The Appeal of Geralt of Rivia

Image of the cover of The Last Wish taken from Goodreads.


When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to hunt and kill monsters. Such a desire led me through many interests over the years, as well as the inevitable realization that the only real monsters in the world were all human beings–something that Geralt of Rivia, the Witcher, also realizes in his own adventures. My first experience with Geralt came in the second Witcher video game. After that, I read The Last Wish (a collection of early short stories about the character), played the original Witcher video game, began working my way through Andrzej Sapkowsi’s other Witcher books, and then lost several months of my life to The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. I have no regrets.

The appeal of Geralt as a character is manifold. He is different; he is other. The mutations that allow him to hunt and fight monsters also make him a pariah, and Witchers are often seen as half-monsters themselves. His outsider status within his own story coupled with his deep, heartfelt distrust of authority have always been positives for me, and his near-inability to be impressed with anyone else effectively makes Geralt my spirit animal. He has little time for the artificial institutions of self-important humans, and is usually far more comfortable on the road or knocking a few back with a band of dwarves than within a city’s walls. I must say that I agree in total.

I eagerly await Henry Cavill’s performance in the upcoming Netflix Witcher series.


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The Appeal of Terry McGinnis as Batman

In keeping with last Sunday’s theme, here is another reblog of one of my old Batman posts from Sourcerer:

via Batman Beyond!


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7 Book Conundrum

A disaster strikes your home, and you have to get out quick. You’re risking leaving a lot of things behind, but the important parts of your life–your family and pets–are already safe. You only have a few moments to grab at most seven books from your shelves and run. What will those seven precious books–the backbone of starting over–be? Here are my choices. Consider sharing your own.


Forgive the condition of some of these; my books have been through a lot with me, which is why it’s nearly impossible to make this decision. This is a background anxiety I believe a lot of us with large book collections likely possess, and I wanted to interrogate mine a bit. If you had to pare it down and start over, where would you begin?

The Appeal of Sinestro

Further breaking the mold (and taking a day off from the Appeals blogging), here is another reblog throwback to one of my other pieces at Sourcerer: a character description post about Sinestro from 2015.

via Blogging A to Z Day 22: Sinestro


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The Appeal of Claudia Gray’s New Star Wars Novels

We’re going to try a little something different today, both to explore something(s) awesome and to commemorate Claudia Gray’s newest Star Wars novel, Master and Apprentice, which came out last week. The two Star Wars novels of Gray’s I have read so far are among the franchise’s most fantastic recent offerings: Lost Stars (2015) and Bloodline (2016). 

Cover image taken from Goodreads @

I never, ever thought I could become enamored with a YA love story, but here we are. Lost Stars is an absorbing journey through the entire original Star Wars saga told from the points of view of two entirely new characters who grow up together on a backwater planet and who both join the Imperial Academy on Coruscant. The love story goes star-crossed after Alderaan, with one character remaining in the Imperial Navy and the other joining the Rebellion. The depth and nuance of Gray’s understanding of human emotion are staggering, and will impress even the most cynical and hard-hearted Star Wars fan. I cannot recommend this book enough!

Cover image taken from Goodreads @

While the sort of emotional power found in Lost Stars is also strong with Bloodline, it is foremost Claudia Gray’s gripping effort to set a political thriller in the Star Wars universe. Focusing primarily on Leia and her closely-guarded secret about her true parentage, Gray also paints a disturbing picture of an up-and-coming generation who did not witness the Galactic Civil War and who have developed an unhealthy fascination with the Empire. This, as we know, is one of several factors that leads to the rise of the First Order. It is also unsettling to witness this same sort of fascination among many young, white American teenagers with Nazism. If you are a Star Wars fan and you worry about younger generations forgetting the past far, far too easily, I heartily recommend this book to you.


If you’re a fan of books and hot beverages, check us out at Blue Spider Books. And check out our blog here!

The Appeal of Captain Pike

Image of the three actors to portray Captain Pike on television taken from Screenrant @


Last week saw Anson Mount’s Captain Pike exit Star Trek: Discovery, to many a viewer’s chagrin. I have been a tremendous fan of Mount’s portrayal of Pike and will miss his presence in the show. I feel that Discovery has done a wonderful job expanding Pike’s character and has successfully elevated him to the same legendary level of other Star Trek captains.

Indeed, this season’s revelation that Pike was shown his eventual fate, disfigured, unable to move, and trapped in a mechanical chair only able to transmit simple yes-and-no responses, and that he embraced it was perhaps one of the most emotionally satisfying moments of the show thus far. All at once, the character’s sense of right action, of honor, and of the love he feels for those under his command become his defining traits.

