January Reading Wrap Up

 



Since my buying ban  is in effect, I read 11 physical books and 9 ebooks for a total of 7690 pages which equals 248 pages a day.  I read during breakfast, lunch, while on the treadmill, and after dinner. We don't watch much television and reading is as necessary as breathing to me.  

The longest book was Aeronaut's Windlass and the shortest was the novella The Pale Dreamer.  My rating system is a mishmash of goodreads and others.  

5 star - Loved the author, and will read anything they publish. Loved the story line, loved the characters.  Couldn't put it down. Made me think. Will read it again. 

4 star - Liked the story.  Liked the characters. Reread 

3 star - Okay story. 

2 star - Meh - disappointed or irritated by characters, storyline, or author's writing. 

1 star - DNF - Not my cup of tea at all, didn't want to continue reading, waste of my time. 


Lyssa Kay Adams - Undercover Bromance  ***  Characters were juvenile for their age. (Men read romance, sexual harassment, justice, 348, e)

Sara Nisha Adams - The Reading List  **** New to me author and look forward to reading more. A story about friendship and grief. A teenage girl working in library for the summer and an elderly gentleman form a friendship over books. Someone, to be revealed later, left a list of books where three different people found them with the note “Just in case you need it” and each book turned out to relate to their life and help them, somehow, someway for the better. Although I’ve already read some of the books, now I want to read them all, keeping in mind the life lessons learned by the characters in the story. A goal for this year, or maybe next. We’ll see how it goes.  (Books, friendship, grief, 373)

Sarah Addison Allen - Other Birds  ***  Coming off of Garden Spells, Other Birds didn't tug on my emotion strings as much as the Waverley's. The characters were poignant, all experiencing abandonment or other issues which affected their lives. As they work through invisible pigeons, ghosts, neglect, grief, and loss, the characters come together to form a family. I'll have to read it again when I can appreciate the story and not compare it to another book.     (Magical realism, South Carolina, Grief, romance, birds, 290)

Marie Brennan - Tropic of Serpents #2 Lady Trent *****  Lady Trent is fascinating and enjoyed the world building and the science and her efforts to discover all she could about dragons. Whether she is navigating the male centric Victorian society to learning from the Moulish natives of Eriga, she puts her all into it. From assimilating into the culture of the palace to living with the native Indians in the swamp land of Green Hell. I love how the Moulish force her to face herself when they make her go through a purification right when she has a string of bad luck and how the guardian of the eggs puts her to the test. And her strength and ingenuity in her test to prove to Yeyuama she could be trusted to protect the dragon eggs. She is continually learning and may stumble, but she'll get right back up again, and forge onward. (Historical Fantasy, Victorian, Dragons, Green Hell, Natives, 331)

Brendan Slocumb - Violin Conspiracy ****  A mystery thriller set in New York and Europe centered around the theft of Ray's Stradivarius. Ray grieves the loss of his violin and possibly the end of his music career, his life and struggles to get where he is presently is revealed in flashbacks of his greedy family, the racism he experiences, his joy of classical music, and the competitive nature of musicians.  (334, e)

R.F. Kuang - Babel: An Arcane History *****  Once I started reading, couldn't put it down. The etymology discussions, how the characters related to the world around them, how the characters grew in knowledge, the choices they made, some good, some bad, the heart wrenching decisions. All of it combined to create a story that made me think and how it related to today's world and why people do the things they do.  (Historical Fantasy, dystopian, oxford, etymology, racism, theme of the week - cliffhanger, 544, e)

Samantha Shannon - The Bone Season #1 / The Pale Dreamer novella  ****  A dystopian world in which magic thrives behind the scenes, but is persecuted by the world. Aliens has taken over an alternative oxford, allowed by the government as a deterrent to an even greater threat. The aliens serve as prison keepers for the magically inclined.  Dark despair pervades the entire story.  (Aliens, magic vs non magic, alternative Oxford, theme of the week  - dystopian, 480, e)

Jenny Colgan - The Bookshop on the Corner **** Charming story about a young woman who takes on the adventure of moving to a new place and starting a book mobile. (Scotland, UK, 368, e)

Ashley Poston  - The Dead Romantics  ****  Another charming story about a ghostwriter who falls in love with a ghost. (Books, ghostwriter, grief, crows, 368)

J.D. Robb - Random in Death #58 In Death series  *****  (Futuristic thriller, murder, police procedural, 368)

J.T. Ellison - Lie to Me *****  Finally dove into the story which lead to me reading every spare minute. Fast paced, psychological thriller and would have never guessed who caused Sutton's and Ethan's marriage to implode. They were both to blame, yet there was someone else hiding in the shadows pulling all their strings. Thrill ride of a story with so many twists and turns, it will make you dizzy.  (Psychological thriller, lots of twists and turns, 413)

Emily St. John Mandel - Sea of Tranquility  **  Unlike any time travel book I’ve read in which it seemed all nonsensical and flat.    (Post apocalyptic, time travel, Writer, covid, 272) 

Evie Woods - The Lost Bookshop  **** four characters, dual timelines, how the past affects the present, abusive relationships, what is real and what is not, learning to trust again.  (Magical realism, dual timelines historical and present, books, England, Ireland, USA,  444, e)

Sulari Gentill - The Woman in the Library ****  A mystery within a mystery set in Boston with so many twists and turns , the characters don't know who to trust. (Mystery thriller, Boston, murder, deceit, books, 292)

Haruki Murakami - Sputnik Sweetheart  *****  I love Murakami and he always leaves me with something to think about. This one more so than others. The same themes rewritten in a different way: Cats, music, love, loss, life. The ending isn't quite so clear cut or is it?    (Author of the month, magical realism, Japan, love lost, 224, e)

Rereads 

Jim Butcher - Aeronauts Windlass #1 Cinder Spires **** Reread before start Olympian Affair. Just as good the second time around. An epic fantasy involving magic and technology combined, airship battles, talking cats, strange characters, and etheric forces.  (Dusty reread, 781)

Jenna Black  - Dark Descendant ***  Reread while on treadmill involving demi gods, immortality, private eyes, and good versus evil.  Don't think I'll reread the rest of the series again. (336, e)

Karen Rose - Count to Ten  *** * Reread of a mystery thriller revolving around an arson investigator and a police detective.  (Mystery thriller, Chicago, Illinois, romance, murder, Theme of the week - Fire, 563)

Dean Koontz - Odd Thomas ****  Odd Thomas is a quirky character who sees dead people and tries to stop the bad guys.  (Supernatural thriller, 435, e)


2023 Reading Wrap Up

 



Well, this has been an interesting reading year.  According to Goodreads I completed 127 books but I know I read more than that but unfortunately lost track somewhere along the way.  The first six months I stuck to my TBR pile working my way through the books on my physical and virtual shelves.  The latter half of the year I dove into new to me authors and romance novels big time from contemporary romance to romantic suspense to multicultural romances. I also spent plenty of time enjoying comfort reads and revisiting older series written by Nora Roberts, Carrie Vaughn, Devon Monk, and Keri Arthur.  

Fantasy and science fiction stories took a close second, as well as a smattering of mystery, suspense, thrillers, literary, young adult novels, and non fiction. 

Discovered new authors along the way who tickled my reading funny bone such as Lucy Score with her humor and sensuality in her Knockmeout and Blue Moon series, or touched my heart such as Rebecca Yarros in the Last Letter with it's roller coaster of emotions. 

Made me think such as Akwaeke Emizi's You Made a Fool Out of Me With Your Beauty with it's rawness, angst, sorrow, love, and choices as well as Jodi Picoult's Mad Honey take on family, grief, love, and how it all relates to bees. 

Casey Blair's the Tea Princess Chronicles introduced me to a magical new fantasy world and the politics of princesses and dragons. 

Elliot Ackerman and Admiral James Stavridis geopolitical thriller 2034 about the possibility of world war III and how technology plays a role. 

Haruki Murakami’s Novelist as a Vocation in which the man seriously doesn’t think he is a good writer, but shared his stories, his process, and so much more.

And the book that made me want to throw it across the room?  Claire North's The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August about a time traveler who committed suicide to move on to his next life. 

Stats wise, I read 

Romance 52 
Fantasy  22
Non Fiction 11
Young Adult 8
Historical 7
Series 8 
Mystery 7
Literary 4 
Science Fiction 4 
Steampunk/Gaslamp  4

Ebooks 82
Physical 48 

The majority of books I rated on goodreads were 4 stars with 17 five star reads and a few three stars.  I don't know why I didn't keep track of why I loved the book or why I rated it the way I did and resolve to do better in 2024 both here on my blog and on Goodreads. 

