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review 2018-12-13 19:49
Subspace tunnel sounds like a euphemism
Mere Mortals - David Mack

Star Trek Destiny #2: Mere Mortals by David Mack continues the trilogy that I began discussing on Monday. We find our crews separated across not only vast distances but also by time itself. Hernandez and 3 members of her crew are stranded with the Caeliar in the 1500s trying to find a suitable planet to inhabit without any hope of returning to their lives back on Earth in their time. Riker and the crew of Titan have reached the homeworld of the Caeliar in the present day and things do not go according to plan...in fact events quickly snowball out of Riker's control. Meanwhile, Picard and Dax are going through subspace tunnels in the style of eeny, meeney, miney, moe trying to find the one which will lead them to the Borg's point of origin and hopefully onto a path of defeating them. 

 

The best parts of this installment were those which followed Hernandez's struggles to adjust to her new existence and the glimpses of the Federation President scrabbling to put together a formidable force to defeat the approaching Borg Armada. There are two reasons I think that I preferred these two storylines: I still haven't watched Nemesis and still feel confused by this reality and Mack's depiction of familiar faces did not sit right with me particularly in regards to Picard. Sometimes I find that the best Star Trek novelizations are the ones where the author focuses more on the storyline element and less on the characters which the audience typically knows really well. In this case, Mack's description of the Caeliar race and their culture coupled with the (unknown to me at least) Captain Hernandez and her never-ending quest to escape/understand her captors was exactly what I wanted in a great sci-fi novel. Conversely, the dramatic characterization of Riker's faltering marriage and Picard's inner struggles against the Borg felt stilted and forced. 

 

By this point, I was way too invested not to continue so if you're wondering how I felt about the conclusion you can check back next week for that (although hopefully you're checking every day (-:). 7/10 for book 2 in this trilogy.

 

What's Up Next: The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity by Byron Reese

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond and The Science of Supervillains by Lois H. Gresh & Robert Weinberg

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-12-11 00:07
I bet the Borg Queen never got invited over for slumber parties
Gods of Night (Star Trek: Destiny #1) - David W. Mack

Star Trek Destiny #1: Gods of Night by David Mack is the first part in a trilogy which was a journey from beginning to end. Firstly, let me start by saying that when I initially ordered these I did so not realizing that they were written quite a few years ago which did cause me some confusion early on. (I bought them at a discount rate as an ebook set so I really should have put 2+2 together.) Secondly, let me give you the heads up that I didn't have (because I really went in blind, ya'll) that you need prior knowledge about The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, AND Nemesis (which is the one I had not seen (and still haven't seen)) if you want to have any hope of following along. If you haven't seen these you are going to be 1. lost and 2. very much spoiled for future events. 

 

Now that that's all out of the way let's delve into the meat and potatoes of the plot of this book. Like most books that begin a series Gods of Night really lays down a lot of foundation for future action. And there is a lot of information to get through because there is a mess load of time travel back and forth with many, many different characters. (Hint: I didn't love this.) The reader follows 4 different Starfleet crews through multiple time periods which are denoted at the start of each new chapter. You have to be paying a lot of attention and since I read these as ebooks I found it a bit more challenging. Basically, the Caeliar are chanced upon by the Columbia and her crew and found to be so much more technically advanced that there is no chance of overpowering, negotiating, or escaping. The Borg are back and instead of assimilating they have changed their mission to one of annihilation. The Federation is trying to muster up the forces to stop the Borg without any success and the crew of the Columbia are just trying to get back home. SO many characters and so little time (ha time travel pun). I didn't love this book but I did continue the series because by the time I'd gotten to the end of this segment I was too invested to stop...and I'm glad I kept going because by the third book the action was intense, guys. (Wait til you get to the end!) For Gods of Night a 6/10 but check for the reviews of Mere Mortals and Lost Souls in the coming weeks to see what I thought of those and my overall series rating. ;-)

 

Quick rundown of details:

The Columbia captained by Erika Hernandez, the Aventine captained by Ezri Dax, the Titan captained by Will Riker, and of course the Enterprise captained by Jean-Luc Picard. The aliens encountered: the Borg and the Caeliar. The times explored: too many to recount.

 

What's Up Next: Robot Dreams by Sara Varon

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-08-05 10:31
The Martian - Andy Weir

Book Blurb: I’m stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Earth. I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days. If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I’m screwed.

 

What I thought: 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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review 2018-02-28 00:00
The Art of Space Travel
The Art of Space Travel - Nina Allan The Art of Space Travel - Nina Allan A nice novellete about a woman whose only clue about her father is an old book. Who her father was is obvious from the beginning but the story still managed to be compelling and interesting. I’m would love to know more about her mother though since she interests me more than the protagonist.
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review 2017-01-10 15:37
Rocket mouse
Armstrong: A Mouse on the Moon - Torben Kuhlmann

Every year at the New York Public Library a list of the Best Books for Kids is crafted. I had a peek at this year's list and grabbed a few to read and review for the blog. Don't be surprised if you see a lot of picture books in the coming weeks. :-)

 

When I saw the illustration style of Armstrong: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon by Torben Kuhlmann I knew that I had to get that book into my hands. By the time I got through the first couple of pages I was looking up the other books by him and requesting them to be sent my way. I understand that each person has a different idea of what is aesthetically pleasing to them and that not every person will find particular styles of illustration appealing. With that being said, I cannot see how someone could read anything by Kuhlmann and not instantly fall in love with his artistic technique and his unique storytelling style. His fascination with the way machines work and how industrialization has changed the course of history has led him to create fictional stories about real advances in technology using animals such as mice and moles. There's certainly an element of anthropomorphism being used here but the animals also exhibit those traits specific to them (the mice meet at a cheese shop for example). This is another author/illustrator whose work is so gorgeous that I want to hang it on my walls. This story specifically deals with a mouse who is mesmerized by the moon. He dreams of traveling there so that he can prove to the other mice that it is not made of cheese. There are obstacles to overcome not least of which is that it's dangerous to be a mice who wants to break the mold (and build a rocket that can actually get him into space). It's a story of perseverance, determination, and rocketry. I highly recommend this to little ones who are curious about how things work and that dream of one day being astronauts...or to people who just really love mice. 10/10

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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