Monday, January 30, 2017

4 Beautifully Addictive TV Shows for Every Lover of Animation

4 Addictive TV Shows for Every Lover of Animation Here at Quartzfeather, when I'm not talking about books, I'm talking about animation. So my sweet peas it's once again time to endure my animation babble. (I have a weird habit of calling everyone sweet pea/sweetie/honey. Not sure where it came from, it's a persistent and repetitive habit that often earns me odd looks when it slips out in a convo with one of my peers.)

1.

Voltron: Legendary Defender

Synopisis:
For millennia, the evil Galra Empire has plagued the universe by conquering planets and destroying their inhabitants. The only known threat to the empire's power and plans is the legendary "Defender of the Universe" Voltron, a 100 meter tall robot warrior composed of five lion mechas whose pilots are known as the Paladins. At the crux of the war that ended with the destruction of planet Altea, Voltron was read more... separated by King Alfor of Altea in order to protect Voltron from falling into the Galran Emperor Zarkon's possession. King Alfor bonded the five lion's energies to his daughter Allura's life force and sent them across the universe to different locations until the time for the next generation of Paladins to appear and pilot Voltron arrived. Princess Allura, her retainer Coran, and the Altean Castle of Lions were hidden on planet Arus along with the Black Lion.

In the present, the Galra Empire's path of conquest and search for Voltron has led them to Earth's solar system. A group of space pilots – Shiro, Keith, Lance, Pidge, and Hunk – discover the Blue Lion and immediately get swept up into the Galran War. They meet Princess Allura, become the next Paladins, and reunite the five lions to form Voltron and combat Emperor Zarkon's nefarious schemes, with the hopes of ultimately defeating the entire Galra Empire.


The second this show took over my Tumblr dash I swore I wasn't gonna see it (I really wasn't looking for another all consuming obsession at the moment).


As you can see that plan failed, pretty badly.

If you're an 80's kid you might have heard of the original, the reboot does have some noticeable changes, but the two are still very much in the same vein.

Almost everyone who worked on Korra is on the Voltron team, which pretty much guarantees a good show.


The plot, unlike many animated shows is very serialized. This is mostly due to the fact that it's was released on Netflix, instead of on a TV channel, like Nick or Cartoon Network.

I've heard that the animation budget was through the roof, and I don't find that hard to believe, as the animation is pretty nice.

For me my favorite thing about this show is the personal journeys of each paladin.


Even cliche stereotypical cartoon types, like Lance, who flirts with every girl in sight, and is a bit full of himself, has a deeper layer. The girls in this show are totally badass. Allura, who in the original show was a classic princess-in-distress, can totally kick villain butt in the reboot. Also (view spoiler)Pidge is revealed to be a girl in episode 3 which is pretty cool.

If I have one complaint, it's the fact that so far, the villain's flobby and underdeveloped. However, we're only on season one at the moment, so there's definitely time for that the change.

2.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Synopisis:
The world is divided into four nations -- the Water Tribe, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation and and the Air Nomads -- each represented by a natural element for which the nation is named. Benders have the ability to control and manipulate the element from their nation. Only the Avatar is the master of all four elements. The ruthless Fire Nation wants to conquer the world, and the only bender who has enough read more... power to stop them, the Avatar, has disappeared... until now. Aang, the long-lost Avatar is soon found by Katara and Sokka of the Southern Water Tribe. Now they must safeguard Aang on his journey to master all four elements and save the world from the Fire Nation.


This show is practically what animated TV legends are made of.


Since getting sucked into animation, I've heard so many good things about Avatar. And in my opinion all that hype is well deserved (but that live-action movie *shivers* oh tHE HORROR).

I finished the final season about four months ago (I actually pushed off watching the finale for like an entire week, mostly because I didn't want it to end), and I was tearing up so badly that my eyes were burning.

The world building is phenomenal, and all the characters are pretty well developed, even the villains.


(view spoiler)In fact, Prince Zuko who began as a villain character started growing on me when he was still hunting Aang. Whenever that general/admiral dude caused him trouble, I'd end up cheering for Zuko. But then I'd remember that he's trying to capture Aang, and so *confliction* Avatar is an absolute masterpiece, and yes it will make you cry. Honestly the only reason it's not #1 on this list is cause I missed the fandom by eight years, and for some reason being in a fandom always helps grow my love for a show, so yeah Voltron won in that aspect.

3.

Gravity Falls

Synopisis:
Twins Dipper and Mabel Pines are sent to spend the summer with their great-uncle, Grunkle Stan, in the mysterious town of Gravity Falls, Oregon. Grunkle Stan has the kids help him run The Mystery Shack, the tourist trap that he owns. Dipper and Mabel try to adapt to the weird surroundings, but sense there is something strange about Gravity Falls and begin to unlock its secrets. When Dipper uncovers a cryptic read more... journal that offers insight into the town's mysteries, he and Mabel use it and their enthusiastic desire to vanquish evil, to battle the imminent mysteries that surround them.


I started watching Gravity Falls a couple months after it finished.


