What’s Up Week 14: And the second quarter of 2019 begins

As we enter into the second quarter of 2019, things are finally seeming to get some balance as nothing seems to be too skewed to one category, which is how I’d like for this segment to go (but I know its only a rarity). Either way, I don’t deliberately do anything so it was all a relatively fun week.

READING

fables vol. 2

  • Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) Review
  • Fables Vol.2 Animal Farm

Currently reading: The Collection of Negatives

The Illuminae Files did not disappoint and actually its made me crave for some more sci-fi reading adventures (although I usually end up regretting it afterwards). Its the format and structure of this one that really works for me. Of course, I’m falling behind in the Goodreads Reading challenge with 8 books completed out of 40 (2 books behind..although one of the selections had 4 books together..so am I still behind?). I am also working on some of the other little things sitting around like graphic novels and such, which leads me to Fables Volume 2 Animal Farm. I like the Fables thing especially with Telltale Games The Wolf Among Us that really worked for me, sadly with the company’s shutdown, the sequel isn’t happening. Maybe some other company will pick up on the idea and adapt some game in that realm, we never know, right?

PLAYING

futuregrind

Currently playing: Omnicube, FutureGrind

Back to some previous titles that I put down and forgot to get back to. Surprisingly fun with company rather than solo even if these are single player games. They are more indie titles  and things that take priority. The first is a puzzle game called Omnicube which is about shifting colored boxes into their colored portals. It got pretty challenging after a while. As for FutureGrind, its a fun little arcade game where its a bit like Trials but with a two wheel bike that you have to rotate to go on the right colored rails. It sounds easy but things get a little harder. Both of them have a back story to it. Either way, I’ll be getting those playthroughs up on the channel soon :). I’ll be gaming more to build up some backlog for the second half of April when things get too hectic to even think about gaming, let alone editing.

WATCHING

incredible hulk

  • The 5th Wave
  • Gods of Egypt
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Ouija

My double feature segment may be in order but I don’t always follow the order when watching it, mostly because my husband wouldn’t watch some of those movies with me so I bumped them backwards. Among a bunch of not so good movies (notice the pattern yet?), the standout this week has to go to The Incredible Hulk. I had the initial ambition of doing my own little Marvel marathon until I realized that I only had Phase 1 films from MCU and then Netflix pulled a lot of the older ones and I wasn’t going to rent or buy them so I quickly dismissed that idea. Anyways, I finally caught up with The Incredible Hulk which was the only Phase 1 movie that I hadn’t seen so now to catch up with the newer titles, starting with Spiderman Homecoming next in line.

BINGING

On My Block s2

  • On My Block (Season 2, 2019) Review

Currently binging: The Brightest Star in the Sky, The Singer 2019, Mr. Swimmer, Great Escape, The Legend of White Snake, Viva La Romance (Season 2), Master in the House

TV series is going to be the death of me. So many new ones, variety and drama, and they were all on my radar and came out at the same time. The Singer 2019 is hitting its finals so that is going to end soon and I’m still taking a break from Mr. Swimmer (probably will until I get another 4 more TV binges done to thin out the backlog more) however keeping it here so I don’t forget to finish it up. The issue with Great Escape and Viva La Romance Season 2 is that they are only able to watch full episodes on Mango TV app and that app isn’t compatible to Chromecast so its a pain to watch on the phone so I only watch it certain times of the day. My guess is Master in the House is going to be the same way as it seems Mango TV is taking this new approach probably to maximize their profits from their own app and not benefit YouTube. I get where they are coming from but its just inconvenient. With that out of the way, my fave series right now is The Brightest Star in the Sky and The Legend of White Snake which is currently streaming on Tencent app.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
The starts of the 2nd quarter has been pretty good!

What have you been watching/playing/reading/binging?

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

You can check out the reviews of the previous books in The Illuminae Files series:

Illuminae
Gemina

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3)
By: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Obsidio

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken. – Goodreads

The Illuminae Files series is one of those rare series that really keeps up their momentum throughout. It keeps a unique structure of telling the story through surveillance reports, radio transmissions, official documents, etc. The first two books had hints of paying tribute to certain popular horror classics in a sci-fi context with their own little twists added in. The characters are teenagers primarily as the main protagonists but yet also have their supporting characters in the crew to save their world. To be fair, all three books use a similar structure of having a countdown heading toward some possible imminent death. However, due to the time crunch that adds to the tension, there are the relationships who give the character depth but never let it overshadow the main issue at hand, survival. Its also the fact that we only get a chunk of the situation and never the full picture that there leaves mystery and a lot of spots to add in our own conclusions, if any can be made until the final act.

