Tag: Kim

Star Trek: Spock Reflections

Author: Scott Tipton and David Tipton
104 Pages
Published: July 19, 2012

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars

Description from Amazon: A Vulcan, on Romulus? Absurd! Or is it? In the follow-up collection to the smash hit Star Trek: Countdown movie prequel, we discover what could drive a man to abandon all he knows and go to live with the Federation’s sworn enemy, his real motivations, and how he looks back at what brought him to this place in his life.

Kim’s Review:

My second graphic novel and I do believe that I am now a fan! I never used to think that graphic novels were “real reading,” but I was wrong! Of course they’ll never replace novels, but graphic novels are a fun easy way of enjoying a story. I saw Spock- Reflections at a pawn shop for only $3, so I said, “what the heck” and bought it. I read it in one sitting and was nearly in tears by the time I finished. I’ve been a life-long trekkie. My dad started us on the original series back when we were in elementary school and I as I grew up, the other parts of the franchise, movies, TNG, DS9, etc., seeped in and expanded my fandom. Then I married a Star Wars fan who had never seen anything other than the remake movies . . . yeah that has been interesting! 😊

I really loved this book. Spock has always been my favorite character and I was devastated when Leonard Nimoy passed away. As dramatic as this is going to sound, Spock Reflections actually gave me some closure. I got to see many different portions of Spock’s life that I hadn’t actually known before. And this story was centered around the death of James T. Kirk and Spock’s reaction to it. Spock has always struggled to reconcile his human half with his Vulcan half and this book showed that reconciliation in such a beautiful way. I don’t think this is the graphic novel to start with if you’re not a Star Trek fan, I would definitely recommend watching the original series and, at least, the first three original Star Trek movies before reading this book. But, for the Trekkies out there, this is an awesome graphic novel, even if you’ve never tried them before.

Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Orlando

Kim’s Review of Harry Potter World: 5 stars!

Yes, I am reviewing a theme park and I’m super excited to do it! When Ivan and I got married 2 and half years ago, we decided to go to Orlando for our honeymoon. We spent 2 weeks doing Disney World, Universal and Sea World! We absolutely loved it. So, for Ivan’s birthday this year, I planned a trip back to Universal. He mainly went for the Halloween Horror Night, but I was there for Harry Potter. HPW was even better the second time, after I had read the full series, than it had been the first time. Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade are beautiful! The movie captured the settings so perfectly, so building them for the park was a no brainer. It’s like walking straight into the books.

I dressed up as a Ravenclaw student and I felt completely at home. The first thing we did was the wand experience at Olivander’s. The wandmaker actually chose me to go thru the process of choosing a wand  . . . geek out!!!! I had shown up not knowing which wand I wanted. I had favorite characters and of course I considered their wands, but by the time we got to the shop, I was still unsure. But with the wand experience, my wand literally chose me!

This time, we ended up taking our time, walking thru each store and exploring every corner. There were areas that we didn’t see last time. The pet shop was amazing! Every creature from the story was there! I ended up getting my very own Fawkes the Phoenix. He sits proudly in my library and I’ve even considered having his theme playing constantly because he looks so real sitting there. We crept down Knockturn Alley and found Borgin and Burkes. Dude, that place was crazy. Ivan, the horror freak that he is, had way too much fun in there. Anything dark, you’ll find it in there. The Weasley’s shop is exactly as you’d imagine, areas all around the alley where spells could be performed, and the centerpiece, Gringotts Bank, complete with fire-breathing dragon! We walked thru the beautifully detailed bank to get to the ride. I will admit that Gringotts was not my favorite of the park, but still definitely worth doing. Then we hopped on the Hogwarts Express that took us to Hogsmeade Village.

If you thought Diagon Alley was beautiful, then Hogsmeade will blow your mind! It was 90ish degrees, but I wanted to put on a jacket because the snow capping the houses looked so real. Music played all thru the village. Honeyduke’s Sweet Shop carried everything that you could want: chocolate frogs, chocolate wands, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, etc. The Three Broomsticks is one of the coolest places you will ever go! We ate there our first time and we have been dreaming of their fish‘n chips ever since. The butterbeer flows. Unfortunately, the 2 dragon roller coasters were under construction, but I can tell you that they are so much fun. They were open the first time we went and I loved them. But the Hippogriff ride was open and it was more fun that I remembered. You can even hear Fang barking inside Hagrid’s cottage. The Owlery store offers all kinds of cool writing materials, perfect to use to send your mail home with your owl.

And then the piece de resistance: Hogwarts Castle!! Oh. My. Gosh. If you do nothing else in HPW, do Hogwarts. I do believe it is my favorite ride in the park! You literally feel like you are flying thru the grounds with Harry, Hermione, Ron, and a dragon. I cannot overhype it enough, as in, it can’t be overhyped because it is that amazing. Even just walking thru the castle while waiting in line is worth it. All this to say, if you have a vacation coming up, maybe consider Harry Potter World at Universal. You do have to get a 2 Park ticket to get to both sides, but it is totally worth it. I felt like I was actually immersed in the story, and I never wanted to leave!

Have you been to Harry Potter World? Did you love it as much as I did!  Who wants to go with me next time!?!?!


The Arsonist

Author: Stephanie Oakes
400 Pages
Published: August 22, 2017

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars

Description from Amazon:
Molly Mavity is not a normal teenage girl. For one thing, her father is a convicted murderer, and his execution date is fast approaching. For another, Molly refuses to believe that her mother is dead, and she waits for the day when they’ll be reunited . . . despite all evidence that this will never happen. Pepper Al-Yusef is not your average teenage boy. A Kuwaiti immigrant with epilepsy, serious girl problems, and the most useless seizure dog in existence, he has to write a series of essays over the summer . . . or fail out of school. And Ava Dreyman—the brave and beautiful East German resistance fighter whose murder at seventeen led to the destruction of the Berlin Wall—is unlike anyone you’ve met before. When Molly gets a package leading her to Pepper, they’re tasked with solving a decades-old mystery: find out who killed Ava, back in 1989. Using Ava’s diary for clues, Molly and Pepper realize there’s more to her life—and death—than meets the eye. Someone is lying to them. And someone out there is guiding them along, desperate for answers. At turns heart-racing, hilarious, and heartbreaking, The Arsonistis an intricate tapestry—of love, loss, and the mysterious connections between us all.

Kim’s Review:
Wow! This book was amazing. A stimulating, historical mystery that kept me questioning right until the very end! Each of the three main characters are likeable, relatable, and intriguing. Molly, the weirdo, who wears her oddities like protective armor, could have strayed into annoying, but never did. I could relate to her “outcast” status at her school, yet she was abnormal in the fact that her father is on death row. Pepper, who is an immigrant from Kuwait, is all heart and funny sarcasm. I will say that his lack luster academic performance got to me a little, but considering his circumstances, it is understandable. The essays that he writes to get the credits needed for high school graduation are detailed and funny and really show off his personality . . . but suck academically! 😊 And Ava, the center of all the secrecy, is an inspiring, smart, survivalist. Seriously, by the time I got to the end of the book, my mouth was hanging open and my heart pounding! I have nothing negative to say. I loved this book! I recommend The Arsonist to anyone looking for a unique, historical conundrum. There was some language and teenage sexual jokes, so I would recommend it to slightly more mature teens.