March 2022 Monthly Wrap Up

This month I only read three books but I also binged watched the last season of Doctor Who and finished Kingdom Hearts 2.

Books:

The first book I finished was Fullmetal Alchemist Fullmetal Edition volume Six by Hiromu Arakawa. I’m rereading the series as I buy and collect these editions. This volume starts setting up plot elements that will become majorly important later. I love Ling and how the character is introduced but this is a sad volume overall because of everything with Hughes.

Next I read Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston. This is a young adult Star Wars novel that follows Padme as she first become a Senator. I loved getting to see more of Padme and learning how exactly the decoy system worked. I do wish we had gotten a little bit more of Sabe as I was interested in the work the character was doing. Overall, I glad that through Star Wars novels that some of the women of the series are being more fleshed out and given more attention.

The last book I read this month was Why the Titanic was Doomed by Bryan Jackson which is a nonfiction book about the Titanic. I received an early review copy through Netgalley. This book details all the circumstances that came together and caused the sinking of the Titanic. Most of this information was stuff I already knew as an avid reader of nonfiction Titanic works. However, I was a little surprised that there was no mention of the coal bunker fire that many believe contributed to the sinking. Overall, this is a good book for those interested in the Titanic.

TV:

The only thing I really watched this month beside YouTube videos was the last season of Doctor Who. Doctor Who Flux was the most recent series of Doctor Who. I generally wait to watch Doctor Who when the season has finished airing as I haven’t been a big fan of the stories being told the last several years and if I want to finish it I have to binge watch it. I wanted to like this season and I did like some of the ideas but overall it felt rushed and liked there were too many story lines. I also watched the New Years special which I liked the take on a time loop but one that get shorter each loop.

Video Games:

I also finally finished playing Kingdom Hearts 2 and was able to continue the story of Sora and his friends. I love how the game play took what worked from the first game and add to it. I have a full review that goes more in-depth but know that I love the series and I’m working trough the next entries.

July 2021 Wrap Up

In July I read four books but I also watched a couple movies and finished Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. So overall, this was a good month for me.

Books:

Fan Fiction: A Mem-Noir: Inspired by True Events by Brent Spiner is a novel that fictionalizes Brent Spiner’s life with an added murder mystery/stalker plot during the time that he played Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The plot follows the mystery around someone who is obsessed with Data and is sending Brent threating letters which cause many hijinks to ensue. As someone who has been in different fandoms and has a history of reading fanfiction I thought that I would really like this. However, I didn’t connect to any of the humor as it was fairly crude and I’ve never been a fan of Real Person Fanfiction which this very much reminded me of. You can tell the Brent Spiner does love the Star Trek fandom and I feel like this book in no way makes fun of that but I don’t think he understands completely. For major Star Trek fans some might like this more than I did but I can also see some people hating it.

The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women by Nancy Marie Brown is a nonfiction historical book that focuses on the fact that new DNA evidence shows that the high status Viking warrior grave in Birka in fact belonged to a woman and many women during the Viking age where warriors. Brown weaves together archaeology, history, and literature to tell the possible story of this woman’s life and the other women who lived during this time. Viking history has never been a topic that I’ve read much about and most of the knowledge is more from popular culture. However, I loved how Brown wrote about these warrior women and what we can learn from both the archaeological/historical evidence as well as information pass down through literature and oral traditions.

Pomes for the End of the World by Katie Wismer is Wismer’s second poetry collection which has many of the same themes as The Sweetest Kind of Poison but also breaks away from relationships into becoming the person that you want to be. I’m not a huge poetry fan but I follow Katie Wismer on other platforms and want read both of her poetry collections. Overall, I like her approach and the topics that she focuses on.

The Night Country by Melissa Albert is the second book in the Hazel Wood series. This is a direct sequel that starts several months after the end of The Hazel Wood. Alice is back in the normal world and others from the Hinterland are here too. When something or someone starts killing people from the Hinterland, Alice must find a way to stop it and reconnect with Ellery who stayed in the Hinterland. Together they learn that often time worlds don’t end with a whimper. I almost considered not finishing this book for about the first half or so. I found the story very boring and I disliked most of the character this time. I liked the ending but overall did not enjoy reading this book.

Movies/TV Shows:

I’ve started watching more shows and movies lately but haven’t finished much yet. The first movie that I’ve watched in a long time was Deep Blue Sea 3. This is the second direct to video sequel for this series. It’s a shark killing/eating people movie that would fit very well on the SyFy channel. In Deep Blue Sea 2, a pharmaceutical billionaire is genetically enhancing Bull sharks and making them smarter. Bella the main shark is found to be pregnant and has serval babies. At the end of Deep Blue Sea 2, most of them are killed but Bella and a few other escape. In Deep Blue Sea 3, we follow a group of scientist that are studying the effects on climate change on Great White Sharks when another group appears trying to find the remaining sharks that escaped in the last movie. From their is mostly bad guys trying to kill everyone and all the sharks and the sharks eat most of the characters. These are not very good movies however I like to watch these types of movies when I want something mindless where I don’t have to focus on a plot.

Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is one of the animated Resident Evil movies that are connected to the events of the video game series. Though this was released on Netflix as a four part series it seem to me that it was originally intended as a movie. We follow Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield after a zombie attack on the White House while the investigate who is behind the attack. I don’t want to go much more into the story as the show is fairly short. While not the best Resident Evil story, if your a fan its something that you should at least check out.

Video Games:

The only game I finished this month was Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order which I also have a full review already posted. Set five years after Revenge of the Sith and the rise of the empire the story follows Cal Kestis a Jedi Padawan who has been hiding from the empire. At the beginning of the game he is found and must travel through the galaxy while being hunted by the Inquisitors while also trying to complete his training and possibly rebuild the Jedi Order. Overall, I had fun playing this game but there are still a lot glitches in the PlayStation 4 version of the game.

January 2021 Wrap Up

In January I read seven books including one comic and three manga. I also watched the Doctor Who New Years special and the LifeTime Mini Movie A Recipe in Seduction.

Books:

Beneath the Moon by Yoshi Yoshitani is a collection of retellings of different myths, legends, and stories from different culture that also come with beautiful illustrations. All of the art work was use for the Tarot of the Divine Deck. I loved the art and the stories but I wished some of them where a little longer.

Star Wars: Darth Vader Volume One is the fist volume in a comic book series following Darth Vader’s adventures working for the Empire and attempting to catch the Rebels while investigating the Emperor’s secrets following the events of A New Hope. I thought that I would like this comic series as I like most of the other Star Wars books that I’ve read. However, I like the premise of the story more then the story itself. Mostly I just found this boring.

Museum Mercenary: A Handbook for Independent Museum Professional by Rebecca Migdal is a nonfiction museum book focusing on how to be an independent professional/contractor in the museum field. I read museumology books to expand my know of the field and this would be a good resource for anyone in the field. This book contained plenty of useful information and made me realize that I don’t want to run my own business in this field.

Fullmetal Alchemist Fullmetal Edition Volumes 3 and 4 by Hiromu Arakawa. I’m collecting these editions and rereading the series at the same time. Volume 3 finishes off the Lab Five arc which ends in the death of one of my favorite characters but shows that there are bigger things at play then our main characters know. Volume 4 has the brothers going to see their teacher and confessing that they attempted to bring their mother back from the dead. Most of this volume is told in flashback but gives us more background on the Eric Brothers and why they did what they did.

Saiyuki Resurrected Edition volume one by Kazuya Minekura is the first volume of the collected editions of the Saiyuki manga. I’ve read all of the Saiyuki manga before but when I saw these editions I knew that I wanted them and decided to reread the series as I buy them. Saiyuki follows Sanzo, Goku, Gojyo, and Hakkai as they travel west to find out why the demons are attacking humans and to stop the resurrection of the demon king Gyumaoh. This story is based on the Chinese novel Journey to the West but as the author states “is the most ‘monkeyed’ around with” version. This first volume is mostly setting up the world and the characters through singular contained stories that only give hints to the larger plot and conflict the characters will encounter. I love this series and plan to continue rereading and collecting these editions.

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff is the second book in the Nevernight Trilogy which follows Mia learning to become an assassin and getting revenge on those who destroyed her family. This only focused mainly on Mia learning how the Red Church was involved in the death of her father and becoming a gladiatorial combatant to kill one of the men responsible. Though this book took awhile for me to read I loved where the story went and the ending made me so glad that I don’t have to wait for the next book and plan to read it soon. I have a full review posted as well.

Movies/TV:

A Recipe for Seduction is a LifeTime Mini Movie that was sponsored by KFC where Mario Lopez stars as Colonel Sanders. This is only 16 minutes long but still contains all the drama of a LifeTime romance movie. Colonel Sanders is hired as the new chef to this rich family that is in debt and the daughter who doesn’t like her current boyfriend falls in love with the chef. I watched this because the idea and commercial was something that I never though would exist. Its not a bad movie though a little cheesy, the acting is good but the plot moves so fast that you end up going what did I watch. If it sounds interesting I would suggest watching just because its so short.

