Movie Review: Star Trek

I have been secretly in love with Spock for years.

There, I said it. Go ahead and laugh, but I imprinted on him when I was a kid and I first saw the old Star Trek series in reruns. When I saw that episode where his passions are unleashed and he goes from icy control to primitive sex beast, my pre-teen self went melted-y-melty-melt. Yes, that is the technical term for what occurred.

Sadly, the movies never focused enough on Spock for my tastes. He always seemed more as a foil for Kirk, who I think is a bit of a man-whore. I don’t hold it against him, of course, because he’s scrappy and charming, but he doesn’t move me on any visceral level. Spock, on the other hand, is a man torn between two cultures: one that demands iron emotional discipline and another, that of his mother, that asks him to lead with his heart. Oh, the delicious internal conflict! You will see echoes in Spock in my heroes, particularly the one in Skin Tight. He too demonstrates iron control and complete discipline, except where one woman is concerned. Nalini Singh’s Judd was spock. All the untouchable dukes …are Spock.

Heaven almighty, do I love Spock.

So imagine my delight when I went to see a new Star Trek movie, a JJ Abrams film that hit me as if Mr. Abrams has been reading my secret “I Love Spock” diary, where Spock gets the girl. With my great and unholy love for Fringe, I am starting to feel toward Mr. Abrams the way some people (I believe) feel toward Joss Whedon. Alas, I cannot worship at the altar of Joss, for my heart belongs to JJ. And Spock.

Let’s get back to Spock.

First, Zachary Quinto was insanely hot. For about the first ten minutes I saw him, I kept thinking, what is Sylar doing with Spock hair, but within a very short time, he was no longer Sylar to me; he was Spock. Pitch-perfect, and so sexy-tough-controlled-icy-vulnerable that… well, I think it best that I don’t go into further detail. Let’s just say my love for Spock has reached a new level.

Yes, there were other people in the movie. They were all amazing. The casting was spot-on. I loved Simon Pegg as Scotty; he was brilliant. Bones was wonderful. Chekov, Sulu — both fabulous. And the fact that Spock is carrying on a secret affair with Uhura? Magically delicious. Everytime she touched him and he closed his eyes, a little tic in his jaw as if he was fighting dark urges and I just went, ohhhhhhh

Leonard Nimoy offered a beautiful gravitas to the project. I am so thankful he gave his blessing to it and participated. One moment in the film is positively breathtaking, like seeing two sides of a mirror. If you’ve seen it, you likely know what I mean. If you haven’t seen it, GO RIGHT NOW. Get a ticket.

Other stuff. The pacing was perfect. This flick began with a bang and just kept banging. There were no dead spots. No lulls. For the time I was in the theatre, I belonged utterly to that film. And there’s no higher praise.

As for the alternate reality premise, that was nothing short of brilliant. They have, indeed, reinvented the franchise and can imbue a whole new generation with love for Star Trek.

As for me, I think I might start watching Heroes again. Just to stare at Zachary Quinto, my one true Spock.

Live long and prosper, yo.

September Hot Read – Pleasure Unbound

Pleasure Unbound cover

The Squee

I’m not even a huge paranormal reader, but the romance between Tayla and Eidolon hit all the right notes for me. What an amazing book! I’ve never read anything so delicious in my life. The writing … lovely, powerful, evocative and edgy. The characters? Strong, compelling and memorable. The plot? Tight as a drum, break-neck pace.

It’s also chock full of interesting secondary characters, who don’t seem like sequel bait so much as an important part of the protagonists’ lives. Ms. Ione also manages something very difficult; she does a compelling job with the world-building, giving us just enough to let us understand what’s going on, but there’s never an info dump. I’d say this is one of the most original paranormal romances I’ve read all year. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s about the demonic underworld, centered around a hospital that takes care of otherworldly injuries. Genius! Her execution of this creative premise is nothing short of genius.

I picked this book up after I finished my draft of Doubleblind and I devoured it in one sitting. The passion between to the two leads is explosive, and the sex is set-fire-to-the-pages hot. Ms. Ione has also set up some of the best tension I’ve ever seen between two leads. You know how sometimes in romances, the reason the hero and heroine don’t get together seems a bit manufactured, full of dime-store angst? In this book, there’s a serious Romeo and Juliet vibe. If I’d emailed her a list of my criteria before she wrote this book (and I didn’t), telling her what I want in a paranormal romance, she couldn’t have written a novel more perfectly suited to my tastes.

For me, this book was an A+. If you like dark, gritty, edgy, intensely emotional and erotic romances with a rocket ship full of genuine conflict and angst, you don’t want to miss this book. I’m now a total fangirl (and that doesn’t happen too often). I can’t wait for the next installment. (Aside to Ms. Ione: I’m willing to barter any arc of mine for a sneak peek. I have Doubleblind… I also have Blue Diablo ready to go. Patricia Briggs called it, “…gritty, steamy and altogether wonderful urban fantasy. Outstanding and delicious.” Maybe we can make a deal? Email me, okay?!)

Anyway… moving on…

The Contest

You knew this was coming. Whenever I love a book this much, I give away copies of it. So that’s it. I’m buying two of these and mailing them to random winners. So get in comments and show Ms. Ione some love. Tell me how awesome she is and why you want to read this book. That’s right; I want shameless sucking up and heavy-handed flattery. Winners posted on Tuesday, Sept 9. You have until Monday at 11:59 p.m. to get your name in here.

sharon shinn…

Is all that and a bag of chips.

She totally chatted with me for an hour and a half before our panel. (I had a panel with her! *dies of bliss*) Then I sat next to her at the signing. Her line was a sight to behold and I had a few people stop by as well.

I know I had a goofy happy smile on the whole time, but hello, I was sitting by Sharon Shinn! It wouldn’t have mattered if people had been throwing fish at me. I’d have still been beaming. The fact that I had a few books to sign was just frosting on the cake.

It’s so awesome when your idols turn out to be every bit as amazing as you have imagined over the years. Today was pure win.

braggadocio

brag·ga·do·ci·o /ˌbrægəˈdoʊʃiˌoʊ/
Pronunciation[brag-uh-doh-shee-oh]
–noun, plural -ci·os.
1. empty boasting; bragging.
2. a boasting person; braggart.

Since I’m ordinarily not prone to this, I hope you’ll forgive this self-indulgence. But two things have happened since I blogged last that I want to tell the world about. I suspect this may fall under the category of self-aggrandizement, but I hope you’ll see beneath all that to the true fangirl squeeing beneath.

Event 1
I got an email from Nora Roberts.

No, really. I’m just gonna leave it there because I’d just embarrass myself with embellishment. Anyone who knows me well can imagine all the muffled, gleeful shrieks.

Event 2
I ran across a blog that reminded me why I write, this entry in particular. I’ll sample for those who are disinclined to click.

I’m a loyal reader. When I put an author on an autobuy list, it’s next to impossible to move it off. That’s most likely because authors have to really sell me in order to get onto the list in the first place. In regards to my choices for my top 4 authors I reviewed in 2007, two of them are now on that list (one through more reading, reviews of which will be coming in the New Year), and the other two are really close to being autobuys. That’s always a great feeling. I love having authors I can rely on.

She then lists the top three runners up for her favorite author of the year. But guess who she chose as winner for 2007?

Annie Dean

Ms. Dean’s books are on my autobuy list. I read three of her stories this year, and while I enjoyed all of them – one quite a bit more than the other two – they’re not the reason I adore her. Her voice is the single most distinctive, most entertaining, most literate voice I read online all year. Hands down. Even when I don’t necessarily care for a character, she keeps me hooked in the story by her clever phrasing, her colorful dialogue, and more. She’s moving into print now, and I have her book, Grimspace, pre-ordered. I didn’t even read the blurb. I just know I want it.

Breathless with delight. That’s the best way I can describe my reaction. It leaves me breathless. I have favorite authors. I’ve never been anyone’s favorite author.

This is why I write, for these moments of connection, when it comes back to me that I’ve written something that moved someone.

This is why I write.

And so, dear readers, I hope you’ll forgive this moment of self-aggrandizement (which is actually something else). I’m humbled today. And I know that I am blessed.

Eyes of Crow

Eyes of Crow
by Jeri Smith-Ready

This isn’t a review so much as homage. I finished this book earlier, and I’ve been mulling it over all day. Above all, Eyes of Crow is a book that stays with you. Haunting, that’s a good word for it. After reading her tragic masterpiece, Requiem for the Devil, I was somewhat prepared for that when I opened this book, which I bought at Nationals.

I haven’t read it before now partly because I was saving it, like a child tucks away a treasure or a sweet to savor during that perfect moment. And partly because I didn’t want to — because once I did read it, I would no longer have the anticipation of reading to look forward to. Many of you know, I read insanely fast. It’s both a gift and a curse.

Well, today, I found myself home alone during a thunderstorm. Andres had to work, and the kids are in Cancun with their grandmother for another day. All the signs augured ideal confluence, so I went and got the book from its place of honor on my nightstand, and then returned to my office to curl up in my favorite armchair.

I can’t express what Jeri Smith-Ready has done with this book. As all fantasy ought to be, it is simultaneously beautiful, heartbreaking, and transportive. I ceased to hear the rain outside my windows, creating a soft rush in the tires of passing cars. I did not hear the hail drumming on my roof or the hungry rumble of the thunder god.
For a space of about three hours, I visited a world that exists only in the imagination of Jeri Smith-Ready.

The heroine, Rhia, is a woman of ethereal fragility, bolstered by inexplicable strength. A dark dance, that of light and shadow, life and death, weaves through her very soul. I experienced the story with anger, wonder and sometimes trepidation. By that I mean, the author moved me. I can offer no greater compliment.

And when I finally surfaced, I felt like a dreamer awakening from a dream that was not my own. Somnolent, aching for something that was never mine, but the glory and glamor of it brushed me briefly and left an echo of its shine. This is a book that leaves you with a hole in your chest, tears in your eyes, and aching for more.

Voice of Crow? I’m so there.