Movie Review: 1917

Hello movie lovers, I hope you’ve seen this movie, because if you haven’t then you’re definitely missing out.

During World War I, two British soldiers — Lance Cpl. Schofield and Lance Cpl. Blake — receive seemingly impossible orders. In a race against time, they must cross over into enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save 1,600 of their fellow comrades — including Blake’s own brother.

I saw 1917 in theaters with my brother and dad, and I wish I had seen it sooner. It is a fast-paced thrill ride.

As you all know, I am a history buff, and love a good true story movie from the 20th century.

I find them interesting and riveting, and that’s not even to speak of the historical significance to the story.

This movie isn’t about the conflict between good and evil, it’s not about a soldier’s struggle in the heat of a major battle, or their fight for survival behind enemy lines.

It’s not like a lot of other war movies, because it is the two soldiers we follow on their race against time.

I heard this movie being compared to Saving Private Ryan, and I definitely agree. It has the same sense of stress and anxiety throughout the movie. It builds up, slowly, over time. It has moments of fleeting, and it has moments that hit you harder.


The thing that jumped out at me within minutes of this movie starting was the camera work. The entire movie looked like it was shot in one attempt.

I know that’s not true, but the way it was edited to look like it was one attempt really helped tell the story.

It’s almost poetic how perfectly the camera work fits into the movie itself.

These two soldiers only have one shot. One chance to make it across battlefields to warn their allies of their impending doom. One misstep, one wrong action, one hesitation could mean that nearly 2,000 troops die in a pointless assault.

That’s why the camera work is so fitting. The one shot so perfectly captures the journey they are taking to warn their allies.


People have been raving about how brilliant this movie is, and there are moments that I agree are gorgeous.

Some shots of the two of them running from a plane, running across a mortar hole, or traveling through an abandoned city using only the light from flares to find your way around.

These moments are breathtaking and it makes sense as to why the movie has such high praise.

There is one major issue I have with the movie though, and that is the ending.

I felt so unsatisfied with how it ended.

Not to spoil the ending, but what happens doesn’t evoke the emotions I think it intended to.

It felt empty and I didn’t really care. It didn’t have that emotional punch that I was hoping for.


Have you seen 1917, what did you think about it? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
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Book Review: Viking: Odinn’s Child

Title: Viking: Odinn’s Child
Author: Tim Severin
Rating: 6/10


Happy Monday fellow readers. As always, Monday is book review day, and today I am taking a look at Viking: Odinn’s Child by Tim Severin.


In 1001, the young child, Thorgils Leiffson, son of Leif the Lucky and Thorgunna, arrives on the shores of Greenland to be brought up by a young woman—Gudrid. Thorgils is a rootless character of quicksilver intelligence and adaptability. He has inherited his mother’s ability of second sight, and his mentors teach him the ancient ways and warn him of the invasion of the “White Christ” into the land of the “Old Gods.” Guided by a restless quest for adventure and the wanderlust of his favored god, Odinn, Thorgils’ fortunes will take him into worlds of unimaginable danger and discovery.


Odinn’s Child was one of my first real experiences into the historical fiction genre and Viking culture as a whole.

I had been a fan of history and fantasy since I started reading, but most of the stories that I experienced and fell in love with up to this point were Ancient Mediterranean or the Middle Ages.

Knights. Dragons. Magical swords. Castles.

Demi-Gods, Ancient heroes. Magical Monsters.

These were the stories that wowed me as a young reader, because Vikings, Ancient Egypt, and dozens of other cultures weren’t brought to my attention as much.

Odinn’s child changed that though. It opened my eyes to what the Vikings were, and the Norse Mythology that came along with them.


Norse Mythology, bloody battles, and a brief glimpse into the world of 1000s Europe, Odinn’s child is the first volume in the Viking Trilogy and all 350 odd pages will leave you wanting more.

The story follows a young boy, Thorgils Leiffson, the son of Leif the Lucky and Thorgunna as he arrives in Greenland to be fostered by a young woman – Gudrid.

Thorgils is a quick witted, intelligent, and very adaptable character that has inherited his mother’s ability of second sight.