I always wondered at the depth of loyalty that Spock felt for his old captain in the Star Trek episode “The Menagerie,” a bond so powerful that he would risk the ire of Captain Kirk and his crew, the end of his Starfleet career, and likely even death for visiting a forbidden planet. But it makes sense now. Spock risked everything for Captain Pike because Captain Pike once did the same for him. Let us also appreciate that Captain Pike was Gene Roddenberry’s first draft of his idealized heroic captain character, making Pike the intellectual ancestor of every other Star Trek captain we have come to love.

(And don’t forget to sign the petition asking CBS to consider a spin-off series about the adventures of Captain Pike and the Enterprise here!)

If you’re a fan of books and hot beverages, check us out at Blue Spider Books. And check out our blog here!

The Appeal of Bruce Wayne as Batman

For the weekends, I want to make throwback posts to my earlier pieces that will fit nicely into the theme of this series. Enjoy!

“Why do we love Bruce Wayne?” at Sourcerer:


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The Appeal of Dracula

Poster image taken from IMDB @

Don’t worry; I’m not going to try to defend the vampire sub-genre here. While some of the older, campier versions of Dracula can be fun, my favorite iteration is the one portrayed by Gary Oldman in the Francis Ford Coppola film from 1992. It also hearkens back to my favorite section of the original Bram Stoker novel, and what, for me, redeems the monster at the center of the entire story.

In the original novel, there is a scene where Dracula and Harker stay up all night just talking, and as dawn breaks Dracula has to run away to hide from the sunlight. I loved this moment. It demonstrates the lonely old immortal Dracula, and that he truly did just yearn for companionship. The novel gets really tedious after this when it swaps to Mina’s letter-writing perspective, but that one small section always gets me.

I feel that the lonely Dracula longing for a human connection (despite, you know, eating Gypsy babies) is the one best embodied in Gary Oldman’s performance. I love this movie, and I can’t recommend it enough if you have never seen it. The cinematography is fantastic, and the central story line that develops of an immortal, heartbroken being chasing a lost love throughout time is one certain to catch the attention of fans of horror, dark fantasy, and paranormal romance all at once.


If you’re a fan of books and hot beverages, check us out at Blue Spider Books. And check out our blog here!

The Appeal of Hellboy

Hellboy cover image taken from Goodreads @

With a new film out, and this being the 25th anniversary of the character’s introduction, this week seemed like a good time to address Hellboy.

With Hellboy, Mike Mignola demonstrates a professor’s level of knowledge of history, myth, and folklore. Synthesizing this knowledge with elements inspired by Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft, Mignola has created a mythology of his own beyond comparison in comics and dark fantasy literature. And with that, nearly ever single compelling character of the story is in some way a monster, whether it be Abe Sapien the fish man, Roger the golem, or the half-demon Hellboy himself.

But it is also the heart of Mignola’s story to disregard that outward appearance and examine a character’s soul. Hellboy is a wonderful story about birth not defining a person’s worth, and outright thumbing one’s nose at destiny. Hellboy is a hero through and through, self-sacrificing and humble. Reading his comics chronologically, you can follow his incredible jaunt from one corner of the earth to another, to the bottom of the sea, and even into hell itself. And at every step along the way, moral choices follow him, and he ultimately proves his essential humanity through them.


If you’re a fan of books and hot beverages, check us out at Blue Spider Books. And check out our blog here!

The Appeal of Conan the Barbarian

Art by Esad Ribic. Image taken from Goodreads @–1

Conan is a character continually returned to in prose, comics, and films since his first appearance in 1932. Created by Robert E. Howard, a man who found it difficult to reconcile his views of the world with modern life, Conan is the ultimate misanthrope. Conan despises civilization and prefers a life in the wild, though he continually drifts back for wine, women, and opportunities to hone his craft and shed some blood.

I’m not saying I wish the world were exactly like the ancient age of Conan, but can you honestly say you’ve never just wanted to get away from it all and experience a version of the world entirely different from the urban jungle-dominated landscapes that can be seen on every continent except Antarctica?

What does speak to me on a level my life experiences and education push back against is the idea of riding free and making your way in life at the point of your sword. Friends, wealth, adventure, booze, sex are all there waiting for you, without the burden of a structured life to go with it all. I have to say, a life in fur briefs and an Atlantean sword at my hip beats the office grind any day.


If you’re a fan of books and hot beverages, check us out at Blue Spider Books. And check out our blog here!