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Book Review | Carthago by Christophe Bec

Title: Carthago

Author: Christophe Bec, Eric Henninot, Milan Jovanovic

Publisher: Humanoids, Inc.

Release date: August 6, 2019

Format: Paperback

Page count: 288

Genre: Science-fiction

My rating: ★★★★☆

Carthago contains the first five issues of the popular French comic book series all in one convenient paperback edition.

I requested this title through my library’s Inter-Library Loan service and it came from the Las Vegas – Clark County Library District!

My mother was a travel nurse for many years and when she was working in Las Vegas, we had a card for the system. When we visited a couple of years later, we made sure to stop by the library just because we could, lol.

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I added this to my to-read list, but I knew I liked sharks and oceans are a great source of mystery… so I was pretty sure I’d enjoy at least a little of this comic.

Having just completed Carthago, I can say that it’s well worth the read. From the moment I opened the front cover to turning the last page, I could not put it down!

The novel starts as it means to go on… bloody. An older whale, trailing behind it’s pod is attacked by a shark, bitten in half, and it’s body left to sink into the forgotten waters of the deep. And this is just the first victim of these larger than life sharks!

And then we begin to meet our human characters, of whom I was particularly drawn to Donovan, a man serving out a life debt to the insanely rich (and old) Mr. Feiersinger, and Lou, let’s just call her a child of the sea, shall we. 😉

The story jumps around, visiting different locations and different moments in the character’s many varied histories, but it never once was confusing or difficult to follow.

It was like peeling back the skin of an onion to discover one new piece of information at a time. And I really liked the effect!

The other thing I really enjoyed in this series (and I can’t wait to get my hands on volumes 6-10) was the sheer scale of it all. When the humans are in the water or the when the sharks (and other creatures) are drawn in close to boats, you can practically feel the size differences.

These sharks are immense.

There is no other way to describe the Megalodon. It could bite a whale in half and swallow a human whole without batting an eye and Carthago brings this fact into striking reality time and time again.

The mysteries of an ancient, underwater civilization, the tempting intrigue of the human-like being that saved a diver, and a little girl who is of two worlds is just the very tip of the iceberg for Carthago.

Find it at…

movie review · review

Movie Review | Doom: Annihilation

Fair warning: I gave up on this review about halfway through. What can I say? I suffered through the movie, couldn’t manage to get through writing a cohesive review.

Follows a group of UAC Marines as they respond to a distress call from a top secret scientific base on Phobos, a Martian moon, only to discover it’s been overrun by demons who threaten to create Hell on Earth.

I freely admit that I enjoy nothing more than sitting down and watching a truly horrible sci-fi movie at the end of a long workday, but even I have standards when it comes to what constitutes “bad sci-fi.”

Doom: Annihilation absolutely does not fit the bill.

From the very first moment that we see our main character, one disgraced Lieutenant Joan Dark (and yes, that’s a play on Joan of Arc), she is entirely unbelievable. This is not a reflection on actor, Amy Manson, as the acting in this film was surprisingly good without being over-the-top cheesy.

However, while I don’t mind the decision to have a female lead in a science fiction / action movie, if you want the audience to believe her, then you need to make her believable. And Joan Dark wasn’t convincing as a marine, friend, or even really as a person. There was no depth, nothing for the audience to relate to.

The death of her (very religious) mother made her lose her faith in God, but it’s mentioned so briefly that you forget the moment even happened (or that she had a mom in the first place). What should have been a poignant moment where Joan remembers her faith turns out to be a blink and you’ll miss it demons-are-afraid-of-crosses plot point.

For a movie about space marines, there was no point where I was able to believe that this woman was a soldier.

The CG work wasn’t the best, but for what I assume is a smaller budget film they weren’t terrible. The space scenes and the hellscape, in particular, were extremely well done and I thought that the tablet tech was also really cool. Again, there are moments where this movie does something right, they are just few and far between.

Joan waking up from crypto sleep, cryo sleep, crypto sleep… whatever.

Throughout, Joan is mean just to be mean. This here girl don’t need no man and certainly doesn’t have feelings for a guy she was in a four-month relationship with. Though, he very clearly is still in love with her and I can guarantee that will be a plot point in the future.

Lol, the “doomed moon.” Roll credits!

I’m sorry, but I feel like Hollywood has pretty much exhausted the “an entire unit has been given a shit assignment over the actions of one person” trope. This will surely be yet another future plot point.

In order to fight the enemy, you gotta stop fighting yourself

Captain Savage

Alright, y’all… at this point it’s just rambling thoughts. I’ve been looking at this post for two weeks now and can’t even make coherent sentences out of my thoughts from watching the film.

Feel free to let me know in the comments how horribly this post is written, lol.

Continue reading “Movie Review | Doom: Annihilation”
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Book Review | Tron by Brian Daley

Computer programmer Kevin Flynn is transported inside the software world of a mainframe computer, where he interacts with various programs in his attempt to get back out. During his adventure he meets Tron, a rebel program fighting the tyrannical Master Control Program.

At first it was just an interesting read and I felt like I was getting a little bit more of the world, but it was still just another movie novelization.

The writing style felt really weird and clunky, mainly because of it’s age (the book was written a couple of years before I was born), and that probably didn’t help matters much.  The flow of words felt outdated and strange to me, but I continued to read because I’m a huge TRON fan.

