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review 2016-09-05 11:36
Good... and bad
Star Nomad: Fallen Empire, Book 1 - Lindsay Buroker

So I'm a bit conflicted with this book as I really enjoyed it. It was well written in a style that focused on the the characters more than the tech and it really did feel like I was reading an episode of some SciFi TV show. So good job there. There was a paragraph at the start however the was throwing me off, but it seems she just ditched that style right then and just went into good writing.

 

Let's start with the characters. I liked the characters and I didn't hate any of them other than the bad guys, but they were meant to be hated.

 

Alisa, I assume, is white and I forget if she gets any more characterization than "is female". So I kind of had the image of her as Alisa from Phantasy Star 4 in my mind. She's tough and can get herself out of situations and because she really isn't described I can't judge one way or another how the author sees her. She hates to be helpless but more on this later.

 

Mica has short "tousled hair" and past that I don't think she gets any more of a description. I chose to view her as black because why not? The only other Mica/h I know was black and the book didn't give me descriptors so going with that.

 

I outline this because the next characters get into some maybe racist stereotyping.

 

Leonidas the cyborg. He's outright stated to be black haired and blue eyed, jaw that needs shaving. It's implied that he's white? He's the silent stoic type Imperial soldier that's loyal and won't rape anyone. He's a good guy.

 

Alejandro Dominguez "He was a handsome man with bronze skin, his hair more gray than black, and she judged him in his early fifties." He's an Imperial doctor turned into some kind of religious person. Hates killing people and all that, but the book implies he might want to bring back the Empire.

 

Yumi Moon, yes that's her name, "She looked to be a few years younger than Alisa, in her late twenties perhaps, though her smooth, bronze skin made it hard to pin down." She's obviously Asian with both her name, the fact that she has black hair aaaand the fact that Alisa can't tell how old she is. Her hair is into two long braids and she comes off as a hippy or... as a drug pedaling mystical Asian trope. No she literally has drugs in her trunk and many times is sitting in positions doing breathing exercises. She also has chickens. So she has the Japanese and Korean name with the Chinese stereotyping going on. Asians. All the same. Amirite?

 

Tommy Beck, just goes by Beck. "The other applicant was a stocky, brown-skinned man with a wild tuft of blond hair that she assumed was dyed or otherwise modded."

Obviously black, he's the security, slash somewhat mechanic that he can fix stuff, slash cook. Not chef... cook. They also have a whole scene with him fighting Draper to prove he's not a rapist versus Draper who is the total MRA rapist. There is also a scene where they plan showing his "tits" to a character against his will. It never happens, but it's talked about. Not sure if this fits really into stereotyping past the fact he's military, he's the big buff black guy that can beat people up, and that he's the cook for the whole ship.

 

Now that that's taken care of let's get into what I don't like about the book.

 

Let me start by saying she says she draws inspiration from Firefly. That should set off a flag. I hear Joss Whedon is good at this kind of the follow misogyny too. Leonidas on many occasions, orders Alisa around and she comments on this however she doesn't tell him to stop nor show any sign of defiance against it. The author says that Alisa gets "lippy". Not defiant. "Lippy". This really feels that women once again, shouldn't be taken seriously and that their acts of sarcasm in defiance and stuff is just them making noise. Let's add in the scene where the author sets it up that Alisa HATES to be helpless but "Oh hey guess what :D!" So yeah when Malik shows up (who also has black hair), she's rendered into a vulnerable crying pile of helplessness that needs Leonidas to come and get her out of it. It's like the author was going "I'm not sexist BUT.." and plop. Whole misogynistic scene. Also here there are a lot of times she gets into trouble, and she does get herself out by herself, but there is something that always happens that she needs a man to finish up with. There not really anything she does fully by herself. So on some points it feels cool that she doesn't fully need to rely on a man, but at another time I wish she'd do the whole thing herself. And the big one that's a trigger warning. The way we tell good guys from bad guys is the fact the bad guys want to rape all the women and the good guys don't so much as glance at her boobs. I am serious. It's stated that Leonidas doesn't look at her boobs, but at her uniform. Malik has doesn't even conceive of rape but he's evil because he leaves Bruiser to rape Alisa. Also Malik is a sadist.   The good points of this are that I was really invested in the characters and I do want to read more of the universe to see what happens next, but I am so hoping she gets better at this. The "woman in sexual peril" however I hope isn't an ongoing thing in the next book because that's cheap, overused and really fucking gross.