As for 2024, my shelves are full of both new to me authors and comfort reads to revisit, so my buying ban has officially started. I vow not to add any more new books, except for Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb Preorders to my physical stacks or download any freebies or kindle ebooks to my virtual shelf until the end of May.  I'll be tackling some of the chunky books that have been calling my name for a while now such as Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.  Plus I'm looking forward to completing my own 52 Books Bingo and Bookish Bookology.  

James M's super IDW Sonic review









 


















I'M BACK and I have a lot of catch-up to do now that I got issue 67 of IDW Sonic. I'm not gonna get into spoiler specifics, but issues 65-67 and the Halloween Special are amazingly good. I love the characterizations in each story, both stories provide so much fun, and the writing is excellent. IDW Sonic offers some fun stories to tell in the Sonic universe. And, while I kinda don't approve of SEGA making IDW canon, the comic is still fun. The Halloween issue is fitting for the season, even the ongoing arc has me intrigued silently. Mimic is a fun villain and seeing certain characters interact always provides for a good story. 9.8/10 to both. And that does it for my little review. See ya.

Book Review: Will It Be Allan Guillory

 



One of my neighbors wrote a book and we are all about supporting each other on our court so snapped up a copy as soon as I heard.  This is the book that spurred me to get up off my butt after becoming a couch potato due to breaking my ribs some time ago.  I'd put on weight, my blood pressure had crept up to the danger zone and I needed to do something about it.  

Filled with anecdotes of his own life, Allan makes you think:

"The only way that true growth occurs in your life is when you do something that you want to do. This is not unique to you, whenever anyone wants to change a belief that they have or action that they’re doing or not doing, it only becomes part of them when they genuinely want to do it."

One, you want to have to do it. Two if you do it often enough it becomes a habit.  It's all about thought patterns and perspective. Why you do what you do.  

"I am going to ask you to listen to your self-talk. I think self-talk is particularly important. The famous quote “if you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right” says it all. I want you to look at the “results” of your actions and not just the “process” of your actions."

So he encourages the reader to pick two or three things to work on which I did - the most important.  My health, specifically my blood pressure and my weight.  And I wanted to be able to keep up with my 93 year old father who is still actively involved in his community, still does 10,000 steps a day and has the bones of a forty year old. Which his doctor couldn't believe. 

"I didn’t say “do what you enjoy” I said, “enjoy what you’re doing”. Do you see the difference? I’m also not saying only do things that you enjoy. What I am saying is look at the “things you must do” and hate them a little less. If you need to do a task on a regular basis that you really don’t like, does not liking it help you accomplish it? I don’t think so, what’s your thought? Of the many things that you do every day put more things on your “enjoy list”. This might be a great time to put some notes in your notebook, what do you think?"


Instead of reading my phone while making breakfast, I started pretending I was cross county skiing, moving my arms, working off that upper arm flab. I began doing the treadmill every day, twice a day,  until I worked up to 3.5 miles a day.  Reading a book on my Ipad made the time fly by.  I added in yoga and two pound dumbbell weights to exercise my arms.

My weight and my blood pressure began to creep down. I didn't snack as much and my energy crept up.  

Okay, back to Allan's book.  Section one covers a wide variety of ideas from words and their meaning to health, wealthy, happiness, lifelong learning, and personal actions.  Section Two covers family and friends, marriage, and children. Section Three covers the world from racism to government control, to decriminalization of drugs and prostitution, to world population, to family planning.   

Section three is where he unfortunately lost me with ideas of reducing 75 percent of the world population, fishing, freshwater use, fossil fuel use among other things.  

The first half of the book is really helpful in getting you off your butt and involved in your own life and community.  The second half you have to take with a grain of salt. 

James M's review of IDW Sonic #63-64, the 900th Adventure and Amy's 30th Anniversary


I'M BACK! With a super review of the latest main IDW Sonic issues, the 900th special and Amy's 30th anniversary.

Starting with issues 63 and 64, all you need to know is that Mimic's infiltration of the Restoration as Duo has gone off almost without a hitch, but during a training mission, while Silver winds up in a life-threatening situation thanks to the shapeshifter, the time-traveling hedgehog sees Mimic flash his true eye color, then talks to Whisper about it, but their efforts to expose the sneaky traitor go awry with Silver pretty much booted from the Restoration. Meanwhile, Blaze is having a vacation on Sonic's world and hangs out with Sonic, then she meets up with Silver after she and Sonic visit a Sonic Unleashed location.

