Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review of "Doctor Who: Autonomy" by Daniel Blythe

Memories. They can elicit tears, laughter...even haunting memories that you've tried to put past you. But what if those memories weren't your own? What is they were created by a force greater than yourself for deception?

Daniel Blythe uses this concept in his 2009 Doctor Who story, "Autonomy." The Doctor has found himself battling the Nestenes, who are attempting to take over the universe, starting with Earth. How do they plan to do it? By taking advantage of consumerism amongst humans, of course! And it's up to the Doctor and a few new friends to save the world--if they can.

Now here's some things up front. I'm a Doctor Who fan, so when I saw this book sitting all by its lonesome in the comic book store, I grabbed it like a child going for candy from a pinata (It was serious, people. Very serious). So I have an idea of the whole "who is this Doctor fellow?" So right up my alley. For those that lack the slightest clue about the sci-fi series, I am going to suggest doing some homework prior to reading this book.

ANYWAYS, back to the writing. This was my first DW book, so I haven't had a chance to compare it to other books in the series or to any of Blythe's other works. But overall, I think he did a great job creating the hi-tech world for this futuristic show-down to take place--EXCEPT that unless technology is going to take Big Foot leaps and bounds, it's a little hard to swallow that this is taking place in 2013. I would have enjoyed if he had just said, 'Oh, what the heck," and placed it in 2013.

As for the Doctor, Blythe did a great job. At the time, the focus was on the 10th Doctor, portrayed by the witty Brit, David Tennant. The thing to note (depending on your DW knowledge) is that everyone has a favorite version of the Doctor. Each have their own quirks and Blythe was able to portray David Tennant's version perfectly to the smallest details. He even describes him through one of the characters as "a grinning, wild-haired madman in a brown suit." Perfect! As I was reading this, I could feel myself picturing this on the BBC as an extended episode or a mini-movie of sorts.

One quote in the book can help summarize the plot of this DW novel: "I mean, your life...you know it's real, don't you? You've lived it. How can it be faked? All those memories." And if those memories are created, what role does autonomy (not) play in life?

As for this book, consider it read, reviewed and staying on the bookshelf. On to the next!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Well now that that's over....

Okay, so I gave into the Hunger Games trilogy after months of internal arguments and it was the best decision EVER. Everyone I know seems to be obsessed (note: this is an understatement) with the books and the upcoming Lionsgate movie release (count me in). Upon finishing each book, I found myself jumping up and sprinting the five feet to my bookshelf to grab the next installment.

I finished the last page of "Mockingjay" last evening and as soon as I closed the book, several emotions washed over me:

1) accomplishment: Three books in a week. Not a new record, but given my normal weekly schedule, it's pretty impressive these days.
2) resolution: I knew how the story of Katniss Everdeen and the citizens of Panem ended. I was also happy that it ended in a way that I was hoping for. (Not to give anything away, but I guess I'm "Team ____________" now.)
3) entrancement: Suzanne Collins' story was structured perfectly, from the setting to the character development. The story transported me right into Panem as I watched as the stories unfolded.
4) inspiration: I've been reading more than writing. To be honest, I've pretty much been doing anything but. As soon as I closed, the book I was inspired to write (so what if it was 3AM?).
5) emptiness: I felt this only one other time and that was when I finally completed the Harry Potter series (which took a lot longer due to the beastly fifth book).  No matter how long the journey I spent with these characters, I became attached. So when the stories end, it's "Well, now what?" However, I will say that I have no desire for the stories to play out in any other way (including additional stories/versions--i.e. that rumored fifth Twilight book that portrayed Edward Cullen's version of events.) Everything needs an ending and sadly, when things like this enter the pop culture/Hollywood realm, money dominates over what is right. There was resolution to the story and it ended appropriately. And yes, I'd say this even if it hadn't ended in a way that I supported.

Have you ever had a book series that affected you like this?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Future of E-Book Publishing

A friend just posted this and I thought it was a great article regarding today' e-book publishing....and I'm not even big on e-books!

