Fantastic Beasts Review & Premiere Experience

On the 15th of November, I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to attend the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them premiere, and it was fantastic.

Before I go into the details of the night and the film itself, I thought I’d give a brief description of what actually happens when you get tickets to a premiere. Having won these, I had no idea what to expect and the internet provided little help, so here’s a little run down of how Leicester Square premieres work for future reference.

15086387_1448567291838407_1598335041_n

I received my tickets only a few days prior to the premiere, and with it came a set of brief instructions. First off, we had an allocated gap of time of 45 minutes to arrive in. We decided to arrive later rather than earlier as the celebrities tend to walk down the carpet only later in the evening (and it turns out we were right- J.K Rowling was RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR EYES.) The instructions also allocated the cinema we were to see the film in; this was unexpected as I (rather naively) thought that everyone would watch the film in the same room. Turns out, not only are there different screens within the cinemas that people watch from, but also in different cinemas completely (seeing as Leicester Square is home to 3 massive cinemas). Finally, the instructions said ‘Dress code: smart’. Everyone looked great in dresses an suits, so if you ever get to go to a premiere, I say have fun and go all out!

Now as for what actually happens at the premiere. Upon arriving, we joined a queue of ticket winners to walk down the carpet. Yes, the RED CARPET. Or in this case, the blue one. If you’re like me, you’ll have no idea what to expect on the carpet. The key thing to know is that when you’re on the carpet, the security people will usher you down and make you keep walking. It will be over in 30 seconds, so milk it and take as many photos as possible (unless you’re important enough to walk down the rest of the carpet) (which I was not). Once we got inside the cinema, this was the moment to take photos. Movie posters provide excellent backdrops, and in this case there were special magic booths  and costumes from the movies- VERY EXCITING.

Now onto the film itself. I loved it. To keep this a spoiler-free zone, let me start off by saying that this didn’t feel like a Potter movie. I think it’s important to know, because going into this with false expectations could ruin your enjoyment of the film. It felt like something new, with a completely different story, setting, and a refreshing new cast of characters. From a cinematic point of view, I thought the CGI was fantastic, and the whole set of 1920’s New York was particularly impressive considering a lot of it was filmed in Liverpool. I think that the best thing about the film for me was the atmosphere and vibe it achieved; it felt natural and vibrant and exactly how it should be.

With regards to the story, there have been a mixed bunch of opinions. Fantastic Beasts goes to a place that is a lot darker than expected, particularly with Credence’s story line and the background threat of Grindewald. Some felt slightly let down by this aspect and weren’t convinced with where the next 4 films are going, but I personally am very excited to see where Rowling and Yates take this next- there is a wealth of wizarding history yet to be explored and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us!

 

The Bone Season Advocate + Song Rising Prelude!

Hi everyone!

Today I have some extremely exciting news to share- I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I have been selected to be a Bone Season Advocate!

Bone Season Advocate_Facebookbanner851X315.jpg

The Bone Season is an absolutely incredible fantasy series by Samantha Shannon. The world building is so complex yet well done, and has very quickly become one of my all time favourites. For those of you who are new to this world, here is a quick Goodreads synopsis to get you hooked;

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

There are currently two books in the series available, The Bone Season and The Mime Order whose Goodreads can be found here:

The third book in the series, The Song Rising, will be released in the UK on the 7th of March 2017, which you can preorder at the following sites:

Today, as an advocate, I am able to share with you a sneak peak of the opening of The Song Rising- how exciting!!

Click here for the PDF
Click here for the Word document

I hope you are all as pumped as I am for this book’s release!

-Anaïs 🙂

Song Rising_3D.jpg

A Court of Mist and Fury Review

So much to discuss. So little time. Let’s go.

As I am just letting all my thoughts flow out I can’t guarantee that there won’t be spoilers. Bottom line- I rated it 3 stars because I found  flaws in Sarah’s writing, and did not like the way characters were developed- in fact, I found a lot of them displayed traits that I could have done without. That being said, if you enjoy sky high levels of sexual tension, a swoon worthy love interest and an intense ending, this may just be the YA- no, NEW ADULT- book for you.  Come back when you’ve read it!