(I also managed to stay gloriously spoiler free until then somehow, which is miracle.) Unfortunately, because my late start, I pretty much missed out on the fandom, by the time I arrived it had already started dying-off.

My favorite thing about Gravity Falls' is the clues the creator, Alex Hirsch, scattered throughout the episodes.


Some were even in the intro. Being part of the fandom while the show was airing must have been a pretty cool experience, because you got to hunt for the hidden clues in every episode, and piece it together as the show went on.

This show's concept is great, all the characters are well developed and have awesome personalities. Dipper is my favorite, as he is more on the nerdy, thinker end (AKA me). Mabel was also a great character, she's a bit more on the whimsy and endlessly happy side of things. She and her twin bro, Dipper make the best duo.

Gravity Falls also has this fun balance between normal teenager woes (think crushes and boybands) and awesome weird out of this world stuff.


The show starts off mostly with self-contained episodes, but the plot begins to become more serialized, especially in season two.

4.

Dragons: Race to the Edge

Synopisis:
Dragons: Race to the Edge tells the action-laden story of what happens before How to Train Your Dragon 2, as Hiccup and Toothless explore an amazing world that they always imagined, but never knew, existed beyond the borders of Berk. In this all-new Netflix original series, the Dragon Riders discover the mysterious Dragon Eye, which is filled with ancient secrets that lead them to new lands filled with read more... undiscovered dragons. But the heroes find themselves pursued by marauding dragon hunters who will stop at nothing to seize the power.


I've gotta admit, one of the reasons Race to the Edge landed this spot on the list, is my unending love for How to Train Your Dragon.


It's not a bad show by any means, it has beautiful animation, and an awesome villain who is actually a serious threat, but in the story development area, it's not quite as up there.

But the villain, oh the villain. Unlike the other villains in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, that dude's got brain.


Viggo's crafty, definitely calculating, and can match Hiccup brain cell to brain cell. Which is refreshing when it comes to animated villains.

Race to the Edge was suppose to run for only four seasons, however season five and six were recently announced. Apparently Netflix wanted them to continue the show, which means that it's doing pretty good

In my opinion this show just get's better and better with every season.


I'm especially fond of a brother and sister duo, that unfortunately don't appear in the movies. I'm also really in love with the character designs in Race to the Edge, honestly I love them more that the HTTYD and HTTYD 2 character designs, which was a bit unexpected.

Have you seen any of these? Have I convinced you to watch any of them? Do you have any recommendations for me?
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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Get Your Dictionaries Out Ladies & Gents // Unquiet Land by Sharon Shinn Review

Unquiet Land Review I adore the Elemental Blessings series, every single book has a special place in my heart. There's a colorful and well-developed cast of characters, and a beautifully built world, what more is there to ask for?

Synopsis & Details:


Leah Frothen has returned home. But she can scarcely catch her breath before she is summoned by regent Darien Serlast, the man who made her a spy. Leah is reluctant to take on a new assignment, but Darien has dangled the perfect lure to draw her in… Leah finds she enjoys the read more... challenges of opening a shop catering to foreign visitors, especially since it affords her the opportunity to get to know Mally, the child she abandoned five years ago.

But when the regent asks her to spy on ambassadors from a visiting nation, Leah soon learns that everyone—her regent, her lover, and even her daughter—have secrets that could save the nation, but might very well break her heart.

Title: Unquiet Land
Author: Sharon Shinn
Series: Elemental Blessings #4
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Source: I received an arc from the publisher for review consideration (thanks Ace!) this in no way affected my review, cross my heart.

Unquiet Land, like the previous books in this series, takes a side character and delves deeply into their life and mind.


In this case, we are following Leah, who finally returns to Welce, after many years in Malinqua. Once back home, she quickly gets twisted up in political intrigue, as she reunites with her family, and the daughter she left behind.

There was some awkwardness concerning the love interest, as I'd previously pictured him as in his late 60's-70's (definitely too old for Leah). However, I eventually corrected my image of him, and all awkwardness was resolved.

One thing about Sharon's writing I've noticed, is that, she uses so many interesting words.


Everytime I pick up a book of hers, I need Google or a dictionary nearby, cause I'm forever searching up words. Some might find this annoying, but I actually quite like it (learning some big/unusual words never hurt anyone).

As with Jeweled Fire, a new culture is introduced in Unquiet Land.


This time it was the Karkans, their traditions are quite interesting to say the least... I'll just leave it at that to prevent any spoilers.

Unquiet Land wasn't quite as good as Troubled Water or Jeweled Fire, as it was a bit slow, pacing wise, but it's still a great addition to the series.


If you're a fan of Sharon's or looking for some wonderfully developed fantasy, than the Elemental Blessings series is definitely one to look into to.

Rating: 4/5 Stars


If you had an elemental blessing which one do you think it'd be? Elay (Air/Soul), Hunti (Wood/Bone), Sweela (Fire/Mind), Coru (Water/Blood), or Torz (Earth/Flesh)?
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