BW9: February Reading Wrap Up


It's book week 9 in our 52 Books quest and the end of February.   I read 9 books, all from my own shelves and I reviewed them all except for Garden of Lies which was a reread and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry which I forgot about as soon as I finished. It was meh and I'm sorry to say I didn't like Fikry. More telling, than showing. I really didn't like the characters all that much and there were too many implausibility's with things being let go. It could have been a tear jerker but unfortunately missed the mark with me.

Super Powered Year Two - Drew Hayes (Science Fiction, 720)

A lesson in Secrets (#6 Maisie Dobbs) - Jacqueline Winspear (Police Procedural 1932, 321)

Abandoned in Death (#54 In Death) - J.D. Robb (Futuristic Police Procedural, 356)

Ancestral Night (#1 White Space) - Elizabeth Bear (Science Fiction, 499)

Super Powered Year Three - Drew Hayes (Science fiction, 900 e)

Garden of Lies - Amanda Quick (Historical romance, reread)

Storied Life of A. J. Fikry - Gabrielle Zevin (Literary Fiction, 289)  

The Fifth Season (#1 Broken Earth) - N.K Jemisin (Sci Fi Fantasy, 468)

Winspear, Bear, and Jemisin are three dusty books for which the third time was the charm and I thoroughly enjoyed them.  Loved the newest In Death book which I preordered in 2021 so didn't ruin my buying ban.  The Super Powered series is excellent and will be reading the fourth book soon.  I probably should do a review of the whole series at some point.  No ebooks except for Super Powered Year Three because the print was so tiny.  They tried to cram a 900 page book into 600. My old eyes couldn't handle it. Thanks goodness for e readers. 

Stats wise, four are science fiction, two are police procedurals with one historical fiction reread and one literary fiction thrown in. Hmm! I'm beginning to see a pattern of Science Fiction and police procedurals. 

Alphabet wise, have read through G for titles and currently on C with Carlos Ruiz Zafon for alphabet by Author, with his 4th book in his Cemetery of Lost Books series, Labyrinth of the Spirits

I fell off the wagon, I'll admit it, but I went right back on it afterwards. James and I always go to Barnes and Noble on Super Bowl Sunday and thanks to Merphy Napier singing the praises of Andrea Stewart's Bone Shard Daughter so much, I had to buy it. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone.  LOL!

James M's short review of The Mask (1994)


Greetings, friends. Today, we are here to discuss... THE MASK!

That's right, we're about to review the classic 1990s Jim Carrey movie based on the comics published by Dark Horse, serving as a family-friendly adaptation to a somewhat super violent comic. 

So, what is The Mask about and what are my thoughts on this cheesy movie from the 90s since I've seen it twice at this point?

Well, a bank clerk named Stanley Ipkiss (who is played by Mr. Jim Carrey, of course) finds a mask in a river one night and, whenever he puts it on, he turns into a living, cartoonish super-being capable of just about anything. Stanley has a crush on a club singer, whom he meets early on in the film, and, after he earns over her heart as The Mask, lands himself in hot water with a criminal who is in love with her. But in the end, Stanley saves the day and gets rid of The Mask.

Now that the short synopsis is out of the way, what do I think of the movie?

Its quite good, they handled the source material within the limits of the PG-13 rating very nicely. Jim sold it as Stanley/The Mask and there was a lot of good acting from almost every actor in the movie. For its time, The Mask is quite the 1990s product and there is no doubt that it is nothing more than a good comic book movie full of humor, action and a decently put together plot.

If there is anyone who has not yet seen it, go watch it on HBO or cable, you're not missing anything. The Mask is worth your time, trust me on it. Then after that, you could eventually watch the sequel "Son Of The Mask", but beware of what you're getting into, Son of The Mask is very, very bizarre.

Now, I take leave, bye!

-James M

James M's review of IDW Sonic the Hedgehog issue 48


After weeks of waiting, the 48th issue of IDW Sonic the Hedgehog is here and it is another good spectacle of a read, all thanks to Evan Stanley's team and the invaluable assistance of SEGA & Sonic Team. 

This one is quite interesting to see, especially since its a Chaotix story that sees Vector, Espio and Charmy briefly investigate the disturbance in Central City caused by Surge and Kit before taking care of another case involving none other than Clutch the Possum from the Chao Race arc and the good old Skunk bros of Rough & Tumble.

Yup, the Chaotix finally deal with the infamous Clutch the Possum, this guy sure has become a mainstay. Many IDW Sonic characters are becoming famous, veerrrrry famous. 

Evan once again writes a fun and engaging story and does a fine job making it light-hearted, showing that Modern Sonic can handle light-hearted stories alongside deep, heavy, serious and mature stories and that we don't need Classic Sonic to tell light-hearted stories. 

Yes, that is right, I once again reject the Classic-Modern split.

The art is so colorful and full of passion and the writing is just spot-on, making fans love IDW Sonic even more. We should have more stories featuring the Chaotix, especially with their fun personalities and Charmy's energy. 

I give this tale a 9.5/10, really looking forward to the next issue as we inch closer to a big event occurring in IDW Sonic issue 50. See ya later...

-James M

Book Review: Fifth Season by N.K.Jemisin


Oh my f''ing God. This book was so good.  This is not a spoiler free review so be fair warned.  

"This is the way the world ends. Again. 

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze -- the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization's bedrock for a thousand years -- collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman's vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She'll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter."

Fifth Season is told by three people and two different perspectives. Third person point of view by  Damaya, a young girl, Seynite, who I think is in her twenties, and from second person point of view, Essun who is in her mid forties.  All of whom turn out to be the same person, telling the story at the same time from three different timelines.  It isn't revealed until more than half way through the story that the narrators are one and the same. The clues are there, but it still comes as a surprise. You sit there thinking, oh my gosh, that makes sense now. 

The character is an orogene, which is a person who can control the earth, stopping earthquakes and freezing the world around them. The orogenes are feared and hated by all and treated like slaves, answerable to the Fulcrum, and controlled by the Guardians, even though they protect the land and everyone around.  

The theme of slavery is pervasive through out the story, child are hated because of their ability to control the land, and unfortunately they are abused and or killed because of it.   The story is well written and the author very bluntly shows the reader what is happening, without getting preachy.  There are several twists and turns and of course the story doesn't end, and will be continued in the Obelisk Gate. The Broken Earth is a dark story, but well worth reading.

Dusty, Dystopian sci fi / fantasy, 468 

James M's review of Batman Returns (1992)


1989 saw the release of the first true Batman film starring the likes of Michael Keaton as the titular Dark Knight of Gotham and it was so successful, a sequel was green-lit a few years later with Tim Burton once again directing the movie and Michael playing the role of Batman again. But this time, this film was way darker and more intense, this... was BATMAN RETURNS!

Welcome back, DC fans. Today, we discuss and review the sequel to the 1989 classic, the movie that sees Batman go up against Oswald "The Penguin" Cobblepot, played by Danny DeVito, and Silena "Catwoman" Kyle, played by Michelle Pfeiffer (who'd go on to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe almost a few decades later as Janet Van Dyne, the wife of Hank Pym.)

Just like the first film, Batman Returns is rated PG-13. But this time, it pushes the PG-13 rating very hard as we see Catwoman claw a man's face, drawing blood, and Penguin dying a somewhat bloody death while we even see Batman kill some of his enemies by lighting a goon on fire before then attaching a bomb to another goon and making him fall into a sewer where he explodes.

Even the ending of the movie is somber, even though Batman defeats Penguin, thwarting his plan, he loses Silena as she gets her revenge against The Penguin's ally and her former boss Max, who wanted to expand his buisness and tried to kill her early on in the movie. The movie is set around Christmas and it is quite something, a dark film set during a festive season with death throughout.

While BATMAN RETURNS did well at the box office and was received well, the movie's darker tone and hard pushing of the PG-13 were criticized by parents for being too dark for kids, leading to McDonald's apparently shutting down their promotional campaign and leading to the studio changing directors and direction for the next film with BATMAN FOREVER being a bit more lighthearted.

Regardless, Batman Returns, just like its predecessor, is a fun action-packed movie with good moments throughout and has some fine acting as well as a decently choreographed musical score. Michael Keaton brings quite the energy to the table as Batman and Michelle plays Catwoman fairly easily, even Danny DeVito, just like with Jack Nicholson with The Joker, seems to have a ball playing Penguin. The Penguin's backstory is quite sympathetic in many ways and his characterization is very memorable.

The filmmakers gave it their all to make Gotham City at Christmastime look incredible, providing a near sense of happy times, while the Penguin's sewer lair is well-crafted to look ominous and foreboding in many creepy ways. Despite the movie's flaws, its strengths shine through and ensure that Batman Returns is an unforgettable superhero experience, ensuring the movie's legacy runs strong to this very day.

While Tim Burton and Michael Keaton did not return in the following movies, their work on Batman is not forgotten as a comic book titled 'Batman 89' set after the events of Batman Returns is being published by DC Comics and ignores the events of BATMAN FOREVER and BATMAN & ROBIN while Michael Keaton is about to reprise his role in THE FLASH movie along with BATGIRL.

BATMAN RETURNS gets a 9.9/10, if anyone hasn't seen it yet and can handle dark, gritty movies, this one is for you. Go watch it, there's nothing to miss out on. Now, I close out this review as the Bat-Signal goes off in the sky and Batman appears to fight the bad guys in Gotham. Peace to you all...

-James. M

WK 8 Bookish Babble - Rockwell Kent, Joanne Harris, and Jack Reacher


In my web wanderings this week, I was drawn into an article about artist Rockwell Kent and his quest for solitude and inspiration in Wilderness, Solitude, and Creativity: Artist and Philosopher Rockwell Kent’s Century-Old Meditations on Art and Life During Seven Months on a Small Alaskan Island, which lead to Musings on Art: Rockwell Kent - A Champion of Peace, which lead to Kent's illustrated Moby Dick. Makes me want to read the Moby Dick, or The Whale illustrated version now as well as Kent's book, Wilderness, his journal about his time in Alaska. Rabbit trails as so much fun.

Another interesting article about Author Joanne Harris turns down US book deal over censoring of ‘f-bomb’, particularly because it was pertinent to the story. Which lead of course to her blog and her response about sensitivity readers the publishing houses have begun to employ. In her blog post On Sensitivity readers, weakness, and staying alive, Harris makes a good point.

"Books all have shelf lives, just as we do, and Dickens’ work has survived in spite of his anti-Semitism, not because of it. The work of many others has not. Books are for readers, and if an author loses touch with their readers - either by clinging to outdated tropes, or using outdated vocabulary, or having an outdated style – then their books will cease to be published, and they will be forgotten. It happens all the time. What one generation loves and admires may be rejected by the next."

But that doesn't mean they need to be banned or changed. It's all in the context.

Lee Child's Jack Reacher first book was adapted for a series on Amazon Prime. I watched the first episode and had to close my eyes during the prison fight, but otherwise I think Alan Ritchson is a great choice for Reacher.

Reading choices when it comes to narrators. Years ago, I only read books written in third person narration and refused to read any written in first person. Until I came across a writer who usually wrote in third and had switched to first, captured my attention, pulled me into the story without confusing me and sold me on first person narration. Since then I've found some really good books from writers who do first person very well. The ones who don't, forget about it. You know the ones I mean.

I went back to school in my late forties to finish my Bachelor's Degree and during a literature class, imagine my surprise when I had to read a book written in second person narration. Yes, it was weird, but once I got into the story, was able to accept the narrator and keep going. Since then, I'll stumble across another written partially or totally in second person and give it a go. Of course, we're back to whether it's well done or not and does it pull you in. 

Which leads to my F book and I guess you could say the the third time the charm, although I have picked up this book to read numerous times but couldn’t get past the first page. N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season. Started it Saturday and found myself intrigued. which has mixed narration, both 2nd and 3rd and finding myself enjoying it.

I finished Super Powered Year three this past week as well as Amanda Quick's Garden of Lies. 

Book Review: Super Powered Year Three by Drew Hayes


Finished Super Powered Year Three by Drew Hayes. The paperback book tried to condense 900 pages into 600 pages so the print was really small so I read an ebook version instead. This one was packed with lots of fights, both sanctioned, and one huge non sanctioned that could have gotten the college kids thrown out of the Hero Certification school. The rest of the kids are fine tuning their skills and Vince is being watched due to his being kidnapped by George in the last book. Chad and Angela’s relationship is highlighted quite a bit and he moved into the Dorm with Mary, Alice, Vince, and Ron/Hershel. Lots of twists, humor, and team building. Nick has returned, living off campus and attending regular classes while trying to recover his memories and looks like he may be involved in a long con. A rival family’s son from Vegas is out to destroy Nick by any means. Enemies combine to attack not only Nick, but the Super Powers and rather than sit out the fight safely in lock down, they choose to protect the normal staff and kids on campus. Looking forward to reading Super Powered Year four. My brother was right. These will be well worth re reading again.

