Thursday, June 30, 2016

Review: Kenobi

Kenobi By John Jackson Miller
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: August 27th, 2013
Format: Hardback, 362 pages
My Rating: ★★ 1/2

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
The greatest hero in the galaxy faces his toughest challenge yet: He must stop being Obi-Wan-and become Crazy Old Ben. For fans of movie-related novels like Darth Plagueis!

In this original novel set between the events of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi comes to the aid of the residents of Tatooine during his exile. But he struggles with his new mission when he realizes that protecting Luke Skywalker-the last hope of the galaxy-means setting aside his compassion and his Jedi warrior training, for the future of the galaxy lies not with Obi-Wan Kenobi, but with a mystical desert recluse known only by the name of Crazy Old Ben.
I think if Lucas Films makes an Obi-Wan Kenobi solo project they should just write the screenplay based on John Jackson Miller’s standalone book Kenobi. Ewan McGregor would probably do it in a heartbeat. That dude loves Star Wars.

So, technically this novel is part of the old Legends series, and is not supposed to be considered “canon”. However, not being canon doesn’t mean we shouldn’t discuss the older works that came before it. It also doesn’t mean that those older books are going away. They will still be on your shelves; it just means that the story board team wants everything going forward to have continuity. I also don’t see why this book isn’t part of the new continuity because I think it is a pretty accurate depiction of what happened when Kenobi landed on Tatooine.

Kenobi is the Star Wars Western that I didn’t know I wanted. Then I re-watched Firefly recently and thought to myself, “Oh right, I do want a Space Western!” and Miller gives that to you in this novel. My favorite thing about this novel is that Kenobi is literally trying not to get involved in other people’s business and he gets WAY too involved in their ongoings. What this book said to me was that the reason he becomes known as old crazy Ben Kenobi is because people on this desert planet are way too nosey. They all want to know about this mysterious newcomer. Kenobi is just always going to be the Jedi knight that helps people, and it really shows us that his caring for others is his biggest fault. It’s why he believes that he let Anakin slip to the darkside.

What I also really loved about this book was that we get to see the Tusken Raiders in a different light. They are still the vicious people that we remember in the original film, but there is a reason for why they do the things they do. It's a lot about clashing cultures and the inability for the natives (sandpeople) and the Settlers (everyone else on Tatooine) to see eye to eye. Miller gives us enough to understand the motives, but still not really agree with them. Miller does a decent job of weaving in the lore from the prequel movies as well. A'Yark, the leader of the particular tribe in this book, keeps on mentioning this unprovoked attack from the settlers that killed men, women and children. If you remember back from Attack of the Clones, this was when Anakin slaughtered a whole tribe of Tusken Raiders.

If you're a fan of the Star Wars Expanded Universe (new or old continuity) I would definitely recommend this one. Even if you don't really know much about Star Wars, I think you get enough from this Space Western to understand. I think it's a pretty enjoyable standalone piece.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR

I haven’t been participating in Top Ten Tuesday lately for a few reasons. One I just have been too lazy and the topics haven’t really grabbed me enough to want to focus on a list. The other is that I have been playing too many video games, which I think is pretty apparent when you read my list. 
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the bloggers over at 
The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a freebie, so I decided to talk about my summer TBR, my very ambitious Summer TBR. 

I was approached by the author if I was interested in reading this in exchange for an honest review, so I have this at the top of my list right now. It’s a sci-fi post-apocalyptic novel that seems right up my alley. To be honest, I haven’t even finished the first chapter, but it seems interesting so far.

This is the second short story collection from Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher series. I love the video game so much, so I find it so interesting going back to the books. It’s given me a little more background and insight on in-game references so I’m really enjoying it.

This one has been on my list for a really long time, and since the second book is coming out in the fall I’m trying to get to it quickly. I’ve been weary to go back to SteamPunk because Leviathan is so good that I’m afraid I won’t like anything else in the genre. I’m definitely going to try to go to this one with an open mind.

This is another book for review that I’m trying to put at the top of my list. I’m about 50 pages in and I find the writing easy to follow and I’m interested in what secrets the main character is keeping. Not sure if the genre or subject matter is really my cup of tea, but I want to finish it before making that decision.

Okay, I know, I am still reading this one. I suck! I think the length of this one is what puts me off. I think I will get this one eventually. Maybe I do have to wait until my next vacation to read it.

I eventually want to get to the adult novel about Suze and Jesse, just haven’t managed to fit it into my reading schedule yet. Soon, very soon!

The first in The Witcher novel series. I just love this story so much, I have to read the first novel right away. 

