Black Panther vs Okoye & Shuri?

BLACK PANTHER is truly spectacular in every way, a visual feast of vibrant colour, natural beauty and Afrofuturistic imaginings. The SFX/VFX are amazing and the music, oh the foot-stomping music… if they don’t have Kendrick Lamar’s OST on Spotify, I’m buying it!

Okoye, general of the Dora Milaje, played by the inspirational Danai Gurira.
Despite Marvel’s Black Panther being the supposed star of the movie, I’d be inclined to retitle it ‘Okoye‘, after the Dora Milaje general, (played with integrity and kickass warrior badness by Danai Gurira). Put plainly, she rocks every one of her scenes.
Shuri, clued-up tech geek and cheeky teen, played perfectly by Letitia Wright.

Alternatively, I’d be happy to name it after ‘Shuri‘, BP’s brilliant tech-geek younger sister, (portrayed with a perfect balance of cheekiness and savoir faire by Letitia Wright).

Black Panther/T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) was suitably regal and powerful, but I cared far less about his fate than Okoye and Shuri’s. Similarly, Michael B Jordan‘s portrayal of villain Erik Killmonger/N’Jadaka, the abandoned child turned black-ops-trained anarchist, left me unconvinced. Don’t get me wrong: both Boseman and Jordan delivered fine performances, but their characters, especially Killmonger’s, felt less than well-rounded within the scope of the movie.

Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Shuri (Letitia Wright) get their game on.

Compared to Killmonger, black market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue is a stand-out maniacal villain, played by Andy Serkis (aka Gollum). One small niggle: I can’t deny it bothered me to have the actors that played Gollum and Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) facing off. The Hobbit connection was too strong in my mind, and Martin Freeman’s acting style does not differ whether he’s portraying Bilbo, Dr John Watson (Sherlock) or here as CIA agent Everett Ross.

Ulysses Klaue vs Everett Ross, or is it Gollum vs Bilbo?

Black Panther has to be viewed on the big screen to fully appreciate its awesomeness, but I anticipate it will be in cinemas for quite some time.

Comments? Seen it? Let me know what you thought.

#LoveOzYA — Top 3 High School picks!

#LoveOzYA are running a fortnightly bloggers meme!

Each theme is designed to get YA readers thinking about their favourite Australian young adult books.

Here are my top 3 picks for the ‘High School’ theme! Send me yours and I’ll share them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


THE SIDEKICKS by Will Kostakis 

All Ryan, Harley and Miles had in common was Isaac. They lived different lives, had different interests and kept different secrets. But they shared the same best friend. They were sidekicks.

And now that Isaac’s gone, what does that make them?

Read my Goodreads review of The Sidekicks.


BLACK by Fleur Ferris

Ebony Marshall is in her final year of high school. Five months, two weeks and four days . . .  She can’t wait to leave the town where she’s known only as ‘Black’. Because of her name, of course. But for another reason, too.

Everyone says Black Marshall is cursed.

Three of her best friends have died in tragic accidents. When her date for the formal ends up in intensive care, something in quiet little Dainsfield starts to stir. Old secrets are revealed and terrifying new dangers emerge.

If only Black could put all the pieces together, she could work out who her real enemies are. Should she run for her life, or stay and fight?

Read my Goodreads review of Black.


THE THINGS I DIDN’T SAY by Kylie Fornasier 

I hate the label Selective Mutism – as if I choose not to speak, like a kid who refuses to eat broccoli.’

After losing her best friend that night, Piper Rhodes changes schools, determined that her final year will be different. She will be different. Then she meets West: school captain, star soccer player, the boy everyone talks about.

Despite her fear of losing everything all over again, they fall in love without Piper ever speaking one word to West. But can a love mapped by silence last?

Read my Goodreads review of The Things I Didn’t Say.

Send me your Top 3 High School YA picks by Australian authors and I’ll share them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


#LoveOzYABloggers is hosted by #LoveOzYA, a community led organisation dedicated to promoting Australian young adult literature. Keep up to date with all new Aussie YA releases with their monthly newsletter, or find out what’s happening with News and Events, or submit your own!



Meet Karen Tyrrell, Australian author of empowering books for children and adults.

After the success of Karen’s book Song Bird Superhero in 2016, written for ages 7-12, her fans were keen to read more of Song Bird’s adventures. So Karen delivered!

Author Karen Tyrrell with Song Bird 2

Here’s my Amazon review of The Battle of Bug World (Song Bird 2). Keep reading after the review to find out how you can WIN a copy of Song Bird 2!

Review of The Battle of Bug World (Song Bird 2) by Karen Tyrrell

My 10-yr old daughter loved the first Song Bird book.

She was so excited when I came home with Song Bird 2 that we sat down and read it together, on the spot!

