Overview: Ancient China is under attack and Mulan’s already battle worn father is drafted into the army again. Foregoing her duty to marry a man of great honor, she cuts her hair, dons her father’s armor and with the help of her ancestral guardian, she joins the army. Under the name Ping, she trains to become a warrior and defeat the Hun’s. Once her captain is certain the troops are ready, they set out to meet his father and instead find a burning village and his father dead. Following the Hun’s path, there is an epic battle where Mulan saves the day. However, she is struck in the chest and her secret is out. Her ruse is one punishable by death, but as she saved her captain’s life, he spares hers and leaves her on the mountain. Not quite as dead as they seem, the Hun’s pop out of the deep snow and head for the capital. Mulan observes this and heads off to warn her friends. They do not believe her, because she is a woman and are attacked. The emperor is taken hostage as everyone is sealed out of the palace. Using skills taught in training, Mulan gussies up the boys as concubines and sneaks in. Underestimating them, the guards are quickly disarmed and the emperor is saved. Mulan kills the leader of the huns and brings great honor to her family.
Opinion: This is the second Disney movie where the girl doesn’t have to be rescued by the man. In 1995, the first Disney Princess movie to do this was Pocahontas (Mulan came out three years later), before this girls were being taught that they had to be rescued by a man in order to survive. Mulan taught us that we could be just as strong and independent as men. Mulan also teaches us that no matter what the laws are, you should always do what is right. Her father was slightly disabled and would not survive another war, but because he had no son the honor of fighting was on him. Mulan felt it was right to take his place, but that would never had been allowed in this time period.
Favorite song is “Make a Man” where Shang is singing about making men out of the worthless boys he was sent to train.
“Honor to Us All” gives great insight to the time period and what the expectations were of women.
Overview: Two families in an apartment building next to a set of train tracks. This building has a bad reputation, so bad even the police won’t go near it. At 3 am every night someone comes to the doors of these two families and terrorizes them. Upon first moving in, the shifty manager warned them not to be up at that time. No matter what happens do not be up at that time, nor open the door. People start going missing, and the sounds of trains passing become the only constant in their lives. The nightly activities start to come to a head when the sister of one of the families arrives in search of them. As she digs deep into the history of the building and train tracks, she is horrified by what she finds and the possible fate of her family.
Opinion: This ghost story was recommended to me by my aunt. I love ghost stories and jump on the story. At first I didn’t care for it because it was confusing. Aside from trying to set up a spooky story, the prologue has nothing to do with the rest of the book. Even when I thought the author would tie up loose ends at the end of the book, she fails. Then the chapters go back and forth from one point of view to another without any heads up at all. Then once you get used to it by chapters, the author starts changing perspective in the middle of the chapters.
Now the idea of the whole story seems very close to the movie 13 Ghosts, good movie but sadly did poorly in box office. Infrasonics create a disruption in the veil between this world and the next. These infrasonic waves are being created by the vibrations from the train and absorbed by the building. Allowing the veil to thin and ghosts to come through. This relates to the movie because a glass house is created by a mad man, with a machine inside that requires 13 specific ghosts to charge it and bring the mad man back to life. Which is similar to what someone in the building is trying to do.
There were also some inconsistencies in timing and things happening. I will say the ending was good, simply because you are not quite sure as to who all survived and who didn’t.
Recommend: With the information I’ve given, yes. See if there is something I missed.