Reading For The Heck Of It

Gosh, I love books. I love the way they feel in my hand, the way they smell, the way they look piling up all around me as I drown amongst their pages...I really, REALLY like books.

 

Favorite genres: nonfiction (especially science), sci-fi/fantasy, classics, and children's literature.

 

Unread/unloved genres: romance and seafaring odysseys.

The light in the darkness

The Bright Hour - Nina Riggs Jones

Well, here I am talking about cancer and dying again. I swear it's the last of these for a good long while, guys. (I hope I don't end up eating my words.) The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina Riggs was recommended to me after reading When Breath Becomes Air because Nina's widowed husband is now dating the widow of Paul Kalinithi who wrote the aforementioned. O_O  At the start of her story, Nina was 38 years old and her biggest problems centered around publishing her newest bit of writing and mothering her two young sons with her husband...and then Cancer rapidly derailed her life. When Nina was initially diagnosed with breast cancer her mother was fighting her own battle with an aggressive myeloma. At first, Nina's diagnosis seemed quite straightforward in comparison. Her doctor felt it was quite treatable with a mastectomy and chemo but right as her life seemed to stabilize a stabbing back pain (reminiscent of Paul Kalinithi) made itself known. This turned out to be the harbinger of Stage 4 cancer which unfortunately was not curable. To add insult to injury, her mother's cancer stopped responding to treatment and she opted to stop her treatment. Overwhelming and almost unbelievably melodramatic as this all sounds Nina chose to view each day through a positive lens. It is obvious to me that she was a special person with a whole lot of spirit. Sadly, she passed away before final publication of her book but her legacy still lives and breathes on each page of her memoir. I'm sorry we can't enjoy more writing from her in the future.  9/10

 

What's Up Next: The Science of Supervillains by Lois H. Gresh & Robert Weinberg

 

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

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

End of year burnout

Sanity & Tallulah - Molly Brooks

I'm going to be honest, guys. I'm really starting to get blog fatigue. I've been trying to write this particular review for ages and getting absolutely nowhere. :'-( I've also done the arithmetic and I'm fairly certain I'm still going to be reviewing books I read in 2018 into the start of 2019 which is something I was actively trying to avoid. Ugh, I sure hope this ends up making sense.

 

Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks is a middle grade graphic novel about two little girls living on a space station on the fringes of populated space. These two best friends are polar opposites. Sanity is a gifted scientist who is more often than not working diligently at her homework or brainstorming her newest lab project. Tallulah, on the other hand, is a mediocre student (at best) and a champion mischief maker (the best). After Sanity's latest science project (a three-headed creature) gets loose, the two girls are desperate to clear the animal's name as technical failures and disasters of all kinds begin happening at an alarming rate. There's a race against the clock to find the creature and save all life as they know it on the space station. This story is all about the bonds of friendship...and what happens if you don't properly follow safety protocols when docking your ship at a space station. My opinion: I don't know if it's because I read this one right after Space Dumplins but I found it very similar in tone and content and therefore not altogether that interesting. Additionally, the illustrations were good but weren't nearly as stunning as the aforementioned Space Dumplins. I couldn't give it more than a 4/10.

 

Lots of strong female characters. *applause* [Source: Mom Read It]

 

What's Up Next: The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina Riggs

 

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

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Space Chicken sounds like the name of a new wave band

Space Dumplins - Craig Thompson

Space Dumplins by Craig Thompson utilized all of the keywords that normally make me sit up and take notice: space adventure, hi-jinks, talking chickens... I absolutely loved the super colorful illustrations but as far as the story...it didn't completely blow me out of the water. Our main character, Violet, is a little girl living in the Roids which is a space community comprised of members of the working classes (classism is an issue). Her father is employed in a dangerous (and morally suspect) line of work gathering space whale nuggets (poop) which are manufactured to be used as fuel. Things have become increasingly dangerous especially for those living on the fringes as the whales have started to invade populated areas of space and cause massive damage in their wake including Violet's school. So when Violet's mom is offered a swanky job in fashion at the space station (where the extra swanky live) she snaps it up without hesitation and takes Violet with her hoping to earn more money and get her daughter a high class education. But things go from bad to worse in the Roids while they're away and Violet's father is somehow all mixed up in it. With the aid of her friends Zacchaeus (looks like a talking bean) and Elliott (actually is a talking chicken) Violet sets off on a mission to save her father and bring an end to the destruction and terror wrought by the wild space whales. Why are they on a path of devastation and mayhem? And what exactly does her father have to do with all of this? If you're interested in finding out the answers then check out Space Dumplins. My take: 6/10 mostly for the awesome illustrations. 

 

Slightly spoiler-y warning: There are vivid depictions of animal cruelty in this book so if you can't deal with that (and I don't blame you because I had a lot of difficulties) then give this book a pass.

 

An example from the inside of the book. [Source: Craig Thompson Books]

 

What's Up Next: Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks

 

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

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Boarding school satire

Molesworth - Geoffrey Willans, Ronald Searle

The Compleet Molesworth by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle (co-creator and illustrator) had been on my TRL for ages. I was intrigued by the illustrations that were depicted on the cover and its comparison to my dear Roald Dahl. This is a classic children's series (bound together in its entirety here) about a boy named Nigel Molesworth who narrates his time in a boy's boarding school called St. Custard's. Willans captures the spirit of boyhood in a private boarding school especially well owing to his being a Headmaster himself. (This is even funnier once you get to know Headmaster Grimes who is particularly fond of the cane.) This book is replete with bad spelling (evidenced in the title) and absolutely stunning illustrations by Searle who was a satirical cartoonist (perfect for this series). Molesworth and his buddies get up to many hi-jinks and shenanigans which are generally instigated by our hero. Amidst all of this tomfoolery Willans and Searle have taken jabs at the inequalities of the classes by showcasing the Head Boy Grabber as only being placed in such a prestigious position because his parents shell out lots of money. (The Headmaster is greedy and generally does all he can to cut corners most notably with the selection of food offered to the students.) If you can get used to the bad spelling, grammatical errors, made-up slang, and seemingly arbitrary abbreviations for everything you will see why this has held up as a true children's classic. It's witty, cutting in its bluntness, and in general everything I hoped it would be. 10/10

 

Source: Amazon.co.uk

 

I wanted to give a little taste for the delights that await you.

 

What's Up Next: Space Dumplins by Craig Thompson

 

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

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Have you ever picked up a book because you kept seeing its cover everywhere?

The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale is the first book in the Winternight trilogy by Katherine Arden. This book contains fantasy elements mixed with a Russian folktale influence. The reader follows Vasya, a young Russian girl, who was predestined before her birth for something great and who possesses the old magic. Vasya has the Sight and can see and communicate with the household spirits (chyerti). Her peculiar gifts aren't necessarily seen as a problem (beyond her possible difficulties securing a husband) until her father gets married to the daughter of the Grand Prince of Moscow. Her stepmother is deeply religious and in conjunction with the village's new priest, Konstantin, begins to sway Vasya's father into marrying her off as soon as possible. Konstantin preys on the fears of his congregants and Vasya finds herself a pariah among the very people she wishes to help. [A/N: Konstantin is a creep and anyone who says otherwise is crazy.] There comes a winter which is particularly harsh and the Bear becomes active from the people's fears (which just so happens to be his source of nourishment). It turns out that the tales that Vasya's nurse have told for years upon years seem to be true as she becomes mixed up with the lifelong feud between The Winter King and his brother Morozko (the Bear). The end is rather fuzzily done up but that's to be expected from a book which was created as part of a trilogy. Heavy on religious and mystical elements, this book took me quite a long while to get through even though once I picked it back up I found it deeply interesting. I will most likely read the next in the series (or give it a good attempt) next year. This is a book that would be ideal during the cold winter nights when you have nothing pressing to do and can curl up with a book for hours on end. 6/10

 

The cover from the Australian edition. [Source: Penguin Books Australia] 

 

What's Up Next: The Compleet Molesworth by Geoffrey Willans

 

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

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

When aliens meet the Internet

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: A Novel - Hank Green

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green is a sci-fi sociopolitical commentary about the perils and pitfalls of Internet fame as well as social cooperation on a global scale. In Green's debut novel, April May finds what she thinks is an art installation in the heart of New York City so in true millennial fashion she enlists the help of her friend Andy to film their first interaction with what they dub as 'Carl' the robot. While this may be the first video of its kind with one of these robots it turns out that there is one in every major city in the world...and they're clearly alien to our planet. What follows is a realistic look at the arrival of Internet fame and someone completely unprepared to deal with the visibility and responsibility of such a mantle. Trolls, flame wars, sycophants, corporate deals, possible planet-wide destruction, and girlfriend drama are just a few of the myriad dilemmas that our main character finds herself facing. I didn't find April May to be a particularly likable or endearing character which made it difficult for me to feel any sympathy for her plights. I'm not certain but perhaps Green intended for the reader to feel rather indifferent towards her to illustrate how as a society we tend to place any kind of 'celebrity' up on a pedestal but like any human being they have faults and foibles. If that was his goal then he accomplished it I think. Some of the pros: I really enjoyed the shared dream aspect as it felt like a callback to The Giver and A Wrinkle in Time but I felt like it could have used more detail/descriptors instead of focusing so much on April's inner turmoils. I also liked how Green wrote about a topic that has only really been touched on in nonfiction formats (although Zoe Sugg's series Girl Online discussed it too) and couched it in a sci-fi framework. Some things I didn't love: Uneven attention to detail and the ending was less than stellar. (I'd go so far as to say it was crappy.) Overall, this wasn't the best sci-fi novel I've ever read (not by a wide margin) but it also wasn't the worst. For a debut attempt, I think it was pretty well executed and I'd be interested to see what he might create in the future. 4/10

 

I choose to believe this is an aerial shot of the shared dream. [End paper source: Noteworthy]

 

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: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Sass with a side of sober contemplation

Calypso - David Sedaris

Quick note from me: Eagle-eyed readers of the blog will notice that I said I would be covering The Bear and the Nightingale today but actually I'm going to be reviewing Calypso by David Sedaris. I was working off of my memory instead of my notes and that's how that little boo-boo occurred. At any rate, today's book is a real treat! Calypso is an example of dark humor at its best. It's organized into short stories that cover the complete gamut of familial drama coupled with the woes of middle age. Sedaris divides his time between his home in England and a beach-side getaway he purchased for his family to use in Emerald Isle (among other properties briefly mentioned). I loved the parts where he talked about his relationship with his partner Hugh (who I fell in love with immediately) and his fears that he'll poop in his pants and Hugh will leave him for someone else. It also turns out that he's obsessive about tracking his steps and cleaning up every single piece of litter in the English countryside. He's a quirky guy and I strongly identified with him. He also touches on the tragic death of his sister Tiffany and the contentious relationship he has with his father who is in his nineties and stubbornly refusing to accept help at home. It's sharp, witty, shocking, tender, and hilarious. I laughed out loud at quite a few of the anecdotal stories (wait til you read about their visit to Japan). This would make a great gift especially for friends or family who do a lot of travel as this would be excellent to read on a trip. 10/10

 

I also urge you to read this article from Variety which talks not only about the beach-side getaway that Sedaris talks about in Calypso but also about Sedaris in general. It's hilarious! (Read the footnotes.)

 

What's Up Next: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

 

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

 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

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: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

I guess Jughead is preferable to being called Forsythe Pendleton

Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale - Francesco Francavilla, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Afterlife with Archie: Escape From Riverdale (issues 1-5) by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa was mentioned briefly in my review of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol 1 as it was created by the same author AND both books exist in the same twisted universe. Where Sabrina dwells in a world governed by dark magic and witches that do Satan's bidding Archie and his friends are living in a different kind of hell on earth. For those familiar with the comic strip featuring Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead you're accustomed to 1950s nostalgia vibes of burgers at the diner and lovelorn glances across the football field. There's that in this iteration and a whole lot more. Aguirre-Sacasa must have tapped into that same dark vein that Stephen King has plumbed for years because Riverdale's residents are being plagued by the walking dead. I'M TALKING ZOMBIES, YA'LL. It all begins with Jughead's dog becoming infected and passing it to him through a bite until it spreads like an epidemic. (Remember the movie 28 Days Later?) Things come to a head at the school dance where of course Betty and Veronica are vying for Archie's attention so they don't immediately get that something is terribly wrong with their ol' pal Jughead. [A/N: I don't remember them being so catty but in this story they're doing anything and everything to catch this boy's attention even if they have to demean themselves to do it. It's actually pretty horrible how they treat each other and how absolutely ridiculous they make themselves. The boy ain't that great, ya know?] Things quickly devolved from there and it's a race against time as they and a few of their classmates try to find a place free of the undead creatures. It ends on a cliffhanger and volume two is in the works to be published next year so now is the time to get a head-start. Zombie and horror fans will delight in this series (as well as CAoS). For me it's a pretty solid 9/10 with a deduction for sexist/misogynistic depiction of female leads.

