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.

Movie Review: Jurassic World Dominion

Jurassic World Dominion is the last movie in the Jurassic World trilogy and it feels like the last movie that is going to be made for the Jurassic Park franchise. This was the first movie I’ve seen in theaters since February of 2020 so I had a great time going back to a movie theater.

The movie is set four years after Fallen Kingdom and the dinosaurs being released onto the main land. I initially thought that this movie would be more about the world learning to cope with dinosaurs being in the modern world. The company Biosyn now has a nature preserve for the dinosaurs and might be genetically engineering crops and locusts to control the food supply. At the same time Maisie Lockwood is being hunted because she is a clone and Blue, the raptor, has a baby without a male raptor. When Maisie and Blue’s baby are kidnapped Claire and Owen plan to rescue them. While that part of the plot is happening Malcolm has been working at Biosyn and contacts Dr. Sattler who also brings Dr. Grant to help expose what Biosyn is doing.

This is one of those movies that if you focus too much on the plot or the “science” your not going to like it but if you treat it like a fun action/popcorn movie I think you will enjoy it. The only things that I didn’t like is how they portrayed Biosyn’s CEO as an evil tech guy as it felt a little on the nose, and how Dr. Wu some form of redemption when he was very much portrayed as a villain in the pervious two movie and there is no explanation for the change of heart. However, I did love all the call backs to the original Jurassic Park movies and it feels like a good send off for the series. I liked the movie overall and I loved seeing some of the original actor come back.

June 2022 Monthly Wrap Up

As I mentioned in May’s wrap up post I’ve been very busy the last several months and have gotten behind on posting so the next couple of months I will be catching up. In June I was able to finish three books, watch a movie, and finish playing Kingdom Hearts 3. Everything in this wrap up will also have full review posts up at some point.

Books:

For books I was only getting through audio books at this time and in June that was the next three books that I needed to read in the Dresden Files: Blood Rites, Dead Bead, and Proven Guilty.

Blood Rites is the sixth book in the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Out of all the Dresden books I’ve read I disliked the set up of this one the most. Harry is contracted to protect the producer and cast of an adult film as a favor to Thomas, who is a White Court vampire. However, as the story goes on we find out things that both change Harry’s life and the path of the series.

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. I would say that this is one of the funniest books in the series with Butters having a larger role in this story. The story brings in elements that were introduced in other books and its starting to become clear that there is something bigger going on the Harry only currently on the outskirts of.

Proven Guilty is the eight book in the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. This one follows Harry, who is now a warden of the White Council and is being tasked to look into rumors that black magic is being practiced in Chicago. When Molly, the daughter of Michael Charpenter, gets involved it seems like entities taking of the look of horror monsters are attacking people she knows and it turns out she has been dabbling in magic. I love the fact that Molly becomes Harry’s apprentice but I’m very glad that Butcher didn’t write it as a romantic or sexual relationship as that would have caused me to stop reading the series.

Movies:

The only movie that I watched this month was Jurassic World Dominion and was the first movie I’ve seen in theaters since February of 2020. This is the last movie in the Jurassic World series and with how it has so many call backs to the earlier movies it works as a send off to the Jurassic Park series as a whole. This is one of those movies that if you think about the plot or the “science” involved its not a great movie but its a good action popcorn movie. I liked the movie overall and I loved seeing some of the originally actors come back.

Video Games:

This month I finally finished Kingdom Hearts 3 and the Remind DLC. The reason it took me so long to get to Kingdom Hearts 3 was that I wanted to play all the games in order and experience the series to the best of my ability. Kingdom Hearts 3 is a game for fans. You can play it without having played the others but you’re not going to understand all of the plot and the emotional moments are best if you have played the other games. I loved the game play and most of the plot but I’m not a huge fan of the ending. Overall, Kingdom Hearts 3 felt very melancholy to me. The Remind DCL is mostly there to better explain the ending and give some idea of where the series is planning to go next.

February 2022 Monthly Wrap Up

In February I read six books, most of them eBooks and started working my way though the next Kingdom Hearts games.

Books:

The first book I finished was Boys, Beast, and Men by Sam J Miller. I received a review copy from the publisher. This is a collection of short stories of primarily queer speculative fiction that is loosely connected through brief interludes between two strangers. While the collection is well written I didn’t enjoy most of the stories. The two issues I had were I felt like I was being dropped into the middle of most of these stories which caused me not to connect to the story or the characters. Also I found most of the stories somewhat depressing which is not what I wanted.

Nightmare Fuel: The Science of Horror Films by Nina Nesseth is a nonfiction book about the science of how horror movies work and how they scare us. I received an early review copy through Netgalley. I found the book a little technical in terms of the scientific explanation at time but its a great book for those who want to know the science behind why they like or dislike specific horror films and why ones are scary and others are not. I loved the explanation on the how and why different horror movies effect us in different ways.

