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What I'm Reading/Watching/Playing (Jan&Feb!)


So I read the rest of the Cradle Books! (The ones that are out so far, anyway)

Cradle #2  Soulsmith by Will Wight

Linden gets thrown into the deep end (locked in a pit with a bunch of monsters, anyway) and has to level up to get out! He starts down the path as a ninja artificer! Fun! 

Cradle #3 Blackflame by Will Wight

The two heroes are being manipulated it the nicest possible way and there is nothing that they can do about it. The benefits are worth the risk, obviously, and there are secrets being kept from them, obviously, but watching them navigate their new family is still fun. (Seriously, I thought the turtle was going to kill Linden!)

Cradle #4 Skysworn by Will Wight

A big duel, and a lot of zooming out and realizing just how small and puny our heroes really are. Also, magical prosthetic limbs! 

 Cradle #5  Ghostwater by Will Wight

This was like an underwater D&D dungeon crawl featuring Wheatley from Portal 2, in the best possible way. Wonderful! 

Cradle #6 Underlord by Will Wight

A lot of things were revealed that were not surprising but still a lot of fun. The characters are basically min/maxing themselves and it is VERY satisfying! Okay, a few of the revelations at the very end were surprising, and also fun. Also, I identify strongly with Yaren's lack of ability to put up with any and all bullshit and her "just hurry up and slice everyone up" mentality. 

Cradle #7 Uncrowned by Will Wight

Do you remember the part of Naruto where they spent an entire season fighting each other for the Chunnin exam? This is like that, except much more satisfying because they are all super powerful ninjas already and you know and like all the characters. 

Cradle #8 Wintersteel by Will Wight

This book ties up a lot of the plotty bits that were dangling from the past several books and point the heroes in a definitive direction. It was also the most hilarious book, and every character had some moments of shining, incredible awesomeness, and I laughed out loud enough times to wake up Gunnar. Easily the best book in the series.

Overall, I liked this series a lot! It was quick and fun and now it's over....oh wait. No. It's not over. I got baited and switched. When I was halfway through book seven, John mentioned that the next one comes out in a few months and I was like WHAT!??? because I thought I only had one more book left. But no. It's incomplete. HOWEVER Wintersteel is actually not a terrible place to stop because it does wrap up so many things and actually gives the main character a very nice arc that completes the first full circle in his spiral upwards. I think when the next one does come out, I'll reread Wintersteel to remind myself what was going on, and I'll enjoy it because there are so many great moments to relive. 

The Revisionaries by A. R. Moxon

I won this book in a blog giveaway and it was...weird. Really weird. But not in a good way. It interesting, but also a bit of a slog, and really difficult to explain because of several very big Twists that are not twists but more like 6th sense "they were cats all along!" but it doesn't make as much sense as the 6th sense reveal because maybe only some of them are cats? The idea is that the narrative itself gets revised by characters partway through the book (hence the title) and...yeah it's weird. I was also not a huge fan of the writing style, since some of these descriptions went on and on and on and also not in a good way. So it was interesting, and if you like experimental sort of puzzly books you might like this, but I'm more of a sci-fi and fantasy nerd with a dash of romance kinda gal. 

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

SO GOOD. JUST SOO GOOD. I've heard the hype about this series from multiple sources, and it absolutely is everything I ever wanted. I'm actually listening to the audiobook courtesy of my library's Libby app and the reader is also SO GOOD. The writing and descriptions are so visceral but somehow also poetic, the plot is unpredictable as it's unfolding but it all makes so much sense when it's strung together and you get to the perfect conclusion, and the characters are so flawed and they grow so much and...I really can't say much more about this book other than that it is the best thing I have read in a very long while. The premise is that a low caste "red" mining worker on Mars working to terraform the planet ends up leading an uprising to free his people from their enslavement, but really, that's the most basic outline. This book, and this series are so much more! 

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Just as unpredictable and well written as the first book, the feeling that anything could happen to any of the characters adds to the high-stakes tenseness. 


Agents of Shield Season 6

Okay, "Fear and Loathing on the planet of Kitsen" has got to be the most fun episode of Agents of Shield I have ever watched. It made everything worth while, even Simmon's stupid bangs and the obvious red-shirts that were introduced this season. (Also, FitzSimmons is my OTP and anyone who disagrees has the emotional range of a teaspoon.) At this point, the plot is basically so ridiculous that it's like a wacky fanfic, but I'm okay with that. I liked the space bits, I was totally over the zombie bits, and overall, it felt a lot like some of the later seasons of Buffy, but in a good way, not the parts where Buffy was taking itself too seriously. Overall, it was fun and I got a lot of sewing done while we watched it! 

FitzSimmons makes it all worthwhile

Agents of Shield Season 7

I usually hate time-travel and all the paradoxes that come with time-travel movies and shows, but Shield knew very well that they were playing fast and loose with the trope, at one point a character asks about paradoxes and is told, "Ya know, even Simmons doesn't really understand how it works, so just don't worry about it and enjoy being in the past!" which was hilarious and filled me with relief, letting me pointedly ignore my worry about paradoxes and just enjoy the show for the hilarious, heart-warming, slightly formulaic show that it is. A few standout episodes were the time-loop episode, the Mac and Deke episode, and the finale. I missed Fitz in this season, but his appearance at the end made his absence worthwhile. This season brought Agents of Shield to a satisfying, heart-warming conclusion.


I am really enjoying this emotional deviation from the action and one-liners that are all I recall from the Avengers movies. It's a strange show, but it has a lot of heart. I wish the episodes were longer or that there were more of them or that I just waited to binge watch it, but I am enjoying this show. It's charming and strange, even if the whole idea of SWORD makes me roll my eyes after watching 7 seasons about SHIELD because...what exactly is the point of them being different?? I'm still mad about how separate the Mavel T.V. Shows like Daredevil and Agents of Shield have been from the main movies, but I guess Wandavision is a nice change from that, even if it makes no sense that SWORD would be called in to deal with Wanda instead of SHIELD. Because Mac, as director, would have handled it so much better than the jerk in charge on Wandavision.


Terraforming Mars

Again! And again, and again, and again LOL. I love this game. I've been playing it with Gunnar as a 2 player game a lot, and we also played it a couple times with Jack, who LOVES it. It's a challenging game for a 9 year old, but he does great! I really want to buy these upgraded player mats for it though. We also got the "Prologue" expansion for it which is literally just a deck of cards that helps get the game going a big quicker, and I think that it was a great improvement! It's more satisfying when you can do more on the board. We had one game in which we almost filled the entire board with green!