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.

October 2020 Wrap Up

This month I read 7 books. I love October and Halloween but I don’t always read horror books during this time as I’m a mood reader. So what I want to read doesn’t always fit the time of year. I’ve also been watching some movies this month.

Books:

The Sweetest Kind of Poison by Katie Wismer is a poetry collection about relationships and letting go. I’m not a huge fan of poetry but I follow the author and wanted to read this collection when it went on sale. Its well written and got me emotional. I do plan to read other poetry collections form this author in the future.

Laughter at the Academy by Seanan McGuire is a collection of McGuire’s short fiction throughout her career. I love her work and this is no exception. Great for fans or for those wanting to get a taste of all the different worlds Seanan McGuire has created.

Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View is an anthology celebrating the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: A New Hope. This anthology contain 40 different stories by different authors retelling moments from the film but from the perspective of the background characters. I listened to the audio book which is wonderfully done with sound effects and really pulls you into the world of Star Wars. Most of the stories are good but there was too much focus on the Cantina scene. But I would recommend this to any fan of Star Wars.

Death Masks by Jim Butcher is the fifth book is the Dresden Files. This one follows Harry Dresden while he tries to find the stolen Shroud of Turin, fight demons, and win a duel against a vampire. Each book in this series get better and I plan to continue the series at this point. I have a full review for each book I’ve read of the series so far.

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse is the first book in a new adult fantasy series inspired by pre-Columbian Americas. We follow multiple characters as their paths cross in the city of Tova during the winter solstice. Weaving a tale of prophecies, politics, and forbidden magic these Roanhorse creates and intriguing world and I just want more. I have posted a full review of this book.

Romanov by Nadine Brandes is a young adult historical fantasy about the Romanov royal family near the end of their lives. Primarily, focuses on Anastasia and her brother as they end up escaping the murder of their family and how their lives could have been if magic existed. Well written and good for those fans of the Anastasia movie and the Romanov family history.

Walking Dead Book 8 by Robert Kirkman is a collection of the Walking Dead comic containing issues 85-96. I’ve been rereading the Walking Dead comics to catch up now that the series is over. However, I’m not enjoying them as much as I remember. I own through book 12 so I plan to read those but I haven’t decided it I will finish off the series.

Movies:

The Nun is a horror movie and one of the movies in the Conjuring universe. Set in 1952, after a nun in Romania commits’ suicide a Priest and a nun in training are sent to investigate. The story focuses on finding out information about the demon Valak, who masquerades as a nun, and first showed up in the Conjuring 2. I love horror movies and I like the Conjuring movies as well I just haven’t seen all of them yet. A good movie for this time of year.

The Meg is an action movie where a group of scientists go down to the Mariana Trench and encounter the Megalodon shark. When the shark escapes into open waters the scientist attempt to track it down and kill it. This is one of those popcorn movies that you don’t have to think about but its well acted and has much better production than the campy Syfy channel movies.

August 2020 Wrap Up

In August I didn’t read as much as I would have liked, only reading two books but both were five star reads. However, I did watch several movies which I will be reviewing in this Wrap Up.

Books:

Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant is a horror novella that I have reread multiple times and have a full review for. The only thing I will say about it is it follows a group of scientists that are searching for mermaids and find them. I love this story and expect that I will reread it and the sequel novel again and again.

The other book I read this month was Gideon The Ninth by Tasyn Muir. This is a science fiction/fantasy novel about lesbian necromancers in space. Though it is so much more than that and its very hard to describe. I would recommend checking out my full review of the book. Its a new favorite and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Movies:

Crawl is a disaster movie where a young woman goes to check on her dad who’s house in Florida is in the path of a Category 5 Hurricane. While finding her dad, Alligators are in their basement trying to catch them and they must work together to make it out alive. I watched this one day when I didn’t want to think about what I was watching. The movie is good but like many disaster movies it focuses more on the spectacle than on a story or plot.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged is a survival horror movie that is technically the sequel to 47 Meters Down but none of the characters of the first movie appear in the sequel. The story follows a group of teenagers who decide to go underwater cave diving in a newly discovered Mayan ruins however when the girls get spooked and cause a cave in they must attempt to survive shark attacks by sharks that have learned to survive in complete darkness. A kind of campy shark movie that is great for those times that you don’t want to have to focus on the plot to understand what is going on.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is the direct sequel to the 1995 Jumanji movie staring Robin Williams. Instead of being sucked into a board game and having to win to make everything go back to normal a group of teenagers during detention find an old video game that they get sucked into which they must survive and beat to return home. I love the original Jumanji movie and it was a childhood favorite. This new movie while very different is also very good. I love the actors and the part where the teenagers are inhabiting the bodies of the video game characters. I would give the movie a watch if you haven’t seen it yet.

