An Ancient China that Never Was: a Review of Barry Hughart’s Bridge of Birds

“O great and mighty Master Li, pray impart to me the Secret of Wisdom!” he bawled. “Take a large bowl,” I said. “Fill it with equal measures of fact, fantasy, history, mythology, science, superstition, logic, and lunacy. Darken the mixture with bitter tears, brighten it with howls of laughter, toss in three thousand years ofContinue reading “An Ancient China that Never Was: a Review of Barry Hughart’s Bridge of Birds”

This is Not the Sinocentric Fantasy You Are Looking For: A Review of R. F. Kuang’s The Poppy War

I just finished R. F. Kuang’s The Poppy War, a book which I picked after I seeing of people raving about it. The good thing is that it is an easy read. The prose is simple and to-the-point, and the hero’s journey is compelling. At the same time, the simple prose felt amateurish, and someContinue reading “This is Not the Sinocentric Fantasy You Are Looking For: A Review of R. F. Kuang’s The Poppy War”

The Secret History of Hercule Poirot: A TV Review of The ABC Murders

I just watch the 3-part miniseries adapting one of my favourite Poirot novels: The ABC Murders. It stars the unlikely John Malkovich as Hercule Poirot—a casting stunt comparable to having Heath Ledger play the Joker in The Dark Knight. There are usually changes one makes when a book is adapted for the screen, and screenwritersContinue reading “The Secret History of Hercule Poirot: A TV Review of The ABC Murders”

Which is It? Hermione Granger or Sabrina Spellman?

She is one of the most gifted witches of her generation and was invited to attend a special school to train in the magical arts when she came of age. There, she faced racial discrimination from bullies who dislike her because she is not of pure blood, but she persevered and was capable of magicalContinue reading “Which is It? Hermione Granger or Sabrina Spellman?”

Which is It? Children of Blood and Bone or Avatar: The Last Airbender?

A ruthless genocidal tyrant (father to a prince and a princess) ruled over the land and all its tribes with an iron fist, and users of magical abilities, including control over the elements like fire, water, earth and wind who do not belong to the same tribe as the tyrant faced severe oppression. However, thereContinue reading “Which is It? Children of Blood and Bone or Avatar: The Last Airbender?”

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