I have often been disappointed by an EU Star Wars book, but I've never been disappointed in a Kevin Hearne book. It felt... neutered. It was devoid ofI have often been disappointed by an EU Star Wars book, but I've never been disappointed in a Kevin Hearne book. It felt... neutered. It was devoid of most of the things that make Hearne's books so fun. Fun. That's what is missing. There are sparks. Enough to keep me reading (listening). But every hope was soon dashed into a wall of endless and pointless exposition, and missions. So many missions. Diplomatic missions. Trade mission. Smuggling mission. Punctuated by Luke's Jedi naval gazing. Neutered. Mirthless. Disappointing. Man, I sincerely wanted to like this. I still can't believe I didn't.
* Basically, the entire Star Wars EU cannon (now called, Star Wars: Legends) was scrapped for this!?
* Kevin Hearne wrote this instead of another book, novella or short story in his tremendous Iron Druid series?
* This feels like a work of committee from lawyers, PR flacks and well-meaning editors at Lucasfilm Story Group, Marvel, Disney Publishing Worldwide and Del Rey Books. A LOT of notes. I can't imagine the shit-storm of notes poor Mr. Hearne had to endure.
*I, for one, still look forward to the next Iron Druid book, and Hearne unleashed from whatever happened here....more
This book is about The Doctor between. The unacknowledged and unknown (until the 50th anniversary specA story about The Doctor when we wasn't himself.
This book is about The Doctor between. The unacknowledged and unknown (until the 50th anniversary special) Ninth regeneration of The Doctor. He's commonly known as the War Doctor but he doesn't call himself that, "Doctor", he says he is not that person anymore. He is unworthy of his Name.
I enjoy George Mann's writing and I'm excited to see what he tells us about what The Doctor did during the Time War.
Update: 3.5 stars bumped down here to 3, because reasons. ...more
This picks up 2 months after the Veronica Mars movie. My only criticism, and it is a slight criticism, it's not written in the first person. It wouldThis picks up 2 months after the Veronica Mars movie. My only criticism, and it is a slight criticism, it's not written in the first person. It would have been nice to have some of Veronica's narration. If you're a marshmallow, you'll want to read this, especially since it's written by the shows' creator, and ties up some interesting loose ends....more
I don't read a lot of Star Wars EU books, but I'm aware of the recent criticism of them. That they have mostly abandoned character for plot and ever-iI don't read a lot of Star Wars EU books, but I'm aware of the recent criticism of them. That they have mostly abandoned character for plot and ever-increasing danger. If that is your crisism too, then Martha Wells' Razor's Edge subverts that. It's a character-driven, bottle story, with little impact to anyone but the characters directly impacted by its events.
Razor's Edge is the first in a Lucas stunt-cast trilogy. All three will be written by established Fantasy and SF authors (Wells, James S.A. Corey and Kevin Hearne) who are known for their character-driven series and excellent world-building. Each book will feature one of the big three of the SW Universe: Leia, Han and Luke. In Razor's Edge, the focus is on Leia.
Set between New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, Leia and Han are on a mission to secure material for their new base on Hoth. If nothing else, Wells makes Leia finally deal with the destruction of Alderan, and her torture at the hands of the Empire. I have no idea if these have been subjects of other Star Wars EU books, but I doubt it. It helps show how Leia went from her character in New Hope to the stronger, woman of agency in The Empire Strikes Back. I enjoyed it. If all SW EU books had this much depth of character, I'd probably read more. ...more
The 10th of 11 50th anniversary audio adventures from Big Finish Audio featuring Ten and Donna Noble. It's set somewhere in the first quarter of serieThe 10th of 11 50th anniversary audio adventures from Big Finish Audio featuring Ten and Donna Noble. It's set somewhere in the first quarter of series 4 of the New Doctor Who series. Catherine Tate narrates. ...more
Three and a half stars, but I bumped it up to four. A good, atmospheric horror story that would have made a great Matt Smith episode. McCormack does aThree and a half stars, but I bumped it up to four. A good, atmospheric horror story that would have made a great Matt Smith episode. McCormack does a good job getting the Doctor's voice. A lot of Amy and Rory stories do Amy very well, but leave Rory a blank. McCormack splits Mr. Pond off from his wife and the Doctor, and allowed him to have some nice moments. McCormack succeed where so many Who authors failed, she imbued Rory with a real and fully lived-in personality....more
The 9th of 11 50th anniversary audio adventures from Big Finish Audio. Unlike the other adventures in this series, a companion actor from the era doesThe 9th of 11 50th anniversary audio adventures from Big Finish Audio. Unlike the other adventures in this series, a companion actor from the era does't provide the narration. Instead, Night of the Whisper is read by Nicholas Briggs (frequent Big Finish writer/producer/performer and the voice of the Daleks).
