game I was disagreeing with Ellie and having more sympathy with the person she was trying to kill.

For reasons I don’t particularly understand Ellie’s blood can no longer be used to save humanity so for the most part she isn’t under the danger of being experimented on and is spared multiple times in the game because of this, I wish they explained how its different in this game compared to before but maybe that is something we will discover when the TLOU 3 eventually comes out.

The gameplay follows on from the prior title with its survival horror and moments which require stealth, compared to the first game though I would argue that there are much less infected to deal with compared to human enemies, this of course ties into the main themes and story of the game, there is a big conflict happening here between former firefly’s now known as the WLF (Washington Liberation Front) and the Seraphites a religious cult who want humanity to live off the land and get rid of technology after teachings from their prophet stated that the fungal virus was only brought upon humanity as a punishment for all of its sins.

A new dodge mechanic was added into this game and was extremely helpful during combat especially with the infected, it made the combat a little easier at times without taking away from the games overall difficulty.

Both Ellie and Abby are able to upgrade weapons at workbenches, this will allow for faster reloading, scopes, more penetrating shots and much more.

Skill paths can be purchased with medication, these will allow you to gain new skills based on different play styles focusing on health, explosives, firearms, field tactics, endurance etc.

Collectibles are a massive part of the game this time around with even more things to collect and unique items which tie to both of our playable protagonists.

Ellie is able to find collectible playing cards of people with special powers similar to the X-Men and what I am assuming inspired these. She can also find notes and write down entries in her journal.

Something very cool Ellie can do is play the guitar and while some songs are played as part of the story, if you try out different combinations you can actually play a catalogue of songs from artists such as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, Metallica and more.

Apart from notes the only other collectible Abby can find are coins each representing different states in America, these were fun to hunt down but its hard not be a little disappointed compared to how much effort was put into Ellie’s half of the game.

A creative choice I would have made is to still have the two campaigns but mix them in together, one chapter of Ellie then one chapter of Abby and so on.

Visually the game is extremely impressive graphically it is one of the best looking games on the system. There has been a big upgrade compared to the first game with Naughty Dog using techniques such as motion matching and advanced light sourcing technology to make the game run smoothly in 1080p and 4K, the game now has new environments to work with, there are still depressing, dark and abandoned areas to explore but also more uplifting and less intense places more prominently seen in flashbacks and my favourite chapter “The Farm”.

Naughty Dog do a fantastic job with making sure that the graphics do not disappoint from start to end with realistic particle rendering of small details such as realistic uses of dust or dirt particles, the realistic movements of flames, and the almost life like visuals of the infected and fungus makes this one of the best looking games for the PS4 and to be honest I think it could even be pulled off on PS5 while it is still in its early lifespan.

Music has a more prominent role in this game compared to the first, In my review of the original game I spoke about how music tracks are few and far between with a higher focus on immersive gameplay. Here we can say the same thing but in a brilliant move by Naughty Dog Joel gifts Ellie her guitar, because of this we can now have these wonderful and emotional renditions of real world songs which not only have a meaning that ties to Ellie’s story but they added more music without taking away from the immersive gameplay as players still feel isolated and lost in this rather depressing chapter in the Last of Us franchise.

I held off from playing this game for a long time, its no secret that a lot of people were disappointed with the game for various reasons including Joels Death, how we are supposed to feel a connection with Abby and some sad saps had a problem with LGBTQ in the game as Ellie and Dina are in a lesbian relationship.

I am pleased to say that I had none of these issues, at first I was upset with Joels death but after the story unfolded I began to understand why Abby wanted him dead and yes I began to feel bad for her, I felt a connection with both and it gave me conflicted feelings I didn’t know who’s side to be on and by the end of the game I was secretly praying that the two could just be civil so I didn’t have to witness either of them die.

The gameplay is addictive, the story will have you on edge of seat and the morals and narratives will have you wondering who the real hero is, you will question many moments and may even see certain characters in a different light, but to truly know how the Last of Us Part 2will affect you is by playing it yourself and that is something I recommend as just like its predecessor this is well worthy of a clean 10/10

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Thank You for all of your support.

