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Old 12-18-2016, 11:17 PM
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The NY Times Book Review: The 10 Best Books of 2016
The year's best books, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:16 AM
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Thanks for that.
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:01 PM
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"Thrawn by Timothy Zahn, Marc Thompson (Narrator)"



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In this definitive novel, readers will follow Thrawn’s rise to power—uncovering the events that created one of the most iconic villains in Star Wars history.

One of the most cunning and ruthless warriors in the history of the Galactic Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn is also one of the most captivating characters in the Star Wars universe, from his introduction in bestselling author Timothy Zahn’s classic Heir to the Empire through his continuing adventures in Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, and beyond. But Thrawn’s origins and the story of his rise in the Imperial ranks have remained mysterious. Now, in Star Wars: Thrawn, Timothy Zahn chronicles the fateful events that launched the blue-skinned, red-eyed master of military strategy and lethal warfare into the highest realms of power—and infamy.

After Thrawn is rescued from exile by Imperial soldiers, his deadly ingenuity and keen tactical abilities swiftly capture the attention of Emperor Palpatine. And just as quickly, Thrawn proves to be as indispensable to the Empire as he is ambitious; as devoted as its most loyal servant, Darth Vader; and a brilliant warrior never to be underestimated. On missions to rout smugglers, snare spies, and defeat pirates, he triumphs time and again—even as his renegade methods infuriate superiors while inspiring ever greater admiration from the Empire. As one promotion follows another in his rapid ascension to greater power, he schools his trusted aide, Ensign Eli Vanto, in the arts of combat and leadership, and the secrets of claiming victory. But even though Thrawn dominates the battlefield, he has much to learn in the arena of politics, where ruthless administrator Arihnda Pryce holds the power to be a potent ally or a brutal enemy.

All these lessons will be put to the ultimate test when Thrawn rises to admiral and must pit all the knowledge, instincts, and battle forces at his command against an insurgent uprising that threatens not only innocent lives but also the Empire’s grip on the galaxy—and his own carefully laid plans for future ascendancy.
I really enjoyed this book and one of the many reasons why is because Thrawn is part of the new Disney canon! I was so happy to see him on Star Wars: Rebels. Not much was changed about him. Still the same species, still a tactical genius and a savant at studying artwork to know his enemy. I squeed when he gets his Star Destroyer, Chimaera. I now want to go back and listen to the audiobooks of The Thrawn Trilogy (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command).

It feels funny rooting for him because he works for the Empire, but he is just so good at what he does. Of course he has faults. He's not very good at politics and he does face prejudices for being an alien from the Unknown Territories.

I really enjoyed Thrawn's insight into people. There would be an aside of his observations of them and their reactions. Like studying art, it's how he would anticipate their actions.

I also loved how every chapter started out with his how-to-be a genius at strategy. It was like the Star Wars version of "The Art of War by Grand Admiral Thrawn."

A few critiques:
1. Some parts I thought were slow and my mind would wander off. Mostly it was the parts with Arihnda Pryce, but there is a point to her subplot. Her political manipulations balance with Thrawn's military tactics. Some of the missions Thrawn and Eli were on were slow, but they all come together in the end and add up to a final conclusion.
2. Sometimes Thrawn's voice was so soothing I would drift off to sleep and would have to go back and listen again. (Thrawn says "Perhaps" a lot. A LOT.)
3. Thrawn's aide, Eli Vanto, got on my nerves sometimes. He was taking too long to get up to speed with Thrawn's plans.

Marc Thompson is an excellent narrator. I know I said Thrawn's voice was so soothing I would drift off to sleep, but it was so perfect. Matched the voice on Star Wars: Rebels. He was also excellent at performing the voices for the Emperor and Tarkin.
My favorite voice though was Arihnda Pryce's friend. I think her name was Jewett? I can't find her on Wookieepedia. It is really annoying when their articles and character lists are incomplete. I wonder if the printed edition has a Dramatis Personae...
Anyway, her voice was so funny. It was like the Star Wars version of a valley girl and I could not be more amused by the way Marc Thompson performed her voice.

From now on I want to listen to Star Wars on audiobooks. It's like a radio drama with the sound effects and the music.



