Weekend Update

Happy weekend, my Star Wars friends!

Since I finished four books last week, I had some decisions to make on what I wanted to read next. With all the hype about the rebooted KOTOR game coming out, I decided it was time for me to delve into that era of Star Wars. So I ordered the book Revan, and I’m a few chapters in. Too soon to really make any pronouncements, but people keep telling me I’ll love it. I hope so! I’m not a gamer, so I’ve never played the game and don’t know much about that period; the book will be my source for the story.

This contains: Revan: Star Wars Legends (the Old Republic) by Karpyshyn, Drew

I also started and finished the second book in Lyra Wolf’s Loki series called The Order of Chaos. I’m really enjoying this series, and this second installment had me ripping through the chapters, much more quickly than the first book (although that was quite good, too). This one sees Loki escaping from his 500-year torment of dripping snake venom, bent on getting revenge on the gods through Ragnorok–until he finds out Sigyn is still alive. Then he must work to stop what’s already in motion, meeting up with his children along the way–Hel in the Underworld, Fenrir the Wolf, and Jormangandr the Snake; all the while trying to win Sigyn back from an Elf named Falael (who Loki calls “Falafel”). For me it was a real page-turner.

In Marvel, the What If? episode with Stephen Strange was so good I had to rewatch Dr. Strange. It really is quite wonderful, and I can’t wait for the next Dr. Strange movie (next March, I think?). He shows up in the Spiderman movie in November, too, but there’s something afoot there, lol. Can’t wait to find out what it is.

The latest What If? was….interesting. I suppose it had to happen sometime–zombies. I was a Walking Dead fan for awhile, and have nothing against zombies, but it just seems like a cliched sort of subject these days. But after I rolled my eyes, I settled in to watch and enjoyed it nonetheless. I especially loved Scott Lange’s head with Dr. Strange’s cape, lol. This is really turning out to be a fun show.

So I was casting around for another show to watch that fit my mood and was scrolling through Disney+ (the only streaming service I have) and decided to do another Marvel movie marathon but this time with X-Men. I had seen the first X-Men movie in 2000 (wow–21 years ago!) and it was one of the very few “comic book” movies I’d ever watched. I remember really liking it; I loved how it showcased people who are born differently and the discrimination they face because of it. I might have seen the second one, but not many more after that. But now I want to watch all of them! I watched the first one the other night, and really enjoyed it. It helped that there are some fabulous actors involved that I just love (Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, and Hugh Jackman, just to name a few). So really looking forward to getting these Marvel “Legacy” movies under my belt! Not sure about the Fantastic Four yet–we’ll see, lol. But once I’m done with watching X-Men, I’ll do a post on what I thought of each film (briefly), similar to what I did with my last Marvel movie marathon.

Looking ahead to some Star Wars shows, I’ll probably check out the Lego Halloween special Terrifying Tales. I’m not a huge Lego fan, but I loved the Holiday Special last year, and if this one is anything like that, it’ll be great. It centers around Poe Dameron, who I had wanted more of in the Holiday one, he was so funny. And of course, there’s Visions. Again, not a huge anime fan, but I’ll be tuning in out of curiosity.

So that’s it for now. Hope you have a great weekend and see you next time!

Weekend Update: Star Wars, Marvel and Vampires

Happy weekend Star Wars friends!

So I finally caught up with all of my reading and finished four, count ’em, four books this week!

