Review – Mists of Avalon

The Mists of Avalon (Avalon, #1)The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a big read. The story of the time of King Arthur, as told from the point of view of the women of the time. It’s a familiar tale, but told with more depth and dimension than I’d experienced in any earlier telling.

There are cycles in the book in which I want to strangle pretty much every single character, but they are far and few between. If you’re interested in Arthurian legends, druids, pagans, post-Roman Christianity, and/or long form fiction, I recommend this book.

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Review – X-Men: Evolution & Leverage

I’ve had less than my usual stellar luck with picking shows to stream, lately. I’ve been picking with the intent of having background noise; watching something out of the corner of my eye while I work around the house.

X-Men: Evolution

Normally, I would worry about getting sucked in to an X-Men cartoon. If this had been the one from the 90’s (Apocalypse!), I’d never get any work done. I figured, hey, it’s set in a high school, I can let the teenager crap just buzz in the background, and focus when actual story happens. That’d be fun!

I’m still waiting for the story.

I’ll keep it around in my queue, because I still hold of glimmer of hope that story will happen.

Leverage

I’d watched a couple of seasons of this show when it was airing, and I’d loved it. I figured that coming back to it would give me the familiarity to half-ignore it, and there would be enough for me to keep coming back. That worked perfectly, for the first season. Halfway through the second season, I was bored to tears and yoinked it out of my queue. Even my love for Mark Sheppard and my anticipation of Wil Wheaton’s character couldn’t keep me coming back.

Parker is a badass, though, don’t let anyone tell you different.

Supernatural

I’ve given up using TV as background noise. Though, as my wife has been healing from her injury, she’s caught up on the entirety of Supernatural that’s available to stream, and I’ve gotten sucked in far more than I’d liked.  Great show.

Review – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Nikki and I have finally caught up on the second season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Several of the episodes on our DVR were rendered unwatchable by digital interference, but it was available to stream on Netflix, so we watched it there, instead.

I’m going to do my best to review the season without spoilers. Why? I hate spoilers, that’s why.

If I had to sum this series up in one word, I’d choose tension. It showed up in all kinds of varieties: interpersonal, world-ending, engineered, sexual, and my favorite – inner conflict. Lots of doubt, lots of misleading, a healthy dose of misunderstanding, plenty of preconceptions, and one notable case of overreaction to fear.

Strike that, there’s a lot of overreacting to fear.

The characters hurt each other more than they ever have. I wondered, at times, if there was a team left to save.

If I had to pick a second word, I’d pick triumph. S.H.I.E.L.D. succeeds in so many places where they could have failed, making some major headway. The writers timed it well; just when things were about to get overwhelmingly bad, the characters Got Shit Done.

While this season was missing a lot of the team cohesion that took so achingly long to build in the first season, I give it an unabashed thumbs-up. Now I ahve to wait until late September for season three.

Ah, well. I am happy to comply.

Review: Redshirts

Redshirts
Redshirts by John Scalzi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one had a frantic pace that kept me turning the page as the main character actively sought out the source of the strangeness going on aboard his spaceship.

I’ve deleted four sentences now, because each gave something of the plot away, and it’s too much fun to ruin.

I read this over two days, and I have a job, four kids, and a house full of chores. Definitely difficult to put down. Definitely a fun read. Definitely worth your time and money, if you’ve ever watched (or enjoyed!) a crappy sci-fi show.

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