Author: Cassie

New MARVEL Toybox Figures

We have three new figures! It also appears as though I missed numbers 25 and 26 in the MARVEL line. Maybe they’ll show up soon.

Anyway! Scarlet Witch and Vision make sense after the recent conclusion to Wandavision and I’m happy to see another female figure. However, wtf did they do to Vision? He looks horrible. Wanda has a great facial expression while Vision looks goofy. Not impressed with him.

I actually like the Carnage figure. His mouth is great and even though it’s another Spider-Man figure there’s enough that sets him apart from the others.

The MARVEL line has never been the best at capturing what makes the Toybox line adorable and fun, but at least two of the three seem to be on the right track.

Part-Time Gods (DFZ #2)

Part-Time Gods (DFZ #2)

By: Rachel Adam

Blurb:

Life in the magical mess of the Detroit Free Zone is never easy. When you’re laboring under the curse of a certain prideful, overbearing dragon, it can be down right impossible.

My name is Opal Yong-ae, and I’m a Cleaner. At least, I used to be. Thanks to the supernatural bad luck that turns everything I do against me, these days I’m more of a walking disaster. Getting rid of this curse is the only way to get my life back. Unfortunately, dragon magic is every bit as sneaky and deadly the monsters behind it, and just as hard to beat.

But I’ve never been one to take her doom at face value. Cornered doesn’t mean defeated, and in an awakened city that rules herself, dragons are no longer the biggest powers around.

Review:

We learned more about Opal and her relationship with her family in Part-Time Gods. We also got to see the relationship between her and Nik develop. His devotion to her is so sweet and obvious. However, there was a conversation at the end that made him almost seem obsessed.

Opal is figuring out a way to work around her father’s curse. There’s a lot of trial and error and, of course, a gunfight because nothing can be easy for her. I’m curious if that’s curse-related or just because of her. Maybe we’ll find out in the next book.

For whatever reason, everyone wants to take Opal’s freedom away. Her father, in a way Nick, and now the spirit of the DFZ. None of them think about it that way, but it’s almost identical in the case of her father and the spirit of the DFZ. It’s kind of weird, and I have no problems seeing her side of things. I do feel some sympathy for Nik, we learn more about his life, and it’s easy to see why he feels the way he does. It doesn’t make it right, though.

The next book is the last in the series, and there are a couple of things I want a resolution on. I have faith that Aaron will be able to deliver, though. Heartstrikers had even more threads to tie up, and she handled that well.

3.5/5

Minimum Wage Magic (DFZ #1)

Minimum Wage Magic (DFZ #1)

By: Rachel Aaron

Blurb:

Making a living is hard. In a lawless city where gods are real, dragons are traffic hazards, and buildings move around on their own, it can feel downright impossible.

Good thing freelance mage Opal Yong-ae has never let little things like impossibility stop her. She’s found a way to put her overpriced magical art history degree to use as a Cleaner: a contract municipal employee who empties out abandoned apartments and resells the unusual treasures she finds inside for a profit. It’s not a pretty job, or a safe one–there’s a reason she wears bite-proof gloves–but when you’re neck-deep in debt to a very magical, very nasty individual, you can’t be picky about where the money comes from.

But even Opal’s low standards are put to the test when the only thing of value in her latest apartment is the body of the previous tenant. Dealing with the dead isn’t technically part of her job, but this mage died hiding a secret that could be worth a lot of money, and Opal’s the only one who knows. With debts she can’t pay due at the end of the week, this could be the big break she’s been waiting for, but in a city of runaway magic where getting in over your head generally means losing it, the cost of chasing this opportunity might be more than Opal can survive.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:
This is the first in a new series set in the same universe as my Heartstrikers books, but you don’t need to have read those stories to enjoy this one. MINIMUM WAGE MAGIC was written to stand by itself, so if you haven’t read the others, don’t worry! I wrote this book with you in mind. Thank you so much for reading! 

Review:

I’ve had Minimum Wage Magic on my kindle for quite a while at this point. I really liked Aaron’s Heartstriker series, so when this popped up on my radar, I bought it. One thing led to another, and I ended up forgetting about it. Now, for the first time in seemingly forever, I don’t have any library books. So I surfed through my kindle, re-read a few favorites, and then decided to read this.

