Monday, December 27, 2010

HOOD by Stephen R Lawhead ~ The good, the bad, the ugly, and the end.

Stephen Lawhead is known as an accomplished fiction author who "blends Christianity, mysticism, adventure, and history seamlessly to create a wonderfully compelling story" (Barnes & Noble).

Title: Hood (Book 1 of the King Raven trilogy)

Author: Stephen R. Lawhead

Synopsis (From

Stephen R. Lawhead's Hood brings to life the legend of Robin Hood as never before.

The Norman conquest of England is complete - but for one young man the battle has only just begun. When Bran ap Brychan's father is murdered by Norman soldiers, he flees to London, seeking justice. The journey is long and hard - and the suffering of those he meets along the way fuels his anger.

With his demands dismissed, Bran has no choice but to return home, but a worse fate still awaits him there. His lands have been confiscated and his people subjugated by a brutal and corrupt regime.

Should Bran flee for his life or protect his people by surrendering to his father's murderers? The answer, perhaps, is known only to the Raven King - a creature of myth and magic born of the darkest shadows in the forest.


I am a total fan of the myth: Robin Hood. Thus the reason a friend gave me HOOD as a gift. He knew my passion for the story.

1 So in reading HOOD, I found that Mr. Lawhead's theological ideas made this story worth reading. His mix of historical fact, biblical truths, peppered with superstition were fun to read. I wish I'd highlighted some passages. I'll keep the book just to peruse the dialogue over and over.

2 I am excited to discover more of Stephen Lawhead. He has some other books out there I am now chomping at the bit to get my hands on. I think he has a great mind and will open a new, entertaining door to sci-fi and fantasy.

In HOOD, on Page 473, after the epilogue, there is a short writing by Mr. Lawhead: Robin Hood in Wales? I wish I could have read this first. The information he gives here, the history of the story of Robin Hood, is most interesting. Especially to me, who adores the myth called Robin Hood.


I think HOOD was told from what's called "alternating points of view". The author jumped from one character's head to another, sometimes even in the same paragraph. I don't enjoy this type of storytelling. The result leaves me without bond to any one character, confused at times whose head I am in, and dreading the end of each chapter, knowing that we will start again with another character on the next page.

I know this type of storytelling shows talent. Alternating points of view are hard to write, and many of the greatest of the greats write/wrote this way.

Still, not my fave.


I did not yearn to turn the page until page 350 of this 479 page book. HOOD is an obvious first-book-to-set-up-a-series book. A classic let's-hook-them-to-buy-another-book book. This is most likely not the author's fault but the publisher and the publishing business as a whole. Its about money.

Robin Hood is a familiar tale and much to well-known to drag out.


I am a Robin Hood fan, I will probably pick up the next book in the series. {after some other books stacked on my shelf}

However, I will pick up the next book in this series because of what I read in HOOD's epilogue; and because of the summaries I've read of other Stephen Lawhead projects, not because of the first 465 pages of HOOD Book 1 of the King Raven trilogy.

Good news is, I will, after this experience, delve into other Stephen Lawhead books. I am excited to read the other writings Stephen Lawhead has out there. Stay tuned for those reviews!

Arthur F 1989 

Avalon F 1999-09 
The Black Rood F 2000-06 
Byzantium F 1996-08
Dream Thief F 1996-06 
The Endless Knot F 1993
Grail F 1997-07
In the Hall of the Dragon King F 1982
The Iron Lance F 1998-12
Merlin F 1988
The Mystic Rose  2001-10
The Paradise War F 1991
Patrick F 2003-02
Pendragon F 1994
The Search for Fierra F 1994
The Siege of Dome F 1994 
The Silver Hand F 1992
The Skin Map SF 2010-09
The Sword and the Flame F 1984
The Tale of Jeremy Vole GF
Taliesin F 1987
The Warlords of Nin F 1983

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve

And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, Lying in a manger. - St. Luke ii

Monday, December 13, 2010

MOVIE MONDAY ~ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

KM's long awaited review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Wiki summaries: Harry has finally come of age, and finally started on his final journey to defeat Voldemort for good. The Durselys are forced to go into hiding so that Voldemort’s Death Eaters will not torture them for information, and Harry sets off with Ron and Hermione on a difficult quest to find and destroy the last of Voldemort’s Horcruxes. Only once those have been destroyed, Harry knows, can Voldemort truly be killed.

Deathly Hallows is the final tie binding my heart to JK Rowling's characters; and locking me in as a fan of this world she created. It's phenomenal what she has done for this generation and I just wonder if the giganticness of the Harry Potter empire is larger than Tolkien or Lewis or Jane Austin. That remains to be seen. I guess it is up to the generations that come next.

