Narrator: January LaVoy | Length: 1 hrs and 57 mins | Audiobook Publisher: Random House Audio (November 24, 2015)Read more reviews @ The Bibliosanctum
Narrator: January LaVoy | Length: 1 hrs and 57 mins | Audiobook Publisher: Random House Audio (November 24, 2015) | Whispersync Ready: No
2.5-3 stars. Interesting story, but...
Very slight spoilers, but you’ve been warned.
I’m one of those people who is easily distracted by secondary characters to the point of joining their cult followings, and I’m not sorry. My most recent secondary character obsession is, Benzine Netal, a character from Star Wars: The Force Awakens the latest installment in the Star Wars universe. In one particular scene we are briefly scan to this intriguing looking woman dressed in Harlequin-esque attire, and in the next we’re learning the bounds of her treachery. She wasn’t in the movie long, but she had the potential to be more than a bit player in the movie, as many characters did, in my mind. There was something interesting and exciting about her character. She offered a plausible counter to Rey’s “moral excellence,”a woman who seemed cold and whose allegiances were shifty unlike the Imperial dedication from Phasma. Bezine carried herself as if she’s not someone to be trifled with, and I was excited to hear there would be a story to explore her background. I wish I could say that I loved what I learned about her. Unfortunately, they did nothing of importance with the character.
Bazine is The Perfect Weapon. trained from childhood to become a formidable foe and fulfill one ultimate goal (unbeknownst to her) that her teacher wanted, which really didn’t make much sense since he had years to complete this objective. There seems to be no mention of her parents because she was adopted from an orphanage by her mentor. Years later, she’s given a mission that requires she turn to him for help because she needs a ship. Why do all spy types need a ship? Do they not save the credits they get to buy one of their own? Her mentor agrees to give her a ship as long as she take his Pantoran techie, a rookie who needs to complete an off-world mission and could use her help. The only problem with this Pantoran is that he was absolutely the most unnecessary character I’ve ever encountered in a book. In fact, the whole premise for the story was weak, and a part near the end had me like, “HOW CONVENIENT!” You really don’t see Bazine being “The Perfect Weapon” much, which is okay. I’m getting to that.
So, why did rate it more than 1-star? Well, because I liked what I did learn about Bazine outside this missions’s premise. How her whole life has been manipulated to be this cold woman when she could’ve been anyone she wanted instead of a woman who wears eel ink on her finger tips or wears poisoned black lipstick to come in for a close kill. She’s not only emotionally scarred, but she’s physically scarred. Her face is a mask to hide the horror of a mission gone bad, and that’s something I would’ve loved to have heard more about. I’m sure seeing her in that moment of both emotional vulnerability and rage would’ve been an excellent story. I would have loved to explore these aspects of Bazine more, the slip of being a woman who does care but at the same time she does what is necessary. It’s not assumed she doesn’t care because she’s just a cold woman. She stops caring because everything she cares about is taken from her to make her the spy she is. It’s dangerous for her to care. A couple of things other than the plot annoyed me. The constant reminder that she’s a sexy woman and what she’s wearing can get old in the story. We understand this, and even Bazine acknowledges she is beautiful, but beauty isn’t always worth its merits that people place on it in her opinion. We didn’t need constant words being taken up with drunk men hitting on her. Loss potential wasted on words about men too disgusting to be in her presence, according to her, which is another thing that annoyed me. You are a spy. You’ve admitted that you’ve had to go to some awful places, but still have to continuously harp on how gross something is instead of being the focused machine you are. I’m not saying she should’ve ignored it, but we get it! She thinks what she’s doing is gross. There are way better ways to convey disgust other than having what amounts to “OMG YUCK!” every couple pages. And what’s the point of having a million weapons on your person if you’re not actually going to use them. Inquiring minds want to know. Anyhow, in Bazine, you do see a loss for what she could’ve been, how tired she is, how she feeds off the adrenaline she feels during a mission despite this. January LaVoy did an excellent job with the voices. I loved her Bazine. Just like with almost all Star Wars books I’ve listened to, this has sound effects, but thankfully, they don’t ever overtake the narration. I’m really impressed they added production to such a short story. Just like with The Force Awakens, I don’t think this is a necessary read, but it’s fun to learn a little more about that interesting lady from the cantina (who I hope to see more of… please…)....more
MacDonald has been credited with being the inspiration for other “Christian Mythmakers” such as Tolkien and L’EngRead more reviews @ The Bibliosanctum
MacDonald has been credited with being the inspiration for other “Christian Mythmakers” such as Tolkien and L’Engle. Thid story in particular is seen as some of his best work. Despite the publisher, this is not a book that is about religion (but you can catch some religious themes as with the works with all the authors mentioned). The Day Boy and the Night Girl is a fairy tale of sorts, and I’ve heard that this is quoted in Ann Aguirre’s Enclave. Two women, a beautiful noblewoman named Aurora from the king’s court, and a blind, widowed woman named Vesper, are the unwitting guests of Watho, a witch, who aspires to know everything. She allows Aurora to live in the sunlight and have free range of the castle while she hides away the blind woman in the tombs, believing her to know no difference given her condition. Watho finds both women beautiful. Aurora in her vibrance and Vesper in her tragedy. Aurora soon births a son, Photogen. Immediatey upon his birth, he is spirited away from his mother. She’s told he is dead, and she leaves the mansion in despair. Not too long after, Vesper births a daughter named Nycteris and presumably Vesper died after her birth. Watho begins an experiment with the children. She only allows Photogen to see the sunlight, living as his mother had, and she allows Nycteris to see only the dark, living in the tombs as her mother had. Photogen is schooled in many arts while Nycteris is largely kept ignorant save for learning music. Photogen knows nothing of the night while Nycteris knows nothing of the day.
