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text 2015-08-12 12:33
BookTube-A-Thon 2015 Wrap Up
The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend - Kody Keplinger
Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Vol.1 - Robbie Morrison,Dave Taylor,Alice X. Zhang
Variant - Robison Wells
Claymore Volume 11 - Kindred of Paradise - Norihiro Yagi
Batman: The Killing Joke - Tim Sale,Brian Bolland,Alan Moore
A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas
Rule of Two (Star Wars: Darth Bane, Book 2) Hardcover December 26, 2007 - Drew Karpyshyn
Claymore, Vol. 12: The Souls of the Fallen - Norihiro Yagi
Claymore: The Defiant Ones, Vol. 13 - Norihiro Yagi
Checkmate - Malorie Blackman

 

 

BookTube-A-Thon 2015 is over and I had a fantastic time! I love the BookTube community and I'm so grateful I got to take part. Although I had a busy week, I managed to get through a ton of reading and complete all of the challenges. I have to say I'm very proud of myself, although the books I read differed to what was originally on my TBR. You'll probably be seeing some full reviews soon. Here's the when, what & how I read over the 7 days.

 

DAY 1: 

 

 

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

Challenge Completed: Read the last book you acquired

Pages read: 140

I actually started this the night before, and I found myself getting sucked in. This is not the kind of book I would usually read but I gave it a go and while I had a lot of problems with it, I actually enjoyed it. The writing flowed very nicely and the main character was a great narrator. The story was a bit underwhelming but I wouldn't expect much more from it. Overall I flew through it, and I would recommend if you like contemporary high school romances. (Although, If someone had said that to me, I never would have picked this up. I'm not really sure how to describe it. Perhaps I'll try to get my thoughts together for a full review.)

My Rating: 3.5 stars

 

 

 

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor, Vol. 1 by Robbie Morrison, Dave Taylor, Alice X. Zhang

Challenge Completed: Read a book by an author who shares the same first letter of your last name

Pages Read: 128

I enjoyed the artwork, and I found they really captured Capaldi's Doctor quite well. However I found the two stories here to be somewhat underwhelming and unmemorable. Plus, the inclusion of Clara Oswald - who is my least favourite companion on the show, and I'm sorry but quite possibly one of my most disliked fictional characters of all time.

My Rating: 2.5 stars

 

 

DAY 2:

 

 

 

Variant by Robison Wells

Challenge Completed: Read a book with blue on the cover

Pages Read: 373

This was a reread for me, yet I found I didn't remember most of the details. I enjoyed it but I think if I had read this for the first time now, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. I realized how bland the characters, how unsatisfying the ending is. Still, I had a lot of fun reading it.

Rating: 4 stars

 

 

DAY 3:

 

 

 

Claymore, Vol. 11: Kindred of Paradise by Norihiro Yagi

Challenge Completed: nothing! oh well.

Pages Read: 200

On day 3 I got sick. It was awful, but I managed to get through this volume of Claymore, which was good, but I definitely would have liked it better if my head hadn't been spinning and my eyes blurring.

My Rating: 4 stars

 

DAY 4:

 

 

Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, Tim Sale 

Challenge Completed: Finish a book without letting go of it

Pages Read: 48

The artwork in this was absolutely superb, so beautiful and captivating. I found the story lacking in substance however, which was very disappointing. I would definitely recommend this to any DC fan, even if only for the artwork.

Rating: 3 stars

 

 

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Challenge Completed: Read someone else's favourite book

Pages Read: 254

I read the first half of this novel months ago, but because I read an eBook on my phone, I read bits and pieces at different times. I never got into the story. And,f or some reason, I was very doubtful that I would like it. I think because of the hype - especially on BookTube - I was worried I wouldn't enjoy it. But Sarah J. Maas is a fantastic author, and she really proved that to me in A Court of Thorns and Roses. I was up reading until 4:30am! (Note: I actually had a lot of problems with this book, despite my love for it. But you can definitely expect a review of this coming soon.)

Rating: 5 stars

 

 

DAY 5:

 

 

 

Star Wars: Darth Bane: Rule of Two by Drew Karpyshyn

Challenge Completed: nope. 

Pages Read: 218

Listened on audio. This was not only a fantastic sequel, but a fantastic novel overall. I loved Zannah, and once again the narrator did an excellent job. The Star Wars music and sound effects just really add to it and make it feel very much like it's set in the Star Wars universe. Highly Recommend. 

My Rating: 4 stars

 

 

DAY 6:

 

 

 

Claymore, Vol. 12: The Souls of the Fallen by Norihiro Yagi

Challenge Completed: nothing.

Pages Read: 200

Another strong volume.

My Rating: 4 stars

 

 

 

 

Claymore, Vol. 13: The Defiant Ones by Norihiro Yagi

Challenge Completed: nah

Pages Read: 192

This series is going really well. 

My Rating: 4 stars

 

 

DAY 7:

 

 

 

Check Mate by Malorie Blackman

Challenge Completed: Read a book you really want to read

Pages Read: 528

This is the third book in the Noughts & Crosses series and it continues to be fantastic, although my least favourite so far. The only thing is, how did I ever think it was a good idea to read 500 page book on the last day! *face palm* At least I succeeded! 

My Rating: 4 stars

 

 

So, in total, I read 10 books. 10 BOOKS!!! And now to add up the pages I read...

 

2,281 total pages

 

Hey, that's pretty good considering how short most of the books were! I had the best experience, and I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who made it happen, and to everyone who participated alongside me. I can't wait to see what next year will bring!

 

Happy reading!

 

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text 2015-07-28 23:36
Reading progress update: I've read 30%.
Rule of Two (Star Wars: Darth Bane, Book 2) Hardcover December 26, 2007 - Drew Karpyshyn

Really enjoying this audio book so far. The narrator is great and the story is a good continuation from the previous novel. Also love the music and sound effects!

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review 2011-02-15 00:00
Rule of Two - Drew Karpyshyn 3.5 stars, but I rounded up. A good read, though not as well told as the first book. I liked book one for Drew's impressive handling of Darth Bane's transition from a miner to a Sith lord. Rule of Two was more about the story of Zannah's own transition to become Darth Bane's apprentice, but I didn't find her journey nearly as dramatic, since we do skip ahead 10 years in the novel from the time Bane first takes her on.

The ending, however, was superb. It's one of those where you know that something awful's going to happen but you just can't wait to see how things play out, and when they do you think to yourself, "Wow, I totally saw that coming but dammit, it's still so awesome." Like most Star Wars books, the plot is completely predictable but Drew Karpyshyn always does such a good job of tying everything together nicely and making it all make sense, so I just learn to go with it. That said, you have to be willing to root for the "bad guys" to really enjoy the story, but then again, if you're picking up a Darth Bane book you probably already knew this well before you even cracked the cover.

Reading this, I also inevitably thought about combat in the upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, especially when reading about the different force and lightsaber abilities used by the characters when they fight independently or in groups. This novel takes place way after the setting of SWTOR, but considering Drew's background in video games and the influence of BioWare's Knights of the Old Republic RPG, I can't help but think many of the abilities I read about and their mechanics will make it into the MMO.
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review 2009-09-13 00:00
Rule of Two (Star Wars: Darth Bane, Book 2)
Rule of Two - Drew Karpyshyn If you liked Path of Destruction, you will like this one. It continues right where the previous book left off. The strong suit of the series is on the character development and on seeing how the Sith come to be One Master/One Apprentice. Actually, if one looks closely at what Bane is doing, he really is planting the seeds for the eventual fall of the Jedi we see in the Clone Wars films, which in terms of timelines, happens about a 1000 years later or so. Patience is one of the Sith's weapons. Also interesting is the relationship between and Zannah, Bane's apprentice. They argue; they get angry at each other; they are playing against each other even as they depend on each other. In the end, readers can see that Bane chose his apprentice well, but I won't give the ending away here. Meanwhile, the Jedi come to believe that indeed the Sith are gone, showing the high costs of complacency. As I have stated before in other reviews, I am not what people would call a "hardcore" Star Wars fan. I do enjoy the films (Classic more than new), and some of the fiction, but I don't lose sleep over very minor detail. So I do have a bit of a hard time with people who have been very negative on this series: either they are getting their Star Wars underoos in a bunch, or they just take themselves too seriously as if reading a little fluff (I have no problem calling this fluff; it is fun reading) would somehow soil their aspirations. Overall, the book was good entertainment. And it lays the ground quite well for what comes later in the Star Wars universe; for that alone, it is worth reading. But it is a pretty good tale too. I am definitely looking for the next one.
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review 2009-05-23 00:00
Rule of Two - Drew Karpyshyn "Darth Zannah, you are my apprentice. The heir to my legacy"
After greatly enjoying Star Wars. Darth Bane - Path of Destruction (PoD), I delved into part two.
Bane begins his training of his heir, Zannah, in the Dark Arts and continues to add confusion to the Republic and the Jedi Order. Can't really expand more on it than that, to be honest.

