Archive for March, 2011
Monday, March 28th, 2011
I’ve been trying to think up an excuse for not posting for two weeks and, well, I haven’t come up with one yet. I’m pretty sure that I’ve just been lazy. Yeah, that’s not a great excuse, but that’s life for you. Sometimes, I just don’t feel like writing; I just want to go to bed. Is that too much to ask? I hope not.
Anyways, during the last couple of weeks or so, I’ve thought of a whole bunch of geeky things that I really need to post about, but instead of actually posting about any of those things now, I’m just going to post the list of things that I will post about later. (And you thought I couldn’t get any lazier).
- Supernatural – Jinkies, Supernatural is one awesome show. My brother and I have watched the first five seasons on Neftlix and I still can’t get over how much I enjoyed it. We just demolished the series. I really wanted to tear into season 6, but that’s proving difficult. Sad face :(
- Warehouse 13 – After we finished Supernatural, we were looking for something else to watch. I had watched the first few episodes of Warehouse 13 season 1 back when it originally aired and found it to be a pretty fun show. Then I attended the panel at Comic-Con and decided that I needed to catch up. Now, I’ve finished season 1 and I’m just waiting for season 2 to come out on DVD.
- X-Files – I’ve been watching season 1 of the X-Files on instant watch (through Netflix) in between discs. I’m about 3/4 of the way through and I’ve found it to be pretty interesting despite one horrific theme song/intro.
- Castle – Now I’ve moved onto Castle. Not sci-fi so much, but it does have Nathan Fillion and I think that makes up for anything else it lacks. Very enjoyable so far!
- The Wise Man’s Fear – I finished The Name of the Wind a few weeks ago and loved it. Even though I have a bunch of unread books sitting on my bookshelf right now, I decided to skip them and go straight for the sequel. Review forthcoming!
Ooooo. The last thing I wanted to mention was that I came across a sweet set of action figures today that I don’t think I can pass on buying. I haven’t bought an action figure since I picked up The Man in Black and Jacob (from LOST) at Comic-Con, but I think it’s time to make another $20-some splurge. That’s right, Scott Pilgrim action figures.
Sure, they only have Scott (poor Ramona), but both figures look really sweet and I think they’ll look even more amazing on my desk!
The best deal I’ve seen is at Entertainment Earth. They have the pair for $24. Not bad.
Monday, March 14th, 2011
I have to say, this wasn’t the greatest episode of all time. The quality of the show has really been tapering off since they captured Volkov. The last couple weeks or so have just felt a little flat. It looks like Volkov’s daughter will be set up as the next villain, but it can’t come soon enough.
Now, that doesn’t mean that the most recent episodes have been all that bad, but they certainly haven’t been up to their normal caliber. What it does mean is that I’m struggling to find any “top moments” from this week’s episode. Morgan didn’t produce any major laughs, nor did Jeff and Lester. Chuck and Sarah’s mission was…well they didn’t really even have a mission. Instead, they just tagged along with the “A-Team” and Chuck diffused a nuclear bomb with apple juice. Um, yeah. Even for Chuck, that was a little cheesy.
So instead of reaching for moments and making a half-hearted attempt at a list, I’m just going to call it a night and hope for a better episode next week. The delivery of the laptop to Ellie does at least give me some hope for something interesting in future episodes. If nothing else, it means we’ll get to see more of Sarah Lancaster and that is never a bad thing. Also, the previews for next week’s episode looked rather promising.
Monday, March 7th, 2011
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Suzanne Collins is an excellent writer. Perhaps her prose is not a thing of beauty, but her still at crafting an engaging and suspenseful story is impressive.
The first novel in the series was fantastic, a harsh but exciting thrill ride. The second novel, Catching Fire, was really almost as good, but not quite.
The story picks up shortly after The Hunger Games ended and launches us right back into the fractured setting that is Katniss’ world. If anything, the stakes seem even higher in Catching Fire. The pace of the novel was breakneck, much like the first, but this time around we got to a better feel for the bigger picture, what’s going on in the other Districts.
I am really impressed with the world that Collins had built. The inhabitants are so desperate; the politicians are so corrupt; and the overall situation is so completely dire.
What I didn’t love was the ending. I’m not going to given anything away, but I will say that there wasn’t a tidy conclusion. A lot of questions were introduced in the final pages and very few were answered. It left me frustrated and I found myself poring over the pages again and again trying to find answers that weren’t there. Yes, it does leave me eager to read the next novel for sure, but I thought the ending was needlessly confusing.
You may think by this last paragraph that I didn’t like the book. Nothing is farther from the truth. I rant because I liked the novel so much, because I care about the characters and what happens to the them. I did reduce my rating from a 5 to a 4 because of the end, but it won’t stop me from reading the final installment or recommending the series to anyone.
Now, go read the darn book if you haven’t already.
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Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I first heard about The Name of the Wind maybe six months ago and since then I’ve continuously heard almost nothing but praise for the novel. At some point, I even came across Patrick Rothfuss’ blog and started following it regularly. Needless to say, by the time I finally came to reading the novel, I had hyped it up quite a great deal and, somehow, it managed to live up.
The Name of the Wind is a story about Kvothe, an incredibly intelligent and multilayered character that reminded me a lot of Ender from Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. Kvothe is a bit older than Ender as the story begins, but we’re still seeing the world through the eyes of child and then a teenager for most of the novel. I tend to enjoy novels where the protagonist is a kid or a teen, especially if they are particularly gifted, and this was no exception.
The novel is often classified as epic fantasy and I expect something dark and bleak. That wasn’t really the case. It probably reminded me more of Harry Potter than A Game of Thrones, though it wasn’t all that much like either.
One of the coolest aspects of the novel is the story within a story concept. It begins with Kvothe as an adult, but then he basically becomes the narrator for vast majority of the book. Maybe it’s not the newest concept ever, but I really liked how the past continuously introduced more questions about the present. It added a little extra intrigue to the story. It was also interesting to see how different Kvothe was as a child than as an adult.
All in all, I think my favorite part of the book was the University. First of all, the concept of a school where you can learn magic (even if they teach a bunch of other stuff too) is not a new one, but this definitely had much more of an American college feel to it. It certainly brought back some not so distant memories from my college years and you can tell that Rothfuss was very fond of that time of his own life.
One thing I did not expect was the humor. No, it wasn’t Hitchhiker’s Guide caliber hilarity, but there was a number of rather amusing (and crude) jokes that made me chuckle.
Overall, I thought the novel was fantastic, an easy 5 star rating in my mind. I could barely set the book down once I started reading. I literally took the book everywhere until I was finished. I was reading during lunch, at the gym, and I stayed way too late several nights in a row because I just couldn’t bring myself to stop.
Once I did finish, I rushed over to Amazon.com to buy the next in the series, Wise Man’s Fear, and I can’t wait for it to come so I can dig in.
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