It’s been a while . . .

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but that’s because I haven’t been reading or watching anything new. Although, a couple of new seasons for two shows I enjoy aired in the last couple of months – Worst Witch, Season 3, and 3Below: Tales of Arcadia, Part 2.

Worst Witch, Season 3 is just as cute and fun as the first couple of seasons. Mildred’s mother plays a larger role in this series, so you are able to see more of the mother-daughter dynamics. For those of you who like Ms. Hardbroom, you even get some of her backstory.

3Below: Tales of Arcadia, which is not as good as it’s predecessor – Trollhunters – still is enjoyable. What I like about 3 Below is Steve’s character arc. Initially a bully when we first met him in Trollhunters, his character continues to develop in 3Below, and you get to see him grow into something more than a bully. That is probably my favorite aspect about this TV series – Steve’s path to finding friends and a purpose. To quote Aja, the Queen in Waiting, one can say that this show is “lively!”

Anyway, if you are looking for some lighthearted and fun shows, check them out!

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Murder on Perrys Island by Kevin Earp

Murder on Perrys IslandIf you like playing detective, then you may want to check out Murder on Perrys Island by Kevin Earp. Unlike most detective stories where you are simply along for the ride, never knowing what the main character sees that allows him to deduce the identity of the killer, Murder on Perrys Island puts you in the front seat, right along with Marcus Lear (the main character). You are in every interview; you see what he sees; hear what he hears. So, if you are smart (and I’m not), you can probably figure out who the killer is by the end of the story. From my experience, this is rather unique; in most mysteries, you aren’t provided with enough details to solve the mystery yourself. So, it was nice being able to “detective” right along with Marcus Lear.

Just to provide a brief summary: Marcus Lear, an up-and-coming Columbus, Ohio detective, is involved in a self-defense shooting at work. While the victim/perpetrator lives, Marcus struggles with the guilt that accompanies severely injuring another person. Eager to get away from the police force, Marcus returns to his home, Perrys Island, where he hopes to relax and heal from the trauma of the shooting. Unfortunately for him, healing doesn’t come in the form of rest and relaxation, but in facing his fears and helping the local police force solve a murder.

One of my favorite aspects of the book was the internal struggle and guilt that Marcus experienced after shooting someone. Even though it was an act of self-defense, and the perpetrator/victim survives, Marcus does not leave unscathed. Too often in books and in movies, authors/screenwriters and even audiences gloss over the killing and death of characters. How often do we see a main character burdened with guilt at having caused severe injury or death, even if the bad guy “got what he deserved”? We don’t. And to see a main character experiencing PTSD as a result of shooting someone was appreciated. It really brings to light that while self-defense and fighting may seem exciting on TV or in stories, in real life, it is accompanied by emotions most of us can never comprehend and definitely never think about. This was, in fact, my favorite aspect of the book. I’ve never read a story or seen a movie that does not overlook the psychological ramifications of shooting someone, even if that shooting was justified.

There are many things I liked about Murder on Perrys Island, but I can’t possibly list them all. Most of the things I liked dealt with the relationships between the characters – not so much in what they say, but how they think. The characters are good people; they make mistakes; they know when they’ve made mistakes; they recognize the need to apologize; they are just very human.

Admittedly, I found the book slow at first (I’m not a very patient person), but by the end, I didn’t want to put it down. I couldn’t wait to see what happened and was disappointed when it ended.

I am looking forward to reading the second book as I very much want to see Marcus continue his journey toward healing while by bringing perpetrators to justice.

*I am related to the author and was provided with a copy of Murder On Perrys Island (Marcus Lear Mysteries Book 1) free of charge in exchange for my review. I received no monetary compensation.

Gods of Blood and Powder, Brian McClellan

SingsofEmpire.jpgNothing is more infuriating than reaching the climax of a book only to discover that the story is OVER! At least until the release of the third book in December. (Yes, I have to wait 5 months to find out what happens. I’ve never been a patient person.)

Anyway, I have been enjoying the series Gods of Blood and Powder by Brian McClellan. (Sins of Empire is the first book in this series.) He is the author of the Powder Mage Trilogy which I reviewed a couple weeks ago. (Read my review of that series here.)

Gods of Blood and Powder takes place about 11 years after the Powder Mage Trilogy. While you probably don’t have to read the Powder Mage Trilogy first in order to enjoy Gods of Blood and Powder, it would be helpful if you did. I know I enjoyed coming into this series knowing the history between the characters and their origins which were developed in the Powder Mage Trilogy.

Due to language and violence, I would say this book is PG-13. It had a little more profanity than the Powder Mage Trilogy. However, the F-word is NOT used at all.

This series, like the Powder Mage Trilogy, will be added to my “favorites” list for adults.

Now, what am I supposed to read until December?!?!

 

The Blacklist (Netflix)

 

Currently, I’m enjoying The Blacklist on Netflix. The premise of the show is that one of the most notorious criminals – Raymond Reddington – surrenders himself to the FBI, agreeing to be their informant. However, he will only do so if he is allowed to work with one FBI agent – Agent Elizabeth Keen. With Reddington’s help, Keen and the FBI capture other dangerous criminals that have otherwise eluded their grasp. While Reddington’s assistance is vital to the success of the task force, no one in the FBI is certain of Reddington’s motives. As you can imagine, this causes tension between him and the FBI team members.

Sensitive Reader Alert – This shows is rated TV-14 for violence.

While this show is very engaging, the violence makes me a little uncomfortable. I can only watch a couple episodes in one sitting because some episodes are rather violent. (I don’t like seeing crimes carried out or people being tortured. This series shows just enough to make a sensitive individual squeamish, but not enough to risk being called grotesque or excessive. In other words, it’s not rated-R graphic, but deserves a little bit more than PG-13.)