James M's review of IDW Sonic issue 55


We're back, IDW Sonic's 55th issue has arrived and the fifth year of IDW Sonic is fast approaching as the year comes to an end. Plus, the story of Surge and Kit continues and, boy, it is intense with Eggman in the picture. In fact, he's teamed up with the heroes by the end of this one. 

Evan Stanley is knocking it out of the park, who cares about IDW Sonic's flaws and the lack of certain characters, the comic is performing well and its worth as Archie Sonic's successor has been solidified further. 

My thoughts on this?

The issue is fantastic, 10.5, the writing team is delivering real good and we fans keep scoring victories in many arenas one after another despite certain setbacks in some. Surge and Kit are really good villains just as Tangle and Whisper are cool characters. In fact, when are we gonna get these guys in the games. C'mon, SEGA, have 'em appear in Speed Battle and Dash like you did with Tangle and Whisper. Are they not as popular as them?

Tangent aside, I once again salute the IDW team and this comic deserves all the love and recognition as long as it keeps going since SEGA doesn't recognize defunct spin-offs due to their desire to always move forward. See you later!

-James M

James M's review of IDW Sonic: Scrapnik Island Issue 2 and Tails' 30th Anniversary Special

Welcome back, Sonic squad.
We have two Sonic comics, the second issue of Scrapnik Island and the Tails' 30th Anniversary Special, the latter of which is quite interesting to see at a time when it appears that Classic and Modern Sonic are merging back into one at last. Yes, Ian Flynn confirmed that SEGA has eliminated the Classic-Modern split just like with the two worlds canon nonsense. Y'know what this might mean?


In fact, Scrapnik Island's the perfect start to the reunification of Classic and Modern, especially since Classic Badniks like Mecha Sonic appear to serve as the villain.
Issue two continues the story that started in the first with Sonic and Tails getting to know the Scrapniks and they eventually encounter Mecha Knuckles from the Advance games, who eventually attacks Sonic. Mecha Sonic fights him and, while he ends up beating him, his original programming kicks in and he now has Sonic at his mercy as the issue ends.

Then we go over to the Tails story here.
It's basically a follow-up to Sonic 3D Blast and Tails' Skypatrol where Sonic and Tails visit Flicky Island from the former and deal with Witchcart from the latter. That's right, Witchcart, Wendy Witchcart, is finally back... in the Classic era anyway. Ian and the IDW got special permission from SEGA to use her in the story, they are strict after all and everything goes through SOA, Sonic Team and the Japanese branch. And no, Sonic Team is NOT the main authority, SEGA of Japan is, ST is there to help ensure that things are on brand and they too have to follow the rules.

Anyway, what did I think of both issues.
Scrapnik Island issue two, AWESOME! Great action, amazing plot, stunning artwork all around. Horror stories can be pretty cool, especially if they are done in a family-friendly way. The Mummy (1999) is technically a family-friendly horror movie, so too were the classic 30s and 40s monster movies. My score for it is a 9.5. 
The Tails story? Classic Sonic may be overused and old hat, but it was very entertaining and Sonic commenting on grinding the rales is how he will do so in the Modern era, this is helped by how the split has finally ended. 10/10, yep, I gave a Classic era story a ten.

Now, its time to breathe until the next big Sonic event.

Bye, folks!

BW49: Plans for 2023


It's cold and rainy and we're tucked up, nice and cozy with books and family. The best place to be, whether it be physically or virtually.  Thanks to Sandy and Amy we've had a grand year, going on a crime spree.  It's week 49 in our 52 Books Quest and we talking December's Crime Spree recommendations. 

I’ve got my eyes are bigger than my stomach syndrome because I want to read all Sandy and Amy’s recommendations.  Think I’ll start with Water like a Stone, now in my virtual stacks and look forward to reading it this month.

Currently reading Nora Robert’s The Choice and love the characters and the storyline. Makes me want to live in Ireland and maybe by chance find a portal to the other side. 😊

Waiting on the nightstand is the newest Armand Gamache story, A World of Curiosities. I’m going to check out the first episode of Three Pines on Amazon Prime, think of it as a mystery series separated from the books,  and see how I like it. 

Saturday night, we watched Willow, the original 80's movie which James watched for the first time and greatly enjoyed. 

I've been planning for 2023 and combined with 52 Books Bingo and A to Z and Back Again, I'm going to attempt to read more nonfiction, as well as do another 10 x 10 all from my TBR virtual and physical stacks, quite a few which are dusty and/or chunky while extending my ban buying through the first half of the year.   

1001 Books Before You Die 

Baby It's Cold Outside 

Books about Books 

It's a Crime

Flights of Fantasy 

Tales of the Past 


Magical Realism

What a Mystery 

Thrills and Chills 

I usually start the year with a chunky and dusty book, so I'm contemplating whether I want to try again with Sharon Kay Penman's When Christ and Her Saints slept, since I didn't finish it this year. It got dumped by the wayside pretty quickly which was a shame.  I may attempt Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged or dive back into Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall series with Bring Up the Bodies,  and Mirror & the Light. 