SPOILERS FROM HERE ONWARDS

I read A Court of Thorns and Roses back when it was released last year, and adored the intricate world that Maas built. I felt that the plot was well paced, I loved the idea of a beauty and the beast retelling, and Feyre was everything I wanted in a protagonist. Also, I was a year younger, I basically rated every YA a 5 stars, and my taste was, shall we say, not very refined. The point I’m trying to make is that a lot of my feelings on ACOTAR would be different had I read it later. Don’t get me wrong, I think Maas did what she does best and created this epic fantasy with so much room for exploration, which is why I love her Throne of Glass series so much. However, my issue with the ACOTAR series is the characters.

When reading ACOTAR, I completely fell for the character of Tamlin. I felt that he was charming, gorgeous, mysterious, you name the adjective, and ‘shipped’ Feylin like crazy *cringes*. So I’m sure you can imagine my shock when only a few chapters in, abusive undertones to their relationship could already be seen. This change in character, leading to Tamlin’s possessive hold on Feyre seemed so out of the blue to me that I had to do some research to see if I was the only one seeing this. Having watched several reviews of the 2 books and talking to friends, many have argued that hints of the abuse and darker side of Tamlin’s character are already apparent in ACOTAR, which is why I plan on rereading it very soon to see if my perception of the novel has changed.

That being said,  I think it is understandable that many like me did not expect this change in dynamics between Feyre and Tamlin, primarily because throughout the first book, Feyre is completely smitten for her fae lord. In fact, it could even be said that the entire plot of ACOTAR revolves around her love for him. She LITERALLY sacrifices her life, killing others in the process to protect his. Yep, I’d say they’re pretty  tight. (Also, let’s not forget all the very graphic sex a few pages into ACOMAF. Who’d have thought she’d change love interests so quickly.) I can completely respect Feyre’s decision to escape from Tamlin’s court after he tries to lock her up, and appreciate Maas giving her the independence to end the relationship. However, what I struggle to understand is the change of heart regarding Rhys. Recap to book 1, where Feyre seems to absolutely DESPISE Rhysand. She is disgusted at the way he flaunts her in front of Tamlin, and at the bond and deal she is forced into. This carries on into the beginning of ACOMAF, where once again we see Feyre’s disgust at having to spend a week with him. Yet when she makes the decision to join the Night Court permanently, she soon finds herself attached to Rhysand, High Lord, and epitome of all things good. What?? I just wish Feyre’s change of heart hadn’t been so sudden, and more of a gradual thing.

I get it- Rhysand had to act a certain way in the first book because Amarantha had him under her control, and Tamlin may be suffering from PTSD to explain for him being a total scumbag at the start of book 2, but I couldn’t help but feel like Maas was manipulating the reader to feel a certain way about her characters. Manipulating may sound like a strong word, but I truly felt that had she not written some of the things I am about to mention, I would have enjoyed this book so much more.

The most irritating aspect, character wise, was the endless comparisons made between Rhysand and Tamlin. I felt that at every point possible, Tamlin was depicted as a monster, even when unnecessary to the plot, if only to prove a point, whereas Rhys was put in a shining light. Examples of the comparisons, inspired by a goodreads review I read: Tamlin is obsessed with hierarchy but Rhys is only family driven; Tamlin wants to lock Feyre up but Rhys wants to set her free. In no way am I saying that Tamlin should be sympathised with, because what he does is clearly wrong. I just think that Maas writes about Rhys in this overwhelmingly positive light, and to me as a reader it felt forced. Sadly, I think this utter annihilation of a love interest is common in her books, and anyone who has read Crown of Midnight will know what I am referring to. To me, this is all screaming ‘SHIP FEYRE WITH RHYS’ and I think this change of heart in Feyre could have been dealt with in a more natural way. People break up all the time; the extent that was gone to to break the Feyre-Tamlin ship worked, but felt once again unnecessary. I’m sure that some people will have found that this was central to the plot and to Feyre’s character development, and I see where that opinion is coming from, but personally, this was not an enjoyable thing to read.

Nevertheless, I liked Rhysand in this book and I think this opinion is shared with the majority of people who read ACOMAF. He is nothing short of prince charming, impresses us all with his devotion to his people, is witty, and sweeps us all off our feet. However, there was a certain darkness to him  in ACOTAR which I would have loved to have seen explored; his character arc here fell a bit flat for me.

Something that made me a bit uncomfortable when reading were the contradictions I found in the text. Feyre leaves Tamlin because she hates being trapped, and Rhys provides this so called freedom that she desires. However, certain lines popped up where the exact same possessiveness could be seen- ‘she’s mine‘ – (it must be a fae lord thing?) Yes, you can say that this possessiveness is actually just his love and lust for Feyre coming through and yes, he obviously wants her to have freedom, but to that I’d argue that Tamlin did exactly the same in ACOTAR- excusing his want to control her with his love towards her. Of course, Rhys is written in such a way that we excuse this behaviour; when he does it it’s ok because he really loves her and is a great guy. Right? Well. It made me a little uncomfortable.

