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text 2017-08-07 19:20
Light Space Opera Marred by Sexual Violence
Star Nomad: Fallen Empire, Book 1 - Lindsay Buroker

Lots of shitty sff tropes hitched to the specific kind of ugly sexual politics one finds in romance novels overwhelm what should (and occassionally is) a quipping romp through the universe. Rape threats and straight up sexual assault continue regularly from the first scenes to,the end of the novel. Before I get the "but that's realistic" chorus, I would like us to all take a minute and consider that this is clearly supposed to be a comic space fantasy with romantic elements, and the introduction of "rape as realism" is unnecessary, thematically jarring, and fucking stupid. And that's not even getting into a 45 minute diatribe about the very equation of rape with realism. 

 

Which is disappointing because there are some nice comic moments and a gift for the absurd in Star Nomad, hidden in under bad world building and rape threats. Sure, a lot of it was derivative -- Firefly has its fingerprints everywhere, from setup to character types -- but I'm not looking to some romp through a pirate-infested asteroid belt to blow my mind or anything. (Unless it's Yoon Ha Lee's Ninefox Gambit, and that shit was amazing.) The Paradox series by Rachel Bach, starting with Fortune's Pawn, contains many of the same elements found here, but is much more expertly done. Start there for your lighter space opera. 

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review 2017-07-22 21:43
If you're looking for dark visuals and super-serious Batman then you're in the wrong place.
All Star Batman Vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy (Rebirth) (Batman - All Star Batman (Rebirth)) - Scott Snyder,John Romita Jr.

If you're looking for dark visuals and super-serious Batman then you're in the wrong place. This is a massive road trip with Batman taking Two-face to find a 'cure' but thanks to Two-face's intervention everyone (villain, friends, and strangers) is trying to kill Batman and free Two-Face.
The artwork is okay but strange in places. But the colouring is great. Bright and inviting compared to other Batman comics I've read.

 

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review 2017-07-21 19:21
Comixology owes Grimlock something
Star Trek / Planet of the Apes #1 (of 5) - Scott Tipton,David Tipton,Juan Ortiz,Rachael Stott

My spate of comic reading is in part because I joined Comixology (or got an account there) because of free comics offered when I got Wonder Woman tickets.  It is awesome that I can read many of my kindle comics there, so I have being reading, largely, freebies.  This was one.

 

Well, that and I went, let's see whatwe can find that Grimlock has read.

 

 

I am one of those weird geeks.  I prefer reading.  I like Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr Who but my interest waxes and wanes.  It really depends upon a variety of factors, but mostly connected to the writing and the market push a group makes.  I guess I am a Trekie, Trek like Wars has always been a part of my existence, and I do not really understand how the true are mutally exclusive.  Quite frankly, considering the recent entries and reboots from both series, I have to give the edge to Star Trek right now.  Star Trek was always better with representation.

 

Largely that is because I love, have always loved Uhura.  Growing up and watching the original series, I had two choices of women to latch on to.  Chapel and Uhura  (yes, I know Rand was there too, but really it is two).  As a child, I saw Chapel as the mopey one and Uhura as the one who did things, so I went with Uhura.  Which is the highest praise I can give both Nichols and Roddenberry.  I love ZS' s protrayal of the role as well. I do not have a problem with Spock and Uhura has a couple (but can we please not have a relationship issue in the next movie?)

 

Therefore, this comic is great because in the opening panels it has Uhura and Sulu kicking ass as undercover Klingons.  Anything after that was not as good.  It wasn't paid and it was pretty standard OST.  But those opening panels/pages.  YEs!

 

As for the Planet of the Apes bit - look I never got into those movies in any boot whatsoever so ask someone else.

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review 2017-07-17 13:31
The Red Pyramid ★☆☆☆☆
The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan,Kevin R. Free,Katherine Kellgren

Boring with incredibly simplistic writing. Yes, I know it's middle grade fiction with children as the target audience, but so was the first Harry Potter and The Hobbit, which both offered immediately engaging characters, fascinating new-but-familiar worlds, and a sly humor that sucked me in immediately. This... didn't.

 

Audiobook via Audible. I gave it a full 30 minutes before I DNF'd.

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review 2017-07-13 16:22
The Chemist (DNF) ★☆☆☆☆
The Chemist - Stephenie Meyer

Welp, I gave it my best shot and powered through 25% before giving it up. It wasn't really terrible, but it was remarkably boring for something in the thriller genre. The MC is eyerollingly stupid.

(I mean, she seriously jumps to the conclusion that the subject she's been told to torture must have a multiple personality disorder as the most likely explanation for his radically different affect and body language. It was apparent to me, long before she even tortured him, that it was most likely that the government agency that had been trying to kill her for several years had misled her about the subject, and the guy was an innocent body double or close relative/twin or something. You can't tell me that she's never tortured an innocent person, or one who has no real information, before. That's patently unbelievable.)

(spoiler show)

The strong elements of Romance being introduced were also pretty off-putting

(especially in the context of a professional torturer and her torture victim)

(spoiler show)

But mostly, it was something about the prose. I've tried to think through it, but I'm not a literature scholar, so I probably can't articulate it well. There was just a relentlessly mind-numbing focus on telling the reader everything. She looks like this, she went here, she did these things, she drove this car, this is her strategy, she's taking these precautions and this is why. The author tells you EVERYTHING. Nothing is implied. Nothing is left to the imagination. The reader's senses are not engaged. Everything is explained, except a few clues about an apparent mystery that's not very mysterious. It was like listening to a technical manual being read aloud. After a little over 4 hours, I found myself engaging in stalling tactics to actually avoid listening to this book. 

 

All I know is that I'm only 15 minutes into another book, also in the thriller genre, and the difference in listening pleasure is just night and day. 

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive, using the Libby app. Ellen Archer's performance is okay. 

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