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Just me, a fast ship, and a fair galaxy. )
calliope tune: "Forever"-Rex Smith
traveling to: Sherwood Forest
feeling: ecstatic
22 August 2030 @ 02:06 pm
TV seasons to watch/finish watching

X Company s3
Sliders s3&4&5
Highlander s2&3&4&5&6
CHiPs s2&3&4&5&6
Bronco s3&4
T.J. Hooker s4
Lawman s2&3&4
Zane Grey Theatre s4&5
Little Men s1&2
Bourbon Street Beat s1
Lancer s1&2
Seven Days s1&2&3
Surfside 6 s1&2
The Collector s1&2&3
The High Chaparral s1&2&3&4
The Ponderosa s1
The Second Hundred Years s1

Upcoming TV I want to try/watch

Midnight Texas - premieres - July 25
Outlander - s3&4 - September
Inhumans - s1 - September
The Shannara Chronicles - s2 - October
Seal Team - premieres -
The Good Doctor - premieres -
The Gifted - premieres -
Knightfall - premieres -
The Alienist - premieres -
The Terror - premieres -
The Frankenstein Chronicles - s2 -
Daredevil - s3 -
Z Nation - s4 -
Britannia - premieres -
Godless - premieres -
Lucifer - s3 - October 2
Legends of Tomorrow - s3 - October 10
The Flash - s4 - October 10
Supernatural - s13 - October 12
Scorpion - s4 -
Humans - s3 -
The X-Files - s11 -
When Calls the Heart - s5 -
IZombie - s4 -
The Originals - s5 -
Once Upon A Time - s7 -
12 Monkeys - s4 -

Upcoming Films & Miniseries I want to try

Lewis and Clark
Man At Arms
A Gown Of Spanish Lace
Wreck It Ralph 2
How To Train Your Dragon 3
Oz the Great and Powerful 2
Sherlock Holmes 3
Thor 3
World War Z 2
Prince Charming
The Sword In the Stone
Maleficent 2
Star Trek 4
Robin Hood: Origins
Descendants 2
The Avengers: Infinity War part 1
The Avengers: Infinity War part 2
The Legend Of William Tell
Hansel and Gretel: Death's Messengers
War for the Planet of the Apes
The Death Cure
The Little Mermaid
A Court of Thorns and Roses
Rose Red
Tinker Bell
Tulip Fever
Black Widow
Mary Poppins Returns
Pacific Rim 2
The Greatest Showman
Now You See Me 3
A Storm in the Stars
Deadpool 2
New Mutants
Devil in the White City
Justice League
The Silver Chair
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them 2
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Ashes In the Snow
The Beguiled
The Man From UNCLE 2
War of the Worlds
12th Man
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Goodbye Christopher Robin
A Wrinkle In Town
feeling: lonely
calliope tune: "Red Rubber Ball"-Cyrkle
Next on my reading list was To Catch A Pirate by Jade Parker, which promised a historical swashbuckling romance. And it ended up being exactly what I was hoping for.

Summary on the back: When Annalisa Townsend’s ship is set upon by pirates in search of her father's treasure, one of the crew, James Sterling, discovers her in the hold. When he moves to take her necklace, she begs him not to, as it is all she has left of her mother. He accepts a kiss in exchange for the necklace. "A fair trade, m'lady," he tells her afterward, before disappearing. A year later, with a forged letter of marque, Annalisa is intent on hunting down the wretched James Sterling and reclaiming her father's treasure from him. But now she’s in danger of him stealing something far more vulnerable this time: her heart.

My thoughts: I was in the mood for something very light and fluffy and To Catch A Pirate certainly delivered. My expectations were quite low, so I ended up being very entertained by James and Annalisa's adventures and quite adorable romance, even as instantaneous as Annalisa's infatuation was. I adored the piracy and sea-faring aspects of the story, and while completely far-fetched at times - okay, often, the entire book had an enjoyable whimsy about it that kept me turning pages.

I do wish the characters had been a bit older - I think I'm getting old in that every time I read book with teenagers being captains of a ship I just roll my eyes - and a bit more build up to the romance would have been nice, but overall I had few complaints with the delightful escapism of the tale.
feeling: hot
calliope tune: "Blowin' In the Wind"-Peter, Paul, & Mary
Next on my reading list was Salt To the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, a novel about a largely unknown event in WWII.

Summary on the back: Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets. Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war. As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom. Yet not all promises can be kept.

My thoughts: I must admit, I'm not at all familiar with the historical tragedy that forms the basis for the story, so by the time it happened, I'd nearly forgotten it was going to be in the book at all. It strangely felt like an afterthought, rather than what should have been the focus, leaving the ending somewhat rushed and jarring compared to the pace and tone of the entire story up to that point. Despite the sense that the plot is building toward something, the majority of it is more a character study of a group of people who happen to cross paths. The writing style took me a bit to get used it - it has a strange, uneven feel like poetry that doesn't rhyme, and is a little over simplified at times - and the continually switching point of view was occasionally hard to follow, but I liked the characters and emotional impact of their experiences. All of them seemed more mature than most YA characters - I forgot most of them were meant to be teenagers - and it was easy to become attached to them, particularly Florian and Emilia whose relationship - thankfully non romantic - was quite sweet and touching. Florian and Joana's romance was a bit underdeveloped, but enjoyable. Even the background characters - like the shoemaker - were fleshed out and interesting.