BW48: Best of for 2022


It's book week 48 in our 52 books quest and It's that time of year when all the best of the best 2022 book lists are popping up.   According to the Chinese zodiac 2023 is going to be the Year of the Rabbit, which is great for me since we all know how much I get lost following rabbit trails and jumping down rabbit holes on the internet.  

I'm resisting the urge to buy at the moment, adding books that sound interesting or intriguing to my wish list, and will revisit them later, rather than impulse buy.  My kindle is full of books that I look at and wonder what was I thinking.  But then again, I have a broad assortment to choose from, whatever my mood. I'll read them in the end, eventually. 

You'd think I'd be tired of reading about Kate Shugak and Alaska by now, but I'm not and currently on #19 Restless in the Grave.  I have the last three books in my virtual stacks to finish by the end of the year and  #23 Not the Dead ones will be released April 13, 2023.  

#19 Alaska aviation entrepreneur Finn Grant died in the fiery crash of his Piper Super Cub. Someone sabotaged his engine, and virtually everyone in southwestern Alaska has a motive, including his betrayed wife, his bullied children, and Liam's wife, bush pilot Wyanet Chouinard. With few places to turn, Liam asks his former mentor Niniltna post commander Sergeant Jim Chopin, for help, and Jim quickly brings Kate onto the case.

Working undercover as—of all things—a waitress at Bill's Bar and Grill, Kate learns over beer and burgers that Grant's business had expanded meteorically over the last two years. After buying the closed Air Force base south of town from the federal government at a bargain-basement price, he became a fixed-base operator running his fishing, hunting, and flight-seeing business, servicing planes flying through the area, and most interestingly and lucratively, getting into the air freight business. But what kind of freight was he moving, and where?

The answers involve Kate in her most challenging case to date, one that starts with murder and quickly sprawls into a much larger conspiracy ranging from the darkest family secrets to treason and beyond."

Nora Robert's The Choice, #3 in her dragon heart series has arrived and is waiting in the wings. 

We watched Hidden Figures: the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race tonight which was excellent, heart wrenching, and inspirational at the same time.  Looking forward to reading the book. 

Birthday Jolabokaflod

On today’s agenda is clean the oven. A dirty job but someone’s got to do it. Hee hee!

Jolabokaflod came early as my family gifted me with lots of books for my birthday yesterday!  James was excited Hidden Figures is also a movie so that’s what we’ll be watching this weekend for movie night.

We had a wonderful prime rib dinner and a delicious private label wine made and gifted to us by one of our customers. I’m a wine snob and usually stick to French wines because California wines cause headaches, hot flashes, stuffiness, and runny eyes. However, we decided to give this one a try and it was delicious. No hangover, no after affects. They did something right and it was very similar to a St. Emilion from the Bordeaux region. We’ll have to send him a thank you note. Sexy label.

BW47: Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Sunday! Did you know today is absurdity day, - do something silly. The 21st is World Hello day, - go out and say hello to people. The 22nd is Go for a Ride day, - take some time to explore.  The 23rd is National Espresso day - fix yourself a fabulous cup. The 24th is Thanksgiving so eat lots of turkey. The 25th is either Black Friday or Buy nothing day -  do or don’t, it’s up to you. Whispers – go buy lots of things.  *wink* 

On to #15 A Deeper Sleep in the Kate Shugak series. 

"Kate, a private investigator, has been working on a case for the Anchorage District Attorney involving the murder of a young woman by her husband, a man named Louis Deem. Deem has been the subject of investigations before, and he's never been convicted of a crime. But Kate and state trooper Jim Chopin, who arrested Deem, are convinced that this time it's different, and he'll finally be punished for his actions.

When the jury returns a verdict of not guilty, Kate and Jim are devastated, and like the rest of the citizens of Niniltna, Alaska, certain that a man has gotten away with murder. They can't help but think that it's only a matter of time before he's in the frame for another killing. Sure enough, a few weeks later a shooting leaves two dead in an apparent robbery. But this time Kate and Jim have a witness, and they're not going to let Louis Deem get away again. Or will he?"

Looking forward to # 3 in Nora Robert's Dragon Heart Legacy series, The Choice: The Dragon Heart coming out on Tuesday.

James M's review of IDW Sonic issue 54


Sorry I took a long time, fellow fans, but here is my review of issue 54 of IDW Sonic.

The story?

Oh boy, it is intense AF, especially when Kit finds that Surge is alive and rejoins her while Sonic is fighting the latter before the former arrives. And on top of that, Surge is dealing with hallucinations of the recently deceased Doctor Starline near the end of the story before Kit comforts her. 

Wow, ok, here are my thoughts in this relatively short review.

The issue wasn't half-bad, the writing is so way past cool to the limit, the game characters and the comic originals interact so nicely and there is so much action to enjoy. While Archie Sonic produced some engaging stories over the two decades of its existance, IDW Sonic has produced some amazing stories within four years of its run that could blow the Archie stuff out of the water. 

