Morningside Fall DNF@55% Unrated

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Title: Morningside Fall
Series: Legends of the Duskwalker #2
Authors: Jay Posey
Rating: Unrated / DNF@55%
Genre: SF
Pages: 192 / 350
Words: 78.5K / 143K



Synopsis:

From the Publisher

The lone gunman Three is gone.

Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted.

They arrive at a border outpost to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harboring a terrible secret—one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades, but for the future of what remains of the world.

New threats need new heroes . . .

My Thoughts:

I was not enjoying my time reading this and so I stopped. I don’t care enough about Posey anymore to figure out if this was him or me. Doesn’t matter. Won’t be reading any more by him.

Echoes of the Tomb ★★★☆☆

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Title: Echoes of the Tomb
Series: WH40K: Ciaphas Cain #1.5
Authors: Sandy Mitchell
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF Short Story
Pages: 27
Words: 7K



Synopsis:

From The Black Library & Me

Ciaphas Cain battles alongside the Reclaimers Space Marine Chapter against a mysterious foe. Who turn out to be necrons.

My Thoughts:

short Story good. Grunk has spoken. * grunt * * grunt *

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Silent Speaker ★★★★☆

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Title: The Silent Speaker
Series: Nero Wolfe #11
Author: Rex Stout
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 222
Words: 74K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

Cheney Boone, the Director of the Bureau of Price Regulation (BPR)[3] is beaten to death with a monkey wrench shortly before a speech he is to deliver at a gathering of the National Industrial Association (NIA), a prominent conglomeration of big business interests. Considerable antagonism exists between the two parties,[4] and the public begins to hold the NIA responsible for Boone’s murder. This attracts the attention of Nero Wolfe, who is facing financial ruin, and with the help of Archie Goodwin he launches a scheme to manipulate the NIA into hiring his services to find the killer.

Wolfe arranges a meeting between the principal witnesses to the case—Boone’s widow and niece, acting BPR director Solomon Dexter and researcher Alger Kates, the NIA executive committee, and select members of law-enforcement including Inspector Cramer and Sgt. Purley Stebbins. The meeting soon degenerates into chaos and bickering, but Wolfe is intrigued by the absence of Phoebe Gunther, Boone’s private secretary and the last person to see him alive, and orders Archie to bring her to him for questioning. Archie finds Phoebe at an apartment owned and occupied by Alger Kates and, after a flirtatious battle of wits, persuades her to meet Wolfe. Phoebe claims that she was given a leather case full of confidential dictation cylinders shortly before Boone’s death, but has misplaced them.

The next day, Wolfe receives a telegram informing him that surveillance of Don O’Neill, the chairman of the NIA’s dinner committee, will have to be suspended—surveillance that neither he nor Archie ordered. Archie therefore follows O’Neill to Grand Central Station, where O’Neill retrieves the leather case from the parcel room, and intercepts him. Faced with the choice of going to the police or to Wolfe, O’Neill is forced to surrender the case, which contains ten dictation cylinders. It becomes clear when listening to them that none of them are the real confidential cylinders, however. When Wolfe calls another meeting of the principal witnesses, Phoebe once again fails to appear—but this time, her body is discovered by the front step of Wolfe’s home, brutally bludgeoned with a length of rusty pipe.

It is clear that Phoebe’s murderer is one of the principal witnesses, and that this person is likely to have also murdered Boone. After nine of the ten cylinders are discovered in Phoebe’s apartment, both Wolfe and Inspector Cramer become convinced that the missing cylinder is key to the murder, but political pressure forces Cramer’s superiors to replace him with Inspector Ash. Ash issues a warrant for Wolfe and Archie and tries to bully information out of Wolfe, leading to a violent confrontation in the police commissioner’s office. Although Wolfe stubbornly refuses to assist Ash, once the warrants are vacated he reveals why the cylinder is so important—on it, Boone identifies his own murderer. Phoebe, a passionate BPR supporter, intended to reveal it once the NIA had been damaged as much as possible by the controversy over Boone’s death, but managed to alert the murderer that she was aware of his identity and was killed for her silence.

After a meeting with Boone’s widow, where she confirms that Phoebe did indeed possess the cylinders, Wolfe takes the unprecedented step of terminating his contract with the NIA and returning the group’s $30,000 fee. As this removes the protection he has received through the status of his clients and will begin a barrage of police and media interest in him, he fakes a mental breakdown in order to hold the police off and buy time until the cylinder is found. Before the police can expose his deception, Wolfe realises that the only place Phoebe could have hidden the cylinder and known it was safe was Wolfe’s own office. He thus has Archie, Fritz and Theodore search the room for the cylinder, where it is found concealed in a bookcase. When played, both Wolfe and Cramer are vindicated; the murderer is revealed to be Alger Kates, who was bribed by Don O’Neill to pass on confidential BPR information and was exposed on the cylinder as a traitor. Having heard the cylinder, Phoebe discovered his guilt but revealed her knowledge to Kates when after pressuring him to return numerous items, possessing sentimental value to Boone’s widow, that were stolen from the corpse to fake a theft.

