by Senior Reviewer Debbie Wiley
Streaming companies had a huge economic boost during the last year or so, and I have to admit I’ve hopped on that bandwagon. Normally, I watch very little tv and only go to the movies occasionally, so I blame Baby Yoda specifically for my latest tv marathon viewing, as it all started with The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda! After all, who can resist that little adorable frog-eating, egg-stealing, tiny force-wielding hero?! A few of my favorites since then have been The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and of course, this long-time Godzilla and King Kong fan couldn’t resist Godzilla vs Kong – the movie that made me want to go back into a theater even when it still wasn’t a good idea for me (and is why I now have HBO Max LOL).
Obviously, most of my favorite movies and series to watch tend towards the sci-fi or hero themes, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. After all, my all-time favorite book character is Harry Dresden from the Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series as his heroism shines through even in the worst of times as he strives to do the right thing, even when it’s hard. And isn’t that a wonderful idea for today? Things have been hard and finding even fictional characters who stand firm, or even better, make the hard choices but with good intentions and a desire to fix any mistakes (Bucky from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the perfect example of a character doing his best to fix the wrongs of his past.)
Alma Katsu’s RED WIDOW, while not a sci-fi book in any sense of the word, fits the bill perfectly when it comes to heroics and making the hard choices. RED WIDOW centers around two women working at the CIA. Lyndsey Duncan is an agent who fears she has lost her entire career, while Theresa Warner is another agent constantly in the spotlight of gossip after her husband (a very well-known agent and director) disappeared mysteriously. Alma Katsu does a marvelous job at developing both their personalities as she crafts a phenomenal spy thriller. Every move, every person is suspect within the CIA as plots are woven within plots as we get to see the darker side of what Lyndsey and Theresa are dealing with and whether only one or both will shine as a heroine when the dust clears.
LAST STRAND by Jennifer Estep is more along the veins of the superhero tales I love and is the grand finale of what has been an amazing series! Gin Blanco, AKA The Spider, is an assassin, but she’s on the side of good in a town where darker forces are attempting to take over and destroy people. LAST STRAND is her showdown with her evil uncle (who also leads the Circle) and it’s going to take all she has if she is to save both herself and her hometown. Gin isn’t a traditional heroine as she’s an assassin, but she definitely fits the bill in my books as she is willing to go toe to toe with evil, even if her own life may be lost in the process.
I have a whole list of books, tv shows, and movies that I’m looking forward to- and only some are not out yet. I’m looking forward to The Tomorrow War and Captain America 4 while waiting a third season of The Mandalorian and hoping for a second season of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. In the meantime, I’m going to catch up on NCIS New Orleans and NCIS. I’m also excited about MILLION DOLLAR DEMON by Kim Harrison, THE VELOCITY OF REVOLUTION by Marshall Ryan Maresca, and CAPTURE THE CROWN by Jennifer Estep. What are some books, tv series, or movies that have helped you get through this time, even if they don’t fit my same theme?