Early Friday Morning

You know who I have a crush on right now?

I think it’s Cassian I have a crush on, to be honest. Not that Diego Luna isn’t crush-worthy, but Cassian is an ideal. A concept. His character arc and his style lit up the screen for me. A hero lost and found.

And I loved this movie. So much. I’m going to buy the book, I loved it so much. And the Blu Ray when it comes out.

To be clear, I’m not a Star Wars fan. At all. I think every installment after the first two has been hugely contrived and poorly executed. Often boring and poorly written as well. The latest one … The Force Awakens … was nearly, freaking awful. It just didn’t reach the depths of the prequels (good golly what a trio of stinkers).

If they did more like this — basically movie fan fics in the Star Wars world — I’d become a fan and quickly. Of course, the quality of screenwriting, acting and production would have to be there as well. I can dream.

And on that note: sweet dreams of Cassian, kick ass battles, and redemption!  photo d29c1cc4-c064-4c77-a13d-c4eb4bb55603_zpsxyqt7mxa.jpg

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Driven, by Eve Kenin (aka Eve Silver)

In the harsh Northern Waste where human life is worth little, ice trucker Raina Bowen has learned to keep her eyes open and her knife close at hand. She’s spent her life on the run, one step ahead of the megalomaniac who hunts her. All she wants is to stay out of trouble and haul her load of grain to Gladow Station–but trouble finds her in the form of a sexy stranger called Wizard. He has the trucking pass she needs, and she has to drag him out of a brawl with the very people she’s trying to hide from in order to get it. She may have rescued him, but Raina’s not foolish enough to see Wizard as anything close to helpless. He’s hard and honed and full of secrets–secrets that may destroy them both. As they race across the Waste, trying to outrun rival truckers, ice pirates, and the powerful man bent on their destruction, Raina’s forced to admit that trouble’s found her. And this time, there’s nowhere left to run.

Found this book because of Book Bub’s sale alerts and thought the blurb looked pretty good. So, so happy that happened!

Raina Bowen drives a high-tech big rig through the post-apocalyptic Siberian wastelands. The New Government Order is supposed to secure a safe and peaceful existence even in this crummy, frozen region, but cronyism has actually secured a ridiculous amount of power to one man. The man who wants to torture Raina to death.

Raina meets Wizard when she “saves” him from her nemesis’s ugly minions. She’d been there to meet him anyway for some finagled documentation, but the actual meet includes a rescue and confused intent. And thus our adventure begins.

Eve Silver AKA Eve Kenin says in the author’s note at the end of the book that the show Firefly was a big inspiration for this world. Considering I’d thought that many times while reading, she did a good job of harnessing the same feel of the characters and the place. Being a big Firefly fan, that’s a huge plus for me as a reader. And they’re truckers! That’s a new one for me, but it works splendidly.

Raina is beautiful and Wizard is hot. They’re both damaged and a bit strange and their chemistry is clearly not something either of them has ever experienced before. It’s totally believable in the story as well as refreshingly different from the typical romance path.

I’m already starting on the next book thanks to my inability to avoid sample chapters at the end of books. There’s also a deleted scene included at the end of the main text that’s pretty darn smokin’.

I don’t know if it’s on sale anymore, but it’s definitely worth the read. My one actual story complaint is that the villain is A Very Bad Man. Meaning, he’s just crazy, evil bad. He has one basic motive, but one doesn’t have to be so Terribly, Terribly Bad and Evil to accomplish it.

I definitely liked this one for a new-to-me Romance/UF series.

 
ETA: Oooops! I forgot to add the bean rating. I’ve been away a long time, bear with me. I give this one:  photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

The Martian — The Movie and the Book

I absolutely loved the book, The Martian, by Andy Weir.

 photo 45a9ab2e-e780-4491-bbae-599aea6e3ffd_zpshfmkuv76.pngI read it in two days, barely able to put it down. The whole time I was reading it I kept thinking, “this would make a great movie”. Of course, a movie was already in the works.
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And of course everyone already knows — since the movie’s out and all — that they cast Matt Damon as Mark Watney. *sighs* I’m going to see the movie because I loved the story so much and from what I’ve heard the film tracks well with the book. But even knowing that Matt Damon is an excellent actor, I just don’t think I’ll be able to buy him in this part. It’s like Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. The character becomes subsumed by the movie star. No matter how well they may act the part it is always THEM, not the character.
I guess I feel a little protective of Watney. Who couldn’t after that story? I’m sure that if the character were real, he’d be completely pumped to have Matt Damon playing him in the movie. Still … as a reader … I’m disappointed.

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The Martian, by Andy Weir
A Review

I had seen this book positively referenced by some of my fellow fantasy/science fiction fans so when it came up in an ad on Goodreads, I clicked over to Amazon and bought the ebook. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it because I’m honestly NOT an actual science fiction fan. I usually find the genre rather cold and lacking in humanity (I realize that depends on the author, but it’s usually pretty far down on the list of genres I go for). But I read the blurb for The Martian and it was intriguing. Even though I don’t like science fiction all that much (so far), I do love stories of human spaceflight and exploration. That’s exactly what this is.

The story is told mostly through Mark Watney’s POV. He’s been left for dead on Mars and he’s got to figure out how to survive long enough to be rescued. The reality of a Mars rescue is explored in depth and it seems completely impossible. Weir digs into all the possibilities and finds ways to work through problem after problem.

In a Q&A at the end of the book, he talks about how he wanted to make science drive the story. No meteors crashing into Watney, no advanced lifeforms, just the actual challenges that might occur in this situation. They are NOT mundane trials by any means, they’re just realistic.

The POV shifts at different parts of the book and that works well to keep the action moving. Weir, for a first time novelist, does an amazing job of building suspense while also constructing a story of hope. It could have gotten bogged down in the science, which is explored in minute detail, but it doesn’t. Watney’s humor and personable take on things is refreshing and the material becomes anything but dry. No, I couldn’t pass a test on the science in this book, but I can say I didn’t feel lost. I knew what he needed to happen, I knew what he was going to do to make it happen, and then I understood why it did or didn’t happen in the end. It’s masterful in its simplicity. Other authors who write about their beloved hobbies should take note.

I recommend reading the book before seeing the movie so you can read it with fresh eyes. But since the movie came out this past weekend, that’s kind of a tall order.

And, yes, I bought the dead tree version at Target when I saw they only had two left with the old cover and all the rest were Matt Damon. I may never actually crack that book, but I had to get it just in case. I’m kind of OCD like that.
Rating: five beans 30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg