Stormtrooper Terry

Stormtrooper Terry

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Goodreads Book Review - Night of the Hunter

Night of the Hunter (Companions Codex, #1; Legend of Drizzt, #25)Night of the Hunter by R.A. Salvatore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

By bringing the full cast of the Companions of the Hall back for this series, Salvatore has brought new (reincarnated?) life into a series that... well, didn't even really need it, because the series never stopped being amazing. Still, adding the old cast of characters to the more recent cast and combining them with a very resurgent drow threat makes for a very thrilling book. Besides the amazing, fun interplay of characters, the action scenes here are some of Salvatore's best, which is really saying something. There's one sequence involving a drow raid on a town that is one of the most pulse-pounding scenes I've ever read, and it really ratchets up the tension for where the story is going. Some people might think we're just retreading old ground here, and to an extent we are, but in a fresh way and with a whole new shine that really makes this an amazing read.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Goodreads Book Review - The High Druid's Blade

The High Druid's Blade (The Defenders of Shannara #1)The High Druid's Blade by Terry Brooks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I know a lot of people seem to disagree with me, but I think this is the best entry in the Shannara series I've read in some time. I enjoyed the characters immensely and I liked the plot, as it was somewhat different from the usual fare. Yes, there were similar elements, but overall things went differently. I think a fun new villain was introduced, and I'm glad I enjoyed him since he's apparently the through-line of the new series. This book left me eagerly waiting for the next installment.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"Tusk" Review - Written by Jim Herling

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Hardest Blog I've Ever Had to Write

It's been about twelve days since my grandmother passed away. I've been trying to write this since the day after and I've just had nothing. When my grandfather passed I wrote one in two days and it was much easier. Part of that boils down to how prepared I was for my grandfather's death, having known for the better part of a year that his time was coming. My grandmother, on the other hand, was pretty much a sucker punch, one that, despite my tearful outbursts the day of the memorial, the reality of which hasn't sunk in yet. Maybe writing about it, putting some of these feelings down in words will make it easier.

And part of it is just that for thirty-three years, my grandmother was my rock and I can't imagine life without her.

The truth is that in all the ways that matter she was my mother. She raised me. She was always there for me. She took me in and she took my friends in. Everyone who knew her knew how loving and generous she was. I'd never have made it to this point in my life without her help, and I honestly don't know how well I'll make it through from here on out. I've never felt so alone in my life.

I know I'm not alone, I have an amazing girlfriend and friends who love me and I'm sure I'll be alright eventually. But the loss of my grandmother's kindness, generosity, and love has left a hole inside of me that I'm not sure what to do with.

I realize I'm not being my normal coherent self, but the thoughts are hard to pull together. One of the things weighing on me, pulling that hole open, is that I didn't get to say goodbye. She had been in the hospital for about five weeks when she passed, and I hadn't visited her in awhile. I just couldn't afford the bus fare back and forth, and I thought there was still so much time, with her diagnosis being six months to a year. No one told me her diagnosis had been changed to six weeks. And when I found out the doctor suddenly said she had about a week left, I made plans to spend the whole next day at the hospital... but she died that night and I never got the chance. Her level of awareness in the hospital fluctuated from very aware to barely conscious. I'll spend my life wondering if she wondered why I wasn't there and feeling guilty about it. All I can do is remind myself of the first time I went to see her there, when I held her hand and apologized for the way we'd argue sometimes and told her I hoped she knew how much I loved her, and she squeezed my hand and said that was never in doubt.

At the end of the memorial my aunt gave a little speech and ended it by saying that anything good anyone saw in her came from my grandmother. I hate to plagiarize, but the same can be said for me. Whatever there is good anywhere inside of me came from the woman who raised me, the woman I loved and will miss more than words can say.

Goodbye, Grandma. I'm sorry none of us ever called you "Gran." Thank you. I love you.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Goodreads Book Review - Honor Among Thieves

Honor Among Thieves (Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion, #2)Honor Among Thieves by James S.A. Corey

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's almost impossible for stories set in the Classic Era starring any of the main characters to have have any stakes at all. It's the biggest reason I lament the death of the Expanded Universe (aside from all the money I've spent on EU novels!). We know nothing can happen to them of any importance that isn't mentioned in the movies, and it's the same here; the book is about the chase for a powerful weapon that we've never heard of before, so we know what has to happen to it eventually. There is, however, an upside to Classic Era stories, and that is that the characters are still young and inexperienced and not the almost perfect adventurers they eventually become. It's fun to see them mess up and not have all the answers. Unfortunately, the author works around that upside by giving us the impossibly perfect new character Scarlet Hark, who is prepared for everything and is just the best spy ever. I was praying for her death, but instead she lives while the other new characters who gave this otherwise boring story any life had to die. The action is generic, as is the dialogue and plot, but the characters could have brought it to life more. Instead, what we got is a just okay story that completionists will obviously read but that everyone else is better off skipping.

View all my reviews

Friday, October 3, 2014