What I Liked:
One of the best things about this book is how it deals with such an under-explored area: the Sith. I enjoyed reading more about Bane, what happened immediately after the events in PoD, and seeing Zannah grow in the Dark Side.
Speaking of Zannah, she was one of those few female characters in the Star Wars universe (particularly recently) that I truly enjoyed without wanting to cry "MARY SUE!" after each scene she was in. I felt Karpyshyn did a superb job writing her as a child, balancing between her extreme skill for the Force and her naiveté. Also, I loved learning in flashbacks about her training and how they tied in to the current events (e.g. her first mission to draw the neek towards her was a great highlight and was perfectly placed with her mission to draw Kel into a confrontation with the Republic). She is a cunning woman, but yearning still for emotions, leading her to relationships with men, such as Kel. I enjoyed this view, showing that Sith cannot get all their fulfillment solely from the Dark Side.
Karpyshyn did, in my opinion, a good job moving from Bane's point of view to Zannah's. In PoD, Bane did most of the narrating; here, it is Zannah. We still see inside Bane's mind, which is great, but I do enjoy seeing the events from the apprentice who will carry on the legacy.
I also enjoyed the numerous Sith vs Jedi arguments in this book. I felt that they really brought both Orders to a new level of understanding, one that can't be shown in a movie or explained in most other books.
The pacing is quick. The characters don't spend much time sitting back, chattin' up the situation. They are out there, doing something. Yes, they have deep conversations, but they are perfectly blended into the surroundings so you don't feel like all they do is talk or they stop to talk about politics in a middle of a battle scene.
Karpyshyn also outdoes himself in the lightsaber duels. The latter one is particularly brilliant with five Jedi against two Sith. Won't tell you how that turns out, though I am sure you can guess.

What I Did Not Like:
I spent six years in college studying physics, chemistry, and engineering. I say this, because one of the biggest problems I have with this book is the following scene: Bane flies on a reptilian avian from the moon, Dxun to the planet, Onderon. Yes, you heard me, from a moon to a planet. Across the reaches of space. With only the Dark Side to encase him in a bubble of oxygen.
What the...??? Where do people come UP with these ideas? I like to think that I can turn my brain off and enjoy things, but this is too much!!
First off, does anyone know the density of the atmosphere in the Earth's upper layers? A cursory check will show that the ionosphere is not very dense...much less than the troposphere, where we live. For our daring duo, this means that FLIGHT would be nearly impossible for a reptilian bird! Flight for a bird is contingent on having a higher pressure on the underside of the wing than on the upperside. Since birds fly by flapping their wings and do not have an external fuel source (which is how rockets are able to fly), they would flap furiously and fall like dead flies. Not to mention, that this layer is "where many atoms are ionized (have gained or lost electrons so they have a net electrical charge)." If this is true on other Earth like planets (and at this point, we can't confirm or deny, but it seems to be more typical than not), then our riding duo are breathing IONS!!! This is crazy, you can't breathe ions!!! I don't care what weird Dark Side shield Bane puts around him (and note that it's only after they "leave the atmosphere" of Dxun that he does this!), that's gonna hurt!!
Okay, so the next point is: so let's say the planets are pretty darn close to each other (like they fudge in the book). Okay...if that's true, how do the gravitational powers inherent in both planets keep from ripping everything to shreds? Technically, no life should be on either planet, not if they get this close to each other, as the moon will pull at the planet and vice versa.
Tidal waves here on Earth show a very small idea of what gravitational forces can do. Now imagine that the moon is close to the size of the Earth (as it stands, it is approximately 1/4 of the diameter and 1/10 the surface area) and both are rotating about their combined center of gravity (the combined center of gravity of Earth and moon lies within the Earth's diameter, ensuring that the Moon orbits the Earth). We got some damn nasty tidal forces at work, that would have ensured that no flora and fauna would have made this their home. Not to mention, I have no clue how Dxun would get such a highly elliptical orbit to be INSIDE Onderon at its perigee and far away at its apogee. Add to that heap of incredibility the fact that the two planets are near the same size. They ought to be orbiting around their combined center of gravity (like Pluto and Charon), not around Onderon. Something is going wrong in this galaxy...
Okay, back to Rule of Two. Bane and avian went INTO vacuum (since there apparently was a wee bit of space--har har--between the two). So now we have the problem of traveling through space with absolutely NO external fuel drive in addition to NO oxygen and pressure (but we'll say that somehow Bane can accumulate enough of both to last him...well, don't want to spoil the surprise). So do Bane and avian spend the next 5 years floating to Onderon? Because it took the Apollo crafts THREE DAYS to reach the moon, traveling at about 3,000 meters per second and the distance between the Earth and the Moon is 384,403 km. Even given that Dxun and Onderon are closer than this, it would take Bane days traveling at a modest 60 mph (based on Earth birds of course) and this DOESN'T include that Bane can't accelerate or decelerate. FURTHERMORE, he is pointed haphazardly at Onderon, which means he could, quite possibly, MISS the planet all together!
And FURTHERMORE, how can he keep enough oxygen and pressure in his bubble to sustain him and his ride all this way?? People use a lot of oxygen, particularly when working. A human takes in about 500 cm3 in one breath with anywhere between 10 and 20 breaths a minute if there is no movement! So in one minute, if Bane is completely at rest, he is using 5000 cm3! This is no small area! I would love to see how he keeps enough oxygen in his bubble for TWO beings, one that is (or was) flying, how he keeps from his body fluids flying out of every orifice as he hits vacuum (does his bubble also provide pressure?), and how they continue to MOVE after they leave the atmosphere! I mean, they will have leftover momentum/inertia, but if Bane thinks that by flapping, the reptilian bird will still fly, he has NO KNOWLEDGE of Newton's Laws of Physics, particularly the third.
I will admit, as soon as I read this scene, I simultaneously wanted to laugh my a$$ off and throw this book at the wall. I can suspend a lot of belief--I read Star Wars for God's sake!--but this is more than I can handle. There are a million other things seen in the movies that never happen in real life. Laser bolts being dodged, hyperspace, sounds in space...the list is endless. I can handle those. But this? Nuh uh. No way.
Nit Pick Section
1.The character of Johun. I understand why he is there: to contrast with the Sith. However, I found his character bland and really treads that Marty Stu line (i.e. sneaking onto the planet despite orders and being, in one sense, promoted for it). A far more interesting character to have seen would have been Farfalla.
2.Zannah is described as the prerequisite stunningly attractive woman (though this isn't too hard to stomach, as she would need to be in good physical shape anyway).

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
Language is Star Wars typical.
Bane mentions that Githany was his lover. Zannah takes her own lover, Kel. They share a bed and a few kisses, but their relations are restricted to that.
Violence is the heavy portion. A reptilian avian rips out the throat of another. Bane goes on killing sprees, as does his young prodigy. One body is cut into pieces. And Karpyshyn doesn't hold back on the gory description.

Overall:
Minus a serious scientific faux pas that made me question all subsequent science related events in this book, this is an amazing novel. It beautifully expands on what began in Path of Destruction and carries it to the next level. Highly recommended for those who enjoyed the first.
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