Weekly Wrap-Up – November 27, 2021

Happy Saturday, everyone! We’ve reached the end of another week. Today I’m going to, once again, wrap up my week, including notes about my personal life, blog posts/book reviews, reading updates, book acquisitions (if any), and comic book acquisitions and reading progress.

Read More »

Comic Book Recap & Review – Superman: Son of Kal-El (2021-) Issue #1

Today’s post is a recap and review of the first issue of Superman: Son of Kal-El. I wrote a while back about how excited I was that there was a bi superman, and I’ve finally been able to sit down and read the first issue. I haven’t read a DC book in quite some time, and I’m excited about getting to see what is going on with this character.

Read More »

Comic Book Recap & Review – Eternals One-Shots (2021)

Today’s post is a recap and review of some recent Eternals single-issue stories. I’m not sure why the ongoing series was paused for a bit after issue six in favor of these separate stories, but I’m looking forward to seeing what they are about, especially with the movie so close and the way issue six of the series ended. If you are curious about my thoughts on the first six issues of the current Eternals run, you can find them here.

Read More »

Monthly Wrap-Up: October 2021

Happy Halloween! I hope everyone has been loving spooky season and enjoys the day today however you choose. My wife and I will be giving out buckets and buckets of candy (our neighborhood is quite popular and takes Halloween very seriously), and I’m looking forward to it. This month has been pretty quiet. I’ve enjoyed spending more time outside during the little bit of cool weather we have had. It has also been a pretty great reading month. All of the books I’ve read have been 3-star reads or above, with most of them being 4 or 5 star reads. I also read manga for the first time, and it is a medium I definitely plan to explore more moving forward.

For those that were following along here and on Twitter, I failed my book buying ban pretty early on. Initially, I wanted to avoid buying books for the entire month, but I only lasted 8 days. I did, however, manage to buy far fewer books this month and didn’t buy any for the last two weeks of the month. I still consider that to be a pretty big accomplishment, and I’m thankful for it considering how many books I’ll be buying in November…

Progress On My 2021 Reading Goal

After meeting my annual goal last month, I’ve been less focused on acquiring certain numbers. However, I still added quite a few books to my annual total this month, which brought me up to 117 for the year, so far.

October 2021 Reviews

In total, I completed 4 full-length book reviews, 6 mini book reviews, 2 comic book reviews, 4 manga reviews, and 1 audio drama series review. I reviewed the following books:

Blog Posts

I continued participating in First Lines Fridays throughout the month. However, I did my last Stacking the Shelves and transitioned to a weekly wrap-up post instead since I was trying to acquire less books. I like the new format better and will be sticking with it for the foreseeable future.

I also participated in one Top 5 Tuesday, wrote a post detailing my reaction to the new Superman being bi, and wrote a post about my 9 most anticipated releases of November 2021.

Final Thoughts

Looking back on my TBR for October, I met almost all of my goals. I finished reading all but one of the books on my TBR, and I finished reading all the comics I set out to read. I got a lot of new ARCs, but I also read several this month. My NetGalley feedback ratio is beginning to take somewhat of dive. So, I’m going to have to be a little pickier about what I request for the near future. I also wish I could have done more Halloween themed posts, but I had such a packed schedule of reading/content that it didn’t really happen. I’ll definitely be planning better for next year. Overall, though, it’s been a great month. I enjoyed having a bit more flexibility in my reading choices since I wasn’t taking part in a readathon this month. I hope you all had a great month and wish you the best for November! Happy Halloween!

Weekly Wrap-Up – October 30, 2021

Happy Saturday, everyone! We’ve reached the end of another week. Today I’m going to, once again, wrap up my week, including notes about my personal life, blog posts/book reviews, reading updates, book acquisitions (if any), and comic book acquisitions and reading progress.

Personal Updates

It has been a pretty great week. My wife is on vacation, and it has been fun getting to spend more time with her. We haven’t done much but hang around the house, but it has been nice. I wish there was something more exciting to say, but I’ve mostly spent the week watching TV and doing household chores and errands. I have made some progress on my Doctor Who 13th Doctor re-watch, and am excitedly anticipating the premiere of Series 13 tomorrow. I’ve also spent a lot of time getting the treats ready to give out to trick or treaters tomorrow night. We are giving out bags of candy to keep people from digging their hands into a bowl, which requires much more prep work than I initially thought.

Book Acquisitions

I didn’t buy any books again this week! However, I did get approved for two new titles on NetGalley. They won’t be released until next year. So, it’ll be a while before I get around to reading them, but I’m looking forward to both.