Okay, I think I have a problem, and his name is Geralt of Rivia. This book actually exists as a compendium to the third videogame, and is less tied to the books. However, the game studio does a pretty good job at including book lore into it. My boyfriend got me this for my birthday, and it’s this really big hardback coffee table book with pretty photos. So I just want to consume it all.

I like having short story collections to mix things up sometimes, so I definitely want to add this one to the mix. I have zero idea what it is going to be like.

Jess @ Curiouser & Curiouser has talked up this book enough that when I saw the ebook was cheap recently I had to buy it. I’m hoping to get to it soon.

What’s on your TTT this week?

Happy Reads Everyone!


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Review: Me Before You

Me Before You By Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking Books
Release Date: December 31st 2002
Format: Kindle ebook
My Rating: ★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.
Before I get into my review, I want to address the controversy with this novel.  I am in the camp that believes it’s completely okay to like a book even though it’s problematic. I recognize that I have some issues with the theme of this novel and the ending, but I found reading this story to be enjoyable. For me, I didn’t read this man as a representation of this entire community. He was a stubborn man that didn’t want to accept his life, and I enjoyed the journey in this novel. I read this one as just a story, but as an able-bodied person I don’t think I can have a true opinion about this, since I will never understand what it’s like to live with a disability. So I truly get why people really do not like this book, I recognize that and accept those reasons.

I think one of the reasons that I did like this novel was because I felt like I could relate to Lou so much. Being in my mid-twenties I’m having a hard time relating to book protagonists, because on one hand I have teens in YA novel (which I love) and on the other hand I have older women that I can’t really relate to in adult novels. Lou was around my age, and I could really relate to her state of not really being sure what she wanted to do with her life. I’m not a very ambitious person; it’s just not my personality, so I could really relate to her apathy towards doing anything with her life.

I really liked the writing in this novel, and I found that I could really picture Lou and her family. These characters seemed so real to me. I think this might be another reason why I liked this novel, because I just got so into these characters lives and I wanted to know more about them.  I also couldn’t stop reading this book because I just wanted to find out what was going to happen.  I needed to know!

I can’t really say much more without giving away the ending, but I was a little disappointed with the ending of this novel. It’s the ending that I have some problems with, and is why I can see why there is so much backlash from this novel.

All in all, I did enjoy this novel. It’s one of those stories that I like enough but I know that there are things about it that should be different. But like I said, it’s not a crime to like a book that has faults!

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on its controversial subject? Have you decided not to read it because of these issues? 

Happy Reads Everyone!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Audiobook Review: Redwall

Redwall by Brian Jacques
Publisher: Listening Library
Release Date: October 31st 2006
Format: Full cast audiobook
My Rating: ★★1/2

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
In the glorious tradition of Watership Down comes a powerful tale of fantasy, courage, and epic adventure—the heart-soaring story of a wondrous quest to recover a legendary lost weapon…and of a bumbling young apprentice monk named Matthias, mouse-kind's most unlikely hero.

War erupts in the Summer of the Late Rose, shattering the peace that had reigned in Mossflower since the magnificent mouse, Martin the Warrior, laid down his mighty sword generations earlier. Now a dark cloud of doom and despair hangs over the ancient stone abbey of Redwall. Cluny the Scourge—the one-eyed embodiment of evil, the most savage bilge rat that ever jumped from a ship to shore—has arrived with his rodent horde to conquer…and to destroy.
I initially was interested in reading this book because I kept seeing things on Tumblr about it. I saw the audio was available through my library’s overdrive system so I gave it a shot. I literally knew nothing about the plot, which is sometimes it's nice to go into a story blind.

One thing I will say, is that I highly recommend listening to the audiobook. It’s one of the few I have listened to that is a full cast audiobook, so I found it made me way more invested in the story. I love full cast audios, because they are almost like those old timey radio shows that we don’t have much anymore in America (Podcasts excluded). They also really help to distinguish who is who, especially in a book like this one where there are just way too many characters!

The plot of the novel is a basic quest/adventure story. Our protagonist Matthias, an anthropomorphic mouse goes on a quest to find the warrior mouse Martin’s sword so he can protect the Abbey where he lives from the dangerous Kluny the Scourge (an anthropomorphic rat pirate). I kind of loved the idea of mice and rats fighting each other, and how the gross rats are the evils ones. I particularly loved the dude that did the dialogue for Kluny. He sounded straight up evil, so I totally felt like he was the worst person in this world.

This book is technically a children’s book so at times I did feel like I wasn’t the target audience. It wasn’t written dumbed down for children, but I just felt like with my age I had a hard time getting into it completely. I’m glad I listened to the audiobook, because I suspect I would have had a harder time reading the text version.

If you are thinking about this novel, I would highly recommend trying the audio. I found it really enjoyable, and made it easy to distinguish between the different characters.

Happy Reads Everyone!