Monday, September 9, 2019

CassaSeries Tour, It: Chapter Two Review, And Superhero Love

CassaSeries Tour

Silver Dagger Tours is hosting a month-long tour for me that includes a giveaway for an Amazon gift card and swag.
A full list of the tour is posted at the Silver Dagger Tours site. Here are the stops this week:

Guest post last Saturday at Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor - Where Did the Character’s Names Come From?

Monday – Guest post about music at Writer's Gambit and stops at Just Jemi and The Story of a Writer

Tuesday – Guest posts at Mars Occupation Force - Press Office and Sandra Cox plus a stop at Blog of Author Jacey Holbrand

Wednesday - Guest posts at Elizabeth Seckman and Angela Brown plus stops at Keep on Booking and Authors and Readers Book Corner

Thursday – Guest post at Readeropolis and stops at Antrim Cycle and Java John Z’s

Friday – Stops at Book Review Virginia Lee, Literary Gold, and 2 Chicks and a Book

For the Love of Superheroes

Aquaman. I just love that movie! Have you watched it yet? If not, go watch it first and then come back and read this post. It will blow your mind.

I grew up with DC. The animated version of Superman, Batman and weird cross-overs where Green Arrow looked like Robin Hood and Wonder Woman didn’t look like she could do much. Honestly, I can only remember Superman and Batman as being the heroes whose stories I followed, even though I watched it all.

Which is why this new Aquaman movie is so awesome. He isn’t the last guy you call when you are in trouble…

Back to what I grew up with:

Superman was this goody-goody with only two weaknesses: kryptonite and Lois Lane. He had a best friend named Lex Luthor who wanted to thwart him at every opportunity. Batman was this weirdo obsessed with bats, Alfred and bad guys. He made friends with scary women like Poison Ivy and Cat Woman. Both of these heroes knew every hero that came along – like Green Arrow, the Flash, Hawk Man and every other DC hero. (Don’t get on your high horse: it’s how I saw it as a six-year-old.)

And if you break it down like that, you know exactly what the stories should be about, and what is important to the hero. They even call for help – from everyone except Aquaman.

Then Smallville came to TV and things became even weirder, though Aquaman did get a bit more credit for being a hero. Until they decided that he was only an environmentalist blowing things up… (I haven’t watched it in a while, so forgive me for remembering it like that.)

And until recently, I didn’t think that Green Arrow could do much more than be a glorified Robin Hood. (Blame the animation.) But then Arrow came to our screens along with Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow. While things were good, I thought that they should make a series about Aquaman, too. And when everything except Legends fell apart, I was relieved they hadn’t.

As for the movies… The recent series is rather good. I’m not a fan of Man of Steel, I just didn’t relate to their Lois and Clark, and Batman versus Superman has too much politics – though the action scenes are really good. Wonder Woman is an amazing movie that will leave you in tears. Justice League is something you can watch over-and-over again just for fun (or when you are ill and have to stay in bed).

And Aquaman… The worldbuilding, the drama, the humour, the villains and antagonists, the blind spots of the main characters – it is absolutely amazing. Each time I watch it, I see something new to admire about how they have taken Aquaman from being the last guy the Justice League would call for help, to the first guy you’ll run to for safety.

These are characters and worlds we all know and love. Each time a new writer (or group of writers) takes on the challenge of recreating it for a modern audience, they have to keep the essence and add what the audience needs. Which is why, when the Flash asks Batman what his superpower is, he answers: “I’m rich”, and why the Flash and Cyborg believe that they are the accidents. Because a modern audience needs heroes – the accidental ones and those who take the resources they have and use it for good.

I did something similar with my latest book “Magic at Midnight”. I took a girl and put her in an impossible situation to save everyone she loves – and she finds her “superpowers” in the process. Some call it Cinderella meets Miss Congeniality. (DragonSpireUK) Some call it a Cinderella reboot with a twist on the reality show, The Bachelor. (Lee Lowery) Others call it a delightful mix of Pretty Woman and Cinderella. (Word Dreams) While others are in awe of the pegasi and her dedication to them. (Sandra Cox)

But truth be told, it was my love of DC that inspired a lot of what happens in this princess fantasy adventure.

Any stories that have been retold so many times that you know exactly what will happen, but you’re still surprised when the writers come up with something awesome? Do you love DC? Have you watched the new Justice League, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and other movies?

