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Book Review: Battle Ground

Battle Ground

Book in Series: The Dresden Files #17
Author: Jim Butcher

I am finally caught up; it only took me the better part of 3-4 years. Granted I was reading other books scattered throughout that timeframe. Had I been reading these books back-to-back I’m sure I would have caught up sooner. I rarely review any of the Dresden books but I feel like I have some things I want to share following the events of Battle Ground but they will contain spoilers.

Before I get into that, I will first say that I did enjoy this book. Unlike any of the other 16 books, the flow of this book is completely different. There are no time skips (until the very end). There isn’t even a time jump from the end of Peace Talks to the beginning of this book. He does shake things up a little bit but not as dramatically as Changes. However, there is still apart of me that’s hurting after this book. IYKYK.

Spoiler Alert!!

Book Review: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

My rating: [rating=4]

It’s been a while since I’ve written a book review. Sometimes, when I finish a book, I just don’t feel like writing a review. I want to immediately dive into the next book. This is especially true of books in a series. In this case I have some thoughts I felt like sharing.

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is a long book. The copy that I read was over 800 pages, excluding the 20 pages of addendum content. Despite its length, I did enjoy this book. I never felt like I was struggling to get through it. It’s written by the author of one of my favorite fantasy series, The Inheritance Cycle.

Book Review: Redshirts

Redshirts book reviewRedshirts by John Scalzi
My rating: [rating=4]
(Click here to see the Goodreads review)

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while but something else always came up first (mostly the Dresden Files books). I’m glad that I finally got around to reading it. I knew the premise of the book going in and avoided all of the spoilers. I will try to remain spoiler free of my Redshirts book review.

Also, some interesting trivia about the author, John Scalzi. He was a creative consultant for the Stargate Universe live action television series.

Those Recurring Star Trek Themes

While I am a huge Star Wars fan, I still have respect for the Trek. I’m quite familiar with all of the Star Trek tropes so I was looking forward to reading this book. It’s a parody of the classic “Red Shirt” Star Trek theme (i.e. the red shirt always dies). The premise here is that Andy Dahl, a “red shirt”, stumbles on to this suspicious coincidence and he’s determined to figure out why it’s happening. Hopefully, before his inevitable demise. What he discovers is far more unbelievable then he ever imagined, and convincing his other red shirt friends is even more difficult.

The way in which the author addresses this common Star Trek theme is a lot more meta than I was expecting. In fact, at first I wasn’t sure if I liked it. However, as I kept reading I began to understand the allegory of it. I did enjoy this book and that last chapter, the one right before the first CODA, is the best. Chapter. Ever! It definitely breaches the fourth wall but it’s probably one of my favorite chapters of ANY book. I recommend this book to any Star Trek and/or sci-fi fan. It’s a fun read; just keep in mind it’s a parody and try not to get too hung up in it’s conundrums.

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diablo3-reading“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss


Book Review: Changes (Dresden Files Book 12)

Dresden Files ChangesChanges by Jim Butcher
My rating: [rating=5]
(Click here to view at Goodreads)

I know, I know. The last book review I wrote for the Dresden Files was book 8. What can I say, I enjoy these books so much I immediately jump into the next book. In fact I do it so quickly that I don’t allow myself enough time to properly digest the book and, thus, write a book review. If you’ve read “Changes” then you know as well as I do, this is a good time to take a step back and breath before embarking on book 13.

Soooo, WoW! This book is aptly named! If you haven’t read it yet then I’m warning you now, there are MAJOR SPOILERS ahead! I was not expecting half the events that unfold for poor Harry in this book. With that said, there are few books that have me shaking and/or tearing up at the end; this book managed to accomplish both.

spoiler alert!!!

The following content contains spoilers for Dresden Files Book 12 – Changes.

A Brief Synopsis/Biggs’ Review

Susan Rodriguez, Harry’s old fling, has returned. She needs Harry’s help, which is always seems to get Harry in trouble. Except this time he has no choice. Susan’s daughter, Maggie, has been taken by the Red Court and she needs Harry’s help to find her; after all … it’s his daughter too??!?!

