Saturday, April 21, 2018

Creature Feature: Release the Kraken

Creature Feature created by Michael is a feature that focuses on the wonderful world of fantasy, science fiction, and horror creatures. 


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Ah, the viral meme that started from a trailer to the 2010 film Clash of the Titans. So what exactly is a Kraken?! A squid, an octopus, a sea serpent.

Just like in test that tries to trick you, the correct answer is all of the above. The Kraken is from the Norse mythology though its beginnings may have originated from the Greek. Hence why the movie Clash of the Titans may have used the Kraken instead of the Greek equivalent of Cetus (large sea serpent).

The word kraken is Norwegian in origin,  which means an unhealthy animal or something twisted. A Kraken is usually a large squid in many of its interpretations. Though some have described it as a large octopus or just a large sea creature. The Kraken is most often described as a squid that is as large as an island, and that sailors have been able to walk on its body.

Just like the other sea creatures I have discussed in weeks before Sirens and Mermaids, Kraken have also been noted as being an actual sea monster.

The Kraken was first written as an actual creature in 1180 by King Sverre of Norway. There have been many accounts of the Kraken from sailors and others. The Swedish physician, botanist, and zoologist Carl Linnaeus included the Kraken in his introduction of the Linnaean Taxonomy in his first edition of Systema Naturae. 

According to Wikipedia, t
he Kraken has been used as an explanation for some of the sunken ships. Pierre Dénys de Montfort believed 10 British warships, including the captured French ship of the line Ville de Paris, which had mysteriously disappeared one night in 1782, must have been attacked and sunk by a Kraken. 

So is the Kraken real? Well, we know a squid is, but one as big as an island is pure fiction. Like many legends, the Kraken has grown in size and in the strength it posses. Sailors have probably "fish-tailed" this creature into this huge beast to gain more notoriety or attention with peers.

The Kraken has appeared in film, books, and games

Movies such as: 

Clash of the Titans PosterClash of the Titans PosterTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea PosterPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest PosterEye of the Beast PosterKraken: Tentacles of the Deep PosterHotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation PosterWrath of the Titans Poster

Books such as: 

Moby-Dick or, The WhaleTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages, #6)KrakenBeastThe Kraken WakesThe Iron Duke (Iron Seas, #1)Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep (Emily Windsnap, #2)

And video games such as: 

Related imageImage result for final fantasy 1Image result for final fantasy 3Related imageImage result for final fantasy 11 coverImage result for final fantasy 14 coverImage result for god of war 2 coverImage result for indiana jones and the emperor's tombRelated imageRelated image

And of course many many others.

One of the coolest scenes in a film with a Kraken has got to be near the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. You may know this part: 

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Review: Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake

Beyond a Darkened ShoreTitle: Beyond A Darkened Shore
Author: Jessica Leake 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date:  April 10th, 2018
Pages: 384
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Series:  Stand Alone
Source:  ARC
The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, Princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores.

The people of Mide have thankfully always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately, a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn, but the entire world.

Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle the two might have a chance to save their world.

With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love…even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.

I don't remember when I added this book but I remember finding the ARC and thought wow great cover, read the synopsis and thought well this sounds good. I really didn't know what to expect beyond a fantasy and a war between to countries. The book was easy to fall into and I loved. Great story, loveable characters, Irish myths weaved into the story. I absolutely adored this book.
Ciara is the Princes of Mide. Her kingdom, Éirinn, has been at war with the Northman for as long as she can remember. Ciara follows her men on the battlefield because of her ability to control minds. During the last battle, she comes face to face with the Northman leader and she cannot use her ability... she cannot penetrate his mind. So instead she captures him and imprisons him. Her father wants him dead, she does not, she uses her ability to keep him alive and her father banishes her. She and the leader of the Northman, Leif, escape and head on a journey where they must work together to defeat a common enemy, the giants. 

