October and November 2022 Wrap Up

Since I only read one book in October I decided to combine the October and November wrap ups. For both months I read five books. In terms of watching tv and movies the only thing I remember watching was some documentaries and YouTube videos.

Books:

In October I decided to start a reread of the Locked Tomb series so that I remember more when I got to Nona the Ninth which I still haven’t read but I did finish rereading Gideon the Ninth in October. Gideon is the first book in the Locked Tomb series that focuses on space necromancers who are trying to become more powerful to help the emperor. I still loved this book and I have a full review already posted.

The first book that I read in November was Lirael by Garth Nix. This is the squeal to Sabriel and technically a reread for me but the last time I read it was years ago. Lirael focuses on Lirael who is a daughter of the Clayr but she has never gained to sight which allows the Clayr to see some aspects of the future. She ends up taking up a mission to stop the return of an ancient evil along with Sabriel’s son Sam, who is believed to be the next Abhorsen. While I enjoyed the book overall I don’t love it in comparison to Sabriel and I would have preferred that the book didn’t switch perspectives between Lirael and Sam.

Campfire Stories: Tales from America’s National Parks by Dave and Ilyssa Kyu is what it say it is. This is a book that features short stories and experts of Tales from different National Parks that could be told around a campfire. I liked the concept of this book but was not a big fan of most of the stories.

Paperback Crush by Gabrielle Moss is a nonfiction book about the paperback teen and preteen books from the 80s and 90s. As someone who grew up on some of these books I liked reading about how these stories came to be and the history of the genre.

Queen’s Peril by EK Johnston is a Star Wars novel focuses on Padme as she becomes Queen of Naboo and the events of The Phantom Menace movie. I loved the introduction of the Handmaidens and how that system works but I wish we got more of Padme’s thoughts and emotions.

Book Review: Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire

Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire is a companion book to Middlegame and the second book in the Alchemical Journeys Series. We follow Melanie and Harry as they must become the holders of Winter and Summer if they want to stay alive and together. Melanie’s father at one point tried to gain control over winter but failed and end up causing Melanie to be chronically ill. While different from Middlegame this book works with the same concepts and is set in the same world. Roger and Doger from Middlegame make a brief appearance which shows us where they are now and their current plans.

While I enjoyed Seasonal Fears I didn’t love it like I did Middlegame. It took while for me to connect with Melanie and Harry unlike how quickly I liked Roger and Doger. I feel like this was because we see Roger and Doger throughout their childhood where as with Melaine and Harry we are not given as much before the plot kicks off. I also liked the villains and the conflict in Middlegame more as I felt like to had more at stake. The only thing I didn’t like at all in Seasonal Fears is the crazy sister that Melaine doesn’t know about but I overall liked this story.

Book Review: Turn Coat by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files #11)

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher is the eleventh book in the Dresden Files series. Since I read this a while ago I don’t a lot to say about it but I want to continue reviewing each book in the series and I hope to write the next review shortly after finishing the book.

In Turn Coat Morgan has been accused of treason and murder and come to Harry for help. We doe get a little more information on some of the darker forces that are in play when what really happened comes out at the end. I did enjoy Harry and Molly’s interaction with Morgan and all the information on how the White Council works. I can tell that this book is laying ground work for future books and I plan to continue with this series.

September 2022 Wrap Up

As I’ve mentioned before I’m currently playing catch up on posting abut I hope to be all caught up in the next month or so. In September I read six books in total and finished Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.

Books:

The first book I finished was Turn Coat by Jim Butcher which is the eleventh book in the Dresden Files series. In this one Morgan has been accused of treason and murder and comes to Harry for help. I really liked Harry’s and Molly’s interactions with Morgan and the information on how the White Council works. I can tell that this book is laying ground work for the next books in the series and possibly bigger events.

Lucky Girl by M. Rickert is a horror novella that takes place over multiple Christmases. At the first party one of the guests tells a story about Krampus that Ro uses as inspiration for a novel in the future. However, as time goes on Ro learns that horrors that have been hidden often come back. While I found this story to be creepy I expected more. It felt to me that most of the horror elements happened off page or were only implied. Also it claims to be a Krampus story but Krampus doesn’t really appear.

The Betrayal of Anne Frank by Rosemary Suillivan is a nonfiction book about the cold case investigation into who betrayed Anne Frank and her family. While an interesting concept the evidence to me is too circumstantial and I don’t believe or agree with the conclusion that the investigation team came to. However, this is a good book to look at in terms of who writes history, what history is being written, who has the power in writing history, and the biases of the writer.

Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire is a companion book to Middlegame and the second book in the Alchemical Journeys series. We follow Melaine and Harry as they must become the holders of Winter and Summer if they want to stay alive and with each other. Melaine’s father attempted to gain control over winter before she was born but ended up causing her to be chronically ill for her whole life. While different from Middlegame it works with the same concepts and is set in the same world. Overall I enjoyed Seasonal Fears but not like how I loved Middlegame. I do plan to have a full review posted in a few weeks.

Breakable Things by Katie Wismer is a poetry collection. While I’m not a huge fan of poetry Katie’s speaks to me. This one focuses on those small things in life that we often take for granted but end up being important.

Lore Olympus Volume One by Rachel Smythe is the physical collection of the web comic series. This follows Hades and Persephone in the modern age. This was my first time reading this story and I loved it.

Video Games:

I also finished my play though of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. This is a turn based tactics/adventure game that includes both Mario characters and the Rabbids as the travel though the Mushroom Kingdom to defeat corrupted Rabbids and make sure the world is fine. I had a lot fun with this game and think that most people would have fun playing it.

August 2022 Wrap Up

As I mentioned before I got very busy which caused me to get behind on posts, so I’m currently playing catchup. In August I read three books, watched several things, and finished Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory.

Books:

The first book I finished was Babel by R.F. Kuang which is a stand alone adult historical fantasy. The story follows Robin Swift, boy from Canton, who is brought to London to attend Oxford’s Royal Institute of Translation know as Babel. I received an early copy from NetGalley and I have a full review posted as well. Overall, I enjoyed this book but it does deal with racism and colonialism as well as other heavy topics which at the time put me into a bit of a reading slump.

The next book I read was Sinkable: Obsession, the Deep Sea, and the Shipwreck of the Titanic by Daniel Stone. This is a nonfiction book about the general obsession with the wreck of the Titanic and the many people that wanted to and thought it was possible to raise the ship. The focus is on Doug Woolley who claims to be the owner of the wreck and his many ideas on how the Titanic could be raised. This is not what I was expecting when I started reading this book as I went in knowing it was about the Titanic but that was it however its an interesting story that is not told about those who where searching for Titanic over the years and how obsession plays a role.

The last book I read this month was For The Throne by Hannah F. Whitten. This is the sequel to For The Wolf and continues the story of Red and Neve following the ending of the pervious book. This only focuses the story more on Neve who is now trapped in the Shadowlands while her sister Red tries to find a way to bring her back. While I like the story I much prefer Red as a protagonist and didn’t like how much the focus shifted to Neve however I like this different take on stories inspired by fairy tales.

Movies/TV Shows:

During August I started and finished the Netflix Resident Evil series which is a new live action adaptation that is set in a new universe but does claim to have the video games as the back story which really doesn’t work that well. The Resident Evil movies staring Milla Jovovich I consider guilty pleasure movies and I wasn’t expecting anything great out of this new series but its worse than I was expecting. The only thing I liked was telling the story in two timelines but I felt like Jade as the main character was the worst choice as she is not likeable at all and most of the things that happen are her fault. Netflix has since canceled the show and I’m not surprised.

I also watched Prey this month which is a movie in the Predator franchise set in the Great Plains in 1719. The story follows Naru, a Comanche warrior, who is trying to prove herself as a skilled hunter. She ends up having to protect herself and her people from one of the Predator’s who is on Earth hunting humans. I really loved this movie and I watched it in the Comanche dub as I have never watched a movie in Comanche before. I loved the atmosphere of this movie and how the Comanche language enhanced that experience.

Video Games:

The only video game that I finished was Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory which is the most recent Kingdom Hearts game (as of time of posting). This game is a rhythm action game that retells the Dark Seeker Saga with Kairi narrating the events and also continues Kairi’s story following the events of the Kingdom Hearts 3 Remind DCL. Kairi is going through her own heart and memories in attempt to find clues as to where Sora has disappeared to. I like the game even though I not a huge fan of rhythm games but I do wish that Kairi had more of a part in the main game play. I do plan to post a full review of this game.

Book Review: Small Favor by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files #10)

Small Favor by Jim Butcher is the tenth book in the Dresden Files series. This book follows Harry as he is working for Queen Mab who has called in a favor that he owes her and he is tasked with protecting John Marcone. This is one of the most action packed books so far in the series as it starts and doesn’t stop.

I read this back in July 2022 and I’m now playing catch up on post and reviews so I don’t remember much except that I liked this book and I seem to like the Dresden series more and more as I read them.

July 2022 Monthly Wrap Up

July was a petty good month for me. I was comfortable with what I was doing at work and I was allowed to listen to audio books while I was entering data so I read a lot this month. In total I read nine books and one short story and finally got around to watching The Batman.

Books:

Dooku Jedi Lost is the story of Count Dooku during his time as a Jedi and what caused him to leave. Originally a audio book/drama I read the scripts. While still good as an eBook and think I would have loved listing to this story. We follow Asajj who has been ordered to find Dooku’s sister while she learns about his past and what lead him to leave the Jedi. Not what I was expecting but I still liked the story overall. I do feel like fan ideas about Dooku made it a little harder to enjoy this story as I had preconceptions on who I thought Dooku was.

