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review 2018-11-17 13:20
Review: “Winter Oranges” by Marie Sexton
Winter Oranges - Marie Sexton

 

~ 4.5 stars ~

 

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text 2018-11-16 15:01
Reading progress update: I've listened 51 out of 440 minutes.
The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower I) - Stephen King,George Guidall

So this was going pretty well until we stumbled into some serious slut-shaming. Why do you hate women, gunslinger?

 

This probably dropped a star because of that (the line about regaining her maidenhood if not her head).

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review 2018-11-16 03:28
William Shakespeare's The Force Doth Awaken: Star Wars Part the Seventh
William Shakespeare's The Force Doth Awaken: Star Wars Part the Seventh (William Shakespeare's Star Wars) - Ian Doescher

It’s been a while since I last visited William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. When I read the Dramatis Personae and the rathtars were described as “jolly monsters” it felt like coming home. (And that was even before they started singing.)

 

Diving into one of these is always an adventure on multiple levels. How will Doescher Shakeaspeareanize this movie? What nerdy Easter eggs will he hide in the text? Do the rathtars have good singing voices? (The answers are: 1. Pretty damn well. 2. So many nerdy Easter eggs! 3. In my head they sounded an awful lot like the Three Tenors. It was magical.)

 

This is one of those books you may want to read at least twice. Once for the hell of it, and once more to see if you can find all those Easter eggs that Doescher teases in his afterword. I had to flip back through it right away to decipher BB-8’s dialog, which I’d been skipping over because it is not easy on the eye:

 

Zzwaflit blee roohblic bleeflib zilf blikflii,

Blox flirzooz blis blox flitblic bloozood flir

Reej zoodreej blee reej flirblip zzwaflit flirr

Bluuflir zoonflii flew blavrooq bleeflit blis!

 

Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like R2’s dialog, but when you realize what’s going on, it’s freaking brilliant.

 

Overall, this is a worthy addition to the series. It’s seriously Shakespearean Star Wars that doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s remarkably easy to picture the likes of Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver delivering these lines in classic theatrical fashion, but lest you forget it’s parody, there are the likes of the singing rathtars to remind you. I got a particularly good laugh out of the two Stormtroopers discussing the plot similarities to the original trilogy.

 

But I’ve gushed enough, and if I keep going I’ll start quoting entire scenes, so I’ll leave you with this bit of stage direction:

 

[Finn] salutes BB-8, who salutes in return using his droidly implements.

 

[source]

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text 2018-11-16 03:19
Reading progress update: I've read 168 out of 168 pages.
William Shakespeare's The Force Doth Awaken: Star Wars Part the Seventh (William Shakespeare's Star Wars) - Ian Doescher

Screw you, four-day migraine! I finished a book anyway! And it was good! And I'm counting it for the Festivus door!

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review 2018-11-15 18:52
Dark Force Rising / Timothy Zahn
Dark Force Rising - Timothy Zahn

The dying Empire's most cunning and ruthless warlord—Grand Admiral Thrawn—has taken command of the remnants of the Imperial fleet and launched a massive campaign aimed at the New Republic's destruction. Meanwhile, Han and Lando Calrissian race against time to find proof of treason inside the highest Republic Council—only to discover instead a ghostly fleet of warships that could bring doom to their friends and victory to their enemies.

Yet most dangerous of all is a new Dark Jedi, risen from the ashes of a shrouded past, consumed by bitterness… and scheming to corrupt Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side.

 

Recommended for Star Wars junkies and younger sci-fi readers.

The author leans heavily on the reader’s assumed knowledge of the Star Wars franchise. Now, it would seem that a person cannot live in our society these days without knowing the basics of the movies, but I admit that I have never watched them. So I have no emotional involvement arising from the films.

As I said in my review of Heir to the Empire, I find that these books would be better suited to the young adult age group and skewed toward the lower end of that—maybe age 11 to 14? Very simple vocabulary, uncomplicated plot, very black-or-white characterization. There are fights and deaths, but not described in gory detail. Princess Leia is pregnant, but that is the full extent of the acknowledgement of sexuality. Readers are very obviously supposed to be picturing Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill in their minds’ eye while reading and superimposing their film knowledge over the skeleton that Zahn provides.

Readers that enjoy this trilogy should also consider reading the Legend of Drizzt series by R.A. Salvatore. They require about the same level of reading ability and provide less graphic violence than some other science fiction/fantasy series.

Book number 298 in my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.

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