When I found out about this book, I thought it was going to be kind of similar to the series ‘Keeper of the Lost Cities’ series (which is like one of my favourite series ever) but I decided to give it a try anyway. And I’m really glad I did because they are NOT similar. I guess this just proves the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” (or its name, in this case). This book definitely deserves to be a lot more famous. It’s a great series! I’m just sad that there are only three books in this series. So, the main character is a 13-yr-old girl, Charlie Keeper, who lives in London with her old grandma. (Charlie is like my favourite character because of her feisty attitude). Her parents are missing, presumed dead for seven years. Their lawyer, Mr. Crow, (who is a mean, money loving, little……ahem.) takes ‘care’ of them. One day, Charlie comes home to find a blood thirsty giant waiting for her. While trying to run from it, she accidently opens a doorway to the magic realm of Bellania. She escapes through it and…. finds an amazing realm full of wonder. Three races live together, Stomen, Treman and Human. Stomen sing to stone and carve it, Treman sing to trees, and Humans…. just muddle on. Charlie Keeper is a special human, a Keeper, and Keepers always have special abilities. In Bellania, she finds out that the giant was Bane, the Western Menace who is feared throughout the lands. The reason he was after her was because she had a special pendant that her parents had given her, that could change the fate of all of Bellania. Bane might not be the only threat…… When it seems like the entire world wants her pendant, Charlie isn’t sure whom to trust. Can Charlie and her friends stop Bane and his allies before they can get a hand on her pendant, especially with Mr. Crow making a rather drastic return? ……… This was an awesome book, and of course the author had to give a cliff-hanger ending. It’s interesting, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series! It’s a great book for those who love the genre fantasy (like me!), and the traitor (Bane’s ally) is extremely unexpected. It’s actually really innovative and new. I loved the game of K’Changa, and I would love to play it. K’Changa is a special game of Bellania. It’s fun to read, and I don’t think you’ll get bored reading this fast-paced ride of adventure. There are some loose ends, but I think they’ll all tie up nicely in the next books. It’s not too heavy but it’s not kiddish either. It has got a lot of action and mystery and humour and fantasy, and those are for me the best things to mix up for a book. It’s basically a fab read! Oh, and the handful of illustrations are very nice! They help to picture the characters clearly and they are really good drawings! I recommend this book for 11+. EXCELLENT!!!!!
17-yr-old Prince Ashitaka was cursed by a demon he killed while trying to protect his village from it. Now, to avert his curse, he has to travel to the lands to the west, and avenge the demon. Meanwhile, in the sacred forest of the Deer God, a battle is being waged between the humans who wanted to cut down the forest, and the brave wolf princess, San, (also called Princess Mononoke) who is trying to protect it. Ashitaka’s and San’s paths collide in incredible ways, and soon the fate of the world rests in their hands…….
Princess Mononoke is a Studio Ghibli anime with an amazing storyline and beautiful animation, a lot of twists and turns in the plot, rich variety of characters and something about it that keeps you hooked till the very last minute. It was directed by Hayao Miyazaki with music by Joe Hisaishi. What I loved about it was the mystery and of course, the wolves. It was released in 1997, but the animation is still worth watching. All in all, a great movie with a meaningful message and incredible music. It has great battle scenes and superb cliff hanger moments. Studio Ghibli has the power to take you out of the real world and into fantasy. Princess Mononoke is definitely my favourite Studio Ghibli movie. I recommend this movie for 9+. A delightful movie!!!
2. From Up on Poppy Hill
16-yr-old Umi Matsuzaki is a normal high school student at the Konan Academy with her siblings and friends. Their school has an old clubhouse which is going to be demolished for a new building. Some students want the building to stay as it is, and slowly Umi is drawn into helping them restore the clubhouse and protest against its demolition. Umi and her friend, Shun fall for each other while protecting their clubhouse. But, when secrets come to light and strange family ties are revealed, it could be possible, just possible, that they are related after all….