Hoping to the 900th Adventure, lets discuss what is going on, this special issue is a celebration of how there have been over 900 English Sonic comics (counting the late Archie Sonic series and its spin-offs) over three decades since the 1st Sonic game hit shelves. As for the plot of this, it involves a McGuffin we haven't seen in ages. Remember the Warp Topaz that Doctor Starline had until near the end of the Metal Virus arc? Its back and Sonic has to get rid of it before bad stuff happens. And since this is the 900th Sonic comic, you'd almost expect multiverse shenanigans with past Sonic comic characters returning. Nope, its all set within the world the comic takes place in. And by the way, one of the writers for the story is legendary Sonic The Comic writer Nigel Kitching. Yup! HE'S BACK! 

As for Amy's comic? This year marks 30 years since Sonic CD dropped and Amy made her appearance... in the games, she actually debuted in a Sonic manga before CD was made. And what does the special have in store for her, it's set in the Classic era and she has an adventure where she saves Sonic and some of his friends.

Both IDW Sonic comics have been quite alright, Ian Flynn, Evan Stanley and the other writers have done well and SEGA puts out real good Sonic content. The blue blur is truly back on top of the world with no signs of faltering again and I guess we have Sonic Team's heavy involvement with these projects, especially the comics, and the success of the Sonic movies to thank for that. 63 and 64 get solid scores of 8.9/10 and 9.5/10. Amy's issue gets a 9.9 and the 900th special... gets a 7. I don't hate it, but it was good and it could have been bigger, y'know.

See ya next time, folks.

-CVGWJames










James M's review of IDW Sonic issue 62

 


Real late, but here we are, IDW Sonic the Hedgehog issue 62. I was so busy. But here's my review of the issue. First, a summary.

Following the events of Urban Warfare, Amy Rose travels to Angel Island to give Knuckles an echidna statue that Rouge found in Eggman's city, nice to see two of the "core four" Sonic characters interacting. And meanwhile, Clutch the Possum recruits Mimic the Octopus and comes up with a plan that involves him infiltrating the Restoration and the new Diamond Cutters that Tangle formed during the Urban Warfare story arc.

What is my opinion of this issue?

It wasn't bad at all, it was quite alright. Amy and Knuckles have really good chemistry and are great friends, just as Sonic, Tails and Knuckles are great friends, seeing Angel Island now and then is good and its great to see and know that Knuckles' job of guarding the Master Emerald is still relevant. The art style from the drawing and colors in this issue is still fantastic & captures the Sonic-y feel well. I like the two plot threads going on, a bit of a light-hearted breather on Amy and Knuckles' end while we have shadiness and intensity with the plot of Mimic infiltrating the Restoration. Writing with this issue is very decent and the dialogue is always interesting to read.

9.9/10. Another hats off to IDW and SEGA/Sonic Team for working well together to deliver this issue.

See you next time for the next IDW Sonic review, fellow fans.








James M's review of IDW Sonic issues 59 - 61












 






KA BOOM! 

Finally, we're back in IDW Sonic territory, reviewing the last three issues in the "Urban Warfare" arc. And they are good, stunning art, fine writing from Evan Stanley, and epic action all around. And with great writing comes great characterization, Shadow the Hedgehog is one of the highlights as he is little less of what he was in his prior IDW Sonic appearances. 

And, oh man, when Eggman has the Shadow Androids come down, the ultimate life form does not hold back. 

And the conflict was up the wall, especially with the battle scenes and how things were playing out with Eggman's city using those fake Chaos Emeralds. And Tangle, Whisper and Lanolin were in trouble with the mad doctor using a machine to imprison them at one point. And during the final battle, Shadow the Hedgehog had a moment to shine as he used Chaos Control to warp away the fake emeralds while Eggman's city went down for good.

IDW Sonic the Hedgehog comics are on the mark, telling good stories and having supervision from the Japanese team doesn't hurt. The story has come a long way since it started five years ago and there is an upcoming story about Amy visiting Angel Island. 

Evan, you and Ian deserve a 9.5/10 for this arc. Thank you, IDW. See you next time, folks.

