Ghost Brigades, Last Colony, Zoe’s Tale

I had read Old Man’s War some time ago and liked it. So when I was looking for some science fiction to buy for our trip to Italy, I got the sequels The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony.

As is common with sequels, whether of books or movies, they are not as good as the original. In this case, they were good enough for the plane and train ride reading and I did enjoy (and finish) them during our vacation.

The Ghost Brigades does not feature the protagonists from Old Man’s War, though it is set in the same universe. It was a fun read and a decent book.

The Last Colony ties up parts of the story in The Ghost Brigades and the protagonists in Old Man’s War in a new space adventure. It is better story than The Ghost Brigades and a lot of fun to read.

I read Old Man’s War on my phone at the time, Treo 650 and The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony were the first books I read on my new Kindle. I enjoyed reading on the Kindle, with the only issue being the flight crew’s insistence that I had to turn it off during takeoff and landing.

Thus it was that I finished The Last Colony on the flight back from Rome to New York and realized that there was a further sequel, Zoe’s Tale. Waiting for my connection to Atlanta, I made my first impulse Kindle purchase and bought Zoe’s Tale.

Zoe’s Tale is a retelling of the story of The Last Colony from the point of view of Zoe, the teenage daughter of the main characters of the previous novel. Making the same story interesting in a new book without introducing inconsistencies is hard and John Scalzi succeeds somewhat. However, Zoe’s Tale is definitely the weakest book of the series.

District 9

We watched District 9 in the theater which was a good idea.

For some reason, people either hate this science fiction movie of aliens ghettoized in South Africa or they love it. I liked it. The movie did use a sledgehammer to hammer home its message at times, but it seemed in the spirit of the movie.

I rate it 8/10.

Star Trek

I never liked the time travel stuff in the TV series either. While weak at times, it was a fun movie that I rate 6/10.

We watched new Star Trek movie recently.

I have to admit that while I am a fan of Star Trek, growing up I remember the Next Generation more clearly than I do the original series.

While time travel is a staple of Star trek, it lets them get away with some really bad plot points and this movie is no exception to that. Then there’s also the way they changed Spock and some of the other things from the original Star Trek canon.

Considering some of the weaknesses, the movie was fun. I would rate it 6/10.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

While a bit weak at times, I am still a fan of X-men and liked this movie about the origin of Wolverine.

Having liked all the previous X-Men movies, we saw X-Men Origins: Wolverine in the theater.

While parts of the movie were good, like Wolverine’s childhood and some of his history with Sabretooth and William Stryker, there were some weak points as well. For example, why did Wolverine and Sabretooth fight for the US in the two world wars when they were originally from Canada and Canada got into both wars much earlier. Also, it seemed to me that there were some small inconsistencies with earlier X-Men movies.

The ending was a little weak too. Since this was a prequel/origins movie, that ending should have been known in the other X-Men movies.

Still I am a fan and it was worth 7/10.

Sun of Suns

A fun and quick read.

I read Sun of Suns courtesy of the Tor.com promotion.

It’s a fun science fiction story about small, warring nation-states with poor gravity, artificial suns and naval battles. Some of the plot is predictable, but it’s a quick read, the kind of book I liked to read when I was young.

Wall-E

A movie about a future Earth full of garbage and an idiosyncratic robot named Wall-E who falls in love.

Wall-E is a science fiction movie about a future in which Earth’s sole inhabitant is a robot named Wall-E. His job, along with other robots, was to clean up the garbage on Earth so humans could return. But centuries have passed and all the other robots are not in working condition any more.

I would classify this movie as a love story where Wall-E falls in love with another robot EVE. I found the story quite cute and the movie fun. Amber liked it but didn’t think it was great. Overall, I would rate it 8/10.

Farthing

A murder mystery set in an alternate history where Britain made peace with Nazi Germany and the US never entered the war, this is a good, fun novel.

Courtesy of Tor’s promotion of free ebooks, I got Farthing by Jo Walton, which was nominated for a Nebula as well as for Campbell award.

It is an alternate history novel in which Britain makes peace with Nazi Germany in World War II. It is a mystery about the murder of a politician who was instrumental in the peace negotiations with the Nazis.

It is a good, fast read with the murder mystery and the country house in the foreground but politics and the ramifications of the peace deal are also present. I finished it in a single reading session.