Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review: STAR WARS A New Dawn

So! The Disney Corporation swallowed the Star Wars and Marvel film franchises whole- and all I got was this Darth Vader digital watch. But what else can I do? NOT watch all the stuff I like? There's every probability that the good folks at Disney can throw money and talent at things until they're good again. (Speaking of which, I don't remember why I didn't like Disney in the first place- ever seen 'Phineas and Ferb'? It's pretty great.)

Where was I? Yes. I had a great time watching 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' and I have every expectation that I'll enjoy 'Star Wars: Rebels' this October. To that end, I borrowed 'Star Wars: A New Dawn' as a preview. This novel features an Evil Empire getting a foothold and beginning to seriously creep people out (about 8 years after Palpatine took the reins and everybody seemed o.k. with it- except for all those Jedi jerks he shot in the back to preserve the peace).

Hera Syndulla is a clever woman with a plan to put things right, and Kanan Jarrus is a tough guy who would rather nobody noticed him (just in case tough guys raised in religions starting with "J" are still being singled out as rancor chow). With the aid of a disgruntled Imperial snoop called Zaluna (a Sullustan who's easily my favourite character here), they team up with a paranoid explosives expert to break Murdock out of the asylum again and stop the crazy murdering middle-management cyborg Vidian before he shatters a moon in the name of efficiency.

Much praise to author John Jackson Miller. To be completely candid, I enjoyed Miller's 'Kenobi' more but the difference between 5 stars and 4 stars is only the difference between 'awesome' and 'really good'.

Also I see on his website that Mr. Miller wrote a Star Trek book, I should really check that out sometime, too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Review: DOCTOR WHO Engines of War

Aww, yeah! I've been looking forward to a novel about the Last Great Time War since I first heard of it in 2005. What's the Last Great Time War, you ask? This probably isn't the blog for you! But, in a nutshell, it's the fictional many-fronted final genocidal planet-cracking time-warping battle to extinction between the mighty Time Lords and the hate-spewing Daleks.

Now with John Hurt!

I pre-ordered this book the very minute I saw the cover back in July. It arrived Monday. And I finished it just now. It takes place "4 centuries" into the Time War, one century into the unofficial ninth life of the Time Lord "renegade" formerly known as The Doctor, and shortly before the TV episode "The Day of The Doctor".

It's the story of Cinder, a girl from planet Moldox, a beautiful world fallen long since beneath the hovering heels of the cyborg Daleks. And it's the story of the choices of the crusty old alien Cinder teams up with to prevent the alternative reality mutants known as Skaro Degradations from their latest scheme to erase all other forms of life. With his own people willing to go to appalling lengths to end the war, our hero has no moral high ground and only his feelings to guide him. Especially his crustiness.

Author George Mann has a real ear for the dialogue of Doctor Who, and a ripping good action yarn it turned out to be. No complaints from me- this is a story with a cannon made out of moons!

So read it already!