Science Fiction, 954

James M's review of Batman (1989)

Greetings, fellow movie viewers and superhero nerds. Welcome back to the superhero-verse where we once again discuss something related to DC and its brooding Dark Knight known as Batman. But its no crossover film or a comic we're discussing, its one of the biggest blockbusters of the 20th century, a piece of classic 80s cinema. That's right, we're talking about... BATMAN!

However, this is not the Dark Knight's first live-action project, Batman got a TV series of his own way back in the 1940s known as Batman & Robin with the caped crusader played by Robert Lowey. Almost a few decades later, we got the 1966 show BATMAN (which was a campy and more light-hearted take on the Dark Knight) starring Adam West and that spawned a made-for-TV movie.

It wouldn't be for another decade and a half until a true Batman movie came to life, one that paid respects to the Dark Knight's roots with the well-known Tim Burton at the helm. Today, we're here to discuss Batman 1989 (or just Batman), starring Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight and Jack Nicholson as the Batman's crazy nemesis The Joker (aka Jack Napier).

And for those who saw the campy 1960s show hoping for something fun on the same level as the old show, you're out of luck. This movie is rated PG-13 and it pushes it in many ways possible as it returns Batman to his dark and serious roots with lots of action, even The Joker is downright scary as he is meant to be. Tim Burton did not pull any punches, especially when he gave this film his own flavor.

Jack Nicholson, who was already known for certain movies like THE SHINING at the time, really sold it as the menacing Clown Prince of Crime, making him somewhat faithful to how The Joker is portrayed in the comics. Once you've seen what he does, that's when its clear you're no longer in the 1960s era of Batman. From here on out, its dark and gritty territory from here.

Michael Keaton handles the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman very well, playing the seemingly normal rich businessman and the black-clad protector of Gotham. He sells it well, especially when the character is thinking of his parents and what he went through that dark night in the alleyway when the man who would become The Joker killed Thomas and Martha Wayne.

That's right, the one who shot and killed Bruce Wayne's parents in this continuity is The Joker. Usually, in traditional Batman stories, its a regular small-time criminal named Joe Chill who does the deed, but having The Joker be the one pulling the trigger is one heck of a twist with Joe Chill being an accomplice of the man who'd later become the clown prince of crime.

For its time, Batman 1989 is an unforgettable experience and an incredible piece of 1980s cinema, especially at a time when the superhero genre wasn't as big as it was now. The musical score (some of which is heard in the LEGO Batman games) is well conducted, even the cinematography, special effects and scenery are fantastic. Heck, Gotham City itself looks amazing in several shots.

Tim Burton and his crew did their best, making sure that Batman '89 was the best it could be and the film was both a critical and financial success, leading to the sequel Batman Returns. 

The action scenes are very decently choreographed and the makeup department worked hard to ensure that Jack Nicholson resembled the character of The Joker very well. Even the tone of the movie has a well-found balance between dark and serious and lighthearted when its time to breathe between intense scenes.

Overall, Batman (1989) is a good experience from start to finish with the finest acting and casting choices in Hollywood history, good cinematography and a story that stays true to the core of what Batman is all about. My score for this film is a 10/10, if anyone has time, go watch this movie. I really had fun seeing it, so did my parents and everyone else. Now, I take my leave.

Good night to you all, fans of the Dark Knight.


Book Review: Abandoned in Death by J.D. Robb


J.D. Robb's 54th installment  Abandoned in Death in the In Death series released on February 8th arrived and as always, everything stopped while I read it. Once again, Robb knocks it out the ballpark.  I had no idea who the killer was throughout, going from man to woman to back again, as the clues piled up, some leading no where, until Eve managed to put it all together.  

"Homicide detective Eve Dallas must untangle a twisted family history while a hostage’s life hangs in the balance—in the new In Death novel by #1 New York Times bestselling J. D. Robb.

The woman’s body was found on a bench in a New York City playground. She was clean, her hair neatly arranged, her makeup carefully applied. But other things were very wrong—like the tattoo and piercings, clearly new. The clothes, decades out of date. The fatal wound hidden beneath a ribbon around her neck. And the note: Bad Mommy, written in crayon as if by a child.

It seems clear the killer’s childhood was traumatic—a situation Eve is all too familiar with herself. Yet the clues point to a perpetrator who’d be around sixty, and there are no records of old crimes with a similar MO. What was the trigger that apparently reopened such an old wound and sent someone over the edge? When Eve learns that other young women have recently vanished, the case grows even more urgent—and to solve it she’ll need to find her way into a hidden place of dim light and concrete, into the distant past, and into the depths of a shattered mind."

The story dipped slightly into Eve's past, but just a little, so as not to derail the story. There were likenesses, but she didn't let it bother her. She's grown past the torment to acceptance, so could concentrate on the murderer as the clock ticks down to another murder.  The surprising reveal of the bad guy upset everyone as he was well known to them all.  

The whole cast of characters were along for the ride on this one which was nice.  Well worth reading again. 

Futuristic Police Procedural, 368

James M's review of Doctor Who Series 13/Flux & Eve Of The Daleks (2021-2022)


Welcome back to the Whoniverse, after dealing with the Revolution of The Daleks, we're now diving into Jodie Whittaker's final season and the start of her final year as The Doctor with the multi-part storyline Flux and the New Year's special Eve Of The Daleks (no, not Evil of The Daleks, that's a different tale from the other story). So, lets begin, starting with Flux.

Flux is, of course, a multi-part story that makes up the entirety of Series 13 of New Who, it sees The Doctor, Yaz and a multitude of allies struggling to save the universe from The Flux, which is being engineered by The Division, which served the Time Lords and The Doctor served under well before she became the Time Lord known as The Doctor.

Airing from October 31st to December 5, Flux was a massive storyline that was just as ambitious as it could get with Chris Chibnall and his team throwing everything they had at the sink to make sure this storyline was the biggest one yet. Not only did you have The Flux event, but you had the Sontarans, villainous newcomer Grand Serpent, the Weeping Angels and so many others for The Doctor to deal with. And of course, we had Swarm (an old enemy The Doctor faced in a mysterious old life).