-James M


James M's quick review of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022)





 




Welcome, folks. A few years ago, we sat down to review the long-awaited Sonic the Hedgehog movie. And now, we finally discuss the sequel, released no less than two years after the first film's debut, at a time when Sonic's popularity is soaring high once again thanks to the success of the first movie and its sequel.

For those who wonder what the story is, I will give you the rundown: After the first film, Sonic is living in Green Hills with Tom and Maddie Wachowski. However, after the hedgehog's adopted family go off to Hawaii to attend the wedding of Maddie's sister Rachel and her fiancée Randall, the evil Doctor Robotnik (played by Jim Carrey) returns with a foe to be reckoned with; Knuckles the Echidna. Sonic soon meets Tails and they embark on a quest to get the Master Emerald, a great source of power, before Robotnik and Knuckles do.

This movie is just as epic as the first film with more action and more Easter Eggs to the franchise's long history, making it another love letter to the Sonic brand, from the games to the cartoons and comics. And there is a treat for the Sonic fans at the end of the film during a mid-credits scene, and that treat is the appearance of Shadow the Hedgehog.

Oh yes, Shadow is in the Sonic Cinematic Universe and will have a major role in Sonic 3 (2024), let us hope he has character development and certain powers are hands off with how he is handled. The movie did well at the box office despite mixed reviews, just like the first film, and a Knuckles spin-off show is in development for Amazon Prime's Paramount Plus streaming service. Sonic 2 is an energetic and engaging film all the way to the end, deserving of a ten out of ten. Hats off to Jeff Fowler, Tim Miller and Tobey Ascher for their hard work. Thank you, good filmmakers and SEGA/Sonic Team.

And with this short review done, I take my leave. Adieu, folks.

-James M


James M's review of The Water Horse -the book and the movie-


 








Greetings good friends, I am back to finally review something I've been itching to do for some time. We are finally reviewing... The Water Horse (by Dick King Smith) and it's adaptation The Water Horse: Legend of The Deep (2007).

Published in 1990, the book is set in 1930s Scotland and revolves around young Angus and his family finding an egg that hatches into a mythical creature known as the Water Horse. They wind up keeping the newly-hatched creature for a time, despite the mother wanting to get rid of it, and name him Crusoe, after the legendary sailor Robinson Crusoe. After the creature grows to a considerable size, they set it free in the Loch at the end of the story after it has learned to fend for itself.

The book is beautifully written for it's time and tells a fantastical story about the bond between a family and a magical creature, Dick King Smith's writing is by far just as special as other writers' works. The book will not be forgotten and I happily give it a 9/10. Now, onto the movie, which is quite different from how things unfold in the book.

Starting off sometime in modern-day Scotland, a pair of tourists see the Surgeon's photo in the bar and an old man (played by Brian Cox) offers to tell them the story of how it happened, which is where the movie truly begins.

The story picks up in Scotland in the 1940s during World War II, Angus MacMarrow is living with his mother Anne MacMarrow (played by Alex Etal), his sister Kirstie and a pair of housekeepers and a cook. Angus' father went off to fight in the war and never returned, even with Angus believing that he will return. One day, Angus is digging around on the beach when he finds an egg (even though it was Kirstie who found it in the book) and brings it home where he puts it in his father's toolshed. The egg hatches into a mysterious creature that Angus finds during a stormy night.

The following day, British troops led by Captain Thomas Hamilton (David Morrisay) arrive at the MacMarrow household to set up shop and Angus names the strange creature as Crusoe. The MacMarrows are soon joined by a handyman named Lewis Mobray (played by Ben Chaplin), who starts cleaning out Angus' father's toolshed. Crusoe explores the house and encounters Sgt. Strunk's bulldog Churchill, who chases him and winds up making a mess. Crusoe takes up residence in the bathroom and is discovered by Kirstie, freaking her out until Angus calms her down.

Lewis eventually finds out about Crusoe after coming to fix the bathroom and explains to Angus that the creature is a Water Horse, a creature that wasn't supposed to be real as it was a legend from the Celtic past. He then helps Angus make sure his mother doesn't see it, especially as she doesn't allow Angus to have pets. One night, the soldiers are invited into the house for dinner, only for complications to arise when Crusoe escapes and is chased by Churchill, who winds up ruining the dinner when the chase leads into the dining room. Luckily, nobody sees Crusoe, which still proves to be trouble when Anne tells Lewis to collect Angus and send him to bed.