Over the past several books we have seen Harry Dresden change quite a bit. A rogue wizard who is under the White Council’s constant vigilance to a Warden and now a father! While these are typical changes every person and/or character may go through, this book, literally, changes everything! I’d have to read the book again (which I intend to do) to fully catalog all the terrible things that happens to Harry. By the end you’re wondering where will Harry live now? When will Queen Mab come to collect? WHERE IS MISTER???!? And then … that happens …

A fellow Dresdenite (is that a thing?) said to me that this book could also be called “Harry Dresden and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. Every book is, essentially, Harry’s worst day/week out of the year. However, this book turns it up to 11. Despite the rapid change in landscape, I really like this book. Easily one of my favorite books in the series. I love it when an author suddenly decides to flip everything on its head. Hit the reset button, as it were. I mean, if I didn’t know there were 4 more books, I would have thought this was the end of the series. In fact this book, more than any other book I’ve read, leaves you wondering … where do we go from here???

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diablo3-reading“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss


Book Review: Cloak of Deception

Cloak of DeceptionCloak of Deception

by James Luceno
My rating: [rating=4]
(Click here to view on Goodreads)

James Luceno autograph

I’ve had this book since Star Wars Celebration III (circa 2005). I actually met James Luceno (in fact this book is a signed copy), he’s a great guy. This is also the book that I began reading last year and I was 40% away from completing to hit my 2020 Reading Challenge. I should have pushed myself harder to finish but November and December is always a busy time of year. Be that as it may, I’m always a sucker for some backstory, especially in the Star Wars universe. While I’m not aware of all the books that take place in the prequel era, this book is potentially as far back as I’ve gone in Star Wars canon (aside from the KOTOR games), with the possible exception of Dooku: Lost Jedi.

Biggs’ Synopsis and Review

Supreme Chancellor Valorum’s trade route taxation policies are highly criticized. So much so that attempts have been made on his life. A particularly nasty syndicate, called The Nebula Front, seem to be involved with these assassination plots. Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, and his padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi, attempt to track down and thwart these terrorists before they succeed.

As I mentioned before I love backstory content, perhaps that’s part of the reason I’m such a fan of the prequels. Without giving away too many details, this book describes the events that lead right up to the beginning of The Phantom Menace. I really enjoyed reading more of the adventures of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, Palpatines continued manipulation of the events and some fun, new characters.

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diablo3-reading“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss


Book Review – Dooku: Jedi Lost

Book Review of Dooku Jedi LostDooku: Jedi Lost by Cavan Scott
My rating: [rating=3]

I don’t give 3-stars to too many Star Wars books and I almost gave this one 4 stars. Honestly its my fault because I didn’t realize this book is meant to be an audio book. The print form that I read is the scripted version of the audio book; which has its pros and cons. It takes a little getting use to but once you’ve acclimated the book moves pretty fast. There is some nomenclature and acronyms that I didn’t know what they meant. Such as “SOTTO” and “BEAT”. Some of them I could look them up (ex: SOTTO voice means softly or quietly so as to not be overheard). Anyway, let’s get into the synopsis and review.

Brief Synopsis and Biggs’ Review

In all fairness, the story is interesting. It gives you a glimpse into the childhood and Jedi training of Count Dooku. You even learn a bit about how he becomes a “Count”. Dooku is looking for someone from his past and, to do that, he has called upon Ventress, whom he hopes to make his apprentice. He gives her clues and some holo-recordings to help her track down this person. During her investigation she learns about her soon-to-be master’s past, including his family.

Like I said, I think the story is interesting. It doesn’t jump around through time a lot, it stays pretty linear as Ventress explores his past. We meet a few more Jedi Masters and even get a glimpse into Sifo Dyas. Minor spoiler: it turns out Sifo and Dooku were good friends growing up, which is something I never gleaned from the movies. It’s really not a bad book and I’d suggest reading it just to see more about Ventress’ relationship with Dooku. You just have to get used to the scripted format.


diablo3-reading“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss


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