As my reviews often waunder off-topic, they can now be found on my blog at Booklikes. Here is the link for my thoughts on this book: Prince Caspian reAs my reviews often waunder off-topic, they can now be found on my blog at Booklikes. Here is the link for my thoughts on this book: Prince Caspian review....more
I reread this for a challenge and because I was already missing Goldy and her family. If you wish to read my thoughts on this format, please click herI reread this for a challenge and because I was already missing Goldy and her family. If you wish to read my thoughts on this format, please click here to take you to my blog. All of my reviews are now available there....more
My thoughts on this book are many and personal. As this means that some will be off-topic and not profitable for the people running this website, I feMy thoughts on this book are many and personal. As this means that some will be off-topic and not profitable for the people running this website, I fear it does not meet with their idea of proper content. If you wish to read what I thought of this book, please click here to read the review on my blog....more
As I am unsure how long my reviews and account are safe on this site, all my ratings and reviews are published on my blog. Here is the link to my reviAs I am unsure how long my reviews and account are safe on this site, all my ratings and reviews are published on my blog. Here is the link to my review of this wonderful book. ...more
As my thoughts on these two books are not safe here, my rating and review of them can be found on my Booklikes blog here. Warning: there are spoilersAs my thoughts on these two books are not safe here, my rating and review of them can be found on my Booklikes blog here. Warning: there are spoilers in the review....more
As I discuss the author as well as stray off-topic, my review is unwelcome here. If you wish to read my thoughts on this book, please do so on my BookAs I discuss the author as well as stray off-topic, my review is unwelcome here. If you wish to read my thoughts on this book, please do so on my Booklikes blog here....more
As I still am not sure if my review fits with Goodreads' terms of service, as they have yet to renew them after making clear there have been severe chAs I still am not sure if my review fits with Goodreads' terms of service, as they have yet to renew them after making clear there have been severe changes, I will not be posting it here. If you wish to read my thoughts, please click here. ...more
To see my rating and review, please click here to see my thoughts on my Booklikes blog as I am no longer able to trust Goodreads will not delete eitheTo see my rating and review, please click here to see my thoughts on my Booklikes blog as I am no longer able to trust Goodreads will not delete either my review or my account....more
As I can no longer be assured that my data or my account will survive on this site, I am posting all my ratings and reviews on my blog at Booklikes. IAs I can no longer be assured that my data or my account will survive on this site, I am posting all my ratings and reviews on my blog at Booklikes. If you would like to read my thoughts on this audiobook, please click here to go directly to my review....more
For want of archival security on this site, as well as the fact that I might either a) discuss the author (and am unsure if there might be one personFor want of archival security on this site, as well as the fact that I might either a) discuss the author (and am unsure if there might be one person out there who will take it the wrong way) and/or b) I may stray off-topic in my review; you will not find my thoughts on this book here.
Please check out my rating and review of Scarlet here. ...more
This is a strange review for me. After reading this book, I wanted to capture my thoughts immediately after I’d finished, leading me to write this verThis is a strange review for me. After reading this book, I wanted to capture my thoughts immediately after I’d finished, leading me to write this very late on the night before and morning of Thanksgiving. Thus, for the first time in my life, I’ve attempted basically stream of consciousness writing which I will point out, I’m not a fan of. I don’t know if this is even worth reading nor do I think anyone but me will find this interesting. However, I have watched from the sidelines for nearly all of this uproar even though it has caused me great personal grief. This is my pitiful contribution. This is my remembrance for the years to come.
Emotional words get bandied about so much in our modern literature; sadness, happiness, hatred, anger. They are quickly stated and then set to the side, reminding you they’re there but rarely calling forth the genuine emotion within the reader. Conversely, in others the emotions are spread out like a great feast where the author crams down the reader a veritable glut of heavy emotions to the point where you have to set the book aside or founder. Commercials, movies media as a whole throw so much faked or contrived drama, misery, adolescent highs and lows, and desires, we are left in a sea of emotion until it all seems trite.