Lewis finds Crusoe in the fountain after growing several feet, prompting him and Angus to set him free in the Loch. Not long after, a pair of fishermen see Crusoe while fishing. Meanwhile, Captain Hamilton, deeming Lewis to be a bad influence, begins training Angus with his mother's permission to make a soldier out of him. However, Angus runs away after a while to visit the Loch and sees Crusoe, who has grown immensely since Angus last saw him, leading to Crusoe taking him for a ride until they encounter a net and return to the dock. However, Sgt. Strunk sees Crusoe while looking for Angus as Churchill runs towards the Loch just as Crusoe sees the Water Horse again.

Angus returns home and tells Lewis and Kirstie about his adventure with his mother overhearing them laughing and thanks Lewis. Hamilton, from a report by Lr. Wormsley, learns Lewis was in the Royal Navy and was honorably discharged. The fishermen who saw Crusoe discuss what happened at a bar and begin making plans to catch a photo of the creature, while Lewis, who has attended the bar before, overhears them talking (but does nothing until later for some reason).

The following day, Captain Hamilton takes Anne, Angus and Kirstie to the hill to show them the anti-German submarine battery (including a gun he calls Victoria) and declares they'll be firing in the Loch. To simplify things, Angus panics and attempts to stop them, earning the annoyance of his mother, who holds him back. Angus then tells her about The Water Horse and that he could get hurt. Um, Angus, I know you're in a panic, but you're leaving out very important details.

Anne is having none of it and irritably tells Angus enough is enough, stop the nonsense and let the soldiers do the work. Kirstie attempts to convince their mother and Angus rushes in to stop the soliders, earning Captain Hamilton's ire. The captain sends Angus and his family home, telling Anne the boy needs discipline. And I'll tell you now, if Angus had screamed to Hamilton there was a Water Horse in the Loch during his efforts to stop them (and if he had successfully stopped them), he would have been slapped by his mother and gotten a lashing, he would've also been yelled at too. Heck, Hamilton would be even more angry and, maybe, Angus would've put Crusoe in more danger for telling the soldiers, especially since Sgt. Walker (who hunted a deer at one point) would be interested in hunting the creature.

Regardless, the soldiers fire the gun in the Loch and Crusoe narrowly avoids the artillery fire. The fishermen, irked by what happened, set up a replica of Crusoe and photograph it, declaring "we'll be rich". Poor Angus is sent to bed at six every night for a month as a consequence for his actions on the hill, not even Kirstie is able to convince Anne the truth. One evening after the events on the hill, the photo of "Crusoe" in the paper attracts Sgt. Strunk's attention and tells Wormsley and Walker about the creature, which sparks Walker's interest in hunting the beast.

Kirstie lets Angus out of his room and he heads down to the Loch with Lewis, who wants Angus to get Crusoe to safety. Angus calls out to his friend, who doesn't initially appear. However, when he does, Crusoe attacks Angus, already shell-shocked by the bombardment. Yup, Crusoe kinda thinks Angus attacked him. Angus reminds Lewis that he told him to put Crusoe in the wild and Lewis remarks he didn't know they'd shoot at him.

Meanwhile, Strunk, Wormsley and Walker hunt for Crusoe, who attacks Churchill and then attacks the boat. During the attack, Wormsley radios the house that they're under attack. Crusoe upturns the boat and Hamilton soon receives the report just as he's talking with Anne to apologize for his actions, Hamilton thinks the Germans are attacking and tells Anne to get his children into the cellar, only for Kirstie to tell her mother that Angus has gone down to the Loch.

Down at the Loch, Crusoe attacks Strunk and Angus attempts to get Crusoe to calm down while Walker tries to shoot the creature, only for Lewis to interfere and the gun to do nothing. Angus slips and loses consciousness, which gets Crusoe to save his friend. Angus dreams about his father, Charlie, telling him to look after the house while he's away. Angus regains consciousness just as his mother and Hamilton arrive, Angus tells his mother he was only trying to save Crusoe and Lewis is about to explain, only for Anne to overhear Strunk telling Hamilton about "the monster" and Hamilton questioning what he's talking about.