Minimum Wage Magic is set in the same universe as the Heartstrikers series in the city of the DFZ, Detroit Free Zone. It’s a fascinating city, and I was thrilled to see more of it. Also, since Opal isn’t a dragon, we got to see a new side of things. Her relationship with dragons is completely different from the previous series, and I loved the contrast. It was seeing things from the other side, basically.

Opal is reckless. When she reveals things about her past, she seems more calculating but considering she’s had months of bad luck, that may have a part to play. When someone is backed into a corner, they aren’t always logical. She is fighting for her freedom and is willing to do just about anything to get it. Except, she doesn’t. She has a line, and even when on the other side is the answer to everything, she doesn’t take it. That’s a character quality that I love, possibly because I’m not sure I could do the same.

A potential romantic interest is introduced in the form of another Cleaner named Nic. He’s part machine, and Opal is a bit afraid of him. But he saves her and will probably wind up being a cinnamon roll—another favorite trope.

I liked Minimum Wage Magic, and as soon as I was finished, I jumped into Part-Time Gods. It’s a short series with only three books, but I hope it’s not the last series we see in this universe. Really, Aaron has spent so much time fleshing out this universe, and it’s incredibly interesting. I could read more set here. I love the idea of a universe with books from all kinds of genres being written in it. Not sure if that would actually work, but at the very least, I’d love more books like this one.

4/5

Back to the Future Part II

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Back to the Future Part II

Director:

Robert Zemeckis

Writers:

Robert Zemeckis

Bob Gale

Starring:

Michael J. Fox

Christopher Lloyd

Lea Thompson

Thomas F. Wilson

Elizabeth Shue

Blurb:

After visiting 2015, Marty McFly must repeat his visit to 1955 to prevent disastrous changes to 1985…without interfering with his first trip.

Thoughts:

Back to the Future Part II was always my favorite in the Back to the Future franchise. They go to the future! There are flying cars, hoverboards, automatic lacing shoes, and so much more. It was so awesome to think that the future would have such amazing things. Sadly, 2015 was nowhere near that amazing. The idea of people in flying cars is actually terrifying. The hoverboards were a massive disappointment too.

One of my major complaints about the original movie is the depiction of women. Unfortunately, Part II didn’t do much better. We still had the whole Biff and Lorraine rapey vibe going on in the 50s as well as the 80s. Jennifer was drugged and kept being left places, first in an alley and next on her front porch. Women get in the way, and cause issues is the theme in the Back to the Future franchise. It’s annoying.

Despite that, I can relate to the plot in Back to the Future Part II. If I was ever to gain access to a time machine, the first thing I would do is figure out a way to make money. I would go the lottery and stock market route, though. Doc Brown may not have invented the time machine for personal gain, but that is most certainly what I would use it for.

If you didn’t know already, it would be abundantly clear that the third film was made simultaneously. At the end of Part II, a trailer gives away the final part’s entire plot. If I weren’t doing this re-watch, I would have immediately put it in. It was hard not to. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait a couple of years before I get there.

Working Girl (1988)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Working Girl (1988)

Director:

Mike Nichols

Writer:

Kevin Wade

Starring:

Melanie Griffith

Harrison Ford

Sigourney Weaver

Blurb:

When a secretary’s idea is stolen by her boss, she seizes an opportunity to steal it back by pretending she has her boss’ job.

Thoughts:

How could I not love Working Girl? It was basically made for me. A strong female lead fighting for her chance at her dream job. Plus young sexy Harrison Ford. That’s exactly the kind of story I love.

I don’t remember the first time I watched this movie. I can’t think of any memories attached to it at all. It’s just one of those films that I discovered on TV and fell in love with.

It received mostly positive reviews when it came out. It also did well at the box office. Yet we don’t get these types of movies very often. Wonder why that is? Hmm… A film where a woman is kept down by the system deals with very realistic sexual harassment and has to deceive to succeed. No idea why this hasn’t been done more often. Maybe it has, and I just missed it. I’m not one for drama movies, and this has enough comedy in it not to take away from the story but to make it not as heavy as it could be.

I can’t even complain that the main antagonist is a woman trying to keep another woman down. That was an entire mindset for a generation of women. It’s sadly realistic. One of the best things to come from my generation is women helping other women. We can succeed together.

I’d love to see another movie like this with a modern setting. I don’t want a remake. It’s not the sort of film that needs that treatment. I just want to see a story in the same vein. A reboot, maybe?