I look back at the books that meant the most to me and find they are the ones that left me with one clear emotion as I closed the cover on yet another experience. Series bring me simple joy at the acquaintance with old friends, historical-fiction with remembrance for times long past, or mysteries a sense of completion – a sense that all’s right with the world. Even books that bring anger, thoughtfulness, and sadness mean a great deal as they expand my horizons and make me consider things in a new or different light.
And here this off-topic dialogue leads to the reason I’m writing this at night, now the day of Thanksgiving. Because I just finished Off-Topic and all I can feel is a deep, soul-aching sorrow. Some may argue this book is little more than a diatribe of people who really need to learn when to give in, give up, and fall silent. But I found little anger here; some yes, because when passionate people are hurt concerning something that means a great deal to them, anger will follow. Instead, I found articulate people with a consuming passion for books who are told their opinions matter…only when they say something ‘they’ want to hear.
As someone who came to the situation late and had to track down and piece together most of what came before, I was grateful the book broke its contents into segments including: ‘The deletions start’, ‘Revolt’, and ‘Goodbye letters.’ Each piece came from different members and former members, giving each one a chance to say their often personal piece and how what had occurred had affected them.
After all, isn’t that what made Goodreads great?
Reading and sharing each other’s personal opinions?
If you are unclear on what’s been going on and want to find out, or you’ve heard bits and pieces but not the whole situation, I urge you to read this book and hear what these people –our fellow reviewers – have to say. They aren’t mean or nasty, they aren’t being hateful or cruel, nor are they people better off ignored. They are articulate, knowledgeable people who cite information so you can check their facts. More than I can say for even some ‘historical’ texts.
In the end, however, facts and well-reasoned arguments weren’t what filled me with sorrow. Even the best pieces like “Martial Law” and “Fair Play or Foul”, excellent and frightening reviews that I spent hours after contemplating, paled before the sheer weight of sadness that pervaded the book.
True book lovers are spirited people and while they often may not agree, they will give you a chance to join the argument. All opinions are welcome because they are yours and each is different. I loathe The Great Gatsby but I adore The Scarlet Pimpernel. I can’t stand Charlotte’s Web but devoured Animal Farm. I don’t like Where the Wild Things Are but have read In the Night Kitchen hundreds of times and hope to read it hundreds more. All of the books I dislike I can almost guarantee you love or at least enjoyed. You may not have liked or even heard of my favorites.
AND THAT’S OK!
The wonderful thing about our modern world is there is a book for everybody and who you are and what you’ve experienced will mean that the book you read will be very different from the one I do. Same author, same words, different experience. I like Twilight not for what’s written but what should have been. Take away the two main characters, who I’m ambivalent about at best and you have some great stories that aren’t told. Carlisle fascinates me; focus on him!
To end, let me explain to you what Goodreads has meant to me. In late middle school, I stumbled onto a book that changed my life. Its name was The Scarlet Pimpernel and I loved it. I read it five times in one year, joyously discovered the sequels, and raved about it to anyone who stood still around me for longer than five seconds. The history, the action/adventure, the characters: this book had been written for me!
I told my all my friends at school and, as you probably understand, they were less than thrilled. A guy who acts like idiot, the French Revolution, snide remarks about clothes; they must have thought I was nuts. Finally, one brave soul gave in and borrowed my copy, just to shut me up, she later implied. She started reading it, intending to ‘give up’ and return it…and instead devoured it.
The funny thing: she told me she thought it would be terrible and why hadn’t I mentioned the epic romance in it? My response: Romance? Our other friends read it and we talked about it, watched the movie(s), etc. And for the first time in my life, I learned two very important things. First: my book is not the same as another’s. My reasons for liking or not liking a book might be the complete opposite of someone else. Second, that a visceral love/disappointment/anger at a book begs to be shared. Word of mouth is fine but often few wish to hear. This is what I craved when I found GR. This too is what I found…and now have lost.