Series 13 sees the introduction of The Doctor's latest companion, a Scouse named Dan Lewis played by British comedian John Bishop. Dan joins The Doctor after he's seemingly kidnapped by a dog-like Lupari known as Karvanista, who is revealed to be an ally of humanity and formerly an ally of the Division (which of course worked for The Time Lords).

Plus, the Timeless Child plot point from the past few seasons is somewhat expanded on throughout the storyline as we learn more about the Fugitive Doctor/Ruth Clayton, who apparently ended the Dark Times and was the incarnation of The Doctor who defeated Swarm a long time ago. And during the episode "Village of The Angels", we discover that there were Weeping Angels who worked for the Division, a big shocking twist considering the Angels attack other beings when not being observed.

And, in the very next episode "Survivors Of The Flux", The Doctor is "recalled" to Division and reunites with her former adoptive mother Techteun, who has long since regenerated into a woman, whom The Doctor briefly encountered during the events of the third episode in the Flux arc. 

For a storyline that sees our show's heroes facing the end of the universe, Flux is as dark as it can get. The Flux tears apart the universe and hits Earth at the tail end of the first episode and things really get intense in Village Of The Angels (of course) when the Angels capture The Doctor while her friends Yaz, Dan and their new ally World War II veteran Professor Jericho from 1967 get sent back to the past. 

Even the events of the next episode Survivors Of The Flux become grim during its final minutes when Swarm arrives at Division (located outside The Doctor's universe) and kills Techteun while Grand Serpent makes his move on Earth within UNIT after decades of planning as the Sontarans prepare to attack and the final universe-destroying Flux event looms closer and closer.

But thankfully, in the next episode "The Vanquishers", The Doctor and her friends manage to defeat Swarm and save the rest of the universe from being annihilated by The Flux. However, in the aftermath of the battle, The Doctor is told by the embodiment of Time that her end is coming, reminding us that Jodie Whittaker's Doctor will soon be regenerating just like with David Tennant's 10th Doctor.

Doctor Who Flux is mind-blowing, any Whovian who hasn't seen it yet should see it. I give the entire season a strong 9/10, this was very good from start to finish, Chibnall and his team knew what they were doing and the characters were engaging as usual.

Now, let us tackle EVE OF THE DALEKS. (Again, we're not talking of 1967's Evil Of The Daleks.)

Airing on January 1st of this year, just weeks after The Vanquishers, EVE sees The Doctor and her friends in a warehouse facing off against a squad of Execution Daleks, who are out for vengeance after The Doctor helped devastate their race with The Flux during the events of the previous episode, while a malfunctioning TARDIS creates a time loop which goes into effect whenever the characters die.

Just like past episodes and Dalek stories, Eve of The Daleks is quite a ride from start to finish, Nicholas Briggs once again brings his A game to the table as the menacing voice of The Doctor's greatest enemies and it seems Whittaker had a ball when it came to confronting these monstrous mutants from the planet Skaro. Plus, dealing with Daleks during a time loop has never ever been done before.

Chibnall seems to enjoy writing The Daleks just as he's enjoyed writing the previous episodes not based around them, he knows how to make them menacing and the Daleks continue to stay true to their roots as evil menacing monsters out to exterminate those who are inferior to them while The Doctor works out a plan to stop them as the companions do what they can to help.

Despite being an intense and chilling story, for a New Year's special, Eve Of The Daleks somewhat serves as somewhat of a breather episode after the grim events of Flux despite having high-stakes as the clock approaches midnight with each time loop. But thankfully, The Doctor and her crew manage to destroy the Daleks and escape the warehouse they were trapped in for the duration of the story.

My score for this wild Doctor Who story is a very, very strong ten point five. May the fine folks at the BBC continue to make Whovians happy for many more decades, even if the show goes off the air and the only Doctor Who media we have to take in are books, comics and audio adventures. With that, I say farewell to you all for now, may we meet again as The Doctor's regeneration looms closer...

Peace out!

-James. M

Book Review: Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear


The third time is the charm. I had difficulties getting into Elizabeth Bear's Ancestral Night and almost gave up on it. However, I gave it one more try and became quickly engrossed in the story.  Timing I guess is everything. The story sucked me in and I had a book hangover when I finished  My mind was full from the vastness of outer space and all that happened and I had to sit with the story for a little bit. 

This was a very complex story involving philosophical, cultural, political, and psychological themes as Hamiey Dz, her partner Connla, and the ship mind Singer, find evidence of a major crime, run afoul of space pirates and are chased through deep space to space stations to deep holes to the very center of the galaxy. 

Mix in altered memories, a computer in your brain to regulate emotions, plenty of discussions about  right and wrong, throw in ancient sentient space whales, an anthromorphic praying mantis and other interesting creatures as well as a whole new language to learn.  I tried looking up a few words which I soon realized didn't have real world definitions and just went with the flow, figuring out what words meant by context.  

Ancestral Night is an entertaining, intriguing, and illuminating story with plenty of humor to balance out the angst.  The story involves so many things to think about it will be well worth a reread.  Maybe in about a year or so. LOL!

Dusty, science fiction, 512

James M's review of Inside Hitler's Bunker & Der Untergang (book/movie review)

Welcome back, friends. This time we are diving... into history, traveling back to the final months of a dark time in our world's history. We're turning back the clock to 1945 as World War II in Europe was ending in chaos. 

This is my review of Inside Hitler's Bunker by Joachim Fest, which details the final days of the Third Reich as the Soviet army besieged the German city of Berlin.  Plus the movie that was based on it along with many other accounts by those who knew the infamous Adolf Hitler.

We got INSIDE HITLER'S BUNKER back in 2015 and read the entire book from start to finish with me taking down notes as I went.  it detailed everything that  happened during those chaotic final weeks as the Soviets took Berlin and as Hitler met his fate down in that bunker with his close allies. It covers the start of the Battle of Berlin a couple days before Hitler's birthday, then talks about what happened during the last ten days from his birthday up to his death with Eva Braun.

Joachim Fest took his time writing this book and letting us know it is important to learn history in order to avoid repeating it. We all heard the tales many times. The tales of how Hitler met his end and where he was when he died. While what happened down in the Fuerherbunker was NEVER seen on camera, he made one last public appearance that was caught on camera; his birthday and a single photo of him taken outside the bunker before his death.