This book was exciting from beginning to end. I love how the magic and myth was weaved into the story of the Celtic and the Norse. I love both Celtic and Norse mythology. Bringing in the magic seemed like a natural thing. I mean for the time period - way back a long time ago- the mythology, the gods, and goddesses would have been a common thing. The book didn't feel mythical though. It felt historical and so to me, it felt real and authentic. I enjoy mythology but I am no expert int he field so if it was all done correctly or not, I wouldn't know but it felt like it was. The writing was beautiful and the story never hit a slow or dull point for me. In Historical Fantasies.... that is amazing for me. The world building and the pacing were just done to perfection. 

I adored both the main characters. Ciara was freaking amazing. She was kick ass for sure. I mean she feared nothing- but loving her enemy- and she just ran head on to any battle or enemy with no fear or hesitation. She felt she knew what needed to be done and she would do it for her kingdom, for her people. She also had a very soft side that I enjoyed watching develop more and more throughout the book. She was hardened because of the world she lived in of war and death. She has seen some horrific and traumatizing things. But she would not give up on her mission. Her one soft spot that she could not bury... her soft spot for Leif. She tried over and over and over again to push him away and not fall for this enemy. Well, that didn't work out so well for her. 

Lief. Oh, I think he is a favorite of mine. He was so kind and loyal and cute. Yes like a puppy dog but charming too. He truly cared for his family, his people, and of course Ciara. What started out as intrigue and curiosity turned into admiration, respect, and love. I mean Ciara is a pretty awesome girl and she knows her stuff. She is tough but still feminine and beautiful. She is equal in everything and he can't help but fall for her. 

The romance is sweet and slow burning. There is never any big explosion or even constant sparks. There is more of this peaceful comfort in their feelings. Its adoration and its a feeling of home. It's so sweet. I was on board with it the entire book. One of those books that made me keep thinking... if you don't kiss her I will punch you. 

A few other characters I liked. The Morrigan. I really enjoyed the moments she appeared in the story. Same with King Oden. Some of the kinsmen were enjoyable. There was also Aren, Lief's little brother... He was so freaking adorable. There were many characters, but really they had little scenes in the book, even when they were important to the story. 

One thing I actually enjoyed with this book that I don't normally enjoy were the action scenes. Most of the time they confuse me or bore me. The battles scenes in this book were written really well. I not only followed them but enjoyed them. Which is a good thing because mainly this book is battle scenes or planning for the battles. 

I just really enjoyed this book from beginning to end. If you enjoy mythology, historical fantasy, and a very sweet romance with highly loveable characters. Read this book. 

Just absolutely freaking loved it! 

Jessica Leake

Once upon a time, Jessica Leake was a psychotherapist, but even though she loved her clients, she couldn't stop writing. She wrote and wrote until she got her first book published, and then she wrote some more. In between all that writing she had four beautiful and hilarious children with her husband (best friend and man she's known since high school; also hilarious), moved back to her adopted hometown of Greenville, SC, built a chicken coop, and got a bunch of chickens that poop breakfast every morning. She also has two dogs to keep the chickens in line. (The dogs made her write that last bit.)

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is a hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Come join the fun and share all the book you received this week. 


Gone Rogue (Wires and Nerve, #2)

For Review:

AftermathMean GirlThe Deepest RootsDamselWhen We Caught Fire


Oliver TwistThe Swiss Family RobinsonGulliver's Travels


For review:
(I got this one from the author to review!)

The Assassin of Oz (The Twisted and the Brave, #2)


Umberland (Everland, #2)The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)Leviathan (Leviathan, #1)Rebel (Reboot, #2)

Free for Kindle (Click for link to get for free)
Wraith: (Book 1) by [Lawson, Angel]DEAD AGAIN: Paranormal and Urban Fantasy (The Whistler Series Book 1) by [Garrett, T.J.]Xoe Meyers Trilogy: Books 1-3: Xoe, Accidental Ashes, and Broken Beasts (Xoe Meyers Young Adult Fantasy/Horror Series Book 0) by [Roethle, Sara C.]

What did you get this week?

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