Because someone has decided my/our opinions, my/our love, and my/our thoughts may not be economically beneficial. Someone has decided that dislike of a book or author’s behavior equates to hatred of their person. Someone has decided that silence is better and easier for them. After all, it’s just a click away.
As the reviewer (and author) of “Fair Play or Foul” said: ‘safe and sanitary’ scares the bejesus out of me. I can’t distinguish it from something you’d see in a Soviet Russia or Communist China re-education camp. But that’s just my opinion. PLEASE HAVE YOURS. And please remember that it doesn’t really count if nobody can hear it.” (p. 184)
So I’m letting this be heard: you’ve read my thoughts (if you got this far –I know this is long), please read the book and tell me your own. I might not agree with them but I’d love to hear them all the same.
Note: This review is also going up on my account at Booklikes. I hope it will sit in both sites and be read, but I fear there will come a time where there will be only one. I bet you can guess where that will be. ...more
Spoiler alert is not for this volume but rather for people who haven't read the series to this point (of which I would be one if it weren't for my lSpoiler alert is not for this volume but rather for people who haven't read the series to this point (of which I would be one if it weren't for my local Library - LOVE!).
Up until the latest story arc, I'd said that One Piece only got better with every volume that came out. Sometimes the anime arcs d r a g on s o o o long but Oda is extremely able at presenting vast amounts of information, character growth, action, and story quickly without the reader feeling as if they are watching a powerpoint. I don't know how he does it, but if he weren't able to, I wouldn't be reading this because it would be easily twice as long as it already is. A good example of the difference between the manga and the anime is the Alabasta arc. Oh my God, that was nearly painful to get through in the anime but the manga covered the same events so quickly and, in my opinion, better.
...Then came Punk Hazard.
I cannot put into words how much I disliked this arc since it was introduced a couple volumes ago. The fact that this is what I'm having to wait for makes it worse. So, I'll admit it, I picked this up from the Library out of obligation and not much else.
But this volume has cooled my anger at this arc. I'm still not terribly happy about this, but this volume does explain some things, answers some questions that I really needed to understand much less enjoy, and the characters start to actually do something besides wander around in a daze. Caesar Clown is scary, maybe scarier then some of the other really weird baddies our crew has faced on the Grand Line and seeing some...acquaintances from pre-time skip was interesting.
So, my zeal for the series has begun to revive...but I'll be SO much happier when we leave Punk Hazard far behind....more
Scorecard: (Out of 10) * Quality of Writing - 7 * Pace - 6 * Plot development - 6 * Characters - 9 * Enjoyability - 8 * Insightfulness - 7 * Eas*3.6 Stars*
Scorecard: (Out of 10) * Quality of Writing - 7 * Pace - 6 * Plot development - 6 * Characters - 9 * Enjoyability - 8 * Insightfulness - 7 * Ease of Reading - 8 * Photos/Illustrations - NA Final Score: 51/70 = 73%
I really should have read this before Doctor Who: Shroud of Sorrow because I couldn't help comparing the two and that's not fair to this book. They are completely different works and each are good in their own way. However, this is not a happy book. In the review of Shroud, I noted how strange it was that a book on grief was hilariously full of one liners and snark. Plague of the Cyberman is a book about fear, strength to overcome overwhelming odds, and community/family, but there is little joy here. Even the Doctor's jokes fall flat, as he points out more than once.
Yet, it is captivating. The first half of the book is a bit of slow build but only really in comparison to the second half which I'd say is more like a train wreck, not that its bad - it's quite good - but it's fast, unstoppable, and you can't look away. I couldn't put it down and ended up finishing it quite late. Because there's no companion in this book, we get Olga - a schoolteacher in a roughly medieval town who ends up being a pretty awesome helper. She may not have technical knowledge or understanding of the wider universe, but she comes to understand the Doctor in a way few others have. Olga sees some sides of him for what they truly are and through her, we get to as well. The other characters are compelling as well and there were none I didn't like, even the less then savory ones.