Nothing is left out and ignored. All the events that unfolded above the bunker in Berlin and everything that everyone around Hitler did is very explicitly addressed.

The final days of the war cannot and must not be ignored.  War is hell as the saying goes and the chaos engulfing Berlin is very-well described. This is a very informative book if you are curious about the final days of the Nazi regime and those final hours in the life of history's most infamous dictator who's legacy has haunted us for decades.

Joachim is an incredible historian and author. His work is a must read for historians. I actually wrote a report on INSIDE HITLER'S BUNKER for school in the weeks after we read it. The report is tucked away somewhere in a binder full of school-related reports I've done over the years.

INSIDE HITLER'S BUNKER gets a ten out of ten. It's well-written and was fun to read. So, what about the movie which was somewhat based on this book? Well, I'll tell you.

Released in 2004 and ONLY done in German, Der Untergang stars the late Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler. It is told from the perspective of Traudl Junge and many others and depicts the Battle of Berlin, the events unfolding above and within the bunker during the final days of Hitler's life. It is a very well done war movie.  I've seen it four times so far and will most likely watch it again.  

If you wish to see it, go ahead. But just a warning before you do, DOWNFALL (which is what DER UNTERGANG is also called) is R-rated. It is violent and very scary.   Well,  what would you expect, since it's about the events in Berlin in 1945. This film was well-received and very successful. 

it has also spawned quite a few internet memes. How you ask?

Adolf Hitler has become an internet meme thanks to this German-speaking movie. If it weren't for DOWNFALL, we wouldn't have the Hitler Rant Parodies going on right now. Der Untergang parodies are everywhere, everywhere I say. And its thanks to the movie we got SONIC'S SPACE ADVENTURES AGAINST HITLER by AVIDSONICFAN (which I reviewed ages ago).

Der Untergang and the book that inspired it are both good, well put-together and everyone should give them a shot. Just be forewarned, the content is disturbing. DER UNTERGANG and DOWNFALL gets a ten out of ten. 

Now, I say farewell to you all as we return to the modern day and prepare to take our minds off the war and any other dark history events. Stay safe in the world as long as you don't stumble into a time machine that will take you back to any dangerous times, times such as WWII during any point in the conflict.

See you later!

-James M

James M's review of Ghostbusters Afterlife (2021)


Welcome back, everyone! Its time we dive back into the Ghostbusters universe... with the long-awaited Ghostbusters III known as Ghostbusters Afterlife, released in November of 2021 and starring Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckeena Grace, Bokeem Woodbine and Paul Rudd of Marvel Cinematic Universe fame.

Original Ghostbusters actors Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver (post-credits) and Harold Ramis (posthumously) also appear in the film, reprising their roles from the original two films with J.K Simmons of Spider-Man and Terminator Genisys fame playing none other than Ivo Shandor, who was mentioned in the first movie and played a major role in the 2009 video game.

Set over three decades after the events of the first two films, Egon Spengler's grandkids visit a house left behind by him after his death and find themselves taking up the Ghostbusters mantle when the threat of a supernatural apocalypse with Gozer's return becomes apparent. In the end, after quite the struggle, the young heroes (with help from Peter Venkmen, Winston, Ray and the ghost of Egon) defeat the returning and seemingly powerful Gozer and save humanity.

With the story out of the way, what do I think of this film and is it good?

Honestly, despite some of the criticism it got, Afterlife is a decent movie and a well-deserved Ghostbusters sequel even if it picks up some plot beats from the first movie such as the threat of Gozer. But thankfully, it handles the Gozer plot in a way that doesn't feel like a retread of the first film. Even the late Harold Ramis is given an honorable tribute with his character getting a well-deserved send-off, rest in peace, Harold, you were amazing.

And you know what, we even have the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot to thank for this. If it weren't for that film, we wouldn't have gotten this. In case you don't know, after Ghostbusters II, the creatives tried to get Ghostbusters III off the ground but had so much issue, they ended up making the 2016 film. When that failed, that's when this film came to be. So in a way, trying to reboot Ghostbusters, only for it to fail, helped ensure that the third installment in the original movie series came to be.

There were quite a lot of Easter Eggs and callbacks to the original movie in many ways, especially when the original Ghostbusters face off against Gozer at the end. Remember that scene in the first film where Gozer asks Ray if he's a god, unlike in the first film, Ray says "yes" this time around. Had he, Peter and Winston forgotten what had happened last time, they would've been in some deep sh*t.

Seeing J.K Simmons as Ivo Shandor was quite welcome, even though Shandor's role was very minor, since we finally got to see the very man who planted the seeds for Gozer's coming years prior to the events of the first film in live action. Better late than never, am I right?

Ghostbusters Afterlife is not only a worthy sequel to Ghostbusters II (and the original movie), its got some of the best cinematography, music and remarkable special effects, especially during the end battle when the heroes are beating Gozer with Egon's ghost joining in. And in regards to how Harold Ramis' character is handled and how Ramis' legacy is treated, it is beautiful, the actor using his likeness knew what he was doing and those final scenes with his ghost is something you're never going to forget.

Well, I don't have much to say at this point. All I can do is give Ghostbusters III aka Ghostbusters Afterlife a solid 9.5 out of 10, what an amazing movie that potentially serves as the finale to the original film series' story. Would we love to see more Ghostbusters' adventures in the future? Of course, if they don't take three decades to do another one like with the third film. God, don't you just hate it when movies go through development hell for decades?

Anyways, I bid to you a happy life and have many good days to come. Sayonara, everyone!

-James. M 

Book Review: A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Windspear


This dusty book has been on my shelves for quite a while. I was given the ARC of A Lesson in Secrets while volunteering at Left Coast Crime in 2012 and Winspear was one of the guest speakers.  I had so much fun hearing all the different speakers and received a great many books from authors I've never read before.  Don't know why it took me so long to read, but glad I did.  

"In the summer of 1932, Maisie Dobbs’s career takes an exciting new turn when she accepts an undercover assignment directed by Scotland Yard’s Special Branch and the Secret Service. Posing as a junior lecturer, she is sent to a private college in Cambridge to monitor any activities, “not in the interests of His Majesty’s Government. When the college’s controversial pacifist founder and principal, Greville Liddicote, is murdered, Maisie is directed to stand back as Detective Chief Superintendent Robert MacFarlane and Detective Chief Inspector Richard Stratton spearhead the investigation. She soon discovers, however, that the circumstances of Liddicote’s death appear inextricably linked to the suspicious comings and goings of faculty and students under her surveillance."