Comic Book Acquisitions & Reading Progress

Once again, I went to the comic book store this week. So, I have a mix of digital and physical comics. This week was also pretty diverse in what I picked up, but it still heavily included Star wars and Spider-Man.

As for reading comics, I didn’t read much this week. I kept up to date with Star Wars and Spider-Man and read some of the Star Wars Adventures issues. I also read the first book of Catwoman: Lonely City, which was a really great read.

Reading Updates

This was a pretty slow reading week for me. I read the fourth volume of The Way of the House Husband. I also read Jade City and started A Marvellous Light. On the bright side, they were all pretty great (at least so far as I haven’t finished A Marvellous Light yet).

Blog Posts & Book Reviews

This has been another busy week for blog posts and book reviews. I once again managed to post every day this week! My posts from the last week are listed below:

  • Weekly Wrap-Up – October 23, 2021 – This post is my weekly wrap-up from last Saturday. Check it out, if you haven’t already, to see my updates from last week.
  • Book Review: The Bone Shard Daughter – This book review highlights my reading experience of The Bone Shard Daughter, which was a fantastic 5 star read.
  • Manga Monday: Way of the Househusband Vol 4 – This post details my thoughts about the fourth volume of this manga series. Just when I was thinking it was getting a bit old, the author knocked this one out of the park. It was so funny!
  • Most Anticipated Releases of November 2021 – This post showcases the books I’m most excited for in November 2021. There are so many of them releasing next month!
  • Mini Review – Constance – This mini review highlights my thoughts on this thriller that takes you inside the mind of a clone.
  • Audio Drama Review – Doctor Who: Ravagers – I’m so excited about the Doctor Who premiere tomorrow that I decided to listen to the Ravagers audio drama from Big Finish since they supposedly will be in this new series. It was also a treat because it was the first new story with the 9th Doctor since 2005.
  • First Lines Fridays #29 – This post provides the first lines of a book and asks you to guess, and judge, the book by those lines. Check it out to see if you can guess the book.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Another weekly wrap-up. I love reading wrap-up posts. So, if you’ve got one for this week, please leave a link to it in the comments, and I’ll stop by and check it out.

Weekly Wrap-Up – October 23, 2021

Happy Saturday, everyone! We’ve reached the end of another week. Today I’m going to, once again, wrap up my week, including notes about my personal life, blog posts/book reviews, reading updates, book acquisitions (if any), and comic book acquisitions and reading progress.

Personal Updates

This has been a really great week. I’ve been able to get some organizing done and get all of my LEGO collection into one closet with space to spare. I still need to organize my comic book collection and find it a new space to live, but I guess that will be next week’s project. I’ve made some progress on my 13th Doctor re-watch in anticipation of the new season of Doctor Who on October 31. I’ve finished Season 11 and plan to finish watching all of her episodes again before the premiere. I also watched the new Dune movie this week, which I greatly enjoyed. Now I really want to read the book!

I’ve spent a ton of time outside this week, as well. The weather was so nice at the beginning of the week I spent most evenings out on the patio with a fire. I also did some landscaping and put up our outdoor Halloween decorations. If you’d like to see pics of the decorations, be sure to check out my Twitter timeline. Unfortunately, the autumn-like weather hasn’t lasted, and it is now back to being 90 degrees here in Louisiana. But it was nice while it lasted.

Last but not least, today is my wife’s birthday! We will be celebrating for most of the day with family, and I spent some of my time this week getting ready for that and making sure all her gifts are in order.

Book Acquisitions

I didn’t buy any books this week! The Prison Healer finally became available at the library, and I was approved for The Wolf Den by NetGalley. So, even though I broke the book buying ban, this month I’m still set to buy fewer books than the last few months. I consider that a win.

Comic Book Acquisitions & Reading Progress

I went to a comic book store for the first time in the last 1.5 years! I switched to digital comics at the beginning of the pandemic and haven’t been back to the store since. I’ve really missed going in there and browsing through stuff. Shopping the digital store just isn’t the same experience. Moving forward, I think I’m going to get some books in a physical format and continue buying others digital, simply for the sake of space. We’ll see how it goes though. I may switch back to all digital if there are production/distribution issues like at the beginning of the pandemic. That is what ultimately made me decide to switch before because it was very hard to make sure I got all the books I want, and I hate having gaps in my physical collection.

