Arc Review: Logue Town & Reverse Mountain

Arc Review: Logue Town & Reverse Mountain

I figured it would be best to review both of these arcs at the same time. Not because they are that heavily related, but more so because they are both really short and there wouldn’t be much to say about just one of them.

This is the point of the story where the Straw Hats are going to this “Grand Line”. This terrifying part of the world where the strongest pirates sail free. The part of the ocean where storms can hit in an instant, and be gone the next. The part of the world that the Pirate King, the worlds strongest swordsman, and a brave warrior of the sea need to conquer.

This was the real start of the Straw Hat’s journey, and this ocean would be the place where many of their dreams would come true, or be crushed.

Logue Town is the last city before the Grand Line, so the Straw Hats decide to stop there and get some supplies. Zoro is in need of a few swords since Mihawk destroyed his, Sanji needs some food for the ship, and Luffy wants to see the town where Gol D. Roger, the king of the pirates was born and was executed.

Not much happens for Usopp and Nami other than regular shenanigans, and Sanji just gets some food for the Going Merry.

Zoro and Luffy have the interesting moments in this arc, and they’re pretty interesting because of what they show for those characters.

Luffy wants to see the spot where Gol D. Roger was killed, and eventually gets nearly killed by Buggy. The moment before his death, Luffy smiles and a lightning bolt saves him from getting his head chopped off.

This was the first instance where we got to experience the Will of D. Not much is known about it, but one thing we do know is that everyone with the name D. dies with a smile on their face. Luffy was smiling the moment before his death, and Smoker (a captain in the Marines chasing Luffy) notices this and notices the similarities of Roger and Luffy.

We know Luffy is destined to do great things because he is the main character, but this was the first chance we got to notice Luffy’s connection to Roger.

On the other hand there is Zoro. He’s going sword shopping, and is rather poor. Luckily he comes across Tashigi, a near-blind Marine when she doesn’t have her glasses on, who helps him find a rather good and rare sword basically for pennies.

The other sword he is looking for he gets by throwing it in the air, and betting the sword salesman that if it cuts his hand off, then he doesn’t get it, but if the sword spins over his arm and doesn’t cut him, then Zoro gets it for free…and guess what happens.

Yes, the sword spins over Zoro’s arm and doesn’t hurt him, and the swordsman, believing that the cursed blade belongs in Zoro’s lucky hands, gives him the sword for free. As it turned out, this sword was even more rare than the sword he got for cheap.

Another big part of this arc is the occurrence of Smoker and Dragon. Smoker, who ate a logia devil fruit, gives Luffy some trouble because nobody can actually hit him. Thanks to Dragon, who we discover is Luffy’s dad later on, stops Smoker and helps Luffy et. al. escape.

This sort of sets up Smoker as the “rival” of Luffy in the Marines. Coby is supposed to be I think, but I like the idea of Smoker being the rival like Gard was for Roger.

Reverse Mountain Arc doesn’t offer much in terms of story. Basically the only thing that happens is that the Straw Hats make it over Reverse Mountain and into the Grand Line, where they meet a man named Crocus, who they learn worked on Roger’s ship.

They also meet Laboon, which becomes a pretty important whale later on in the story.

There is a brief moment of camaraderie when they all pledge to achieve their dreams and conquer this ocean.

In terms of the overall story, these two arcs don’t offer much. I think together they take up less than 10 chapters, but their impacts are huge for the rest of the story.

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Book Review: Norse Mythology

Book Review: Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology was a book I had on my radar the minute I heard about it. I’m extremely interested in all things mythology and history, as you should know by now, and Norse mythology has interested me since I was a teenager.

Greek and Roman myth are shoved down our throats time after time, but Norse myth has sort of taken a step back from stories and movies, until Thor became popular in the MCU.

I would argue that Marvel is one of the biggest reasons Norse myth and stories are still alive. Scholars and academics have been fascinated with them for a long time, but a big reason we don’t get to learn these stories as much as Greek or Roman is because there isn’t much to learn.

Not a lot of the stories and poems survived the test of time, which is unfortunate to those who want to know more.