Best of all, the juxtaposition of Cybermen and basically medieval culture gives the book a unique and interesting setting.
The big downside of this book was its predictability. The first half set up the rest of the book well, too well really because as soon as I met the Ernhardt family and the Watchman, I'd figured out a good bit of the plot. Don't get me wrong, there were still surprises but the 'twists' were rather lacking. Once (view spoiler)[I knew about Lord Enrhardt's Cyberman hand and that the Watchman had done it, I figured out Victor was mostly Cyberman parts and Lady Ernhardt was a machine that somehow looked human. I mean they only mention it half a dozen times for little reason. To what extent Victor was metal or how the Lady didn't look like a Cyberman or if she was friend or foe I wasn't sure, but the twists were really obvious. (hide spoiler)] Still the plot was interesting, if somewhat predictable and clichéd, and reading this was enjoyable.
While not top marks, this book is certainly one of the better media tie-in books I've read. The plot might be a bit clichéd, but the characters are strong and the characterization of the Doctor is incredible. This is a darker version of Matt Smith's Doctor than we usually see, but it's also deeper then usually seen and I like it. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is not really a book for children, though you could read it to them. This is for the parents, which is a trend that I think is just starting (likThis is not really a book for children, though you could read it to them. This is for the parents, which is a trend that I think is just starting (like with Goodnight iPad: a Parody for the next generation).
This is the cry of every parent after three books, five bathroom visits, a cup of water, and the search for a missing companion. This is the fear that they are not doing 'it' right, that they are horrible parents because their child will not settle down. While I do not yet have children, I know people who do and each have their own ways to cope. Some are better than others but each have voiced this cry in tone if not in words.
I know I was just as bad as this child is in the story and while my parents would have NEVER read this book to me, they felt this. I know.
So, to conclude, this is going on my to buy list. I and my husband may never read it to our small one but we will glance over it after yet another epic battle and laugh.
Scorecard: (Out of 10) * Quality of Writing - 8 * Pace - 9 * Plot development - 8 * Characters - 10 * Enjoyability - 10 * Insightfulness - 10 **4.6 Stars*
Scorecard: (Out of 10) * Quality of Writing - 8 * Pace - 9 * Plot development - 8 * Characters - 10 * Enjoyability - 10 * Insightfulness - 10 * Ease of Reading - 10 * Photos/Illustrations - NA Final Score: 65/70 = 93%
*WARNING: If you haven't watched Season 7 and don't know who Clara is, first: stop reading this and watch it. Right now. Second, while there is no real spoilers, you won't completely understand the character of Clara nor appreciate how good the characterization is.
Doctor Who will always hold a special place in my heart because the show brought my brother and I together in ways nothing else ever has. Basically, we have little in common and our conversations were usually brusque, basic, and short. Then he and I discovered the new Doctor Who show at basically the same time and...magic happened. We had our first phone conversation that lasted longer than 10 difficult minutes. We talk over an hour, using the show to bridge to other interests and connecting in ways we never had before. While he is a bigger fan than I (sadly, too many fandoms and not enough time), Doctor Who will always have a special place in my heart and will now always be a part of my life.
For the above reason as well as the book itself, I find myself torn concerning this book as while it centers around grief, I thoroughly had a blast reading this borrowed copy (from said brother of course) and was laughing nearly every paragraph. I had just watched some of the Clara episodes with him and we both loved her snark and how she keeps up with the Doctor. This book showed that wonderfully. I've not laughed that hard and out loud in a while. Expressions like the corridor quickstep, various sarcastic quips and (view spoiler)[Clara: "You're going to feed liquid anti-depressant to a furious living wormhole that feeds on negative emotions?" Doctor: "Good, aren't' I?" (hide spoiler)] were just brilliant. They were also needed as this is a an intense story. It takes place a day after Kennedy's assassination, so that is referenced but not the focus of the story. Instead, the grief and shock of the people of Dallas and the world takes center stage as it brings an alien presence known as the Shroud onto the Earth as it beasts first on the national grief before inducing personal grief as faces of loved ones people have lost latch on and drain them.