As a police procedural set in 1932, Maisie is sent to work undercover for a private college and the principal is murdered.  She's told not to investigate the murder, but she spends a good bit of running around the country, doing exactly that and of course, finding out quite a bit more than the Superintendent and Chief Inspector.  She quite daring for the times and has no problem knocking on strangers doors to interview them.  Interestingly enough, there were several red herrings which distracted her from finding the real murderer for quite a while and who turned out to be a surprise. Several times I though I knew but really didn’t.  She has a love interest, but also seems to be attracted to someone else.  Will probably dip back into the series at some point.

Dusty book, England, 1932 

James M's review of Sonic The Hedgehog: The Movie aka Sonic the OVA


Welcome back to the Sonic-verse, today, we're traveling back to the 1990s to look at another Sonic animation. We've covered the first two Sonic cartoons and Underground, but we've not yet covered another obscure part of Sonic's past, we're looking at the Sonic OVA aka Sonic The Hedgehog: The Movie (which is not to be confused with the Sonic movie that came out nearly 25 years later.

So, what's the story behind this anime?

Well, back in 1996, Sonic was very popular in America with several games, an ongoing comic book and two shows under his belt. But meanwhile in Japan, SEGA Enterprises wanted to do a Sonic show themselves, especially as Sonic had never done an anime at this point. 

So, they partnered with Studio Pierrot to work on the project with Sonic Team's Yuji Naka and Naoto Oshima supervising the project. However, since Sonic wasn't super popular in Japan, the OVA flopped and only two episodes were done. After that, it wouldn't come out in America until 1999 when the first Sonic Adventure was releasing alongside the Dreamcast.

In the years after this piece of Sonic media released, I saw it myself with my father on YouTube in 2015 and then saw it again with my mother a few years later. The OVA is quite good, too bad SEGA refuses to touch anything from it or even allow any material from the OVA to pop up in other Sonic media, especially since (unlike the DiC shows) it is almost faithful to the source material.

Now, what is the story and world of the OVA like?

Well, Sonic and Tails live on Planet Freedom, which is implied to be a post-apocalyptic Earth, and their enemy Doctor Robotnik kidnaps the president's daughter Sara while tricking Sonic to go down to Robotnikland so the villainous doctor can create Metal Sonic with the hedgehog's DNA. Robotnik intends to devastate Planet Freedom and marry Sara, which is near creepy too. The show features the likes of Knuckles the Echidna (who made his animation debut before appearing in Sonic Underground) and other colorful characters such as Old Man Owl, the President and, of course, Sara.

Its also a no brainer that Metal Sonic shows up and is Sonic's adversary in this two part movie, he and Sonic fight near the end, which leads to the now well-known meme-worthy line of "strange isn't it". Thanks to the likes of Tyson Hesse and the resurgence of Classic Sonic in the 2010s, the OVA became somewhat relevant again and is often referenced in many ways without causing much of an issue. 

Until Sonic X came along seven years later, the OVA was the only instance of a Sonic anime that ever came out and X was more successful than the 1996 movie ever was. Regardless, the Sonic OVA is a product of its time and deserves to be watched, this anime is nothing short of fun and has so many good moments sprinkled throughout. If you're a fan of Sonic, this is a must see.

My score for the Sonic OVA gets a 9.5/10, its likable and unforgettable. In regards to the possibility of any material from this piece of Sonic history seeing the light of day again, we may never know, but anything and everything is possible in the multiverse. Thank you and good day...

-CVGW James 

Book Review: Super Powereds Year 2 by Drew Hayes


Finished Drew Hayes Super Powereds Year Two which was just as good as Year One. 

"Despite having their secret revealed, the residents of Melbrook Hall return to Lander University for another year in the Hero Certification Program. Good thing the focus of this year is teamwork, because with their origins known they’ll have to lean on each other more than ever.

Now finally sophomores, their curriculum expands, allowing them to train in the majors that Heroes specialize in. The new classes will test their minds, bodies, and determination in ways never anticipated. In a year filled with the unveiling of secrets, unexpected entanglements, and, of course, super-powered battles, who will be left standing is anyone’s guess. Because if all that weren’t enough, more light is being shed on last year’s kidnapping attempt, and the results point at something far bigger than mere rogue educators."

Our main characters are in Year 2 of college and their Hero Certification program. This year for the kids it is all about team work while trying to preserve their spot to make it through to the fourth year. Their secret as powereds is exposed and they have to work doubly hard to preserve friendships and ignore those who don't think they are good enough.

I think I'm most surprised by Hershel and Roy. Glad Hershel approached Dad and found out Hershel needs to work out and get himself into shape in order for Roy to progress. Are these two going to combine into one person one of these days. It's sad they can't forgive their father and have a relationship but he did abandon them for a different lifestyle. I'm not surprised about Nick but I do think he'll be back for Year 3. I know Nick does things for all the right reasons, but I think his lack of trust in his team mates, his refusing to reveal his true self most of the time, contributes to some of their problems. But he is a teenager? Or is he just posing as one? Never quite sure about that. 

Disappointed in Camille hiding her true abilities from Vince. How will he feel when he does find out? Vince is way too forgiving of Rich and Nick. I would probably feel betrayed by their actions and take longer to get over them. Alice and Mary are learning to be team players, plus learning how to use their abilities. The rest of the sub characters and the adults all have something to hide, some more than others, which feeds into not only the lessons, but their lives. Looking forward to Year 3.

James M's review of Star Wars The Mandalorian season two (2020)


Welcome back to that galaxy far, far away, friends. After much delay, we're finally delving into season two of STAR WARS: THE MANDALORIAN, which aired all the way back in 2020 from October to December. Its high time we do that, so lets not delay any longer...

Just like the first season, Mandalorian season two consists of over eight episodes. Also, season two continues from where season one left off with Din D'Jarin's quest to protect The Child and help him find The Jedi after defeating Moff Gideon in the season one finale. 

This season marks the live-action debut of characters such as Ahsoka Tano from The Clone Wars and Rebels alongside Bo-Katan as well as Cob Vanth from the Star Wars Aftermath trilogy of books.

Boba Fett finally makes his return in this, having survived the Sarlacc pit when we last saw him during the events of 1983's Return of The Jedi. He even lost his armor, which ended up in the hands of Cob Vanth himself, which he wore as a sheriff on Tatooine until Din helps him and a band of Tusken Raiders defeat a Krayt Dragon in the very first episode, the same episode in which Boba Fett shows up.

When we run into Ahsoka a couple episodes later, we also learn more about The Child, discovering that his name is Grogu and he is a Jedi youngling who survived the chaotic events of Order 66 and was hidden away for years until Din found him. 

We also discover that Ahsoka is still looking for Ezra Bridger, which will become a plot point in her upcoming show, and she is seeking out Grand Admiral Thrawn, who was last seen in Star Wars Rebels being defeated in the series finale. 

The finale to the show's second season gets very interesting, especially when Moff Gideon kidnaps Grogu for his own uses. Din teams up with Boba Fett, a surviving Fennic Shand, Cara Dune and Bo-Katan to find and storm Moff Gideon's Star Destroyer to rescue the young Yoda-like child. Din fights Dark Troopers (which make their canon debut) and then battles Moff Gideon, who has the Darksaber which we saw him with near the end of the season one finale.

But even after Gideon's defeat, Din and his crew still have to contend with the Dark Troopers, but help arrives in form of none other than Luke Skywalker (with Mark Hamill reprising his role). Luke cuts his way through the Dark Troopers in a sequence that made a lot of fans smile and saves Din's group, but he's here to pick up Grogu and help him get back on the Jedi path.

Din has a heartfelt goodbye with Grogu and we watch as Luke goes off with him as season two draws to an end. However, its not done yet. A post-credits scene shows Boba Fett and Fennic Shand return to Tatooine where they enter Jabba The Hutt's place and kill the still-alive Bib Fortuna, leading to Boba taking the throne to himself, setting up the events of The Book Of Boba Fett (2021).

Season two of The Mandalorian was very entertaining with some very good episodes that will never be forgotten, even Luke Skywalker's appearance was great to see and satisfying enough to those who were upset by how he was handled in the Sequel Trilogy (specifically The Last Jedi). With Grogu no longer a plot point in the show, we have to see where The Mandalorian goes from there in season three, which will be airing down the road in 2022. Pedro Pascal fills the role of The Mandalorian title character flawlessly, it is also rumored that Luke may make another appearance in season three.

My definitive final score for season two is a 9.8 out of 10, The Mandalorian's an excellent addition to the legacy of Star Wars and is worth rewatching again and again. Now, I say farewell, may the Force be with you, always.

-James. M

A to Z and Back Again - E is for Earnest


You are in a pitch black cave so dark you can't see your hand in front of your face. You stumble about, unable to find your bearings.  Before the lights went out, you saw a cavern, a meandering walkway with rocks littering the path, leading to another cave. You listen for a voice, a laugh, a we're only kidding jest, but hear nothing.  Where are you now? Are you alone? Or are there other people lost in the dark same as you. 

You stand in place and wait.  Should you turn around and seek the light?  You remember a door, but you don't have any idea where it is anymore. You were shoved through a door into the cavern before the door shut, blocking out the light, sight, sound. What is on the other other side of the cavern? Where are you going? Do you know? 

They said they were giving you a test to see, ha ha, your full potential. What did any of this have to do with being a team player or a lone wolf. What did any of this have to do with being management material?  What were they expecting? For you to stand there silently and wait, or yell for help; stumble and fall, or march through the dark, like a stupid idiot, going in circles. 

You hate tests. Always had. They never revealed the true you. Didn't test your real knowledge, just the fake, the regurgitated lessons of the past.  Whether you made it through or not, you decided you were through; with her, with them, with the whole endeavor. It wasn't worth it.  

Do you dare move into the dark?  Stumble about in the dark, hands out stretched, eyes squinched tight against the heavy weight.  You breath deep and take a step, your foot sliding an inch, then another, until you reach the zenith of your stride.  You feel like Frankenstein, stiff legged, stiff armed, lurching forward in the dark.  You continue to shuffle forward, feeling your way with your feet and your hands.  Your whole body aware, seeking the path, seeking the way forward.  

You slide your feet forward again, a little faster this time, one after another. How far have you gone? How long has it been?

Silence descends and nothing reaches your ears except for the slide of your shoes. Nothing in the cave except you and the dark. The whoosh of your shoe as it swings in an arc, testing out the width of the trail. You swing your arms to no avail.

The split second of light at the beginning, a flash of the trail, not concrete, but gravel leading off into the distance remains in your mind's eye.  You blink open your eyes and wait for them to adjust, imagining people in the dark; observing, listening, taking notes, grading your progress.  Damn them.

Another foot forward, the rasp of your own breath, another inch.  Are you getting closer? How far have you gone?  Inch by inch, breath by breath, how much time has passed?

Your foot encounters something in the dark, in the path.  You reach out and run your hands over the object.  A chair? What would happen if you sat down? If you waited, if you rested? Would you fail? You grip the chair and fling it as hard as you can forward and listen to it clatter and slither along the trail, until it comes to a stop. Lost in the dark.   

An hour passed, you think, before you encounter another obstacle in your path. The damn chair again, upright, and waiting for you to sit down and rest. How the Hell did they do that? 

You huff out a laugh which echoes around you.  You hoot like an owl and listen as echolocation tell you you're in the middle of a chamber, the sound circling around you. You throw the chair, harder this time, and are rewarded with a thump as it lands against a wall. 

Tempted to rush forward, you restrain yourself.  Whoosh, slide, step, whoosh slide, and step, again and again until you feel the brush of air flow past you. A bat? A bird? A fan? Or maybe a door opening. 

You listen, hearing nothing, the oppressive dark unrelenting, your legs quivering from fatigue, and push forward until your hands hit a hard rock wall right in front of you.  You lean forward and rest your head against the rocks, resting for just one moment.  Is this the end or another chair, another barrier?

You run your hands over the wall searching for a doorknob, a latch, a hole, even a button to push. What feels like  interminable minutes pass before you find an outline of a square.  

You push it and wait and wait and wait and wait. 

You swear and punch the damn wall, slide down to sit. For just a minute. You are so damned tire, but you need a minute to rest, to regroup. It's another obstacle, no more than that. 