In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park is the heart breaking true story of Yeonmi Park’s live first growing up in North Korea to her and her mother’s escape when she was just 13. This book takes us through everything that happen to Yeonmi and her mother in China while they where trying to not be sex trafficked and find a way to South Korea. The book ends with Yeonmi becoming a human rights activist and realizing that her story can help others. This book is one of those that because of the topic its hard to say that its enjoyable but I feel like this is one of those important books that many people should read.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh is a young adult fantasy novel where every year a girl is sacrificed to the sea to be the sea gods bride in order to stop the storms. Mina decides to sacrifice herself in order to save the life of the girl her older brother loves. When she arrives in the spirit realm the sea good is in an enchanted sleep. Mina with the help of Shin and several other spirits, demons, and gods has one month to save herself, the sea god, and her village. However, there are those who don’t want the sea god to awaken. This story remined me of the movie Spirited Away and if you like that movie you will like this book. I did figure out the twist fairly early but I still liked the story and the characters. I received an early review copy through Netgalley.

Classic Monster Unleashed is a horror anthology that takes the stories of classic monsters and reimagines them and turns them on their head while also paying homage to them. I loved this collection overall though I didn’t want some of the stories to be longer but all of them had stratifying endings. Some of these stories make the monsters not all that monstrous but others take them to another level. Most of these takes were not one’s I was expecting which I loved and I loved how many of the authors gave voice to characters that didn’t have much agency in the original stories. I received an early copy though Netgalley but I plan of buying a physical copy as well.

The final book I read in February was Harry Potter A Magical Year by Jim Kay and JK Rowing. This is a collection of Jim Kay’s art work and illustration with quotes from the Harry Potter books. Each day of the year is given a quote and has some added information about characters such as birthdays. This is a book that I bought and read for the artwork as Jim Kay’s illustrations are wonderful.

Movies:

I only watched one movie this month which was the 2021 Dune movie which I also have a full review posted. Dune is visually one of the best movies I seen lately but can be confusing for those who haven’t read the book. It follows the story of Paul Atreides, a young man whos family has been give control of the desert planet Arrakis better know as Dune. Dune is the only place where the spice that gives people different abilities can be found. However, Paul’s family is betrayed and he and his mother much escape into the desert to survive. I really liked this movie but I think it will be much better when part two comes out so we have the full story.

Movie Review: Dune (2021)

Dune (2021) is the first movie in the new Dune adaptations, staring Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, and many other amazing actors. The story starts with Duke Leto Atreides and his family being given control of the desert planet, Arrakis also know as Dune. Arrakis is the only place that spice exists which gives users longer lives and other abilities. The main plot follows Paul, Leto’s son, and his mother Jessica after the family is betrayed and many are killed by the rival family the Harkonnen’s as they escape into the vast desert of Dune and met up with the local population the Fremen. This movie is only part one, so it ends with Paul meeting and joining the Fremen. I expect that the sequel will continue from this point and tell the rest of Paul’s story.

Personally, I liked this movie but I don’t feel like its a good adaptation. If you have never read Dune or seen any of the previous attempts at a good Dune movie you will be very lost while watching this. This adaptation seems to expect that you know how things about the world and technology work, and to some extent who the characters are and the background of why House Harkonnen is planning to assassinate House Atreides.

This movie is visually amazing and very well acted but not movie should require you to know everything before watching. For example, I often see some of the Marvel movies with my dad but he doesn’t watch all of them. When we went to see Avengers: Infinity War he didn’t know everything but was able to understand enough to enjoy it without having seen everything that came before. Dune is one of those movies where you need to know at least the basics of the world to really understand which could be a detriment to those who just want to see the movie. Even if you haven’t read Dune and want to see the movie you should try it but go in knowing that you might be confused and you might not get all the answers that you want.

November and December 2021 Wrap Up

So I haven’t posted in a while, mostly because I work retail during the Holiday season and we were very busy. I read a lot in November but barely anything in December so I decided to combine these wrap ups. As I read seven books in November but only one in December.

Books:

The Origins of Wizards, Witches, and Fairies by Simon Webb is a nonfiction book about the historical and cultural origins of wizards, witches, and fairies and how these ideas have changed over time. I received an early copy through the publisher on NetGalley. I was interested in this book because I’ve never read about this aspect of history. It was well written and explored how stories change but at times it did feel like the same information was being repeated. I also would have preferred the images to be in the text instead of just in the back. However, I do feel like any with an interest in folklore and magic would enjoy this book.

