Forever and a Day ★★★★☆

Forever and a Day ★★★★☆
Anthony Horowitz


Genre(s) | Espionage, Thriller
Goodreads Rating | 4.18
Humpo Show Rating | 4.20 
Published: 2018
Publisher: Jonathan Cape

007 is dead. 

A British Secret Service Agent is found dead in the waters of Marseille. M, the head of the Secret Service, has entrusted the task of finding out who killed 007 to a newly promoted agent, who also has the task of uncovering the shady and intriguing happenings of the criminal network in the French Riviera. That man is James Bond. In his first official outing as a double-0 agent with a ‘licence to kill’, his investigations bring him face to face with a Corsican drug lord, an American millionaire, and a seductive but dangerous ex-spy. 

Horowitz shows that he was absolutely the right choice to continue writing Bond novels on behalf of the Ian Fleming Estate as he capably manages to bring 1950s Fleming to the page again. He is especially astute when he concerns himself with the intricate details pertaining to Bond’s choices in food, drink and weaponry. The writing in Forever and a Day is intelligible and swift, without a moment wasted in the pursuit of delivering a story that packs a punch. With plenty of page space afforded to Bond’s last assignment before becoming a double-0 agent, the beginnings of his investigation in France, and the cat-and-mouse between him and the curious Sixtine. Horowitz has managed to use these opening events to convey the feelings Bond has on his first assignment where he has licence to kill, as well as the obstacles that are in the way of his investigation.

The “Secrets and Lies” chapter was one of my favourites. Sixtine’s life story was utterly absorbing and I was bewitched, like Bond, in the history of how she became the woman she is now. Her dialogue with Bond in this chapter was engaging and it was refreshing to read about a ‘Bond Girl’ that is as equally as interesting as Commander Bond. Sixtine’s enters the narrative as a mysterious, confident and dangerous woman, and while she retains those qualities after this chapter, she becomes more three-dimensional and her own storyline becomes important to the reader as she exhibits the human chink in an otherwise flawless persona. “She fell briefly silent, looking into her wine glass as if it could provide some window into her past life.”

Jean-Paul Scipio, the Corsican gangster running a drug operation from out of the French Riviera, provides Bond with a greedy and threatening adversary. His caricature appearance is reminiscent of a villain that Fleming would create, but his methods that he uses to intimidate and abuse any threats to his interests were terrifyingly well written by Horowitz as he puts his own mark on the Bond franchise. The first time we encounter the man is in a chapter that I read without blinking as well as gripping the book like a vice. The very real sense of danger is high in “The Acid Test” chapter, and I really feared for Bond, something you don’t always feel as we all know that he’ll somehow save the day. However, Horowitz’s tactic worked well in creating a situation in which our imagination would be turned up to the max as Scipio talks through his methods in exacting as much damage to Bond and the British Secret Service. “[Bond] tried to block out thoughts of what was to come, but inside he was screaming.” If he scares 007, then he scares me!

The the last third was breathtakingly good. As we expect, Bond finds himself in mortal danger, the plans of the villain become apparent, and the odds increasingly get stacked against Bond. Forever and a Day is no different, but Horowitz manages to create a situation that really makes the reader sweat as Bond is tested like never before. The setting had been well established in previous chapters so we already know all about the intricacies of the place, and we can visualise all the action that takes place clearly. I raced through the pages like Bond races through the streets in his Jaguar XK 120. The action was excellent, and we experience a plethora of emotions during the concluding chapters, the one that I remembered clearly was anticipation. Anticipation for what might happen. Anticipation for what I think will happen. Anticipation at the thought of another twist to the plot. Horowitz keeps us on edge throughout and it makes for riveting read. Bond at its best!

Forever and a Day is a thrilling prequel to Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, and it contains every aspect that is crucial for a successful Bond novel: heart-stopping action, a seductive and unpredictable female companion, a villain that has evil running through his veins, and a plot that keeps the readers’ interest from the opening chapters and never lets go. 

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World Cup Film Tag

THE WORLD CUP FILM TAG

With less than a week until the first game of the FIFA World Cup that is held in Russia this year, I thought it would be a good idea to combine my love of football (soccer for my American followers) with my love of films, by doing this fun tag. I look forward to seeing everyone’s answers if you decide to do the tag, if you haven’t been tagged and want to do it, please do it as I am interested in reading everyone’s answers. Please do tag me in your post so I can sneakily read your answers and get some inspiration for films that are set in countries I haven’t seen. Continue reading

World Cup Book Tag

THE WORLD CUP BOOK TAG

With less than a week until the first game of the FIFA World Cup that is held in Russia this year, I thought it would be a good idea to combine my love of football (soccer for my American followers) with my love of books, by doing this fun tag. I look forward to seeing everyone’s answers if you decide to do the tag, if you haven’t been tagged and want to do it, please do it as I am interested in reading everyone’s answers. Please do tag me in your post so I can sneakily read your answers and get some inspiration for reading books that are from or set in countries I haven’t read from.

The Rules: 

* Pick ONE country from each group!
* Your choice can either be an AUTHOR, or a BOOK set in that country.
* If you are struggling, you can pick a book or author you want to read at some point.
* I’ve included a little bit of information about the book, but you can anything you like- post photos of the cover, favourite quotes, go crazy!
* TAG AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU WANT!

* ALSO, tell everyone, who you are supporting in the World Cup!
* AND, judging by the books/authors you have chosen, which country would win the World Cup!
Continue reading

Solo: A Star Wars Story ★★★½

Solo: A Star Wars Story ★★★½
Humpo Show Rating | 7.0
IMDb Rating | 7.2
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Joonas Suotamo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Erin Kellyman
Director: Ron Howard
Plot Summary: During an adventure into the criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion. (IMDb)

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The story of how Han Solo became…Han Solo. 

The films begins with the young Han (Alden Ehrenreich) as he engineers an escape from the fascist planet of Corellia. He must reluctantly leave behind love interest Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) as she is unable to leave the shipbuilding planet. He promises her that he will return to rescue her from the planet. His plan to rescue Qi’ra will require money, so he enlists in the army of the Empire, where he falls in with a group of interplanetary thieves which are led by Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and are joined by Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) in dramatic circumstances. They are charged with the task of stealing a shipment of coaxium by gangster Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany). There is plenty of action in this fast and loose film, which mirrors the kind of man Han Solo is.  Continue reading

Thank you, Victoria Aveyard // Red Queen Series Highlights

I have been wondering of how to fittingly mark the ending of Aveyard’s Red Queen series, and to be honest, even when I began typing away my thoughts, I had no real idea of where it was going to go, but it seems like it will be as simple as a thank you to the author for creating a special series of books, while also imploring others to pick the books up and read them! (I apologise for the overly long and heavily commared (is that a word?!) opening sentence, it gets better, hopefully!).

🔥⚡ The RED QUEEN Series Highlights // Why you should read the series! ⚡🔥

5 Reasons Why Red Queen Series is Amazing:

Victoria Aveyard is a master of world-building.  
The action scenes are some of the best I have ever read. 
A diverse and LGBT set of characters.
A love triangle that actually works well.
EXCELLENTLY written.

(Maven Calore. Credit: Kieu Dao @ Mykieu02) Continue reading

War Storm ★★★★☆

War Storm ★★★★☆
Victoria Aveyard


Genre(s) | Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopian
Goodreads Rating | 4.02
Humpo Show Rating | 4.25
Publisher: Orion
Published: 2018

Rise. And rise alone.

Mare has chosen the Scarlet Guard and Cal has chosen his crown. Reeling from Cal’s decision to follow in his father’s footsteps and rule Norta, Mare must draw on all the inner strength she has, to fight for the rights of the Reds and the Newbloods in a world that is fracturing from the Scarlet Guard rebellion and the warring between the Silver Kingdoms. Maven still sits on the Nortan throne alongside his Lakelander Queen, Iris, and they are intent on eradicating the Scarlet Guard, destroying Cal, and bringing the continent under their Silver rule. Mare, Cal, the Silver allies, the Scarlet Guard, and the people of Montfort have to come together to defeat Maven and the Lakelanders, who have brought nothing but war, death and destruction to their people. War is coming, and Mare will try to achieve her mission of bringing equality for the Reds, defeating Maven, and persuading Cal to give up the throne.  Continue reading

The Blacklist (Season 5) ★★★★☆

The Blacklist Season 5 (2018) ★★★★☆
Channel: NBC
Starring: James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Harry Lennix, Mozhan Marno, Amir Arison, Hisham Tawfiq, Ryan Eggold 
Creator: Jon Bokenkamp
Humpo Show Rating: 8.4

Image result for the blacklist season 5

We’ve known for a year that the duffel bag contains human bones, but the identity of the poor skeleton inside it has been kept a secret — just the way Red wanted. But the finale of Season 5 finally tells us to whom those bones belong to. Some theorists may have guessed it, but we all know that the theories are only just starting as we have the rest of the year wondering what the revelation means to Liz, Red and the Task-Force. Continue reading