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Monthly Archives: August 2015

Audiobook Review: “Redshirts” by John Scalzi

How it took me this long to listen to this book is a mystery.  It’s sheer genius!  First, it’s such a wonderful parody of a common science fiction series theme.  It’s Galaxy Quest meets Stranger Than Fiction, only it’s funnier than both combined, and I LOVED both of those movies.  So take a clever idea written by a hilarious author and add narration by none other than Wil Wheaton, and you have the recipe for a well-deserved Hugo winner.

I think the last two hours slow it down a bit.  Had I not waited a few minutes before writing this review, I would have let that bring my opinion of it down a smidge, but what the last few hours did was close all the gaps, which is honestly something I get mad about other authors not doing.   I’m pretty biased when it comes to the inspirational material, but that bias also makes me incredibly critical of those who screw it up.  Here, Scalzi blends a perfect mix of comedy, drama, ridiculousness (oh so much ridiculousness), and heartwarming characters without being disrespectful of the source material.  I understand a series adaptation is in the works, and I can’t wait to see it on TV.  Heck, for the irony alone I’ll watch it.

Redshirts is an unashamed comedic salute to science fiction television and the characters we love to watch die in the most idiotic ways.

Audiobook Review: “Into a Strange Land” by Ben Anderson

Strange Land is a charming fantasy story that goes into interesting places with creatures that haven’t had the limelight in quite some time.  I enjoyed it.  True, a younger cast indicates a younger target audience, but the story had enough wit and intrigue to keep most audiences engaged.

I enjoyed Strange Land so much, I picked up the second audiobook in the series.  I actually own a few versions as I tend to like to collect multiple editions of the same book.  I’m odd that way.  Sometimes I buy an audio and e-version of a story and sort of race to see which version I get to first.  In this case, the audio version one, so I’ll stick with that format.

The characters are equally adorable and compelling.  This is the main reason I’m rushing to get the audio version of the book as I don’t want to wait to finish what I’m reading (still reading Magic Price if you’re wondering) when I had time to listen to more audiobooks.  This is one way I’m able to keep moving through books at such a fast pace.  I digress:  the most fascinating part for me was the use of leprechauns and gnomes.  Oh sure, we see goblins and dwarfs.  We hear tell of many other magical creatures, but it’s nice to read a fantasy story that doesn’t just regurgitate Tolkien elves and orcs.  I enjoyed Tolkien’s work, but seeing someone go to a different set of lore was a big plus  for me.

This is a solid story that has me wanting to see how it ends.  While Strange Land is clearly the beginning of a series, it doesn’t just drop off in a cliffhanger like some modern dystopian fiction sequences tend to do.  It leaves the reader at an acceptable pause point.  Also, the whole trilogy is available, so there’s no need to wait to see what will happen.

Though the best audience might be younger readers, I think any fan of Irish folklore will find at least something to enjoy with this book.