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review 2018-06-13 16:32
The Shepherd's Crown (Discworld #41, Tiffany Aching #5)
The Shepherd's Crown (Tiffany Aching) - Terry Pratchett

Endings are sad no matter if it happens suddenly or you know it’s been coming for some time, but all good things come to an end.  The Shepherd’s Crown is the final book of Tiffany Aching journey into mature witch as well as the 41st and last Discworld book by Terry Pratchett.  Not only was this the last book, finished before Pratchett’s death, but saw the biggest development in the series ever—warning spoilers below.

 

While Tiffany Aching continues work as the Chalk’s witch both see and Jeannie the kelda feel something is about to happen, which it does with the death of Granny Weatherwax in Lancre that sets off a chain of events.  Granny leaves everything, including her steading, to Tiffany thus making her be seen as “first among equals” amongst witches.  But the death of Granny results in a weakened barrier between the Disc and Fairyland as many elves seeing the Queen as scared and cautious after her defeat by Tiffany years before and it only grows when they learn goblins have been accepted in human society and that iron—railways—now rule the land.  The Queen is usurped by Lord Peaseblossom who begins raiding into Lancre and the Chalk, which adds to Tiffany’s burden of covering two steadings in to locales that becomes a bit easier when a Geoffrey leaves his noble family and travels to Lancre to become a witch and turns out to have some talent—for a man.  Gathering together witch allies, the Feegles, elderly men looking for a fight, and the deposed Queen to battle an invasion, Tiffany uses the power in the Chalk to defeat Peaseblossom—who killed the Queen in battle—then summon the King of the Elves—who kills the usurper for killing his wife—to prevent them from ever returning.  Afterwards Tiffany knowing no witch can replace Granny give the Lancre steading to Geoffrey then builds herself a hut from the bones of her own grandmother’s hut to have an official residence of her own.

 

Pratchett did not complete this book as he would have liked to as Neil Gaiman stated in a later interview and the clues were there for a more emotional ending and closure for fans, but this unfortunate missed opportunity does not detract seriously from the book.  On the whole, the plot and character developments were nearly perfect with the only except of Mrs. Earwig who felt like she had more to be developed but that Pratchett hadn’t had enough time to provide it.

 

The Shepherd’s Crown is a book of endings for numerous reasons and because of that some people do not want to read it, especially those who have been fans longer than I have.  However eventually I hope those people will eventually read Terry Pratchett’s last Discworld book and see that even right up to his own meeting with Death that he strove to create something that made you think and show your emotions.

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text 2018-06-03 01:37
Downloaded the app
Transformers Robots in Disguise: Where Crown City Comes to Life - Caroline Rowlands

This is the first app-enabled VR book in the Transformers universe.   (That I can remember?   I've been running on anger and stress, and now it's depression so I'm just worn out and may not be an authority on anything right now?)

 

Anyway, I needed this after the shitshow that was my brother's wedding.   

 

I got drunk af to get through it, and witnessed some of the scariest things I've ever seen - that was all because my brother pushed someone into a corner.  

 

I deserve this.   My sister's home, but she's no longer talking to anyone in the family and isolates herself in her room, so it's like I'm alone.   

 

The newest season of Supernatural sucks, so I'm just gonna focus on this right now.   This book is pretty basic, but I'm hoping the VR aspect makes up for that.

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review 2018-05-27 16:45
An efficient Star Trek adventure
The Covenant of the Crown - Howard Weinstein

Howard Weinstein is a prolific author of Star Trek franchise novels, and if his first one is any guide it's easy to see why. In it he provides an efficient tale of a planet whose Klingon-sparked civil war is winding down and who needs their exiled king to return to cement the peace. Due to his personal connection with the king James Kirk is ordered to transport him to his homeworld, only to arrive to find the monarch near death. To salvage the mission, Kirk must retrieve the all-important crown and convince the king's reluctant daughter that she has the strength necessary to assume the throne — all while dealing with a Klingon battlecruiser and Klingon intelligence operatives who are determined to do everything within their power to stop the Enterprise crew form fulfilling their mission.

 

The plot of Weinstein's book is not that different from that of an episode of the original series, which often had the Enterprise crew intervening in the planetary politics of strategically important worlds. What Weinstein does is put Leonard McCoy at the center of events and expand the scale beyond what was ever possible in the series by making it a truly interstellar tale, with journeys to multiple planets, spaceship pursuits, and struggles with alien fauna. While Weinstein does not draw any great moral from the tale, he does nonetheless provide readers with an engaging adventure, one that is fresher for its scope and its concentration on a previously under-utilized character.

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text 2018-04-25 14:38
Reading progress update: I've read 15%.
The Poisoned Crown (The Accursed Kings, Book 3) - Maurice Druon

At this point, I think I've spent more time on the footnotes than I have on the actual book. Name the last book you read with footnotes that were more interesting than the book. I know I can't. 

 

Another one of my favorite things about this book is the way the author will kind of go off and be like "Hey, don't get too attached to this guy. He's not going to make it to the end of this book. Also, watch out for this guy. He's planning something."

 

 

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review 2018-04-19 05:23
New beginnings
Four Ways to Forgiveness - Ursula K. Le Guin

These are four loosely connected but independent short stories set at the start of Yeowe's independence from Werel, after 30 years of revolutionary war. They are the stories of people as different as they can possibly come, coming to terms. With loss, with cultural differences, with a place in society, with the past. They are all also big on starting anew. And, of course, feminism. The right to freedom, to a voice, to vote, to an education, to not be raped. These are all discussed and are an important part of the book, given the planet's recent upheaval and it's heavy history of slavery and male-dominated environment.

 

I found it bittersweet and lovely, and ended up with a huge bunch of quotes saved and a lump in my throat that I know not what to do with. There is so much wrong with this planet, so much hurt, and yet... it is so hopeful. I guess forgiveness is a kind of hope. Another chance. Much like love; another thing that permeates the book and is ever-present in every story.

 

I have closed it, as so many stories close, with a joining of two people. What is one man’s and one woman’s love and desire, against the history of two worlds, the great revolutions of our lifetimes, the hope, the unending cruelty of our species? A little thing. But a key is a little thing, next to the door it opens. If you lose the key, the door may never be unlocked. It is in our bodies that we lose or begin our freedom, in our bodies that we accept or end our slavery. So I wrote this book for my friend, with whom I have lived and will die free.

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