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review 2018-08-16 17:31
4.2 Out Of 5 "Diabolic's Rule, & The Grandiloquy Drool" STARS
The Empress - S.J. Kincaid

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Empress

S.J. Kincaid

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It’s a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward—one where they don’t have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite.

 

But having power isn’t the same thing as keeping it, and change isn’t always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries—and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress.

 

Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she’s found inside herself to the whole Empire—or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I really loved the first book in this series and like most people I thought it was going to be a stand-alone.  I was fine with that, but someone must've really wanted this story to continue…and continue it did. 

 

One of the things I loved about the first book in this series was its darkish feel and unfortunately this was missing that darkish-ness most of the way through, added to that, the first half was way too political by far.   I was really leaning towards a 3.5 Star rating on this, right up until the end. 

 

That ending saved this from a lower rating…because…I loved that ending.  Thankfully, Nemesis pulled through and oddly enough, Tyrus did too, in a way.  I can see a lot of readers not liking where this book was going by the end, but I am not one of them.  I'm really intrigued to see where this story goes in the final book…I'm hoping since it was mentioned, that it will involve going to Earth in some way…I just wish they would have someone else narrate the audiobook.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.2/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 3.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.8/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ definitely a "to be continued"

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Book Cover~  It's okay…

Narration~ 3 for Candace Thaxton, I don't really like her voice…too nasally and I wish this series was done by someone else.

Series~ The Diabolic #2

Setting~ Outer Space

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-08-15 14:56
Open the Pod Bay Doors, HAL: “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clarke
2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke


“I can never look now at the Milky Way without wondering from which of those banked clouds of stars the emissaries are coming. If you will pardon so commonplace a simile, we have set off the fire alarm and have nothing to do but to wait.”

In "The Sentinel” by “Arthur C. Clarke"



“The time was fast approaching when Earth, like all mothers, must say farewell to her children.”

In “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clarke 



"Open the pod bay doors, HAL"


In the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clarke, Stanley Kubrick



As a 15 year old I was about to start watching a Saturday matinee film (it may have been Thunderbird) when a future presentation advert came on. It looked like a fantastic space adventure so a week later I went to see it. I was amazed - incredible looking spaceships - computers which weren't just rows of flashing lights - shots which looked like they could have been taken on the moon and a fantastic space station. I just couldn't work out how they'd made it in the same way I couldn't work out the ending (nor could many others as I recall because there was a collective 'Ay' when Bowman turned into the Starchild). I saw it again about 2 years later - after I'd read the book - with a slight air of smugness knowing that I probably had an edge on many others. It's a great film that raised so many bars but of course at the time I was far too young to be able to 'trip' out on it unless you include sherbet dabs.

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-08-07 19:33
Stars Uncharted
Stars Uncharted - S. K. Dunstall

[I received a copy of this book through Penguin’s “First To Read” program, in exchange for an honest review.]

I have a soft spot for sci-fi stories with rag-tag crews and old spaceships; unsurprisingly, this is the kind of story that will get my attention.

The story revolves around two main female characters: Nika, a body modder on the run from her abusive-slash-mafioso boyfriend, and Josune, undercover engineer on board a ship known as “The Road” (these aren’t spoilers: you learn about it in the very first chapters). As they both have to face their own brand of trouble, their paths converge towards The Road, always underlined by the shadow of a man named Goberling, who almost a century ago came back from an expedition with precious metals… but never revealed where he had found them.

This is space opera through and through, with a dash of transhumanism. It’s a world where humanity obviously colonised many worlds, and where people regularly reinvent themselves through body modding—which offers pleznty of possibilities, too, considering how many characters in the book aren’t who they claim to be. It’s also a world of commercial ships, of big corporations that no one dares to cross, and of exploration and legends: The Road’s full name is “The Road to the Goberlings”, and another ship, the Hassim, is renowned through the whole galaxy as an exploration ship whose crew has dedicated itself to finding Goberling’s lost world.

In general, I quite liked the characters, and the relationships developing between them. They’re all their own kind of badass, even the ones, like Nika, who’re not crew that learnt to fight on a ship. There’s a slight dash of hinted romance, but never enough to interfere with the story. The budding friendship between Nika and Josune never veers towards that annoying trope of “female friendships always tinged with interest for A Man”. The Road’s crew sticks together, bound with a loyalty that keeps growing with each trip. And the regular quibbles between Nika and Snow (another modder), was overall fun enough, also because you can feel the nascent respect underneath.

Other things I liked less, though. First, the pacing was sometimes weird, carried in places by short sentences and paragraphs that felt too abrupt; the characters are constantly on the run, and at times it felt that not much happened, that everything was mainly their running away, with bits of story in between.

Another problematic aspect was Nika’s obsession with modding. I enjoyed the more technical side of it (I wish we had such machines, hah!), but she too often went about imagining how she’d reinvent the people around her, from their hair to judging them too fat, which was definitely obnoxious (and motivated much more by aesthetic judgements than by health reasons). For a character who prides herself on being a trend-setter, her trends were somewhat quite… conservative, a.k.a. everybody has to be slim and trim. Somehow, I’m not convinced that if our future does hold such body modding in store, everyone will want the same.

Finally, I wasn’t fully on board (look what I did there) with some of the plot twists, because they were too easy to guess, and I could see them coming a parsec away, to the point that I couldn’t understand how the characters didn’t see it sooner. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it was made too obvious, too soon? I don’t know. And we don’t get to learn that much about Snow, which is a shame, because I suspect he also has his closet full.

Conclusion: 3 to 3.5 stars. In the end, some parts I had trouble with, others kept me hooked, so while it wasn’t the best book I read this year, it was nonetheless very entertaining, and set in a world that I wouldn’t mind revisiting, because a single book can’t possibly reveal all there is to know about it.

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text 2018-08-07 10:43
Germany & Central Europe, seen from the International Space Station

Tweet by the current commander of the ISS, German Alexander Gerst.

 

I'd been planning to shut up about the weather, but this just came too pat ... Will finally be shutting up now, though.

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review 2018-08-05 10:31
The Martian - Andy Weir

Loved it, loved it, loved it. Even with my limited knowledge of science (especially, chemistry) and space travel, I found the book entertaining as well as educating and thrilling. By the way, The Martian has the best opening lines I've come across lately: "I'm pretty much fucked. That's my considered opinion." This set me right into enjoying the adventure with Mark Watney on Mars. One of the things the protagonist says in the book is that "he's going to science the shit out of the planet" and he did - the book is very sciencey, but it didn't hinder me to enjoy the book over all. I won't remember half of the science stuff that Mark did to survive on Mars (well, maybe the fact that he grew potatoes using his own shit, eww! :D), but the humour and the intelligence of the book will have me coming back to it time and time again. It is also a different kind of book: it's the first book I've read in years that does not focus on romantic relationships or solving crime/murder, but focuses purely on intelligence, professionalism and working together to achieve a common goal. My verdict: a must read to all. Even you don't get the science part of it, The Martian will leave you feeling positive, even hopeful.

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