The characters both known and created for the book are spot on, fleshed out, and engaging. The story is extremely interesting and the book is well placed, as well as peppered with a good many allusions from the original Doctor Who series as well as the seasons of the new version. (I can thanks my brother too for any knowledge concerning the first 8 Doctors.) The subject of grief is well handled, making it easy for the reader to understand or even empathize with the characters as they are attacked. The Shroud is an intriguing badie with enough twists and information to fill the pages. The ending was not rushed (and issue often found in media tie-in books); so all in all, a good solid book. One of my favorite parts had to be (view spoiler)[comparison of clown cars to TARDIS. Why is there a clown car? Read and find out if your curiosity has got the best of you on this spoiler! (hide spoiler)]
Little here. The writing and structure of this book are solid. My biggest issue was Deaths are talked about and (view spoiler)[ the 'lumps' in the tunnel between the planets are a bit disturbing. Wouldn't have young kids read this book. (hide spoiler)]
One of the best media tie-in books I've read. If this is what most Doctor Who books are like, they will be a joy to read.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is a fairly well put together book. I like the size, though it must be hard to find space for it on some bookshelves. It4 Stars overall
This is a fairly well put together book. I like the size, though it must be hard to find space for it on some bookshelves. It’s height translates to large, detailed images that show off the illustrators’ excellent work while also making the text easy to read. The pages didn’t feel like they were going to fall out and the paperback cover seems rather sturdy. There are eight stories in here, most two parters that are given a chance to tell a good story. From here on, we will look at each one individually.
The Betrothal of Sontar:
Our old friends the Sontarans are back and the Doctor and Rose walk right into their hands. The leader of the soldiers on this ninth circle planet is…nuttier then a fruitcake and the Doctor is torn between helping the lunatic to save their lives and running as fast as he can the other way. We get to meet a ‘good’ Sontaran, predictably seen as a defect by the ‘normal’ ones, and together the three of them attempt to stop crazy potato head from destroying not only the planet but other parts of the galaxy as well.
My one problem with this particular story, which is well written and well-drawn (give up all thoughts that ANYONE can illustrate the female characters like Jackie and Rose well), is some of the images are…disturbing. The end one is particularly brutal and there are a couple others that are a bit…much. That is more of a personal issue, so I’m sure most will have no problem but I feel I should mention it.
Ah, Mickey. A character that was often sadly underused. Here he is front and center as he narrates a weekend from Hell with the Doctor as his temporary lodger until Rose and the TARDIS return from a mistaken time sojourn. This is rather familiar to Matt Smith’s episode with from the fifth season called…well would you look at that, by timey-whimey coincidence it’s called the Lodger too. They even have a football game in this and he talks Mickey’s current girl into making something of herself too. Wow. I’m suddenly really underwhelmed.
The best part is the end when (view spoiler)[the Doctor sets up Rose to spend time with just Mickey after the guy blows up at him (hide spoiler)]. I will admit, it’s rather cute.
FYI, I just found out that the episode was based on this comic script that was written by the same guy. He basically wanted to see the Doctor live a day as a ‘normal’. I feel a bit better now.
This has to be one of my favs of this book, though it becomes rather disturbing after a while. We see two teens arguing over non-copyright but obviously supposed to be pop culture references. As they do so, rather strange things wander in and out of the ‘normal’ London street and though the boy makes mention of the…strangeness, he seems remarkably calm about it. Just as he talks about needing someone clever to explain it, we see the TARDIS appear. Rose and the Doctor quickly realize that all is not as it seems and they try to solve the problem.