Gaiman, in my opinion, does a wonderful job of taking these stories, written hundreds of years ago in a language few of us can understand, and turned them into something that modern audiences can enjoy.

I’d read one other book by Gaiman before this, but as most of us probably have heard, his reputation as an outstanding author precedes him.

Not only were the stories funny, interesting, and informative, I thought they were very thought provoking because they told the story in a way that allowed me to understand how some of these stories would have come about.

Most mythology books are a bit tough to get through, at best. If they’re written well, they are written as a story that is easy to follow, and not as a historical retelling.

At worst, they’re basically a translation from ancient Greek/Latin that put you to sleep more than they entertain you.

Norse Mythology was the best myth-related book I’ve read because it was like reading a bunch of short stories that really didn’t overlap at all, other than the characters involved.

If you know any of Norse myth stories, there’s a good chance you’ll find it in this book, along with all your favourite, or least favourite characters.

Thor, Loki, Odin, Baldur, Freya, they’re all there and more. You’ll learn about some gods you’ve never heard of, and even get to read about how a baby killed a blind man, and I’m not joking.

There are two things about Norse Mythology that I found kind of funny and that are also commonplace with most stories involving a “god” of some kind.

The first is that gods are assholes. No need for anything but being blunt, they’re assholes, and to them it’s always normal.

Bet a man he can’t build a wall in a month? Kill him because he is close to doing it. Jealous of Thor’s wife? Rip out her hair. Guy doesn’t want you coming into his home and drinking his mead? Kill him.

There are very few actual “good” gods in mythology. Yes some come across as good and all, but when it comes down to it, they’re usually assholes, and I kinda love it. I love that they are so clearly seeing themselves above everyone else.

The second thing that I love about a lot of mythological stories of gods is how “smart” they are.

Gods are so clever. They can outsmart any mere mortal. Except most of the time, they really aren’t that smart. Most of their problems they just solve by making themselves look like something else, or smashing them with a really big hammer.

Now to me, that doesn’t really seem that clever, but I like how the world and the gods think it is.

There’s one more thing I wanted to mention about Norse Mythology, and that’s how quickly I got through it.

Being used to taking a month or so to finish an 800 ish page fantasy book, I found that I flew through Norse Mythology extremely fast.

I started it on a Monday morning and had it done by Saturday afternoon, and most of the reading was done on the 20ish minute bus ride to and from work each day.

It wasn’t that the book was that short even, more so that it was that easy to read, which I think is a compliment to Gaiman’s abilities to write a book based off of established stories.

Book Review: The Path of Daggers

Book Review: The Path of Daggers

Since I finished this book on Friday, and I am morally and internally obligated to cover it as soon as possible, and since this is the first book review after Friday, here it is.

The Path of Daggers is the eighth installment in The Wheel of Time series, and in my opinion is one of the better ones (at least from what I’ve read so far).

Unfortunately we don’t get any Mat in this book. He’s still recovering from his injuries he obtained at the end of the last book, but him being away is related to one of the main reasons I like this book so much.

About 75% of The Path of Daggers takes place over a few days/weeks. I think about the first half of the book is different characters doing whatever it is they were doing after book seven.

It’s nice because we aren’t rushing ahead weeks and months with no real progression. Not that it’s bad or anything, but I like the story being fleshed out days and weeks at a time.

So on one hand we don’t get Mat, but on the other hand we get a shorter timeline which I really enjoy. I guess you have to pick your battles right?

The last 25% ish of the book does a pretty big time jump, but in this instance it makes sense for the time jump.

Since the weather has been “corrected” and heavy snow falls now cover the land, all of the main parties are slowed down heavily.

Where normally people would take a week or two to get somewhere, the snow is taking people a month or more to get to the same place.

Hence the time jump. We just skip that month or so, and get ready for book nine which has a lot of stuff ready to go.

What’s most enjoyable about TPOD is that there is very minimal “mystical” confrontations.

The Wheel of Time series has an overall enemy who is, to sum it up briefly, Satan, and the good guys need to beat him. He has incredibly powerful lieutenants that are the main bad guys for most of the books, but TPOD doesn’t follow that rule.

