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review 2018-09-16 18:29
Solving mysteries when the Doctor is out
Doctor Who: The Face of the Enemy - David A. McIntee

On the surface David A. McIntee's novel is a curious contribution to the "Past Doctor Adventures" series: a Doctor Who novel without the title character. Yet McIntee pulls it off superbly by drawing upon the rich collection of supporting characters that have been introduced over the years. Setting it during one of the Third Doctor's unwilling excursions on behalf of the Time Lords, it's premised around two seemingly unrelated events: a violent bank robbery and the crash of a jet containing the body of a junior governmental minister one who is still very much alive in London. Called in to investigate the latter mystery, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart finds a substitute for the absent Doctor in the form of a husband-and-wife team with familiarity with the unusual: Ian and Barbara Chesterton, two of the Doctor's original companions.

 

Over the course of the book McIntee has to mix both the show's well-defined characters with his own original creations in a context that is unusual for a Doctor Who story. This is a challenge that he pulls off with considerable success, devising a novel that manages the difficult feat of offering an original mix of story elements that still demonstrates considerable fealty to his source material. And as successful as he is in depicting the portrayals of the Brigadier, Ian, Barbara, and the Doctor's other friends in the show, his greatest success is in capturing the Master in all of his Third Doctor glory. Though the character of the Master has been a longtime foe of the Doctor's he was never better than in Roger Delgado's original portrayal of him as the suave sadist. McIntee captures him in all of his arrogance and deviousness, making for a very different sort of dynamic than is possible with any of the Doctor-UNIT combinations. It all makes for an adventure that demonstrates the rich storytelling possibilities that exist in the Doctor Who universe, even with its eponymous character is absent.

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review 2018-06-13 01:04
The Final Enemy by Dan Petrosini
The Final Enemy - Dan Petrosini

Imagine Jack Amato as a older, boring, arrogant Peter Parker who never got bit by a crazy spider and became a super hero. I never really warmed up to Jack and he plays center stage for the entire story. He wants to be an investigative reporter but mostly he has contacts where he wheedles info out of people, through begging or guilt trips. I also simply found him boring. I don’t have to like the main character to find them interesting and get into their story (like in Brave New WorldWuthering Heights, or Breaking Bad).

The main premise of the story held promise. A mysterious meteorite has crashed into the Earth and it has a very fascinating power: it grants immortality to most humans. You can still be murdered or die in an accident and there are a few medical conditions it can’t cure. So initially, there’s the breaking of the story and figuring this out. Then we have the sharing of the meteorite so all can benefit. Finally, what happens to the world if the population greatly increases because birth rates remain the same but death rates greatly drop off. Yet there was very little science and I do love my science in my science fiction. What little science bits were included made me cringe. As a biologist, I felt the author was just tossing some genetics terms in there without really understanding what they meant.

The setting was very one dimensional. This story takes place in the later half of the 21st century. Initially, there’s a few remarks about self-driving cars and other tech but we never have any examples. Honestly, this story could take place in the 1980s since the future tech had no role in this story.

All the decisions are made by male characters. Laura (Jack’s girlfriend) and Jack’s granma are the two recurring female characters. They are there to provide support and not much else. Laura initially has her own life but that is quickly minimized. In fact, there’s a scene where Laura is talking with Jack where she tells him she doesn’t want to be eclipsed by him. That gave me a chuckle because that happened several chapters back.

My favorite parts of the story were all the different ways the US government attempted to keep everyone fed. Some of these were pretty straight forward, like limiting the number of births, while others were more radical (and therefore more interesting). There’s also little snippets about how other countries are handling this unexpected world tragedy. I did feel that the tale left some big ideas out such as what people would grow at home to supplement their diet (anything from veggies to mushrooms to insects).

All together, the story has an interesting underlying backbone but it was clumsily executed. The characters were one dimensional and boring. I wanted more science but would have been satisfied with awesome characters had they been there. The story does leave us on a cliffhanger with possible hope hanging ready for Book 2. 3.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Joseph Kidawski was a good pick for the voice of Jack Amato. He sounds like a corn-fed midwestern reporter and he did a decent job of putting emotion into Jack’s voice. His female character voices were feminine and all his characters were distinct. There were a few times where a sentence or two were repeated. Twice I noticed a slight change in volume. 4/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Dan Petrosini. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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review 2018-03-07 01:13
In Debt to the Enemy Lord - Nicole Locke In Debt to the Enemy Lord - Nicole Locke

Book review of historical romance novel In Debt to the Enemy Lord by Nicole Locke.

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review 2018-02-27 03:46
Easy as Enemy Pie
Enemy Pie - Derek Munson,Tara Calahan King

A boy decided to make an enemy pie with the new boy in town. In order to make enemy pie, you must "pretend" to be friends. After pretending to be friends, the two boys became true friends. This book teaches students about acceptance and that bullying is not acceptable behavior. The activity I would be the opposite of an enemy pie. My students will create a friendship pie. The students will choose what qualities make a good friend and how much of that quality does the friend need. I can also integrate measurement conversions into the lesson. 

 

Reading Level: Lexile AD550L

 

Grades: PreK-2nd

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review 2018-02-03 13:12
Enemy
Enemy (On the Bones of Gods Book 1) - K. Eason

Enemy was a book that divided me. On the one hand I was liking it, even though the story was not that special and fits very well in the well established fantasy genre. On the other hand, the writing was, for want of a better word, quirky and it didn't always work for me. So much so, that I still am undecided on this book.

But, my interest has been sparked and I might give the second book a try as well.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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