Damn. They told me this one was dark, but this shizz is like Spinal Tap NONE MORE BLACK dark. The premise: Quark & Odo are thrown three days into...moreDamn. They told me this one was dark, but this shizz is like Spinal Tap NONE MORE BLACK dark. The premise: Quark & Odo are thrown three days into the future, where they find DS9 gutted by invaders and everyone on it murdered. The book consists of POV switches between Quark & Odo wading through the gory corpses, trying to figure out what happened and how to go back and prevent it, and flashbacks showing how the station was overrun, including graphic descriptions of the deaths of every senior officer. And I mean graphic - this book's got more head shots than an episode of The Walking Dead. Head shots are problematic for me, so reading each increasingly violent demise described in loving detail was tough - but I like dark fic as long as things are OK in the end, so I just tried not to think about it.
This was written between seasons 1 & 2, and the characterizations of Quark and Odo reflect that; I liked how most everyone was handled, with the exception of Miles initially balking at a fight (oh hell naw) and Julian pausing to mourn a dead crew member because she was pretty and he hadn't boned her yet. (*sigh*) Yeah, the tech is wobbly and the ending is a bit wtf, but this is still a well done bit of Trek fic. Which is why I'm so bummed to find out this author pulled an Orson Scott Card. (oops, can't talk about that.)(less)
3.5 stars -- to be reviewed in the May issue of Historical Novel Society Review. A well-constructed murder mystery with good attention to historical d...more3.5 stars -- to be reviewed in the May issue of Historical Novel Society Review. A well-constructed murder mystery with good attention to historical detail; the supernatural element felt a bit out of place, but I'm sure that's because I'm a newcomer to the series. A very entertaining story.(less)
This was one of my favorite TNG books when I was a teenager (the danger! the angst! the psychic hotline of love!), but at 36 I can see things I couldn...moreThis was one of my favorite TNG books when I was a teenager (the danger! the angst! the psychic hotline of love!), but at 36 I can see things I couldn't see at 13. The main one is Stone: he's supposed to be an intriguingly damaged loner, a pre-DS9 mirror to the dark spots in the Federation, and as a teenager I was *all* about that - now he mostly comes across as sociopathic time bomb and general creeper. (Both Deanna and Beverly are ~strangely drawn to him~ after he creeps on them. Gross.) Also, when you're the same age as Stephy, soliciting Will Riker to relieve you of your virginity is the stuff of fanfiction notebooks hidden under your bed (not that I had any such notebooks, of course), but when you're old enough to be Stephy's mother, the reaction is somewhat different. Still though, it's a good Trek adventure (I mean, come on, Riker fights space yeti), and it was an amusing walk down memory lane. I'm glad I started my TNG re-read with this one.(less)
(I was offered a copy of Thirteen by the publisher and downloaded it via NetGalley.)
There was something about the style and structure of this book th...more(I was offered a copy of Thirteen by the publisher and downloaded it via NetGalley.)
There was something about the style and structure of this book that I couldn't quite put my finger on; about a third of the way through I remembered that it was originally published in 1972, and that explained it. It's not sensationalized or heavily dramatized, nor is it structured like a novel in short punchy chapters; instead it's a very factual, linear account, chronicling every minute of the mission in a style that reminded me of the newscasts of the day, allowing the drama of the story to come through without forcing it. But the biggest difference is that the Apollo 13 story did not yet have the legendary status in 1972 that it has today, so there are no star players or big Hollywood moments in this version of events; every minute and every person is equal, from the astronauts and mission control directors to the random guys in the back room chain-smoking over flight plans. That was pretty refreshing, actually. I learned a lot from this book, and was absorbed from beginning to end. I'm grateful I was offered a copy -- it's a valuable addition to my space history library. (less)
I don't even know how to review this. I thought I'd read this back in high school, but maybe I blanked it from my memory out of teenage frustration. Y...moreI don't even know how to review this. I thought I'd read this back in high school, but maybe I blanked it from my memory out of teenage frustration. You would think I'd be in love with it because, you know, Rome, but for some reason I just couldn't quite grok it. I get the feeling this is a play that works better on the stage than on the page.
I know you're supposed to dislike Coriolanus because of his pride (maybe because the characters tell you that about a hundred times), but he was pretty much the only character I did like, with the exception of Menenius. Then he flipped from a swaggering bad-ass with faux modesty to I WILL KILL EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER LOVED so fast that I went back to see if I'd skipped a page. I can infer his inner workings easily enough, but I guess I wish I had seen them more on the page. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a good monologue. As for the others, oy vey - there's his bad-ass yet manipulative mother with a poorly concealed Jocasta complex; his colorless wife who does nothing but emote silently like an Ed Gorey drawing; two bitchy old GOP Congressmen who can somehow single-handedly turn the Roman populace into the villagers from Monty Python & the Holy Grail; and poor undervalued Menenius, who spends half his time delivering epic burns and the other half singing 'I Don't Know How to Love Him'. ("The general is my lover"? I want to read that play.) I don't think it's a bad play, I just think seeing it in performance would make it come alive for me. In the meantime I need to read this again and see what I missed.(less)
When I was asked if I'd like a NetGalley review copy of this book, I immediately said yes; it was only after that it occurred to me how difficult it m...moreWhen I was asked if I'd like a NetGalley review copy of this book, I immediately said yes; it was only after that it occurred to me how difficult it might be to read. I was 8 years old on January 28, 1986, and I watched the launch on TV like thousands of other second-graders. When Challenger broke apart, some of the kids cheered because they thought it was the boosters separating; but I was pretty sure it wasn't supposed to look like that, and when I saw my teacher's face I knew. The Space Shuttle had blown up, and the people inside had blown up too. (It wasn't until 20 years later that I found out they hadn't, that my one consolation - "at least it was quick" - was not true. Realizing that fact was like watching them die all over again.) Since then there have been horrors on a larger scale, but there's something very singular about the first tragedy of childhood. It's always been difficult for me to look at that image, no matter how many times I've seen it.
As it turns out, this was easier to read than I feared. The title implies some kind of exposé, but that's not what this is. It's more like an oral history put down on paper than glitzed-up narrative nonfiction - straightforward, factual, and personal. Using transcripts, records, and memory, Hugh Harris recounts Challenger's final day from his position in Launch Control, the initial reactions, and the difficult weeks that followed. It's true there's a lot of technical and mechanical detail that some might find dry, but to me that's an important part of the history; I learned things I didn't know even after all this time. You don't need flowery dramatic prose to make this story powerful - in my opinion, it's more powerful without it. Even if you don't understand some of the techno-talk, this is an accessible account of an important event in American history.(less)
My favorite of all the Little House books - the one I read most often as a girl, and the only one I'd really really love to own now. The "make hay whi...moreMy favorite of all the Little House books - the one I read most often as a girl, and the only one I'd really really love to own now. The "make hay while the sun shines" scenes in the beginning make me think of my grandfather, and this:
"It can't beat us!" Pa said. "Can't it, Pa?" Laura asked stupidly. "No," said Pa. "It's got to quit sometime and we don't. It can't lick us. We won't give up." Then Laura felt a warmth inside her. It was very small but it was strong. It was steady, like a tiny light in the dark, and it burned very low but no winds could make it flicker because it would not give up.
That got me through a lot of bad times. It still does.(less)