One thing I particularly liked was that the entire book has the feel of a memoir written by a survivor, rather than a distant account, making the history seem so much more vivid, and the fate of several of the characters much more tragic. I also loved the contrast between each of the main characters, the secret they hide, and how each forms a quarter of the whole story, due to the uniqueness of their viewpoint. I appreciated how the writer didn't shy away from the horrors of the war, even if some of the bleakness was uncomfortable to read. The book is also probably the closest thing I've ever found to the gorgeous The Unresolved, which is one of my favorite books.

Overall, despite an odd writing style, Salt To the Sea was a powerful, haunting book that left me thinking about it for quite a while afterwards, and eager to learn more about the history that inspired it.

feeling: touched
calliope tune: "Feelin' Groovy"-Harpers Bizarre
Someone recommended The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín on tumblr, and the summary intrigued me so I checked it out.

Summary on the back: You wake up alone in a horrible land. A horn sounds. The Call has begun. The Sidhe are close. They're the most beautiful and terrible people you've ever seen. And they've seen you. Nessa will be Called soon. No one thinks she has any chance to survive. But she's determined to prove them wrong.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. Equal parts The Hunger Games blended with Irish folklore mixed with a dash of Lord of the Flies, it was delightfully unique, bizarre, and strange in the very best way. I loved the concept - years ago the Irish trapped the fairies in a mystical realm, and they now pay by having their children taken in a gruesome game - and the world building - training camps to attempt to make more children survive the Call, thereby ensuring the human world endures. It was dystopian, but in a completely fresh way, and I got instantly caught up in it to the point I couldn't put it down. The characters were diverse, and unique enough that I even kept track of the background characters. And the Sidhe were fascinating! Apologetically horrific and grim, with the feel of being plucked from ancient legends and nightmares, it was a strange relief to have uncomplicated villains - both fairies and the human Connor - that are unquestionably nonredeemable, while still raising questions regarding whether the humans were in the right to begin with. The writing is stark, creepy, and excellent, sucking me in from the start and never slacking.

And Nessa! A disabled, courageous protagonist who is underestimated (instead of a nearly mythical savior as most YA types seem to be), determined to survive when everyone tells her to her face that she shouldn't even try, and who gets her happy ending, all without a magical cure or erasure of her disability. Best of all, her disability is merely a part of her, not the sum total of her personality. It was such an absolute gift to finally find a character like this that I got quite giddy over it. Her friendship with Megan - who was so supportive of her - was wonderful; I'm still broken over her fate. And Anto was such a sweetheart - a perfect match for Nessa's feisty spirit. I also greatly appreciated that the book didn't just gloss over the psychological effect that the Call has on the children - even showing the trauma years later on the adults who've survived it.

I had a few minor quibbles - I would have loved more backstory, a slightly less rushed romance - although it had some sweet moments - and at times the gore was a bit much, but the compelling atmosphere, setting, and style far outweighed the bad and has me eagerly awaiting the sequel.
calliope tune: "Pin A Medal On Joey"-James Darren
feeling: anxious
Next on my reading list was Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker which promised a Southern Gothic, horror-tinged tale. But the results were quite a letdown.

Summary on the back: It's an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp - the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn't return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed. Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp's done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance - and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.

My thoughts: The premise is absolutely fascinating. The deep south atmosphere is alluring. But unfortunately, that's as far as it goes. Despite a promising start, the story asks more questions than it answers, and the characters are flat and uninteresting, which baffled me considering how much potential they initially had to be intriguing. There was so much possibility with Phin and Sterling's relationship, but the lack of flashbacks, and the story starting after his disappearance means you have no background on them, making it difficult to care about her quest to rescue him. Then there was Heath, who could have been an amazing character, and instead fell short, both in personality and in his friendship with Nathan. Most frustrating was Leonora May, a character it should have been impossible not to make interesting, who yet somehow managed to be remarkably dull.

The book suffered from a lot of "tell but don't show" when it came to the relationships - even Heath and Sterling's romance had no buildup to make me invested - and while the writer may have been trying to keep an air of mystery about the swamp, the lack of real explanations made me too frustrated to appreciate the atmosphere. I did love the deep south details, though, and only wish everything else had been better to go along with them.

Ultimately, Beware the Wild was a disappointment, with a brilliant premise and perfectly good writing squashed beneath poor execution and uninteresting characters.
feeling: bored
calliope tune: "Hooked On A Feeling"-Blue Swede
I keep seeing people talking about These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner on tumblr, so I bumped it up on my reading list. And while not at all what I was expecting, I ended up loving it.

Summary on the back: It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they're worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

My thoughts: I looove space romances. And I adore the whole stranded on an alien world/having to depend on each other to survive cliche. And while the ages of the protagonists had me raising an eyebrow (fourteen, really?), I grew to love them both. The story benefited from a narrow focus - only two characters for the bulk of it - and while the character development felt a bit sketchy at times - there was far too little of Tarver's past, which I kept waiting and hoping for - I grew to love both characters and their relationship with each other.

The beginning, while well written, was a bit slow, and took me a while to get into, but I ended up sticking with it, and I'm glad I did. The plot twist partway through took me completely by surprise - I absolutely adored it, though, even if I'm left with more questions than answers regarding Lilac and the life on the planet in general. The whole concept was refreshing, so very different from most YA sci-fis (it was very nice to have characters who were saving each other instead of this massive undertaking to save the world, for a change), and left me eager to start on the rest of the series.

Overall, I had few complaints with These Broken Stars, and enjoyed it tremendously. I also love that gorgeous cover!

calliope tune: "Woodstock"-Matthews Southern Comfort
feeling: contemplative