I am just about done with talking about the characters, and would like to briefly address the plot. As always, I loved the setting and the exploration of the different courts. Do I think it needed all 626 pages? Not so much. When I first finished, my first thoughts was that, hey, I didn’t like the characters but the plot was quite good. On further reflection, I think the aspect of the plot that drew me in was the building relationship between Rhys and Feyre, but then again, that’s more character development than plot. The plot itself felt a little feeble to make way for Feyre’s internal struggle- in essence, the story is: Feyre escapes from the abusive master/fiance, joins the Rhysand posse, they look for some kind of object, destroy a cauldron, something else, something to do with the king, Tamlin betrays someone- whAT? Basically, I felt that a lot of small things were happening, but weren’t memorable in themselves because the reader is made to be so focused on the characters. It was only the final twist with Tamlin’s betrayal where plot really took off and I found myself not being able to put the book down. I may be wrong about this, because I read this book when my exams were mid swing and so perhaps I wasn’t able to appreciate the storyline to its fullest. If so, apologies.

FINALLY the last thing I would like to talk about is the writing, technically speaking. If you follow me on twitter you will have seen my many tweets about the punctuation, which honestly just irritated me to no end. Basically, turn to any page of the novel and you will find an excess of ellipses and hyphens. Once I picked up on this about halfway through, I couldn’t stop noticing the extent to which these are used (Chapter 54, 113 hyphens and ellipses-… yes I counted). They are predominantly used in the heightened scenes, especially in dialogue, to create tension between characters. Let me just add my 2 cents-

ABUSING THE USE OF DASHES DOES NOT CREATE TENSION WHEN USED 1000000 TIMES.

I am surprised that editors did not cut down on these, because honestly, it just made the writing feel a bit sloppy. I think that this is a lot more common than you’d think- a few of my favourite books are made less great in my eyes because of this aspect and I wish writers would stop doing this.

I think I have just about touched all bases of the novel that I wanted to address. A little disclaimer moment- I am aware that a lot of people will disagree with me on this one because this book has a 4.77 on Goodreads and the majority of my twitter timeline seem to adore it. Though this review may make it seem like it, I did NOT hate this book. I will read the final in the trilogy, because I am interested to see where the characters go and to see the world explored. I enjoyed a lot of the side characters like Mor and Cassian, and loved hearing stories of their past. I think the reason that perhaps this review was so harsh was because I have heard numerous people say that this is one of the best YA books out there, as well as the best release of 2016 even though it’s only June. Honestly, I’m happy for you that you found a book you love so much, but I had to address the problems I saw in it because a lot of what I read didn’t sit right with me.

I hope you won’t see this review as a rant, or as a trashing of the book. I have tried to justify all my opinions and to keep things respectful, so would appreciate it if that were mutual.

End of review. Practically an essay. Man, writing is hard, so kudos to people like Sarah J Maas who can bang out a 600 page fantasy every year.

Please tell me your thoughts on the book, good or bad, as I would love to hear everyone’s opinions and why they felt that way. Also, if anything I said was factually incorrect, let me know and I can change it 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Anaïs

Lady Midnight Review

*Please be aware that while I do not give any direct spoilers, if you are very sensitive to being revealed anything about plot points and are not up to date with TMI or Lady Midnight, please come back when you have read them all!*

I am so excited to be reviewing Lady Midnight for you all today! As you all most likely know, Lady Midnight is the first instalment in a new series of Shadowhunter chronicles set 5 years after the events of City of Heavenly Fire. As with all fans of Cassandra Clare’s works, I went into this book with sky high expectations. I think that this in itself enhanced my reading experience of the book, which very well may have made me give it a higher rating than I would have if it were not written by Cassandra Clare. However, I will not reconsider my 5 star rating even after finding flaws in further deliberation- this book made me more excited than I have ever been for a new release, it kept me gripped, it introduced me to new characters I am now emotionally invested in, and overall I had such a fun time reading this. I could not have asked for anything more!

