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text 2018-11-08 19:14
TBR Thursday
Shark Drunk: The Art of Catching a Large Shark from a Tiny Rubber Dinghy in a Big Ocean - Morten A. Str√łksnes
Magic Triumphs - Ilona Andrews
SuperMutant Magic Academy - Jillian Tamaki
The Mark of Zorro - Johnston McCulley
Dark Force Rising - Timothy Zahn
Hellburner - C.J. Cherryh

 

I'm currently working on The Witch Elm (which is due in 9 days) and The Waste Lands.  Not to mention that I need to finish A Fatal Inversion and get going on The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs.

 

I finally read 2 books last week because I was sick of them showing up here on Thursdays.  The same will probably be true of Shark Drunk eventually.  In the mean while, Magic Triumphs is due in 16 days, with 20 people waiting for it.  It will be my next priority after The Witch Elm

 

I think that The Mask of Zorro, with the rearing horse on the cover, will be one of my 24 Tasks of the Season.  Dark Force Rising will also fall into this category, being the second book of the Thrawn Triology. 

 

SuperMutant Magic Academy will count towards my Book Riot Read Harder challenge for 2018 and Hellburner is part of my ongoing Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.

 

You know what?  I'm cutting way back on reading challenges next year, so I have time to read what I please.  Not sure that I'm completely ready to abandon ship this year, but next year will be mine own, to do with as I please.  And I have ideas about that.

 

My sister from B.C. is coming to our province today and tomorrow I must driver to Red Deer to catch up with my youngest sister.  Then we will all go & visit my niece and her new baby, little Hazel.  Then, my sisters & I will go visit elderly relatives in our home town.  So, you will hear little from me until Tuesday.

 

Have a great weekend, friends.

 

 

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review 2018-10-26 07:08
'QUEEN OF THE FLAT-TOPS' OFFERS UNIQUE YOU-ARE-THERE VIEW OF WAR
Queen of the Flat-Tops - Stanley Johnston

The U.S.S. Lexington (aka "the Lady Lex") was one of the earliest aircraft carriers. Originally designed as a battlecruiser, it entered service with the U.S. Navy in 1925 and helped to usher in a new type of naval warfare. 

Here in "QUEEN OF THE FLAT-TOPS", Stanley Johnston, a journalist who was assigned to the Lexington in the earliest days of World War II in the Pacific, shares with the reader his experiences aboard her (based in large part on what he observed, as well as on interviews he had with various members of the crew - officers, pilots, and enlisted men) from the time the Lady Lex left Pearl Harbor to its final days in May 1942 during the Battle of the Coral Sea. This battle was in unique in that it was the first naval battle in history in which the opposing ships never fired on each other, whose outcome was wholly dependent on the weight and might of air power. 

Originally published in the latter half of 1942, "QUEEN OF THE FLAT-TOPS" offers to the reader a vicarious you-are-there perspective of life aboard an American aircraft carrier at a time when odds were heavily stacked against the U.S. Navy in the Pacific War.
 

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review 2018-10-01 20:51
Stealing Life - Antony Johnston
Stealing Life - Antony Johnston

I most recently came across Antony Johnston as the author of the graphic novel that was made into the movie Atomic Blonde and he's also the writer of another graphic novel series (The Fuse) where I've enjoyed what I've read so far. As a result, I had fairly high hopes of Stealing Life but sadly it didn't quite live up to them. 

 

It's a fairly unchallenging heist story, set in a world where magic and technology butt heads. Our protagonist makes a living as a thief but recently got in a mob boss's bad books for not killing a security guard and is currently scurrying around to make as much money as possible to pay said mob boss off. That's part of the reason why he (Nicco) takes on a job he might otherwise have turned down, working for a wizard to steal a magic amulet from the leader of a neighbouring nation. Naturally, things are not quite what they seem and Nicco finds himself up to his neck in plot and counter-plot, eventually helping thwart a revolution. 

 

One thing I thought was noticeable is that all but one of the named female characters in Nicco's world are sex workers. There's no judgement attached to that, at least, but for me it shows a degree of lack of imagination. There's also less attention given to the world-building than I might have liked, leaving me struggling to separate out the countries involved in the author's world. 

 

All in all, it was enjoyable enough but makes me wonder where the same depth of characterisation I've seen in the graphic novels this writer is producing disappeared to - it could have been so much better.  

 

 

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley on the condition of giving an honest review. 

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review 2018-08-13 10:41
Star Wars: Ahsoka
Star Wars Ahsoka - E.K. Johnston

It was probably a coincidence, but at the same time, Ahsoka had been around long enough to know that coincidence and the Force rarely went together. There was always some sort of link.

 

When Lucas created the Force, did he know he’d be forcing countless future authors into lazy (if entertaining) writing? Force Ex Machina: the easiest way to get your characters from point A to point B. For example:

 

Ahsoka – “I’m going to hide on this tiny Outer Rim agricultural moon that couldn’t possibly be of immediate interest to the Empire.”

 

Empire – “We are immediately interested in this tiny Outer Rim agricultural moon because reasons.”

 

OMG, WHAT ARE THE ODDS?! (Never tell me the odds!) The Force is to Star Wars books what London fog is to cozy mysteries, and the number of Force non-coincidences in this book is high.

 

Blatant for(c)eshadowing aside, I was hoping for an entertaining account of what Ahsoka got up to between her last appearance in The Clone Wars (which I absolutely recommend watching before reading this novel) and her first appearance in Rebels, and this delivers. Mostly. The climactic confrontation was a bit meh. Based on this book, I’d say writing action isn't E.K. Johnston’s strong suit. Her characterization is pretty good, though, so I’m looking forward to her upcoming Padmé novel.

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review 2018-08-01 01:02
Loyal Wolf
Loyal Wolf (Alpha Force Book 6) - Linda O. Johnston

Kathlene is a deputy sheriff who suspects a group of men, who have moved in to her town, are in the process of doing illegal activities. No one listens to her (she's a woman, and this is a theme among the Sheriff- he doesn't like woman who have opinions). So, she calls in an outside party to help investigate- Alpha Force. Alpha Force happens to be an elite military group made up of shifters and plain old people. Jock is the shifter in the duo that meets at her town.
This wasn't bad, but it wasn't awesome either. It kept me entertained. I thought the wrap-up happened fast and would have liked more suspense (there isn't much). I was glad that Kathlene was smart and could more than hold her own against the sexist Sheriff.

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