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review 2017-06-08 07:03
CatStronauts: Mission Moon (graphic novel) by Drew Brockington
CatStronauts: Mission Moon - Drew Brockington

Energy consumption is too high, and in only 60 more days the world is due to run too low on  power to keep everything going. The World’s Best Scientist’s coolest plan is to build a solar power plant on the surface of the moon, because it will always be exposed to the sun. Major Meowser (the leader), Waffles (the pilot), Blanket (the technician), and Pom Pom (the scientist) are called together and tasked with training for and completing the mission.

I bought this as a birthday present for my niece, along with the sequel, CatStronauts: Race to Mars. It was cute, although I had some problems with it, mostly due to my being unable to make my brain shut up about the internal logic issues. For some reason I could accept that the cats' spaceship came out of a giant box and included instructions, and yet it bugged me that a power blackout during the day could cause complete darkness, and that Waffles was able to eat a sandwich through his spacesuit helmet.

Blanket was probably my favorite CatStronaut - I particularly enjoyed Blanket’s love for his little robot friend. Waffles was probably my second favorite. It made me smile to see that Waffles and Blanket had such similar levels of affection for completely different things.

My few issues with it aside, this was a nice little volume, and my niece enjoyed looking at the cats. I haven’t heard from her yet about whether she liked the story.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2016-08-28 07:31
Science fiction b&w comic collection - not bad but not brilliant
Astronauts in Trouble - Matt Smith,Larry Young,Charles Adlard

Containing all 3 story arcs, this black-and-white collection is simply illustrated. The first story deals with a TV news team treading where they shouldn't as they explore a story about space travel in the late 1950s with dramatic consequences. The second arc is set in a more modern era, present day, and deals with an entrepreneur's quest to go to the Moon and the news crew from the first arc end up accompanying him. The third arc set further into the future in a bar on the Moon has locals telling tales about events connected to the two previous arcs.

 

The language is full of slang so, if English isn't your first language (particularly US English), this may prove to be challenging. The black-and-white illustrations didn't work for me as they were not detailed enough: I'm too old-fashioned and like colour and detail!

 

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review 2016-08-27 17:53
Science fiction b&w comic collection - not bad but not brilliant
Astronauts in Trouble - Matt Smith,Larry Young,Charles Adlard
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review 2014-03-08 22:17
REVIEW: The Martian
The Martian - Andy Weir

Note: This was a buddy read with the ever-wonderful Me Grimlock King!. She was nice enough to let me choose the book for our BR, and for that reason, I think it was more up my alley than hers (*understatement*). Regardless, thanks for reading with me, Grim!

 

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I went into my read of The Martian with pretty high expectations. Everyone I know who has read it has had some pretty lofty opinions of it.

As I started it, I could immediately see why. This book, which tells the (fictional) tale of a stranded astronaut on Mars named Mark Watney, sucks you in immediately. I mean, here's how it starts:

I’m pretty much fucked.

That’s my considered opinion.

Fucked.

However, as I was reading The Martian, I started to become a little wary. Yes, Mark's plight and his efforts to survive were interesting, but it started feeling a little one-note. All of the hard science included was cool, but it didn't necessarily help the book with regard to the "riveting" factor. I started to think that this was a book that I would end up being the "odd man out" on, enjoying it to a degree but not understanding why it's so beloved.

Well, after finishing it, I'm happy to say that I was wrong. Turns out, this was a great damn book.

Now, with that said, it's not for everyone. You probably have to enjoy survival stories, and you have to at least be able to tolerate, if not like, hard science. It would also help to have at least some interest in sci-fi, space, astronauts, and that sort of thing.

But, when it comes down to it, I'm pretty sure that I've never wanted a fictional character to live as much as I wanted Mark Watney to live. Following the story to find out whether he ultimately makes it or not is completely nail-biting. It's stressful. I'm not kidding - I had stress dreams about this book (it probably didn't help that I had a fever at the time, but I digress).

Initially, as stated above, I thought the story was going to be one-note, but once it ventures away from the diary-style writing and shows what's happening on Earth, the change of pace is refreshing. I still loved the stuff from Mark's point-of-view of course, but it was nice for that to not be the whole book.

I'm also super impressed by Andy Weir's knowledge of the subject matter, and the research it must have taken to write this book. (Then again, he could have made 95% of it up and I'd be none the wiser, but hey, at least it sounded really impressive!)

As I got about 50% into this book, I couldn't put it down. I needed to know what was going to happen to Mark. The things he did in the story to try to survive were amazing (I'm sure if I were in Mark's position, I would have given up and taken the morphine shots), and I had to find out what it all amounted to.

 

If I had one "complaint," if you could call it that, I just wish that there was more. I wish that there was an epilogue to tell the events of what happened after the book's story ended. I kept pathetically hitting the "forward" button on my Kindle when I was done, just wishing, hoping, and believing that there had to be more.

(spoiler show)

 

So yes, great book. Riveting. Compelling. Suspenseful. Go read it.

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