This is a Nine, Rose and Captain Jack adventure, set somewhere in the last quarter of the first season of the New Doctor Who series. Cavan Scott, a Big Finish regular and author of the Doctor Who: Who-ology book, delivers the flavor of the era -- dropping references to Cronk Burgers, the Bad Wolf Corporation and New, New, New Scotland Yard....more
The 8th of 11 50th anniversary audio adventures from Big Finish Audio, Enemy Aliens is read by India Fisher and features Eight and companion, CharlottThe 8th of 11 50th anniversary audio adventures from Big Finish Audio, Enemy Aliens is read by India Fisher and features Eight and companion, Charlotte Elspeth Pollard.
Now, unlike the other adventures and the next three, the Eighth Doctor has only been seen in one television movie, about 15 years ago. However, he has had a very active life in Big Finish Audio adventures. This means that, while you don't need to know anything more than, "this is the Doctor and his companion," unlike the other Doctors, you can't just go to DVDs or Netflix or Amazon and catch-up on their adventures. I'll provide a bit of background.
"Charley" Pollard (portrayed by Ms. Fisher from 2001 - 2009) is from 1930s England, born the day the Titanic sank. Young Charlotte was born and raised in wealth -- growing up in a manor house. Calling herself Charley, she rebelled against wealth and privilege. The doctor rescued her from a disaster and she continued to travel with him as a companion. Clever, enthusiastic, curious and headstrong, she's a good fit with the Eighth Doctor. What neither the Doctor or Charley knew, she was fated to die the day he saved her. Her death was one of those "fixed points in time" we Whovians are so familiar with. As the Doctor and Charley traveled in space and time, her existence caused ripples of damaging anti-time. The Time Lords (remember, this is the Classic Era, so the Time Lords still exist) discovered this and the Doctor's former companion and friend, now Madame President of Gallifrey, Romanadveratrelundar reached out to him. Romana pleaded with him to do what is needed -- put Charley back at the moment he found her and let her die. The Doctor refused. Romana, in order to protect the Universe, ordered the Doctor's and Charley's arrest. Dozens of Time Lords led by their special forces were sent to apprehend them; dead or alive. Eventually, the Doctor resolved (cheated) the problem, but this was the point where the Doctor realized he didn't just have differences with his people, but he began to suspect that age, egotism and power have permanently corrupted his people -- even his beloved Romana, and that someday, it would be up to him, and him alone to stop them. Because Charley continued to radiate traces of anti-time, the TARDIS hated her. She was the only companion She didn't inoculate against alien diseases. Charley eventually fell deathly ill and was taken to a hospital world to be healed and recover. In a series of incidents, Charley found herself trapped in the far-far future. She designed a distress beacon and was eventually rescued by The Doctor -- the Sixth Doctor. She traveled briefly with him, but because she couldn't tell him about his future or the paradox or anti-time, she had to constantly lie to him. Her obvious duplicity, coupled with his suspicious nature and the TARDIS' inexplicable hatred of her, led the Six to consider her a threat. Eventually, she left the Doctor and settled back on the planet where she had been healed. Charley fell deeply in love with the Eighth Doctor, and, to his credit, he actually did say that he loved her; however, she was quickly and ruthlessly "friendzoned" by him.
This story features Charley and The Doctor in 1935, England where they had just finished dealing with an alien threat, when they received (as all the other Doctors in this series have) a message from his future self; specifically, his 11th self. It's a quick story, read well by Ms. Fisher and written by Alan Barnes, a veteran of dozens of Big Finish Audio adventures....more
So far, _Shockwave_ and the previous title, Doctor Who: Trouble in Paradise, are my favorites in this series. Which is odd, since Six and Seven as preSo far, _Shockwave_ and the previous title, Doctor Who: Trouble in Paradise, are my favorites in this series. Which is odd, since Six and Seven as presented in the Classic series, are my least favorite Doctors. Go figure.
