Saturday, August 19, 2023

Devil's Gun by Cat Rambo ★★★★

Devil's Gun (Disco Space Opera #2)Devil's Gun by Cat Rambo

The sub-title of this could easily be "The Continuing Adventures of the Crew of 'You Sexy Thing'". The thin thread of a plot is supposedly a search for someone Captain Niko cares a lot about, although she spends much time fretting about her motives and her ability to lead the crew. The crew, for their part, are also wrestling with fallout from the adventures of the previous book and their own motivations and desires. A few new characters are introduced in the middle of the book to amp up the tension a little and create a worthy side quest or two. And then a few subplots are resolved before we fade to 'To Be Continued."

The characters and situations are fun and easy to read about. Like the first volume, the story plays fast and loose with science fiction and fantasy tropes, not bothering to have anything rely on actual physics or comprehendible magic. It's all just for giggles and grins and could easily be a graphic novel. I liked the first book of the series more. The plot had more drive. But I'm still on board and enjoying the ride on this sentient spaceship and look forward to the next volume.

Disclosure: Thank you to Netgalley and Tor Books for providing a free copy of this book in return for my honest review.

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Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia by Christina Thompson ★★★★

Sea People: The Puzzle of PolynesiaSea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia by Christina Thompson

This non-scholarly, yet deeply researched, book about the people of Polynesia (everything in the triangle formed by Hawai‘i, Easter Island (Rapa Nui) and New Zealand (Aotearoa) should satisfy anyone curious about the region, its history and its people. It's structured around the chronology of European discovery, anthropology and archeology of the islands, beginning with Cook and continuing to the present, each century and decade peeling away another layer of the mystery. Not all of the questions have been answered. But a clearer overall understanding as begun to emerge from the mists of time.

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Monday, August 7, 2023

read: Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead ★★★★

Harlem Shuffle (Ray Carney, #1)Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

This is no crime thriller, though crimes are committed and witnessed. There's not much of a plot, although the storytelling keeps the reader turning pages. There are side stories and flashbacks galore all meshing into a rich tapestry of Harlem in the mid-twentieth century.

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Sunday, August 6, 2023

read: The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece by Tom Hanks ★★★★

The Making of Another Major Motion Picture MasterpieceThe Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece by Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks knows a thing or two about making movies. After all, he's written several, directed several and acted in a truckload of them. Having enjoyed his collection of short stories, Uncommon Type, I knew I would read his novel set in the world of movie making as soon as it came out. I enjoyed it. A lot.
That being said, his writing style might not be for everyone. And even I found getting through the first bunch of chapters a bit of a grind. It's all backstory. And it jumps around like collection of barely connected short stories. And there are a couple of mini comic books thrown in for good measure.
Then around page 95 we finally land on the core story of getting a movie made and I was thoroughly hooked. Mind you, the chapters still read like a set of short stories - point of view jumps all over the place - and there are diversions and footnotes all over the place. But I found myself swept along by the narrative just the same.
This should be a fun read for anyone who is a fan of the movies.

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