Award-winning author Ronel Janse van Vuuren mainly writes for teens and tweens, though she is known to write mythology-filled short stories for anthologies aimed at older readers. Her dark fantasy works, usually full of folklore, can be viewed on her website and on Goodreads. All of her books are available for purchase from major online retailers.
Sign up to be notified of new releases, giveaways and pre-release specials – plus get a free eBook – when you join Ronel’s newsletter.
Connect with Ronel online - Website, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Instagram, and Amazon

It: Chapter Two Review

Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.
You do need to see the first chapter before seeing this one and I wish we’d rewatched it to refresh our memories. They reference a lot from the first movie that I didn’t remember.
The cast is excellent – they found great actors not only for the roles but who had good chemistry together. They also interspersed the adult versions with the kid versions. (Which helped to figure out who was who.)
I’ve not read the book, so not sure how closely the movie follow it, but overall the storyline was very familiar horror trope. When the film worked, it was effective – when it didn’t, it was derivative of other horror films.
It’s also close to three hours long. While I never felt bored or looked at the time, it could have been trimmed a bit more.
There’s a direct line from John Carpenter’s The Thing in relation to a similar creature. (Not sure if it’s a nod or if King stole it.) Speaking of whom, Stephen King also has a cameo role in the film.
I will say Pennywise’s origins was a bit disappointing.
Overall I liked it but not as much as the first one.

We also watched Godzilla: King of the Monsters again this past weekend. Even better the second time!

Anyone else catch It: Chapter Two? Who’s your favorite DC superhero?
Hope you get to visit some of the tour sites this week and sign up to win the giveaway!


Elephant's Child said...

Congratulations. I can't think of anyone more deserving of a month-long tour.

nashvillecats2 said...

Congrats and good luck with your month long tour Alex. Well deserved.


Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

I agree that on the small screen Legends of Tomorrow has emerged as the best of the bunch. One by one, other genre shows that started out fun and stylish began to take themselves too seriously and became dark and depressing. Legends continues to get better and better with many likable characters and witty dialogue. My current favorite character is Mona Wu - alter ego Wolfie.

Have a great week, good buddy Alex!

Mason Canyon said...

Congratulations and good luck on your tour. Magic at Midnight sounds intriguing. Aquaman was enjoyable and one of my favorite DC movies lately.

Joanne said...

sounds like a great tour for you - congrats. And I did appreciate Aquaman in the theater, but I'll have to re-watch after reading your post. Sounds like you really took a lot away from this different superhero. Cool.
I told Ray he could see IT 2. IT 1 was creepy scary, but I don't need to see more and I saw the running time and I ran from it.
Have a good week

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Good luck with the book tour, Alex!

I only remember Aquaman from the old cartoon, Superfriends. :)

I saw the first part of IT and didn't care for it so won't see the second. I also thought Tim Curry from the TV mini series was a better Pennywise. And, as is usually the case for me, I think the book is way better than the TV/movie versions. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats on your book tour, Alex I'll check it out when I can. Already been to one of your stops.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mason, Aquaman was one of their best.

Natalie, thanks.

Thank you, everyone!

Juneta key said...

Congrats on the tour. Aquaman is one of my fave too.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Congratulations on the month of tours.

It? Yikes. I doubt if I'll watch that one.

Teresa C.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Looks like you have your work cut out for you on this fabulous book tour, Alex. Congratulations!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Good luck on your blog tour!!
I'll probably watch IT Chapter 2 when it comes out on DVD. I've read the book twice. You should read it. It's so good. said...

What a marathon it will be, and I do remember the first superman and the details you mention. Fond memories.

kaykuala said...

A most deserving month-long tour, Alex. Congratulations!


The Angry Lurker said...

I need to watch my copy of Aquaman now!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I loved Aquaman.

The tour is off to a good start.

SpacerGuy said...

A book tour for an entire month! Well, you've written enough novels and you'll have plenty to talk about. Congratulations. I reckon the women will be fawning over Aquamans body but yeah its got to be Gozilla! He'd tear Aqua-man in half and eat him for breakfast.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Stacy, I heard how the section with the kids ends and that kind of turned me off reading the book.

Spacer Guy, yes he would.

Thanks, everyone!

Cherie Reich said...

I do wonder if they're using the same origins for Pennywise as they did in the book IT. If so, I can see why you're a bit disappointed. That's a good idea to watch Part One again before seeing Part Two.

diedre Knight said...

Have a fantastic time on tour, Captain! Now, more than ever, I have got to see Aquaman. Magic at Midnight sounds captivating.

Birgit said...

I watched The Justice League when I was a kid and was always rooting for poor Aquaman, who looked like a Ken doll, to get the main villain. I always wanted Wonder Woman to get it on with either Batman or Superman but it never happened. My fav was Wonder Woman closely followed by Aquaman. I have yet to see the film but you are the first who give it great reviews. I will pass on the Movie It but I did watch the TV version years ago. Tim Curry was a great Pennywise. I still have to see Godzilla

Jemi Fraser said...

