Red Rising Trilogy Review

 

Red Rising

So,  during my daily commute I tend to listen mostly to audio books.  Having an hour plus commute each way really lets me tear through them at a fairly quick pace and I frequently find myself buying extra credits from Audible.com. (I highly recommend it btw)

Anyway,  I recently completed the third installment of the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown and I wanted to put in my 2c. The story takes place in the far future where humans have terraformed  and populated Mars, the Moon (Luna) and various celestial bodies in the solar system.  And humanity is divided by class using a “color” scheme.  Golds sit at the top and conquered the rest of humanity a couple hundred years prior to the story. They took on a lot of Roman culture and social constructs yet have fantastic tech which they use to rule over the other Colors.  Obsidians are huge warriors that are imprisoned on the Poles of the planets and believe the Golds are the Norse Gods.  They are used for martial purposes and are of course slaves.  Grey’s are use mainly as soldiers and police. Silvers are tech centric, Oranges are medical, Pinks are prostitutes/sex slaves, Coppers are bankers and of course the Reds are used as slave labor in various endevours but they are most famous for being miners extracting Helium3 from deep inside Mars.

The story is based around a particular Red name Darrow of Lycos ,which is a mining city deep under Mars.  The Red believe that the surface of Mars is uninhabitable and they are digging out the lifeblood of the settlers trying to make it so.  This is, of course, a lie.  They are enslaved by the Golds and Mars is beautiful with majestic cities, lush gardens etc etc.

Anyway – Brown sucks you right in and makes Darrow someone you care about and then gets you on board with a pretty brutal event that kicks this whole ride off.  I’m not going to go into a ton of detail or even much more,  but the gist is that he leads a rebellion of sorts.

I really, really found this series enjoyable.  I loved most of the characters and at least twice I found myself with my heart pounding, adrenaline pumping  and almost gasping in shock/disbelief at certain points. Its a pretty rare book that gets me to that point. I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the SciFi, Fantasy genre.  Mr. Brown did a great job and I look forward to whatever he puts out in the future.

 

TL;DR – If you like SciFi/Fantasy,  read or listen to this now! Fear the Reaper!

 

 

House of Cards Season 4 thoughts..(mild spoilers)

house-of-cards-season-4

 

We’ve finally finished season 4 of House of Cards and I think it’s likely been the best since Season 1.  Spacey and Wright are just fantastic.  The chemistry they have is perfect.  The first half of the season was the conflict between Frank and Claire and ended with the wolves circling, but the Underwoods going on the offensive.

They both give Patrick Bateman a run for his money in the sociopath department.  They can, and do ruthlessly damage the other until they realize that the success they enjoy is primarily because of their combined strength.  And they do indeed make a formidable opponent.

The odd thing about this show is that you see how  awful the Underwoods are,  but you still end up hoping, just a glimmer in the darker parts of your soul, that they come out on top. Or at the very least you want to see *how* they do it.

So at the end of the season it ends up with the Underwoods  vs an intrepid reporter from the Herald ( Tom Hammerschmidt) who has a powerful set of allies, Will Conway the charismatic Captain America-ish Republican nominee,  the SecState Kathy Durant who I believe is going to screw the Underwoods over or at least make an attempt and I think maybe the actions of Doug Stamper the Underwoods CoS,  who is playing a very dangerous game.

Season 5 is lining up to be pretty epic.  I just hope the writers don’t go too far off the rails.

Another thing to note is that Netflix is on a pretty good role with their original programming.  House of Cards,  Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Orange is the New Black have all been very good to excellent.  HBO better watch out..

House of Card is back!

 

House-of-Cards
F.U.

 

We just started the latest season of House of Cards on Netflix.  I enjoyed last season but I did find it to be maybe the weakest of them,  but so far this season,the show is back to top form.

So far we are through the first 3 episodes and it has so far revolved mostly around the battle between Frank and Claire as they bite and stab each other while maintaining the facade of a happily married power couple.  All I can say is that I am firmly Team Claire.

Also worth noting is that Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are just fantastic.  The level of “f**k you” Spacey can communicate in a smile is just…well,  awesome.  These two completely deliver and handily do most of the heavy lifting for the show.

I’ll return later as we burn through the season..

 

Movie Review: Deadpool

 

 

Deadpool

Due to the kindness and generosity of a sister-in-law who loves newborns,  my wife and I got the opportunity to sneak out last week and finally see Deadpool.  It was totally worth the wait.  I’ve always thought Ryan Renolds the perfect casting choice to play DP and it was spot on.  The sarcastic tone,  the perfect delivery and just the right amount of cocky completely nailed the big screen version of Deadpool.  Everyone was just right in the film.. with maybe the exception of Gina Carano who I just can’t buy in any role, even just playing herself.  Colossus was fantastic so congrats to those five guys.

This was the standard origin story movie which is usually just ok, but this really knocked it out of the park and I’m beyond excited to hear that the sequel is already in the works.

 

TL:DR – 4.5 out of 5 Chimichangas!

Staked nailed it..

I just finished Staked by Kevin Hearne and it did not disappoint. Atticus and Oberon were both back in fine form.  Owen was still as lovable as ever and Granuaile was a little starry eyed but still kicked ass when she needed to get things done.  I really do love the mythology entwined in this series and Hearne does an awesome job tying it all together. If you’re looking for an entertaining and fun series you can do a lot worse than the Iron Druid Chronicles.  Now I have to wait for the next one.. Boo..

And remember…Never be Nigel in Toronto…

Fantastic 4..Fantastic. I do not think that means what you think it means..