This ends up being more complicated and involved then either could believe. The world around them is not as it seems and it is controlled by someone who either doesn’t acknowledge it or who then uses it for less than stellar means. The Doctor doesn’t have all the facts, will he figure it out in time?
My major problem with this, though again the story and illustrations are quite good, is that I had figured out the final big twist really early on. Also, I found (view spoiler)[the fact that the boy’s dead at birth twin would seek his death extremely dark and scary. I feel that this was almost treated flippantly and certainly not addressed as it should have been. (hide spoiler)] Too, did anyone else think the teacher who helped Rose looked a lot like Wonder Woman or is it just me?
Now this is Doctor Who at his finest! My favorite type of Doctor Who story is where you learn something, particularly concerning history as he romps across time and space. Here we discover (at least I did because I’d never heard about this before) an art and design movement in Italy after WWI that morphed into Mussolini’s fascists. While the story takes precedence, the reader does learn a good bit as well as sees where many of their ideals would inevitably lead no matter if (spoiler: crazy time jellies) mess with ‘history’ or not. The author also touches on another historical incident, I think. I believe the Roman legion they meet in Britain might be the Ninth that supposedly mysteriously disappeared but when I looked back over it, I couldn’t find where I got that from. So, that might not be accurate. The illustrations are REALLY good in this story with Rose looking…close to how she should (closer than any other story here) and the scenery is PERFECT. When the Doctor, Rose, and their friend find themselves in an Italian landscape that has built up decades in seconds, the ghost citadel left is beautiful and haunting. The incidental characters really shine in this and the baddies are interesting and kind of scary. All in all, an A+ story.
Ok, this was just weird. Not bad, necessarily, though it didn’t do much for me personally but it was very crazy. The TARDIS arrives on a weird spaceship carrying an Interstellar rock band that has seen better days. Crazy shenanigans happened as well as timey-whimey stuff. There is a bit of a mystery, though not much, and things come out all right in the end.
Ok, my biggest issue was the Zombie/Bane stiff walking around saying basically prerecorded phrases. Their explanation was even worse (view spoiler)[ever heard of desecration of a corpse, future creepy people (hide spoiler)] and, oh of course (view spoiler)[he’d play a major part! Why wouldn’t you want a walking corpse to be one of your main characters?! Seriously? (hide spoiler)].
All told, not my favorite story of the bunch.
Opera of Doom
A one part story that REALLY should have been longer. Rose and the Doctor arrive at a futuristic city where a strange opera house looms over large crowds of street musicians, trying to earn enough money to experience the Automatic Orchestra. Each night is a new production and is a must see. However, the Doctor recognizes the machine as something nefarious (doesn’t he always?) and with a local musician who can’t play but the Doctor knows as one of best musicians of all time aiding them, they discover the horrible truth about the Automatic Orchestra. (view spoiler)[And yes, I totally guessed that the bad musician would be magically gifted talents before the end of the story. A bit predictable but a fun read. (hide spoiler)]
The Green-Eyed Monster
Sigh. Can we pretend this copy magically did not contain this story?
The story is not…bad. And yes, my biggest issue was the illustration style. I…dislike…cartoony comic figures of real people with enlarged teeth. The Japanese enlarged eyes of manga are okay but something about teeth…shudder. So I was already disposed to be less than pleased with this but then the story…it just wasn’t for me. The idea of (view spoiler)[jealousy eating bug in the ear (hide spoiler)] while a bit creepy was actually interesting as was how they fix it but (view spoiler)[the scene where the Doctor kisses Jackie was not cool; sorry (hide spoiler)].
Just, all in all, this story didn’t do much for me. The best thing about it was that it was short.
The Warkeeper’s Crown Wow. Just wow.
Okay, that sums that up.