Happy to host you on the tour! :)
I didn't get to know superheroes as a kid but I enjoy those stories now!

Toi Thomas said...

Congrats on your Cassa Tour. What a worthy series to promote. I'll be sure to check out some of the stops.

My favorite superhero is Batman because he's always right, even when he's wrong.

Tonja Drecker said...

Good luck for the tour! And I have several favorite superheroes. Why choose just one?

Nilanjana Bose said...

Congratulations and the very best of luck for your tour! I loved Wonder Woman and the Superman films, though I didn't read any comics growing up :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cherie, if the answer is from space, then yes,

Birgit, you need to watch both Aquaman and Wonder Woman.

Thanks, everybody!

J E Oneil said...

I haven't seen IT yet, so I don't know the origins. But if it's not a giant spider from beyond the multiverse, I will be very, very disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I haven't watched Aquaman yet. There's a few movies I want to see that I have yet to bother to rent.

Rhonda Albom said...

Reading the DC info above was like listening to a conversation between my younger daughter and her friends, all huge fans, and the entire sorce of my superhero limited knowledge. As for It, I love the promo cover image, but haven't seen the movie.

Andrew Leon said...

I still haven't managed to watch Aquaman.
I am about 10 minutes in though? Something like that. said...

Go, Alex, go! Congratulations and enjoy all the touring action.
I'd like to see Aquaman, up close and personal. (The movie, I can do without.) Smiles.

Truedessa said...

Hi Alex,

Congratulations on a month long tour! You Rock! I enjoyed reading the Cassa Series and especially "Dragon of the Stars". I sure hope there were be an announcement at the end of the tour a new book reveal. Hey, I can hope!

I have seen Aquaman 4 times. I just enjoyed everything about this movie and I can't wait for Aquaman 2. I think this movie fell into place perfectly. It was magical, I tell you!

Let your light shine!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Dang it! I couldn't read most of the post because, no . . . I haven't seen Aquaman yet. #theshame But I've wanted to. Just haven't made the time. Guess I'd better. And YAY! for your month long tour and for your release! I've been sluggish since all that life (& death) happened to my family over the last half year. I'm slowly coming out to play. I'm really happy for you.

Liz A. said...

I can't get Legends of Tomorrow. It got to silly for me, and I had to give it up. I think the others hold up, though (so I completely disagree), although it is time for Arrow to end.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Congrats to Ronel on her book! Love the post on Aquaman and DC!
And, congrats on your book tour!
I won't see It - I really don't do visual horror well. Just the thought gives me the heebie jeebies.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

Shady -- Mona is a fun character!
Mason -- Thanks! It's a great movie :-)
Joanne -- I learned loads :-)
Madeline -- You should see him in the new movie!
Juneta -- He is awesome :-)
lostinimaginaryworlds -- Fond memories, indeed!
Angry Lurker -- Totally!
Diane -- Me too :-)
Spacer Guy -- I'm still rooting for Aquaman!
Diedre -- Thanks! You need to see the movie.
Birgit -- In this movie, there's no "poor Aquaman" -- he's totally awesome!
Jemi -- Superheroes make for great stories!
Toi -- Totally!
T Drecker -- Agreed!
Nilanjana -- Wonder Woman was excellent!
Patricia -- You need to see the movie!
Rhonda -- You need to see the movie!
Andrew -- Just take the time and watch it!
Rawknrobyn -- Sigh. Yes! But the movie is great, too :-)
Truedessa -- Pure magic!
Liz -- Agree to disagree :-)
Tyrean -- Thank you!

Thanks everyone. Especially Alex for hosting me :-)

Sandra Cox said...

Aquaman and Wonder Woman are definite keepers:) Fun post.
Glad to have you visiting today, Alex.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex and Ronel - I'll be around on the tour ... I suspect the films will be missed by me - good luck Ronel - cheers Hilary

DMS said...

What a busy tour! Enjoy and good luck.

Thanks for sharing your review of Aquaman, Ronel. I still need to see it. Magic at Midnight sounds great!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

JE, I guess you won't be then.

Truedessa, I am working on it! Wrote some tonight in fact.

Sandra, thanks for hosting me!

Magic Love Crow said...

Congrats Alex! I am so happy for you!! I haven't seen Aquaman, but I'm going to now. I have to admit, my older brother didn't like it? I don't know why? Keep shining Alex! Take Care!

Heather R. Holden said...

How exciting about the blog tour!

When it comes to DC, I've always been fond of the Birds of Prey, I must admit!

Christine Rains said...