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The Shining (1980) Review

Welcome to our next deep dive into the world of Stephen King, this time we will be taking a look at The Shining, Kings third novel and its two current adaptations, as per usual we will discuss the adaptation in chronological release before discussing the book and ultimately deciding which adaptation was the most faithful to the source material.

P.S I am aware of a third adaptation an Opera but I cannot for the life of me find a recording of the show, there was a temporary audio recording release which has been removed from the internet. I’m not going to discuss this one until I can actually watch or listen to it, then I can give a fair analysis so if you would like to see me discuss the Opera please try and convince them to release it in some form or bring it to the UK

Apologies about this but I don’t feel its right for me to review something I cant actually experience right now!

here’s a very good article about it https://screenrant.com/stephen-king-shining-minnesota-opera-explained/ and yes the audio link is dead!

With all that said and done, on with the Review of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining

Often regarded as one of the greatest horror films of all time Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining has been met with critical acclaim but one critic who doesn’t like the movie is Stephen King due to how Kubrick handled the books major themes and the character Wendy.

At this point I have not read the book so I cannot comment on my feelings of this as an adaptation until the end of this journey but just from Kings remarks I am assuming this wont be the most faithful.

The film stars Jack Nicholson in the starring role of Jack Torrance an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts to be the caretaker for the Overlook Hotel during the off season.

Jack Nicholson is just astounding in this and it is easily one of his best performances, Nicholson has always had a talent of getting lost in his characters and a particular talent for playing the mentally unhinged which before the Shining could be seen in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” it was actually this performance which got Jack the role.

In the movie Jack Torrance is a prick from the get go, a selfish individual with unrealistic aspirations of his writing career, he has a unsettling demeanor about him and is genuinely very unlikable this is one choice I am not too fond of as it makes his eventual mental breakdown and psychological snap a little less surprising than it should have been and while Nicholson’s performance as Jack is so memorable I feel it could have been even better if the character started out with a little more sympathy.

Shelley Duvall plays Jacks wife Wendy and she never got much appreciation for her portrayal and even received a razzie for it, Duvall’s character was badly written in this to be a whiny and annoying trigger for Jacks insanity and to be honest until the second half of the film I thought she was fairly forgettable, in her second half’s performance when she plays the upset and distraught Wendy I thought she did a really good job especially in the finale. The scene with the baseball bat on the stairs broke a world record for the most takes with 127 eventually leaving Duvall with a hoarse throat and blistered hands.

Kubrick was cruel to Duvall in many ways to help set up her character, not only did he constantly criticise her performance but would would belittle her Infront of the other cast members and even isolated her by demanding the cast and crew completely ignore her during the entire production, no matter why these choices were made they are still very wrong and effect Duvall to this day.

The rest of the rather small cast of the film are all fine but none are particularly memorable minus Duvall and Nicholson, Danny played by Danny Lloyd is the son of the Torrance’s and he has a special gift called Shining, this gift allows him to see events from the past and for a Child actor Lloyds performance is actually pretty believable and not annoying in the slightest this is left even more impressive considering that Kubrick had tricked the boy into thinking they were making a Drama instead of a Horror film.

Scatman Crothers plays Bill Halloran the head chef of the Overlook Hotel and also a character that has the gift of the shining and uses his ability to communicate with Danny about his fathers mental breakdown.

Having a film with such a small cast in an insolated Hotel is not an easy project to pull of but it is thanks to Kubrick’s directing that it works so well here, from a story telling perspective we can pick up on subtle clues with Jacks character and realising that he is actually quite mentally ill from the very start of the film, he has anger issues and the way he speaks to his wife and son shows signs of a narcist who has nothing but selfish goals.

Before he even starts his job care taking for the Hotel Jack is told about how the last caretaker went mad and chopped up his family, this moment is left alone for a while we don’t see much reference to it at least from Jacks view but we can see him struggling to get anywhere with his book and how this writers block is affecting him.. after all this is meant to be his big break.

Later on when the spirits of the Hotel begin to take a toll on Jack he slowly begins to slip back into alcohol and his more abusive self comes through.

