Nefarious Tales: Disney Villains & their Backstories

Nefarious Tales - Villain week

Hi everyone! Welcome to my stop on the Nefarious Tales Blog Event, hosted by Mishma from Chasing Faerytales. This week is all about celebrating our favourite villains. I was so happy to be chosen for this because I love villains (who doesn’t 😉 ). Be sure to check out the stops below as well as a special giveaway. A villain inspired mystery pack will be given away and it’s open international.

I’ve already mentioned that I love villains but I also love all things Disney so:

Villains + Disney = Pure Gold!

Recently it seems like there’s a market, whether in books, film, or television for telling the backstories or POV’s of villains and anti-heroes. Here are some disney villains that I’d love backstories of. I feel like learning a villain’s back story helps so much more with the character – sometimes you even feel sympathetic towards them.

Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty

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I first became interested in Maleficent’s back story when the 2014 film Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie released. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a re-imagining of the 1959 animated film Sleeping Beauty. I definitely recommend watching it because it’s such a gorgeous portrayal of Maleficent and her side of the story. Jolie is a perfectly terrifying villain. Anyways, I really want to know why the other fairies had an issue with Maleficent and why King Stefan decided to involve himself in this fairy feud. I’m not an expert on this matter, but I’ve heard the worst thing you could do is invite every fairy but one.

 

 

 

Ursula from The Little Mermaid

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Ursula is another favourite of mine. If you don’t remember, Ursula is known as the sea witch by the merfolk and looks a lot like an octopus. In The Little Mermaid, Ursula mentions that she used to live in the palace, before her banishment which has always intrigued me. Who was she, what sort of role did she have and why was she banished? Most importantly, was she always an octopus? I think the fact that she turns every merperson she catches into tiny plants reinforces that idea – a sort of revenge for having lost her own tail. Plus, Poor Unfortunate Souls was one of the best songs in the movie – it’s both thrilling and a cautionary tale.

Hades from Hercules 

I’ve always loved Greek mythology and the various myths surrounding Hades definitely captivate. Add in a bit of Disney magic and you get a villain that, despite his unpleasant place in the pantheon, is still able to see the humour in life (pun intended). Actually, when I started writing this post I realized Hades is pretty much funny all the time, even when he’s losing – of course, I doubt Hades is amused by this but the viewer definitely gets a laugh. So what I’d love to know is how does a greek god who got the short end of the stick find the time to be both mad and witty?

*spoilers for The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis below

Jadis, the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

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I’m cheating a bit with this one as the Witch Witch is technically half-disney – the book series by C.S. Lewis inspired the 2005 movie. When I read The Magician’s Nephew, I immediately wanted to know more about Jadis. She came from a world separate from both Narnia and our own, called Charn; a world that started out good, but soon fell to evil. Jadis was a powerful sorceress who battled with her sister for control of their world. The White Witch reigned terror over Narnia for 100 years but before that, destroyed her own world rather than be defeated. Now imagine TWO of these villainous queens battling for control of Charn – sister against sister, villain vs. villain. That makes for a pretty incredible book.


Nefarious Tales Blog Stops:
Monday April 18:
Wren @ Bookmato Chronicles – Ten Reasons why all Victors want to be Victor Vale
Holly @ The Fox’s Hideaway – Villains I’d Join the Dark Side for
Maha @ Younicorn Reads – Why Villains Actually Make the Decisions They Make
Tuesday April 19:
Lisa @ Lost in Literature – Favourite Villains
Emily @ Paperback Princess – Villains of Harry Potter
Maryam @ Once Upon a Story – What if villains rule the world
Crini @ It’s all about Books – Why we love villains
Wednesday April 20:
Cee @ The Novel Hermit – The older I get, the more I appreciate villains
Lila @ The Bookkeeper’s Secret – Evil Edits: How I imagine villains to look like

Zoe @ Stories on Stage – Favourite Villains

Thursday April 21:
Erica @ The Novel Ink – President Snow
Emily @ Emily Reads Everything – People We Love to Hate
Lynette @ Charmingly Simple – Fancasting of Disney Villains
Crini @ It’s all about Books – Favourite and Least Favourite Villains
Friday April 22:
Nicole @ Quality Fangirls – Villain Aesthetics
Emz @ Paging Serenity – Why I Love Anti-heroes
Denise @ The Bibliolater – Why Do We Need Villains
Saturday April 23:
Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout – 11 Common Villain Tropes as Pokemon Moves
Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts – Awesome Villain Powers
Nova @ Out of Time – The Darkling Formula
Sunday April 24:
Meleika @ Endless Pages – Why Everyone Needs a Villain in their Life
Adriyanna @ Life Writings of a Reader – Disney Villains & their Backstories
Ava @ Bookishness and Tea – Favourite Villains and Why I Love Them
Monday – My ultimate list of favourite fictional villains
Tuesday – Let’s talk about antiheroes!
Wednesday – Disney Villains (Jillian)
Thursday – Types of Villains
Friday – Villain Songs
Saturday – Why YA needs villain protagonists

