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review 2018-08-16 09:01
Strategy Strikes Back
Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict - Max Brooks

[I received a copy of this book through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.]

A collection of essays relating real-world strategies to examples from the ‘Star Wars’ franchise. As usual with this kind of book, some were good, and some not so good, and there were a few that didn’t do much for me, and/or seemed to repeat themselves (as well as be repeats of others). Still, I found it interesting, and a good starting point for more reading, since many of the essays don’t only rely on Star Wars, but also on actual strategy theories (Clausewitz, modern strategy-related articles, and so on).

Having only watched the movies, and not the animated Clone Wars series (and not having laid my hands on more than a couple of books from the former SW extended universe), I can’t speak for the accuracy (or not) of the essays discussing, well, other aspects of SW. From what I know, though, these essays are fairly accurate in their interpretation and depiction of the chosen excerpts from the movies.

Rating: 3.5 stars. Apart from the couple of points I made above (mostly the redundancy), I think it’s more interesting in terms of Star Wars than in-depth military strategy, and I’d have appreciated seeing more examples of real-world situations contrasted with the SW ones.

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review 2018-08-11 19:58
The Locksmith's Daughter
The Locksmith's Daughter - Sharmila Cohen,Karen Brooks,Karen Brooks

Mallory Bright is returning to her family home in disgraced.  At nineteen, she ran away with a man she believed to be the love of her life only to be taken advantage of.  Her father has rescued her and her mother has created a less shameful ruse for her to live by. However, Mallory is still seen as a blight by her mother and neighbors.  Her father, a locksmith has taught Mallory skills over the years.  Mallory is his lock pick, testing his wares.  He calls on an old friend, Sir Francis Walsingham to find employment for Mallory.  Walsingham sees potential in her skills and brings Mallory on as a watcher in his spy network.  Mallory is the key in exposing several Catholic threats to the Crown. Although, as Mallory begins to see the destruction she is causing, her loyalties to Walsingham begin to waver.

From the moment Mallory is introduced, I was latched on to this historical thriller. Mallory is intelligent, thoughtful and eager to learn.  She is desperately trying not to let peoples thoughts of her and her past effect her.  I immediately wondered what her shameful secret could be and why she blamed herself. Then, I was brought into Mallory's world of locks and lockpicking.  I learned about the intricacies of the locksmith world in Tudor England and how valuable a well made lock could be in this time-period.  Through Mallory's eyes I was taken into the dangerous world of Sir Francis Walsingham's spy ring and was able to see the talent and the tasks that were deemed necessary in order to keep Queen Elizabeth safe.  As Mallory trains and becomes and agent, she finds purpose and begins to forget her nightmarish past.  However, as her actions as a spy begin to bring harsh consequences to the people around her, Mallory wonders if the people Walsingham has deemed dangerous really are as threatening as he perceives, or if they are just people trying to practice a religion of their own.  Historical accurate detail of the political climate and descriptions fill out the writing, from stage production, food, dress and housing, I could picture Elizabethan England.   I also don't believe I had ever read about a hanging, drawing and quartering in enough detail to turn my stomach.   A dash of sweet romance from a brusque Lord Nathanial helps to round out this fast paced historical thriller.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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review 2018-07-17 21:38
Above All (A Heart of the Adirondacks Novel) by Rebecca Brooks
Above All - Rebecca Brooks


Happiness doesn't reside in false moments of perfection. It requires that we do the work. Above All is about knowing our worth. How can a person expect to find true love and happiness, if their not being truthful with themselves? Broken hearts, fresh starts and electric chemistry are a jumping off point for Casey and Ben. Brooks entrances with seduction, but the driving force behind the temptation is self discovery. Life is more than losing yourself in naughty moments. It's about loving every cell, emotion, hope, imperfection and choice that makes up who we are.

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text 2018-07-15 16:58
The Sword of Shannara Trilogy › Terry Brooks $2.99!!
The Sword of Shannara Trilogy - Terry Brooks

he Sword of Shannara
Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil ruined the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. But the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a true heir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races. 

The Elfstones of Shannara
The magical Ellcrys tree is dying, loosening the spell that bars the Demons from enacting vengeance upon the land. Now Wil Ohmsford must guard the Elven girl Amberle on a perilous quest as she carries one of the Ellcrys’ seeds to a mysterious place where it can be quickened into a powerful new force. But dark on their trail comes the Reaper, most fearsome of all Demons, aiming to crush their mission at any cost. 

The Wishsong of Shannara 
An ancient Evil is stirring to new life, sending its ghastly Mord Wraiths to destroy Mankind. To win through the vile growth that protects this dark force, the Druid Allanon needs Brin Ohmsford—for she alone holds the magic power of the wishsong. Reluctantly Brin joins the Druid on his dangerous journey. But a prophecy foretells doom, as Evil nurses its plans to trap the unsuspecting Brin into a fate far more horrible than death. 

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review 2018-05-25 00:00
Uprising - Ivie Brooks Uprising - Ivie Brooks Look, I don’t want to read this book. Nor do I want to purchase....shudder.

I guess we can’t attack authors here...i will just say this general thing:

I do want to review this book. Because I think a narrow perspective and lack of empathy and lots of righteousness make for a terrible novel. I also trend to think great authors are quite deliciously clever...not usually illogical or basically illiterate. So I want to, ya know, sample it. Kind of like eating those gross jelly beans just to confirm vomit isn’t a good flavor. But this is no way reflects anything about the author. I’m just noting it....for reading science. If you find it strikes too close , well...not that’s not my deal.
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