Thursday, December 31, 2015

December Wrap Up


Wow, can you believe the year is over?  It's kinda mind-boggling to realize that 2016 is practically upon us.  I feel like I'm still waiting for 2015, which was a big year for me.  Well, 2016 looks to be a good year, too, full of tons of new books that I'm eager to read.  This month I had a rather moderate goal to read five books, and I far surpassed it.  The first half of this month was some of the best reading I've done all year, and while I did hit a lull in the middle, I managed to pick myself back up just in time for January.

Of all the books on my December TBR the only one I haven't managed to read is White Night by Jim Butcher.  I love the Dresden Files, but this one just seems to be committed to not getting read.  I want to finish/catch up on the Dresden Files in the new year, so I will certainly be reading this, it's just a matter of when.  The rest of the books on my TBR have been read, which is awesome!

1. Cress
Cress was a  fantastic read, and I feel like I've talked this one up quite a bit lately, since it made such an impact.  My review for this has been published, so if you're curious to see all my thoughts, go check that out.

2. Shadow and Bone
I wasn't completely stunned by this one upon finishing, but I did think it was a very good book.  However, the more time that passes since finishing, the more I find myself thinking about it.  Shadow and Bone made an impact and really was a fantastic read.  I'll be finishing this series in the new year, hopefully, and also, hopefully, be reading Six of Crows.  If you're curious, my review has been published.

3. The Golden Braid
This was an ARC I really wanted to get to this month, and I'm so glad I finally did get to it.  It had a slow start, but by the end I was so wrapped up in it that I couldn't put it down.  It's the final (I think) book in a series I haven't read the rest in, but you can read them in any order, and I plan to at least read the first book in this series in the new year.  My review is here, if you want more in-depth thoughts.

4. Soundless
I love Richelle Mead, she's easily one of my favorite authors.  She was one of the first YA authors I ever read, actually, and I still love Vampire Academy to death (though I haven't finished Bloodlines...).  I picked this up, and while it's not her best work, it's also not a bad book.  I'd recommend it once all the hype/hate dies down.  My review is here.

5. Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past
This was a book I received from the author in exchange for an honest review.  He was actually kind enough to send me the whole trilogy, which I plan to read over the course of the next few months.  I rather enjoyed this one, though there were some flaws (particularly where the plot dragged in the middle).  Also, it should be noted that this is not epic fantasy, but urban fantasy, something I didn't realize until I started.  My review for this will be up on Tuesday.

6. Snow Like Ashes
This is the poor book that got caught up in my slow-down of reading in the middle of the month.  It wasn't a bad book, but I did have some problems with it that I addressed in my review (which will be up next Friday).  I do plan to read the sequel at some point in the new year, because overall, it was a good book.

7. Shadows Edge
Okay, so as of writing this post, I haven't finished this book.  But I'm practically done with it (100 pages left) and won't let myself go to sleep tonight before I finish.  So far, I absolutely love it, it's so much better than the first book, and there are so many awesome characters, and scenes, and moments.  Basically, this could be a five star book (it'll depend on the ending) but will for sure be a 4.5 star book.

I also managed to read quite a few graphic novels and manga this month, all of which I rather enjoyed.  I read volumes 8 & 9 of Noragami and volumes 1 & 2 of Blue Exorcist.  I also read volumes 4 & 5 of Hawkeye (volume 4 blew my mind) and volume 1 of Star Wars, which was also really, really good.

I tried to catch up on all the shows I was behind, but it just didn't happen, sadly.  I did manage to finally finish the fourth season of Once Upon a Time, and will start catching up on season five once I've caught up on Doctor Who (I have ten episodes left, or something like that).

How was your month?  What was your best read?  Can you believe 2016 is tomorrow?  Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Glittering Court


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.  Click here to join in on the fun.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top 15 Reads of 2015

I read so many good books this year!  I decided to pick the top fifteen, which was incredibly hard, I must admit.  I chose only to include novels, and leave out graphic novels and manga.  So, without further ado, here we go:

1. The Mistborn Series

2. Red Rising/Golden Son

3. Cress

4. The Enchanted

5. Shadow and Bone

6. Girl of Fire and Thorns

7. Halo Bound

8. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

9. The Mermaid's Sister

10. Queen of Shadows

11. World After

12. A Court of Thorns and Roses

13. The Martian

14. The Vanishing Girl

15. Masters of Blood and Bone

While the year isn't over yet, I doubt I'll finish anything that makes it onto this list.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday TV

Welcome to another edition of Sunday TV.  Like with Sunday Comics, this has become a monthly post, rather than a bi-weekly one due to the fact that I haven't been watching as much television.

Flash Season 2 Episodes 4-7
I needed to catch up on this series desperately, and I'm so glad I did!  I love all the easter eggs that have been hidden, and can't wait to see the direction they take.  I've been on the edge of my seat the whole time I've been watching, and it's wonderful!

Flash + Arrow Crossover Episodes
The stronger of the two was easily Flash, though Team Arrow did seem to get preference in both episodes, either way.  Flash was a much stronger episode, and managed to not only tell the Hawkgirl story in a compelling way, but also further their own season-long plot.  Arrow, while indulging fans (and I was one of those fans) with the Oliver-and-his-son story, didn't really do much with their big bad this year.  Arrow did have me swearing profusely at one point, though, and if you saw it, you know what I'm talking about.

Arrow Midseason Finale
Well, I have a lot of feelings about this one, not surprisingly.  Mostly, it backs up my theory that Felicity will end up being Oracle (a theory I've had since season two, if you don't mind me pointing out, now that the rest of the internet seems to agree).  This episode held me breathless the whole time, which made for a fantastic ride.

Flash Midseason Finale
The Flash continues to be both fun and emotional, but with the amount of payoff at the end of this episode, I would say it ended on a fun note.  I am extremely mad at Barry for not cluing Patty into all the goings on by now, but beyond that I'm very happy with the show.

Star Wars Rebels Season 2- All Caught Up
I finally caught up, and just in time for The Force Awakens.  I forgot how much I loved this show, honestly!  And I forgot how dark it gets for a kid show.  It had me biting my nails, cheering, and crying the whole time I caught up.  I really recommend this show to everyone who's been thinking about it, because it really is worth the time.

What I'm Watching Now
I've got two more episodes before I finish season four of Once Upon a Time, and then I'll dive into season five and hope to catch up.  The finale of Noragami aired on Friday, but I won't be able to watch it until next Friday.  That show is seriously killing me but I love every second of it.  I've also been watching The Clone Wars again, and really enjoying it a bunch, I just don't have as much time to watch it as I would like, even on break.

What are you watching?  Any shows you're looking forward to starting soon?  I know Shadowhunters, Legends of Shannara, and Agent Carter are all just on the horizon and I'm beyond excited for them all.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up and Book Haul

Hello everyone!  If you celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!  I certainly did.  In fact, it was probably the best Christmas we've had in a long while, which is a bit of a surprise.  I know last year was really hard and the year before that hadn't felt very much like Christmas at all.  But this year, even with a lack of snow, I felt like I was in the spirit and everyone else seemed to be as well.  One sad thing is I'll be going back to school in just over a week, and I'm going to miss all this free time that I've had lately.

Finished this Week
I actually managed to finish a bit this week, something I'm really happy to report.  I finished the second volume of Blue Exorcist and Skywalker Strikes in terms of manga and comics.  As for novels, I finished the first book in the Bentwhistle series (review coming soon) and Snow Like Ashes (review coming, but not as soon).

Currently Reading
Shadow's Edge, which is the second book in the Night Angels trilogy.  I hope to finish this quickly, even though it's a bigger book.  When I finish this I'll be picking up Red Queen.  I really want to finish both of these before I have to go back to school.  I've also been slowly rereading Clockwork Angel and I would like to finish that as well.  I also hope to get to Noragami volume 9 and Stray Stories this week as well, though I'm not so worried about those.