TPOD has minimal interaction with these Darkfriends, and instead focuses on the other, regular enemies and their goals and ambitions. Allies become traitors, enemies remain enemies, and some “friends” show their true colours.

I’m a sucker for cliffhangers, and we have three different ones that we are left with at the end of the book.

Perrin and his group have two by themselves, and I think I’m most excited for those ones right now. We know Mat will be coming back with a vengeance after resting up for over a month, Egwene has rested her troops and is on the warpath, and Elayne has finally made it to her rightful place.

Plenty of story lines have me hooked right now which is good. Usually there’s only one or two story lines per book that I want to see unfold, and maybe by the end something interesting happens or is set up for the other characters, but as it is now, I’m excited to see what happens to just about every character/group.

Movie Review: Midsommar

Movie Review: Midsommar

I’m a big fan of thriller and creepy movies, so when I saw the trailer for Midsommar I instantly wanted to go see it.

Most movies that have a secret cult in them are good for many reasons, and in my opinion Midsommar fit the bill perfectly.

I really enjoyed every minute of it, even though it was sort of predictable and i knew what certain things were that the main characters didn’t.

Ari Aster’s work, in my opinion, is not quite like any other director. I’m not a big movie nerd, but he has a way of throwing in those unknown gods and deities into his movies (Hereditary) that you don’t really see coming and it’s one of my favourite movie tropes.

My biggest issue with the movie, and with other Aster work is that the shots and the gore are absolutely beautiful, but the characters are sort of flat and don’t seem to have too much development.

I found Midsommar utterly transfixing, darkly comic, ravishing, and appropriately terrifying; despite a two-hour-and-20-minute running time, I was never inclined to wish that it were shorter, happy to put myself under the same strange Scandinavian spell as the one that seals the major characters to their fate.

Midsommar is a story about how relationships feel during a breakup. The whole movie is focused on the relationship between Dani (who was fantastic in my opinion) and Christian. They have their issues, and Christian is ready to break up with Dani before the worst thing happens, her parents and sister die tragically.

Things evolve and they both end up across the waters in northern Scandinavia, celebrating the summer solstice festival in a small commune. Off the hop you can just tell the commune is off, but the main characters don’t seem to notice anything is wrong. They take drugs, are excluded from a certain strange looking building, and even watch two elders jump off of a cliff, to which they don’t react too harshly.

The citizens of the commune don’t really take much effort to hide what’s going on, and come up with some pretty shitty lies to cover their tracks, or just opt for the straight up approach and tell them it’s tradition…to which the main characters sort of accept over and over.

One part of the movie I liked is that it takes place almost entirely in sunlight. Because it is summer, the sun doesn’t set for long in the northern part of the world, so the creepiness doesn’t get amplified by the darkness…but I don’t think it needs to. It does a hell of a job of being creepy with the constant sunlight.

I enjoyed the ending of the movie though. Dani, evidently wins in the end of their “relationship” and ends up staying with the commune, finally finding a place that she feels like she fits in, since she has been lost since her family died.

Have you seen Midsommar? What were your thoughts? Like it or hate it? Let me know in the comments

Book Review: The Name of the Wind

Book Review: The Name of the Wind

I’ve written three different reviews for this book, and for some reason none of them are posting or saving in any way so I’m a bit annoyed and tired of the post, so I’ll keep the review short.

This book seems to have been gaining a bit of popularity since I read it a few years ago. I honestly can’t remember where I found it, or even where the book came from, but I’m glad it magically appeared on my shelves.

I liked the book a lot, especially seeing Kvothe grow up and discover the world, but I was not a fan of the time jumps that would happen every so often.

I wanted the time jumps to be more fleshed out, giving me a bit more of the main course of the story instead of making me upset that I wasn’t getting more story, but that might be my opinion.

Sorry again for the short post but I spent three hours today trying to make this post and it wasn’t working so I’m just going to admit defeat.

Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

I remember reading this book years ago in highschool as the first book in the book club I had just joined.