While up all night doing some index maintenance for work (database stuff) I had the utter misfortune of watching the latest revision of The Fantastic 4.  I heard the reviews were pretty bad and so bad, in fact, that they cancelled the planned second installment…

Well..Holy crap.  What a lifeless,  unfunny,  unentertaining, pretty much unwatchable pile of shiite.  I mean..bad. Like not even “so bad its good” bad but just pathetic and cringeworthy bad.  Thankfully I had other stuff to do while it was playing or I’d be really annoyed at myself for completely wasting those precious minutes of my life.

Do yourself a favor.. Don’t watch it.  Not one second of it. You’ll thank me.

TL;DR – Zero stars out of 5

Oh Hello..It has been too long..

Hi Everyone..

It’s been like years since I’ve updated this thing.. I’m going to try and start something regularly.  Even if it’s just a small thing. I just need to do it..

Anyway..I’m just finishing the First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie and wtf man, what took me so long to find this series?  It’s really been fantastic.  Logen Ninefingers,  Bayaz, Black Dow, Superior Glokta, et. al are all endearing in their own way.  I can’t wait to get the other books in the same world..

Also! Just got my preorder of Staked by Kevin Hearne.  I love the Iron Druid Chronicles and Luke Daniels does a sensational job for Audible.

That’s all for now! Talk to you soon.

R

Thor.. The Dark World.. mini review

Got a chance to pop into my local theater to see the latest installment of Thor.  I am a big Marvel cinema fan,  but I have to admit that the Thor and Captain America franchises are my two least favorite of the bunch so I wasn’t expecting much from this film.  And I have to say, I enjoyed it more than the first installment.  A lot more.  It’s certainly formulaic as are most of the Marvel flicks,  but it was slightly darker than the first and I thought was more fun.  Chris Helmsworth does his usual thing and I enjoyed Rene Russo immensely, but I really thought Tom Hiddleston won the day.  His Loki is pretty much dead on and I can;t wait to see what the future holds for him.  And based on the trailer scenes and the general scuttlebutt around the plans for the Marvel universe,  I’d say its likely there are big, big plans for that future.

Playa Thor
Well, hello there..

Red Wedding doesn’t disappoint! *Spoilers*

Wow.

Tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones on HBO was titled, appropriately,  The Rains of Castamere.  This was the episode in which the Red Wedding occurs and it was just sensational.  That gut wrenching feeling that hit you when you read that Rob died in the books was just as powerful on screen.  They added in some spice but holy shit. Just an epic episode.  And I also think Michelle Fairley,  who plays Catelyn Stark was just superb.  The rest of the episode was almost filler around the RW and that was just alright with me.  In it we saw Dany send Jorah and Daario to take Yunkai..and they do..and John makes his break from the wildings..  Bring on the finale!

 

RIP Cat

Cat

 

Poor Bastard..

Rob

 

 

Into Darkness. A Review…

star_trek_into_darkness-HD

In a word: Awesome

Being a pretty big fan of SciFi/Fantasy etc., I have been looking forward to the latest installment of the Star Trek reboot.  I think they really nailed the casting for it and I enjoy the fresh take.  My work decided that tech would take the afternoon to go see it as a group.  Sweet!!

So,  the plot is roughly this..  Kirk and Spock are cruising through life with the Enterprise and things are good with Spock and Uhura doing their thing.  Kirk is doing his “no rules for me” schtick and we see them intervene on some savage world and expose the indigenous species to the modern world,  violating a Prime Directive while rescuing  Spock from a volcano.  Kirk loses his Captaincy and Spock is reassigned.  Then Pike saves Kirk’s career, sort of and makes him  the 1st officer on the Enterprise.  In comes Benedict Cumberbatch as a terrorist who blows up a seemingly innocuous data archive.  Cumberbatch then sees where the puck is going and then attacks the convened council of Starfleet‘s top brass,  Kirk included.  Pike dies,  which sets Kirk off,  not that he needed the motivation,  but it works.  Kirk plays hero and stops the attack.  Scotty has some magic and knows where BC got off to.  The home planet of the Klingons. Dun dun dun…

We then see Kirk ask for his ship and crew back to go get him..Admiral Marcus agrees and sends him with some fancy toys which he will use to destroy BC.  Insert moral dilemma, mysterious blonde hottie and off they go.  Kirk shows his conscience and decides to take BC into custody.  So much awesomeness ensues.  After almost single handedly taking out a Klingon patrol and being generally the baddest MFer around,  BC ends up surrendering quite easily to Kirk, Spock and Uhura when he finds out 72 fancy photon torpedoes are waiting to destroy him. We also see BC take a beating and a half from Kirk with no marks or injury to show for it.  Hmm.. He also knows the Enterprise is also stranded on the edge of the neutral zone.. he knows too much actually.  Oh, did I mention that Scotty resigned because he wouldn’t sign off on the fancy photon torpedoes Marcus gave Kirk to kill BC.  Anywho.. BC is on the Enterprise and reveals….***SPOILER****  That he is,  in fact,  Khan!  He is smarter, stronger, faster and generally better than everyone else.  Turns out Marcus pulled him and his crew,  of 72,  out of Cryostasis to help build the war machine that Marcus believes Starfleet needs to battle the Klingons. So,  Marcus shows up with one bad ass ship. A Dreadnought class starship which is built to fight.  They attempt to kill everyone and start the war..yada yada yada..  Kirk dies yada yada yada.. KHHHAAAAAANNNNNNN!!!! yada yada yada It works out in the end through some awesomesauce doused all over the Enterprise and Earth by the crew.

Bottom line,  the movie is totally worth the price of admission.  It’s 2 plus hours of total, epic, fun.  Congrats to the cast , crew and JJ for directing another sensational film.  And a special note about Benedict Cumberbatch.  He steals the movie and is fucking brilliant.  Just awesome.  Go see it. In IMAX if you can..