June 2020 Wrap Up

This month I read seven books including one audio book and one graphic novel. I’ve also watched several movies.

Books:

52831943The Anti-Virginity Pact by Katie Wismer is a new self published young adult contemporary. The book follows Mare and her best friend who have signed a pact agreeing that they won’t be virgins by the end of their senior year of high school. This is a hard hitting contemporary that deals with topics such as family and religion. I have a full review up as well.

45010800Witchy by Ariel Slamet Ries is set in a world where length of ones hair determines your power as a witch but having too long of hair will get you killed. Nyneve has hidden her true hair length but when the Witch guard conscription comes around she decides that she will determine her own future. A short graphic novel that is the start of a new fantasy series. Great for young adult fan of graphic novels and comics.

ByFireAbove_hc.inddMiddlegame by Seanan McGuire is an adult fantasy novel about alchemy, language, math, and family. The story follows Roger and Dodger who were created by Reed to embody the Doctrine of Ethos which would allow someone to control how the world works. Adopted by different families Roger is all languages and works while Dodger is math and logic. When they connect as children talking to each other in their minds they know something is different about them and that it could be dangerous. I have a full review of this book but it is very hard to explain but is absolutely amazing and one of my new favorite books.

44660931._SY475_Five Nights at Freddy’s Fazbear Frights #2: Fetch by Scott Cawthon is the second collection of three short stories in the FNAF universe. The stories in this collection are Fetch, Lonely Freddy, and Out of Stock. Fetch follows a group of kids that find a animatronic dog inside an old Freddy’s Fazbear pizzeria that starts terrorizing them. Lonely Freddy is a creep story about a older brother who wants everyone to know how fake is younger sister is but things go bad at her birthday party at Freddy’s. The last story Out of Stock follows several kids that get their hand on a Plushtrap toy that seems to have very human eyes and teeth which then attacks them at night. Though I like how creepy these story collections can be I don’t like the fact that kids in the stories get hurt or punished for not knowing any better.

27213244The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers is the first book in the Wayfarers series a series of slice of life adult science fiction novels. The story follows the crew of a tunneling ship the Wayfarer as they take on jobs creating tunnels between different planets. The is a character driven story that the plot takes second place to but I loved all the characters and their relationships. I have a full review for this book and I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

15843166You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero is a self-help book about how everyone is a badass in their own way and how to stop messing around and get your life track. The author believes that if you set your mind on changing something you can do it if you are willing to put in the work. I listened to this and its a very short audio book which is what I wanted at the time. It has advice on many different topics but focuses on how mindset is everything. Good for someone looking to this kind of information and to be encouraged to do and change whatever to be a better, happier person.

41430922._SY475_The Hunger by Alma Katsu is a historical fiction novel with a bit of a supernatural twist. Follows the Donnor party and their attempt to travel to California. I like the ideas and concepts of the book but it jumps between too many characters. Because I this I didn’t really connect to the story or the characters which meant that I didn’t care what happen to them.

 

 

 

Movies:

MV5BYmIzNjUxZGQtYjg0OS00MmE0LTgwZDAtMzVmODQ2MGI5MTQ5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTA3MTA4Mzgw._V1_I watched three movies this month which I haven’t done in a while. The first movie I watched was Rocketman which is the musical about the life of Elton John. I didn’t know really anything about Elton John before watching the movie but I movie kept me interested. I think it would also make an amazing stage musical.

p16981625_v_v8_aeKnives Out is a murder mystery movie following death of crime novelist Harlan Thrombey the night of his 85th birthday. This is a murder mystery in the similar vein as Clue but not as comedic. I loved the ensemble cast and all the weird family drama that changed how I thought each character was involved. If you haven’t seen it yet I would highly recommend it.

EDEsh0gU4AUTO3PThe last movie I watched this month was Joker. This movie follows the origins of the DC and Batman villain The Joker. This is a very good movie that shows one mans decent into madness and how a person could become a villain like the Joker. I plan to have a full review out shortly but I would recommend seeing this movie if you haven’t already.