Last Week
Sunday-- Sunday Comics

This Week
Sunday-- Sunday TV
Tuesday-- Top 15 of 2015
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday-- December Wrap Up
Friday-- January TBR, Friday 56
Saturday-- Wrap Up and Haul

Haul
So, this shouldn't be a surprise, but I have a bit of a larger haul this week (because Christmas!).  So, without further ado:
KINDLE EBOOKS
Stormdancer
I've had my eye on this one for a while, and it was on sale in the kindle store, so I picked it up.  I know I'll enjoy it, so I'm excited to give it a whirl.
Odd and the Frost Giants
Another one on sale.  The only thing I knew about it was that it was by Neil Gaiman, which is enough to get me to buy something.  I do believe it's based in Norse Mythology, so that's exciting.
The Door in the Hedge and Other Stories
For some reason I collect Robin McKinley books on my kindle when they're on sale, even though I haven't given any of them a try.  I really need to change that soon.
Knights of the Old Republic Vol. 3
This is one of my favorite series' ever, so I just couldn't resist buying volume three after having started volume two on a whim.
Deceived
I just needed a little more Star Wars in my life, okay?
The Song of Achilles
A book that's received a ton of critical acclaim and is really popular on tumblr.  I've had my eye on it for a while so when it was a Kindle Daily Deal I couldn't say no.  For some reason, I feel like this is a "summer read".
MANGA
Noragami Vol. 9
I had this one pre-ordered and I'm so excited to read it!  I know it's going to break my heart a thousand times, but that's fine.  Also, not really one of my favorite covers if I'm being honest.
COFFEE TABLE BOOKS
Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America
This was a Christmas gift from my dad and he was so proud to get it for me because it's the first thing he's ever ordered off the amazon app on his phone (so very proud it's kinda funny, but it's great).  It's from the show Parks and Rec (which if you don't watch you really, really should; just skip all of season two except the final episode; you'll thank me later) and just flipping through it had me dying from laughter.  I actually plan to read this front to back at some point, but probably not until the summer when I have the time to just lounge around with it.
The Weird World of Words
This was a gift from my cousins, and it's a very cool book.  I don't know exactly how to describe it, except that it has a butt ton of facts and fun things that have to do with words inside.  If you're a lover of words you'll really appreciate this one.  It's coming with me to college and I look forward to it keeping me entertained.
HARDCOVERS
Red Queen
I had dropped quite a few not subtle hints about this one, so it wasn't really a surprise when my aunt got it for me.  I'm so excited to read it, especially since all the hype around it has died down.
Wake of Vultures
This is another book I've asked for a bit, though I don't think I've talked about it here on the blog.  It's a fantasy western, a genre I'm very interested in at the moment.  I hope to read this soon, but I don't know exactly when I'll get to it.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Illustrated Edition
I was so happy when I opened this gift up!  It was from my parents and I'm so excited to read this book in this edition!  It's going to be a blast reading it, but I'm going to wait until the summer so that I can reread them all at once and not feel as guilty about it.  Also, now I have three of my own editions of this book, not counting the family set that we all share.
NOT BOOKS
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The movie, not the show.  I loved this when I saw it and I'm so excited to have a copy I can now force other people to watch with me!  Just kidding, kind of.  My mom hasn't seen it yet, so we'll be watching it, probably tomorrow.
Flash, Season One
One of my favorite shows, and now I have it on Blu-Ray and digital to compliment all three seasons of Arrow.
Harry Potter Coloring Book
This was a total surprise and such a good one!  My parents got it for me alongside the illustrated Sorcerer's Stone.  I have big plans for this book.  Big plans.
Rin & Yukio (from Blue Exorcist) Collector's Figures
They are so beautiful!  I love them so much, and when I have my manga shelf all set up (in a few days) I'll take a picture of them alongside their series.  They were another surprise, and a gift from my cousins and aunt.  They're so pretty together and I just kinda look at them every few minutes because they're so awesome!

So, that's my haul and wrap up this week.  Kinda long, so sorry about that.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, December 25, 2015

1 YEAR BLOGOVERSARY AND GIVEAWAY!!!!

Oh my goodness I can't believe I've been blogging for a year, this is amazing!  It's been such  journey and I'm glad to have taken it!  How lame is it that I started blogging on December 25th, though?  Like Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating!  With it being a one-year anniversary, it's given me the opportunity to look through all my old posts and see where I've come since I started.  I thought I'd just highlight a few very awesome moments before getting to the giveaway at the bottom of this post.

A shame this show was cancelled because I really liked it.  What was I doing blogging about Constantine on Christmas Day on a Book Blog?  Who knows!  I certainly don't remember what was going through my head, and I have no idea how I had the time to actually post anything on one of my busiest days of the year!

