Monday, February 29, 2016

Review: The Bands of Mourning

The Bands of Mourning The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Honestly more of a 4 and a half. the only reason I knock it down that peg is that the story, while amazing, is becoming ... normal to me. The other reason is because I was expecting this to be the finale. If your were tooo, you are wrong. The setup for the finale is pretty great though.

I am still amazed how Sanderson can drop answers to so much but then still have a new and wonderful mystery drop as well. Unexpectedly this book also had a love connection I did not expect. I think it was unique and much needed. It was a great growth in characters.

These characters are great and I really do end up laughing out loud while listening to these books. Speaking of audio, the vocals are great. I love the life breathed into each character.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First and foremost, this book NEEDS to be read by any fan that has seen the movie. The tiny details that it brings to light are really essential to a better understanding of the movie.

One thing I question is the validity to canon that this book has. Some things are different enough that it can change the make up of the world around it compared to the movie. Nothing that takes away from the story itself, but something that could have impacts later on.

The book also squishes up many of the complaints that people had. (at least I think so) You get better explanations... maybe not a full one, but you do get a better understanding.

I listened to audio and almost feel that it was even better that way because of the John Williams soundtrack you get along with the book itself. It really tied the movie to the book well.

Now... time for Spoilers.. For the movie.. and the book... don't go below this if you don't want spoilers.

So there were some things that were different and some things that you just get a tiny bit more information. Keep in mind... this is just what I can remember:

We get more of Leia and C3Po:

We gain a deeper feel for Leia's plight to find Luke. No real story elements, just more of her knowing and lamenting that she cannot find him.

Poe was angry with the First Order and took out their guns to spite them, not to clear out a get-away. Them being shot down made a bit more sense as well... or rather was clearer.

We get heaps more detail as we enter the minds of the Characters:

Rey's confusions and plights make more sense, even her ability being greater than it should. She does not even know how it happened (and yes.. this makes sense because.. The Force.. lol.. it is how it works)

I like when Rey sees Kylo's face for the first time and you understand that she sees him as almost an equal because he looks nothing like one would think after him being so imposing. Really.... this is what we all thought so the casting was perfect.

Kylo Ren's battle to hold himself together, as well as his understanding of who Rey is. Wow... those extra three words near the end of the book hit me the hardest.

Only look if you REALLY want to know


......................................................................................."It Is You!"


good now... Han Solo... we know he died, but in the book it is VERY clear who killed Han. Kylo activated the saber. It is clear.. in ... well whatever color your reader is.. or whatever font your audio is in. :P

Rey's understanding of ships should have been picked up in the movie, but if not.. the book reminds us several times that she has scavenged and torn apart ships like this since she was a child.

Poe being alive is cataloged and a pretty hilarious scene that we really missed out on in the movie.

In the fight between Kylo and Finn... "playtime" was over right after Finn got in a lucky jab... yes .. he was toying with Finn.. it was obvious.

In the fight between Rey and Kylo there was a TON more going on in the Force between the two. First of all... she had no idea how she fought the way that she did. He was holding back because he wanted to recruit her (that was clear in the movie too). Kylo blocked the lightsaber for a bit with just the force a few times after being disarmed. (This may have happened, but it could have looked like he used his arms.. can't remember) Rey was tempted by a voice, very clearly, to kill him and made an active choice not to do so. The movie had the splitting of the world decide this for her.

The biggest change... Starkiller base: How the weapon worked and how it was used. While it used the sun to power it... it did not drain the sun (fyi ... that would destroy the system it was in faster than it would destroy the targeted system.) It also only shot one beam and the impact, and way it reacted with the intended target, actually resulted in an explosion that takes out the rest of the system. I don't know.. that just makes more sense to me.

I did like the nod to the sun darkening being a physical thing where we could see the light going away from Kylo... but it just makes more sense that the sun is not just.... eaten by the base?

Oh.. and Captain Phasma?.. she fully expected them to fail. This is the reason she was fine with dropping the shields. Too much trust and ego in her troops and such. She says maybe one line to this in the movie, but the book made it clear.

I teared up at the end of the book when Rey enters the Falcon... the way that Chewie gives up the pilot seat... and gives it to her... man... emotional.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Review: Shadows of Self

Shadows of Self Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading the mistborn trilogy I thought.... it's done. He wrapped it up so well, how could he write more in this world? Then he did it in Alloy of Law and... I loved every drop of it. I was biting at the bit wanting more. I also was not sure if more would be possible after that one. It seemed to give everything away. I don't doubt Sanderson, but he seems to like to paint himself into interesting corners in order to flex his imagination muscles. It is a good thing he does because this book was fantastic.

You can't read out of order... never read out of order, but ... read them all ;).

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Review: Star Wars: The Rise of the Empire

Star Wars: The Rise of the Empire Star Wars: The Rise of the Empire by John Jackson Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A nice "hole filler" book. Several stories that actually connect decently well. I think learning more about Tarkin was AWESOME. I don't think anyone should miss out on his past and such.

The other characters introduced to me in these stories really have me interested in picking up the TV series Rebels. I want to know more about Kannan and Hera. Even the Admiral officer who worked her way up the ranks is an interesting character and really brought some insight into other perspectives of the movie stories.

All in all a good decent read.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Review: Tech, Lies, and Wizardry: a Space Opera Fantasy Short Story

Tech, Lies, and Wizardry: a Space Opera Fantasy Short Story Tech, Lies, and Wizardry: a Space Opera Fantasy Short Story by J.S. Morin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good.. VERY short story.

It rumbles you right in and picks up almost too many characters to be first introduced to, but it does a good job with that. Then it rolls into the short story ... which is good. Really.. more of a "dip your toe" in the universe thing.

Something cool... Wizards in space... Not REALLY hit on heavy in this, but interesting anyway. Not something very heavy. usually tech is too mixed up in it. Maybe it is called something else. (The Force, Biometics)

I think the only thing I really did not like is that once the book is over.... I wanted more of the story.. which ... I guess is the plan. It feels like a prologue... slightly more in depth than normal, but still... it feels like a story just began, rather than a story just ending.

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