You climb to your feet and resume running your hands along the rocky wall. Five feet to the left and find large rocks blocking the way.  Back to the middle, then five feet more to the right.  You encounter a blank spot. You press forward through an opening, hands sliding against the wall, foot carving an arc, until you hit wood.  A door. An actual door with a handle.  You turn the knob and the door squeaks open to a sea of black.   

Sighing, you power onward and find, another chair. This time you sit and wait, close your eyes, and listen.

A murmur of voices, laughter, music, comes from your right, in the distance.  Are the jackasses having a party while they wait?  

You open your eyes and see a tiny light far, far away. A figment of your imagination, or the real deal. An open door? An exit? The end?

You rise and trusting nothing else will block your past, you stride with confidence forward into the light.  

James. M's review of Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II (1984 & 1989)


Greetings, supernatural nerds, we're diving into another movie review. But this one is a double feature, its the first Ghostbusters movie from 1984 and its 1989 sequel both starring Bill Murray, Rick Moranis, Dan Aykroyd and Alien's Sigourney Weaver. Both were well-received movies and went on to become pop-culture products of their era, spanning a franchise consisting of a couple video games and various comic books as well as a cartoon show.

So, what's the story of all two films here?

In the first film, after Peter Venkmen, Egon Spangler and Ray Stanz investigate a ghostly phenomenon in a library in New York, they go into a supernatural investigation and ghost catching buisness calling themselves the Ghostbusters. As more spooky situations start popping up, its soon discovered that an ancient god called Gozer is coming to destroy the world so its up to the Ghostbusters to stop him.

And in the second movie, after going out of buisness following the battle with Gozer in the first film, the Ghostbusters have to get back together when pink slime is discovered under New York and they catch wind that a dead evil dictator named Vigo the Carpathian is planning to return from the dead and take possession of Daina Barret's baby son Oscar on New Year's.

Now that the plots are out of the way, what do people like me think of Ghostbusters?

Overall, they're nothing short of decent, comedic and almost serious 1980s movie fun. The producers knew what stories they were aiming to tell and the actors helped tell the story perfectly. The Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man, Gozer's pre-chosen form by Ray, in the first film went on to become an icon in pop culture and is somewhat of a meme now and then.

The tone of both movies manages to find a perfect balance between light-hearted comedic storytelling and when to get serious, especially with the big villains of the first and second films respectively. In regards to the cast of the movies, Bill Murray is perhaps one of the greatest out of the entire Ghostbusters cast, even Sigourney is a treasure to see, especially for those who are fans of her work. 

I don't have anything else to say, not only is there great acting and good storytelling in these movies, but the musical score is well done and there are some great special effects as well. These movies deserve the love they got, if anybody out there hasn't seen it, go see it. You do not want to miss out on some fun 1980s classics, especially when it comes to supernatural comedy films like Ghostbusters.

Ghostbusters I gets an 9.5 out of 10 and Ghostbusters II gets a 9.9/10. These movies are so loved and the franchise is so popular, a third film was finally launched after languishing in development heck for years while an all-female reboot in 2016 was released, but we'll save that one for another day.

Now, I bid you farewell. See you in the next movie review...

-James. M

James M's review of The Sonic Encyclospeedia (2021)

2021, ten years after Sonic's 20th Anniversary and five years after his twenty-fifth, SEGA and the fandom celebrated Sonic's long-awaited 30th Anniversary. The anniversary technically began a year in advance with the release of the highly-anticipated Sonic The Hedgehog movie from Paramount which was a love letter to the franchise and rejuvenated Sonic after years of declining popularity, returning him to a status of high-popularity not seen since the 1990s.

And amidst all that was going on, SEGA collaborated with Dark Horse Comics and popular writer Ian Flynn, not to create a Sonic comic, but to create a book that served as a complete history guide to the decades-worth of Sonic games. This was the Sonic Encyclospeedia.

I got this for Christmas after weeks of seeing other people reading it and read the entire thing in one sitting while opening up gifts on Christmas Eve. So, what do I think about it? Well, Ian is a great writer and he put a lot of effort into that research and everything that we saw about the games and the franchise factoids that popped up in this Encyclospeedia.

Did it clean up any lore inconsistencies? 


Were there any acknowledgements of other Sonic media aside from the games?

Yes, both Archie, Fleetway, SatAM, AoSTH and Sonic Boom were directly and indirectly acknowledged in this very book along with Sonic Chronicles, which had a section of its own. And at the start of the book, there was a sweet message from Takashi Iizuka, the head of Sonic Team and semi-steward of the Sonic franchise.

Take a moment and look at it, read it all. No matter what the fans think of him, Iizuka cares very deeply about Sonic just like everyone else and will do what he can to ensure the blue blur succeeds globally, even if he, the rest of his team and the rest of the franchise were held down by corporate restrictions from the higher-ups at SEGA of Japan.

And after years of working on Sonic projects with SEGA and having been part of the fandom (as well as the franchise's history), writer Ian Flynn knew what he was doing and knows what he is doing, especially with what he's given and how he navigates certain restrains. Just like Iizuka, Ian cares about the franchise, its world and the characters. He worked so hard on the comics and became so popular with the fanbase, this man deserves his long-awaited promotion to writer for the games' stories.

Yup, the man behind the story for the (as of right now) upcoming Sonic Frontiers video game is the same man who worked on this, Archie Sonic during its last decade, some Sonic Boom episodes, and IDW Sonic. Heck, he's also involved with the multiverse-spanning adventure show Sonic Prime.

Overall, the Sonic Encyclospeedia is a good read alongside the Mario Encyclospeedia (which also came out during the Mario Bros franchise's 30th anniversary), the Hyrule Historia, Breath Of The Wild Creating a Champion and the Hyrule Encyclospeedia. If anybody out there wants to learn more about the games, get this book, its great. 

However, this is not the first time Ian Flynn wrote a Sonic encyclopedia. All the way back in 2012, well before the reboot, Archie Sonic received an encyclopedia that contained nearly two decades of lore compiled together. And by pure coincidence, the Encyclospeedia is coming out right as the Sonic games are about to go through a reboot of some kind. History can repeat in many impossible ways.

My overall score for the Encyclospeedia is a 9.5/10, its a must-have and a must-read for the Sonic fans, be it newcomers or long-time fans. As I said before, if you don't have it yet, go get it. Now, I take my leave. Have a good life out there, don't get sick and don't hurt yourself. And remember, gotta go fast.

-James. M