Books

Dynamite Review Best of 2017

Movies

1.      Thor: Ragnarok – I don’t get to watch new movies much as they come out, but I was so lucky to get to see this in theaters. It was AWESOME! I’ve already pre-ordered the steelbook from Best Buy, I got the theatrical poster off of Disney Movie Rewards and it’s framed and in my kids bathroom, and I can’t wait to watch it again and again.

2.     John Wick 2 – Great action movie and addition to the series. Awesome world, I’m interested in the Stars series that’s potentially coming out.

3.     Kingsman: The Golden Circle – In your face, over the top action.

4.     Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – While not as good as the previous one I loved so many things about this movie. The colors, the characters, the relationships. I’m so glad that this is part of the Marvel Universe.

5.     Spider-Man: Homecoming – I really enjoyed this movie but what’s potentially more important, my daughter loves this movie.

6.     Moana – This is more an honorable mention since it came out in 2016 not 2017. Love the music and the story, reminds me of the Disney I grew up with.

Books

1.      White Hot by Ilona Andrews – The long awaited sequel to Burn for Me, so good.

2.     Wildfire by Ilona Andrews – Love this series so much, want more. Wasn’t too happy with the ending, but still love.

3.     Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan – Beautiful art, interesting story, need some answers though. The only comic I pre-order.

4.     The Rosetta Man by Claire McCague – Picked this up randomly and I ended up loving it. So happy when that happens.

5.     Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs – Not my favorite Patricia Briggs book, too many Doctor Who references, lots of other little things, but still a Patricia Briggs book so it’s going on the list!

6.     Heartstrikers Series by Rachel Aaron – This series didn’t come out last year, though they did have a book release that I haven’t read yet, but I had to put it on the list because I enjoyed it so much.

7.     The Guardians Trilogy by Nora Roberts – This is the kind of Nora Roberts series that I love. It didn’t come out in 2017, but after being wary of starting it because of her more recent books I got to it late.

TV Shows

1.      The Crown – I resisted watching this because I heard so much praise, but I’m glad I finally did. I destroyed the second season that recently aired and I honestly think it might be better than the first. Amazing show.

2.     Sense 8 – I love this idea so much and the second season wasn’t as slow as the first. The ending killed me and then when they canceled it, ugh, I never do TV show petitions but I signed them all. I canceled Netflix for the first time in years. I was furious. I’m hoping that the movie will be able to wrap things up but I seriously don’t see how that’s possible. I’ll probably never keep Netflix running continuously because of how they did this show.

3.     The Good Place – I had no desire to watch this last year, it just didn’t seem that funny to me. I ended up having the end of season one spoiled for me and that changed everything. I was able to binge the first season on Netflix and I’ve watched every episode of the second as it’s aired. So freaking funny.

4.     The Orville – Wow, I had no expectations for this show. I had hopes, but because of Seth MacFarlane I didn’t have many. I was certainly surprised and this has ended up being one of my favorite shows of the year. It’s like getting new episodes of Star Trek, only instead of the Enterprise team we’ve got the D tier crew. The jokes don’t always land and they’re reusing a lot of Star Trek plots, but I don’t care. I’m so glad that this has been picked up for a second season and I’m hoping that they continue to find their footing.

5.     Future Man – Loved this, it was so crude and hilarious and just came out of nowhere. Time travel, video games, the 80s, James Cameron’s AI, a terrible future, so many things that add up to funny. So glad we’re getting a second season.

6.     Legion – This is not my usual type of show. It’s wild and out there and very trippy. The only reason I watched it was because I needed something to keep me up during late night feedings and I ended up staying up just to finish episodes. Half the time I’m not sure what’s going on, but I honestly didn’t care. They gave just enough answers not to drive me crazy, but still left me needing to know more.

7.     Black-ish – I just discovered Black-ish this year and thank goodness Hulu has all of the episodes. Most episodes are nice, funny episodes, but the episodes that aren’t, the episodes where they “teach” you something are so good. This year there was one about postpartum depression that really resonated with me.

8.     Life in Pieces – I laugh in every single episode of this show. Love it.

9.     The Librarians – The third season was probably the weakest so far and I’m not overly thrilled with all that’s going on in the fourth season but I seriously can’t think of anything that would have me stop watching this.

 

Games

1.      Splatoon 2 (Switch) This was hands down my favorite game of the year. In an alternate universe I went pro, built a brand, and lived the life of the rich and famous.

2.     Stardew Valley (Switch) After putting in 160 hours on the PC version you’d think I’d be done with this game, but nope. As soon as it came out on the Switch I bought it and started all over again. Aided by the amazing guide my husband bought me for Christmas 2016 I’ve been chipping away at all the in game achievements.

3.     Lego City Undercover (Switch) I beat this once, then got halfway through beating it again before Splatoon 2 came out. I still plan on going back and working on unlocking everything, though, it’s not a priority because I certainly got my money out of this.

4.     Delicious Emily Home Sweet Home (PC) Really liked the story in this one, young married couple with a little kid get their dream house and fix it up. If I was crazy and didn’t mind construction around toddlers I could totally do this too.

5.     Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4) I’m stretching things a bit including this to my list. I got it for Christmas after trying it out at Red Box and finding it interesting enough to try more. I didn’t start playing it until December 31st and at this point I’m only a couple hours in, however, I love the idea a lot. I love that she’s a real looking woman and she’s kicking ass. So far they haven’t put her in super revealing clothes which is nice too. The world is interesting, however, I wish I didn’t have to use a bow and arrow. If I ever beat it, or put a significant amount of time in I’ll write a review.

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Cloche and Dagger

Cloche and Dagger

Cloche and Dagger (Hat Shop Mystery #1) By: Jenn McKinlay

Plot:

Not only is Scarlett Parker’s love life in the loo—as her British cousin Vivian Tremont would say—it’s also gone viral with an embarrassing video. So when Viv suggests Scarlett leave Florida to lay low in London, she hops on the next plane across the pond. Viv is the proprietor of Mims’s Whims, a ladies’ hat shop on Portobello Road bequeathed to both cousins by their beloved grandmother, and she wants Scarlett to finally join her in the millinery business. But a few surprises await Scarlett in London. First, she is met at the airport not by Viv, but by her handsome business manager, Harrison Wentworth. Second, Viv—who has some whims of her own—seems to be missing. No one is too concerned about the unpredictable Viv until one of her posh clients is found dead wearing the cloche hat Viv made for her—and nothing else. Is Scarlett’s cousin in trouble? Or is she in hiding?

Review:

This is the last book by Jenn McKinlay that my library system has and I was a little disappointed by it. It wasn’t bad by any means I just didn’t feel it was her best.

Scarlett comes off at times as a little ditzy. The mystery of her cousins absence seems contrived. Everyone keeps telling her that Viv just disappears sometimes, she even remembers times when she’s done that, but this time is different for some reason. She has no reasoning, she just thinks it is. SPOILERS It’s not, it’s just like every other time Viv has disappeared.

When the murder finally happened the mystery did pick up and I thought the chemistry between Scarlett and Harrison was great. Made me kind of sad that she’s decided to take a year off from me, because I really think she needs the year but I also thought that they made a great couple.

I’m interested to see what happens next but not as invested as I am with the Library Lovers Mysteries.

3/5

Styxx

Styxx

Styxx (Dark-Hunter #12) By: Sherrilyn Kenyon

Plot:

Centuries ago Acheron saved the human race by imprisoning an ancient evil bent on absolute destruction. Now that evil has been unleashed and it is out for revenge. As the twin to Acheron, Styxx hasn’t always been on his brother’s side. They’ve spent more centuries going at each other’s throats than protecting their backs. Now Styxx has a chance to prove his loyalty to his brother, but only if he’s willing to trade his life and future for Acheron’s. The Atlantean goddess of Wrath and Misery, Bethany was born to right wrongs. But it was never a task she relished. Until now. She owes Acheron a debt that she vows to repay, no matter what it takes. He will join their fellow gods in hell and nothing is going to stop her. But things are never what they seem, and Acheron is no longer the last of his line. Styxx and Acheron must put aside their past and learn to trust each other or more will suffer. Yet it’s hard to risk your own life for someone who once tried to take yours, even when it’s your own twin, and when loyalties are skewed and no one can be trusted, not even yourself, how do you find a way back from the darkness that wants to consume the entire world? One that wants to start by devouring your very soul?