To read the article, click here or head over to NPR

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I've heard people discussing "The Hunger Games" for a while now. And I was a bit hesitant. I got sucked into the madness that was is "twilight" and it was a bit scarring almost. But my hesitation turned into an eager anticipation. I would go to the bookstore and stand in front of the YA section, staring at the books, almost watering at the mouth. I really wanted to read it, but kept thinking, "Nah. Don't do it. Go to the library. If you like the first one, then proceed with buying." (This was one of the few times I can ever remember talking myself out of buying books. Luckily, it won't ever happen again if I can help it.)

But that pep talk didn't come true. And so I continued to stand around awkwardly at the bookstore, trying to talk myself into it.

And then...Christmas 2011 happened. I was gifted the whole trilogy and I could barely contain myself. So I began to read. I got sucked into the dark, futuristic world of Panem that Collins created. My heart was beating as the Hunger Games participants' names were selected; my world came to a halt as I refused to sit the book down in the midst of the competition. Would Katniss survive? What about her and Peeta? And Gale? The questions kept coming and with every page, I found myself so entertained, I could barely contain myself. I gasped out loud. I laughed. My heart fluttered at the possibilities.

 As I finished the last page of "The Hunger Games," you can bet yourself that I ran to my bookshelf and snatched the next piece of the trilogy. As Katniss' world unfolds, you can guarantee I'll be following along. Collins' writing was worth the wait.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Review of the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

In yet another attempt to read and review all of the books in my personal collection, here is another review--this time of Erin Morgenstern's debut, "The Night Circus." The following review is from my Goodreads page if you want to follow what I'm reading :)

"I relay it through printed words on crumpled newsprint, words that they can read again and again, returning to the circus whenever they wish, regardless of time of day or physical location. Transporting them at will. When put that way, it sounds rather like magic, doesn't it?"---The Night Circus, p 369

Has an author ever included a quote that so fantastically sums up their work? In my opinion--not until now. Erin Morgernstern's debut novel, The Night Circus," is every bit as whimsical and enchanting as she paints Le Cirque de Reves, or the Circus of Dreams, to be. Her story revolved around a competition of magic involving two young people who eventually become a couple that could give old Romeo and Juliet a run for their money (pardon the cliche, please). With more on the line than either can imagine, they are forced to play the competition with spectators, people whose lives will ultimately be effected by the outcome.

Morgernstern does an amazing job of painting a lavish and enchanting scene to immerse the reader into the world of the Circus of Dreams. She has a line-up of characters that help to enrich the story of Marco and Celia; her words paint a lavish scene that will surely transport readers to a place of wonder and illusion. Reading through it, I was at this circus--I could sense the anticipation of the crowds, feel wonder at the sparks of the bonfire, and smell the sweet caramel scent in the air (amongst other things).

My thoughts? This has solidified itself into one of my favorite books, a tale that I will surely re-read in the future. A good book will have you immersed in it's story; have you interacting with the characters and make you feel satisfied, yet wanting more, at the end.

My only regret with this book is that it took me so long to get around to it!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Something any book lover can enjoy!

Saw this video and automatically fell in love!

I always love when you see photos (or in this case, a video) of books color-coded. Which led me to ponder--"How do you organize your bookshelf?"

Are you the type that alphabetizes? Do you group according to genre? Size?

Monday, December 26, 2011

A brief intermission

Oh dear. I have totally flaked on this poor little blog. And that whole "I'm not going to buy any more books until I read all those that sit on my shelf?"

Yeah.....about that...

But I ask you--can a girl ever have too many books? The answer is no. Cats? Yes. Books? No.

And speaking of that, a friend posted a link to this piece she found somewhere on the great wide Internet and it is ever so charming.  And true!

Anyways, It's been a great year. I have read about 50 books (not too shabby), acquired some great new finds, and parted with some novels that I wasn't really feeling, but hoped that someone else would love. Here's to 2012 and trying to figure out what books I'm looking forward to most for 2012.