5 Quotes Live By in 2018 from Your Favorite Space-Time Heroines

This may not be your personal experience, but for a lot of people, 2017 was a brutal year in some way or another. I don’t feel like going into specifics — why bother with the past in a post about the present? — but I do want to share my hopes for the year with you, and I’ve been considering how to do so for a week. To me, it’s incredibly important to start the year off right, and so instead of wrapping up my personal goals into a tiny list all about me, I’ve decided that the best way to sum up my hopes for 2018 is to share some of the things I’ll be using to inspire myself to achieve them.

Science fiction has always kind of been my escape, but as I’ve grown older, it’s become oddly realistic to me in a way. The characters and voices behind these out-of-this-world stories are often where I find inspiration in trying times, and these are the 5 quotes I keep coming back to when I think about my goals.

“Believing takes practice.”

Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

Sometimes it’s hard to get your head out of a dark place when faced with a challenge, even on the smallest scale. Resolving that you’ll fail and not trying at all is easy, but believing that you can accomplish what you set out to do takes work. This quote helps remind me that sometimes, the first challenge I need to face is my own self-doubt. Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that the movie adaptation of this book is just on the horizon!

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”

Carrie Fisher

I spent a good deal of last year mourning the loss of Carrie Fisher, and seeing her as a beacon of hope in The Last Jedi — even in the face of failure — felt like closure on some level. On days when I feel like I can’t accomplish anything, I think about this now extremely-famous quote by Carrie, and it helps me get up and try things that I’m uncertain of.

“You don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand! You say no! You have the guts to do what’s right, even when everyone else just runs away.”

Rose Tyler, Doctor Who

There is no better time than now to begin standing up for what is right. The first “Rose Quote” on this list is a great reminder to speak up when we see injustice; to take care of each other when aggressors seek to do us harm. That’s how we’ll survive and progress as a species. Which leads me to the second “Rose Quote” on this list …

“We’re going to win this war, not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love.”

Rose Tico, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Rose was easily my breakout favorite new character in The Last Jedi, and for good reason. She embodied what it meant to be genuine and earnest, to believe in a brighter future and to fight with the right intentions.

“The beginning is always today.”

Mary Shelley

Going back to my struggle to produce creative work in a consistent manner last year, this is yet another quote that explains why the present is always the best time to start something.

I hope these help you stay focused, and that you achieve everything you want in 2018. Happy New Year!

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Book Review: The Corridor by A.N. Lewis

As of late, my interests in almost every form of media – whether it be cinema, video games, comic books, or novels – have floated around the realms of science fiction, space operas, and futuristic fantasy. The genres were among my favorites as a child, and I’ve had something of a reawakening over the past year. When The Corridor hit on my radar, I think I felt the same way anyone over the age of 25 does when they decide to pick up a young adult book: is this even allowed?

I can say now that I’m extremely pleased about not giving in to those hesitant thoughts. The Corridor is a fun, immersive sci-fi thriller with characters that don’t follow along with the chalky tropes of YA fiction, and it was a refreshing surprise amidst the usual post-apocalyptic teen heroine narratives. Not that I dislike heroines — you know me — but there was certainly something different about this one.

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 3.21.23 PMEstele (or just Stel), our main character, is no predictable savior-slash-warrior girl. She thinks rationally, and reacts in ways that an average person would in her extreme situations. Her kindness isn’t overplayed to the point where melodic harps play in the distance when you read about it, and her flaws are actual flaws that make her unlikeable in certain ways until she matures through them. I loved getting into Stel’s head and understanding someone who was written like a real person, in circumstances that are currently impossible to imagine.

As for the actual aspect of sci-fi, I truly enjoyed the world that author A.N. Willis created for her characters to brave. This book would be a wonderful starter for any YA lovers who haven’t really dipped their toes into scifi; the worlds and settings can be haunting or beautiful to imagine, and the language used to describe them isn’t filled with too much technobabble.

I’m actually excited to see what’s in store for Book 2 of this new series, and I highly recommend giving it a read.

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Summer Reading List: June 2015

Summer is just beyond the rain clouds, and with the change of seasons, I’ve decided that it’s time to kick this blog into high gear again! While the weekly podcast and occasional post that gets folks in a huff have seemed to please enough of you, it’s about time I start using this domain proper, and what better way to do that then committing to a summer book review schedule?

That’s right – every other week starting in June, I’ll be reviewing books, comics, and graphic novels thanks to my membership at NetGalley (or my actual money, ha)! These will be honest reviews, and while not all of them may be popular opinion (I loved Lords of the Sith, but most everyone I know totally hated it) you’ll always get what I genuinely believe.

That said, I’ve already got a few reports cooking, so here’s a taste what you can expect this summer:

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Review: Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp [LIGHT SPOILERS]

“Are you testing me, Master?” 
“Testing you? Is that how you perceive things?” 

“Am I wrong?” 


After the smash hits that were A New Dawn and Tarkin, I really couldn’t put in to words how excited I was to read Lords of the Sith. I’m an Anakin sympathizer and a huge fan of Darth Vader, especially when it comes to getting in side of the Sith Lord’s head, so I was already expecting that from this book. What hit me like a curve ball on freshman free night was a complicated story told through multiple perspectives that tore me apart as a reader. I’ve been saying that we’re in something of a dark period as far as current releases go — right now, with every book, show and comic coming out of the Star Wars universe, “the heroes” are losing — and this book defines just how bleak things were in the period between episodes III and IV.

We, as fans, are watching this particular period fill out in explosive ways through Star Wars Rebels, the new books, and the latest standalone series Kanan: The Last Padawan. With Kemp’s Lords of the Sith (and the first episode of Star Wars Rebels season 2, airing soon), Darth Vader makes his grand return to the storyline as a Sith who is still learning how to wield his poisonous emotions. This Vader is still gripping and dismissing the memories that plague his mind, and one of the stand-out characteristics of Kemp’s Vader is this inner struggle. It’s not overplayed or too obvious, happening in instances that exist to further Vader’s growing power.

The downside to this book is that the cover, title and description are a bit misleading: Vader and Palpatine dominate roughly 1/3rd of the book, as opposed to taking on the roles of main characters. They split even time with Cham Syndulla, with supporting characters filling that third gap, and for any Imperial faithful hoping for more from this book, that can be a little disappointing.

There is no sign of Anakin Skywalker in this book. Instead, the passionate rebel fighters are the Free Ryloth movement from The Clone Wars, now hanging on by a thread at the command of Cham Syndulla. Cham spends little time dwelling on feelings, but this book challenges the Twi’lek commander’s tolerance for letting those he loves suffer. Cham, a freedom fighter since the Clone Wars, now leads a skeletal Free Ryloth movement, far away from wherever his daughter — Star Wars Rebels‘ Hera — lives. Cham’s crew is all-Twi’lek save for one human, and his second in command is an anxious ex-slave named Isval. There is more to Isval and Cham than their camaraderie, and there is much more to Isval herself, as her story seems to unravel all the way until the very last chapter of the book.


In fact, Isval is easily one of the most interesting breakout characters in this story. It was her story that gripped me and kept my pages eagerly turning for a sign of her again. Isval’s perfectly written PTSD is an honest look at someone suffering with some of the worst torture a living being can endure. Isval is a damaged, almost neurotic character who can let her emotions drive her too far, but she definitely steals the book every single time she’s on the page. Her wild courage and drive lead her heroics, and while Isval is a soldier with a dark past, she is still a heroic, likable character.

While offering some sense of mortality to otherwise immortal-feeling characters, Lords of the Sith is more than just space jargon and evil cackling. It gives readers a look at the Empire’s leads personally dealing with matters when things go wrong within their ranks. The Emperor is on the ground, not protected on Coruscant, and interacts with the citizens of Ryloth as well. Vader is an untouchable force that also exists amongst Twi’lek children, and the way these strange-sounding instances are written in context gives us an in-depth look at the unique team that Vader and the Emperor can be.

The headline-making character that exists as the first canon LGBT citizen of the Star Wars universe was not given any delicate treatment. Moff Mors is an unlikable, perverse, rude, and lazy commander who makes for a wonderful adversary in the beginning. Lords of the Sith, of course, isn’t that kind of basic or predictable text: Mors’ later role in the book is an impactful story that unfolds in surprising ways. It is reassuring, in this sense, to see a character that isn’t ‘too precious’ to be a bad guy, and one who is far more complicated than just her sexuality. The biggest faults in this character, I felt, were the descriptions of her weight. She’s described from a rival’s point of view, and her heavy weight seems to be implied as a reason for her demeanor. Mors has a very specific reason for her behavior, and that made her a character that I’d like to see continue again the Star Wars mythos.

