... well, figuratively speaking.
RL has been both busy and more than just mildly annoying lately, as a result of which I'm behind on everything from updates to reviews to just plain responding to people (sorry!); not to mention that I also still haven't had time to select and acquire stickers for my super-pretty physical Halloween card. Thankfully I've spent quite a bit of time driving during the last couple of days, which otherwise would be something I'd deplore, but which around Bingo time, of course, is a blessing in disguise because ... audiobooks!
So, now that I'm finally caught up -- for the moment at least -- on the recent goings-on on this site, I'm somewhat belatedly going to wrap up Summer of Spies (which was both a rousing success and a whole lot of fun, so thank you to Wanda and Moonlight for coming up with the idea!) and get up-to-date with my bingo reads. Not all of this will be happening today ... but even though I'm probably going to be stuck in conference rooms for the better part of the next week (and weekend) again, I hope I'm at least going to be able to dip my hand in here at least occasionally.
On to more pleasant things -- such as all things bingo!
"The galaxy is on fire." With these words, James Kirk summarizes the latest threat the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise is forced to address: an expanding wave of heat that has already annihilated an entire solar system, including the home world of the Zirgosians. Their investigation takes them to the remaining Zirgosian colony, where they find a massive spaceship in orbit controlled by the "Sackers," a species so physically repulsive that sentient beings cannot stand to be in their presence. The crew soon discovers that the Sackers are at the center of the mystery, with a plan that effectively holds the entire universe hostage unless their demands are met.
Barbara Paul's novel offers readers what is many respects a textbook Star Trek story: the crew faces a seemingly insurmountable challenge, then proceeds to save the day through a mixture of intuitive psychology and teamwork. It's an interesting tale both for the species she introduces and the unusual combination of Kirk, Scotty, Uhura, and Chekov working to deal with the situation in which they find themselves. Yet too much of the novel comes across as contrived, with the Sacker threat both epically dangerous yet in the end ridiculously easy to resolve. Squaring the difference between these two contrasts might have made for a truly excellent Star Trek novel, but as it is the book's strengths can't quite overcome its flaws.
The intimate sense of self-awareness we experience bubbling up at each moment is rooted in the originating activity of the Universe. We are all of us arising together at the invisible center of the cosmos.” We once thought that we were no bigger than our physical bodies, but now we are discovering that we are deeply connected participants in the continuous co-arising of the entire Universe. Awakening to our larger identity as both unique and inseparably connected with a co- arising Universe transforms feelings of existential separation into experiences of subtle communion as bio-cosmic beings. We are far richer, deeper, more complex, and more alive than we ever thought.
To discover this in our direct experience is to enter a new age of exploration and discovery.The Universe is continuously emerging as a fresh creation at every moment. All point to this same, extraordinary insight.
The Universe is not static, nor is its continuation assured. Instead, the Universe is like a cosmic hologram that is being continuously upheld and renewed at every instant.14 A universal encouragement found across the world’s wisdom traditions is to live in the ‘NOW.’ This core insight has a clear basis in physics: The present moment is the place of direct connection with the entire Universe as it arises continuously. Each moment is a fresh formation of the Universe, emerging seamlessly and flawlessly.
Awakening to our conscious connection with the living Universe naturally expands our scope of concern and compassion—and brightens the prospect of working together to build a sustainable future.
Title: Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume 0
Author: Jason Latour
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez
Genre: Action / Superheroes / Drama / Crime / Music
Year Published: 2015
Year Read: 11/11/2017
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Series: Spider-Gwen #0
Content Rating: Ages 15+ (Some Language and Violence)
Wait a minute…Gwen Stacy is…SPIDER WOMAN!? And who ever heard of a graphic novel having a volume 0?
Before you get confused about this (as I was), there was an event called “Spider-Verse” that might explain about all this (except that I haven’t read the “Spider-Verse” event yet, so that point might be moot at this time). Anyway, I have been hearing so many good things about the “Spider-Gwen” series that I had to give “Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume Zero” a shot and I must admit that I actually liked this graphic novel!
What is this story about?
In this universe, it was Gwen Stacy who was bitten by a radioactive spider and possessed spider powers (not Peter Parker). It turns out that Peter Parker was bullied so much at school that one day he decided to transform himself into the lizard and went on a rampage throughout the city and ended up getting himself killed. Because of this, Gwen harbored a lot of guilt over what happened to Peter since Peter was doing all this to be like Gwen. After this tragic event, J. Jonah Jameson had caused the public to turn against Spider-Gwen by stating that she was responsible for Peter Parker’s death and Gwen ends up being on the run from the law, including from her father Captain Stacy (at least until she tells him who she really is). Now Gwen has to prove to the public that she did not kill Peter Parker and that she is a true hero while also avoiding the people after her including Frank Castle (A.K.A. The Punisher), the Vulture and Matt Murdock himself!
What I loved about this story:
Jason Latour’s writing: Jason Latour’s writing was quite unique and interesting to read as this universe’s Gwen Stacy is one of the most interesting characters I had ever read! I loved the way that Jason Latour made Gwen Stacy into such a strong female protagonist as Gwen also cracks jokes like Spider-Man, but she can be moody at times due to her guilt over Peter’s death and I loved the way that Jason Latour wrote Gwen’s struggles with trying to cope with Peter’s death as it made Gwen into a truly relatable character. I also loved the fact that Gwen Stacy is involved in a rock band as it adds even more dimension to her character and I just loved the fact that we have a heroine who is into music! I also enjoyed the moments between Gwen and her father, Captain Stacy, as while it was quite intense due to Captain Stacy not wanting his daughter to get in danger, it was nice seeing how much Captain Stacy cares about his daughter and only wants what is best for her. Jason Latour also did an interesting job at giving us a Spider-Man universe where Gwen Stacy is Spider Woman as I never would have thought that Gwen Stacy of all people could become a superheroine. But, this version of Gwen Stacy is so well written that I actually loved the fact that Gwen Stacy makes an interesting Spider Woman!
Robbi Rodriguez’s artwork: Robbi Rodriguez’s artwork was quite creative to look at, especially Spider Gwen’s outfit! I just loved the reddish hues that cover the pages whenever Gwen is performing in her rock band as it makes those moments really stand out. But the best part of Robbi Rodriguez’s artwork is Spider-Gwen’s outfit! I think I have fallen in love with Spider-Gwen’s outfit since it is actually white and pink all over and it makes her look like a savior type being within the pages!
What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:
The reason why I gave this book a four-star rating was because I felt that the dialogue was a bit disjointed at times. I was not sure if it was because the dialogue was trying to use street slang to make the characters seem more modern or if it was the writing itself. I often had a difficult time trying to understand what the characters are actually saying due to how the dialogue is being written. Also, if you have not read “Spider-Verse,” chances are you will probably be confused about what is really going on in this book (although this is technically an alternate universe of the “Spider-Man” universe).
Overall, “Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume Zero” is a great graphic novel to read if you want to see a different take on Gwen Stacy!
Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog