Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

Welcome to the Escape Velocity Collection!

We are an opinionated group of friends reviewing all sorts of fantasy and science fiction media. Don’t forget to get to know the curators and visit our curated Collection, where we discuss the stories that never cease to transport us to another world.

Will you escape with us?


Reviewed by:

In this Netflix series, Wednesday Addams is sent to her mother’s old boarding school after almost killing a kid at her former high school. Reluctant at first, Wednesday soon starts to feel at home as she tries to solve a monstrous murder mystery. The real challenge she faces is dealing with her preppy, colour-loving roommate.

This review relates to season 1

I’ve heard a lot of people waxing poetic about this series, so I finally decided to check it out.

I should preface this by saying that I’m not really an Addam’s Family fan. I didn’t grow up with it, and I haven’t seen much more of it than a few clips. I know who the characters are and generally what their “deal” is, but I’m not a huge fan of them.

I thought Wednesday was perfectly fine. Enjoyable enough that I didn’t turn it off, but definitely not interesting enough to draw my attention away from whatever else I was doing while watching. Wednesday is a pretty fun character, but I do have my issues with her. I get it, she’s an antihero, and that’s totally cool and good for her. But why is everyone in the show so obsessed with her?? Why does she have multiple people falling for her, even though she’s been dismissive of them and has zero chemistry with either of them? Why does Wednesday have to couple up in the first place?

Most of the characters weren’t very interesting, especially the men. The only truly fun character was Enid, who pretty much carried the show. I do think her inclusion was a very smart move on behalf of the writers. Wednesday Addams is a fun character conceptually, but she needs something to balance her out. None of the other characters managed to do this in the way Enid did.

I will say that I think Wednesday Addams seems like an incredibly difficult character to write a show about. She’s an amazing side character, but turning her into a main character must have been a huge challenge. I don’t think the writers did a bad job at all. I just think they had an almost impossible assignment.

This review relates to season 1

I was surprised that I was amused by this series. Wednesday was definitely a teen drama, but relatively well executed. I don’t have a lot of nostalgic feelings surrounding the Addams Family, and I thought it would be more horror-y than it turned out to be. Of course you get your fair share of teenager angst and there are some gory moments from time to time. But nothing unbearable. If you’re looking for a straightforward whodunnit series you can watch on a lazy evening, this might be your pick.

This review relates to season 1

It’s been years (decades?) since I last saw anything Addams Family related. I had a fondness for the 1991 movie, though, with its melodramatic and “colorful” characters and humorous goth vibes. It’s these two things that really make the franchise, I believe. Characters like Wednesday, Lurch, Thing and Cousin Itt, and the passionate relationship between Morticia and Gomez are what I still remembered, apart from a general feel.

I hoped Wednesday would invoke the same enjoyment I felt as a child when watching the 1991 movie. I was not disappointed. Though Wednesday is definitely its own thing, it took enough key elements from the franchise to speak to my nostalgia.

The plot of Wednesday is a classic whodunnit. The mystery is clever enough to keep most people guessing for a long time, though those familiar with the genre will quickly have an idea about who is the culprit. It’s decently executed.

Wednesday’s bigger strength would be its characters, though I felt there were some characters who worked really well, while others were quite flat or too unrealistic. I’d say that most of the female cast were strong. I loved Enid – she is the best werewolf girl ever <3 – and Wednesday, as well as their dynamic. I was also intrigued by the roles of Principal Weems and Bianca. However, I didn’t care about the two male love interests and their struggles.

On the whole, I agree with Lotte that Wednesday is a challenging main character to write. The way she treats other people should often have had more consequences than was the case. Sure, as viewers we might find her awkwardly dismissive demeanour endearing, but I hope people who really have to deal with it, would respect their own boundaries more.

One last small thought about the special effects… Thing and the werewolf were a delight to look at. I’ll always want more werewolves in my visual media, and I’ll forever be grateful to Wednesday for providing me with my heart’s desire.


Reviewed by:

In The Boys, superheroes are the instruments of corporate and political interests and care more for their reputation than for saving anyone. The Seven is a relentlessly marketed brand more than a a superhero team, and its members are shielded from the machinations of justice by the corporation that markets them. When Starlight is chosen to become a member, she gets an inside look at the dirt behind the façade. Meanwhile, a group of vigilantes is trying to bring superheroes – including the Seven – to justice for the heinous crimes and collateral damage on their record, including rape and murder.

This review relates to seasons 1-3

Wait, Peter is reviewing superhero media, even though his curator page specifies superheroes as one of his dislikes? What is going on here?

What is going on here is that Amazon’s The Boys dislikes superheroes about as much as I do! One of my criticisms has always been that rather than trying to have their superheroes solve real life, life-sized issues, superhero-writers need an alien invasion or an equally ridiculous supervillain for their hero to fight against. And The Boys picks up on just that: it sketches a world in which superheroes (’supes’) mostly worry about their favourability rating and social media following, all the while murdering and raping with impunity.

On top of that, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It recognises that the concept of a superhero is inherently a bit silly and plays around with it. It’s humorous, though the humour is on the crude side for me (and I can imagine some people would find it disgusting).

On the other hand, even though The Boys recognises that supes would probably become a tool for late stage capitalism and have a negative societal impact, its solution appears to be either (i) blackmail them; (ii) kill them without trial; or (iii) recruit or become a supe yourself to kill them without a trial – none of which are ways to address the systemic issues underlying the abuse of powers by supes. As a result, the series seems not to understand its own message on superheroes. And while it does highlight the very commendable message that ‘Nazis bad’, I feel it misses out on why people end up supporting Nazis, and that the message would perhaps have been stronger if – slight spoiler alert – it wouldn’t be about literal Nazis.

Then again, maybe I’m asking a bit much of The Boys – its not exactly trying to be literary and in the end, it is probably mostly about watching a black-haired Éomer bash in the heads of arrogant supes with a crowbar more than anything else.

And there is more to like: I think that there are a number of couples with great chemistry, the superhero company Vought is positively terrifying and cringe-inducing at the same time, and a number of the parody superheroes are super well done.

Overall, if you can stomach the violence, gore, and crude humour, The Boys is a surprisingly refreshing take on the superhero genre that managed to pull me in despite my preconceived notions – so I’m sure that it’ll work even better for viewers who actually like superheroes to begin with.

Reviewed by:

As a drilling operation in the Norwegian mountains results in a mysterious eruption that kills several people, paleontologist Nora Tidemann is summoned to share her theories on what happened. It is with reluctance that she surmises that the cause of this event might be stuff of folk tales and legends…

Let’s be clear. Troll is a typical monster/disaster movie, and not necessarily a good one. I really liked it though, as proved by my various passionate exclamations during the movie. I really rooted for the troll…

This movie works because of the titular troll and some impressive special effects. The troll, the unsung hero of this story, looks absolutely stunning and has the best characterization out of all the characters. The other – human – protagonists are also likeable, though.

The plot and writing of this movie are on the whole decent for its genre. Nonsensical at times, but because the actors and directer really leant into it, I interpreted this more as a style choice than as a internal flaw. However, I hope the Norwegian government would have other tactics in their arsenal besides blindly shooting bombs at unknown threats.

.A good movie to watch when you just want to gaze at what’s happening on the screen without thinking too much.

See also:

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January 15th, 2023


Collected on: January 15th 2023

The Name of the Wind tells the story of how a boy called Kvothe came to be one of the great legends of his time.

Welcome to this in-depth, spoiler-free discussion of The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss, a heroic fantasy trilogy of which the third installment is yet to be released. Our curator Robin added The Kingkiller Chronicles to the Escape Velocity Collection, a series of items that we believe represent the absolute peak of what the speculative genre has to offer.

Jop challenged Robin to defend her addition to the Collection – why is The Kingkiller Chronicles one of the best stories in the fantasy genre?

Defended By


Semi-opposed by


For years, I had heard a lot of praise for The Name of the Wind (the first installment in The Kingkiller Chronicles) before I finally came down to reading it. In fact, I believe you were one of the book’s fiercest champions and one of the main reasons I finally put it on the top of my list! I’m curious – how did you first stumble upon The Kingkiller Chronicles and why did it make such an impact on you?

To be honest, I don’t really remember who recommended it to me. I may have simply come across it on the internet when I was just starting to get back into fantasy a couple of years ago. The series has been a favorite with fantasy-lovers for years, and I have no trouble understanding why: it has an interesting set-up, detailed worldbuilding and many great characters. 

Characters and Plot

I would indeed say that one of The Kingkiller Chronicles best selling points, are its characters. Though I can’t say I like all of Rothfuss’ characters, I think most of them are compelling, even if I don’t necessarily like them. For example, I’m quite on the fence when it comes to how much I like both Kvothe and Denna, arguable the main characters of this story, but I’m very invested in their adventures.

Do you group Kvothe and Denna among your favorites? If not, can you name some of the great characters you had in mind and how their roles contribute to your enjoyment of the story?

I understand what you mean when you say you are on the fence about liking Kvothe, as his actions don’t always speak for him. He makes some very questionable decisions throughout the books and to call him arrogant would not be an exaggeration. However, if I look very deep within myself I find that I have a soft spot for him despite all of that. Deep down he is a good guy, and most of the time his arrogance stays just on the right side of cocky, so it doesn’t bother me too much. Denna is quite a different story I’m afraid: I mostly find her very annoying and have not really been able to find any reasons to look past that.

For me, the real strength of the books lies in some of the side characters, such as Elodin and Auri. They are interesting and unique characters who really spice up the book and make it a joy to read. You never know what you are going to get with them, and the scenes in which they appear are my favorite parts of the story.

There are indeed some good ‘spicy’ side-characters in this series. The story, however, revolves around Kvothe, and the reader is a fly on the wall of his life and his legend. While there is an overarching mystery, we mostly follow Kvothe’s day to day life. And – although he has many admirable traits – one could argue that most of his struggles come from his own character flaws. He creates most of his own challenges, thus driving the plot onwards, thus making The Kingkiller Chronicles a character-driven story. Do you agree with this perspective? Is this perhaps one of the reasons you enjoy these books? Or would you say there’s more to how the plot is structured than I paint in my picture?

I definitely agree that a lot of Kvothe’s problems are caused by his own stupid choices, which might make it a bit of a frustrating story to read for some. However, the way in which he manages to get himself out of these situations is never less than spectacular. Rothfuss has cleverly set up the story in such a manner as to ensure that these escapades do not become too unbelievable: we know from the start that we are getting the story of how one of the biggest legends of their world was created, and so as a reader you are more willing to accept whatever ridiculous adventures Kvothe gets up to. I personally really enjoyed this method of driving the plot.


The world in which the Kingkiller Chronicles is set probably won’t make it to the top of my all-time favorite fantasy worlds, mostly because in some ways it is quite a standard fantasy setting. However, it is clear that the worldbuilding is quite extensive, at least where the world’s mythology is concerned. As someone who enjoys worldbuilding yourself, what is your take on the world that Rothfuss has created?

I agree with you that the setting of The Kingkiller Chronicles in many ways isn’t very remarkable. Big medieval cities with taverns and castles are some of the staples, for example. However, I really liked what Rothfuss did with his multiple magic systems. Though most of them are derived from well-known depictions of magic, Rothfuss cleverly incorporates them into his own world and puts a new spin on them. Every scene involving Sygaldry or Naming was a delight to read. Another thing I like, is Rothfuss’s take on Fae, but this might just be because I like the concept of fey in general.

Also, like you said, the mythology of this world is very extensive, with a lot of myths, legends and folk stories, full of parallels and little hints to the future plot. Though some of this lore tends to be a little too long winding for my taste, I appreciate how Rothfuss uses this worldbuilding to tell his story. Which brings us to the next point.