Sunday – Favourite movie villains


Contest:

One person will win a villain inspired mystery pack, open INT. Enter through the rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

20983362Passenger

Alexandra Bracken

3/5 stars

Release Date: January 5, 2016

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Chapters/Indigo.ca | B&N | Kobo

Synopsis on Goodreads:

Passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

Review:

As I whole I thought the book was good, but I had issues with the pacing and structure. I do plan to read the sequel, but if I find the same issues, that will negatively impact my reading experience, more so than book #1. I found the prologue and first chapter to be very confusing, so much so I almost DNFed. I loved the last 30% of the book and thought it was really exciting! That cliffhanger at the end was great as well.

Bracken has a knack for world-building. I never felt like she was info-dumping when it came to explaining how time-travel works in her book. Information about passages and travellers were explained at the right moments; I was never confused about that. In addition, the settings were described really well – it was so easy to visualize all the different places Bracken takes us to. I wish we’d spent more time in Angkor, but I do see how other places warrant more space.

Although I could imagine the setting really well, the same can’t be said for physical actions. I didn’t feel like the author was clear when trying to visualize what a character was doing. For example, if character A is getting kidnapped, it’s important to know if they’re being carried by character B or on an animal etc. Important details like that weren’t made clear. Things were happening and then suddenly they weren’t anymore.

I loved Nicholas and connected with him immediately. I enjoyed being in his head. I liked learning more about him and his life. I also liked that the author made clear the issues Nicholas faces as a POC in various timelines and the way it opened Etta’s eyes. I did like Etta, but she struck me as a plain Jane; I didn’t really connect with her, or even think much of her. I’m really surprised by that because her being a violin protege should have gained a large emotional response. I’ve always wanted to play an instrument, like a violin in the way she plays – being so good to make a professional career out of it. Along with the time-traveling ability, that should have had me wishing to be her, but instead I just wanted to steal those two parts of her, nothing else.

I loved the chapters in which Etta and Nicholas were at sea, but there weren’t many of them. I know the title of the book refers to the time-travel element, but I feel like this book has been largely marketed as a pirate/sailing sea adventure. I just wanted more of that. There’s lots of references to pirates & sea adventures, but nothing really comes of that.

My issues with the pacing and structure mainly happened in the first half. Sometimes the pace was so slow and other times it was too fast. Certain characters would be sharing things about themselves and I’d feel like I missed some important character development that led to that point. This book is really big and the structure of it made it harder to get through. Like I said, if I find these same issues in the sequel and it’s just as or bigger than book #1, it’ll be a very unhappy reading experience.

I loved the ending and thought it was wrapped up really well. I have to commend Bracken for that cliffhanger – I could have completely hated the book and still read the sequel just to know about a certain thing that happens (assuming I read right to the end). I hope the sequel is like the ending – exciting, fast-paced and full of plot-twists.

March Wrap-Up Post

IMG_0002I started going into April thinking I’d only read three books, which made me a bit sad, but I actually read five so yay for that! It’s almost like randomly finding money you forgot you had. I’d ended up reading three books in February, so it’s progress. I’m aiming for ten books this month and I’m really confident about that because I’ll have a lot more free time.

Here are the books I read:

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

Vampire Knight Vol. 4 by Matsuri Hino

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine

Vampire Knight Vol. 5 by Matsuri Hino

A Thousand Nights was my favourite March read; the author presents an interesting twist on the original story, A Thousand and One Nights. Albeit confusing at first, the lack of names gives a sense of mystery. The ending is absolutely beautiful and I would definitely recommend! You can read my full review of this and the other books I read using the above links.

ICYMI:

I had the chance to interview Kate (E.K.) Johnston this month on the blog

I also made art inspired by The Crown’s Game for the Tsar’s Guard Parade Blog Tour

My favourite March moment: meeting Alison Goodman, Sabaa Tahir, Rachel Hawkins, Alwyn Hamilton and April Genevieve Tucholke at the Penguin Teen Tour. Honestly, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw they’d be stopping in Toronto. Meeting Alison, the author of one of my favourite series of all time, Eon was phenomenal! Alwyn is also super nice and I’m loving Rebel of the Sands so far.

How did everyone do with their reading goals? Will you be participating in ARC April?

2016 ARC April Challenge

IMG_9962Octavia and Shelly from Read Sleep Repeat are hosting ARC April, where you try to read as many arcs as possible in April. If you don’t already know, an arc is an advance reader copy. I participated in ARC August in 2015 and it was really fun, so I’m glad to see they decided to do ARC April. Sign up here and check out the prizes you can win.

Here are the ARCs I’m planning to read:

And I Darken by Kiersten White

The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick

If I get through these I have a couple others to read, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself – especially since I’m planning to read a few non-arcs in April. Are you participating in ARC April? What arcs are you planning to read?