Show N' Read Saturday #5–PAN'S LABYRINTH

Prophecy of the Most Beautiful

by Diantha Jones 

Click here to check it out on Amazon.


A weekly meme hosted by Diantha Jones where we share and rate TV shows and movies we've seen, and the books that we have read or have now been inspired to read.

This week I watched:

Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro returns to the phantasmagorical cinema that defined such early fare as Cronos and The Devil's Backbone with this haunting fantasy-drama set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and detailing the strange journeys of an imaginative young girl who may be the mythical princess of an underground kingdom. 

Her mother, Carmen (Ariadna Gil), recently remarried to sadistic army captain Vidal (Sergi Lpez) and soon to bear the cruel military man's child, shy young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) is forced to entertain herself as her recently-formed family settles into their new home nestled deep in the Spanish countryside. 

As Ofelia's bed-ridden mother lies immobilized in anticipation of her forthcoming child and her high-ranking stepfather remains determined to fulfill the orders of General Francisco Franco to crush a nearby guerilla uprising, the young girl soon ventures into an elaborate stone labyrinth presided over by the mythical faun Pan (Doug Jones). 

Convinced by Pan that she is the lost princess of legend and that in order to return to her underground home she must complete a trio of life-threatening tasks, Ofelia sets out to reclaim her kingdom and return to her grieving father as Vidal's housekeeper Mercedes (Maribel Verd) and doctor (Alex Angulo) plot secretly on the surface to keep the revolution alive. (Rotten Tomatoes)

Pan's Labyrinth is one of those movies that you feel, at the beginning, is trying way too hard to blow your mind. By the end of the movie you realize, it did. I was totally not expecting this movie to be so complex and fascinating. The way del Toro blended a sort of gruesome fantasy with an equally gruesome reality was brillant. I was mesmerized the entire time and even having to read the subtitles (the movie is in Spanish) didn't ruin the experience for me. This is one of the movies I just had to own on DVD and every now and then, I pop it into my player and let it blow my mind again. I've turned many people on to Pan's Labyrinth, and even those who hate foreign films and hate reading subtitles even more, couldn't stop watching. It's fantastic!

My rating: 5/5 STARS
(I wish I could give it more!)

Books I've Read:

The Maze Runner by James Dashner (2009)
(The Maze Runner, #1)

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. 

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind. (Goodreads)

Maze Runner was an interesting read. I wasn't immediately taken with it, but I did enjoy its unique plot and the way Dashner disguised all the cursing the characters were doing. There is also a labyrinth in this book, and the only way for the Gladers to escape the Glade is to fight their way through it. As with every labyrinth adventure, you never know what to expect, and that's why I enjoyed this book.

My rating: 4/5 STARS

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan (2008)
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4)

When demonic cheerleaders invade his high school, Percy Jackson hurries to Camp Half Blood, from whence he and his demigod friends set out on a quest through the Labyrinth, while the war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near.

There aren't many of you that are not familiar with, or at least have heard of, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. If you haven't read the books, you've probably at least seen the movie (book is better, of course). After Harry Potter, it's one of the most loved series for young readers, and even though I'm sort of an old-head now, I love the PJ books, too. This one was one of my faves from the series, because I just love labyrinths (as my own book, Prophecy of the Setting Sunrise, demonstrates). I love the unpredictability of them and that around every corner your worst nightmare could be waiting for you. Riordan played this up really well, helping to steer us right into the series finale, The Last Olympian, which brought this awesome series to an epic conclusion.

My rating: 5/5 STARS

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