Something that especially stood out to me while reading The Kingkiller Chronicles, is the unconventional way Patrick Rothfuss tells the stories of Kvothe and his world. He freely plays with different narrative techniques, such as framing stories, and at times even throws any traditional structuring rules completely out of the window.

Would you say this style of storytelling is one of this trilogy’s strengths, or perhaps something that makes it less accessible to readers?

Personally, I think this is one of the aspects that sets this trilogy apart from most other fantasy (in a good way). The love of storytelling is woven so masterfully through both the content and the form of the story, that these two come to strengthen each other. Perhaps the laborious structure might be a little too much for some readers, but in general I think that anyone who is willing to start a book of 600+ pages has to have a love of stories themselves.

The Doors of Stone

I’m somewhat hesitant to adress this point – Rothfuss receives more than enough disproportionate hate on this regard as it is – but The Kingkiller Chronicles is currently incomplete. A Wise Man’s Fear was released in 2011 and the final installment The Doors of Stone is yet to receive a release date.

Do you think the lack of its third installment does the trilogy a disservice? Or is it possible to enjoy the first two books regardless?

The story is definitely not finished, but I feel like we left it at a relatively good place. Even if the final part should never be published, I still think that the first two books are worth reading. They contain so much interesting material that I felt they were absolutely worth my time.

If I remember correctly, this is also what I told you when I encouraged you to read these first two books now, despite the open ending. Do you think I was right to tell you so, or would you have preferred to wait until the final part is released (if ever)?

I don’t feel you’ve misled me with that advice. Actually, I didn’t even read the ending of A Wise Man’s Fear as a (jarringly) open ending. Sure, you are left with quite a lot of questions, but it’s not a literal cliffhanger. Though I hope The Doors of Stone will one day be released, I could live with what we’ve already got. I think most people might feel the same way, if they start the series with the same disclaimer.


Alright, let’s summarize. The Kingkiller Chronicles is an – as of yet – unfinished trilogy that is still very much worth the read. It is a character-driven story about how a flawed character grew to be a legend. If you read this trilogy, expect to be charmed by unique side-characters and enthralling prose and narrative structures. Something to add?

No, well put!

Okay okay, that’s it for this collection post! Curious about the real name of the wind? Or what every wise man fears? Or just looking for a new fantasy trilogy to read? Pick up The Kingkiller Chronicles!

Review of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

The Name of the Wind tells the story of how a boy called Kvothe came to be one of the great legends of his time.

It probably won’t come as a surprise that I like this book a lot, since I am the one who added it to the Collection. I have already read both books in the series twice, and I strongly suspect this will not be the last time I return to them.

Is The Name of the Wind a perfect book? No, by no means. And yet, I love the characters so much that I am willing to look past its flaws. For a more extensive review of this series, read in our Collection Post why I think it deserves to be added to the Collection.

Reviewed by:

Review of the Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin.

The world is ending, but not for the first time. It was ended many times before, by earthquakes and volcanoes and famine. Seismic events can be controlled by Orogenes, people who can manipulate the kinetic and thermal forces of the earth to still quakes and bend the earth’s energy to their will.

In this world, a woman finds out that her husband has killed her son and kidnapped her daughter. A young girl is discovered to be an orogene and is taken to a place where she can learn to control it, and two powerful orogenes undertake a routine journey to help out a town in need.

I got this series as a present from my dad. I’d never heard of it, despite it being awarded a Hugo award and getting very good reviews on Goodreads. It took a good couple of pages to truly get into it. However, the writing style really helped me to stay invested even though I’d landed in the middle of a world that is unlike any I’d read about before. I’ve been trying to think of ways to recommend it to my friends, but I find it incredibly difficult to describe this book. Often fantasy can be easily compared to similar works, and very often it’s strongly based on European medieval history. This isn’t the case for The Fifth Season.

This novel features a couple of main characters. There’s Essun, who is an orogene from a small town, whose chapters are told in second person. This may not be some people’s cup of tea, but I found that it worked quite well and it really didn’t bother me. Damaya is a young orogene who really allows us a glimpse into how the world works. She doesn’t understand her powers yet, and neither do we at the start. Then we have Syenite and Alabaster, whose dynamic I found super interesting to read.

