Saturday, November 21, 2015

Into the Dark (Alexis Carew Book 1) by J.A. Sutherland (Book 2014)

This book was a bit different. The setting was a hybrid of how sailors used to speak and behave in the 18th century, but only in space. Weird concept since the ships still had sails, masts, and the like, but the author tried to explain the whole environment.

The story followed around a spunky teenage girl who joins the Navy as a midshipman when her life choices were to either get married off like in a Jane Austin novel or to do something different. The book was all about her development as she learns the ropes in becoming a Naval spacer while also being the only female on a military ship. The whole 18th century dialog gave the book a unique feel, so that was a plus, but as a standalone book it was only fair since there wasn't enough space action.
Rating - Mid

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Extinction Edge (The Extinction Cycle Book 2) by Nicolas Sandbury Smith (Book 2015)

So after clearing out the first book of the series many months back, I finally got around to reading this second book. I'm glad that I did because now I remember what a good series this was.

This book wasn't like the other zombie books of the past; the mobs are genetically mutated humans and are fast. But the main positive is that the characters are believable, memorable, and not cardboard cutouts. Situations seem more raw and real and that adds to the positives.

This second book continued on with the story as the remaining Deltas have to go on missions from Command to try to retake key cities around the US from the mobs. The ending wasn't super suspenseful, but it did leave the reader wanting more. There are a few more books left, so I anticipate that they'll be just as engaging as the first two.
Rating - High

The Martian (Sci-Fi 2015)

So I finally found time to get to a theater and watch this movie. Was it worth the 2-3 week wait? I'd say yes in that it wasn't a disappointing film, but unfortunately it didn't reach the level of being something great.

The movie's trailer was definitely more dramatic vs the actual film, as it turned out to be more tame and grounded. The plot was interesting and kept my attention the whole way through though. If you compare this film to Interstellar, it's in 2 very different categories. Interstellar, even though unbelievable at the end, was badass and very space-oriented. This one was all about survival on Mars. As I'm writing this, I'm noticing the difference, but I suppose my inner self was expecting a better space film; I guess I like that genre better. Matt Damon performed his part as he normally does, and the long list of supporting actors contributed enough to make the film better. Kristen Wiig was in it and the whole time I was expecting her to say something funny; she didn't.

So although I did enjoy the movie, it wasn't awesome. There were a few reasons for this, but the main one I can think of is that there was no real theme music. Again, I believe I'm thinking too much of space films and how music and sound are so integral to the creation of the ambiance...like Gravity.
Rating - B

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Star Wars: Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp (Book 2015)

Here's a random SW book that made it onto my list. It was pretty good and moved along fairly quickly. This one was a side story of sorts that took place after Episode III. A bunch of Twi'leks tried to incite a rebellion by taking down Vader and Palatine. The two Sith Lords became marooned on a planet and had to mow down lots of local wildlife. The book added more personality to the two main characters of the series and that's about it. That's the things with side stories...they add just a little but it doesn't do anything to the main series.
Rating - Mid