Seriously, though this is easily the best story of the collection. The fact that the Brigadier makes a wonderful appearance is the tip of the iceberg in an epic yet sad story about an alien civilization that is trapped in a constant state of war. The old ‘warkeeper’ is dying and the Brigadier with his military knowledge is supposed to take his place with the Doctor as his companion (some irony there). Needless to say the Doctor is less than thrilled and his friend isn’t any keener on the whole situation. As one would expect, there is a lot more going on than at first meets the eye and the issue does spill over onto Earth. This is a must read for Tenth Doctor fans as well as fans of the original series as the Brigadier plays such a great role in this story.
Quite a good series of comics involving the 10th Doctor and Rose. Some are, in my opinion, better than others but all the stories are rather fun and many are very interesting and thought provoking. I'd recommend this for Doctor Who lovers who like comics and/or especially like the 10th Doctor and Rose. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Scorecard: (Out of 10) * Quality of Writing -10 * Pace -9 * Plot development -9 * Characters -10 * Enjoyability -10 * Insightfulness -10 **4.75 Stars*
Scorecard: (Out of 10) * Quality of Writing -10 * Pace -9 * Plot development -9 * Characters -10 * Enjoyability -10 * Insightfulness -10 * Ease of Reading -8 * Photos/Illustrations -10 Final Score: 76/80 = 95%
*WARNING - for anyone reading this whohasn'tseen the movie: The Death Star blows up.
A good review would be giv’n in iamb. Alas! Fowl at deriving rhyme am I! All I can do is give these talents slam And slip another rhyme in on the sly.
As the above can attest, I am hopeless at poetry. I love reading and can even write a bit of prose and decent non-fiction, but I’d have failed my English classes if I’d had to write poetry. (My freshman English teacher did make us but took pity on me – and him – and allowed my free-style shape poetry to count. Thank you Mr. Wolfe!)
My lack of poetic ability has never dampened my love of Shakespeare. I have read three plays on my own (for fun and because I thought the stories sounded cool) and at least two for class (and was apparently crazy for enjoying that part of the year). Strangely, I’ve never had much of a problem with understanding the plays. Yes, I have to look up a few words, but I always understood what was being said and loved the Bard’s way with words.
From almost the same time, I’ve been obsessed with Star Wars. I had to take a few years off from watching the original trilogy because I could literally quote it word for word and tell you the action of the scene while doing that. I’m now finally to a point where I can watch them again; yeah! That’s not to say I quit reading the myriad books from the universe. I love the NPR radio dramatization of the original trilogy as well as several series and novels and reread them often.
One reason I love the NPR dramatization so much is it allows the reader to experience the beloved, well-known story in a way that makes it new again; it’s like stepping to the side and looking at it from a new angle. THAT is what this book does beautifully. Seeing the well-known story as a Shakespearean tragedy/comedy/historical play helped me remember how epic the story is; the movies had become so familiar I forgot the grand scale and larger implications.
And yet, it also reintroduced beloved characters. Luke is viewed through the lens of a Hamlet, Leia as an Ophelia, Kenobi as Prospero and Hamlet’s Father’s Ghost, and Han covers many characters from a variety of plays from A Midsummer Night's Dream and others. Further adding to our understanding are the asides and soliloquies spread throughout the text. Vader’s and Kenobi’s soliloquies help bridge pieces from the Prequels with this trilogy while R2-D2’s asides in human language give insights that ring true for a beloved character that till this was given voice only through C3PO’s answers to his beeps. So many of the characters garner a second look when they are viewed through mirrors of some of Shakespeare’s iconic characters.
The above is in a great part due to one of the truly brilliant parts of this book. This is NOT just an homage to a galaxy far, far away but also to the Bard’s works themselves as well as his crafting of words. Not only is the script laboriously and ingeniously rendered into iambic pentameter, the author manages to keep the integrity of the original script while basing each soliloquy (and other character dialogue) around famous Shakespearean ones from characters that mirror Lucas’ familiar Jedi, Rebel good guys, and Imperial villains. The best examples of this are some of Luke’s soliloquies such as, “Alas, poor storm trooper, I knew you not,” (p. 124) and “Once more unto the trench, dear friends, once more!” (p. 160). The first is from Hamlet and the second from Richard III. There are many others including one for Han modeled after the verbose leader of the actors in A Midsummer and one from Leia that reminds me of Ophelia from Hamlet. Phrases from Shakespeare, words he created, and more; this is as much about the Bard as the Rebellion among the stars.