Thorgils, who is basically orphaned, is raised by various mentors during his time in Greenland. They teach him the ways to worship the Norse Gods, along with their ancient customs, and warn him of the ‘White Christ’ that is making its way into the land of the ‘Old Gods’

Thorgils has a sense of adventure and looks to Odinn as his favoured god. Death, battle, disease, execution, and shipwreck are just some of the adventures that await Thorgils in Odinn’s child.


Severin does a good job of giving readers a steady look into Thorgils progression from a boy to a man.

He learns from several mentors, about many different things, but it never seems rushed, despite being contained within 350 odd pages.

The look into the Viking culture and the spread of Christianity into their lifestyle is an interesting plot for the book.

It’s not the major plot-line, but it nicely compliments the story and helps drive it forward by introducing new conflicts and characters.


Historical fiction isn’t a genre that I have delved too deeply into, but I want to get into the genre. I still have my copy of Odinn’s child from when I read it as a young teenager, and I might read it again to re-experience a series I loved as a kid.

Book Review: The Book Thief

When I think back about this book, I can honestly say that there are no happy memories that come to mind. From how I recall The Book Thief, it’s similar to A Series of Unfortunate Events–it’s just miserable.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book as a whole. I thought it was fantastic, but there weren’t any moments that I genuinely remember being happy about it.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

I hadn’t heard of this book before I started reading it, but I really enjoyed the suspense and the drama that came from it. 

If you’ve ever read the book, you’ll remember that there is a very interesting narrator–Death. Yes death is the narrator of the story, and because this is World War Two, you can imagine how busy he was collecting the dead. 

Death foreshadows constantly throughout the story, so we know a bit about which of the characters will die. I think Death’s perspective adds to the building suspense through the story. 

You might assume that Death being a narrator can be sort of intimidating. I mean he’s Death, why wouldn’t his POV be dark and greusome right? 

The truth is, Death was one of the brigher parts of the story. He was a ray of sunshine through some of the darker moments. 

I do not carry a sickle or a scythe.
I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold.
And I don’t have those skull-like
facial features you seem to enjoy
pinning on me from a distance. You
want to know what I truly look like?
I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue.


The Book Thief is also a bit of a different view of the Holocaust, because it focuses on a little German girl, Liesel, who is living in Hitler’s birthplace.

And the character growth, in my opinion, is remarkable. There are many characters that we hate throughout the story, only to love them by the end. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you haven’t read it yet. It’s technically considered a YA book, but I think it has more impact the older you are.

I will give you a fair warning though, if you want a fast read, this book isn’t for you. It’s a bit of a grind at times. You’ll feel like your clawing your way through mud, but that slow crawl adds something to the story. It adds a sense of accomplishment and connection to the entire story. 

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I’m not one for re-reading a book, but this one is on the short list for books I plan to re-read in the future. 

I have never met someone, or found a single review that has said anything against The Book Thief. Many people state it is a modern classic. It is truly a remarkable book, and I will firmly recommend that EVERYONE should read this book if they call themselves a book lover.  

Book Review: The World of Ice & Fire

This is a little known book in the world of Westeros, and I figured I would give it its moment of fame this week before Season 8 of Game of Thrones comes out this weekend. 

Rating: ★★★★☆

Author: George R.R. Martin

I’m a big fan of history, as you probably know by now, and I’m an even bigger fan of fantasy book series, which you should know by now and if you don’t then you do now.

The World of Ice & Fire was a perfect combination of both worlds because it’s an annotated history of the Game of Thrones world that I’ve fallen in love with since reading the books and watching the shows.

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That’s one great thing that Martin has done with his Song of Ice & Fire world. He has built it up so well and so perfectly that you could probably make stories for years to come, just based on information that has already been written.

He’s created the history of these kingdoms and their stories that The World of Ice & Fire can feel like you’re reading a real history book sometimes.

If you want to pick this one up, don’t expect much of a “story”. It reads a lot like a history book. Each of the major houses in Westeros are written about, showing their history since their founding basically, with a few major events highlited for each.

Most of the names in the book one will be one’s you’ve heard before, but only the more dedicated fans will know how everything connects together. Just watching the shows and then reading this might make you a bit confused, but you can definitely do it.

Probably about half of the books gives a brief overview of what each of the Targaryen kings during their reigns. Since there has been so many it sort of glances over each of them and their more notable events, with the more important ones getting more pages than the less important ones.

