Tag Archive: sci-fi



Independence Day: Crucible: The Official PrequelIndependence Day: Crucible: The Official Prequel by Greg Keyes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay. Not my favorite book. But it certainly filled the bill for missing information.

We watched, as usual, Independence Day on, yep, July fourth. I wanted to watch our DVD but the machine ate the DVD. Luckily, the show was on Live TV. We recorded so we could watch when we could get together as a group at the same time. We, also, recorded ID Resurgence. Getting all four of us in the same room at the same time is rare. So we barely got ID finished on 7/4. IDR happened on the fifth.

We’d seen Resurgence before and were unimpressed. This time we seemed to be more into the identifying stars and characters from before. That’s when we noticed that there were characters that seemed to be important but were unknown to us.

My husband watches shows with Google ready. It was when I asked him who is that and why are they supposed to be important? I don’t remember them from ID.

This book is the missing piece. Though it isn’t exciting enough to have a movie of its own, without it Resurge keeps you wondering. Maybe this should have been a series of three one hour shows? At any rate, this helped make the final show make more sense.

On the other hand, I am no more interested to rewatch Resurgence now that I know what I do. And it seems this could have the possibility of another movie or two as we learn more about aliens of all kinds and the hope of global cooperation.

So, it’s worth the read.

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An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7)An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book may be my favorite of all the Outlanders. Maybe because of how I chose to read it nearly 24/7. After all, I had reached the skinny-mini underbelly of all streamings–teen or young people who look like Barbie Dolls going through the samo-samo life issues. Give me some older adults, women of all shapes and colors, real people, not Hollywood-mothers, whores, or weaklings. Not enough streaming of strong women holding up half the world. So back to reading the only way I could. Audible.

Also, I was making scrubbies and washcloths while listening. That helped me ‘hear’ better.

By constant reading, I could stay in the story better. And family members came and listened with me on occasion. So it wasn’t a lonely process.

At any rate, I loved watching the cast of the characters struggle with life and time travel issues and historical moments. I especially loved the parts about Brianna and Roger at Lallybroch recovering letters from Claire and Jamie. And though I used to find Willy obnoxious, I think I clicked with him this time. And I grew more in love with John Grey. How nice to see good, honest, quality men portrayed.

I tried to find something else to read last night as my bedtime read but couldn’t resist looking for more Outlander. Now I am listening to book 8, Written In My Own Heart’s Blood.

Time to lower my reading goal as I seem stuck in tome reading. I love it! I hope you get the chance to read these. Oh, and Davina Porter does so many voices so well. I still wish for more actual actors for sometimes Bri and Claire sound the same, and all the children sound the same, and Roger, even with his sore throat, sounds like other men. Still, for one person covering so many people, Davina is fantastic!

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The StandThe Stand by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. Why am I finding myself reading/listening to such long books lately? Maybe because I don’t have to carry them around? Maybe because at least something in my life feels secure and always there? I don’t know. But this fits that bill. I will once again have to lower my reading goal to accommodate this new penchant of mine.

What a fun book! I wish I would have read it before I ever watched, much less owned, the DVD series. I saw Molly Ringwold and the rest of the cast playing in my mind as I listened. But for the most part, that didn’t interfere with the character development. Except for Harold. But I guess back when the show filmed it would have been hard to put a minor character actor through the process of losing a lot of weight while dealing with the travel with his team. I hope the new one gives us a more true-to-book Harold.

Grover Gardner, the narrator of this book, should be given all the awards he has. He was able to portray most of the characters that kept them separated in my mind as we went along. I didn’t feel the aversion of the female characters in the way I often do with male narrators. There is usually a feeling the male is making fun of the female. I do think we should just start hiring both male and female, and possibly children actors for the appropriate characters. But that is my own opinion of that.

What was fun for me was I had the book reading to me in the living room. My husband or my son, or brother would walk in and start listening with me. They all seemed to enjoy it from the point I was listening to when they felt the need to find other tasks for their day. My son became most involved. He’s in his forties and is well acquainted with the show—an excellent way to bond with others.

I read The Dome quite a while ago and King’s book about writing. Both books were fantastic, and I think by the end of The Stand, I have to admit to becoming a fan. I love how he keeps the reader involved. He makes you feel you are in the story almost always.

Some parts of the story involved a bit of the Bible and brought in demons and prophets. It felt right for the time it was written, but I wonder if we needed that. I believe that the good and evil, and I don’t think that is our position to judge who is or isn’t, will die or live, not accordingly but just chance or biological, genetic predispositions. I think that a person might have some bad luck shouldn’t make them drawn to the demon. I don’t quite know how to say that. It is worth the thought process the book takes you through, but I wonder if it could be without the demon? I think caring people might flock into teams, and those who are just looking for advantage regardless of others’ needs might find themselves in a herd situation. But again, it played out as King’s story and not offensive.

As I got into the story from the first chapter, I found King’s research quite evident. Had everyone read The Stand, we might have been more ready for our own Captain Trips. A cautionary tale all should read and glean what they can. It seems like a book two could help us figure out the next steps.

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A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6)A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow! Am I finally finished with this book? It is the longest book I think I have ever read. I don’t think it needs to be that long, either.

Look. Don’t get me wrong. I still love the story, the characters, the concept of the time travel element. I just found the length unbearable with the thousands of books I have on my TBR shelf.

