Review: Angels Fall – Nora Roberts

5

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SYNOPSIS: Reece Gilmore has come a long way to see the stunning view below her. As the sole survivor of a brutal crime back East, she has been on the run, desperately fighting the nightmares and panic attacks that haunt her. Reece settles in Angel’s Fist, Wyoming-temporarily, at least-and takes a job at a local diner. And now she’s hiked this mountain all by herself. It was glorious, she thought, as she peered through her binoculars at the Snake River churning below.

Then Reece saw the man and woman on the opposite bank. Arguing. Fighting. And suddenly, the man was on top of the woman, his hands around her throat . . .

Enjoying a moment of solitude a bit farther down the trail is a gruff loner named Brody. But by the time Reece reaches him and brings him to the scene, the pair has vanished. When authorities comb the area where she saw the attack, they find nothing. No signs of struggle. No freshly turned earth. Not even a tire track.

And no one in Angel’s Fist seems to believe her. After all, she’s a newcomer in town, with a reputation for being jumpy and jittery-maybe even a little fragile. Maybe it’s time to run again, to move on . . .

Reece Gilmore knows there’s a killer in Angel’s Fist, even if Brody, despite his seeming impatience and desire to keep her at arm’s length, is the only one willing to believe her. When a series of menacing events makes it clear that someone wants her out of the way, Reece must put her trust in Brody-and herself-to find out if there is a killer in Angel’s Fist before it’s too late. – via Goodreads

GRADE 7Alrighty, another Roberts recommendation from Natasha, and another one that I enjoyed. I don’t know, it was more of a meandering romance than a thriller, although Roberts worked in some of those aspects. I liked Angels Fall because it wasn’t overly soppy (I just don’t even) and there were quite a few characters to enjoy, not just the main. While Reece was alright, she certainly wasn’t my favourite. I was a fan of Joanie, the woman was pretty hardcore and strong, which I liked. She reminded me of Ellen in Supernatural, and that is a huge compliment. Anyway, the villain was fairly obvious quite early on, and Roberts spent a lot of time trying to make other people look guilty, but it never really fit like the actual bad guy. The book doesn’t rush anywhere or go anywhere, really, just tells the story of this girl who moves into a new town and starts putting her life back together while falling in love with an author. She has some serious psychological issues that she needs to deal with, and I would really have liked it more if Roberts had actually spent some time fleshing out Reece’s history and what exactly happened to her, it might have made me care more about her in the present happenings as well as give a deeper understanding of her mental state. Maybe that’s just because I studied psychology. But still. The small town atmosphere was both endearing and smothering, but I liked it. The book is very long, much longer than is actually required for the scant story, so like I said, it is like reading all about this woman’s journey to falling in love and settling down and fighting for herself back, but again, I wish we knew more of the fight. The romance at least never got out of hand, but I have to say the relationship is typically one of those ridiculous ones from a movie/paperback – couple doesn’t want to fall in love, they do, they fight, they bend each other and break the other’s will, realise they cannot live without each other, yap yap. But still, I can’t put my finger on exactly why I enjoyed this one as much as I did, but it was a decent read from her, not one of her super sketchy forest fuck fests again.

Top 20 Movies of 2014: Part 1 (11 – 20)

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Well, 2014 certainly brought some solid flicks throughout, as well as some disappointments. Sounds like every movie year. I had to sit back and think on this list for a while because there were a few that I seriously had a blast with. Now, to whittle them down! Seems 2014 was the year for horror and independent flicks, which is really awesome!

There are quite a few movies that we haven’t gotten yet, like The Imitation GameFoxcatcher, etc. so I will just work with what we did get. Because doing twenty films in one list would be a big of a killer, I am going to split this into two parts, with this one presenting films 11 – 20 on my list.

20. Enemy

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This was just one of those movies that messed with my head. It was incredibly well done, Jake Gyllenhaal gave a bloody brilliant performance, and it was shot so beautifully. The colours were faded and washed out, truly lending to the feel of the movie. The dialogue was strange, and everything just left you feeling a little disjointed and confused, but ultimately it all worked. A psychological game from the off, Enemy really was one that kept me thinking for a while after all was said and done.

