Sufficiently Advanced Magic

Adventure awaits in this land of magic and mythical gods!

Five years ago, Tristan Cadence disappeared during his Judgement – a potentially fatal quest to earn a magical attunement. Now, it is Corin Cadence’s turn to enter the Serpent Spire for his Judgement, and Corin has only one thing on his mind – find his brother.

By completing the Judgement, Corin hopes to earn a powerful attunement that will enable him to find his brother. As with all heroes, things never go as planned. While Corin does survive the Judgement, the attunement he receives is not one he was hoping for; furthermore, his actions in the Spire may have put him on the wrong side of the gods. And the last thing any teenager wants, is to be an enemy of the gods.

Sufficiently Advanced Magic, book one of the Arcane Ascension series, by Andrew Rowe quickly draws readers in with it’s easy to read (or listen to) writing style and well developed characters. Once you start, you won’t want to stop.

Arcane Ascension is one series I will be adding to my “favorites” list for teens and adults.

In terms of content, I give book one, Sufficiently Advanced Magic, a PG rating and book two, On the Shoulders of Titans, a PG-13 rating. The series contains some brief references to LGBTQ issues/topics. For the most part these references are quick and almost feel like they were thrown in there for the sake of being politically correct. However, because the second book has a few more references and contains some innuendoes, I would be hesitant to recommended it to younger children. (I will note that books one and two did not contain any sex. I have not read book three yet, but I hope it continues to remain relatively clean.)

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is another of Netflix’s new Christmas movies, and … its a musical!!

Jeronicus Jangle is the Willy Wonka of toys. He is the world’s greatest inventor! But tragedy strikes. One night, Jeronicus’ ideas are stolen and produced by someone who was once a friend. Unfortunately, his ideas weren’t the only thing Jeronicus lost that night. As days and years pass, Jeronicus slowly loses his creativity, lust for life, and ultimately his family, leaving him a grumpy and lonely old man. That all changes when his granddaughter, Journey, shows up. Her creative, joyful persistence is no match for her cranky old grandfather. Ever so slowly, he begins to rediscover the magic in life.

The cast of Jingle Jangle is stellar! My favorite character by far was Journey; Madalen Mills does a fantastic job capturing Journey’s enthusiasm. Forest Whitaker does an excellent job playing the cantankerous Jeronicus, and Keegan-Michael Key does an excellent job as the villain.

I didn’t realize when I started watching it that Jingle Jangle was a musical. I absolutely love Madalen Mill’s (Journey’s) voice. She sings one song in particular – Square Root of Possible – which is my favorite song in the show. It is sort of the “Let It Go” of the film.

The vibrant colors, stellar cast, and fun music make Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey an interesting movie. While I can’t say I enjoyed it (I thought the story was a little slow), I was blown away by the excellent voices and drawn in by the fun colors and believable cast.

If you are looking for a family friendly Christmas movie, and are tired of the old classics, you might want to check Jingle Jangle out on Netflix.

Christmas on the Square

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square is what I would call a “cringe-worthy” movie. It is one of those movies you want to like but aren’t quite sure if you can. The sheer outrageousness makes you want to laugh and cringe at the same time. That being said, I did get goosebumps at one point in the film, so they must have done something right.

In all honesty, I’d probably watch it again simply because I liked the music. The cast is strong and have excellent voices; there is no doubt they can sing.

So, if you find yourself board of all the traditional holiday favorites and believe yourself strong enough to survive the cheesiness that is Christmas on the Square, you might want to check it out on Netflix.

Secret Society of Second-Born Royals

Ever wondered what would happen if our favorite princes and princesses had siblings? Well, wonder no more. Disney’s Secret Society of Second-Born Royals answers that question. They would be super heroes!

This movie is enjoyable for all ages. While adults my spot a few plot holes, they are not so egregious as to prevent you from enjoying the movie. The ending does imply a possible sequel, and quite honestly, I hope they make one.

Be sure to check it out! It is available on Disney+.

Also, fun fact, there was no profanity in the film, something my sister pointed out to me at the end. She was right, and I am still blown away. The show is rated PG, but I think it could have easily been rated “G”, even with the action scenes.

The Knight Before Christmas

1 year! That is how long it took for my sisters to get me to watch The Knight Before Christmas. I like Christmas movies, but I have to be in the right mood to tolerate a Christmas romance (or any romance for that matter). Let’s just say when they finally got me to watch it this holiday season, I wasn’t in the “right mood.” In fact, I was in a pretty foul mood, but my sour mood was no match for Sir Cole & his fair lady Brooke.

The Knight Before Christmas is a cute, comedic story about a knight from the 1300s seeking to fulfill his quest and a present day school teacher who doesn’t believe in true love (a common theme in all romance stories, I know.) The fun begins when Sir Cole’s quest transports him out of Norwich and into present day Ohio. Let’s just say that it takes some time for a knight of the 1300s to adapt to 21st century customs, and it makes for some good laughs.

So if you need a lighthearted Christmas movie, check out Netflix’s The Knight Before Christmas.