I also read the next two books in the Dresden Files White Night and Small Favor. White Night is the ninth book in the series and follows Harry as he tries to find the culprit to a series a murders targeting the magical practitioners in Chicago. Small Favor is the tenth book in the series and focuses on Queen Mab calling in a favor from Harry and all the deadly hijinks that ensue. I liked both of these books and plan to have full reviews posted soon.

The short story I read was also set in the world of the Dresden Files. Mike is a short story that shows us an interaction between Harry and his mechanic Mike who is the one that always fixes up the blue Beatle. Very short but it was nice to see a part of the universe that is mostly only talked about.

Boys, Book Clubs, and Other Bad Ideas is an anthology book where each story took the same ideas but told vastly different stories. Each story uses some form of a book club to center the story while also taking that idea in places that I didn’t expect. I liked all the stories but some I liked more than others.

The rest of the books I read this month were all nonfiction and mostly historical nonfiction. Of these I did rereads of Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs and From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty. Though this was my first time reading these books as audio books, which I feel like the one advantage of the audio books is that Caitlin reads them and you can here the love she has for her advocacy.

Titanic: A Very Deceiving Night by Tim Maltin is a nonfiction Titanic book that focuses on the scientific reasons behind the sinking of the Titanic. Specifically the how and why the lookouts didn’t see the iceberg until the ship was right on it. While this is interesting information its a very technical book at is not written with lay people in mind.

Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials by Marilynne K Roach is a nonfiction book about the Salem Witch Trials. The author uses six of the accused women to showcase and explain the crisis of Salem and how the witch trials happened. This book is very well researched with a great amount of historical detail but it is dense and at times boring. Best for fellow historians and those who want all the details.

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold is a nonfiction book about the women Jack the Ripper killed and the misconceptions that are now part of the popular myths. The focuses of this book is the women, who they were and the lives that they lead that has over time been distorted and overtaken by Jack the Ripper. This is a great book to learn the truth about these women.

Movies:

The only movie that I watched this month way The Batman. The Batman is the most recent DC Batman movie and has Robert Pattinson taking on the role of Batman. The story follows Batman, who has been fighting crime for two years, as a series of murders happen with a series of cryptic messages being left for Batman. It becomes clear that the villain is the Riddler but different from other interpretations. While I liked the movie and felt like the acting was good, it was a darker and more depressing take on Batman than I prefer. I feel like while Batman and most of his villains these days are darker characters there could be more levity in the movies with out it being too humorous.

Book Review: White Night by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files #9)

White Night is the ninth book in the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. This installment follows Harry as he investigates the killings of different Chicago magical practitioners. Something is killing those who can do magic but aren’t full wizards. Though some are just disappearances and others look like suicides’ at one scene a message is left for Harry which points to a serial killer and Thomas might be involved.

As the story progresses we find out that the killer is dressing like a warden of the White Council to instill fear as the war between the Red Court Vampires and the White Council continues and the plan to use Harry to tip the balance of the war. Thomas it turns out is protecting and hiding those who are being attacked and Marcone ends up helping out to protect the citizen of Chicago.

Like many other urban fantasy series the Dresden Files has a formula at this point but I find that is what makes urban fantasy enjoyable and allows for changes to be that much more powerful. At this point the Dresden Files has found its footing and just keeps getting better.

Book Review: Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files #8)

Proven Guilty is the eighth book in the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. This one follows Harry, who is now a warden of the White Council and has been tasked with looking into rumors of black magic being practiced in Chicago. When Molly, the daughter of Michael Charpenter, gets involved it seems like entities taking on the appearance of horror monsters are attacking people she knows and it turns out that she has been dabbling in magic.

Harry is trying to do the right thing in this one by wanting to protect Molly but also needing uphold the laws of magic. This story shows us that Harry has friends and not just colleagues and I definitely understand the animosity to the White Council based on how they are willing to kill those who don’t understand that there are laws of magic that can be broken. I love that Molly ends up becoming Harry’s apprentice but I’m glad that Butch didn’t write it as a romantic or sexual relationship as that would have caused me to stop reading the series.

At this point I’ve both physically read books in this series and some as audio books. I feel like the audio books are the way to go as James Marsters is an amazing narrator.

Book Review: Dead Beat by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files #7)

Dead Beat is the seventh book in the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. This one follows Harry as he must find the word of Kemmler to give to the vampire Mavra to keep Murphy safe. However, multiple people want the Word as it would grant the user power.

I find this book harder to summarize then other books in the series because the plot requires you to know events that have happened in the other books. That being said I do think that this is really where the series has comes into its own and is not bog down as some of the earlier books were. I would say that this is one of the funniest books in the series with Butter having a larger role.

This story brings in elements that were introduced in pervious book and its starting to become clear that there is something bigger going on in this world and Harry is currently on the outskirts of it. I loved the ending and I can’t help but think that Harry threating Mavra that he will use everything at his disposal if she threatens those he cares about again is going to come up in the future.