I remember just feeling so awesome when I got this ARC and then reading and reviewing it was such a cool experience.  Made me feel like a real blogger!

Versatile Blog Award: Versatile Blog Award
This was such a cool thing to get tagged by.  It was the moment I realized that people were actually visiting my blog, reading my content, and appreciating it!  Since then I made several more connections with other bloggers, and while I felt part of the community then, I feel even more so now.  It's such a great place to spend time and this was the moment when I realized I was truly a member of it.

When I Finally Made the Blog My Own: Thoughts on Blogging and Summer Plan & News!
So, this was around the time that I knew I was serious about blogging and would be sticking with it for some time.  Up until this point there was some doubt because, while I loved it, I had never dedicated that much time to it.  After this I started to make it an actual part of my day that I schedule in.  And that made me almost regret it.  I took a hiatus when I went on vacation and came back refreshed, ready to blog again (and actually missing the blog).  I also changed the color scheme and the way everything looked (I don't know if anyone remembers how it used to be a brownish color scheme).

Yes, this was a wonderful review I wrote.  Wonderful, in that it was therapeutic after finishing this really bad book.  I recommend reading it because I actually pull out textual proof as to why the relationship is unhealthy.  Still really proud of this review :)

When I Tried Youtube: First Youtube Video!!!
Yeah, so this lasted for like two weeks.  I wanted to spread my wings and join the Youtube community in addition to regular blogging.  Let's just say things didn't work out.  I didn't really go into it on the blog, but for now I'm putting this on hold.  I'd like to venture into Youtube at some point again, but probably not in the next year.

Not book related, but one of the best weekends of my life.  This year I'm trying to go to Book Con (since it's in Chicago) and I hope to return to Comic Con (though looks like it may not happen).

Another crazy event in my life!  I was worried it would really change my blogging habits and I'm glad to say it probably only made them better.

My First Giveaway & Completing the Goodreads Challenge: Completed Goodreads Challenge GIVEAWAY!
Pretty self explanatory but a really great thing I'd wanted to do for a while.

When I Tried to Start a Book Club: Book Club Information and GIVEAWAY!
Another thing that didn't really work out.  And I'm surprisingly okay with it!  Someday I'd like to try again, but probably not for a while.

Yeah, I did these for a while!  And I really enjoyed them!  I think they will come back next year at some point, but I need to come up with some more material to talk about.  Looking forward to starting these again because they're so much fun!

One Lovely Blog Award: One Lovely Blog Award
This was one of those times when I took a step back and was just so happy with blogging and everything that had happened up until this point.  It was similar to the Versatile Blog Award in that it reminded me how awesome this community really is.

This Post!!
Yeah, one whole year is crazy!  I can't wait to see how things end up going next year!


Now, for the giveaway!  So, I'm giving away one book (and it can be a preorder) for $20 or less.  It'll be international since I'll be using Book Depository.  You have to be willing/allowed to give me your address if you win; don't worry as soon as I ship you the book I delete the email, so your address is protected.  This will be running until the last day of January, so you have plenty of time to enter using the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday 56: Shadow and Bone

Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice.  Click here to join in on the fun.
Rules: Grab a book, any book.
Turn to page 56, or 56% in your eReader.
Find a sentence, or a few, and post it.

This week I'm spotlighting Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, a book that I took far too long to get to.

Here's the description taken from Goodreads:
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.

From page 56 of Shadow and Bone:
"We'll only stop to change horses.  If we stop before then, you'll know something is wrong."

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Fall Wrap-Up

Haha, well, I might be a little late on this one, since fall has long since passed at this point.  I wanted to continue the tradition of seasonal wrap-ups, though, and talk about my favorite reads from the last few months.  So, without, further ado, here are my favorite reads since this summer:
This is probably the only manga that's managed to catch me within the first few pages.  Thanks to my friend, M, who recommended it to me (and a few seconds later I ordered it) and got me hooked.  Absolutely adorable romance about two high schoolers with secrets.  I really recommend you pick this up.  Plus, volume two comes out in only a few weeks (I'm so excited!).

This was my favorite installment so far.  It totally blew me away, and just
rocked my world completely.  I recommend reading my review if you want to see me get all nostalgic for it.

