Comfort Food Books Series

I’ve done a post on my favorite “comfort food” tv shows , so here’s one on my favorite comfort food books series—even if the latter might only be comforting to me. I’ve been battling with my anxiety—the power outages aren’t helping—and again having trouble reading or watching anything. So after I finish my current book—hoping to have the post up in a week or two—I’m diving into Fan Service, a compilation of two of Gail Carriger’s novellas and a short story. After that I’m going to re-binge-read the Finishing School series. Once I’m back into the habit of reading, I hope it’ll come easier. On with the comfort reads!

1—Anything by Gail Carriger

As well as the aforementioned Finishing School Series, Ms. Carriger has penned in the same world several other series (which you can find reviewed on this site), and numerous novellas (which I need to pick up, minus the aforementioned Fan Service ones). I’ve also read and reviewed her SF/Cozy Mystery/Romance book, The 5th Gender. All these book series end happily, as do the individual books (minus a romantic subplot cliffhanger in the second book of the Parasol Protectorate). What’s more, they feature supportive friendships, healthy romances, and downright interesting worlds. Much recommended, especially with a cup of your favorite tea. Continue reading “Comfort Food Books Series”

Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium—Echoes of the Tomb and Caves of Ice

Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium by Sandy Mitchell book cover
Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium by Sandy Mitchell

Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium is an omnibus volume containing the first three Ciaphas Cain books, as well as three short stories. They’re by Sandy Mitchell. Part of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, this is a lighter take on the series that coined the term “Grimdark” —note that it’s still pretty damned bleak, but as these are the private memoirs of the titular Ciaphus Cain, we know at least he survives.

1—Echoes of the Tomb

This is the short story wherein Ciaphas first encounters the necrons. The tech-priests have discovered some archeotech on a deserted, dead planet that somehow has some breathable atmosphere. They shortly discover a strange machine that isn’t as dead as it should be. It’s a creepy little story, and everyone but Cain dies. It also ends rather abruptly, but I’m willing to forgive that in a short story. Continue reading “Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium—Echoes of the Tomb and Caves of Ice”

The 5th Gender—Love and Death Among the Stars

The 5th Gender by G. L. Carriger book cover
The 5th Gender by G. L. Carriger

The 5th Gender, by G. L. Carriger (the pen name Gail Carriger writes under when she does spicy stuff), is a wonderful romance-cozy-mystery-scifi story. The lavender Galoi alien Tristol Zyga and the human security officer Detective Drey Hastion are just starting their courtship when a Galoi spaceship contacts the space station with an odd request—the Galoi, who have no word for murder, have a non-accidental death on board and need of a detective. It’s up to Detective Hastion and Tris—who, as an exile, no longer exists to his people—to find out what happened.

Also, for those of delicate sensibilities, there’s a lot of sex in this book, fully described, male on male.

1—Wonderful Worldbuilding

We get alternating points of view from Tris and Drey, and each’s observations on the other and and how they interact with the people and space station around them forms the basis of some excellent worldbuilding. I love Tris’s take on human customs and idioms. And Drey is always willing to answer Tris’s questions and explain things, as well as ask questions of his own. Between the two of them, we learn a lot about Galoi and humans both. In particular, the Galoi’s five genders and anatomy were interesting to learn about. Continue reading “The 5th Gender—Love and Death Among the Stars”

Black Panther—Powerhouse Movie

Black Panther movie poster

Black Panther is a super hero film that follows T’Challa as he becomes king of Wakanda, a technologically advanced but severely secretive nation, and fights for his throne and with himself over what it means to be king.

1—Beautiful

Every frame of Black Panther is gorgeous, from the set designs to the costumes, to the special effects. And the fight scenes, can’t forget the fight scenes. The architecture of Wakanda in particular is stunning—you don’t see Afrofuturism much in Hollywood films. The underground scenes are nice too. But I think my favorite thing is all the shades of red of the Dora Milaje. The music is just perfect too. Continue reading “Black Panther—Powerhouse Movie”

The Shape of Water—A Cold War Era Fairytale

The Shape of Water movie poster

The Shape of Water is the story of Elisa, a mute woman who works as a cleaning woman in a top secret facility. One day they bring a fish monster into the lab, and Elisa falls in love. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, and written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor.

Warning: full frontal nudity, female.

1—Once Upon A Time

Where to start talking about The Shape of Water? It’s a slow simmer, rather than an action-packed romp, but the pacing is just perfect for what it is. I was never bored. The imagery is beautiful, starting with an underwater apartment scene. We meet Elisa and get to know her routine—wake up, masturbate, cook eggs, go to work. And then her routine is disrupted by a scream and a man coming out of a room bleeding from the stumps of his fingers. Continue reading “The Shape of Water—A Cold War Era Fairytale”

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”

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”

Alien Tango—Business as Unusual

Alien Tango by Gina Koch book cover
Alien Tango by Gina Koch

Alien Tango is the second in Gini Koch’s Alien series (I’ve read but not reviewed the first book, Touched by an Alien—I liked and recommend it). Following the adventures of Katherine “Kitty” Katt and her boyfriend from Alpha Centauri as they deal with threats both terrestrial and extra.

1—Nutjobs Everywhere

After defeating the psychotic head of the Alien Super-Beings in the first book, things seem to be settling down for Kitty and Jeff Martini (the alien boyfriend), which for Kitty means boredom. But then Alpha Team is summoned to Florida to deal with a problem no one will explain to them and things go wrong one after another. There’s an anti-alien conspiracy afoot, something incorporeal has hitched a ride back to Earth with the crew of a top-secret space mission, and Kitty’s garnered a muderous stalker. Continue reading “Alien Tango—Business as Unusual”

Sharp—Mental Monsters

Sharp by Alex Hughes book cover
Sharp by Alex Hughes

Sharp, by Alex Hughes, is the second in the Mindspace Investigations series. This time sees Adam investigating the murder of an old student of his who’s mind he’d burned out while high.

1—Playing With Power

Adam is a curious mix of powerful and powerless. He’s a level eight telepath but with little control over his life and even less over his addiction. He’s self-destructive and hanging onto a scrap of self-worth by his fingertips. Fortunately, Adam doesn’t whine very much, especially as this book is told from his first person point of view. Continue reading “Sharp—Mental Monsters”

Rogue One—Putting the War in Star Wars

Rogue One - A Star Wars Story
Rogue One – A Star Wars Story

Rogue One is the story of Jyn Erso and her at-first reluctant mission to steal the plans to the Death Star.

1—A War Movie

Rogue One reads more like a WWII movie than heist movie. There’s war room scenes, and spies, and factions, and betrayal. And of course the kill ‘em all aspect. I have to say, I was expecting Jen to be a last survivor right up until the end, and was pleasantly surprised when that wasn’t the case.

The themes of hope and sacrifice are well done. Continue reading “Rogue One—Putting the War in Star Wars”