  • Out of the Shadows, by Justina Ireland. I finally finished this YA High Republic Star Wars book, mainly featuring young Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh and a young hauler named Sylvestri Yarrow. I’m really enjoying the High Republic stories, and this one’s not bad, but I also felt it was kind of all over the place. There seemed to be a lot going on, and yet nothing really seemed to happen, if that makes sense. There was a lot of characterization, which I like, but the plot was a bit dull, concerning a possible Nihil weapon being built in an out of the way sector of space. But it’s about Jedi, which is what I love about the High Republic, so I’ll keep reading!
  • Freefall, by Alex Segura. This is the other YA Star Wars novel I’ve been working through, this one about a young Poe Dameron and his time with the Spice Runners of Kijimi. This one was fine, as well, a solid story about 16-year-old Poe wanting to get away from the boredom of Yavin 4 and kind of accidentally getting involved in the Spice Runner organization. The only reason he really stays is because of Zorii Bliss, but she is clearly more invested in the group than he is. It’s a decent coming of age story for Poe, when he finally decides what path he wants to pursue in his life.
  • Truth and Other Lies, by Lyra Wolf. This is the latest Loki novel I’ve read, and it concerns mythical Loki and his relationships with the other gods of Asgard. This one is borderline paranormal romance, and it seems Loki’s slept with quite a few of them, including Sif, Thor’s wife, and Odin himself. But it’s when he meets the human woman Sygin that he falls head over heels. It’s also a sign that Ragnorok is coming, with Loki at its center, as The Destroyer of Worlds. Quite entertaining, actually. It’s the first of a trilogy, and I’ll be starting the second book, The Order of Chaos, soon. Here Loki is ginger-haired and green-eyed, incredibly vain but witty and passionate.
  • I Was Anastasia, by Ariel Lawhon. This is a novel my book club is reading, and it’s split between the events leading up to the murder of the Romanov family in 1918, and the story of Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed to be Anastasia. Since Anderson was proven a fraud in 2007 through DNA results, the book was less about “is she or isn’t she?” and more about “how in the world did this woman pretend to be Anastasia for 60 years? And why?” Although I was more interested in the real Anastasia and the lead-up to the murders, this was an interesting and ultimately heartbreaking read, for both Anastasias.

With all these books finished, what’s next? Well, the next Loki book, as I mentioned, as well as the next book club book, which we’ll choose in a few days. But I was also thinking about exploring the Old Republic in the Star Wars universe. I haven’t done that yet, and since there will be no more High Republic books out until January (except the comics) I thought it was high time. So I’ve ordered the first Revan book by Drew Karpyshyn. I think I’m ready to dive into that era of Star Wars.

On the Marvel front, I watched All Hail the King, a short (15 min) film with the Mandarin aka Trevor Slattery, the “villain”/actor from Ironman 3, and his time in prison. At first it seemed kind of pointless, if diverting, but then it got to the point in linking to the new Marvel movie Shang Chi and the Ten Rings. Oh, okay. So there’s that. (I haven’t seen Shang Chi yet, and probably won’t until it comes out on Disney+. But don’t quote me on that).

Marvel's What If...? is more important to the MCU than you think
Dr. Strange prepares to face….Dr. Strange.

I much more enjoyed the new What If? episode with Dr. Strange. These shows have been fun and entertaining, with characters switching roles or what have you, but this one was really quite moving and heartbreaking. Besides Loki, Dr. Strange is my favorite Marvel character, and this is my favorite What If? by far. This one wasn’t so much about a hero turning evil (although that’s what happens), but about grief and the impact it has on an individual, and the entire universe. Really good stuff. I’m just wondering who the heck The Watcher is, to be honest. What’s his purpose? He can’t interfere, he can’t change things. He’s not a god, as he tells Dr. Strange, the first time he’s actually spoken to anyone he watches. I guess he’s just a celestial observer of some sort, lol.

Finally, in my quest to acquaint myself with more Tom Hiddleston work, I discovered a gem called Only Lovers Left Alive. TH and his Marvel co-star Tilda Swinton (The Sorceress Supreme–who happened to show up in the What If episode above) are modern-day vampires that have been alive for several centuries. Now, I haven’t been into vampires since Anne Rice in the 90s, but this film was really quite fabulous. It meanders along like a dream, with Adam and Eve (yeah, those are their names, lol) doing their vampire thing–Adam is a musician, creating music (anonymously) and tinkering with technology in an abandoned part of Detroit, while his wife Eve lives in Tangier with her multitudes of books, hanging out with her vampire friend Christopher Marlowe (yeah, that one) who apparently wrote all of Shakespeare’s works. They don’t kill people for blood (not anymore, anyway) and have to find it some other way, especially since most people these days have contaminated blood (alcohol, drugs, chemicals, etc.) Mostly they just hang around and listen to music and talk about Life and stuff. But then Eve’s wild sister Ava shows up and causes trouble. I absolutely loved it! Hipster vampires, lol. Oh, and I love how Adam calls humans “zombies.”

Adam and Eve chillin’.

That’s it for this week. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!