I’ve talked a lot about the general series up to this point. The fact is, The Illuminae Files are the most effective a unit together and for that, I have been debating to re-read the entire trilogy back to back. Even though I say that, because I did read each of these books, a year or two apart from each other, they still have a very nice self-contained element even if this final book, Obsidio brings together the stories of Illuminae and Gemina to create it, the level of connection to the characters is the main factor that gets pulled into the equation. The first two books are essentially two different stories. With that said, it is inevitable that the final book of the trilogy becomes less self-contained than the previous two. However, the story here, while still having some events overlapping the previous books, still manages to craft its own story and pulls together all the loose pieces lying about and pulls it all together and even gives us an idea of how these Illuminae Files came together. In the realm of what it does, Obsidio shows really detailed view of getting to this point and seeing the big picture of how to put together this story in a complete way.

There’s so much to love about Obsidio. Fact is, at this point, the characters are all such a crucial element. With each hardship, they grow and develop a little more. Obsidio is done with so much care for the situation at hand, the sci-fi factor but also keeping in check that these characters are young and have to make some difficult decisions and become such a pillar and being pulled into a situation that they didn’t want to and the courage they have. Its a fast-paced novel with layers of tension, sarcastic humor and adventure. Its a book full of surprises and twists and turns and done in such a clever way.

Goodreads: 5/5

The Illuminae Files may be done but I’ve finished just in time as this author duo’s next book (maybe starting off a new series) is going to be released soon and I cannot wait to read it.

What’s Up Week 13: The first quarter of 2019 is behind us!

what's up

Another week has gone by and as March wraps up, the first quarter of the year is done. Since I’ve been really enjoying the written formats of this, I think that I might do a video format soon of things. I haven’t forgotten about doing videos but its just been incredibly busy that editing anything seems to be hard to find time for nowadays. A seasonal round-up sounds like a good way to do it where I’ll just highlight some fave movies, TV, books and games in the first quarter. I’ll get around to it soon before the rush starts.

READING

Obsidio

Currently reading: Obsidio

So close to the end but yet, when this week ended, Obsidio is still in progress. I’m at the big showdown part now where things are going to be chaotic. I don’t usually like to start those parts without having sufficient amount of time to read it all in one go. I honestly can’t wait to finish it because its been one heck of a ride. Not only in terms of this book but the entire trilogy. A part of me wants to re-read all of the trilogy back to back and see how it works without all the gaps in between. But then, I have a ton of books in the TBR pile, both physical and on Kindle.

PLAYING

Thumper

Currently playing: Thumper

Gaming has been real sparse as I dive into working on the Mobile Games Roundup. I don’t usually list the mobile games to keep a surprise factor for that post. Since it was my birthday weekend and there’s been still a few game reviews to get done. I took a break with new things and went back to try and get back some Thumper skills to at least try to get past where I’ve been stuck for the past 2 year (well, I stopped playing it about 2 years ago or something….). Its a work in progress but I’m getting better. Things get back to normal next week. This might still be in the currently playing but I’ll have something else done.

WATCHING

Life

  • Eloise (2016)
  • Crimson Peak (Rewatch – Original review)
  • Life
  • Jaws 3
  • Jaws: The Revenge

In between some bad Jaws sequels, a below average horror film, a sci-fi film and a Del Toro gothic romance, its really hard to truly pinpoint what was worse. I can tell you there was only two of these which I enjoyed more than the other three for sure and then out of those two, one of this was a rewatch that proved to not live up to how I thought of it the first time. That pretty much narrows it down to one choice, Life. Look, I know that a lot of people gave this movie crap for its similarities to Alien but I thought it worked. Its not Alien but then that movie is a freakin’ classic but Life does a good few things great. I’ll review it soon, once I think of what to pair it up with for a double feature. Still, if you haven’t seen it, give it a chance. It might just surprise you.