This is a fantabulous movie!!! From Up on Poppy Hill is not a very adventurous movie, or an action packed one, like Princess Mononoke, but it has a charm of its own. It is a peaceful, slow and interesting movie and one that you will calmly enjoy. What I loved about it was the clubhouse. I wish I could renovate such an awesome clubhouse!! I also loved the town. Everything was really detailed and the movie had a perfect setting there. This is a great movie for those who don’t really enjoy fantasy movies but like interesting ones. This was directed by Goro Miyazaki with music by Satoshi Takebe. It was released in 2011. I recommend this for 9+ or 10+. A-MA-ZING!
3. Howl’s Moving Castle
18-yr-old Sophie Hatter lives in a small town called Market Chipping, working in her family’s hat shops. She has been making hats all her life, and she has resigned herself to a life full of boredom and drudgery. All this changes, however, when the fearsome Witch of the Waste curses her to look like a 90-yr-old woman. She sets off in search for a cure for the spell when she comes across the moving castle of the dreaded wizard Howl. However, when a war is fought in earnest, and danger and mystery every corner, things may not be as they seem……
In this action and humour packed movie, you will marvel at the intricacy of it all. I mean, the plot is twisting back and forth, but in the end it all makes sense. I loved the moving castle! Oh well, I guess its not really a castle, just a bunch of structures grouped together, but it looks so interesting to live in! Not like a normal house or even a normal castle at all. It is actually based on a book by Diana Wynnie Jones, which I also read. The movie and book are both excellent but rather different from each other. It is an extremely intriguing movie and I loved it. This movie was directed by Hayao Miyazaki with music by Joe Hisaishi. It was released in 2004. It’s awesome! 9+ or 10+.
4. Spirited Away
10-yr-old Chihiro Ogino is the spoilt only child of her family. When they all move to a house in the middle of nowhere, they get lost on the way and find a strange abandoned village. Chihiro goes exploring, and then finds a strange boy who warns her to get away. When she is trying to do that, suddenly the city comes alive with spirits. Strange ghosts and monsters were roaming the streets. This place belongs to the spirits, and now she has to stay alive and rescue her parents from the spirits. Lost in a totally magical new world, Chihiro makes new friends, and goes through hair raising adventures. Can she save everyone who matters to her?
This was like, mind blowing. The gorgeous animation, is just wow. And the details! Every scene was made with a lot of care and attention to detail. And the music score? Beautiful. What I especially liked about the film was the variety of characters and just the sheer imagination of it all. This is a beautiful movie that just grows on you every time you watch it. My favourite characters were probably Linh, No Face and the dragon Haku. Directed by Hayao Miyazaki with music by Joe Hisaishi. I had a lot of trouble choosing which was better, this or Howl’s Moving Castle, but I think I liked the latter a tiny bit better. They are both superb, though. 9+ or 10+. Spectacular!!
5. Nausicaa of The Valley of The Wind
16-yr-old Nausicaa is a brave, high spirited girl who is the protector of her valley, the Valley of the Wind. Set in a world many years in the future, where human beings have destroyed the planet and the very air is toxic. A poisonous forest called the Sea of Chaos was born from the chemicals on the Earth, where mutant insects called Ohmu live. Angering them would mean death. But, when their valley is attacked, a horrific plan starts to unfold, one that could mean the destruction of them all……..
All in all, it’s a great movie. Suspenseful music, sci-fi plot, the works. What I especially liked about this movie, however, was Nausicaa’s glider. I’ve always wanted fly (who doesn’t?) and that glider will definitely solve the problem. Is it selling on Amazon? If so, um, YES PLEASE! Also, I liked that Nausicaa was willing to give the insects a chance and willing to save the life of a baby Ohmu while risking her own. Its definitely an amazing movie, but not my absolute favourite. Still awesome, though. It’s actually based on a manga written by the director, Hayao Miyazaki. Music by Joe Hisaishi. It was released in 1984. It has also got great (though old) animation in the traditional anime style. Excellent!! 9+