This one took me far to long to get to.  I loved it (though I didn't give it five stars) and am so glad that I finally picked it up.  Only holding off on buying the next book because of funds.

Mind blowing amazing conclusion to an already amazing series.  I don't think anything else will be able to top this ending for quite some time.



You may notice that this is a rather short list, and while I read a ton of books that I liked, I haven't read that many that I absolutely loved and blew me away.  Which is a shame, and something I hope changes by the next time I do a wrap up.

5 Star Graphic Novel Review: Rio Bravo (Hawkeye Vol 4)

Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Edition: Paperback
Rating: 5 Stars

Related Reviews: Little Hits | Hawkeye v Deadpool | LA Woman

Hawkeye is one of the best graphic novels you will ever read.  Not only is the art gorgeous and the story compelling, but the issues are unique and experimental, including, in this volume, one told via sign-language.  Somehow, Fraction and Aja have gotten it to work, and I'm so sad to be saying goodbye to this phenomenal run.

To avoid spoilers I'm keeping this review short.  Here's what you most need to know:

This volume is the most serious of all of them.  It takes the story up a notch and onto a level it hadn't touched before.  It also managed to wrap up the current storyline, and, borrowing from Kate's adventures in LA, sets up the next one.

Clint's relationship with his brother and the women in his life is expanded upon, and our hero finally realizes what it means to really lean on someone, and he finally accepts it, though he still has a lot of work to do in that department.  He also discovers what it means to be a hero- at least for him- and rises to the title.  There are also flashback scenes that give an in-depth view of his family and history.

Since Kate's a bit busy for the majority of this story, she's not around very much.  While I did miss her presence, new characters filled the gap nicely.

Overall, this was an amazing end to an amazing series.  I can't wait to see where the character goes and plan to pick up volume five sometime in the near future.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Burning Glass & Revenge and the Wild


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.  Click here to join in on the fun.  I have two books I'm waiting on because I just couldn't decide between the two which to spotlight!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

5 Star Movie Review: The Force Awakens

Starring: Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Lupita Nyong'o (Maz Kanata), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Anthony Daniles (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma)

Director: JJ Abrams

Rating: 5 Star

So, guys, I saw Star Wars.  Twice, so far, both on opening day, but I hope to see it again, soon, on Imax.  Perhaps even sooner if I can manage it.

Don't worry, I've decided not to include spoilers in this review.  When the movie releases digitally (I've already preordered) I'll review it again, full of spoilers, and my theories for the characters and such.  That won't be for a while, though, and if you ever want to chat with me about it, spoiler or non-spoiler, I'm open.

This movie was so good.  When the words "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" came across the screen I all but started crying.  It was so amazing to finally have reached this movie.  And also, it was midnight, so I might have been a little over-tired and hopped up on ice cream and popcorn.  Throughout the whole film, I felt just amazed at being in the presence of this movie and when it finally ended I couldn't stop thinking about it.

JJ Abrams did an amazing job retaining the feel that the original movie had.  Not only did he master merging the old and the new, but he was able to mimic the feel of the originals by incorporating traditional scene changes (the fade in/out circle, for example), and planets somewhat paralleling older ones.  It was as much a new film as an ode to the old ones.

Casting was superb.  In the acting category, this one definitely takes the cake.  Every actor was perfectly suitable for their roles, and each new role was a unique character.  All the new characters will now forever hold a place in my heart.  Poe is, as I predicted correctly, my favorite character, though Rey, Finn, and Kylo have also reached seats in my pantheon of great characters.  I was surprised that I enjoyed all their characters so much.

The plot wasn't excessively surprising (if you followed the chatter online, fan theories, and breakdowns of trailers, you know the general shape of the plot), though my mother, who was in the dark before going in and, while she's seen all the films, isn't a mega-fan, was surprised quite a bit more.  I liked the direction the story went, though I have a few complaints about how much certain characters weren't in it, and can't wait to see where it leads in the next film.

While there is a Star Wars anthology film coming out next year around this time, now we all have to wait until May 2017 for Episode Eight.  Fingers crossed the wait doesn't feel that long!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Book Review: Soundless

Author: Richelle Mead
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Richelle Mead was one of the first YA writers I ever read, since her Vampire Academy series was the first YA series I ever picked up.  I was excited, though a little nervous, when I heard about this book coming out, though I trusted Richelle Mead to write a good book.

