The Shadow Speaker, by Nnedi Okorafor

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Yet another excellent book that I’ve found through this semester’s syllabus. Nnedi Okorafor’s combination of a post-apocalyptic setting with fantastical afrofuturism is absolutely magical. I would strongly recommend this book for so many reasons; the setting might honestly be the least of them, despite how much I like it.

I understand that there’s a sequel in the works, titled Stormbringer, and I can’t wait to get my hands on that too.

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Everything is Awesome: The LEGO Movie

The entirely appropriate theme song.

The LEGO Movie is exceptional.

Watching it feels like watching a virtuoso performance; the people who made the movie clearly know their craft, and you can see them having fun playing around inside the boundaries set out for them, playing with the audience’s expectations even as they satisfy them.  And they do it so skillfully that they are able to take a story that we’ve heard millions of times before and turn it into something wonderfully fresh and enjoyable.

You certainly have heard the story before, because The LEGO Movie is built around the monomyth.  It also, by virtue of its medium and a few helpful hints, manages to tell a story outside of the story with which the film opens.  I’ll talk more about that later, but that topic is full of spoilers.

I strongly recommend that you go and watch The LEGO Movie.  As my friend Ben put it, “this could be the Toy Story of this generation.”  If you want more of my thoughts on the movie’s virtuosity, read on…

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Servant of the Dragon, by David Drake

Servant of the Dragon is the third book in the epic fantasy series Lord of the Isles, written by David Drake.  Published in 1999, it is a excellent sequel and addresses the few issues that I previously had with the series while continuing the better traditions of the first two books.  I recommended the series before, I recommend it even more strongly now.  If you want to dive into a fantasy setting built on the sunken ruins of an Atlantean past, constructed from the stones of Sumerian mythology and mortared with Greek and Roman poetry, this is the series for you.

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