Caught Dead Handed—Psychics, Witches, and Murder in Salem

Caught Dead Handed by Carol J. Perry A Witch City Mystery book cover
Caught Dead Handed by Carol J. Perry

Caught Dead Handed by Carol J. Perry is the first in the Witch City Mystery series. Told from the first person point of view of Lee Barrett, we follow her as she returns home to Salem, Massachusetts and becomes a TV psychic—and finds out she just might by psychic for real.

1—The Mystery

Lee gets her new job at WHICH-TV as host of Nightshades, where she introduces old movies and tv shows and takes calls from viewers, after the previous host, Ariel Constellation, gets killed. There’s another murder in town too and Lee is convinced they’re connected. What’s more, she’s started to see visions in Ariel’s obsidian ball. She’s also adopted Ariel’s cat—and witch’s familiar—O’Ryan. Continue reading “Caught Dead Handed—Psychics, Witches, and Murder in Salem”

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The Resurrection Game—Family is Bloody Business

The Resurrection Game by Michelle Belanger book cover
The Resurrection Game by Michelle Belanger

The Resurrection Game, by Michelle Belanger, is the third Shadowside novel. An urban Fantasy told in first person perspective, it follows Zack Westland—the mortal name of the Anakim angel Zaquiel—as he battles one of his own brothers bent on revenge for an act Zack doesn’t remember committing.

1—Memory Troubles

Zack’s lack of memory is still getting him in trouble. He’s apparently done something to one of his Anakim brothers named Tashiel that’s set Zuriel on his hellbent quest for vengeance. Zuriel has sworn to destroy Zack’s life, to kill all those close to him. It starts with a woman named Marjory, a woman very important to Zack if for no other reason than she holds some of the keys to his past. Now Zack is looking for Marjory’s daughter and hoping he finds her before Zuriel does. Continue reading “The Resurrection Game—Family is Bloody Business”

Star Wars: The Last Jedi—I’m Conflicted

Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie poster
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi continues the adventures of Rey, Finn, and Poe as they battle the First Order for the fate of the universe. Things don’t go so well this time.

1—Thrilling

The fights, both between people and between starships, are great. They all have that sense of awe and danger. Partly this is the choreography and effects, but it’s also that each fight has consequences. People die and fates change. Continue reading “Star Wars: The Last Jedi—I’m Conflicted”

American Gods Season One—Intense

American Gods
American Gods

Based on the book by Neil Gaiman, the tv series American Gods follows Shadow Moon after the death of his wife and hiring by the mysterious Mr. Wednesday. As Shadow and Wednesday cross the American landscape meeting with old gods from across the world and preparing for war with the new gods, the narrative intercuts with other stories, including that of Shadow’s undead wife.

Warning: full frontal nudity, both male and female.

1—Spectacular

American Gods is a beautiful show. Every scene bursts with color and atmosphere. Even the dark scenes are rich in hue. Every piece seems well chosen to convey the story being told at that particular moment. The effects are gorgeous, but more than that the symbolism is really well-chosen. Some of the imagery is of a giant bison with flaming eyes, dandelion fluff that goes up into the clouds and turns into snow, and a noose made out of a spinal column. American Gods does spectacle well. Continue reading “American Gods Season One—Intense”

Grave Witch—Intriguing

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price book cover
Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price is an urban fantasy told from the first person perspective. It follows Alex Craft, a grave witch—that is, a witch who works with the dead, shades, ghosts, souls, corpses—as she tries to find a serial killer who carves strange glyphs into their victims’s skins.

1—Faery Tale

The world changed when the Fae came out of the closet and revealed themselves to humans—literally changed, as in pockets of reality opened up new land. In one of these new places is Nekros City, the city where Alex lives. There are all kinds of Fae, the differences of which aren’t important in this book but I suspect will be in later books in the series. Alex ends up partnering with one from the FIB—Fae Investigation Bureau—when it turns out the glyphs the killer is using are Fae. Continue reading “Grave Witch—Intriguing”

Doctor Strange—Good Second Half

Doctor Strange movie poster
Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange is the first Doctor Strange movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (actually, as of this writing, it’s the only one but I’m assuming they’ll do more). It follows Dr. Stephen Strange as he looses the use of his hands and goes to Nepal to try to get the use of them back and instead finds a sect of mystic sorcerers.

1—The Effects

Let’s start with the good. The special effects in this movie are fantastic, in both senses of the word. They did a great job with the special effects, of which almost the whole movie uses. The effects themselves are also fantastical, with folded cities, portals through space and time, and a living cloak with a sense of humor. Continue reading “Doctor Strange—Good Second Half”

Stardust (the Movie, Not the Book)—Fun But Not Free of Problems

Stardust movie poster
Stardust

Stardust is a romantic fantasy adventure movie based on a book by Neil Gaiman. It’s follows Tristan as he crosses the magical wall that separates his little English village from the magical realm of Stormhold.

1—Beautiful Movie

Stardust is a gorgeous movie with excellent set design, special effects, and editing. The music is often big and bold but also appropriate to each moment. Continue reading “Stardust (the Movie, Not the Book)—Fun But Not Free of Problems”

Lost Girl—I Just Feel Like Something Is Missing

Lost Girl tv series
Lost Girl

Lost Girl is a SyFy show now on Netflix. It’s about Bo, a young succubus of mysterious origins raised as a human who must now contend with the world of the Fae.

1—The Fae

The Fae are a collection of species that live alongside humankind. There are a ton of them, all drawn from mythology (or, in this world, the inspiration for human mythology). There are sirens, werewolves, succubi, kappa, furies, and so many more. They make for an interesting cast of characters, recurring and one-shot. Continue reading “Lost Girl—I Just Feel Like Something Is Missing”

Deadly Curiosities—Good But Not Great

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin book cover
Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin is an urban fantasy told from the first person point of view of Cassidy Kincaide. She’s the proprietor of Trifles & Folly, an antiques store with the secret agenda of finding and neutralizing haunted items.

1—The Crew

Cassisy is a phychometric psychic, meaning she can read an objects history by touching it. Sometimes, if the object is powerful enough, she doesn’t even need to touch it to be overwhelmed by the memories of dead people. Then there’s her employee Teag, an expert fighter who possesses Weaver magic, which he mostly uses to weave together information and hack the Darke (sic) Web, the supernatural version of the Dark Web. There’s also Sorren, Cassidy’s silent and secret partner in Trifles & Folly, a five hundred year old vampire. He’s part of a supernatural Alliance and Cassidy’s family have been helping him for generations. Continue reading “Deadly Curiosities—Good But Not Great”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2—Family is Complicated

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 movie poster
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

I enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy and was not disappointed by this sequel. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two is a superhero space movie following the further adventures of Peter Quill—aka Star Lord—Gamora, Drax, Rocket the raccoon, and Baby Groot (a tiny sentient tree-creature) as they save the galaxy again.

1—Fatherhood

Rocket and Baby Groot are adorable together. Baby Groot loves music possibly even more than Quill does and Rocket…well, Rocket is a jackass but he’s got his reasons. They don’t stop him from looking after Baby Groot, along with the rest of the Guardians. Continue reading “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2—Family is Complicated”