Monthly Archives: April 2018

Re-Visiting Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player OneWith the movie finally hitting screens and since my sf/f bookclub picked it for our next book, I’ve revisited Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. This time around, I decided to give the audio version a whirl. And while Wil Wheaton is spot-on in bringing the book to life in audio, I still found myself coming away from the novel feeling a bit satisfied.

While most of the geeky 80’s references hold up fairly well, I couldn’t help but feel like this book with all style and no substance the more I listened. While I enjoyed the references, I found myself yearning for something more to the novel that what I walked away this time. This time around, the novel reminded me of books I read based on several InfoCom games (they gave us Zork and other interactive text games back in the day). They were fun, but not necessarily all that filling. And in the end, they left me wanting to go back and play the games again rather than continue reading the novel.

Ready Player One feels like it’s all style and little substance here. And this time around, I couldn’t help but feel like it was a bit too predictable for its own good. (Some of this could be that I’ve read it before, but honestly I’d forgotten a lot of the specific story points in the seven or so years since I last read it). I’m not sure if this says more about me as a reader or the novel itself. Or it could be a bit of both.

I was struck this time by the predictable nature of the plot, the lack of any real depth for the characters, and the glaring lack of any strong, female characters in the book.

Again, I can’t say that I didn’t love it back in the day. I did. But I probably should have let my memory continue to cheat into remembering how much I’d enjoyed it then. Instead, I’ve come away feeling that this novel was one that had so much potential that just wasn’t realized.

If you want to visit my original review of the book, you’ll find it HERE.

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Review: Victor Boone Will Save Us by David Joel Stevenson

Victor Boone Will Save UsThere were times reading Victor Boone Will Save Us that I couldn’t help being reminded of The Tick. Both stories take the tropes of the superhero genre and deconstruct them a bit. But while The Tick goes for the funny bone, David Joel Stevenson uses Victor Boone to tug on the heartstrings.

Victor Boone is everything a superhero should be — good looking, dressed in spandex, able to fly, and seemingly impervious to just about anything criminals can throw at him. But what the world doesn’t know is that Victor doesn’t actually have any more power than the rest of us. The powers comes from Robby, an introverted friend of Victor. Robby does the heavy-lifting, Victor takes the credit. That is, until Victor is killed in a bank robbery, leaving Robby at a loss as to what to do next.

Things aren’t help when an old friend from college begins to dig into the death of Victor and Robby’s connection to it. Showing up at his place, the friend begins to ask some uncomfortable questions. It doesn’t help Robby’s shyness that she’s one of the prettiest and nicest smelling journalists he’s ever met. Continue reading

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Review: What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan

What She Knew (Jim Clemo #1)While spending a normal Sunday evening at the local park, Rachel Jenner allows her son Ben to run ahead to the tire swing. Upon arrival at the swing, she finds no trace of Ben. Things escalate when Ben’s clothes are found and the police begin a search to find the missing boy.

What unfolds over the course of the next week quickly evolves into a nightmare not only for Rachel but also for the police officers assigned to the case. Rachel and the police are put under the microscope by social media with every move they make being questioned, debated, and dissected in the court of public opinion. Things aren’t helped when Rachel decides to go off script of broadcast appeal to whomever has kidnapped her son.

At each turn, the pressure builds and builds with the reader knowing the case had negative ramifications for all parties involved. The prologue lets readers in on the fact that something bad happened in the course of the investigation and there were negative outcomes for many of those involved. But just how negative is something that is kept hidden until the final chapters. Continue reading

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TV Round-Up: Lost in Space (2018) — Impact & Diamonds in the Sky

lostinspaceWhile I’ve seen a handful of episodes of the original version of Lost in Space, I’m not well versed in the nuances of the show.  I know the broad strokes (lost family, robot with a catchphrase, and the stowaway who keeps throwing a monkey wrench into plans), but not much else.

People who have more invested in the original than I do tell me that taking a deep dive on season one is worth the time, but once the series goes to color, it becomes progressively sillier, culminating one of the most infamous episodes of sci-fi television where apparently they land on a planet of sentient vegetables.*

*I have to admit part of me is morbidly curious to see this episode to see if it’s really quite as terrible as pop culture zeitgeist would indicate.  Continue reading

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March Wrap-Up

snoopymarchHard to believe that the first quarter of the year is behind us.  I’m working toward meeting a few goals and objectives for 2018 and it’s time to see how it’s going.

Books Finished in March:

  1. Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins
  2. Victor Boone Will Save Us by David Joel Stevenson
  3. Sunburn by Laura Lippman
  4. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (re-read for book group)
  5. Doctor Who: Survival by Rona Munroe (audiobook)

Big Finish Audios:

  1. Doctor Who: The Sword of the Chevelier

TV Watching:  Due to some March Madness, I didn’t get very far in the catching up on series.  In fact, I’ve got the final four episodes of season 11 of The X-Files on the DVR waiting my attention.

Movies Watched:

  1.  Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
  2. Thor: Raganrock
  3. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Exercise:

Miles Run: 62.5 miles Year Total: 163.5 of 1000 miles
Swimming: 27.8 miles. Had a goal of 25 miles for the month

 

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