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review 2017-08-26 15:16
{ARC} Book Review: A Red Peace by Spencer Ellsworth
A Red Peace - Spencer Ellsworth

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Unsettling at first but once you get used to all the jargons used in this book, you’ll find yourself having a hard time in putting it down. The basic premise is that the age of humans is coming to an end when the crosses (term for human/alien hybrids) that they’ve made—through vat culture—rallied  together and started a resistance . Our female protagonist, Jaqi, who is a cross herself wanted nothing to do with the war and had spent her life in hiding and doing shady stuff.  But just like the girl of destiny, she suddenly found herself in the thick of it all. Then, we have our male protagonist who is also a cross and a high ranking soldier of the resistance. Plus, he’s suffering from a terrible PTSD to the point that he got addicted to drugs.

 

It’s pretty interesting to follow the story particularly that we have these seemingly underdog hybrid crosses (who were once treated as machines and servants by the superior human race) made a reversal of their pitiful lives and are now doing everything to wipe out their overlords, the humans.  I think it would have been more interesting if the book gave me a chance to know our characters (main or supporting) more because the way Ellsworth wrote them made me feel like I was just scratching the surface.

 

Also, I didn’t buy the idea of Jaqi throwing out all of her rules out the window for a couple of kids she just met. It just didn’t compute with her happy-go-lucky and always on the run personality.  Personally, it’d made more sense if she had just left the kids to die and maybe…the author should’ve used another and more realistic way to trigger the events of the book.

 

Another thing that I wished for this book is for a more comprehensive world-building given the ambitiousness of the whole story. There’s a galactic war to raze the human race to extinction, a Dark Zone threating to swallow the whole universe, and hate-filled alien/human hybrids who, instead of using high-powered ammo, wield swords that suck the memories of its victims.  There a lot of things worth showing in this book and I hope that Ellsworth will do such in the sequels.

 

All in all, I’m really glad to have given A Red Peace a try. It may not be as intense as Luke Skywalker discovering that he’s a Jedi but it’ll surely feed your sci-fi hunger. I’m looking forward to read the next book in the series.

Source: waywardkitsune.com/2017/08/arc-book-review-red-peace-spencer-ellsworth
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review 2017-08-13 15:40
Audio Book Review: Perses
Perses (Nomad Series) (Volume 3) - K.A. ... Perses (Nomad Series) (Volume 3) - K.A. Finn

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Bray finds himself revisiting his past and family on Earth, after several years away, while hiding from the Foundation and trying to figure out what to do. He needs to get off Earth, but the Scientist brought his computer here. Bray saw it when leaving Alpha, Foundation's ship, and knows he needs to get it. The computer holds the information that could help save Gryffin from the malfuctioning implants, but he has to break into Foundation headquarters and get it then get off world. Bray will have to get word to others off-world about what Foundation has in weapons and man power that could destroy the place he's come to love like a home.

Keith is one amazing narrator. I love listening to his work. I looooove his voice. Okay, serious stuff now. He voices the characters with their own voice through tone, accent, and heart. The inflection he puts in each character brings them to life as their own whole person. Wow. I'm drawn into the story and forget he's a narrator because the characters come to life as individuals. That's amazing work!

Bray and Garvan. Yes ma'am. And thank you. These two characters were growing to be some of my favorite secondary characters in the previous two books. Well, they aren't the only ones. So to get the treat of them together and fighting to survive along with learning about their pasts, sign me up! I was thrilled to get into this story with them.

This story is more emotional with memories of the past, and Bray working through everything from when he was young through now. The feelings he felt toward his parents and his brother were those of a child that didn't see or know the whole story. Then, he has to tell his uncle and cousin about his family in the here and now. I was touched by what Morgan told Bray of his mother and father. Bray didn't remember or see the adult side of things and it was touching to hear about them.

We get the story from Bray's POV on Earth. We also get sections from One's POV. These sections are very, very insightful. One is on the council that's behind all that's going on. We get to learn about their new colony they were trying to build. I'm not 100% sure about this colony and where it's at, but I'm sure it's going to be something mentioned more in the future. And the biggest piece of information.... One's behind Garvan being put in prison. Garvan knows something that could destroy One and everything he's working for. This puts a target on Garvan's head. We also get scenes from Garvan's POV, which are important moments when things start moving in their plans.

I think I mentioned in the previous book that I was growing to like Garvan quickly. And I was right. I absolutely love him as a character. There are times he brings a huge smile to my lips with his personality and responses. They aren't the quick clip one lines, Garvan is more one to talk and leave the hint in what he says, almost a genuine sarcasm. I do love him. Garvan knows a lot about the scans and equipment used on Earth to identify people. He really grew on me in the last book, and I really like him here. This is part of what his job was before he went to prison. And his story! We learn his back story here too. Oh Garvan...

The beginning felt slower, because there wasn't much Bray could do on Earth. I had an idea but wasn't sure how he was going to take on a huge Foundation headquarters on his own. But we get personal with Bray and Garvan. Then it all comes together and we get to what the Hunters do best. Fight.

This is another wonderful addition to the Nomad series. I always enjoy the writing and narration in the biggest way. I look forward to more books!