I also watched this month the Doctor Who New Years Special Revolution of the Daleks. The past several years I’ve not been the biggest fan of Doctor Who and while I think this special was better I still had some issues with it. I do love any time they bring back Captain Jack Harkness and I loved his interactions is all the companions specifically Yaz. I also loved how Ryan and Graham’s story and character arcs came full circle. However, my two biggest problems was the politics and the Dalek story itself. Personally, I use movies, TV, and books to not have to think about politics and what’s happening in the world so I’m just not a fan when its added in. Especially with characters that feel like many of the politicians in power or have been in power recently. However, my bigger problem was with the Dalek story. I get that not all characters in Doctor Who, especially side ones, would know what a Dalek is by name but how do people not recognize them when they been on Earth so many times not even counting times is Classic Who. Also I not a fan of the “they will help/be good for security story” when I personally have trouble that people would accept things that look like a Dalek doing that. Overall, not a bad episode but not great. I hope the new season will be better and I wonder where Doctor Who as there are rumors that Jodie Whittaker will be leaving and I hope they get new writers.

TV Show Review: Black Summer

p16715506_b_v8_aaBlack Summer is a zombie TV show from Netflix that is a prequel to the events of Z Nation. Black Summer starts about six weeks after the start of the zombie apocalypse and focuses on Rose who is separated from her daughter, Anna, and a small group of survivors as they attempt to get Rose back to her daughter.

Though technically in the same world as Z Nation this show is much more realistic and more in line with our world today as people have yet to figure out how they will survive and live in this new world. The show is much shorter at the moment than Z Nation with only one season of eight thirty minute episodes but a second season is in the works.

Black Summer is a much slower show that focuses more on the interaction between people and how the world has change would effect people. Though Rose is essentially the main character because of the plot following her journey. The show does allow itself to give some focuses to other characters primarily Julius James, a criminal who is using the name Spears as it is the name of the guard who’s uniform he took. Also even though we can’t understand her I love the development given to Sun a Korean woman who can’t speak any English. Black Summer is very good at showing how those who can’t communicate with other members of the group or those with disabilities would survive or not in this new world. However, I wish Netflix had subtitled Sun’s lines as I think it would allow the audience to understand her better and maybe give us some information to her back story.

Overall, I like Z Nation more as a series but I do plan to watch the next season of Black Summer as I think that it will become a very good series in time.

TV Show Review: Z Nation

p15918390_b_v8_abZ Nation is a zombie TV show that aired for five seasons on Syfy which follows a group of survivors attempting to get the only known survivor of a zombie bite to a CDC lab in California. 

The series starts out three years into the zombie apocalypse where most humans have been killed and groups of survivors have figured out how to live in this world. Just before the world fell apart prison inmate Alvin Murphy was injected with an experimental zombie vaccine after which he was bitten eight time and did not turn it is believed that his blood holds the cure and the last hope for humanity. The series as a hole revolves around Murphy’s travels and a group of survivors looking to get him to help save the world.

In season one we are introduced to the main group lead by Lt. Roberta Warren who’s main focus become getting Murphy to California and the CDC. Citizen Z a NSA agent stuck at the Northern Light post in the Arctic Circle who guides the group through their journey and tries to figure out why different people are after Murphy. “Doc” a counselor and recovering drug addict who is the groups medic even though he is not really a doctor. “10K” a young man who is an amazing sniper and has vowed to kill 10,000 zombies. Addy Carver a young woman with a talent with radio equipment and uses a customized metal bat known as the Z Whacker. The main group stays mostly the same thorough the entire series with a few new character being add and some lost in each season.

The series starts out very much like its supost to be a very fun campy take on zombies and ridding on the fame of the Walking Dead. Though the series is pretty reduclus in how far zombies are taken and some story elements it does deal with emotional and hard topics while also trying to be as entertaing as possible. I didn’t love every season or epsiode but overall its an enjoyable show.  In the following paragraphs I will be giving a summary of each season which some spoliers will be included.

Season one is mostly just the group attempting to get Murphy to California and all the things and problems they encounter a long the way. Near the end of the season they met Dr. Kurian the creator of the zombie virus who wants to take Murphy with him and while Murphy escapes he triggers the launch of multiple nuclear weapons which turns this into a nuclear apocalypse not just a zombie one.

Season two starts with the group getting back together and attempting to find Murphy again. As the story progresses they run into a woman they had met before who is now pregnant with Murphy’s child. When the baby is born it becomes clear that because of the vaccine in Murphy’s blood and his mutation into a zombie/human hybrid that the baby is not fully human and Murphy finds a couple to leave the child, Lucy, with. At the end of the season they arrive in California and Murphy agrees to go to the CDC lab but not all is as it seems and Murphy has other plan for the future.