12837519_1213050295390109_364329895_o

Still not mentioning any spoilers, I will go into some issues I picked up on later, to keep this review critical and an accurate representation of my thoughts. Emma, surprisingly, was a character that I did not feel for (as oppose to Julian, Mark, Cristina etc.) I think a key reason for this is that I found her to be too similar to Jace- whilst I found all other characters to be refreshing and a delight to meet, I found that Emma held the very similar characteristics of being an impulsive, slightly arrogant, kick ass protagonist. These characteristics would not have bothered me so much had it not been for her continuing actions of going on missions and hunting down demons without consulting for help or thinking of the effect that her getting hurt would have on her Parabatai Julian. On the topic of Parabatai, this does not count as a spoiler because it is on the blurb and it becomes apparent basically as soon as the characters are introduced, I have to discuss Emma and Julian’s relationship. It is clearly forbidden, and though I felt that the focus on the clave laws dragged on a little too much for my liking, I definitely did feel for our two protagonists at this point. We seem to have a recurring theme of forbidden love throughout all of Cassandra Clare’s books, and though that may bother some, I look forward to seeing the development of their relationship. After all, having read the way in which Cassandra skillfully and beautifully delivered the forbidden loves of Clary and Jace, and Will and Tessa, I am sure she will not fail to make this a heartbreaking relationship in the rest of the series.

An element which I absolutely loved was the large family. Usually I dislike having such a large band of main characters as I find it difficult to follow and remember who everyone is and their individual characteristics, in this instance I had no issue with this. I think this is due to the way in which each family member had such a unique voice which allowed me to picture them all individually in my head. Mark may be my favourite of the lot; already following his brief appearance in COHF I was very eager to learn more. As he is entangled in the realm of fairies, I found myself wanting to find out more about the fae customs and his experiences on the Wild Hunt, especially after we were introduced to Kieran. (I won’t say anymore on that, don’t want to reveal any spoilers)! Julian hit a chord in me immediately after it was made clear how difficult his job is as he tries to hold the family together, especially after Mark returns and throws the family dynamics off balance. His love for all his siblings, but even more so for Emma was so touching and heart wrenching- job well done, Cassie! The plot itself was something new; like I previously mentioned, I loved the exploration of Seelie customs as I don’t think that was explored enough in the Mortal Instruments. I also was unable to see any of the plot twists or reveals coming- I think Cassie did a marvelous job of keeping that discreet until the very last moment!

If you were a fan of any other Shadowhunter chronicles, I would definitely pick this one up. Very little in my eyes has changed in the writing style, and I think that the characters are just as loveable as always. Also, whenever characters from the Mortal Instruments or Infernal Devices made an appearance I always jumped up and squealed- there’s nothing like seeing Clary and Jace being mentioned by others like they are celebrities!

Overall, I am so happy to have read this book. 5 out of 5 stars; despite any small flaws I found within the novel, I had a fantastic time reading this work of genius.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts on Lady Midnight.

Anaïs

Shadowhunters Ep. 2 & 3

So. Shadowhunters. What a rollercoaster. (Or a trainwreck- either analogy works for me.)

Here is the thing- myself and the majority of viewers by the sounds of things are trying so very hard to enjoy this show and to stick with it till the very end, but as each episode progresses, I am finding this task to be more and more difficult. In my review of the pilot I went to the extent to claim that I thought that the episode had delivered, but I think you will find that I have a very different stance on it now.

Time is precious and my list of issues of the show are long, so I will cut to the chase and say this- my biggest problem so far has been the representation of Isabelle. This may come as a surprise to some- that of all the horrific lines and sets I have chosen to pick out this aspect, but I think that the reason I have done this is because whilst reading the books, Izzy became one of my favourite YA heroines of all time. She was slick, skilled, blunt yet kind hearted, with many layers built around her character. Some of the most exhilarating scenes for me to read in the Mortal instruments were the ones where we read her in action, throwing around her whip and slaying demons. So why is the Isabelle in the show so far away from my ideal version of her?

In the opening episode I expressed my concerns that she was used as a distraction at the nightclub, and this was repeated in episode 3 where we see her using her sexuality to extract information from Meliorn. It is not her flirtatious personality that bothers me at all, as I think her confidence is a key aspect to her character, but it is that they are starting to represent her as someone who is only capable of being this so-called distraction. To the credit of Emeraude- in my opinion she has executed the lines and role she has been given as best she can, and once again, this is more of a problem within the directing and scripting departments.