I’m actually really glad that I kept going, because even though I felt like I had gone back in time writing wise, the story gets REALLY good.  Right around the time that Tron meets up with Yori, the story picks up pace and doesn’t slow down until the very last sentence.

I enjoyed the extra details about Tron’s fights with the Memory Guard on the solar sailor and the way the author described Flynn saving Yori’s life on Sark’s Carrier had me both worried and relieved that Yori would be alright and wondering why Flynn couldn’t have figured his powers out in time to save RAM (I love RAM) *cries*

So, in conclusion:  At times, I felt like I’d traveled back in time and was reading something from the dark ages, BUT, even having to deal with an outdated style of writing, I found myself thoroughly enjoying this book.  It gives the reader a sneak peak into everything we all know was going on in the background, but that they just couldn’t fit into the movie.

Audience: I think that fans of science fiction might also enjoy this book, but it’s a definite must-read if you are a fan of either of the Tron movies.

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Library ILL
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon || Goodreads

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My Favorite Movies of 2019

According to my Letterboxd account, I’ve watched nearly a hundred movies this year! Which is insane, because I don’t really like to sit around in front of the television… I guess being in a long-distance relationship and having PlayStation Party Dates has encouraged my couch-potato-ness.

Because the list is SO long, I’m only going to share new films I watched. Perhaps I’ll do a favorite re-watch list another time?

Continue reading “My Favorite Movies of 2019”
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Book Review | Pandemonium by Warren Fahy

Except for Andy, everything about this book was a disappointment and guess what? Andy dies (spoiler).

I was super excited to get to read this book after the wild ride that Fragment took me on. I was curious about how the Hendros were adapting to life among humans and how the humans who survived Hender’s Island were coping with the horrors they went through there.

Sadly, after all they went through in Fragment, with the way they were written in the sequel, I actually ended up disliking Geoffrey and Nell! It was always “wifey” this and “husby” that… Yes, I triple checked, she calls him “husby” not “hubby.”

Nell, a brilliant scientist, runs around half naked during what is supposed to be a life threatening situation because she “forgot” to wear a bra and THEN has to disrobe AGAIN later! What the hell?!?!!!? And Geoffrey isn’t much better… he was one of the most interesting characters in Fragment, smart and funny and really likeable! But in Pandemonium, he was reduced to mindless panic and idiotic gushing over Nell like a slobbering sycophant rather than a loving husband.

I hated Sasha with a passion. If she’d been written as a teenager, her behavior would have been believable, but a ten year old pulling what she did out of her hat all throughout Pandemonium? Yeah, no.

The thing I was looking forward to the most was seeing what had happened to Hender and Andy and the other Hendros. These moments were few and far between, and felt as if they’d just been thrown on the page as an afterthought.

The villains (both human and hendro) were utterly forgettable and felt like caricatures of old-times bad guys, swirling their mustaches and clasping their hands in glee.

All in all, Pandemonium is just a bad book. If I could give negative stars, this would get -7 ⭐️’s.

An utter disappointment after the brilliance of Fragment, it will be a long time before I trust Warren Fahy enough to pick up another of his books.

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Two Book Tuesday

So, I started reading Seven Tears at High Tide by C.B. Lee about two weeks ago and had to put it down because I was busy with work and life in general.  My plan is to start back at the beginning instead of picking up where I left off…

Seven Tears at High Tide by C. B. Lee is a young adult fantasy / romance about a teenage boy who wishes for a summer of love, a wish which is granted by a nearby selkie who overhears his heartfelt plea.

Kevin Luong has had his heart broken by the boy-next-door who decided he is no longer gay and doesn’t want to “fool around” with boys anymore. Instead of spending the summer together with Miles, Kevin is suddenly alone and feeling particularly unloved.

On a whim, he sheds seven years into the ocean and makes a wish, asking for just one summer to be happy and in love. He doesn’t really expect his wish to be granted.

What Kevin doesn’t know is that someone hears his wish. Morgan, a selkie boy, happens to be swimming near enough to hear and hope that he will be the one chosen to fulfill the request. His mother, and matriarch of his selkie herd, grants him permission to shed his skin and go ashore to meet Kevin.

So begins a summer of innocent love, with Kevin teaching Morgan how to be both human and to pass as a normal teenage boy.  But, as the boys grow closer, they begin to realize that there is something sinister in the works in their little seaside town.

Semiosis by Sue Burke just flat out sounded like a cool book.  I remember getting an email about it pre-release date and wanting desperately to read it.  I even texted my friend, and local librarian, asking her to purchase it for the library so that I could read it!

This book appears to be right up my alley, with first contact situations, space colonization, and an alien (possibly plant-based) intelligence. With the summary including fun words like “bizarre, inexplicable, and grapple” who wouldn’t want to read this?  😀

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Movie Review | Revolt

“To live is to fight. To fight is to live” would have been the best catchphrase for this film. Inspiring and short. Instead, they chose to go with “Resist or Serve” which would have made sense… if our main character had been an alien all along and chose to turn against his masters.

Spoiler alert: he isn’t.

I really wanted to enjoy this movie, it looked entertaining and I’ve been known to enjoy B-list movies on occasion, but it just wasn’t able to bring it all together in the end… Now it took me a minute to realize this, but ultimately “Revolt” (falling short of its intended goal) comes across as a cheap knockoff of 2010 movie “Skyline.”

Continue reading “Movie Review | Revolt”