The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt by Kara Cooney is a nonfiction book about Hatshepsut who became one of Ancient Egypt’s few female pharaohs. I’ve read some about Hatshepsut before but this book is much more detailed about her life overall and how she rose to power. I enjoyed this book for how readable it made history especially history at can often feel a little overwhelming with how different Ancient Egypt is to modern audiences. I feel that anyone with an interest in Ancient Egyptian history would enjoy this book.

Sabriel by Garth Nix is the first book in a young adult fantasy series that has ancient magic and dead that won’t stay dead. Sabriel is a reread for me but I still love the series and I have a full review posted as well. The story follows Sabriel who must travel through the Old Kingdom to find her father the Abhorsen who has disappeared and given his title to her. Along the way she must stop the dead from rising with the help of a young man who doesn’t remember his past and a magical talking cat.

Next I read the next two Fazbear Frights books Gumdrop Angel and The Puppet Carver by Scott Cawthon which are short story collections in the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise. I don’t have much to say about either of these story collections as I wasn’t a big fan of them. I would say that they do have some very effective body horror but the characters where not very compelling. The best story was What we Found because of how much it connects to the third game. I do plan to finish these short story series but I don’t always enjoy the stories as much as I would like.

I also read two different nonfiction Titanic books, Titanic Destination Disaster: The Legends and the Realty by John P. Eaton and Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of Those who Survived. Titanic Destination Disaster is an older book but I didn’t realize that when I started it. Because of this most of the information I already knew and I found the structure odd as it started with the sinking and then jumped back to when the ship was being built.

Shadow of the Titanic on the other hand focuses much more on individual survivors and how the sinking of the Titanic impacted the rest of their lives. Many Titanic books touch on what happen to different survivors but this book give an in-depth account of several of the more famous survivors and would be of interest to those who research the Titanic.

The only book that I read in December was The Museum: A Short History of Crisis and Resilience by Samuel J. Redman which is a nonfiction book about the many different crisis and upheavals that museums have faced throughout the history of the United States. I received an early copy from the publisher through Netgalley. As someone who has both studied and worked in the Museum field I appreciated the exploration of the many different crisis and issues museums have faced overtime. I also like that fact that the author tried to see what exactly happen and how that instance is viewed now with the advantage of hindsight. However, as the book discussed more recent issues I did feel like the author’s personal feelings came out more than was necessary.

TV and Movies:

I mostly have been watching Documentaries or Docuseries that I don’t have to focus much on. The ones I’ve watched recently where the second season of Tiger King and Tiger King The Doc Antle Story. I watch these types of show when I’m doing laundry and cleaning just to have something in the background. The only take way I have is that most of the people involved with these situations are awful and most of them probably deserve to be in jail.

The only movie I’ve watched recently was The Dead Don’t Die a zombie comedy movie staring Bill Murray and Adam Drive. I wanted to like this move but it was just okay. I thought it would be funnier but it was mostly slow and boring with many of the jokes just feeling awkward. If you like the cast you might enjoy it but I would keep expectations low.

October 2021 Wrap Up

October ended up being a very good month for me I read six books, finished playing Final Fantasy VII, and watched a couple of movies.

Books:

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten is the first book in an adult fantasy duology inspired by fairytales. In this world the ruling family that has two daughter the first will gain the throne but the second is for the Wolf in the woods. As the Second Daughter, Red is sacrificed to the Wolf in an attempt to save the captured gods that has not returned in centuries. However, the stories and everything she knows are not in fact true and with her sister trying to get her back Red must learn to trust herself and her magic to protect those she loves. I loved the characters and the fairytale feel of this book. It took me a while to finish this book but I’m looking forward to the sequel. I received a copy through NetGalley for review.

Shadow of the Moon by Zoe Marriott is a young adult fantasy novel inspired by Japanese culture and is a loose retelling of Cinderella. Suzume is a young girl who witnesses her fathers murder and finds out she has the power of shadow weaving/creating illusions. When she finds out her new stepfather was the one who ordered her fathers death she will do what ever it takes to get revenge. This is a reread for me as I read the book years ago though I don’t remember anything from that first read through. Its a good ya fantasy that for me now reads a little young but I still love the world building and the fairytale inspiration.

The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg by Helen Rappaport is a historical nonfiction book that is as the title say focuses on the last days of the Romanovs while being held in Ekaterinburg. As I’m read a lot about the Romanovs this book was not as interesting as some others I’ve read and contained more information about the politics and machinations surrounding the Romanovs than about the Romanovs themselves. However, Helen Rappaport makes even less interesting topic very easy to read about.