As for reading comics, I’ve made lots of progress. I read Sinister War and caught up on Spider-Man. I also finished reading the recent High Republic comics and stayed up to date on the War of the Bounty Hunters. Over the next week, I plan to work on some of the Star Wars Adventures books now that I’m up to date on everything else.

Reading Updates

It has been an incredibly eclectic reading week. I finished another manga volume of The Way of the House Husband. I also finished the newest Star Wars book Star Wars: Visions: Ronin. I’m also slowly making my way through the Harry Potter series for the first time. I’m trying to finish it before the end of the year, but the books just keep getting longer and longer. I have been enjoying them a lot, though, and this week I finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I also read a bit of poetry this week and finished Where Darkness Meets Light, which was an interesting collection of poems about mental illness. Finally, I read one of my most anticipated books of the fall, The Bone Shard Emperor.

Blog Posts & Book Reviews

This has been another busy week for blog posts and book reviews. I managed to post every day this week, and I even posted twice yesterday! My posts from the last week are listed below:

  • Weekly Wrap-Up – October 16, 2021 – This post is my weekly wrap-up from last Saturday. Check it out, if you haven’t already, to see my updates from last week.
  • Book Review: More Happy Than Not – This book review details my thoughts about the debut novel of Adam Silvera. This book broke me and had twists I didn’t see coming. It left me an emotional mess for days after finishing it, and I can’t recommend this 5 star read enough.
  • Manga Monday: Way of the Househusband Vol 3 – This post details my thoughts about the third volume of this manga series. I enjoyed it but also wonder how much longer than can continue the same gag without it becoming boring.
  • Mini Review – Star Wars: Visions: Ronin – This mini review highlights my thoughts about the latest Star Wars book. It was interesting take of the Star Wars galaxy, but overall it felt a bit meh.
  • Comic Book Recap & Review – Sinister War (2021) – This post contains a recap of the recent Spider-Man comic book event, Sinister War. I’ve also shared my thoughts about the event and the larger storyline involving the villain Kindred.
  • Mini Review: The Magi Menagerie – This mini review shares my thoughts about The Magi Menagerie, the first book in a new series by Kale Lawrence. I loved this book and found it a ton of fun to read.
  • First Lines Fridays #28 – This post provides the first lines of a book and asks you to guess, and judge, the book by those lines. Check it out to see if you can guess the book.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Another weekly wrap-up. I love reading wrap-up posts. So, if you’ve got one for this week, please leave a link to it in the comments, and I’ll stop by and check it out.

Comic Book Recap & Review – Sinister War (2021)

Today’s post is a recap and review of the comic Sinister War, which was released earlier this year. It definitely feels like the Amazing Spider-Man title has been building to something big. So, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in this event and the tie-in Spider-Man issues. For simplicity sake, the recap will only go over events from the Sinister War issues, but I’ll include my thoughts on the Spider-Man issues when I discuss my opinions in the review at the end.

Recap (Spoiler Alert!)

The comic starts with Peter and MJ attending her movie premiere. They are walking the red carpet, when the movie’s director comes to take MJ away to do an interview. Once they are away from Peter, the director asks MJ if she’s told Peter the truth yet, and she hasn’t. The director is actually none other than the reformed? Mysterio. As they do the interview, Peter looks on thinking about how he will ask MJ to marry him tonight once the movie premiere is over. As they settle into their seats for the movie premiere, a loud BOOM erupts and the Savage Six tear through the movie screen. A fight ensues, and Peter dons his Spider-Man suit to enter the fray. As he is fighting, Vulture captures MJ, who is then saved by none other than Mysterio. Vulture and Mysterio start battling it out because Vulture is upset about how he was portrayed in the movie. Vulture gets the upper hand until the Sinister Six burst into the auditorium. The two villain teams fight each other over Mysterio. As they do, Peter and MJ get in a fight over her knowing about Mysterio, and Mysterio tells Peter he knows something important that explains everything that is going on. Before he can listen, Peter jumps back into the fight to try to keep the two villain teams from bringing the auditorium down around them. While Peter is fighting, Doc Oc attempts to persuade Mysterio to rejoin the Sinister Six and turn over MJ to him. Mysterio agrees and helps them get away with MJ. Spider-Man is left there alone and passes out. He wakes up in Kindred’s mausoleum facing several teams of villains. The scene cuts away to Doctor Strange facing down Mephisto over some deal he has made regarding the ongoing events. Mephisto offers Doctor Strange a chance to change things by playing a game of chance…

Spider-Man is engaged in a brutal battle with all his enemies in the graveyard outside of Kindred’s mausoleum. They almost capture him multiple times as he bounces from fighting one group of villains to another. Throughout the fighting, the scene flashes back several times to show that Kindred has recruited them all to kill Spider-Man. He implants brain-eating centipedes in all their heads to motivate them to comply with his orders and tells them all that they must kill Spider-Man. He offers the one who succeeds in killing Spider-Man the right hand spot in hell since they are all going there anyway. In the present, the battle continues and Spider-Man begins to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of foes.