Congrats on your tour, Alex! And is it a bit frightening I haven't seen Aquaman yet? I think DC has some solid stories but it's hidden under the great shadow of Marvel who is ruling the box office. I was always a Batman fan.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Don't laugh, and I don't know if he was DC or not, but back in the day, my favorite hero was Tarzan. Who could resist a guy that flies through the trees?

Sandra Cox said...

You've got a busy month going. Lots of stops to make, Captain Ninja:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Magic Love Crow, watch it anyway!

Christine, their reign will return. They dominated before.

Beverly, he's been in many different comic books, including both DC and Marvel. He gets around.

XmasDolly said...

HOLY COW! A NEW AQUAMAN MOVIE??? WOO HOO THAT IS TOTALLY COOL AND IF I DIDN'T COME HERE TODAY i WOULD'VE NEVER KNOWN. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. YOU'RE DUH BEST. NOW I CAN RENT BOTH OF THEM RIGHT.. HOLD ON gotta run to the docs & I'll be right back. Don't go ANYwhere.! WOO HOO I'm so excited! DANG! 2 MOVIES, this is so exciting, and I will say one more thing and I've never told anyone, but I know I can trust you. The movie/book "IT" I HATE to even say the word. I started watching this movie and I believe I got halfway, but the dam thing scared the living hell out of me and I don't want to even talk about it. That's why I skipped over that part of your Post. Truly it does scare me pretty bad. Sooooooooooooo with that being said my friend or not said, however, you want to look at it. Have a great day and weekend coming. BIG HUGS!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Alex, I do wish I watched the first It before I went and saw the second one because even though I read the book (100 years ago) I forgot a lot. My friend cautioned me against seeing it. She said it was too long. Too kitschy, too many curse words, and a bunch of other things, but I went anyway and I'm so glad I did. Like you, I didn't peek at my watch or anything but there were parts that could've been cut and some of the CGI was worthy of an eye-roll but I don't regret going at all. Then again, I LOVED the book.

Big congratulations on your book tour! Have lots of fun and I hope you have rest booked in there somewhere.


Elizabeth Seckman said...

Best of luck to Ronel!

Superman is my hands down favorite. He's always a gentleman and the glasses on Clark Kent are sexy.

Sandra said...

Stopped by Elizabeth's today. Great tour post. Duct Tape. What a hoot:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Marie, no worries - It isn't for everybody.

Elsie, it didn't feel overlong, but it really didn't need to be almost three hours.

Thanks, Sandra!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Good for you for having that new month-long tour! I hope it generates a lot more buzz about your books.

I loved the Aquaman movie. Everything about it. We've seen quite a few superhero flicks over the past couple of years, but that's probably my favorite. Second would be Black Panther.

Patsy said...

I hope the blog tour is going really well.

Pat Hatt said...

Aquaman was sure grand indeed. Better than many of their attempts before it. And yeah, glad they didn't with the state of most of those DC shows.

mail4rosey said...

Big congrats on the tour! I like Aquaman. Didn't hurt that they got Jason Momosa (sp?) to play him because he's super easy to watch on the big screen. ;)

Mark Koopmans said...

Best of luck with the tour!

PS: You should add "IT" to your book-reading list. I first read it as a 15-year-old and have reread it several times, and it still scares the crap out of me. Stephen King is not right in the head :)

Mary Kirkland said...

I watched Aquaman a couple of months ago and I loved it. I'm waiting until I can get both IT movies and watch them back to back.

Robyn Campbell said...

Love Aquaman. Have not seen the movie though. So now you know I gotta, Thank you, Ronel.

Captain, long time no see. I am visiting old friends today. I pray all is well. Of course, I'll visit the blog tour. And I'll tell others too.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Mason, I'm a bit of a DC fan. I liked Justice League, Wonder Woman, and AquamanI also. Marvel outshines DC in many ways, but I can enjoy both.

Good luck on your tour, Alex. I'll be following you and will be interested to hear how it goes. I read about Silver Daggar and it sounds interesting.

Didn't watch either of the IT movies though I read the book long ago.

Roland Clarke said...

Interesting article, Ronel - and great memories, although I read more of the Marvel titles. I was a fan of Namor the Sub-Mariner - the Marvel equivalent. Yet to feature in a movie, although that may be in the pipeline. I enjoyed Aquaman amd have Wonder Woman, which was even better than expected.

Good luck with getting the new release promoted and sold, Alex.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I was so angry at the changes they made in Chapter One (taking away Bev and Mike's roles and making them cheap caricatures) that I won't be watching Chapter Two. I still love the original miniseries, in spite of its flaws.

Really enjoyed Ronel's post. As a kid, my favourite superhero was always Spiderman.