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review 2018-12-20 02:20
Triumphs are not always absolute...but sometimes they are
Lost Souls - David Mack

Star Trek Destiny #3: Lost Souls by David Mack concludes the trilogy that began with Gods of Night and continued with Mere MortalsIf you've been following along with my reviews over the last several days you'll recall that I wasn't completely blown away by the last two books and a lot was riding on the final installment. *drumroll* My faith was justified and I was not disappointed! While it did take me ages to read, I definitely enjoyed this one the most. My suspicions about the Borg were confirmed (don't worry no spoilers here!) and all of the loose ends were neatly tied up. (As in any good Star Trek episode!) It's pretty much impossible for me to go into any details about the plot of this book without completely giving away everything from the first two so if you haven't read them read no further. Essentially, Erika Hernandez has essentially joined the crew of the Aventine and the Federation is in a much better position to counteract the Borg attacks since the Caeliar's powers have adapted her to telepathically link to the hive mind and impersonate the Borg Queen. O_O Things get super serious super quick and the puzzle pieces really start to fall into place about the Borg origin. It has it all: tearful farewells, emotional death scenes, close calls, and happy reunions. I personally think this would have worked better with two books instead of the three but if wishes were horses I would definitely never have gone horseback riding. 9/10 for Lost Souls.

 

PS Picard finally starts to resemble himself and I like him again.

 

PPS I still haven't watched Nemesis but I know a key plot point and I am not happy.

 

What's Up Next: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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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 2018-11-19 15:17
Clausewitzing: "A History of Warfare" by John Keegan
A History of Warfare - John Keegan



(Original Review, 2002-06-10)




There is easy rubbish and difficult trash. Of course, a lot of books with high literary merit will be more demanding for/ of the reader than, say, neckbiters, which are all fashioned by formula. But equalling the ease of a read with literary worthlessness would fail to acknowledge e.g., all those wonderful, amazing children's classics, which are as loved by readers as they are praised by critics. 

 

 

 

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

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review 2018-10-02 13:30
FRONTLINE LIVES OF AVIATORS ON CANVAS, 1914-1918
Sky Fighters of France: Aerial Warfare, 1914-1918 - Henry Farré
  The greatest value that comes from "SKY FIGHTERS OF FRANCE" is that it is Henry Farré's account of the 4 years he spent (on attachment with the French Aviation Militaire) with a variety of aviation units (bombardment, reconnaissance/artillery spotting, and 'chasse' or fighter squadrons) on the Western Front --- and with a seaplane unit in the coastal city of Dunkerque.

Farré's remit, as an accomplished artist, was to capture on canvas various aspects of the lives of pilots in frontline settings. And judging from the reproductions of his paintings scattered throughout the book, the reader gets a palpable feel of what the thrills and perils of combat flying were like 100 years ago. For instance, there are paintings of nighttime bombing raids far behind enemy lines (Farré flew several missions as an observer with a night bomber squadron), a couple of crews from damaged seaplanes (referred to in the book as 'hydroplanes') barely above the waves being rescued by a French destroyer, and individual fighter planes engaged in 'mano-a-mano' aerial combat. There are also individual portraits that Farré drew of some of the aviators he met and with whom he established friendships. For example, one of the war's most famous and skilled aviators, Georges Guynemer, who, before his death on September 11, 1917, was credited with shooting down 53 German planes.

For me, as a First World War aviation enthusiast, "SKY FIGHTERS OF FRANCE" is a prized book that was easy to read. It enriched my understanding of what life at the Front was like for those aviators who took part in history's first air war. Merci, Monsieur Henry Farré.

 

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