The scripting continues to awe me with just how ridiculous some of the lines are. Delivery from the actors’ part has marginally improved, but I doubt even the most talented in the industry could say ”The only thing I’m doing tonight is you” without sounding like a pratt.

We were newly introduced to Camille and Raphael, both of which by this point I was expecting much less from. I was pleasantly surprised by Camille’s acting as I felt she portrayed the personality necessary to be convincing enough to the audience. Raphael similarly did a decent line delivery, but something about the pounds of make-up and CGI done with his face just put me off completely. I mean really. (Also I feel it is necessary to bring up how vampires can now LITERALLY FREEZE TIME and LITERALLY EXPLODE INTO GOLD DUST when they die. I am still struggling to get over this ridiculous addition.)

So where do we go on from here? Is there any hope for improvement? Is there any hope for a second season? At the rate the show is going, I personally would have said no, but apparently there is a substantial enough audience who seems pleased with where Shadowhunters is going, so it could really go either way. As for me, I will continue watching, not only with the hope that a miracle in the scripting may occur, but also because I find it very entertaining to write this kind of review (most likely due to the fact that every aspect of the show so far is laughable).

At this point, to all those who are highly disappointed that they have not seen a successful recreation of the books on to the screen, I send my condolences. We are all in the same boat here. But to that, I would also say that it is perhaps time to now give up on the notion that the show is following the structure of the Mortal Instruments (because major plot points have been revealed in the first couple hours of season 1), and to critique the episodes on an individual basis. I, personally, am treating Shadowhunters like the show ‘Pretty Little Liars’. They strayed from the books completely, and now are a highly successful show (God knows why that is) being aired by ABC and Netflix. Maybe Shadowhunters will grow into something wonderful but separate from the books which will be enjoyed by a wider audience, and they too will find success in many seasons to come. Maybe. (Probably not, but hey ho.)

Thank you for reading, let me know how you are finding the first few episodes!

– Anaïs

Shadowhunters Pilot

The highly anticipated Shadowhunters TV show premiered last night, and I had no choice but to share my thoughts with everyone! The expectations for me was similar to many other people’s I think, a mixture of ‘Ok better not get too excited in case it flops like the movie’ and secretly thinking ‘OH MY GOD IF THIS ISN’T THE BEST THING EVER I WILL CRY.’ Yup. Me too.

From the promos I have seen, I have felt very on the fence about Kat’s acting as Clary. Brows were raised at the beginning of the episode at just how high pitched her voice was, and it really felt like she was a more accurate portrayal of Clary as a 16 year old, rather than as 18. However, as the episode progressed I did find myself warming to her- there was the odd ‘cringe’ moment when she attempted a scream, but her chemistry with Simon was real enough to convince me that this could work. She delivered a few kick-ass lines (‘I’m not interested in your supernatural fight club) and I give my trust that she will improve as the series goes on. Also, I have heard that she is currently reading the Mortal Instruments, and she genuinely seems like a lovely person- it’s almost impossible for me not to warm to her.

Her chemistry with Jace on the other hand, was a little debatable. They did not get a lot of on screen action together, so I have not made a verdict yet, but in scenes together I just felt that some of the lines were delivered in a slightly stilted manner.

Alec and Izzy were my favourite; as in the book, they were beautiful yet deadly, and Em did a brilliant job at portraying Isabelle’s seductive slaying of demons. Magnus was another character who I am very curious to meet, yet I do not think he was in this episode enough for me to comment on him (although Harry looked fabulous as always.)

The CGI, which I think was a main concern for more than one person was a little over the top at times. I, for one, was not a fan of all the glittery purple stuff when shadowhunters portalled their way something, but from the SFX used to portray the demons, I do have hope that we will get more impressive effects yet to come.

As a pilot, I honestly do believe that they delivered. I am aware that a lot of people were not happy with the fact that they chose to manipulate the story line slightly, but that is to be expected when adapting a 6 book series into TV episodes. As a fan, I was satisfied and am excited to see where the next episode takes us. (also very very excited to see some Malec action any time soon)

Thank you very much for reading, feel free to leave your own thoughts and reactions to the premiere of Shadowhunters 😀

– Anaïs

The Abominable Bride

Sherlock, between its 3 seasons so few and far apart, has accumulated a growing string of fans and as a result, a ridiculous amount of pressure on the creators to create something more spectacular and jaw dropping with each new episode. As a result, when a christmas special was announced, many of us, knew that this would be the only bit of new Sherlock material from writers Steve Moffat and Mark Gatiss for at least another year, and so waited for The Abominable Bride with record breaking levels of anticipation, tinged with worry. How would this episode affect the new season? Would the Victorian setting lessen the magic of the show? Most importantly, how could we possibly deal with the return of John’s moustache?

