Tag Archives: Disney Hyperion

“A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale” Review

Recently, I finished reading a book by Miss Liz Braswell, an English-born American who began her career developing video games before becoming a young-adult fiction writer. While it’s not totally up-to-date you can find her at her website, The Messy Desk. She most famously known as her alter-ego Celia Thomson, author of “The Nine Lives of Chloe King” series.

Her most recent book is the one I happened to pick up. Published this past September 1st (2015) by Disney Press, “A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale” is a re-take on the Disney Classic version of the Aladdin tale.

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Now, my last book review was on “A Frozen Heart” by Elizabeth Rudnick (and, although it was a short review, you can find it here in my “Back to Blogging (Finally)!” post) which was also published by Disney Press. While I am always skeptical about a corporation like Disney taking a new crack at expanding or expounding on their original telling of a story, books like these are interesting to pick up and read, regardless of any contradictions that may arise. (Unless of course you’re a die-hard fan determined to never see any of the Disney-verse movies changed from their original storylines).

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Haha, see how I did that, with the Aladdin gif. Yeah, I’m clever.

Pulling back, this book asks a question of great importance, which Goodreads was clever enough to point out: “What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed?”

Liz Braswell’s version of the Disney Aladdin tale takes a much darker turn. When Aladdin retrieves the magic lamp for Jafar, the evil vizier actually GETS the lamp instead of Aladdin. The events that ensue create a new world of havoc for our heroes, with rebellion, death, and destruction becoming a daily piece of their lives. Jafar is proven to more than psychotic, Jasmine battles with herself concerning right and wrong, and Aladdin finds himself trying to keep her sane, along with every other character he interacts with.

I must admit, it is a much darker tale than I was expecting when I picked the book up. Death and violence is portrayed in a very un-Disney-like fashion of grotesque and avid imagery. For true-to-heart Disney fans who don’t want different perceptions of their favorite Classics, I would say this book may not be for you. However, for those who are of the more open-minded Disney fandom, I encourage you to definitely give this book a chance! For all its darkness and betrayal and evil deeds, it is well-written and a captivating read.

Want to read it for yourself? Find it HERE, on Amazon!

Look for my words again soon!

Sincerely Yours,

Soleil

 

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Back to Blogging! (Finally!)

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Did you miss me?!

It’s great to be back, I’ve really missed writing here. After NaNoWriMo and then suddenly FINALS at college (yeah totally forgot about those), I was really starting to wonder if I’d EVER get back to my little corner of the blog-o-sphere!

Whelp on to business! I just spent just about my entire day working on Astronomy assignments for my last class. This included:

  • 1 Lab
  • 2 Activities
  • Exam #3 (60 questions)
  • And the Final Exam! (120 questions!)

I can now successfully say that my mind is fried!

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This is how I felt ALL day!

Totally time for a break. Taking into consideration that I have to be up at about 6AM and it’s already 12:40AM, I should go to bed. But, I have to unwind. I can’t go to bed with a head full of astronomy problems dealing with mathematical equations, scientific notation, Hubble’s Law and so on.

Time to start a new book! I just finished “A Frozen Heart” by Elizabeth Rudnick. It is an expansion to the already famous Disney “Frozen” movie. The book follows Anna’s and Hans’ Points-of-View (POV) through alternating chapters, which “takes a sophisticated look at events of Frozen, exploring the couple’s backstories, motivations, and doomed relationship.”

Actually, it wasn’t that bad a of read and for any Disney (especially Disney “Frozen” fans) I would definitely suggest you pick it up. It’s relatively cheap. I got it at a BJ’s Wholesale Club for about $8 or $10. You can find it here on Barnes & Noble’s website for $9.73.

I’m thinking of picking up some of Brandon Mull‘s books. I have the first “Fablehaven” book and the first “Beyonders” book. I’m not sure, can I read “Beyonders” first or do I have to read “Fablehaven” so I can understand the world? Are they connected at all. Time to check the blurbs on the back of the books!

Anyway, off to read (although bed would be the smarter choice at this point…yay for lack of sleep later!)

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Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

An Unanswerable Question, Perhaps, and the Problem With The “Fairest of All”

Hello! Good evening! Good morning! Which is it, huh? It says AM because it’s past midnight, but it’s still dark out, therefore still night time. So, so, which is it? Which is it, I demand to know!

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Yeah, me either.

So, anyway, I finished “Fairest of All” a few hours ago. The book I mentioned in my last post. You know the one. Well, you know the one I mentioned if you actually read my last post. (You guys aren’t slacking and just skimming through, right? -poignant stare-

Ahem, ahem, digressing again. Back to the topic on hand (dun dun DA!)!

The book is about 200 pages, a bit more or so, and tells the tragic backstory of the Wicked Queen from the fairytale of Snow White. Ah, but it’s apparently Disney’s version of her backstory, as written by Serena Valentino and published by Disney Hyperion. It seems that Disney has a sort of “Backstory Bug” nowadays. Serena Valentino has even published the next book I’m reading: “The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince”, which is the prelude to Beauty and the Beast’s story and how Prince Adam became a Beast in the first place. Because the simply wonderful prologue at the beginning movie (narrated by the enchantingly lovely voice of David Ogden Stiers -sighs appreciatively (ah, but you might know him better as the voice of Cogsworth, or Ratcliffe in “Pocahontas“, as Jumba in “Lilo & Stitch“, or as Kamaji in “Spirited Away“!)) apparently wasn’t enough justice to his story. Ah, but I can’t really knock the book until after I’ve read it, right?

That being said, that means I can give way to my opinion about Fairest of All at least. The tale itself was fine, but I felt it dragged on a bit too much at times. The Queen spiraled and there was a lot of unnecessary dialogue and descriptions that felt as if they were there to lengthen the story but not enhance it. Of course, they are trying to sell the reason of why the Queen became Wicked and wanted to kill her stepdaughter, Snow White for being Fairest in the Land over herself. It’s not a far-fetched concept, mind you, for why she grew to loathe her daughter…no, that’s not the right word because she kept saying she was doing it out of love. Really, basically, the Queen had convinced herself that what she was doing to Snow White was out of love and she was trying to protect the girl from the pain that love could bring and blah, blah, blah and other selfish nonsense.

So, as far as I’m concerned, this story can go in the same pile of rubbish that I placed the recent “Maleficent” movie into (you know the one, it just came out, with Angelina Jolie as the title character):

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And no, I didn’t like the movie. I thought it was silly. I didn’t like how Disney tried to make Maleficent more “humanized”, how they tried to make you feel sad for her and want to side with her. No! She is supposed to be the “Misstress of ALL Evil” here, folks! Personally, in my own opinion, Disney is starting a terrible trek down a road that is ruining their Villains Franchise. They’re called Villains for a reason.

Ahem, that is all about that topic. However, I am sort of hoping that Ms. Valentino’s next book which I will start tonight/this morning (still not clear on that one. XD), “The Beast Within” will be a better concept. Also, there are WAY more links in this post than in any of my others! Whew! XD

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil