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Review: Leviathan Wakes

Posted by author on 4/12/2017 8:52:59 AM

The SyFy TV series The Expanse is based on this book, in case you've been living in a black hole. I saw season one of the show before reading the novel, and the former likely colored my perception of the latter. I loved the show, and I really liked the book, but experiencing them in that order confirmed that I can never read a book after seeing the show or movie. I had a hard time judging the appeal of the novel given that I knew what was going to happen and was picturing the characters as the actors as I read.

Having said that, the book is for the most part written well as one would expect from a work of traditionally published fiction. The story unfolds smoothly and logically. It's a solid, believable plot even though it isn't overly complex (human race fights over alien tech). There are a couple twists but nothing too unexpected. As a matter of fact, one of the things the author did well was to keep things simple, and sometimes less is more. The science and world-building is outstanding with things like future racism (Belters vs. Earthers), how the different gravities of different worlds affects space travelers, etc. This is one of the more plausible futures I've seen or read about except for perhaps the extent to which the author takes the alien tech. And I'm not so sure that Earth and Mars would each be these neatly unified entities. A typical pitfall of space opera is to make each planet equal a nation, but now I'm getting overly picky. If that's the worst issue, the book is doing great.

The alternating Holden/Miller viewpoints also work well. Both protagonists are flawed do-gooders, which are the types of characters with which I best identify. The likable characters each have their own recognizable personalities with strengths and flaws. The author is a master at knowing when to show a character taking action that characterizes him or her. But again, it was hard to know whether I was truly getting to know them through the words on the page or if my mind was substituting the actors. Miller does a lot of brooding, particularly toward the end. It was endearing up to a point and then I just wanted the author to get on with the story. Would I have had the same level of impatience if I didn't know what was going to happen? It's hard to say.

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Review: Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Posted by author on 4/2/2017 7:36:37 PM

I've been a fan of GitS since the original manga (comics) in the early 90's. I saw the movie in the theater in 1995 and then the sequel. I've watched every episode of Stand Alone Complex (SAC), SAC: 2nd Gig, and Arise more times than I care to admit. SAC: Solid State Society and The New (Arise) Movie mostly continued to uphold the high standard of the shows. And I've even read the three hard to find novels. The GitS franchise ranks in my top 5 works of fiction of all time and has heavily influenced my writing. It's one of the smarter works of science fiction out there, animated or otherwise. So it's an understatement to say that I know the GitS universe very well, have been waiting for a live action movie for a long time, and had high expectations for it.

I went into the 2017 GitS movie "apprehensively pumped." I was excited that a long-overdue Hollywood adaption was being made but worried about the whitewashing debates, the early reviews by critics, the plot changes, the casting, and plenty of other things. So what did I think after finally getting a chance to see the 2017 version?

Overall, I enjoyed it. The visual effects looked good, the plot and story worked well enough even if it didn't wow, and Scarlett Johansson effectively portrays the Major. It's a good-to-very good movie but not a great one. It ranks right in the middle of all the GitS works. Not the best but not the worst.

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BYD Cover Reveal and More

Posted by author on 3/29/2017 8:33:40 PM

Beyond Yesterday Cover Reveal

Only three months left until Beyond Yesterday (Beyond Saga Book 3) is published on July 1, 2017. Sign up for my mailing list to read it for free. Check out the full cover by clicking on the image to the right.

Website Updates

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