Slender Man by Anonymous is a horror novel that uses the internet creation of Slender Man. The story follows Matt who’s friend Lauren goes missing and the weird dream and events happening that lead him to believe that she was taken by Slender Man. The story is told through police reports, transcripts of audio logs, texts and other characters writings that allows that story to read very fast and plays with the idea that Slender Man get into your head. I didn’t find the story all that creepy but I was never into Slender Man when it was very popular online.

X-Men: Black is a collection of five X-Men issues that focuses on the more villainous characters. I bought this to read Seanan McGuire’s Mystique issue and while I like the stories overall as someone who doesn’t read many X-Men comics I was a little confused. This is best for fans but I did like the Mystique, Magneto, and Emma Frost stories.

Let’s Party by R. L. Stine is the first book in the Fear Street Senior series. I read this series when I was younger and when I came across this book again I decided to reread it and I would love to read the whole series. Not a lot happens with this book but you are introduced to many of the characters that will be focused on and the implication of what will happen in the future has it seems like the entire high school senior class is doomed. I didn’t love this as much as I remember but its not written for my age any more.

Movies:

I watched to horror movies this month Ouija and Slender Man which where both good teen horrors but I didn’t love either of them. Mostly near the end of both I was just a little board. Though I love horror and horror movies as I’ve gotten older I find that I don’t enjoy stories where the teenage characters that do something dumb are killed or harshly punished for doing things that they didn’t know would have consequences. I know that horror movie need something to happen to kick off everything but at the same time I would prefer that a least some of the characters had good ending. I think my taste in horror is changing but I haven’t figured out what I love just yet.

Video Games:

I finished Final Fantasy VII and have a full review posted as well. While I love this game, story, and characters I don’t think I will ever play it again since I finished and the remake is coming out. I look forward to what the remake will change and update but the original will always have a place in my heart.

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.

December 2020 Wrap Up

This month I read 5 books and watched 2 movies. Including a manga, an audio book, and two nonfiction books.

Books:

Final Fantasy VII Remake World Preview is an coffee table type book from Square Enix that focuses on the new Final Fantasy VII Remake. This book included a time line of events, screen shots from the game, character information, and an exclusive short story about Aerith’s past. I liked this book but it didn’t have much new information for fan of the series or the original game. The short story was well written but isn’t necessary to understand anything about the game. I would have like a few hints about where the next game would be headed but as a fan I was going to buy this good any ways regardless of what information was included.

Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand is a nonfiction book about Prince Harry and Meghan Markel. This book tells their story from before they met, through dating, marriage, and finally leave the royal institution. Its a very readable book and whether or not this is the real story or the true story I don’t know or care. I’ve never really followed the royal family but when Meghan joined I would occasionally read articles. I feel like this book gives one perspective on what happen and how you feel about that is up to you. The one thing I took away is that I don’t feel like the tabloids and press have been all that fair or kind to them.

How to Get a Museum Job by Steven Miller is a nonfiction book exactly about what the title says. This book is all about the different ways to get a museum job and getting your foot in the door. As someone who has had a museum job and is trying to get back into the field I felt like I knew most of this information but it would be a great resource for those entering the field. I personally liked the sections about interviewing and where the future of the profession is headed.

Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Vol. 2 by Naoko Takeuchi is the second volume in the Sailor Moon manga series. I’m rereading the series as I collect these editions and still love the series as a whole. This book continues the arc started in volume one but has more horror elements through out. If you are getting into Sailor Moon these are the editions that I would recommend.

The Boy Who Didn’t Come Home by Melissa Albert is a young adult short story in the world of the Hazel Wood that follows Ellery Finch after the gets into the Hazel Wood. This is set mainly during Alice’s time stuck in her story and tells us what Ellery was doing. I thought initially that this would be a story set between The Hazel Wood and The Night Country but its more events that happened to other characters at the end of The Hazel Wood. I didn’t love Ellery as the narrator but I really liked his interactions with the world and The Spinner. I listen to this as an audio book and its placed at the end of the Hazel Wood audio book for anyone looking for it.

Movies:

Man of Steel is the 2013 Superman movie that started the current DC Universe movies. This was a rewatch for me as I wanted to watch it again before seeing the rest of the movies that connect to it. Its an okay movie that I mainly found boring and though I like Henry Cavil as an actor I don’t like him as Superman. I do plan to watch the other DC movies but I don’t think that I’m going to love them.

The Croods: A New Age is the second Croods movie that follows a family of cavemen and their adventures surviving. I’ve never seen the first Croods movie and only watched this on because of an accident. I was helping my parents with Christmas dinner and my two year old nephew some how got the TV remote and ordered the movie before any of us realized what he had done. So as a family we ended up watching it. Its a very fun family friendly movie that made me want to see the first one.