19. The Fault In Our Stars

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After reading Green’s novel, I knew I would have to see this in cinema. While I feel that a lot of what makes this journey amazing is lost in this film if you have not read the book, I must admit that it is a very good adaption and cannot be faulted too much for that. Ansel Elgort simply stole the show with his portrayal of Augustus Waters, really capturing the character so many of us fell wildly in love with, and Woodley carried Hazel Grace very well. The Fault In Our Stars is terribly sad (though I belong to the #StoneColdBitchClub for not crying) and is carried by two fantastic leads and wonderful supporting cast. Well worth checking out, if just for the awesome relationship between Hazel Grace and the absolutely adorable Augustus Waters.

18. Guardians of the Galaxy

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You know, I won’t lie. I was honestly expecting this to pull flop for me like The Avengers did. Instead I got something fresh from Marvel. Yes, it follows a recipe and doesn’t really break out of that, and gives us an extremely bland villain, but it was incredibly fun and entertaining with loads of cheese and humour sprinkled throughout it and definitely boasts the best soundtrack of the year, I am sure we can all agree. Guardians of the Galaxy turned out better than I expected!

17. Stretch

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I had no idea what I was getting into when watching Stretch, but boy, oh boy am I glad I went in blind. There is nothing new about Stretch, and it is certainly predictable, but it cannot be denied that there were some outrageously funny performances here and a hilarious movie about how Murphy really just wants to be the best of friends with the people that need it the least. Chris Pine plays against character here, and it works on so many levels, not to mention Patrick Wilson just owning the screen at every available opportunity. This was one of the better comedies I have seen in a really long time.

16. Blue Ruin

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I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when watching Blue Ruin, but it had come back with some solid reviews. It was an exceptionally well crafted budget flick, a tale of revenge, no more, no less. Except that I was strung with tension throughout, constantly reminding myself to unfurl my fingers, and it was a wonderful slow burn to boot. Blue Ruin came in and entertained me.

15. Edge of Tomorrow

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I think Edge of Tomorrow was my biggest surprise movie of the year. After deciding that there was no ways that I was prepared to waste my time on it, the reviews came back positive. Eventually I knew that I was going to have  to check it out and see what all the raving was about. What I was treated to was a totally fun action flick with one badass-as-hell heroine who was a great addition to the bland repertoire we are usually given. Tom Cruise was a great sport, and there was much fun to be had with Edge of Tomorrow.

14. The Equalizer

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I knew I was going to enjoy The Equalizer because Denzel Washington, that is all. Instead of being a simple and hollow action film, The Equalizer manages to bring in some story, and strikes a good balance between getting a decent story and some heart involved with the film as well as supplying us with enough action to keep out blood pumping. Not only that, there are some seriously creative kills throughout the film. I know that sounds bad, but it was something a little different for a change.

13. Chef

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Chef is a damn fine food trip to take with Jon Favreau providing us with a great story and solid direction to bring this stale concept to fresh new beginnings. It is sweet and heartwarming and has such hilarious moments littered throughout, Chef is a brilliant feel-good movie that successfully integrates social media, food, family, relations and a fitting soundtrack.

12. Gone Girl

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Gone Girl was no simple film, and David Fincher proves again that he is a damn fine director to realise books to film (though I am seriously still not going to okay the screw up that was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo). As a return to form for Mr Fincher, he delivers a solid film, wonderfully paced and with a great cast to carry it, with his signature washout look and doom and gloom feel, you know you are in for a ride when you start this. While I am not as enamoured with it as most people seem to be, Gone Girl was done incredibly well, with immense amounts of attention to detail and a plot twist that was executed well.

11. Housebound

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I thoroughly enjoy a good horror comedy, but it is certainly not a simple genre, and instead is filled with movies that are either horror or comedy and randomly remember to add the other genre aspects to it from time to time. Housebound certainly does not suffer from this issue. It is hilarious and balances the creepy/horror out perfectly, and the movie does not try to be more than it is. Topping this out with some really good performances and a heroine worth mentioning, Housebound also lays claim to Eugene, who is just my favourite character of the whole film! #TeamEugene

Well, there are my latter ten films from my top twenty films of 2014, keep your eyes peeled for the rest!