Danny is seeing visions of the murdered family of the last caretaker, blood gushing out of an elevator and flooding the hallways, it could be warnings of whats to come or what has happened in the past are these visions real? are the ghosts really making Jack go crazy or is he just crazy?

All of these are questions you are trying to answer but you cant because the film leaves the viewer open to various theories but no definite answers to what is really going on. This works so well in the movies favour as it ultimately leaves you feeling genuinely disturbed and confused exactly how the Torrance’s felt being isolated in the hotel while all of these things were potentially happening.

A really interesting directors choice here was to have the characters notice and react to something before the viewers, this was a nice change compared to what we are used to with most films in the horror genre. It also leaves the audience feeling uneasy and not understanding why these characters are all of a sudden looking distressed or upset, leaving the reveal even more chilling than it otherwise might have been.

For a good chunk of the movie it is made very clear that the Torrance’s are the only people in the hotel, the place is by all means isolated, in one scene Danny is riding throughout the Hotel on his tricycle and the camera follows from behind as he goes around corners, all of a sudden we see two twin girls and then visions of their murders. This scene while so simple is one of the scariest moments in horror because of that buildup, we as an audience have adapted to isolation and when it is revealed that other entities are in the hotel it throws you off and causes us to feel anxious and panicked.

Camera angles play such an important role in the film to help create the feeling of unease, I previously mentioned Duvall’s 127 takes but it wasn’t just her, Kubrick was deliberately making both Nicholson and Duvall re-do takes to make them start to get tired and stressed, this would begin to affect the performances and would get some more natural takes with bizarre undertones, he would push his actors to redo perfectly performed scenes in order to slightly drive them mad and get under the skin and human psyche, this method would get some really interesting facial expressions, Nicholson would start drooling and actors would come up with new lines without thinking, the famous line “Here’s Johnny” was adlibbed by Nicholson during one of these takes.

Music is the key ingredient that makes this film so memorable and scary, after filming and during post production a very talented gentleman named Gordon Stainforth did the musical score for this film, a 1936 composition “Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta” by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók was used in various scenes and along side very clever use of the Mickey Mousing technique a term used to describe music or sounds synchronised with an on screen action or movement helped to build up the atmosphere and help emphasise the Overlook Hotels manipulation of Jack, manipulative and sinister notes to help pull the strings in jacks mind and unforeseen puppet master, an evil presence we can hear but cannot see and easily the scariest part of the film.

The Shining is one of the greatest Horror films of all time and while it clearly has it’s departure from the original writing thanks to Kings hatred towards it, I feel that for any adaptation of a Stephen King book this is in many ways truly a masterful film and one I feel King should be proud of. I understand why he has issues with it but without the book we never would have been gifted one of the greatest art pieces in not only Stanley Kubricks works but in the history of cinema as a whole. You see Stanley Kubricks the Shining is more than just a film its an experience, a composition and a work of art each bundled together in one package, truly a marvel of filmography, it is now protected by the national film registry and is a movie everyone should see.

After his initial distaste for the 1980 adaptation Stephen King would produce his own in 1997, a tv mini series and our next journey in the Shining Deep Dive.

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Book Review: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones is the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire book series written by author George R.R. Martin. This first book was nominated for multiple awards and the series has since gone on to inspire many adaptations the most famous being the beloved HBO television series.

Winter is Coming and the Kings hand Jon Arryn is dead, his Majesty Robert Baratheon is travelling to Winterfell to speak with his childhood best friend and Lord of the North Eddard Stark to ask if he would wed his Daughter Sansa to his Son Joffrey and at the same time become the new hand of the King.

Jon Arryn’s death is under speculation after his ex wife Lysa sends a raven to her sister Catelyn Stark with a theory that he was poisoned by the Queen Cersei Lannister this eventually turns out to be true after Eddard finds proof that the Queen has been having sexual relations with her brother the king slayer Sir Jaime Lannister a revelation which would soon trigger major events in the book and even more tragic deaths.

Jaime Lannister is named the king slayer after he murdered the previous king Aerys Targaryen aka the mad king.

Meanwhile outside of the walls of Pentos, the true heir to the iron throne Vicerys Targaryen is preparing to set up his sister Daenaerys with Khal Drogo of the Doth Rhaki in exchange that the Doth Rhaki army will help him take back the Iron Throne from Robert Baratheon when they storm Kings Landing.

During the wedding ceremony the Daenerys is gifted a set of authentic Dragon Eggs a tribute to her blood as a Targaryen who would tame and ride dragons thousands of years prior.

All of the characters are really interesting and have a great hook to keep you wanting to read more, the Stark family is particularly important in this novel as it is their characters that are used as chess pieces to set up the future events of the series, the young and elegant Sansa has her naivety used against her in the Game of Thrones, she is used as a piece for her father to follow eventually leading to one of the biggest twists in the series and a character death that goes to show that no one is truly safe in Georges universe.

Arya Stark is easily my favourite character in the book she is a 9 year old girl who wants to wield a sword but due to gender standards this is very much frowned upon until her father has a change of heart and pays for her to have “dancing” lessons with a master swordsman Syreo Forel, in later events in the book she ends up on her own after she escaped the guards in King Landing and now with just her sword needle in hand she needs to try and make her way to the knights watch to warn her bastard brother Jon Snow that her father has been taken prisoner.

Jon Snow is a great hero character and due to him being a bastard is unable to take the throne and gets a lot of flack from other characters in the book, he is a very talented sword fighter who is sent to the Knights Watch as it is the only place he will be accepted, the Knights Watch guards the wall that separates the Northern Kingdoms of Winterfell from the highly dangerous Wildlands. Being sent to the Watch is considered a punishment for criminals and outcasts so is nothing to be proud of, vows must be sworn of celibacy and to never leave the wall unless on official business, abandoning your brothers of the Knights Watch is punishable by death.

The only other character I feel had a really great hook in this was Daenerys Targaryen the daughter of the deceased mad king and another chess piece in the Game of Thrones this time set by her evil and manipulative brother Vicerys. Her story is particularly sad because she is only 12 when the book starts and is put through some pretty horrific moments including sexual assault and penetration, emotional abuse and having to follow Doth Rhaki traditions including eating the raw and still beating heart of a horse.

Her character becomes a lot stronger in the second half of the book and her gifted Dragon Eggs do eventually have a greater purpose in the series in an incredible sequence which ends this first part in the Song of Ice and Fire.

Other characters given a prominent role in this book are Eddard Stark, Catelyn Stark, Brandon Stark, Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister.

Brandon Stark a young and adventurous young man who loves to climb is eventually thrown from a tower after discovering Sir Jaime Lannister having sex with his sister the Queen Cersei Lannister, Brandon is left crippled and his dreams of becoming a knight are destroyed, after his fall he forgets who threw him from that tower and after waking from his coma tries to continue his life in the best way that he can.

Sansa is the most boring character in the book she is a very beautiful but naïve young girl who has dreams of becoming the Queen of the seven Kingdoms to her future husband Joffrey Baratheon, she is easily led and like a piece of clay is moulded by standards and behaviours she has had drilled into her by her scepters. The Queen uses this against Sansa to try and bring her over to the Lannister’s side to help bring more power to the king and their holding of the Iron Throne, apart from this nothing about her character particularly drew me in like the others but if the series continues in a similar manner to the show her character will grow to be a massive player in the game of thrones and an inspirational one too!

Eddard could probably be considered the main character he becomes the hand of the king and eventually discovers some very dark incest ridden secrets of the Lannister twins the Queen Cercei Lannister and her disgraced King Slaying brother Sir Jaime Lannister. It becomes clear that Lysa’s letter may have some truth to it and also there is a distinct possibility that his Son Brandon shared a similar fate.

Catelyn is great in this, she takes hostage the Imp Tyrion Lannister after it is revealed that his own dagger was used in an assassination attempt against the crippled Brandon Stark, it is of course later proven that Tyrion was innocent but who set him up is a mystery I am sure we will discover more of in future entries.