This year, we have seen some amazing content from SEGA and their crew. Sonic couldn't be more blessed and we fans can't get enough Sonic, the hedgehog is the king and the franchise is here to stay for a long time to come. Lets hope Surge and Kit eventually make their way into the games down the line, love to see them be playable alongside Doctor Starline and Belle just as Tangle and Whisper got lucky.

Now, its scoring time. This new comic issue, well, its getting a 9.5. Bravo, IDW! I salute you!

-James M

BW46: A little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That


Happy Sunday! I'm leaping down rabbit holes today on the internet, exploring this, that, and the other.  Kind of like my sleep lately.  Ever since the time change, I've been waking up around 4, unable to get back to sleep for a while. Ideas bounce through my head for the story I'm working on as well as book ideas and book bingo, too tired to write them down and hope I'll remember them in the morning.  Some ideas remain when I wake, others are still floating around in my mind, on the tip of my tongue but not quite there. Oh well. What was I saying. Oh yes. *grin*  I've been exploring, letting my fingers do the walking through the web.   A sample of today's finds. Enjoy! 

In Search of Marcel Proust

Where to Start with Nora Ephron

Entangled Publishing Launches Red Tower Books, Focused on Romantic SFF

On writing a New Take on the Thin Man, set in Space

Hungarian Speculative Fiction: Forceful, Vicious, Viscous

Murder in the Moors: Crime Fiction Books Set in the English Moors

True Life: I was a Dragon Book Kid

Antarctica Reading List.

25 Best Steampunk Books (2022)


So many books on the wish list with an ice theme as well as dragons and on the shelves including Proust's volume two in his Search for Lost Times Books -- In the Shadow of Young Girls.  I read Swann's Way a couple years ago and once I got used to his writing, got a lot out of it.  I'll be trying to get back into it come 2023. 

It’s all kindle unlimited fault. They sucked me in to Kate Shugak’s story through book 9 and I just couldn’t stop. It’s like an addiction now.  That happened and then this happened and oh my gosh,  what will she do, and I have to know what happens next.  And the only reason I’m buying the rest of the series is because I know down the line, I’ll read them again.  Currently on #13 A Grave Denied.

BW45: Cemetery of Lost Books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon


It's Book Week 45 in our 52 Books bingo quest and it's all about different cultures. 

I finished Carlos Ruiz Zafon's Angel's Game, #2 in the Cemetery of Lost Books in which Daniel slowly loses his mind as people he loves and those surrounding a long ago mysterious disappearance are never what they seem to be.

"In this powerful, labyrinthian thriller, David Martín is a pulp fiction writer struggling to stay afloat. Holed up in a haunting abandoned mansion in the heart of Barcelona, he furiously taps out story after story, becoming increasingly desperate and frustrated. Thus, when he is approached by a mysterious publisher offering a book deal that seems almost too good to be real, David leaps at the chance. But as he begins the work, and after a visit to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, he realizes that there is a connection between his book and the shadows that surround his dilapidated home and that the publisher may be hiding a few troubling secrets of his own. Once again, Ruiz Zafón takes us into a dark, gothic Barcelona and creates a breathtaking tale of intrigue, romance, and tragedy."

Next up #3 in the Cemetery of Lost books - The Prisoner of Heaven.

"Barcelona, 1957. It is Christmas, and Daniel Sempere and his wife, Bea, have much to celebrate. They have a beautiful new baby son named Julián, and their close friend Fermín Romero de Torres is about to be wed. But their joy is eclipsed when a mysterious stranger visits the Sempere bookshop and threatens to divulge a terrible secret that has been buried for two decades in the city's dark past.

His appearance plunges Fermín and Daniel into a dangerous adventure that will take them back to the 1940s and the early days of Franco's dictatorship. The terrifying events of that time launch them on a search for the truth that will put into peril everything they love, and will ultimately transform their lives."

BW44: November Crime Spree - Translated Mysteries


It's book week 44 in our 52 Books Quest and this month's theme is an international crime spree.

I finished Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Resurrection about Zanaya and Alexander, two Archangels whose love affair lasted eons so it covered vast periods of time. Many, but not all of the other characters made appearances. It was different with a lot more telling than showing and angst over the relationship.  Not one I’d be eager to reread over and over again,  but good nonetheless.

I love reading translated books and Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s Cemetery of Forgotten Books are on my ebook nightstand.   Already read Shadow of the Wind so next up is The Angel’s Game.

It’s now 12:30 p.m. and its the first time I had to sit down all evening. Movie night was called on account of a plumbing emergency.   Hubby decided to use Liquid Plumber, even though a plumber told him in the past never to use.  He used it on the slow draining kitchen sink and snaked the outside drain, blasting the lines with water.  James goes into the bathroom and starts yelling.  The seal on his toilet broke and the bathroom was flooded.  Stuff had backed up in both the bathtub and the shower. We’ve spent the past few hours running snakes, wiping up messes for each try, and cleaning all the drains. It’s finally fixed.  Hubby’s bleaching everything now.  Lesson learned:  Don’t Use Liquid Plumber.  Ugg!