Book Review: The Secret of the Great Red Spot.

So this past weekend, I was at a convention.   Hypericon 2017, which is the localest of local cons to me and one that I will likely attend in the future as well.    I mention this because I had the honor and pleasure to meet Leonardo Ramirez while I was there.

Hearing him speak about his works was honestly inspiring and he has a series that involves Jupiter (and later on, Mars, I am given to understand) and I was increasingly intrigued by that, so I picked them up while I was there.

The Jupiter Chronicles: The Secret of The Great Red Spot.

I was delighted by the first book in the Jupiter Chronicles.  It is a Young Adult book, specifically targeted for young chapter readers, so parents don’t be afraid to hand this one to your kids.

The Secret of the Great Red Spot was engaging and I loved the way it read.   It was simple to understand without feeling patronizing or like it was being dumbed down for kids.   I wish I had had something like this when I was smaller.

The two main characters, (Callie and Ian Castillo) were deeply amusing and I could clearly picture them and their antics in my head.   The  book also lends itself well to being read aloud, which is pretty awesome.   There are fantastic space battles, awesome hijinks, and a farting robot.

It’s not often that I find myself saying this, but I really hope this gets picked up by a kids network and made into a show or movie.   I think it would lend itself really well to that kind of medium as well.

This is a great first book and I’m looking forward to where this series goes next.

You can find this book and Leonardo’s other works here:  The Leonardoverse 

If you’ve read this book and want to chat about it, leave a comment below!

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RIP Adam West

So let me tell you a story.

I was an awkward kid whose imagination and personality and inner self was so much bigger than her actual skeleton was. I was smarter than was comfortable for my parents, but with (what we now know was Sensory Processing Dysfunction + being a military brat + very severe outdoor allergies) some weird issues that made socializing with other kids in my neighborhood all kinds of convoluted.

So there were days where I just couldn’t deal with everything outside my front door and where (this will be shocking for those of you who know me in person) I was tired of reading and re-reading. I hid in books a lot because they were safer than real people, but sometimes the words would just swim on the pages and that’s when I knew my brain was too tired to make the words come alive for me.

But we had Nick at Night and they had all of these amazing television shows and we had several other stations that had cool stuff on. Hands down, my top three favorites were Mission Impossible (which I watched with Dad cause it was so cool and I loved the characters and Dad always got super enthused and it was awesome to do that with him), Babylon 5 (which the number of times I literally did anything possible to stay up to watch live is kind of hilarious now), and Batman.

Batman in the Batmobile (credit: DC Comics)

When Adam West on the screen, everything else stopped. I would be there spellbound for as long as there were re-runs on my screen. My Batman is his Batman and always will be. I loved that show then and I love it now. There would be marathons on certain holidays and I would just sit there forever watching and rewatching the episodes. I could have seen the episode a hundred million times and yet if I came across it on tv, I’d sit down and watch it again.

Adam West’s Batman/Bruce Wayne was someone I looked up to a lot, because there was nothing that he couldn’t handle. There was nothing he couldn’t do and whatever decision he came to was always the right one. I wanted that kind of confidence and poise, I wanted to be as smart as he was. I wanted to be as hopeful as he was that eventually with enough time and education and helping others, world peace could be a real thing. I wanted his amazing dance moves.

And don’t even lie, ya’ll know what I’m talking about, the Batusi is a fantastic dance.

No matter what the world threw at him, Batman prevailed. He stood up to fight injustice and the bad guys and he always explained why it mattered that they were doing it that way to Dick. Which helped a lot to someone who actually needs to know the why before doing a thing. Because doing things just to do them is not a thing my brain is ever comfortable with. There’s got to be a reason behind it for me and some people are okay with explaining it and some people aren’t. Some people get really frustated always having to explain the whys. Bruce and Batman never got frustrated with explaining the whys and that meant a lot to see that.

And there’s so much more I could say about how much exactly this show did and does and forever will mean so much to me. Especially in this uncertain climate of fear and instability. The hope that permeates that Batman series is something that I can go back to when I get down and it always helps me find the hope and happy in the world again.

My roomie is the best and woke me up to tell me the news before I saw it on the news and while it wasn’t unexpected, it still hurts so much to know that from today on, we have to go on without him. It’s up to us to be that kind of example for the world now.

RIP Adam West.

Adam West as Bruce Wayne ( credit: ABC News)
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