Finally Tyrion Lannister the shameful Imp of Casterly Rock and brother to both Cercei and Jaime plays an important role in this story. In the book he is described as having a head larger than is body with one eye of black and another of green an odd look they chose not to use in the show. In the book he is definitely one of the only decent Lannisters but is far from from a hero, he is a cunning and extremely clever person who can almost talk his way out of anything. After winning a trial in combat he is released from Catelyn Starks hold and makes his way back to his father Tywin Lannister with the help of his new sword wielding companion Bronn, he helps Tyrion get back to his father and even finds him a woman to love named Shae, both Bronn and Tyrion fight in the war between the Lannister’s and the Starks showing that even with his smaller stature Tyrion is far from cowardly.

It is really very clever how George manages to bring these characters together in such an expansive and lore ridden world without making it overly complicated. Since the series goes down the path of following multiple characters giving each their own segments makes a lot of sense and it allows readers to get a feel for Westeros without overwhelming them with too much coverage in this first part.

This first book is obviously very Stark heavy and only really gives us a perspective from the “Hero” characters, while I would have liked to have seen some chapters from Cersei’s point of view I feel that maybe it would have made her character motivations too obvious from the get go not to mention completely ruining the shock of a unforeseen character death, I hope that future entries in the series give us some more characters to follow but for now a higher focus on one house worked for the best. I have always considered Jon a Stark so in my eyes he counts too leaving only Tyrion of House Lannister and Daenerys of House Targaryen as the other houses we follow.

Tyrion’s story is fairly simple but Daenerys is a massively important player in the Game of Thrones and her segments are truly captivating, we see tremendous character growth with her becoming a leader throughout the book and slowly becoming more ruthless as she lets her inner Dragon grow, I really enjoyed her parts as it was a massive difference to the more controlled segments of the Lannister’s plots and Starks downfall. Daenerys was a shy and innocent young girl thrown into the deep end to become a Khaleesi or wife of the Khal a powerful figure who will birth the next leader of Khal Drogo’s army, she is truly destroyed inside and out by her twisted brother who only has selfish goals but overall by the end of the book the only person left standing in the fire is Daenerys and I cant wait to see her grow even more in the next part.

George took an approach too put more focus on his characters and world building than having deep descriptions of the lands, a lot of it is left to readers imagination and I think this was a wise choice considering how complex this story truly is, it doesn’t have a starting or end point and it doesn’t necessarily have an obvious path to follow, we don’t know what the outcome will be of this book or the next and as I have already stated anyone can die.

So many major important characters are introduced in this book to help tell the story of a Song of Ice and Fire but also to help direct the characters to set up future events. It is difficult to know who to trust at this point especially if you haven’t seen the show. A lot of players in the Game of Thrones are sly and will tend to give false persona’s in order to manipulate other players to make bad decisions and almost all of them have both good qualities and a dark streak, trust no one and be prepared to have someone you were rooting for die or maybe show intentions you may not have initially expected.

As someone who love the HBO series and has watched it numerous times from start to end I was a little disappointed to discover that the first season was a copy and paste of this first book so I already knew what was going to happen, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment at all but I hope that while reading the next books in the series I notice some major differences other than character ages and Tyrion’s eye colour.

A Game of Thrones has got to be the greatest first entry in a fantasy series of all time I was hooked from just a few pages, I feel what George achieved with his writing is phenomenal and without his hand to write it, this massive of a book project would have been almost impossible, you don’t need to have seen the show or read many of the chapters to feel a connection and full understanding of these characters and the world of Westeros.

Game of Thrones is what can only be considered a must read for any fan of the fantasy genre it is graphic, sexual and at times disturbing but even without those adult themes this is seriously one of the greatest books I have ever read, my copy was almost 800 pages long and it only took me a week since I was reading more than 100 pages a day, something that is very rare for me personally but honestly I was addicted to a story I know all too well at this point but a timeless tale that I cannot wait to continue with A Clash of Kings

If you would like to help support the website please use the donation button at the top of the page, your donations will help to improve the website by allowing me to afford products to review and to be able to execute any costly updates and changes, any amount in donations are welcome.

Thank You for all of your support.

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com