We got to pick books out of a crate and I was one of the last ones to pick, and the cover of Legend looked interesting.

I started reading it on the bus ride home that afternoon and I was done by the end of the week.

I was hooked in an instant. It was an easy YA book to read, and it was the first book that I read that had a dystopian theme to it. I was putting my foot in the water with Legend, and quickly dove right in because I loved it so much.

One thing I really enjoyed about Legend was jumping between two different perspectives. Marie Lu wrote her entire trilogy about Day and June, two “perfect” characters, or so their tests and evaluations tell us, who have two different experiences in life.

June is hunting down Day, whom she believed killed her brother, and we get to see their interactions from both perspectives.

Usually having different perspectives in the same book isn’t much of a big deal because plenty of books do it.

That is true, but most of them have different character perspectives because they are focusing on different parts of the world, and having just one person’s perspective wouldn’t give readers a large enough scope of what is happening.

In Legend, and the other two books in the series, Day and June spend a lot of time together.

Day is from the poorer part of society, and we get to experience his life as a rebel, helping out the poor much like a Robin Hood sort of figure. He pulls off some pretty insane stunts and is a genius in his own regard, he just does things on his own.

June on the other hand, works for the “government”. She is top of her class, and like June, is able to perform some very remarkable physical stunts and is also a genius in her own regard. She is also fairly well off in life, and hasn’t known poverty.

The two different perspectives in the books is a nice change. It gives us the poor and the rich side to everything. When one character is living their everyday life, the other is exploring it for the first time, and as a reader, this style of reading was nice, because it’s different.

June knows her truth of certain events that happen in the book, and Day knows his truth. Jumping between perspectives gives us a look at the inner thoughts of both characters when the time is right, but also puts us outside of their mind and their thoughts when the stroy needs it to happen.

Marie Lu has done a wonderful job utilizing the different perspectives and making the two characters bounce off of eachother nicely.

Like I said, it is a fairly easy read, but it is good. If you like dystopian style books mixed with some spy and mystery novel aspects I recommend Legend.

Book Review: The Book Thief

When I think back about this book, I can honestly say that there are no happy memories that come to mind. From how I recall The Book Thief, it’s similar to A Series of Unfortunate Events–it’s just miserable.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book as a whole. I thought it was fantastic, but there weren’t any moments that I genuinely remember being happy about it.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

I hadn’t heard of this book before I started reading it, but I really enjoyed the suspense and the drama that came from it. 

If you’ve ever read the book, you’ll remember that there is a very interesting narrator–Death. Yes death is the narrator of the story, and because this is World War Two, you can imagine how busy he was collecting the dead. 

Death foreshadows constantly throughout the story, so we know a bit about which of the characters will die. I think Death’s perspective adds to the building suspense through the story. 

You might assume that Death being a narrator can be sort of intimidating. I mean he’s Death, why wouldn’t his POV be dark and greusome right? 

The truth is, Death was one of the brigher parts of the story. He was a ray of sunshine through some of the darker moments. 

I do not carry a sickle or a scythe.
I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold.
And I don’t have those skull-like
facial features you seem to enjoy
pinning on me from a distance. You
want to know what I truly look like?
I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue.


The Book Thief is also a bit of a different view of the Holocaust, because it focuses on a little German girl, Liesel, who is living in Hitler’s birthplace.

And the character growth, in my opinion, is remarkable. There are many characters that we hate throughout the story, only to love them by the end. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you haven’t read it yet. It’s technically considered a YA book, but I think it has more impact the older you are.

I will give you a fair warning though, if you want a fast read, this book isn’t for you. It’s a bit of a grind at times. You’ll feel like your clawing your way through mud, but that slow crawl adds something to the story. It adds a sense of accomplishment and connection to the entire story. 

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I’m not one for re-reading a book, but this one is on the short list for books I plan to re-read in the future. 

I have never met someone, or found a single review that has said anything against The Book Thief. Many people state it is a modern classic. It is truly a remarkable book, and I will firmly recommend that EVERYONE should read this book if they call themselves a book lover.  

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