While the Emperor’s ominous hovering as a supporting character can get annoying onscreen, Palpatine displays the signs of a diplomat in several moments, guiding Vader’s anger and actively teaching his apprentice in the ways of the Dark Side. We’re given a real look at Palpatine’s teaching methods, and his wisdom as a Sith Lord.

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 9.37.10 PM

I had expected Cham and the Free Ryloth movement to be depicted as antagonists in this book, but the third-party point of view doesn’t seem to skew one way or the other as so many previous Star Wars books have. Every individual story in this book is told from an honest and believable point of view, and because of that, Mr. Kemp has earned himself a long-time reader in me.

One last note on Vader: This is a wonderful look in to Vader’s thought process, and what he struggles with when controlling those thoughts. This is Vader learning that reckless anger won’t always make him effective, and that certain memories, no matter how much they anger him, aren’t correct for certain situations. Vader contemplates the fates of he and the Emperor, and readers are shown how his early thoughts reflect on the final moments of his life.

Lords of the Sith brings the feeling of desperation to life in ways I’ve only seen horror movies do: you know someone is going to die, you know it’s not going to be pretty, and you’re waiting for the jump scare on the next page. The realization is that the horror of the Dark Side isn’t as easy as a jump scare, but rather a long and heartbreaking story of repeat failures and losses that drive even the hardest fighter to desperation.

If you’re looking for a great novel about Darth Vader, the Sith, and a peek in to the Syndulla family’s history, check out Lords of the Sith. It is an incredible read, and I’m happy to count it as part of the new Star Wars canon.


Lords of the Sith releases on April 28th, 2015. 

Rating: 9.5/10

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5 Fandom Friday: 2015 Fandom Resolutions

The new year is upon us, and I have a lot on my to-do list! This year will see a lot more productivity on my part (I hope) on various platforms. I want to accomplish things this year, and get back into my old hobbies. Along with the ladies at Female Geek Bloggers, I decided to hop in with those promises, since they’re a lot easier to keep.


blog1I’d really like to kick off my first novel this year, and I already have a basic outline done – so inspiration is important! It’ll be a space opera, and while the genre seems limited, I’m determined to find great books to take me off into the stars again. This is also just a really great reason to read more this year. If anyone has some great recommendations, I’d love to read them!


blog2It’s been a hot minute since I’ve watched Arrow. Actually, I’m way behind on virtually every show DC aired this past year, and that’s a crying shame. While Gotham never really captured my fancy, I love Arrow and The Flash. I really want to give Constantine a chance, too. Marathons shall be had before the new seasons air!


blog3It’s been a while since I’ve made a new costume, and while I’ve definitely fallen out of the hobby a bit, it’s always lots of fun to wear a costume at conventions. For most of the year, I’m working at cons and don’t really have the time or capacity to cosplay; I’m hoping that this year gives me a little more time to have fun on the side! As far as which dream costumes occur, I have a small list – Leia’s Cloud City outfit and Capcom’s Son Son are two of my more do-able dream costumes.



I’ve been struggling to come up with vlog ideas, but since I got to much positive feedback on my latest vlog, I think focusing on a particular subject is going to help me produce more great content – so, of course, Star Wars was the immediate go-to. I’m very comfortable talking about the fandom and lore, so expect more videos from me soon!



I have a good excuse for not gaming, and it’s because I’ve not had access to a console for months. I’m planning on changing that by grabbing a PS4 soon, and getting more games for my 3DS. I’m super excited about my incoming PS4, not only because of the PS4 games I’m excited to play, but the indie games offered in the PSN Store. I’ve played a lot thanks to Sarah, including Velocity (which I LOVE) and Chariot (which will destroy your relationships, and is great), so I’m really excited!


There are plenty of other things that I could list, but I think these promises are definitely the type I can hold up. What are you resolving to accomplish this year?

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