Soundless is about Fei, who lives in a remote village where no one can hear.  They get their food and supplies every day from a town in exchange for the metal they mine.  People have started losing their vision, though, which has caused the village to suffer in the amount of metals it's been able to mine.  In order to try and save both her village and her sister, Fei travels with an old friend down the side of the mountain and into the world after mysteriously regaining her ability to hear.

First things first: this cover is gorgeous, though that's not really how I pictured Fei in my head.

Now, onto what I didn't like, so we can take care of the negatives first.  The world-building was rather lacking, and since it has been depicted as being a fantasy, there should have been a bit more.  Besides a few mentions of the name of the country, I would have thought it was set in ancient China.  The ending, too, got on my nerves a bit.  The set-up for it was there, but it also seemed way to convenient.  I don't want to give anything away, but while it was a cool way to finish the book, it didn't feel like the right way.

Here's what I did like:

The writing, not unexpectedly, was amazing.  The characters, too, really grew on me.  I do wish there had been more time to explore them, but not because it was necessary, but because they were interesting.  The fact that there's no spoken dialogue in the whole book was pretty amazing, and when reading the sign language it was a new experience for my brain.  What little world building we got was interesting, and I feel like the village itself is pretty cemented in my head.

I've seen some really negative reviews for this book, which is surprising since it's not that bad.  It's not her strongest work compared to Vampire Academy or Bloodlines, but as a book, it's very good and I recommend it if you're looking for something different to read.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday Comics

Welcome to another edition of Sunday Comics!  Just a reminder: I'll be doing these on a monthly basis now, and not biweekly.  The change comes because I've just been reading fewer comics lately because of time constraints.

Invincible Iron Man (2015- ) Issue #2
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Rating: 4 Stars
I've said before that I'm not usually an iron man fan, but I tried this newest series on a whim, and found it to be actually very good.  I like the direction, and while I'm still not sure what the plot is exactly, I feel like it's moving in  positive direction.  Tony working with Doom is certainly not where I thought it would go, but I embrace it.

Secret Wars Issues #2, #3
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Esad Ribic
Rating: 4.5 Stars
A very compelling story that I'm glad I'm finally getting to.  Issue #2 was the most interesting so far, and I can't wait to explore this new universe and see where everyone has ended up.  Issue #3, while I had high expectations, failed to deliver since it was mostly just a "reintroduction" of characters plus some background information.  Really eager for things to start happening again.

Captain America: Sam Wilson (2015- ) Issue #2
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Daniel Acuna
Rating: 4.75 Stars
Like with Iron Man, I've never really been a fan of Captain America comics.  I have tried some in the past, but none really clicked with me.  With Sam at the head, though, I absolutely love them!  I think (and this is hard to say since I love Steve in the movies) Sam is probably my favorite version of Captain America.  It's hard to explain why, but issue two pretty much cements it for me.

All-New X-Men (2012-2015) Issue #10
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Rating: 4 Stars
I'm glad to finally return to this series after taking a break for a bit.  I love these characters, and I like the direction it's all headed.  I do still feel a bit like I was thrown into a story I don't completely understand, so I wish there was more backstory given for certain characters, but that also entices me to go back and read earlier series'.

New Avengers (2015- ) Issue #2
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Gerardo Sandoval
Rating: 4.5 Stars
The best part of this issue was highlighting each characters strength and showing why they're a good team in the first place.  I was feeling a bit like they were thrown together randomly, so I'm glad to see it all working out for the better at this point.

Spider-Man 2099 (2015- ) Issue #2
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Will Sliney
Rating: 3 Stars
While issue one ended on a fantastic and unexpected plot twist, issue two just couldn't do it for me.  The story struggled to keep me entertained and I just wasn't interested in the hero or the villain.  Someday I'll probably return to this story, but not right now.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up and Book Haul

This week I just seemed to lose a lot of steam and fall behind on all my blogging and such.  I didn't read very much at all, for one.  For another, I always try to pre-write posts, and I have a planner where I make note of when I want to write them and then when I want to post them, and I'm officially three days behind.  The last few days I didn't write at all, which is also a shame, but I'm not as upset about that because I reached my goal for the month early.  Today this post is getting up late because it was my mother's birthday and I spent all day with her, so I am sorry about that.