Spoiler:


Spoiler:



4 out of 5 Glowing Red Eyes.
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Old 07-28-2017, 02:05 AM
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Sorry for the vagueness and repetitiveness, but I'm not the best at reviews and some of these I read months ago. lol


Disliked -
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – I was not a fan of this book, at all. The premises was interesting, but in the end the story ended up not being interesting. Also I didn’t believe in the friendships they were trying to sell. There is one character that disliked the most named Adam. One of my least liked book characters. I know I was supposed to feel bad for him, but the way he acts, especially towards Gansey, is pretty bad. It’s all about talk and no show in this book. *

A Wrinkle in Time Quintet by Madeleine L’Engle – I did not like these books especially the last one, which had one of my least favorite characters in the form of Polly. She’s one of the worst female character I have ever read. The overall series was weird (not in a good way), and boring. It was a literal pain to read the last book. **/ Last Book *

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – DOA. I’m sorry I read five chapters and felt the last Wrinkle in Time itch. I didn’t care for the writing, the characters, and just didn’t care for it overall. I didn’t want to waste the little time I could read on something that just wasn’t clicking for me. Also some things I’ve read about the series I wasn’t a fan of the story. 0


Eh -
The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee – Cute, but a bit rushed at the end. Romance that didn’t stick with me. * *

Counted with the Stars by Connilyn Cossette – Bland story, not a good developed romance. It only got good at the end. * *

My Diary from the Edge of the World by Jodi Lynn Anderson – It was cute, but was kind of boring. Didn’t feel anything for the characters. The ending felt flat. * *

What Light by Jay Asher – Two words, Hallmark movie. It had some serious topics, but it was a very fluffy book that is very much a light read when you have nothing else to read. * *

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor - I can see why it’s compared to Harry Potter, but it doesn’t live up to the hype. None of the characters stuck with me, and the mentors in the book were awful. The reactions to some of things that happened in the book and big events was handled badly. * *

Passengers by Alexandra Bracken – A very rushed romance that wasn't developed well. The first chapter was boring. I almost fell asleep. I thought I was just tired, but I just bored. It was way too long, they could have cut the length down. It felt like it didn't go anywhere, almost repetitive in moments. In the end I just didn’t care what happened to the characters even with a cliffhanger. I can read the sequel or not, don’t really care. * *


Okay -
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – The romance was sweet and well written, but the ending of the book was rushed. I can also understand why some think that the overall message, the big mystery in the book was problematic. * * *

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – It was well written book with a message that still resonates today, but I also thought it was boring. I think partly because I thought it was going to be one thing and it turned out to be another. The ending wasn’t satisficing to me and felt anticlimactic and rushed. * * *


Favorite -
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – LOVED this book. The way it deals with grief and growing up, so good! The characters, the writing, and the illustrations. I can’t say enough about it. I’m going to watch the film, but going to wait till my mom has read it. * * * * *

These Is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Pines 1881 – 1901 by Nancy E. Turner - I read this book long time ago in a book club and wanted to read it again. I loved it then and I love it now. One of my all-time favorite books! Wonderful characters, amazing romance, and well written journey. It does have some flaws like the diary entries are a bit on the unbelievable side and the ending, which I do have mixed feeling about, but the journey is so great. Some of my favorite literature characters. * * * * 1/2

The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski – I read these books back to back and had a hard time putting them down. The story, the characters, the world building, the politics, and the romance I loved it all. I bought these book right away after reading them from the library. I’m so glad I didn’t read them when they first came out because those cliffhangers man! It's not perfect there is a cliche storyline in the last book, but they handle it well in my opinion. Repeating this, but some of my favorite literature characters. * * * *

Fallout by Gwenda Bond – I might be a bit bias because I love Lois Lane, but this book was really good especially for Lois fans! It felt like an episode of Smallville. Some of the side characters do need to be fleshed out more. * * * *
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:27 PM
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Shame you didn't like the raven boys. But that one can be tricky. You either love it or you don't. It's def not for everyone.

I agree with you about The Winner's Trilogy Loved that series from start to finish!

I'm about to start the 2nd/conclusion book to the Passengers. her love chapters, yeah, they are pretty long. I'm trying to think if they were like that in her darkest minds series..
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:34 PM
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To Kill a Mockingbird I remember reading it in high school and absoluting loving it. I re read it a few years ago and while I still thought it was good, I didn't love it like I did as a teen.
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Old 08-04-2017, 05:14 AM
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I'm not sure if I ever read that in High School. I did a few years back though.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stay to the Lights (View Post)
Shame you didn't like the raven boys. But that one can be tricky. You either love it or you don't. It's def not for everyone.