The Battle of Bug World continues the adventures of Rosella Ava Bird aka superhero Song Bird. In Book 2, Song Bird faces freakish weather, the kidnapping of her sister Raven and mysteries such as the world’s disappearing bees. With friends Amy and Ben in tow, Song Bird descends into the depths of Bug World to rescue her sister and save Earth from climate change and global disaster.

My daughter loved Amy’s supercharged wheelchair, full of surprise features! The support and care the three friends provided each other during their adventures was wonderful, and we both felt sad for Rosella and her parents as they struggled with Raven’s disappearance. One of the highlights for us was the appearance of the Queen Bee and all the facts we learned about bee colonies and communication.

If you enjoyed Song Bird, you’ll love Song Bird 2. My daughter said to me this morning, ‘I can’t wait for Song Bird 3!’


Leave a comment on this blog post, and you could win copies of Song Bird 2, signed artwork  and a children’s book assessment.

Wonder Woman – Amazon Warriors Are No Legend

Gal Gadot stars as DC Comics’ Wonder Woman, aka Amazon princess Diana of Themiscyra.

Today marks the Australian movie release of Wonder Woman, aka Diana Prince, aka Princess Diana of Themiscyra of Amazon royalty. Though Amazons have long formed the subject of legends, historians have now found considerable evidence that female tribal warriors known as Ἀμαζόνες (Amazones) existed.

The Amazon tribes were most likely located in Anatolia (now Turkey). Many myths surround them, including the account by Marcus Justinus that they cut or burned off their right breasts to assist their archery (a- (ἀ-) and mazos (μαζός), ‘without breast’). However, Greek art depicts the Amazons with both breasts, and other derivations of the name Amazons have been suggested e.g. ‘all women’ or ‘manless, without husbands.’

In Greek myth the Amazons were known as an all-female group of fearsome warriors who ‘fight like men’ (Homer’s Iliad), prone to invading surrounding lands. They were said to keep only their female children, returning the boys to their fathers (of the neighbouring Gargarean male tribe) or killing them. Some accounts record that they kept male prisoners of war as slaves, visiting them only when they wished to become pregnant.

Famous Amazons include Queen Hippolyta, whose girdle Herakles (Hercules) stole for his ninth Labour. Amazon Queen Penthesilea fought against the Greeks during the Trojan War but was slain by the hero and demi-god Achilles. But after today’s movie release, perhaps the best-known member of Amazon royalty will be DC Comics’ Wonder Woman.  Long may she reign!

For more information on the Amazons, try the following links:

To GoT or not: fear, empathy & Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Season OneGame of Thrones. A controversial HBO series of legendary brilliance, so popular it’s achieved the status of most pirated TV show of all time. Over the past six years, I’ve stalked GoT silently through articles and word of mouth, always intrigued, never committing. Why? Because I’m scared. Yep, mock me, oh diehard GoT fans, but as I sit here with Season One in my hot little hands, my stomach’s as twisted as Ramsay Snow’s psyche.

Being a lover of things fantastical, the premise of the show appeals to me in spades. The problem is, gore and cruelty affect me in bizarre ways. It’s not fear as such, it’s a physiological reaction. Call it deep empathy, or borderline mirror-touch synesthesia, but when it comes to spurting wounds, intricate torture or graphic dismemberment, I’m a wreck. My head hurts, my guts churn and I feel shaky for days. I’ve walked out of movies like The Silence of the Lambs and Se7en because I couldn’t handle the content. Yet I’ve then read the book or detailed synopsis and watched those same films on DVD with a handy cushion and my finger on the Pause button. Why? Because despite my body’s reactions, they’re great movies. Horrifying, yes, but thought-provoking, well-acted, memorable and gripping.

Daenerys Targaryen and dragonOK, I hear you say, watch GoT with your cushion-censor. Hide behind the sofa, Dr Who style, and go for it. Here’s the next problem: GoT isn’t a 2-hour movie. From everything I’ve heard, it’s hour upon hour of physical and sexual sadism. Some eps will be worse than others, no doubt, and time-poor me is reluctant to commit to hours of viewing, invest in the experience and then decide I can’t hack it.

But I’m not all mouse. The feisty part of me yells: up yours, empathy. Freaky and macabre gets my vote: The X Files, Twin Peaks and Carnivale (now that show was messed up) are among my favourite twisted forays. Not to mention the persistent encouragement from friends desperate to discuss plot points: ‘You HAVE to watch it’, or ‘The gore isn’t that bad’, and I know they’re probably right.

So give me Emilia Clarke and her glorious dragons. Give me Sean Bean with greatsword and trademark Yorkshire drawl. I’ve made my decision, I want in.

At least I think I do. Do I?