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Book Review: A Tale of Two Demon Slayers by Angie Fox (Series, #3)

December 6, 2010 4 comments

Summary:
Lizzie is ready for a vacation what with having spent the last month first saving her grandmother from the second level of hell and then saving Las Vegas from a hoard of succubi.  Plus lying around on the beach in Greece with her hunky Griffin boyfriend, Dimitri, sounds like quite the treat.  Of course, nothing in Lizzie’s new life ever goes as smoothly as planned. Their arrival in Greece leads to the discovery that someone has stolen something from Dimitri.  Something intertwined with Lizzie and that has put the whole Helios Griffin clan in danger.

Review:
Due to the title and the various repercussions so far to Lizzie sharing her demon slayer nature with Dimitri, I expected this book to deal with that.  Actually, the story it told was far more engaging and interesting.  Can Dimitri with his classical European family of tradition work in a relationship with Lizzie and her globe-trotting work and crazy motorcycle gang witch family?

Although the situations surrounding this romance are highly paranormal, the relationship itself is very normal.  Lizzie struggles to trust in Dimitri’s love for her, let alone allow him to love her.  Dimitri struggles to find balance between his life and family and Lizzie.  It gives a heart to the overall action and story that was missing in the other volumes.

The paranormal aspects are stronger this time around too.  The paranormal world seems to mesh together in a better way.  The addition of more animals besides Pirate make for a more entertaining menagerie.  Dimitri in particular is more fleshed out now that we see his family and where he comes from.  New characters too are well-drawn, particularly Lizzie’s new teacher.

Fox manages to avoid common paranormal romance cliches this time around, although at first the reader thinks she is falling into them.  This combined with drastically improved sex scenes, the better characterization, and the addition of a real world heart to the story makes for a far better tale overall.  I’m glad the humor in the previous two books kept me around for this one.

Overall, this is an excellent example of everything paranormal romance should be–colorful characters, believable paranormal circumstances, the heart of the story relatable to real world circumstances, good sex scenes, and plot twists that manage to avoid cliches.  It is thoroughly entertaining, and I highly recommend it to all paranormal romance lovers.

5 out of 5 stars

Source: Amazon

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Previous Books in Series:
The Accidental Demon Slayer, review
The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, review

Movie Review: Kamikaze Girls (2004) Japan Shimotsuma Monogatari

November 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Netflix recommended this to me after I gave Battle Royale a 5 star rating.  I’m starting to have a thing for Japanese movies, and after reading the description I knew I had to get it.

Summary:
Highschooler Momoko may live in the countryside, but she’s big city fashion at heart.  Her babydoll, Rococo style frilly dresses, parasols, and bonnets make her stick out like a sore thumb at her school.  Ichigo is a member of a rough, tough girl biker gang.  Their paths cross when Momoko sells some of her dad’s Versace knock-offs to acquire money for more dresses.  A tentative friendship develops, affecting both girls forever.

Review:
The box for Kamikaze Girls claims it’s a Japanese comedy.  Although live-action, it definitely employs some of the zaniness seen in comic Anime films, so if that’s not your style, consider yourself warned.  I enjoy zany humor though, so I appreciated it here.

The acting is great.  The actresses playing Momoko and Ichigo play perfectly off of each other.  Ichigo walks tough and speaks gruff, while Momoko gently reprimands.

Japanese fashion is highlited here, making for excellent eye candy throughout the film.  Ichigo’s clothes are Easternized versions of Western punk fashion.  Momoko’s richly styled frilly dresses definitely hearken back to the 18th century France inspiration.

What really makes the film though is the plot.  This is a movie about friendship between young women, and their friendship doesn’t revolve around talking about men.  They support each other, instead, in making decisions about who they will be.  Instead of it seeming forced that they weren’t talking about men or sex or drugs, it felt completely natural.  They just had more important things in their life right now.  Should Ichigo stay in her growing gang or strike out on her own?  Should Momoko try to break into fashion design?  Can a Rococo girl also ride a scooter?

If you like quirky foreign films and want a solid friendship movie, look no further than Kamikaze Girls.  You won’t be disappointed.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

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