Monday, June 19, 2017

Book Review: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Book Review: X-Wing: Mercy Kill by Aaron Allston

ISBN: 0345530594
Published: August 7th, 2012
Publisher: LucasBooks
Received: purchased
Read from May 6 to 16, 2017
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The intrepid spies, pilots, and sharpshooters of Wraith Squadron are back in an all-new Star Wars adventure, which transpires just after the events of the Fate of the Jedi series!
Three decades have passed since Wraith Squadron carried out its last mission. Taking on the most dangerous and daring operations, the rogues and misfits of the elite X-Wing unit became legends of the Rebellion and the Second Galactic Civil War, before breaking up and going their separate ways. Now their singular skills are back in vital demand—for a tailor-made Wraith Squadron mission.
A powerful general in the Galactic Alliance Army, once renowned for his valor, is suspected of participating in the infamous Lecersen Conspiracy, which nearly toppled the Alliance back into the merciless hands of the Empire. With orders to expose and apprehend the traitor—and license to do so by any and all means—the Wraiths will become thieves, pirates, impostors, forgers . . . and targets, as they put their guts, their guns, and their riskiest game plan to the test against the most lethal of adversaries. 


I'll keep this review brief as this is the tenth book in a series.

This book felt like it might have been better as a standalone than as part of the X-Wing series. Not only was it published more than a decade after the book that comes before it but the story also takes place long, long after the previous book. Few characters from earlier in the series appear in this book, and though Piggy was meant to serve as a bridge, I'm not sure that it was effective.

Mostly, it felt like this story was too removed from what came before it to be part of the same series.

On top of that, I found it difficult to get into the story and found myself bored for the majority of it. I don't regret having read it as I had read all of the others, but it wasn't my favorite.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Reign Review: 4x13 "Coup de Grace"

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Reign Review: 4x12 "The Shakedown"

I know, I know. When was the last time I wrote one of these without starting it off by complaining about Darnley? To be fair, though, it's difficult to talk about anything else when the majority of my thoughts while watching Reign recently have been about how angry Darnley makes me.

There's no doubting that Darnley wants glory and power for his own sake. There's very little he wouldn't sacrifice for it, and he's shown a level of recklessness to get that power that make him a terrible king. He's the type of person who might manage to get power but who would lose it easily due to his own mistakes. At this point, he's proven to Mary that, if she gave him power, he'd ruin Scotland. Maybe, just maybe, actually proving himself to be a good ruler would have done more to convince her to give him the crown matrimonial. Just an idea.

Actually, Darnley should embrace the idea of getting to be king while leaving all the hard work to Mary. He can still get the praise (which seems to be what he really wants) but not have to do much (which also seems to be what he enjoys).

Another frustration during this episode: that Lord making it clear to Mary that she would be blamed should the privy council discover that the crown's money had been mismanaged. It's hard not to be angry that she couldn't place public blame on Darnley. The fact that, even if she did, she would still be wrapped up in the blame is frustrating.

Knox and Darnley becoming allies is something that I feel I should have anticipated, but I hadn't given much thought to them meeting prior to this episode.

The following paragraph has "spoilers" from history, though I have no idea what the show itself is going to do.

I'm starting to think that the show is going to end the season with Darnley's murder, which is condensed compared to the real timeline. I've brought up my dislike for Bothwell before. I know there are two camps of thought in regards to his motivations historically, and I very much feel that Reign is going to make Mary his co-conspirator, not his victim. However, I can't say I particularly like Reign going that direction when there are many who believe that he may have raped Mary to achieve power. The show will likely, at any rate, use that suspected rape in the show as the reasoning for why Mary marries Bothwell, and I'm dreading it. I don't want to watch Mary and Bothwell fake a rape to allow themselves to be together.

As far as Charles goes, I don't feel as if I have anything to say after this episode that I haven't said before. He would be better off without the pressure of being king, but that being said, I don't want to give Henry the satisfaction of being king either (and I'm not convinced that he would do a better job).

I had a feeling that Claude and Luc would fall in love, and now I believe even more that that's how their stories will end. That's fine and all, but I'm rather upset that we seem to have seen the last of Leith. The fact that he had such a sad ending when I believe that he, more than possibly anyone else, deserved a happy one upsets me.

Elizabeth's paranoia is new, as far as I can tell. It has never seemed this bad before. While she seemed bothered by Lola's death and betrayal, that hadn't been dealt with in a long time. I think it would have been nice if we'd had reminders of it more frequently before suddenly getting thrown this episode where it comes up again out of the blue.

I was hoping Jane would prove herself to be a friend, but she's seems to be a spy. I'd like to know who she's working for because I don't have any good guesses at this point. I don't feel as if it's for Mary or any of Mary's allies because I feel as if we'd have more hints at this point that they had a spy directly in England's court. The only other possibility that's coming to mind is Knox, though I'm hesitant to believe that this is his doing, and I have no other ideas.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Armchair Book Expo 2017: Wrapping It Up

Yesterday marked the end of this year's Armchair Book Expo, when we were meant to post our wrap up posts. Instead, you're getting this on Monday, keeping with my inability to post anything on time for this year's event.

It was frustrating not to be able to participate more. Last year, I participated in just about every aspect of the event, from the Twitter chats to the Instagram challenge to getting blog posts up on time. This year, I managed to respond to daily topics (though late) and comment on some other posts, but that was it.

There isn't a specific reason for why I didn't get posts up on time if anyone's looking for one. I had actually written all of the posts except this one ahead of time, but I like to look over posts and edit them before posting. That's what didn't happen on time. (I also ended up deleting a lot of what I said in some posts to shorten editing time. Otherwise, I probably would have had more to say.) There's been a lot going on lately, including three doctor's appointments in one day on the second day of this event, and I just didn't have the time to participate to the extent that I would have liked to.

Next year, I hope, will go better for me. I'm still glad that I participated in whatever way I was able to.

If you'd like to check out my other Armchair Book Expo posts from this year. Here they are:

If you participated in Armchair Book Expo this year, I'd love to hear about your thoughts on the event in the comments. Do you plan to participate next year (whether you did or did not this year)?