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text 2017-08-07 19:20
Light Space Opera Marred by Sexual Violence
Star Nomad: Fallen Empire, Book 1 - Lindsay Buroker

Lots of shitty sff tropes hitched to the specific kind of ugly sexual politics one finds in romance novels overwhelm what should (and occassionally is) a quipping romp through the universe. Rape threats and straight up sexual assault continue regularly from the first scenes to,the end of the novel. Before I get the "but that's realistic" chorus, I would like us to all take a minute and consider that this is clearly supposed to be a comic space fantasy with romantic elements, and the introduction of "rape as realism" is unnecessary, thematically jarring, and fucking stupid. And that's not even getting into a 45 minute diatribe about the very equation of rape with realism. 

 

Which is disappointing because there are some nice comic moments and a gift for the absurd in Star Nomad, hidden in under bad world building and rape threats. Sure, a lot of it was derivative -- Firefly has its fingerprints everywhere, from setup to character types -- but I'm not looking to some romp through a pirate-infested asteroid belt to blow my mind or anything. (Unless it's Yoon Ha Lee's Ninefox Gambit, and that shit was amazing.) The Paradox series by Rachel Bach, starting with Fortune's Pawn, contains many of the same elements found here, but is much more expertly done. Start there for your lighter space opera. 

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text 2017-07-24 04:33
Valerian from Page to Screen
Valerian Volume 1: The New Future Trilogy - Jean-Claude Mézières,Pierre Christin

On a whim (and due to a complete implosion of plans for D&D today), I ended up catching Valerian, which timed nicely with the fact that I borrowed Valerian, Vol 1: The New Future Trilogy from my library to read.

Right off the bat I have to say the movie is utterly gorgeous.  Absolutely breathtaking, with moments of travel that I think if I watched in 3D or IMAX I'd end up trying to fall out of my chair.  Some of the aesthetics and feel look like the work of the Wachowskis.  Overall, a fun, consistent story, if a bit heavy on the romance.  Though I'm forced to ignore the implications of all the structural damage inflicted.

I started out a bit hesitant.  The trailers made me think the film was some hot new YA series, and I had stumbled across a few reviews saying the movie lacked in substance.  That our first interactions with Valerian and Laureline involves heavy flirtation and a clear statement of romantic intent on Valerian's part increased my wariness.  But you know what?  She spends just as much time rescuing him as he does her (if not more, to be honest), and the relationship between them in the graphic novels is... odd.  Constant referring to each other as "my Valerian" and "my Laureline," with an undefined relationship that reminds me of relationships in Heinlein's work.  And while Laureline is certainly capable, she spends noticeably more time in the role of arm candy, supporting lady, or as a maiden in distress in the graphic novels... even if some of those times it is as part of a plan.  So I'm actually happier with the on-screen characterizations.

You can very easily see how the graphic novel that this was based on inspired many of Sci-Fi icons, which will undoubtedly have many people calling it out as "derivative" wherein the accused derivations were in fact inspired by the original.  Perhaps most present is the influence of Luc Besson's work on adapting Valerian from before he made The Fifth Element, in which he included specific elements seen in Valerian and in the concept art submitted by Jean-Claude Mezieres himself.  If you like The Fifth Element, you will see "pieces" of it all over Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.  Pieces that you'll also see when reading this graphic novel from the 60's.

Highly enjoyable translation of visual elements from the comics, with various tweaking of narrative place, name, and role.  Some elements are spot on, like their armor and their ship.  We even see a Transmuter in Circles of Power, though it is not at all in the same role as the Mul Transmuter.  Regardless, the illustrations are unmistakably the same creature.  Others like their actual roles (spatio-temporal agents vs military officers), and different concepts have been more dramatically modified.

Good way to spend an afternoon.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/07/valerian-from-page-to-screen.html
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review 2017-07-13 19:59
Boystown - Season 7
BOYSTOWN Season Seven - Jake Biondi

Oh this was once again...tasty!

 

 

There are not many who can pull off this level of soap opera drama and do it so well but Jake Biondi has a knack that just can't be matched.  This was every bit as enjoyable as the other seasons and the backstabbing, cheating and crazy antics being had here are so damn enjoyable I swear we could hardly keep a straight face. Marco and I had a blast!

 

 

Once again, trust no one...

 

 

because you never know what will come next...

 

 

or who is telling the truth...

 

 

or who is sleeping with who...

 

 

or who wants to strangle who.

 

 

I only just wish there had been some scenes in the hospital...

 

 

Bwahahahaha!!!  Because I swear at one point there may have been not 1...

 

 

but 9 cast members in a hospital bed.  Gawd I love it.  

 

At this point, I honestly could handle a few being killed off...

 

 

Because...quite frankly the number of characters is overwhelming and keeping track of all the details can get to be a lot.  And yet, I am completely consumed.  

 

I only hope Camille remains...because there are very few like her around.

 

 

Once again the number of cliffhangers left our minds racing! And with 2 funerals in store, who will be in the caskets...actually dead??  We shall see.

 

Can't wait for this crazy train to continue!!

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