It is in Deathly Hallows that the egocentric Harry [whom I adore even tho] is finally, truly, part of the family. He humbly and gladly accepts his place among them -- Ron, Hermione, The Weasleys, even Luna -- and Harry's 'family', in turn, realizes that war with Voldemort is not exclusively Harry's war.

Voldemort's Hitler-like hunger to weed out the undesirables and breed a perfect race of witches becomes unstoppable, and the lightning shaped scar on Harry's head fades to the background.

This is summed up in my favorite quote from this movie:
You may be the Chosen One, mate,’ Ron says to Harry
[as he catches up to him  swishing  through in a cornfield in the middle of the night.],
but this is a whole lot bigger than you.’

The action sequences and special effects in this movie are amazing. The visual interpretation of HP book 7 is more than I could have imagined. Brighter than the picture I conjured in my own head as I tore through the pages a year or two ago. Superior job.

The creators really made me feel like Harry and Hermione were on the road, moving from place to place for a long, long time. And their dance stole my heart. The true Eros love or Philia love -- friends that genuinely care for one another. My favorite moment in the movie.

HOWEVER, there is one moment that got mucked up. My favorite part of Deathly Hallows (book)  is when Ron helps Harry find the Sword of Godric Gryffindor. I will never forget that moment. It shook the ground beneath me when I read it from the pages. These friends that I have watch grow over the years in friendship, in stature, in bond.  And, in the movie, they skimmed over the 'finding of the sword' like a boring chapter of a book you find in a thrift store. I am still grinding my teeth over that one.

All in all, Deathly Hallows is a class act, a huge hit and I say, "Get to the theater already, would ya?"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

CINEMA SOUND OFF with Lynn Rush and KM Wilsher

Welcome to Cinema Sound Off. We love movies!

My good friend and extraordinary writer, Lynn Rush

--and me, KM Wilsher-- visit the movies and we'll be sharing our reviews with you every

second Tuesday of the month.



IMDB SYNOPSIS: An ex-con sets out to avenge his brother's death after they were double-crossed during a heist years ago. During his campaign, however, he's tracked by a veteran cop and an egocentric hit man.


KM’s Review:

Okay, "The Rock". WWF, Disney, The Scorpion King. Would you believe Dwayne Johnson as an actor after all of these roles? (don't worry I liked those movies too.) Do you think he could dig deep enough to do a serious role? I would have said 'no' . . . until FASTER. Yup, I'm a believer.

This is such a cool movie. A little on the violent side. A little on the dark, vengeful side, but cool -- fast cars (My favorite car ever: Chevelle), big guns (Dwayne looks more like a 'Rock' than he ever did!) and 3 dimensional characters you can see, touch, feel.

There are three main characters Driver, Cop, and Killer. Bad guys who are good inside. Good guys with a wicked side. Girls and guys who are one thing, and, at the same time, all together another. Cliche' relationships we can all relate to.

Despite the theme of 'vengence' throughout, there are some moments in FASTER where my heart was on the floor and my eyes were raining tears. Driver, (Dwayne Johnson) faces some demons we all have to face but in a bigger than life, head on crash, faster than a speeding train method that will bring you to your knees. The writers of Faster hit this one out of the park.

Fast cars, Fast guns that rip the wall to shreds, Fast cops higher than kites. . .this movie motors right down main street with fanfare galore! If you like the Action genre, FASTER is your kind of flick.

KM's rating:

4 tickets See it and share it with a few friends

Now, come with me and Catch the Rush. . .at
to see what Lynn Rush has to say.

What do you say? Have you seen it?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Facebook Cartoon Profile Pictures

I saw a post on the news feed from Christopher Miles, a "writer-net-friend" of mine from an ACFW critique group I belonged to.

It said:
Change your facebook profile picture to a cartoon character from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same. Until Monday December 6, there should be no human faces on facebook, but an invasion of memories! This is a campaign against violence on children.

Well, Chris is such a cool cat, I had to jump in LOL
But, unlike this Cartoon Network generation,it was difficult for me to think of a character from my childhood of the top of my head. I mean, sure there is there are the classics: Flinstones, Jetsons, Scooby, but, you know me, I wanted some butt-kicking, rockin female.
I guess there is the staple Wonder Woman, but this one post has sent me on a quest to find cool chick cartoon characters. Wanna help? Just post here. There are way more than I knew or could remember! Come on men, I know you know some chick superheroes!
Just a couple I found:


ISIS My favorite Saturday morning show as a girl!

SPIDERWOMAN (Did you even know about her? I am stoked!)

                                                                         AND MY FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: JASMINE

What/who are your favs? Post here or better yet post a bunch on your blog!!!