Review:

If I was rating this book on the first six hundred pages it would not get a good rating. It was a continuous stream of torture. The titular character was physically, psychologically, and emotionally abused, by everyone around him. There were only two people in his entire life that didn’t treat him like absolute crap, so naturally they were taken from him.

The blurb above is really just about the last three hundred or so pages and not nearly as climactic as it sounds. The only reason I felt into the last part of the story was because I’d spent six hundred freakin pages seeing all the horribleness that was done to Styxx. If I hadn’t gotten to finally see Acheron realize that his brother wasn’t evil I would have imploded.

That’s another thing, I do not recommend reading this book in hardback, it is huge and unwieldy and just not something you want to lug around.

I’ve read the Dark Hunter series for a while now and I miss how the characters back story was briefly explained. We knew they’d been tortured and put through a ton but we didn’t have to read every excruciating detail. It was all about the romance. There was plenty of romance in this book but I felt that the bigger story was the relationship between Styxx and Acheron. I feel like Kenyon really wants you to know that she can create an intricate world and that she’s a history buff, but ultimately I don’t care. I want an epic romance. I like the world she’s created but she’s started going into too much detail for me. It’s impressive but not what I’m looking for in her Dark Hunter series.

3/5

Side Note: This review is not a reflection of the writing quality. Styxx was amazingly well written, it was just not something I plan on re-reading or ever owning.

Dream Eyes

dream eyes

Dream Eyes (Dark Legacy #2) By: Jayne Ann Krentz

Plot:

The death of her friend and mentor, Evelyn Ballinger, brings psychic counselor Gwen Frazier back to the small town of Wilby, Oregon, and brings back memories she would rather forget. Two years earlier, a killer stalked the members of one of Ballinger’s research studies including Gwen. And though she survived while two others didn’t, Gwen knows that Ballinger’s death is related. Sent by a friend to help Gwen, psychic investigator Judson Coppersmith arrives in Wilby barely in control of his own talent and his own life, haunted by urgent dreams. His attraction to Gwen is primal, but there are secrets he must keep to protect himself from surrendering to her completely, even as their investigation draws them into dreamscapes, into decades of deception, and into the paranormal fires of a desire too strong to resist. . . .

Review:

Krentz has created such an interesting world with the Arcane and her just plain old psychic series. Its been a while since I’ve read a Dark Legacy book so there was a little catching up to do with the side characters but since the previous characters played such a minor role it wasn’t a big deal.

The mystery was kind of puzzling and while she did give you enough facts to figure it out on your own, I didn’t. I was too caught up in the romance and psychic parts to really pay attention to the subtle clues.

If you aren’t familiar with her books I don’t think this one would be a good place to jump in. At this point she’s developed a language unique to her world and it could be too distracting to new reader. If you’re in to psychic abilities, though, I would highly recommend starting at the beginning cause her books are a real treat.

4/5

MILF Episode Two and Three and Four

MILF-Optimized

MILF Episode Two and Three and Four By: Lexi Maxxwell

Plot:

Would you go all the way for your family?

Natalie is a desperate mother in hard times. Her family life is barely clinging to livable, and the big bucks her husband isn’t bringing home aren’t helping. Despite every corner cut, every penny pinched, she clings to a ledge of normalcy but constantly dangles above the pit of poverty.

Until a friend approaches her with an offer too naughty to refuse. An opportunity to use her best assets to help her family increase theirs. Natalie is hesitant. Because once you slip into that hole, there’s no coming back out …

Join Natalie as she becomes an expert, gets into bed with all the wrong people, and gets deeper and deeper into a life of excitement and deceit.

Review:

Wow, the story is really moving with Episode Two. Not as much sex as I expected, but I really can’t complain because the story has pulled me in. So much intrigue and danger. I’ve evidently been reading the wrong erotica.

Episode Three has political intrigue, not really a unique pairing, sex and politics, but it did add a new element to the story. Lots more tension in this episode, I felt like there were also more sex scenes. Great addition to the ongoing story and very arousing.

Wow, great ending, definitely makes me have to know what comes next. As usual great erotic scenes and good story progression. I don’t really expect this level of story detail in erotica. Maxxwell isn’t leaving any loose ends or forgetting plot details. Happy with how this is progressing.

Maybe I just don’t expect enough from erotica. Either way I’m looking forward to more episodes to come.

5/5