Of course, Orogeny is basically magic, and those who cannot use it fear it and the people who wield it. However, what really strikes me about Orogeny as a system, is that it never seems to go down the Elemental magic road. That isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with that, but I feel like lately, a lot of magic systems tend to be elemental. Ok –  maybe I’m mostly just still pissed about Fate: the Winx Saga.

What I’m trying to say is that magic in this book isn’t particularly thoroughly explained. We know where it is drawn from, but we don’t know its limits. Still, this doesn’t (so far, at least) lead to it being used to solve each and every problem the characters encounter. Rather, it ties in with the fact that the world as a whole is unfamiliar. We don’t know the limits of orogeny, because we don’t know the limits of the world that spawned it.

I’d really recommend this book if you’re looking for some non-western fantasy, with a dystopian edge to it. The writing is very fast-paced, and the characters are intriguing. This may be more of a difficult read for people who don’t like seeing lots of unfamiliar terminology, as it is used a lot in the Fifth Season. I’m not usually a huge fan of this, but because of the pacing and the fact that you don’t have to understand everything at the beginning, I easily got through it.

The Fifth Season is a clear example of a fantasy book that’s very different from other books in this genre, in a good way. Lotte explains this quite well in her review. This trilogy introduces the reader to a grimdark setting and magic system that can be overwhelming at first, but is compelling enough to pull you through this rough start.

The workings of orogeny – basically the magic system of this world that forms a red thread in the narrative – is explained via three different point of view characters, each in a different stage of life and highlighting different aspects of the setting. Without getting into detail, I can share that each character is interesting to read about. I could never quite predict what would happen, and suspicions I had were occasionally way off. There were two twists in particular that completely took me by surprise, even though I should have probably seen at least one of them coming.

One of the characters is written in second person, and this might have been one of the first times I encountered this perspective in a novel. It worked extremely well, though, and didn’t take much time to get used to. In fact, it inspired me to try it myself one day in my own writings. It was very informative.

The Fifth Season is in many ways just a set-up to a larger story, and an introduction to characters that have yet to show their full charm at the end of the book. I have no clue about what is going to happen next. Still, I’m curious to find out! Definitely worth the read.

I have heard only good things about this trilogy for years, so I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to pick it up. I am happy to say it lives up to the hype: although I have not yet finished the entire trilogy, so far I am enjoying it very much. The main thing that stands out is the fascinating worldbuilding. The story contains some really interesting speculations about the kinds of choices that have to be made in a world where apocalypses occur so regularly that the entirety of civilation has to be adapted for survival.

The book has a cast of varied and unique characters, who are definitely worth getting to know. My only quibble with the first book was that I sometimes felt a bit disconnected from them: while they were interesting, I didn’t immediately fall in love with them the way I hoped to. This did not stop me from enjoying the book however, and much of it was solved in the second book. Definitely recommended to people who are looking for something a little out of the ordinary!

Review: Wednesday – Netflix

Wednesday Addams is sent to her mother’s old boarding school after almost killing a kid at her former high school. Reluctant at first, Wednesday soon starts to feel at home as she tries to solve a monstrous murder mystery. The real challenge she faces is dealing with her preppy, colour-loving roommate.

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Review: The Boys – Amazon Prime

In a grim world in which superheroes are the instruments of corporate and political interests and care more for their reputation than for saving anyone, a group of vigilantes is trying to bring superheroes to justice for the heinous crimes and collateral damage on their record.

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Review: Troll – Roar Uthaug

Review of the Netflix movie Troll.

As a drilling operation in the Norwegian mountains results in a mysterious eruption that kills several people, paleontologist Nora Tidemann is summoned to share her theories on what happened.

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Review: The Fifth Season – N. K. Jemisin

The world is ending, but not for the first time. It was ended many times before, by earthquakes and volcanoes and famine. Seismic events can be controlled by Orogenes, people who can manipulate the kinetic and thermal forces of the earth to still quakes and bend the earth’s energy to their will.

Read More »