Finally, the book is amazing because a) it is obviously a labor of love and b) the author actually discusses at the end how the book came about and why it works. You don’t render a sci-fi script into Shakespearean laden iambic pentameter without a deep love for both Star Wars and the Bard. You definitely do a good job when you care and it shows. At times it felt like two fans trading their favorite moments and bickering over little details. One example is an aside from Han: “And whether I shot first, I’ll ne’er confess.” (p. 77) What a great shared moment with the fans and so meta as well as addressing something that is ‘plaguing’ the fan community. Another was (in my opinion) a slight dig at Star Trek which, depending on who you talk to, is a rival to Star Wars. “To boldly go where none hath gone is wild!” (p. 109) (Note: I’m a huge Star Trek and Star Wars fan, so it could just be me on this). The afterword does well at answering why such a crazy sounding combo works: Joseph Campbell (note: almost any academic discussion of Star Wars will bring him up sooner or later). Doescher makes a compelling argument, however and I really understood where he was coming from. I vastly prefer the author explaining his reasoning and evidence to back him up then leaving me floundering and he does that well here.
There is nothing here that personally bothered me; I feel this book was all but written for me and I hope he does the next two as well. However, this book is not for everyone. I know a lot of people struggle with Shakespeare and his language and while I think familiarity with Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope will aid in the reader’s understanding, some might find this too frustrating. All books, to some degree, depend on the reader’s ‘mileage’ or their personal preferences. Some books this holds particularly true and Verily A New Hope is one such. You the discerning reader will know best whether this is a book for you.
A wonderful, different look at our favorite far, far away galaxy, Verily A New Hope is a great homage to not only a beloved movie but the works of one of our greatest wordsmiths. This is a great way to not only experience a favorite story anew, but also to look at it from a classical and mythological viewpoint. Paying tribute to fan arguments, meta, and the prequels, you will never see Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope the same way again.
P.S.: Two quick things. First, I can totally see this being performed and I can't wait for that to happen. Second, I would also recommend this to people who liked Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or at least the idea. Like that book, this preserves the core while presenting an idea that is beyond anything I could have thought of in my wildest dreams....more
Well, I didn't think it could happen but this series got even MORE bizarre. My word, this is a crazy book. Antimony has grown and her penchant for troWell, I didn't think it could happen but this series got even MORE bizarre. My word, this is a crazy book. Antimony has grown and her penchant for trouble has only increased. Kat and her discover the truth behind the sword ghost at the bottom of the bridge and with it a darkness at the heart of this court. The boy caught up in Zimmy's strangeness in the last book causes some problems because of what happened to him but they sort that out. Coyote is up to his old tricks and we see more of his dark side as well as find out that Antimony's mother tricked Renard years ago. We also find out some of the truth of Antimony herself, causing her great sadness at the discovery.
This only wets the appetite for more and I hope to see more in the future. I think I'll be checking out the website of the comic because I have to find out what happens next. ...more
More loveliness! Rin and Daikichi face sickness, his cousin running from home for a time, the loss of baby teeth, and more learning to be a parent. DaMore loveliness! Rin and Daikichi face sickness, his cousin running from home for a time, the loss of baby teeth, and more learning to be a parent. Daikichi makes friends with fellow parents and can begin to get answers to some of the questions that have bothered him.
One of my favorite times is when they practice jump roping together along with their friends. Wonderful moments.
Another great addition to the series but sadly this is all I'll be able to read for awhile. This is the last volume my library has and I have no idea if they will be purchasing any more. Hopefully they will when they get a chance. ...more