Thursday, April 16, 2015

HOLY CRAP! Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer!


SO GOOD!! I am so excited for December 18th!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Book Review: Leviathan

Leviathan (The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier #5)Leviathan by Jack Campbell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow. What a ride.

Black Jack Geary has certainly taken the First Fleet into battles where the odds seem insurmountable, but he's Black Jack and has always managed to scrape through. Now he's facing the dark ships, and their AIs are designed to act and react like he would!

I really enjoy the Lost Fleet novels. There's plenty of action and down-time as well, but when the combat starts I can't put it down. There's plenty of character within these stories as well, and when we lose one it hurts; when we lose ships-full, it's incomprehensible.

Many surprises lead Geary to the dark fleet's home base where he hopes he can destroy their repair and replenishment facilities since he can't outright destroy the fleet the itself without significant losses to his own fleet. Old friends and new return to help out where they can.

An emotional ending brings the book to a close, though the First Fleet sails on.

Leviathan is great read!

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I received my review copy from the publisher through Netgalley.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Book Review: Lords of the Sith

Lords of the Sith (Star Wars)Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Darth Vader? Scary awesome when he was younger.

I need more Star Wars fiction like this that features Vader in his prime: piloting the heck out of his starfighter, using the Force to do crazy things without thought of failure, plowing through enemies with his lightsaber; you know, still doing the things Anakin Skywalker was doing during the Clone Wars, but blatantly evil.

I really enjoyed the introspection Vader had in his quiet moments, the seeming omniscience Palpatine showed of Vader's thoughts, and Vader's responses to his master questioning and testing him. There need to be more Vader/Palpatine stories!

Also? Palpatine unleashed! He and Vader become stranded together on a planet, and as they make their way to civilization they encounter wildlife and terrorists (freedom fighters) that are trying to kill them. Since they're pretty much alone, Sheev can use the Force without witnesses. I'm just glad it wasn't Jedi facing them when he and Vader both ignited their lightsabers. The lords of the Sith tore through the jungles and caves (and citizens) of Ryloth with a controlled fury.

Darth Sidious expertly manipulated the fledgling rebellion on Ryloth to his own ends, as always. And the sad Imperial presence there suffered as well under an inattentive Moff and a traitorous second-in-command. I really didn't care much about the Imperial characters beyond the Darths, though they served their parts well in the story. There are rumors Moff Mors may be a recurring character. If so, she had better stop being lazy and start serving her Emperor!

It would have been nice to get to meet a young Hera, the daughter of the leader of the rebels on Ryloth. She's mentioned briefly, but we know she becomes the leader of a rebel cell years later in the Star Wars cartoon Rebels.

Many characters die within these pages, and the Emperor achieves his goal; but an ember still remains for the rebellion.

Great space combat, awesome Vader scenes, and the Emperor being cunning. What's not to love?

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I received my review copy from the publisher through Netgalley.

Friday, March 27, 2015

My first ComicCon!

 emerald city comiccon logo
I got to go to ComicCon! Emerald City ComicCon is the first comic convention I've attended, and I loved it. I've lived in the Seattle area since for almost 2 years, but I missed ECCC last year because I had to work. I made sure to put in for some time off this year so I could take my family. I've attended other conventions before: PAX Prime a few times, and PAX East once, and GenCon once.

I attended a couple of panels the first day, wandered the show floor checking out various vendors and artists, and went to an authors booth where several authors were signing autographs. I'm not an autograph collector, but Greg Bear was there and he wrote two of my favorite novels. I've held on to SFBC copies of those novels for a couple of decades or more, and figured if I was going to get anything autographed, those should be it. I also had Myke Cole autograph one of his novels that I had bought my son last year for his birthday.

I attended a panel featuring the prolific voice-over actor Steve Blum talking about his career, and a panel featuring the two authors I mentioned above as well as a few other authors talking about where they get their ideas.

My family came home heavy-laden with many purchases. My wife had her pic taken with The Women of Whedon! She also bought a cool puzzle book, and some jewelry. My oldest daughter, dressed as Shego from the Kim Possible cartoon, bought much artwork for herself and friends. My son bought a piece of Arrow artwork, and three books. My youngest daughter chose not to go with use, but I bought her a piece of Once Upon a Time art. I bought myself a Jayne hat, and a couple pieces of art.

Huge crowds, long lines, expensive everything, traffic congestion getting there..

It was a blast!

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Awesomeness that is the March 2015 LootCrate!

My son helped me open up the latest LootCrate to find the goodies within!

I probably should have ordered two...

I wonder how many people will have their Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. lanyard badge thingy on at Emerald City Comic-Con next Friday? I will!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Book Review: Old Earth

Old EarthOld Earth by Gary Grossman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A fascinating yet frustrating book. Old Earth drew me in with a story of an archaeology dig in Montana that stumbles upon ...something. There's also an ancient conspiracy trying to cover up that discovery - anytime and anywhere it's discovered.

The story weaves between the modern day discovery, a similar discovery in the 1600's and the outcome of that, and the efforts of the third party to prevent the discovery from becoming public.

To talk any more about plot would probably give away too much. The blurb does nice a job summarizing without spoiling.

The main characters are Quinn McCauley, a university archaeology professor probably about to lose any future funding for digs, and Katrina Alpert, a peer sent to evaluate him, as well as their group of students and a couple of travel magazine publishers.

This was a page-turner for me. I love books set in caves with mysterious discoveries and maybe some conspiracy thrown in. Ultimately, explanation of the discovery wasn't enough for me at the end though. It was too easily covered up, and perhaps not enough of a physical discovery. Again, to say more would be spoilery.

Apart from that little nitpick, the rest of the book was thoroughly enjoyable.

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