It is fun to explore the early days in America with the characters. I have to admit that I loved the time in Scotland the most, so this book is missing that aspect.

The other problem that I had with this book is the magical narrator, Divina Porter, just couldn’t handle all the characters. Now that Brea is an adult, she sounds like Clair. Now that Roger is an adult, he sounds like Jamie. All the children sound the same. Maybe if I could read at the same time as listening, I could sort them out. But that is not possible for me and my eyes.

The last thing I need to point out, in case it counts for your reading the book is, I am already reading book 7, so…

It is worth the read. Stay with it. There are little rewards in the story. And in this crazy world, a sweet time-travel romance can calm the worries that like to strike at bedtime.

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The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5)The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These are such great books. The story continues. And now I can watch the current series on TV. But…

Until this book, Divina Porter, the narrator of all the Outlander books, was able to change the voices for most of the characters enough that a listener could tell who was talking. Now with Bree and Roger and Ian grown, they all sound like Clair and Jamie. If my eyes could handle the tracking I would try to have the book or Kindle version open to track who is speaking. Instead, I have to back up a bit to see if I can find out. Or I just keep listening and finally, context will indicate who had just been the speaker. That throws me out of the story.

Is it me, or is this book a little less exciting? I know with Covid19 all around and the stress that has caused us all, it may be playing a part in my attention levels. I may have to reread the series later when life returns us to quieter minds. So I will try not to affect my rating on this issue. I still loved it and have already downloaded the next book. I can’t wait to see how Jamie and his men adjust to the American Revolution. What if you were on the wrong side of history and knew it but couldn’t do much about it as no one but you had access to future history? Yeah. What a conundrum! Great writing, Diana Gabaldon!

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Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4)Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oops! I nearly forgot to review this one. I just moved into the next read (a library book).

I really wish I would have read this before the series on television. I liked the rhythm of the story better. I like the viewpoints presented here as Clair’s rather than Bree. It is different not having the information that comes with the daughter making the voyage back in time and back to America.

I think we got into Roger’s head a little more, too. It doesn’t take away from the show. It is actually interesting the take the directors and actors took the storyline without losing the story.

No spoilers here. Just glad I read (listened to the Audible) it and can’t wait to get into the next one!

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Voyager (Outlander, #3)Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whew! These books are long. But good. This review is for the Audible version. After you get used to her, Davina Porter, narrator, you will find her voice versatile and natural for this story. One of my reasons for using this method to read these books is pronunciation. There are words in Gaelic or French and a couple of other languages that I wouldn’t know how to say, and text-to-speech would garble.

I don’t usually like to read a book after watching the show. I like to form my ideas of the characters before I see a director’s point of view. But so far this series translates nearly directly. It makes me proud of the show and the author of the book. It seems each of the scenes in the show was in the books. The only difference in this one is Gilly (not sure of the spelling–Audible doesn’t have written word.) I won’t spoil it for you. I actually like the book version over the show. But both work.

I can’t wait to listen to book four. And I’m looking forward to the next season of the show.

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A Duel in Time: A Time Travel Romance (Thief in Time Book 5)A Duel in Time: A Time Travel Romance by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Inspirational! Who doesn’t enjoy a good time-travel book? This one addresses the subject of the musical Hamilton. What fun! And now I have to go find the books about him and the sheet music to play with, and learn to sing the tunes like I did with Phantom and Les Miz.

But the book isn’t all about the musical. It covered a lot about the history and character of the man, statesman, politician, Alexander Hamilton. And the fictitious twins of this century and their coming of age issues.

I always enjoy books by Cidney Swanson. I always have to say that her Saving Mars series is my favorite but all her work is so fantastic it is only that I have to be the old grown-up with left-over space-travel dreams that I gravitate to those books. But Time-Travel is fun, and educational and inspires me so much! Enjoy! I did!

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DreamsnakeDreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was fortunate to find the audio version on Overdrive through my library. I enjoyed what my friend, Cheryl said about the book.

The narrator, Anna Fields, seems to have a raspy voice that is a little offputting at first. Then that voice becomes the healer. She can act out the other characters in a believable way.

The story is a little hard to follow at first. One wonders what tribe or group of people this person is from. When you give up trying to identify, the story feels more natural.

Since I read at night before bed, I was worried I’d have snake dreams. But not a one. Yet, it is a warning to watch for. There are snakes all through the book if you have a bit of phobia.

Like Cheryl, I wanted more from this story. Much of the action feels vague to me, and I felt lost. I love the little girl and wished there was more of the healer and her adopted daughter. But I guess that wasn’t the mission of this book. It was more about the healer and her travels.

It is worth the read. I may try it again sometime.

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Acorna's People (Acorna, #3)Acorna’s People by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About a decade ago I was lucky to get first editions of a lot of Anne McCaffrey books. I think I’ve read all the dragon books. Now I am trying to get through the Acorna series.

As much as I love McCaffrey’s writing and imagination, I find I am not as excited about this series. I feel let down as the title seems to be that the story should center around the Unicorn Girl. But it seems to be about the bad guys and some of her people. I felt nothing of her or for her. I did like the salvage guy and his cat but that’s all.

Okay, maybe it was because it took me so long to read. My eyes have a hard time with printed material. I can do a little at a time. A page or two. And so it has taken me more than a year and a half to get through it. Still, because I own it and I love the author I kept at it until I actually finished.

I see that other fans loved this series so I blame my eyes. And I have ordered the next in the series so I can collect the whole series.

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