 

Jughead isn't that good at makeup, ya'll. [Source: Vulture]

 

What's Up Next: Star Trek Destiny #3: Lost Souls by David Mack

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Elfquest Archives: Volume 2 by Wendy & Richard Pini

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Is Book 3 out yet?!

5 Worlds Book 2: The Cobalt Prince - Mark A. Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Boya Sun, Matt Rockefeller, Xanthe Bouma

At the beginning of the epic month of reviews (still going strong!) I talked about the first book in the 5 Worlds series and in a move no one could have predicted I now return with my review of 5 Worlds Book 2: The Cobalt Prince by Alexis & Mark Siegel with illustrations by Boya Sun, Xanthe Bouma, & Matt Rockefeller. If you haven't read that book then I suggest you skip today's review as it's bound to spoil a few plot points. The book picks right back up with the ongoing quest to defeat the Mimic who had overtaken the Cobalt Prince (ruler of the Toki people). We discover that the Toki are in fact the 'Chosen People' and that Oona and Jessa are in fact genetically altered Toki. *gasp* The last book focused primarily on the mythology surrounding the beacons while giving Oona room to discover her hidden strengths/magical abilities. Book 2 meanwhile covers a lot of ground with Oona and Jessa's past while delving further into the real deal between the segregation between the peoples in the different worlds. I really felt like the pace ramped up with this one and it was super interesting which makes it even more frustrating that the next installment doesn't come out until the spring of 2019. *grumbles* 10/10

 

I've had some conversations with parents who have kids reading this series and they've been telling me how much the kids are liking it and how much they as parents enjoy it also. If you're looking for a common denominator between you and the children in your life and books you can discuss together this is a great choice. :-D

 

Jessa in turmoil over her sister Oona[Source: Bam Smack Pow]

 

What's Up Next: Afterlife with Archie: Escape From Riverdale by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Elfquest Archives: Volume 2 by Wendy & Richard Pini

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

No gold stars awarded here

The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity - Byron Reese

The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity by Byron Reese could have been really good if only it wasn't riddled with so many grammatical errors. :'-( Repeated words, completely missing words, and words in the wrong order (was this down to the editor?) were liberally spread through the entire book which really took away from my enjoyment. I felt that what he was trying to accomplish with this book was interesting but I'm not entirely sure that he accomplished his goal (and he certainly needs to do a more thorough job of editing). This was less a purely scientific look at artificial intelligence and more a philosophical one about the nature of consciousness and if it's even remotely possible to duplicate it in a computer matrix. As with philosophical books, there were more questions raised than answers proposed. For all of the books on AI that I've read this one rests at the bottom and you'd be better served reading something along the lines of In Our Own Image by George Zarkadakis for a well-executed and researched work on the subject. Additionally, major points taken off for a lack of a bibliography. I have no idea how you can reference so many other people's work and then give them absolutely no credit. 2/10

 

What's Up Next: 5 Worlds Book 2: The Cobalt Prince by Alexis & Mark Siegel with illustrations by Boya Sun & Matt Rockefeller

 

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

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

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: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Which would you choose: Mortal or magic?

