Legends of Tomorrow: A Study for Creating Consequences in an Optimistic, Feel-Good Show

A woman wielding batons is flanked by a man flying by shooting fire from his hands, another holding a gun, a third holding a gun that shoots flames, and a fourth reaching with his hand out.

Image: CW via Den of Geek 

Genre: Superhero/Sci-fi

Synopsis: A ragtag bunch of time travelers are all that’s left to defend the integrity of the time stream. Which would be easier, if they could agree on whether or not it should be protected. Continue reading

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Sunless Sea: Captain a Ship and Explore the Dark Expanse of the Unterzee

A buoy with a light at the top, floating on an evening sea. Words read

Image: Failbetter Games via Steam

Genre: Steampunk roguelike/choose-your-own-adventure?

Synopsis: You are a captain who sails through an underground sea, always returning to your home port of Fallen London. In pursuing your chosen ambition–such as wealth, immortality, or finding your father’s bones–you will encounter a variety of unconventional characters and bizarre situations. And you will have to choose how to deal with them. Do you agree to take the undead Tomb Colonist passengers on a tour of adventure to distract them from their final death? Protect them while they’re in your charge? Or sell them to a colony of giant spiders for profit? Continue reading

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Wonder Woman: Refreshing and Emotionally Powerful

Wonder Woman stands on a battlefield, deflecting a bullet with her gauntlet.

Image: Warner Bros via Wikipedia

Genre: Superhero

Synopsis: Diana has grown up in a land of Amazons, isolated from the rest of the world. They are the keepers of a weapon that can defeat Ares, the god of War, waiting for the time when he returns to wreck chaos and slaughter. Then World War I intrudes onto her island, and Diana takes this as a sign that Ares had arrived. She sets off on a mission to kill him, believing that without him, the war would end and the world would know peace. Continue reading

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Edgedancer, and the Antics of an Irreverent Urchin as She Takes on a Demigod

A symbol over a blue background, the words say "#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Brandon Sanderson, From the Stormlight Archive, Edgedancer"

Image: Tor via Amazon

Genre: Epic fantasy

Synopsis: Lift is a kid with Surgebinder powers, a companion spren who’d really rather be gardening, and a talent for utter wackiness. She’d prefer getting on with her urchin lifestyle, but the demigod wandering around killing people like her has other ideas–and she’s already on his radar. So she could either wait for him to kill again, eventually getting around to her, or she could–do what, exactly? Against a demigod? But either way, a confrontation is coming, with the lives of people like her at stake. Continue reading

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Character Journeys in Once Upon a Time: the Savior, the Evil Queen, and Rumplestiltskin

The last time I talked about Once Upon a Time, I posted an overview of the show’s pros and cons over its six season run. And there were plenty of both.

Now I’d like to get into more detail about the character journeys, and how I felt about their development. I’ll start off with the three characters who drive the show, the ones with the most agency. Emma Swan, daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, the Savior who wields light magic. Regina, the Evil Queen who hates Snow White–and who unknowingly adopted Snow White’s biological grandson. And Rumplestiltskin, a dark wizard who’s always playing his own game. Continue reading

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Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day, A Ghost Story About Longing and Choices

A cornfield overlaying the image of skyscrapers in the background, lit by the light of day.

Image: Tor via Goodreads

Genre: Urban fantasy/ghost story

Synopsis: Following her sister’s suicide, Jenna dies in an accident before her time. She’ll remain as a ghost until she bleeds her remaining time from others–making them younger while making herself older, until she reaches her dying day, finally able to move on. Approaching that moment slowly, she’s adamant that she earn the time she takes. But she may never get the chance to move on, to find out if her sister is waiting for her. Because there are dangers in this world for ghosts who linger, and one of those dangers has come for the ghosts in Manhattan. Continue reading

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How Is It Even Possible for Agents of SHIELD to Be So Emotionally Powerful?

The agents of SHIELD over the green background, with an octopus symbol on it, the words read "Hail the new world order, Marvel, Agents of SHIELD"

Image: ABC via Wikipedia

Genre: Action/Superhero

Synopsis: SHIELD is tentatively united once again, just in time to face an AI gaining consciousness. When that AI threatens to undo their greatest regrets, however, the real question becomes: will they be able to bring themselves to fight against it? Continue reading

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Why I Can’t Seem to Finish Mass Effect: Andromeda

You guys, I tried.

There are good, entertaining parts to this game–I’ve mentioned them before–but the parts in between them are too much of a slog. At some point, the anticipation that drives me through that slog to get to the good parts wears thin. Andromeda needs more than cool ideas. It has to execute them well, and consistently enough to keep the audience engaged. The game is made up of a series of good moments, and some great ones, with a lot of not-so-good stuff in between them. But what it needed was to draw the audience into a continuous story, and it doesn’t really do that. Continue reading

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Once Upon a Time: At Its Best When Breaking the Mold, at Its Worst When Following It

The face of a woman off to the side, with an apple in front of her, half black and half red. The words "Once Upon a Time" fill the other side of the image.

Image: ABC

Genre: Fantasy/Fairy tale retelling

Synopsis: Emma is living on her own and working as a bail bondsman, when the boy she’d given up for adoption at birth appears on her doorstep. There’s nothing for it but for her to bring the kid back to his adoptive mother–who he insists is the Evil Queen. The Evil Queen, who cast a curse on fairy tale characters, trapping them in our world with no memories of who they are. While Emma is supposed to be the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, capable of breaking the curse. Continue reading

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BookCon and Stream of Annihilation

So this weekend was packed for me, between attending panels at BookCon and trying to catch some of the one-shot DnD games played at Stream of Annihilation.

BookCon

My favorite panel had to be Holly Black (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown) and Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows). Not only have I recently read great books by both, but they were a lot of fun, especially together. Aside from the hilarious personal stories they shared, some standout moments included: Continue reading

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