Season three is my least favorite of the entire series mostly because of 10K’s story line. This season starts with a two part movie episode introducing The Man, a villian, who will show up again and his connection to ZONA. However, the main story of season three is Murphy creating a cult of “blends” people who he has injected with his blood which he can then control, and Warren trying to figure out how they can stop Murphy and save humanity. Near the end they form a truce when they need to save Lucy from The Man and stop ZONA from getting her.

Season four starts two years after the end of season three where Warren was shot and infected by Murphy’s blood and they where both taken by ZONA. Warren and Murphy escape ZONA and meet back up with the rest of the group who are trying to get to Newmerica, a community that is trying to get the world back on track. However, Warren keeps having visions of the Black Rainbow and the destruction of the world so the group goes on a mission to stop it.

Season five is the last and at the moment final season of Z Nation. Following the ending of season four and the Black Rainbow, Doc, 10K, and Sarge, a newer member of the group, are leading other survivors to Newmerica while Murphy goes looking for Warren. The group meets up again after finding Newmerica and meeting George, an old friend of Warren’s. Because of the Black Rainbow the zombies don’t just walk some of them talk and understand what is going on. Which becomes the main conflict of the season what to do with the talkers and how will this change society going forward. The series ends with Murphy eating the brain of a scientist that figure out the cure and we are left to wonder what will happen next. There is enough loose ends for more season but Syfy did offically cancel the series and no one has pick it up.

March 2020 Wrap Up

In March I started reading more and doing other hobbies more as with the virus I’ve been at home more. I read six books in March which had been my best month so far this year.

Books:

36495876._SX318_Fullmetal Alchemist: Fullmetal Edition volume one by Hiromu Arakawa is the first volume of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series. This is a special hardcover edition that the publisher has started to release. The story follows brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric who are attempting to restore their bodies after trying to bring their mother back to life and failing. This series is a reread for me and I still love the story as much as the first time I read it. I’m reading each volume as I collect these editions.

45899240Monstress volume four by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda is a fantasy graphic novel that continues the story of Miaka and how she is connected to the demon who lives inside her. This volume gives the reader more information on Miaka’s past and where the major conflict is heading. I can’t wait for the rest of the story.

52186666._SX318_SY475_The Deep by Alma Katsu is a historical fiction with supernatural elements focusing on the Sinking of the Titanic. The story follows maid Annie Hebbley who survived the sinking and is working as a nurse on Titanic’s sister ship Britannic during World War I and her connection to soldier Mark Fletcher. I loved the concept of the story but felt that it switched perspectives too often for me to connect to the characters. I received this book from the publisher by winning a Goodreads contest and there is a full review on this blog and Goodreads.

33116011The Race to Save the Romanovs by Helen Rappaport in a historical nonfiction book about the different plan to possibly save the Romanov family and the ideas to get them out of Russia. While good I prefer historical books about the family directly than events that they didn’t have any control or input on so not my favorite book about the Romanovs. It would be a great resource for anyone studying this time period.

44660930._SY475_Five Nights at Freddy’s Fazbear Frights #1: Into the Pit by Scott Cawthon is the first in the series of Five Nights short story collections. All of the stories take place in the world of Five Nights at Freddy’s and show different elements to the previous books and game. All the stories are very creepy and good for teenagers. They remind me of R L Stine’s and Darren Shan’s series and books. As someone who is into the lore surrounding the games and story I do plan an reading the next books in the series.

26114463Nevernight by Jay Kristoff is the first book in an adult fantasy series following Mia Corvere to train to be an assassin and kill those who destroyed her family when she was a child.  I loved this book even though it took me quite a while to finish. The first hundred pages before getting to the Red Church are slow but it pick ups from there. I love Mia and Tric’s relationship and its one of the strongest parts of the book. I also have a full review posted.

TV Shows:

Series12Promo2(1)Doctor Who: I finished Doctor Who series twelve this month and I liked it much more than series eleven. At times it still didn’t feel like Doctor Who to me and I felt that there could have been more fun stories that didn’t need a message but I liked the dynamics between all the characters and the companions being fleshed out more. However, the Timeless Child story line was dumb and was not something that the series needed. The fact at the end of the series that it had no impact and nothing really changed meant that the writer had no reason to add it in. I do plan on watching the next series but I generally wait to binge watch it.

Movies:

downloadKong: Skull Island: I watched Kong: Skull Island because I heard that I wasn’t bad and I want some mindless entertainment one night. Though the plot isn’t all that interesting the acting is good and the visual effects are great. The ending sets up the idea that Kong and the other monsters like Godzilla all exist in the same world and I’m interested in where movies that these ideas.