Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Piotrek: Guardians of the Galaxy came out before we started this blog, so I will start with some praise for Volume 1. It is one of my favourite MCU movies, definitely one that made me laugh most (remember, Deadpool is part of the Fox’s side of Marvel). Guardians had superb soundtrack, great team of characters that really worked together, extremely entertaining plot and it took the MCU to the space, introducing characters and places that will be important for the culmination that Infinity War needs to be. It was all put together so well I had no problem with slight inconsequences and a weak villain. And it gave us Groot 😉

Volume 2 is even better. Not as fresh, but seamless, within the framework of its genre – kind of perfect. It’s very different from Logan, but both these movies prove to me that superhero genre matured to the point where it deserves to dominate cinemas. If it all goes downhill from here, I’ll be happy to re-watch what we already have.


Ola: Yes indeed, Guardians vol. 2 seem to be even better than their predecessor, and that is a feat in itself, as no. 1 was an awesome romp through the adventure and SF genres, with an added secret ingredient – family dramedy :). This time around there’s much more of family drama, and – surprisingly – of SF. A great, complicated not-entirely-villain with the rugged, trustworthy face of Kurt Russel makes for a compelling counterpart to the already established team of the Guardians, and the chemistry between the protagonists takes this movie far beyond what we usually expect from movies based on comic books – or at least MCU.

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Joe Abercrombie, The Heroes (2011)

Piotrek: Two armies march to battle. Black Dow’s Northmen and three divisions of Lord Marshal Kroy’s Union soldiers. They meet and fight for three days, and 500 pages, upon a river, next to a small town of Osrung and a famous hill called The Heroes.


For a teenage me that would be the good parts distilled. Like what the little boy wanted to hear from his grandpa instead of all the talking and kissing and other boring stuff.


Oh no, no it isn’t. It’s a fighting book. But not about glorious adventures of dashing heroes. It’s about the blood and piss and human stupidity. With very little magic it’s basically a detailed depiction of a fictional battle between Vikings and an early Renaissance army getting medieval on each other.

Ola: Very much a fighting book; nothing less and nothing more. And it’s not even about a whole war, just about one, maybe not even the most important incident, of this war. It’s Abercrombie at his best, reveling in gore and misery, depicting the primitive, intimate and brutal human fighting in all its terrible glory.

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Logan (2017)

Piotrek: Times are good for comic book fans. Old stuff is easily available, new things are often good, and movies/tv… our genre is probably the strongest one today, with so much being done, everyone can find something nice. Solid stories, visual experiments (Dr Strange, Legion!), profane (Deadpool) and civil (Guardians) comedies… and now Logan.

Ola: The newest instalment in XXth Century Fox X-Men franchise is a story loosely based on the premise of Old Man Logan, one of the most famous graphic novels about Wolverine. It features a post-apocalyptic near future, where United States are in turmoil, symbolized by the absence of the Statue of Liberty, regular institutions such as police or National Guard or medical help no longer work, and the world once again becomes an arena of fight between the weak and the strong. The mutant gene has been suppressed; superheroes are no longer around; and those who stayed behind are not what they used to be.


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The Dresden Files – Cooperative Card Game

I Dresden Files

Piotrek: Last week we met with a friend of the Re-Enchantment to play a few games of Dresden Files: Cooperative Card Game, a new game I acquired through Kickstarter. It was a very nice experience and I would highly recommend the game to everyone. It looks great, it is quick – 30-minute claim from the box is not entirely unrealistic, though I’d say 45 minutes are more likely. And it’s Harry Dresden, done right. It’s not only in the art, the spirit of Harry is present in game’s mechanics, and personalities of the characters are recognizable in their decks.


So, first things first… Dresden Files. The most famous urban fantasy series, probably, although Anita Blake might be even more influential (and almost a decade older). So, maybe the most famous urban fantasy series that does not deteriorate into were-porn ;). And Jim Butcher is a very popular figure, friendly and eager to interact with his fans. Will it stay that way, if he continues to publish mediocre distractions and not long-awaited Harry Dresden novels? Remains to be seen 😀 Right now we had two years without new Harry and I am increasingly annoyed.

Ola: The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher is an urban fantasy/mystery series set in contemporary Chicago, where wizards, werewolves, vampires of many rivalling courts, faeries, monsters and demons compete for power. Of course, magic is still discredited, but the underworld of the supernatural seems on the verge of bursting out in the open and threatening the current structure of societies. The series, started in 2000, is now 15 novels long, with a number of short stories, a TV series and several graphic novels on the side. The series became itself a source of geek references, as evidenced in Aaronovitch’s series ;).

Piotrek: We haven’t reviewed Butcher’s series so far, but it’s been mentioned regularly, as a standard against which other UF series are measured, and usually they fail. For me, it’s not great literature, but extremely cool read, sometimes guilty pleasure. The amount of geeky references, extremely likeable characters, humour… lots and lots to like, and written by a very able writer who usually knows when to stop. Dresden Files are everything Iron Druid Chronicles aren’t, for Butcher seems to know the value of restraint, even when (spoiler!) he sends Harry to fight on an undead dinosaur in one of the coolest showdowns of the series.

