Kathleen

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

X Company s3
Highlander s4&5&6
The Librarians s2&3
CHiPs s3&4&5&6
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis s2&3&4
Xena Warrior Princess 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

Outlander - s3&4 - September 10
The Good Doctor - premieres - September 25
Scorpion - s4 - September 25
Seal Team - premieres - September 27
Inhumans - s1 - September 29
The Gifted - premieres - October 2
Lucifer - s3 - October 2
Once Upon A Time - s7 - October 6
Legends of Tomorrow - s3 - October 10
The Flash - s4 - October 10
Supernatural - s13 - October 12
The Shannara Chronicles - s2 - October
Knightfall - premieres -
The Alienist - premieres -
The Terror - premieres -
The Frankenstein Chronicles - s2 -
Daredevil - s3 -
Z Nation - s4 -
Britannia - premieres -
Godless - premieres -
Humans - s3 -
The X-Files - s11 -
When Calls the Heart - s5 - February
IZombie - s4 -
The Originals - s5 -
12 Monkeys - s4 -
Anne - s2 -

Upcoming Films & Miniseries I want to try

Lewis and Clark
Man At Arms
A Gown Of Spanish Lace
Gambit
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
Pinocchio
Prince Charming
The Sword In the Stone
Genies
Gigantic
Maleficent 2
Star Trek 4
Robin Hood: Origins
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
Charlotte
A Storm in the Stars
Deadpool 2
New Mutants
Devil in the White City
Justice League
The Silver Chair
Aladdin
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
Breathe
A Wrinkle In Time
The Shape of Water
The Snowman
 
 
calliope tune: "Red Rubber Ball"-Cyrkle
feeling: lonely
 
 
Kathleen
Next on my list was Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin, an alternative historical thriller with a bizarre, but intriguing premise. And, despite my reservations, I ended up being quite impressed.



Summary on the back: The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor's Ball in Tokyo. Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year's only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin's brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael's every move. But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

My thoughts: This was another hard book to define. The premise is fascinating, and despite my initial reservations - the entire concept seemed slightly disrespectful - the historical background was handled quite well, even if it was occasionally difficult to read. There were a few moments that made me very uncomfortable, but for the most part I felt the writer did a good job balancing the realistic horror with sometimes inspiring fantasy. I do usually love alternative history, so the concept caught my attention from the start. Several moments, particularly in the flashbacks, were haunting and poignant. And the writing style was often lovely.

Yael was both likeable, and easy to relate to, and her ability was very interesting. Most of the supporting characters were a little bit lacking and indistinctive to me. The world-building was quite well done, and despite a few overly imaginative elements, much of the story felt believable. The ending felt abrupt, and a little bit of a letdown after all the buildup (hopefully the sequel will be better resolved), but for the most part I enjoyed the plot.

Overall, Wolf By Wolf was a very good, if somewhat unsettling book that left me planning to read the sequel.
 
 
feeling: recumbent
calliope tune: "Duke of Earl"-Gene Chandler
 
 
Kathleen
My latest reading was The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black. I enjoyed her The Darkest Part of the Forest, so when I learned that she'd written a vampire novel, I had to add it to my list.



Summary on the back: Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave. One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

My thoughts: This book was...difficult to describe. It had an odd and unpredictable tone that kept giving me whiplash - from humor that had me giggling to jarringly violent and tragic moments, and the plot kept veering between utterly brilliant and disappointingly predictable YA fantasy. The urban gothic feel appealed to me highly, but the lack of details left me wanting more. I really loved the concept of the Coldtowns, but found the world-building annoying vague - I wanted so much more backstory and explanations! - with the most interesting parts teased but barely explored, particularly the vampires who choose to end their lives. Tana was, by turns, a perfectly interesting character and so naively stupid I wanted to shake her - most of the time, she reminded me of the character who goes into the dark room in a horror movie and gets killed off early. Seriously, most of her choices were questionable, to say the least, even taking into account her childhood trauma and age. Aidan seemed to be a completely unnecessary character - or maybe it's just the way I saw him? - and Midnight and Winter were intensely unlikable, right from the start.

But, I loved Gavriel. While I would have liked more of his past, motives, and even his romance with Tana to be fleshed out, his character was by far the very best thing about the book. I like my literary vampires unquestionably non-human, and dangerous, and Gavriel hit every trope I love and then some. His backstory was fascinating and tragic, and I liked the ending, and the choice he made.

Overall, The Coldest Girl In Coldtown was a strange book, that I couldn't decide if I truly liked or not, a disjointed mix of the excellent and the disappointing.
 
 
calliope tune: "Don't Fear the Reaper"-Blue Öyster Cult
feeling: apathetic
 
 
 
Kathleen
Next on my reading list was Timekeeper by Tara Sim, which caught my eye with it's offbeat plot. And it turned out to be an absolute delight.



Summary on the back: In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time - and a destroyed one can stop it completely. It's a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors. And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny's new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower's clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield's time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he's fought to achieve. But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he'll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

My thoughts: I adored this book. From it's fabulous steampunk twist on history, to it's completely creative world-building, everything was complete perfection. The writing style was gorgeous, and I loved the entire creepy concept of time stopping an entire town, trapping the people inside. The concept of clock spirits was highly unique and fascinating - I wanted to know so much more about them! - and the historical details felt perfectly accurate, despite the interwoven fantasy elements. I enjoyed most of the background characters, and there were so many lovely scenes and moments, as well as an enjoyable ending.

Danny was a likable, thankfully non-annoying protagonist - I really enjoyed the concept of the mechanics in general, and it was such a delight to have a central character who wasn't the over-used savior type, but rather just an ordinary boy doing the best he can, and struggling to come to terms with the loss of his father and his mother's grief over it. Colton was instantly lovable, with his poignant loneliness and observations of the humans he watches over, and yet believably other-worldly. I loved the concept of him being connected to time - his little cog that he holds when he's sick was adorably sad - and their romance was sugary sweet and exactly what I'd hoped for. The whole plot had a funny, comforting feel, like an old children's novel, something I've never come across in a modern book, and loved.

I had no complaints whatsoever with Timekeeper and loved it wholeheartedly.
 
 
calliope tune: "Rhiannon"-Fleetwood Mac
feeling: impressed
 
 
 
Kathleen
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
 
 
 
Kathleen
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