I agree with you about The Winner's Trilogy Loved that series from start to finish!

I'm about to start the 2nd/conclusion book to the Passengers. her love chapters, yeah, they are pretty long. I'm trying to think if they were like that in her darkest minds series..
Yea, I pretty bummed about it after hearing everything about it.

I've read so many times about people reading Mockingbird in school I felt kind of weird that never did. lol It's one my sister's favorite books, so I decided to read it. Have you guys ever seen the film adaption? I think I might watch it sometime



Cinder by Marissa Meyer - I just finished it. I had to read it in two days because it was due at the library. lol I had a bit of a book break, so didn't read it right away. Anyway I finished it a bit ago. It wasn't an awful read, but I thought it fell flat. The two main characters were alright, but didn't buy into the romance or got very invested. I ended up not feeling either way about it because it came off very surface level. I thought it was just okay. ** I'm not against reading one more book in the series because I've read they get better, but I have other books I would like to tackle before crossing that bridge. ETA: It really did feel like more of a set up than a story to be honest.


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Old 08-07-2017, 09:09 PM
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My favorite one in the series is the second book.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:25 PM
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One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus - DOA. I got to page 60 and couldn't read it anymore. It came off like a poorly written fan fiction. The author clearly doesn't know how to write for women. The whole trying to hip and I'm a different girl attitude was gross. The main character comes off very hypercritical. I went to see some reviews from others who've read it and knew I wouldn't want to read anymore. Also it's a book formed into a journal and letters intentionally written to her kids and loved ones. Makes no sense with some of the graphic content. I just cringed through every page I read.
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:21 PM
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Cinder was def a set up for the series. And they each get better and better.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:21 PM
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Thanks for the wonderful summaries, Tara.

Did you find them on whim?
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Old 09-08-2017, 06:53 PM
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Some popped up when I was browsing for other books. Others I've seen others talk about here, and some I find at stores.


Flight of the Sparrow by Amy Belding Brown - DOA. I read almost half of the book when I realized I had no desire to read anymore of it. I thought it was too graphic and I didn't believe the journey that the main character was going on.


The Finale Empire by Brandon Sanderson - I really liked this book. Wonderfully written, amazing world building, and layered complex characters. I love that the author set rules and and a foundation that made it feel more real than just slapping it together. I'm definitely going to read the sequels. There are a few things I didn't like I thought it was a bit too graphic and the romance wasn't fleshed out enough for my taste. ****
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:35 PM
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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - Long ago I tried to read this book. This was before they made it into a film. I couldn't get into it. All I could recall is that I thought it was too detailed. I knew for a few years now that I wanted to give it another go especially since I loved the films. They are some of my all-time favorites. The desire to read them came up again and I went out and got them. I just finished the first book a while ago and things have changed a great deal. I appreciate the deatil that the book offered and it wasn't too much as I thought before. I really enjoyed it a lot and the way he wrote the story. I love learning new things I didn't know and seeing the difference yet similarity from the film. Aragorn who was one my favorites from the film was my favorite in the book.
There was one thing I didn't like, which was a few chapters at the beginning. It just wasn’t needed and it add nothing to the story or to the characters in my opinion. Some of the geography and history was a bit tough to get through and I was confused at some points in regard to it. Overall it was a wonderfully well written book. It really deserves the praise. I go between four and half to five stars.
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:04 PM
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I heard those are hard books to read.

The Game Changer L.M. Trio

I found this pretty boring. The plot made me Same plots you found in majority of older Twilight fanfic. The guy is popular, good looking, pretty much a player, his on and off gf is this drop dead gorgeous. New girl in town. Plain Jane doesn't realize how beautiful she is. Becomes instant bff with love interest sister and she helps her with fashion, makeup etc. Real quiet. Guy can't get girl out of his head and falls madly in love with her. Plot has been down over and over. Plus the ex can't move on and is always screwing with her.
The writing seemed junivelle. The book just went on and on. It covered probably about 2 1/2 years but the timeline was funny. One minute it's spanning over a few days or a week next thing you know it's a year later. The ending/twist made no sense and came out of no where.

2 stars.
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