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol. 1 - Jack Morelli, Robert Hack, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol. 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa came onto my radar because I saw the super edgy trailer for the Netflix show and of course I felt I needed to at least read the first volume (containing the first 6 issues) before I started in on the show. :-P [A/N: For those unaware, this alternate reality version of Sabrina exists in the same realm as Archie and his pals over in Riverdale and you can keep your eyes peeled for my review of that too.] This is a comic book series that takes the familiar character of Sabrina Spellman (Remember that cute show about witchy magic with that super sarcastic talking cat named Salem?) and turns it onto its head. This is Dark Stuff and trust me the capitalization is warranted. The story starts out with Sabrina's parents, Warlock Dad and Mortal Mom, who disagree on how to raise their newborn daughter. According to coven law, Sabrina should be blessed by Satan so that when she comes of age she can formally sign Satan's book and give her soul over to him. (Did I mention this was dark?) These parental disagreements result in the mother being driven insane and Sabrina being entrusted to her witchy aunts to be raised 'properly'. So now Sabrina walks in two worlds (witch at home and mortal at school) and by the time she is 16 (present day in the comics where it's the 1960s) she is thoroughly confused about where she fits in which is par for the course with most teenagers if we're completely honest. Gore, violence, Satanism, cannibalism, necromancy, first love...your standard high school experience. The artwork was unlike anything I'd ever consumed in a comic or graphic novel medium before with bold colors and almost grotesque characterizations. I dug it. Horror fans and those that like re-imaginings of familiar tales will enjoy the world that Aguirre-Sacasa has crafted immensely. Yes, it's Dark Stuff but it's also boldly imaginative and well-formed. He's not only crafted this but another series called Afterlife with Archie (not to mention the tv series Riverdale). This is an author to watch! 10/10

 

PS Salem the cat is in this version as well!

 

PPS I started the series and I'm digging that too!

 

Not too spoiler-y since it's from the beginning. [Source: The Mary Sue]

 

What's Up Next: Star Trek Destiny #2: Mere Mortals by David Mack

 

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

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Learn from my mistakes

Robot Dreams - Sara Varon

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon was sold to me as being a cute little story about a dog who builds a robot so that he has a friend. I was hoping for something with The Wild Robot vibes but I actually found it to be disturbingly macabre and callous. This is a children's graphic novel and yet it explores some really dark themes (in itself not a problem but this was creepier than most). Did I mention that it was entirely wordless? I'm not certain if it's a gift or a curse that Varon possesses to entirely unnerve me without using a single, solitary word. Without giving the entire plot away (this is a very short book by the way), a dog builds himself a robot friend and the two of them are inseparable...until the robot gets rusty at the beach and the dog abandons him there. Yes, he left his very best friend behind at the beach. The next day the beach is closed for the winter and the entire area is fenced off. (That's one strict town!) So now the robot is left on the beach to rust while the dog tries to make a new friend. There are mishaps on both sides of this relationship as the robot is beset by weather, a group of boaters who partially disassemble him, and eventually a junk collector. The dog keeps making friends with those who either can't or won't stick around and he's back at square one without any friends at all. Like I said this is not sweet bedtime reading. If you're looking for a creepy existential crisis well you've hit the jackpot. If you wanted a cutesy little graphic novel you've made a horrible, horrible mistake. 1/10

 

This makes me hungry. [Source: page45]

 

 

What's Up Next: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

 

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

 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

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: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

A nostalgia trip

Peanuts Volume Nine - Charles M. Schulz

You can't go wrong with some classic Peanuts cartoons, am I right? Peanuts Vol. 9 created by Charles Schulz (and written by Jason Cooper with illustrations by Vicki Scott and Paige Braddock) is a collection of our favorite kids and their antics. (Do you recall the sound of the incomprehensible droning of the adults in the cartoon?) This (being volume 9) is obviously one of a series of collections like this that put together some of the best of the best of the Peanuts gang. From what I can tell they don't have specific themes and it doesn't matter which order you decide to read them. This was such a trip down memory lane for me and it made me vividly recall Sunday mornings and reading the newspaper cartoons in color. If you've never experienced the hopelessness of Charlie Brown, the ingenuity of Snoopy, or the wisecracking Lucy you owe it to yourself to settle down for some lighthearted hilarity. Pick up something sweet and fun to settle down with for the weekend! 10/10

 

PS When did Marcie fall in love with Charlie Brown?! I knew about Peppermint Patty but Marcie threw me for a complete loop!

 

PPS Do kids know about the Legionnaires? Do you? Well, I suggest you do a little homework because there's a whole set of jokes about them in this volume and you'll surely be lost if you don't.

 

Gotta love Peppermint Patty. [Source: Simon & Schuster]

 

What's Up Next: Star Trek Destiny #1: Gods of Night by David Mack

 

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

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Currently reading

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Strange Magic by Syd Moore
Star Trek: The Classic Episodes by James Blish