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review 2016-03-22 09:50
Space Dreams: Sci-Fi Adult Coloring Book Adventure - LightBurst Media

Fantastic drawings! I love it!

Given for an honest review.

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review 2015-12-14 07:40
Space Misogyny
On Basilisk Station - David Weber

This book isn’t good. I was told it was “Space Opera” but this is more like “Military Space Adventure”. Think Star Trek but with more guns death and jargon.

Did I mention the jargon. If you aren’t into the military, or care about how big people’s guns are then this book will loose you quick with it’s “Falcon-Three-Three to Falcon-Two-One” and stuff like that which takes of pages and pages and offering nothing to the plot at all.
It’s also very noisy. Everything usually has about five hundred words to describe what’s happened and most of this jargon is all pseudosciency that also adds nothing to the plot and muddies the image of what really going on.

Finally let’s talk about the misogyny because this book has it.
Starting off by describing Honor as “not pretty, but no really she’s pretty” all the way to her almost rape back story, she’s a rote “strong” female character. Of course there’s the male love interest that she always seems to need help from that he doesn’t trust her and all that jazz.
The characters themselves are uninteresting and that’s mostly because Weber dumps a whole bucket of them on you before you have even warmed up to the one’s from the last bucket.

Then there’s the part where Weber calls the ship a “bitch” and describes that it was “raped” when it’s armaments were reconfigured. That the part when I wanted to toss the book into a fire. unfortunately it was a library book and thus needed to be returned. Weber being a man, knows nothing about rape to begin with and to call an inanimate object a bitch and described how it was ‘raped’ by having some weapons removed is just sheer and utter cherry-on-top misogyny.
I should probably also mention the psychic cat, but because it doesn’t add to the plot I’ll just ignore it. Really the furball could get sucked out an airlock and nothing of value would be lost on the plot...
All because the plot is that shallow, that I took a few years break from reading it and  still I was able to remember what was going on. That’s pretty sad.

NOT TO MENTION part of the plot involves invading a alien planet and drugging and slaughtering the native. WHAT. FUN. As if this book didn’t have that many problem. I almost want to say the Medusans are basically portrayed as First Nations and that their slaughter is more or less written off as necessary.
The last battle is needlessly dragged out, with lots more gore and explosions than a Michael Bay movie aaand more misogyny abound here too. It seems that Weber loves to write women, just so he can horribly kill and torture them. Very unstisfying end to an unsatisfying book.

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review 2015-04-26 00:00
Space HuCow (A Space Pirate's Naughty Adventure)
Space HuCow (A Space Pirate's Naughty Ad... Space HuCow (A Space Pirate's Naughty Adventure) - Faye Parker Not sure what to expect, I dove into this freebie expecting grammar and spelling errors. To my pleasant surprise, it's well written. The story is simplistic but the sex is good. More sex please. More lactation and more naughty mischief would be good.
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review 2014-06-24 22:04
Unexpected Alliances
Unexpected Alliances: Book Two of the United League of Planets - M.R. LaScola

The adventures of the United League of Planets continues in this exciting second installment by M. R. LaScola! With a first encounter with an alien race to a new space station, the characters within the ULP must overcome their own obstacles in their unified goal of helping the greater good.

 

It’s never another ordinary day in the solar system. While on a mission, a ULP research vessel monitors a huge object racing towards earth only to discover that it is actually an armada of spaceships of an alien race, forced from their home by a dying star. Meanwhile, the new space station of Earth is about to be unveiled and its security charged to two humans who have just completed the rigorous Nokshi training. And it’s not just the humans with important tasks to command. On earth, one special species struggles to survive with the help of their human friends.


With new challenges around every corner, it’s up to the characters to band together and help one another. While some may end up assisting others in unlikely circumstances, our friends dive right in to unexpected alliances.

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