In other news, did watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens twice on the day it was released (because, yes, I am that person) and OH MY GOODNESS IT WAS AMAZING YOU MUST GO WATCH IT IF YOU HAVEN'T.  I think that conveys my thoughts pretty well, but I'll be posting a review on Tuesday.  I think I will include spoilers and theories I have in that post, but I'll make sure to note when the spoilers start.

Finished this Week
The only thing I finished this week was the fifth volume of Hawkeye.  I will write a review for this one, but you won't see that review for a while.  I enjoyed it, but I loved the first storyline and the artist/writer that worked on that so much, I can't imagine this will live up to that.  I'll have to wait and see where volume six goes.

Currently Reading
I'm just over halfway through Snow Like Ashes and I totally lost my momentum while reading it.  It's not a bad book, and I plan to finish it this week, but I think I had very high expectations that it just can't live up to.  I'm also reading Bentwhistle the Dragon and a Threat From the Past, which I'm enjoying so far.  I was surprised to find that it's more of an urban fantasy than an epic fantasy.  Manga-wise I'm almost done with Blue Exorcist vol 2.  When I finish the novels I'm in the middle of I'll be starting Shadows Edge and when I finished Blue Exorcist I'll be starting Skywalker Strikes.

Last Week

This Week
Sunday-- Sunday Comics
Monday-- Book Review of Soundless
Tuesday-- Movie Review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday-- Fall Wrap Up, Graphic Novel Review of Hawkeye Vol. 4
Friday-- 1 Year Blogoversary & Giveaway, Friday 56
Saturday-- Wrap Up and Haul

Haul
Yeah, okay, I had another really big one because I just kind of lost control of myself.  Sorry, not sorry.

KINDLE EBOOKS
Warlords and Wastrels
This is the third book in a trilogy, so now I have all three and haven't started it yet.  I am eager to begin these because I've heard good things.
Shades of Milk and Honey
This is a book I've had my eye on for a while, and finally caved and got it because I just really want to read these.
GRAPHIC NOVEL
Star Wars Vol. 1: Skywalker Strikes
Can you tell I'm in a bit of a Star Wars mood now?  It's about time that I finally started this series, and I know I'll adore it.  This will be my next read for sure.
MANGA
Blue Exorcist Vol. 2
You're probably thinking, "Sam, you hauled this last week, what are you doing?"  Well, no, I didn't forget that I hauled it, but I didn't realize at the time of hauling it that there was some brown gunk sticking to pages together.  It was impossible to get off and I wasn't going to tear the pages, so I exchanged it with Amazon for a new copy.  When that arrived it came badly damaged, so I exchanged it again, finally getting a copy in perfect condition.  Normally this kind of thing really stresses me out and makes me angry, and at first it did, but then someone from Amazon's customer service contacted me, and she was wonderful.  She was really kind, made sure I really actually wanted to exchange or whether just returning it would be better and was all around really nice.  So, yeah, Amazon has some awesome customer service, which was a wonderful surprise.
HARDCOVERS
The Death of Dulgath
This was a preorder, and I was so excited to get it in the mail!  I have a digital edition as well, because I love this series, but I really wanted a pretty copy for my shelf to sit next to the rest.
The Wrath and the Dawn
I splurged and got this one.  I know I'm going to enjoy it, so I couldn't stop myself.  Shall read this one shortly.
NOT BOOKS
My First Smashbook
A smashbook is pretty similar to a scrapbook, but it comes already bound.  I do plan to post pictures of pages I've finished at the end of every few months, and I'm eager to share what I've done and why I've done them.
Badlands (Deluxe) by Halsey
I've had my eye on this one for a while, but I finally caved and bought it to listen to while I wrapped presents (is that weird??).  I enjoy this one quite a bit and I'm glad I made the purchase.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Official Movie Soundtrack by John Williams
Does this actually surprise anyone?  I preordered this and fell asleep listening to it after seeing the midnight premier.  Well worth every dollar; Star Wars always has good music.


So that was my week and my (bigger than I wanted it to be) haul.  Thanks for stopping by!