I think it is safe too say that the majority of viewers (an astounding 37% of all television watchers in the UK were tuned in, which I think says something about the quality of the show) were by no means underwhelmed. Sure, some problems were picked out, but the overall reaction seemed to be amazement at how the writers had ‘done it again.’

A recurring theme I noticed and experienced myself was a certain level of confusion; it was not so much that we didn’t understand the plot, but more that we weren’t sure where they could possibly be going with this. I myself did not see the changing time periods aspect coming, but I am sure there was speculation that this would occur from other fans of the show. As the plot continued however, we were presented with this Inception like complex- was what we were seeing reality, or just another layer deeper within Sherlock’s mind palace? There was some criticism that the toying with what was real was a little much at times, but I found this to only sweeten my experience as a viewer.

Plot is so important when it comes to this show; the writers are dealing with this classic character but giving a fresh take in modern society. In this case we went back a few time periods, yet the freshness in the main characters remained constant for me, which is largely due to the supreme acting of the main cast. The reason so many of us felt satisfied coming out of this was that there were all the classic ingredients needed to make an episode of Sherlock successful. We were presented with a case, notably much darker (visually speaking) than others we have seen before. We then followed Sherlock with his deductions and as the episode progressed, pulled clues and came to our own conclusions. Most importantly, we were presented with a solution that didn’t leave too many unanswered questions. (Although it opened up about a million questions on how the bride’s suicide could be linked to Moriarty’s…)

Now for the characters. It brought such joy to have references to characters other than the main, and my personal favourite was the picture of Irene Adler so subtly thrown in there. But of course, the one that left our jaws all hanging was the return of Moriarty. I personally think that Andrew Scott does not have a very varied acting style, yet I firmly believe that he executes the character of Moriarty to perfection. I think it is very clear that the episode was teasing us at times, using the bride’s own doings and linking them to the question and line that has plagued us all- ‘Did you miss me?‘ I personally never believed that Moriarty could really have survived ‘blowing  his brains out’, and am glad that Sherlock also came to that conclusion- that it was not so much the person but the idea of Moriarty that still lived on. I cannot wait to see how they carry out that concept in Season 4!

As a fan, I was enthralled. When I sat back, and regarded the episode with a more critical eye, a few questions and worries popped up. I saw a tweet that described this episode to have ‘Spectre Syndrome’- if you are unaware, this is referring to the latest James Bond movie, which was accused of bringing too many elements and references from previous films to appease the fans. In many ways, I do agree with this statement, and think it could already be seen in Season 3 of Sherlock. As a result, it can be seen that the episodes are becoming less and less centred on solving cases, and more on exploring the complexity of Sherlock’s character. Of course, the ‘Superfan’ side of me loves this, yet I can’t help but miss the slightly different vibe we got from the first two series.

Now, we come to the most concerning part of the episode. We were all curious to see where the Victorian times setting would leave our female characters, in an environment of such oppression against them. Through John’s own sexism among other things, we were given the message that ‘SEXISM IS BAD’ and all that good stuff.

Then comes that one scene. The one with all the women. You know where I’m going with this.

There has been somewhat of a debate online as to whether this scene is actually sexist or whether it is being misinterpreted, but when Sherlock walked in and explained the concept of feminism to a room full of women, alarm bells were going off in my head. I think almost everyone associated the purple tunics which the women were wearing with that of the KKK, which begs the question- why was that particular costume needed? That and referring to this suffragette group as some sort of cult certainly did not add anything to the scene (for me at least), and I think I would be more at peace giving this episode such a high rating if that part had not been included.

However, overall, I enjoyed this episode more than I can express in words. It was satisfying, enough to hold us for another year, answered yet opened so many new questions, and overall, had the spirit  of a Sherlock episode which I adore so much. As to how I would rank it with other series, I don’t think that it can be compared in this way. I separate this Christmas special from the 3 series, though this may just be a personal preference.

Oh, and how could I possibly forget. Mycroft was so ridiculously brilliant- I cannot seem to get the image of him eating pie out of my head.

Thank you very much for reading, feel free to leave your own thoughts and reactions to this Christmas special. If one thing is for certain, it is that this will not be an episode to forget.

– Anaïs