BINGING

my amazing boyfriend 2

  • My Amazing Boyfriend 2: Unforgettable Impression (2019)

Currently binging: The Singer 2019, Mr. Swimmer, The Brightest Star in the Sky, On My Block Season 2, Great Escape

So…luck has it that April is just around the corner and while one series is wrapped up, everything else that I had my eye on in 2019 for Chinese drama is getting released. Choices, right? I did a test run of a few of them to see which one caught my attention the most to keep watching. You might see some currently binging rotation going on. Of course, Friday also saw the new season of On My Block released which I’ve been waiting for desperately since the cliffhanger ending in Season 1 last year. My Amazing Boyfriend 2 finished finally and boy, was it a fun ride. I actually think the change of cast worked great and hopefully, maybe they’ll do a third one with this cast but then with Mike Angelo heading into his first role in Hollywood, maybe he won’t do China stuff anymore, although Bingbing Fan also had that development and still stayed in the Chinese entertainment. So who knows, right?

With that said, new things on the list goes to The Brightest Star in the Sky which I’m liking so far and then a new Hunan TV variety show called Great Escape which I had posted the trailer on the Facebook page and is an escape room sort of deal. I can’t say the first episode was really exciting but I can see that once they find their rhythm, it could be fun. While The Singer 2019 is heading into the semi finals and finals so its getting exciting because all the people I like made it through so far.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?

What’s Up Week 12: Accidentally Binging & Random Movie Viewing

Another week has flown by. A lot of stuff happened especially with my office having some changes that took away from some personal time. With that said, this week is one of the more balanced ones as I managed to get things done in all sections.

READING

Obsidio

Currently reading: Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3)

Obsidio is going a bit slower than expected. It always is a slower starts as I try to catch back up to the things that gone on in the previous two books, not that they really rely too much on it as the basis are generally reiterated again. However, some of the characters did overlap. I’m about 20% done at this point (and probably haven’t updated my Goodreads progress in a while as I’m writing this). So far, its still pretty good and is setting up for what this novel’s race for time is. The format still works really well. We will just have to see how things go from here and hope that it wraps up the trilogy in a satisfying way.

PLAYING

her story

  • Her Story

Currently playing: Mortal Kombat X – Towers

Our next Game Warp review is for Her Story. We are finding a pace in doing longer and shorter games as much as possible to hopefully keep episodes going more frequently . There will be a first hour or first half hour gameplay of Her Story going up on the channel at some point because this story is all about unveiling the story through piecing together 6 different videos. Its a pretty cool idea but then I’m not going to talk too much about it since the episode will come out in the next few weeks.

If you missed it, Mortal Kombat X podcast review has been released. Talking about MKX, I decided to go back to check out some of the other modes and dive a little deeper and landed on the Towers mode which is essentially using a character and fighting 10 opponents. At the end, a little story parallel to the one in story mode plays out in art images. I want to eventually get through all the fighters but so far I have only gone through 2 of them with the husband.

WATCHING

jaws 2

  • The Cave
  • Jaws 2
  • Death Note (2017)

Its a real mish mash of randomness this week in terms of watching. Probably the most random since the beginning of 2019. I’m trying to do a random alphabet Netflix thing. Not official or anything. A lot of good stuff is coming up and I wanted to clear out more films in the mean time. Call it a preemptive strike in anticipate for the crazy April month coming up. The standout film of this batch might be a bit tough but I think Jaws 2 was the surprise of the three. I didn’t expect The Cave or Death Note to be anything too special but Jaws 2 took a good angle for its sequel and I like the execution pretty well.

I’m working through some double features now and hoping to get it out soon. Its a work in progress to work through the lesser backlog (although still there).

BINGING

  • Accidentally in Love (Netflix Original, 2018)
  • My Little One 2 (2019)

Currently binging: The Singer 2019, My Amazing Boyfriend 2, Mr. Swimmer

Took  a little detour and break from Mr. Swimmer as most Chinese dramas tend to take the last 10 episodes and turn them into mega frustrating and emotional and stupid bits before it gets to whatever finale. To save myself from breaking anything, I decided to take a moment and watch something else. Who would have thought that it was a binge-fest of Accidentally in Love, a Netflix Original Chinese drama which was so much fun that I finished it in less than a week. It has perfect episode lengths (35 minutes or so), perfect series length (30 episodes) and the fun and cute tone with some infectious characters. I’m so excited about it that I want to write up the TV binge right away (it won’t happen probably). To be fair, My Little One 2 also finished up and I also liked it a ton. The finale wrap-up episode was a really nice one. I need to go back to finish Season 1 for the sons version, which I’m about halfway through.

 That’s it for this What’s Up!
Things are picking up and finding its balance again!
It never lasts but the point is to try 🙂

What have you been up to?