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review 2018-05-18 00:52
Good Morning, Midnight
Good Morning, Midnight: A Novel - Lily Brooks-Dalton

I'm sure there are plenty of people who will find this a beautiful and meditative read about the nature of loneliness and connectivity. I was not one of those people. Not by a long shot.

Maybe it's the result of years of studying literature and writing, but I could not stand the way this book was written. I know a lot of people enjoyed the prose, but again I was not one of them. There was no developed voice, and the style of the writing feels very much like the product of a writing program rather than an author developing a distinct voice. The metaphors were often tortured and the language repetitive and rote. More damning, I found the characters unbelievable, especially the astronauts (and cosmonauts). I did not believe these people and I did not like them. And the twists? I called them Very Early in the book (maybe page 20?), and they were aggravatingly pat. Perhaps I've read too many stories in workshop, or too many books in general, but I found the story laughably trite and predictable.

Here's the thing: I feel like Brooks-Dalton wanted to write a story about the nature of loneliness and the human condition. Which is great. The mistake is that she decided to shoehorn this story into a sci-fi genre and she totally dropped the ball. You can write literary sci-fi, but it's a tricky beast. You need to understand both literary trappings and genre trappings, and make them work in tandem. In this book they were fighting against each other. For example, the book kept pointing at science, and trying to make it a core part of the story, without ever understanding it. Science isn't a magic system you can just slot into your story to make it more interesting. It became evident that the research done was only very surface level, and the discrepancies became distracting. (Don't even get me started on all the errors made in regards to space and the space program.)

Not a science nerd? Maybe it won't bother you. Then again, an awful lot of people are going to enter into this book expecting at least some answers to basic questions set up by the premise, like what caused the apocalypse, and those questions are not answered. There really isn't much plot to speak of, and there is absolutely no world building. These are things many folks appreciate and expect in their narratives.

Look, here's the thing, if you're intrigued by the idea of a post-apocalyptic narrative, or you're interested in a duel narrative where a scientist and an astronaut work to solve a problem, this will disappoint you. It is neither of those things. This book is about isolated people navel gazing about how they came to a point in their life where they are alone. That's it. And a lot of people will enjoy that. Which is totally fine. Unfortunately I for one found it insufferable.

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review 2018-05-15 15:43
The Sword Of Shannara - Terry Brooks

Lo, these many years ago I read this. After seeing the TV series I decided to revisit the books. I remember borrowing them from the Libraries at the time but I only read so far before stopping, I think I just stopped caring and now that I'm revisiting I'm finding that I don't really care what happens to the characters outside of seeing where the plot is going to lead them. It is interesting to see a world that 's more SF than fantasy as it's a post apocalypse story where Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and all of that are as a result of a catacalysm and it's quite complicated.

Shea Olmford is a half-elf and Allanon takes him from his familiar world to help save the world from the Warlord King as he's the last heir of Shannara and the only rightful bearer of the Sword of Shannara.

It has a few lazy "all x do y" moments but otherwise quite readable.

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review 2018-05-03 18:21
So, that was finished
Avengers (2016-) #690 - Al Ewing,Mark Waid,Jim Zub,Pepe Larraz,Mark Brooks

Legacy numbers didn't last that long.   Marvel feels like it's really flailing.   They need to sit down, write good stories, and keep going with series for more than one year and a half, to be honest.   

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review 2018-05-03 18:18
Relief at the penultimate issue
Avengers (2016-) #689 - Al Ewing,Mark Waid,Jim Zub,Pepe Larraz,Mark Brooks

So, so close.  


This was just way, way, way too long!

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review 2018-05-03 18:08
Almost there
Avengers (2016-) #687 - Al Ewing,Mark Waid,Jim Zub,Paco Medina,Mark Brooks

Did Marvel really need to put this out once a week?   Nope, but they did anyway!

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