Spider-Man is hiding in the graveyard attempting to stay out of the sights of the 30 villains after him. Silver Sable shows up unexpectedly with a team of her own, including Wolverine and the Human Torch. They tell Spider-Man to rest as they go get more help. When they get closer, Wolverine suddenly turns into the Lizard and lunges at Spider-Man. It turns out they were all villains disguised by Mysterio. The villains resume beating up on Spider-Man as Kindred awakens the Sin Eater from his grave to go after Spider-Man, as well. Peter attempts to run for it and looks like he is going to get away with the use of his web shooter, but Doc Ock grabs him out of the air. The villains then begin fighting again over who should finish him off, and Spider-Man is able to crawl away while they are distracted. As he runs, he continues to dodge and fight villain after villain before facing Boomerang, who tells him to run and sets off one of his own boomerangs as a distraction. Spider-Man gets away and hides behind a dumpster. The Sin Eater and several other new villains descend on him there and tell him there is no hiding from his sins.

Spider-Man is once again in a battle for his life. The newest six enemies to arrive, led by the supposed-to-be-dead Sin Eater, attack him ruthlessly. Sin Eater manages to beat Spider-Man on the back of the head with his gun, which causes him to crumple to the ground. Like a good villain, Sin Eater then tells Spider-Man all about how he was brought back from hell to drag him back with him all because Spider-Man won’t face his own sins. His monologue gives Spider-Man some time to recover, and he shoots web into the end of Sin Eater’s gun, which causes it to blow Sin Eater’s hands off when he fires it. This allows Spider-Man to fly off on his web. He attempts to find a place to fight where others won’t get hurt while 36 of his enemies chase after him so that they might avoid the eternal damnation Kindred has promised them. They catch up to him and another large fight ensues. In it, Morlun manages to capture Spider-Man and begins to drink his essence. Boomerang saves him again at the cost of his own life. His death inspires Spider-Man to find a second wind and keep fighting, and it also inspires Boomerang’s crew to see that they should be fighting to die on their own terms like he did. So, they switch sides and begin fighting the other five teams of villains. Despite this help, Spider-Man is losing. The infighting gives Doc Ock the chance to capture one of Kindred’s brain centipedes and come up with a plan to end his control over all of them. He activates his plan and destroys all the bugs, freeing all of the villains from Kindred’s control. Spider-Man escapes the scene while they are all incapacitated. The scene cuts away back to Doctor Strange and Mephisto. It appears Doctor Strange won their bet, and Mephisto is upset he has lost all the souls of the villains. He walks away warning Doctor Strange that Spider-Man may yet be facing a major loss.

My Review

This was an explosive story with many cool fight scenes. I loved that it brought back a ton of cool villains that Spider-Man himself barely even remembered fighting. It truly was a battle royale of epic proportions. There wasn’t really a lot else there, though. Story wise this event was pretty weak, unless you also read the tie-in Amazing Spider-Man comics. These four issues were pretty much just Spider-Man getting his butt kicked and running away over and over until Doc Ock saved the day. The ending of the last issue didn’t really provide much of a resolution to the larger story either. You must continue to read the next issue of Spider-Man to get the resolution. So, I’m not sure why this needed a separate title of its own. Personally, I haven’t really enjoyed the Kindred arc for a while. I liked it at first, and the mystery was interesting, but it has gone on and on forever without any real answers. I also haven’t really cared for the idea of punishing Spider-Man for his supposed culpability in the deaths of those he loves when I think the blame should definitely be squarely on the villains. As a short arc to show him grow beyond his self-blame, it could have worked, but the length of the arc has just made it repetitive and unwarranted torture of the character at this point. The final answers given in the two issues after this event wrapped up were also pretty unsatisfactory for me since I haven’t read a ton of old Spider-Man books, and the answers hinge on understanding a lot of previous plotlines that made no sense to me. All in all, I thought this event had some great fight scenes but very little substance. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next era of Spider-Man brings now that all of the Kindred business is resolved and new writers are at the helm.