How cool is Harry? He plays table-top RPG, that’s how cool he is! Sarcastic, genre savvy part-wizard, part-noir detective that grows from novel to novel, collecting friends and enemies while the intrigues go bigger and bigger, and we slowly learn about the Big Picture. Butcher’s mastery is, for me, two-fold. First, he creates extremely readable books. Secondly, he keeps the series interesting, avoids most traps  by letting the characters, and stakes, grow. He’s a master, and Dresden Files might be the pinnacle of the genre that seems to be increasingly dominated by paranormal romance. Although everyone I know, including myself, complains about the way it start. First books were far from perfect.

Ola: Well, I admit, I had a hard time getting into the Dresden Files. It clicked for me only in the fourth book 😉 So if not for a period of several days of convalescence with limited access to books – limited to Dresden Files, exactly – I would be sorely tempted not to continue reading after the first three instalments 😉 And I would miss out a lot – for Dresden Files is a type of series that gets better with each next book (well, almost without exception ;)).

Rodzyn: Last year, following Piotrek’s recommendation, I’ve picked up on Dresden Files. Having been so far around –for most part – around “proper” fantasy genre rather than its Urban branch (apart from Gaiman’s works), Butcher’s novels seemed like a nice interlude from my usual ‘to read’ list. It seems now that I love that kind of lightweight distractions for the reasons stated above by RotW Authors :). 

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2. Blog Birthday!

Yesterday was our blog’s 2. birthday. Yay!


212 posts, first few in Polish, the rest in English, most of which were reviews of books, movies, TV series, graphic novels, and games… A bit of musings and a good deal of tributes to the gone masters of the genres, sadly. Add to it hundreds of comments and over 4 000 visitors  – honestly, unexpectedly big numbers both, as the blog was started without any real ambitions of attracting wider audience. But here we are, and we’re grateful! 🙂 Thank you all very much for visiting, sharing, and, in essence – co-creating Re-enchantment of the World!


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Ben Aaronovitch, Foxglove Summer

foxglove summer
 To już piąte spotkanie z Peterem Grantem, londyńskim policjantem zadłużonym po uszy u magicznie uświadomionego Newtona. Mamy więc już całkiem niezłe rozeznanie, czym jest magia i nauka w świecie Aaronovitcha, mamy solidnie rozwinięte postacie, których część obdarzona jest wyjątkowo bogatą przeszłością, a część – w tym sam Grant – równie  niezwykle rozbudowaną rodziną. Mamy również określone oczekiwania co do kolejnej części serii – a o tym, dlaczego akurat ten fakt jest istotny, powiem za chwilę.

W Foxglove Summer, w przeciwieństwie do poprzednich części, rozgrywających się w Londynie, tym razem opuszczamy miejskie klimaty i ruszamy na angielską prowincję. Zdecydowanie odmienną od polskich realiów. Żeby zilustrować to twierdzenie, posłużę się jednym przykładem: jedyny rolnik w całej książce posiada olbrzymią, w pełni zautomatyzowaną produkcję i jest świetnie sytuowanym gejem, pozostającym w trwałym, romantycznym i publicznym związku (mowa o oświadczynach) z lokalnym policjantem.

Pojawiają się i stare, i nowe postaci, ale dominujące jest poczucie pewnej przerwy, albo też zawieszenia, głównych wątków serii. Tak jak i główny bohater, tak i autor wydaje się odpoczywać na wakacjach. Akcja toczy się niespiesznie i dotyczy tym razem spraw lokalnych, czy wręcz rodzinnych. Poziom emocji, jakie wzbudza ona u czytelnika, jest jednak zaskakująco niski – raczej na poziomie reality show niż antycznych tragedii.  Nie będę zdradzać tu fabularnych rozwiązań, napiszę jednak, że zakończenie nieco rozczarowuje i w sumie sprawia wrażenie niezwykle pospiesznie sztukowanego. Teorię tę może potwierdzać przesuwana kilkakrotnie data premiery książki.

Jest w książce kilka przyjemnych geekowych smaczków, jest też kilka zabawnych momentów, akcja meandruje wolno niczym wiejskie strumyki w lecie, a atmosfera dusznego, gorącego lata towarzyszy nam przez cały czas. Foxglove Summer niewątpliwie czyta się przyjemnie, ale czegoś jednak brak.

Aaronovitch przyzwyczaił nas do wysokiego poziomu swojej londyńskiej serii. W tym kontekście piąta jej część rozczarowuje. Nie trzyma poziomu poprzednich książek, nie posuwa do przodu akcji zarysowanej w pozostałych częściach, wyklucza właściwie wszystkie najważniejsze postaci drugoplanowe (Faceless Man, Leslie, Nightingale), które dają znać, że żyją, wyłącznie przy pomocy smsów i krótkich rozmów telefonicznych. Wszystko to sprawia razem, że Foxglove Summer wydaje się bardziej jakimś spin-offem serii niż jej kluczowym elementem.

Ocena: 6,5/10