The other half of the book is about the major houses’ histories, and the history of some of the other cities and countries in the world that you may have heard of at some point.

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It talks about white walkers, the first people in Westeros, some major battles, Old Valyria, Robert’s Rebellion, and everything in between. It’s a nice little book to read if you’re big into trying to predict theories for upcoming books or episodes.

What I really love about the book, and what really made me enjoy the experience of reading it is the beautiful artwork inside. Almost every page has some illustration on it, and some pages there’s nothing but.

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It almost feels like what I imagine the history books of Westeros to look like, which is a little added bonus I really enjoy. It’s really a piece of art, and if you want to consider yourself a Game of Thrones nerd you definitely need to give it a read.

I don’t really know what else to say. It’s a history book of the entire world, so there’s not even moments I’d want to point out that really stood out to me because that’s not the type of book it is, and I don’t think that was the intent of it.

The intent wasn’t to tell a story, the intent of the book was to help create the story that was already being told. I think that’s the case with all of the supplemental Game of Thrones materials.

They aren’t made to tell their own stories, they’re ment to tell the complete story of A Song of Ice and Fire, which they are all only an aspect of.

Next week I’m going to be taking a look at another Game of Thrones related book, but I’m not going to spoil it just yet. 

I would love to hear what you guys are most excited for in the upcoming season though. Let me know in the comments!

Book Review: The Once and Future King

Rating: 4/5

Author: T.H. White

The Kid Who Would Be King is a new movie out in theatres, and it’s yet another movie about King Arthur, or some version of him.

I’m not complaining, because I am a big fan of the Arthurian legend, but when we get a movie adaptation of the story every few years, it’s a little too much.

Now I haven’t read that book, but one Arthurian legend book that I have read is The Once and Future King.

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T.H. White got the name of the book from Sir Thomas Malory’s “Le Morte d’Arthur”, where he claims that King Arthur’s tomb has Hic iacet Arthurus, rex quondam, rexque futurus”. 

For those who aren’t fluent in Latin, basically what that means is “Here lies Arthur, king once, and king to be.”

I heard about it from watching X2 when Professor X talks to Magneto about what a man can do when he has power.

As Arthur becomes king, he attempts to go against the “might is right” attitude that was common at the time in a historical context.

Since Arthur wasn’t a real person, White’s retelling of the story differs slightly from what people commonly associate to Arthur, but it is still the same idea.

The Once and Future King ends just before Arthur’s final battle against his illegitimate son Mordred, but follows the basic story people often know about King Arthur:

  • His training with Merlyn (no battle with Madam Mym though)
  • His seduction by his half sister Morgause, and the adoption of the chivalric order of the Round Table
  • The love affair between Lancelot and Guinevere
  • The eventual downfall of Camelot because of Mordred’s hatred of Arthur/the love affair of Lancelot and Guinevere

Now I’m a sucker for the medieval era with knights and sword fights. I’ve loved that idea since I was a kid, and I probably wont stop, and I think The Once and Future King is a great depiction of the era, using the Arthurian legend to show the code of chivalry that has come and gone through history.

What’s great about it though, is the fact that it really doesn’t much of its time on knights and fighting. I mean yeah, it is part of the story, but probably about 1/4 of it focuses on Arthur’s (or Wart as he is known at the time) training by Merlyn as different animals.

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I always thought that was a movie thing from watching The Sword in the Stone. You know, kids movie, funny talking animals that teach you a lesson. But no, it’s actually how the story was written, and being an adult I kind of understand how the lessons make sense.

I tried not to let my love of knights and the medieval era stain my judgement of this one.

I did genuinely really enjoy The Once and Future King though. I had read it a few years ago and couldn’t stop myself from reading it when I had a free moment.

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Since there are so many different adaptations of the Arthurian legend, what’s your favourite? Let me know in the comments.

Next week I’m gonna take a look at a book, named after a guy who has a metal heart. Maybe you can guess that one. 

Weekly Recap

In case you missed any of this week’s posts, here they are:

Book Review: History’s Worst Inventions

Type it Out Tuesday: January 15

Wednesday News: January 16

What does my library look like?

Quote of the Day: January 18