One thing that I haven't mentioned about this year-long 50th Anniversary AudioGo series -- there is a story arc that ties them all together. At first it's subtle, but by the seventh book and Doctor, it's pretty clear; The Eleventh Doctor is in trouble. So much trouble that he needs the help of all of his previous selves. In each book he appears as a voice or a hologram and asks each Doctor for one specific thing. In the case of _Shockwave_, it's to keep safe the ship's captain. Of course, the Doctor and Ace have just sent the Captain off to his certain doom a few minutes before they get this request. D'oh!
I liked how Ace, the narrator, instantly recognizes this man, this 11th as the Doctor. She says he's young and yet, at the same time, so old... much older than her Professor. Ace, as written in the series, could sometimes be annoying, but she was always very smart. Very intuitive. If you listen to the Big Finish Seventh Doctor adventures, Ace really comes into her own as a character. This is the companion we meet here....more
Superman does not kill. Ever. That is the Miracle Monday Rule.
Miracle Monday was the second of two Superman novels, a follow-up to 1978's also-awesomeSuperman does not kill. Ever. That is the Miracle Monday Rule.
Miracle Monday was the second of two Superman novels, a follow-up to 1978's also-awesome Superman: Last Son of Krypton -- that were released to capitalize on the popularity of the Superman movies. Though, despite the presence of 8 pages of black and white photos of Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder and Terence Stamp, Miracle Monday had nothing to do with the movies.
Instead, it's a prose version of Superman at his Bronze Age best, and stands as one of the all-time best Superman stories ever printed in any medium.
The plot focuses on a character named Kristen Wells, a historian from the 29th Century -- the year 2857, to be exact -- who travels back in time and goes undercover at the Daily Planet in order to discover the origins of Miracle Monday.
Of course, in true comic book time travel fashion, Wells ends up becoming a critical part of the holiday herself. A demon named C.W. Saturn -- released by Lex Luthor when he dabbles in magic and acting on the orders of the Ruler of Hell -- possesses Wells and unleashes hellish power all across the world, pushing Superman to the limit with threats that are both outlandish and genuinely sinister...culminating in forcing Superman to physically stop a nuclear war, and then exposing his identity as Clark Kent to the world.
His goal is to force Superman to stop him by killing Wells, taking an innocent life and destroying everything he stands for. But Superman is never for a second conflicted about whether or not he should take this action. The idea of Superman killing someone is, as the man himself says, nonsense. Superman does not take a life, even if it means he would have to spend the rest of his life battling Saturn. Superman explaining that he'll always be there to stop evil to a living embodiment of evil, and doing it like he's trying to break down the simplest fact for a child, is an amazing bit of writing. And of course, in the story, when faced with someone who is truly unshakable in his convictions and willing to to sacrifice his life to do nothing but wage that never-ending battle, Saturn's hold on Wells is broken, and Superman is granted a wish.
He asks that everything that happened since Saturn's arrival be undone, and it is granted, with Saturn then being banished back to Hell. However, a lingering memory of the events remained within the souls of humanity, causing them to begin celebrating the day every year, on the third Monday of May, starting the Miracle Monday tradition. Everyone just remembers how relieved and happy they are on the third Monday in May, and they commemorate it every year. Kristin then returns to the future to reveal this fact to the public.
It's an amazing character study of how Superman works, and it also introduces some great ideas into the larger mythos of the character -- like time traveling historians crowding into the woods, shushing each other and trying not to be seen when the Kents find the rocket from Krypton, which is hilarious and wonderful. The holiday itself was very rarely mentioned in the actual comics, it does show up as a celebration in the future in Superman #400....more
The best of this series so far. My only complaint: It's narrated by Nicola Bryant who played Peri in the original series. Let me clarify that, the narThe best of this series so far. My only complaint: It's narrated by Nicola Bryant who played Peri in the original series. Let me clarify that, the narration is wonderful, it's actually one of the reasons I gave it such a good rating; however I could have gone the rest of my life without hearing her version of an American accent. I think Nicola's great. I follow her on twitter and she does great charity work too, but every sentence Peri utters is as if she spins an accent wheel and just spits out whatever it happens to land on. Boston? Okay. Creole? Sure, why not. As the Doctor would say, "No! No... no, no, no... don't do that. Just don't."...more