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review 2018-11-20 02:53
I don't know what just happened...
Optimus Prime #17 - Kei Zama,John Barber

But I absolutely love it, and I'm eager to find out what's going to happen next.   It's all scheming, betrayal, and something super weird going on between Devastator, Metrotitan and Starscream. 

 

And of course the surprise guest at the end.   Like that's the WTF just happened moment, and I am so, so eager to find out.  I want to scream out what happened, but I have hopes that Jessica will eventually finish this up... so I won't spoil this, or letting her know what we find out about Primus. 

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review 2018-11-20 00:06
I really, really need good comics right now
Optimus Prime #16 - Kei Zama,John Barber

Things feel like they're falling apart around me, and while my immediate go to comfort read would be new Lost Lights, I want to catch up on my comics - I have so many piled up! - and Lost Light?   Well, Lost Light is over.  

 

This is an excellent second go to, though, especially as this issue was a breathtaking character piece on Soundwave.   (It also furthered the plot, including many other characters, but it was mostly a piece on Soundwave, who is one of my favorite characters in this series.)

 

A beautiful, breathtaking issue.   Love, love, love this series.   It's become just a highlight for me.   Barber gets better and better with time, and I love seeing his evolution as a writer come to this.   I'm hoping, trusting, that the rest of this series is just as good. 

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review 2018-11-19 22:40
Hellburner / C.J. Cherryh
Hellburner - C.J. Cherryh

Lt. Ben Pollard thinks he's traded the perils of the Belt for security as an Earth-based computer jockey for United Defence Command. Then he's forced to perform a mission of mercy - and lands on an isolated, intrigue-riddled space station.  He's been named next-of-kin to a man he never wanted to even see again: Paul Dekker, a young pilot who attracts crises like dead flesh draws flies. The centerpiece of a top-secret war project, Dekker has just lost his entire crew in a mysterious freak accident and lost his mind to amnesia from an attempted suicide. Or attempted murder. Suddenly two more faces from Dekker and Pollard's past are shanghaied to Sol II: their occasional lovers, renegade pilots Meg Kady and Sal Aboujib. Together they had once smashed the criminal cover-ups of a mining cartel. Now, they're all caught in a shadowy, deadly maze of power-mongering rivalries between UDC and Fleet Strategic Operations, the Senate and Peace Lobby, and the corporate lords of both Earth and Mars.

 

Thus far, as I have been reading Cherryh’s Company Wars books, they have overlapped slightly (mentions of Pell and its inhabitants occur in pretty much every book, for example). But this is the first time that I would call a book a sequel. Hellburner seems to me very much to be a sequel to Heavy Time, as we follow the further association between Paul Dekker and Ben Pollard.

If you have ever felt manipulated at work, you will feel great sympathy for Paul & Ben. They are frenemies, both trying to find their way in the universe. Ben thinks that he has finally landed a cushy spot for himself on Earth, far from the wars ongoing in space. This is a big achievement for a boy who grew up in the asteroid belt and who had never seen the ocean! He really doesn’t understand Earthers (OMG, they think that they have the right to air and water, how misguided are they?) but to find a peaceful work environment, he is willing to try.

Paul Dekker is Ben’s mirror image, a kid who grew up on and around Sol and who escaped an uncertain and unpromising future in Earth orbit by going to the asteroid belt. In the process, he has made himself some powerful enemies and has undergone a lot of mental disturbance. Still, he has awesome piloting skills and he’s a valuable commodity if his enemies can be dealt with.

Ben had hoped to never, ever see Dekker again. He is on the cusp of getting his ideal job when he is called away as Dekker’s “next of kin,” when Dekker is experiencing mental problems again, having been left to die in a flight simulator. Ben considers simply beating Dek to death and returning to Earth.

Instead, they are rejoined by their partners in crime from Heavy Time, Meg Kady and Sal Aboujib, and they set out to conquer the new experimental ship, the Hellburner, that no one else has been able to run successfully. Can Dekker hang onto his sanity long enough to do this? Can Ben rein in his temper? Can Meg and Sal make the cut?

As a person struggling with a new computer system at work, one which no one seems to want to provide training for, I have great sympathy for this team.

Book number 299 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.

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review 2018-11-19 18:30
THE FREAK SHOW MURDERS AND OTHER STORIES by Fredric Brown
The Freak Show Murders - Fredric Brown

Despite my taking such a long time to read this relatively short collection of mysteries, I enjoyed it quite a bit!

 

These mysteries were originally published back between the early 40's and the early 50's. As such, they contain language and slang of the time. This made them even more of a hoot than they otherwise would have been.

 

Most of the stories here are light in nature, other than the title tale and one other SEE NO MURDER. I didn't have a chance at solving any of these crimes, but I still had a great time reading these mysteries, especially THE FREAK SHOW MURDERS. (This tale came with a little glossary of carney-speak that made me giggle a bit, especially the description of "cooch" and the "cooch dance".) Brown knows how to plot a good mystery while still keeping his quirky sense of humor and bits of dialogue.

 

Thank you to my friend here at Booklikes, Tigus, for the gift he sent me a while back, which included this book. (I apologize for taking so long to read it!)  I really enjoyed it and I like looking at the cover too. This book will have a prominent place on my shelf so I can gaze at it from time to time.  I appreciate your gift, good sir!

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text 2018-11-19 18:17
24 Festive Tasks: Door 6 - International Day for Tolerance, Task 1 (Book Redemption)
The Lake District Murder - John Bude
The Lake District Murder - John Bude,Gordon Griffin

Looking back through my "read" shelf, one of the books I liked least this year was John Bude's Lake District Murder.  I felt the book missed a monumental opportunity in not exploiting the dramatic setting of the Lake District where the action takes place, and I was also rather annoyed by the fact that the investigation into the murder discovered at the beginning of the book is sidetracked not once but twice -- admittedly into ultimately related crimes, but by God, the two investigative strains should have been much more intertwined.

 

That said, any reader adverse to last-minute surprise revelations and preferring to remain on an equal footing with the book's detectives will have absolutely no reason to complain here: Bude (like Freeman Wills Crofts) subscribed to the notion of "playing fair with the reader," so any and all clues uncovered by the police are laid out the moment they are uncovered (and in excrutiating detail).  For me, the resulting conclusions were altogether a bit too obvious ... but if this is your jam -- and it has to be admitted that "playing fair with the reader" was a maxim to which all members of the Detection Club subscribed (even though they implemented it in vastly differing ways) -- then maybe you should give Bude's writing a try.

 

Original review HERE.

 

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