When Photogen decides that he has the courage to face the night after learning about it, he’s seized with a fear he’s never known, only helped through his fear by Nycteris who is ignorant of the sunlight and finds no fear in the dark. In fact, Nycteris is very much in tune with her surroundings. When Nycteris discovers the sun, she believes she is burning. However, unlike Photogen, she is more open to experience despite her naivety, and quickly comes to realize that, despite her fear of the sun, both the light and the dark live together to form a harmony. This harmony is something that both the boy and the girl find in each other, as they learn to balance this realization that there is more to their lives than the small world Watho has condemned to them for her personal knowledge. This is a beautifully crafted tale that’s aged well. There’s a simplicity to the story that kids can appreciate, but at the same time, there’s a depth that adults can admire. Photogen’s resolve to be brave in the face of the unknown and Nycteris’ quiet wisdom are shown beautifully, simply. They complement each other and navigate a world together that they’d been hidden from. Because this is a children’s story, things do wrap up very neatly for the characters, but there is still something affecting about it. Eggington’s narration was great. It wasn’t too over the top, and it wasn’t too boring. He read it just as you’d expect a fairy tale to be narrated. I will admit the story seems to give more weight to the boy’s story, but this could be to show how naive he truly is and how Nycteris offsets that by being compassionate. It made me think of Digory and Polly from C.S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew, but Nycteris is much milder than Polly....more
This is sort of a slice of life police procedural. I've always wondered how the Gotham City P.D. feel about Batman. I mean, I know there's tension theThis is sort of a slice of life police procedural. I've always wondered how the Gotham City P.D. feel about Batman. I mean, I know there's tension there, and it's been shown in the comics. But sometimes I wonder how a typical day, a typical case, is like for them. I wasn't disappointed by what I read. Gotham's finest are presented here as dedicated (or the ones that have appeared so far).
They try to deal with a city where they're ill-prepared to deal with someone like Mister Freeze, where they feel they want to take care of things, to be the one who brings these lunatics in, but in reality, they know that, sometimes, they're resigned to Batman's help. They want to serve and protect. They do serve and protect. They're not bumbling. They may not be on Batman's level, but they're not incapable. Despite Batman making many high profile busts, they still have small victories with "lesser" criminals and crimes, but feel eclipsed by Batman's deeds. And in their own way, they want to impress Batman just like Batman's little family does. They want to show him they're competent, and they want him to acknowledge the work they do. Batman can't be everywhere after all. They have such a thankless job. ...more
2.5 to 3 stars. Not badly written… I’m just disappointed by the squandered potential. I’m going to rereadMore reviews @ The Bibliosanctum
2.5 to 3 stars. Not badly written… I’m just disappointed by the squandered potential. I’m going to reread Anna Dressed in Blood to make myself feel better about this
This book calls itself Dexter meets The Grudge. I’m starting to really hate when books try to say that it’s similar to other books. I don’t know whose job it is to come up with these blurbs, but they need to get their priorities straight. First, this is nothing, and I mean nothing at all, like Dexter. Did they even read/watch Dexter? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller? This isn’t even in the same universe as Dexter. Second, while I’ll concede this shares some general traits with The Grudge, this is nowhere near as atmospheric and creepy as that. Okiku, the ghost of a murdered girl, stalks the streets, looking for child murderers. Killing them, she frees the children still tethered to their attackers, but she can’t find such relief. You’d think that would mean that you’d see many people get their comeuppance because there are many sickos in the world. You don’t. You spend more time reading about how Okiku just watches people like Netflix and chills in people’s attic. I didn’t need a gorefest, but I needed something to at least make me believe this was creepy. And it was creepy for the first few pages and then… *sigh* Anyway, a tattooed boy named Tark moves into the town Okiku’s currently haunting, and something about him reminds her of home and happiness and warmth. However, there is also something dark imprisoned deep inside him.
Okay, this wasn’t a bad book. This book was more lyrical than scary. In fact, I enjoyed the experimental style that Chupeco used writing this. Okiku has an obsession with numbers and counting that pops up frequently. Paragraph structure is purposely inconsistent when we’re seeing things from her POV. This would be all fine and good if this was an experimental novel, but this novel wants to be Dexter meets The Grudge. I may be jaded because I’ve been reading/watching horror for a very long time, but I can still appreciate the elements that actually make a story scary even if I’m not scared myself. This book tried to be scary, but this book also tried to be poignant, different, and moving. It can be hard to mix all those things together and get a story that’s both scary and emotional. It’s been done many times for sure, but it’s easy to focus on one aspect more than others. She obviously gets what makes J-Horror work, but she’s not as adept as putting it all together. Add to the fact that it was hard for me to care about the characters. They all felt so generic, even Tark with the strange tattoos put on him by his Japanese mother. I couldn’t say I found anything riveting about them–save for one character. Typically in a horror novel, it’s okay to have some generic characters because the horror is supposed to be front and center. Because this book tried so hard to be deep, it was too easy for me to realize how shallow the characters were because I didn’t have any actual horror to hide that fact. Not a bad book, but it feels as if it tried too hard. For me, the horror is lacking. For someone else, this might be perfectly scary.
Yays! – A YA book that doesn’t find a way for the boy and girl to be together (no romance, not even a friendship really; just a state of existing together for a common purpose) – Interesting experimental writing style
Nays! – Not Dexter meets The Grudge, I don’t care how hard you squint – Cardboard characters that I didn’t actually care about – Squandered potential, especially with Okiku who was a badass for three seconds ...more