Cue Anne ranting about everybody going mad and that there's no monster, even accusing Lewis of filling Angus' head with "tales of sea creatures and magic". Darn it, Anne! Luckily, she notices Crusoe and believes Angus, who tells her the brief rundown that he "raised him, right out of an egg". Okay, Anne, now that you believe Angus, maybe you can redeem yourself by, I dunno, helping your son protect Crusoe!

The millitary starts bombarding the Loch and Angus hops on Crusoe, riding him through the chaos. Anne, Lewis, Kirstie and Hamilton figure out that Angus is trying to get Crusoe out to sea and Hamilton attempts to contact the artillery unit, only for the weather to cause complications, prompting the group to take a boat. The unit soon spots Crusoe and, due to the rain, mistake him for a German sub, opening fire on him. The net is soon raised and Angus parts ways with Crusoe, heading to the boat where his family and Hamilton are.

Crusoe makes a charge towards the net just as one of the soldiers gets a closer look at the creature, right before the Water Horse jumps the net and, due to how big he is, winds up crushing it, which then sets off a chain reaction that decimates the artillery guns. At sunrise, as he sits on the shore, Angus accepts his father is gone before he and his family watch Crusoe head out to sea. In postwar Scotland, the old man finishes the story saying that the creature came back to look for Angus, who never saw him again, while some people claim to have seen it over the years.

The tourists thank the old man, who is then revealed to be Angus MacMarrow himself, what a twist, eh? As the tourists leave, a mother calls out to her son William, who is on the beach and finds an egg akin to the one Crusoe hatched from, indicating that Crusoe has died. Many years earlier, Lewis told Angus there could be only one Water Horse and, when one grows old, it leaves a single egg and dies, meaning the new Water Horse is born an orphan. Crusoe's egg begins to hatch and the film ends.

What can I say about this film? It was quite good. I don't plan on watching it again, but I will say it wasn't too bad. Even with all the creatives liberties it took with the story, changing the timeframe of when it takes place, and some potentially questionable choices, the film was well-received when it came out. 

In the years after I first saw it, my opinion has been mixed, especially considering that whole bit of the film with the guns and Anne refusing to believe Angus. I saw this back in 2010 while mother and I were reading the original book and looking back on it, I'll say it did alright and I can forgive the movie's flaws that I didn't think much of. David Russel and his crew handled it well. The Water Horse: Legend of The Deep was an extraordinary adaptation and I suggest that you go watch it if you want to, the film had such well-executed drama, decent pacing, good acting and special effects and is worthwhile.

Water Horse, I am sorry for judging you. And I can forgive your characters, especially Anne MacMarrow. Thank you, everyone. 9.5/10. See you next time, people.

-James M

James M's review of IDW Sonic issues 57-58



 

Finally back, just in time for IDW Sonic issue 59 releasing, to review issues 57 and 58 of the IDW Sonic run as it covers the Urban Warfare arc. Issue 57 sees Sonic go into Eggman's city with Tangle, Whisper and Lanolin the Sheep on a mission to take it down and things go south when the girls wind up in some pocket dimension and Sonic has trouble facing Eggman's robots, leading into issue 58 where he teams up with Tails and Amy and then they team up with Silver and Blaze while the other girls work out how to get out of their current predicament. And then, Shadow, Rouge and Omega show up to trash Eggman's forces. 

The complete Team Dark is back!

Both issues are extremely good and Shadow appearing after so long is also welcome, what makes his return more welcome is that Evan Stanley took to Tumblr to confirm that SEGA has dialed back their restrictions and gave the IDW team "clearer and more workable guidelines". 

And this is when Shadow has a prominent role in the new Sonic Prime show, despite not appearing much in the first eight episodes of the series. The future of Sonic looks promising, especially with the characters returning to their former glory, even though some folks have doubts Shadow will be portrayed the way we expect him to be portrayed despite Evan's assurance that things have cleared up.

9/10, IDW is really nailing it and their Sonic comic licensed by SEGA is super cool! Plus, this series is getting closer to 75 issues and will make it to 100 within a few years. Sonic is truly back on the map with a successful game, a good TV show, a great comic series and a successful film franchise and its all thanks to the first Sonic film that dropped in 2020, giving all sides of Sonic the boost they need. 

These issues have superb art and real cool writing from Ian Flynn, who steps aside to let Evan write the rest, mostly due to Shadow's presence in the story and the fact Ian is likely suffering issue 19 trauma.

See ya later, folks!