The novel ends with Archie confronting Wolfe, having realized that Wolfe staged the cylinder’s discovery and in fact knew it was in his office the whole time. He is simply unsure of whether Wolfe waited so long for “art’s sake,” or simply to ensure that he could collect a $100,000 reward offered by the NIA instead of the $30,000 fee. Wolfe does not disagree with either hypothesis, but suggests another motivation: having come to respect Phoebe Gunther’s intelligence and determination, Wolfe decided to continue as far as possible her objective of causing damage to the NIA. In gratitude for saving his career, Inspector Cramer timidly gives Wolfe an orchid for a gift.

My Thoughts:

I took a small break from Rex Stout. It is good to be back with Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, really good.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Conan the Champion ★★★☆☆

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Title: Conan the Champion
Series: Conan the Barbarian
Authors: John Maddox Roberts
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 260
Words: 65K



Synopsis:

From the Publisher

Stranded in the furthest northern reaches of Brythunia, Conan the Cimmerian pledges himself as the haughty and beautiful Queen Alcuina . Soon the mighty barbarian is embroiled in a war with two kings who covet Acuina’s lands and the evil wizard lilma ,who wants even more .From the blood -drenched snows of the Brythunian forests to the sorcerous Shifting Lands the battles rage .The dead rise to slay and victory can only come from CONAN THE CHAMPION .

My Thoughts:

The foray into the Shifting Lands was interesting but the rest was passe.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6 ★★★★☆

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Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6
Authors: Peter Laird & Kevin Eastman
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 37
Words: 2.5K



Synopsis:

The boys are captured after the ship lands. Honeycutt the robot is threatened with their death if he won’t build a matter transmitter for the Triceratops nation. He refuses and the guys are thrown into a Battle Royale against 4 of the champions of the Triceratops. They beat them and then rescue Honeycutt. The issue ends with them, Honeycutt and one or two Triceratops being surrounded by the light of a matter transmitter.

My Thoughts:

This is NOT the 90’s cartoon. We’re talking broken wakizashi’s in the gut, bo’s in the throat, elbows and knees broken with nun-chucks, swords through the shoulder. All that good stuff. This issue earns the Ultra-violence tag.

This scan was from the collected color edition and not the original B&W comic hence the color cover. Color hides a LOT of rough art….

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Henry VI, Part 3 ★★★☆☆

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Title: Henry VI, Part 3
Author: William Shakespeare
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Play
Pages: 266
Words: 77K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

The play begins where 2 Henry VI left off, with the victorious Yorkists (Duke of York, Edward, Richard, Warwick, Montague [i.e. Salisbury] and Norfolk) pursuing Henry and Margaret from the battlefield in the wake of the First Battle of St Albans (1455). Upon reaching the parliamentary chambers in London, York seats himself in the throne, and a confrontation ensues between his supporters and Henry’s. Threatened with violence by Warwick, who has brought part of his army with him, the King reaches an agreement with York which will allow him to remain king until his death, at which time the throne will permanently pass to the House of York and its descendants. Disgusted with this decision, which would disinherit the King’s son, Prince Edward, the King’s supporters, led by his wife, Margaret, abandon him, and Margaret declares war on the Yorkists, supported by Clifford, who is determined to exact revenge for the death of his father at the hands of York during the battle of St Albans.

Margaret attacks York’s castle at Wakefield, and the Yorkists lose the ensuing battle (1460). During the conflict, Clifford murders York’s twelve-year-old son, Rutland. Margaret and Clifford then capture and taunt York himself; forcing him to stand on a molehill, they give him a handkerchief covered with Rutland’s blood to wipe his brow, and place a paper crown on his head, before stabbing him to death. After the battle, as Edward and Richard lament York’s death, Warwick brings news that his own army has been defeated by Margaret’s at the Second Battle of St Albans (1461), and the King has returned to London, where, under pressure from Margaret, he has revoked his agreement with York. However, George Plantagenet, Richard and Edward’s brother, has vowed to join their cause, having been encouraged to do so by his sister, the Duchess of Burgundy. Additionally, Warwick has been joined in the conflict by his own younger brother, Montague.

The Yorkists regroup, and at the Battle of Towton (1461), Clifford is killed and the Yorkists are victorious. During the battle, Henry sits on a molehill and laments his problems. He observes a father who has killed his son, and a son who has killed his father, representing the horrors of the civil war. Following his victory, Edward is proclaimed king and the House of York is established on the English throne. George is proclaimed Duke of Clarence and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, although he complains to Edward that this is an ominous dukedom. King Edward and George then leave the court, and Richard reveals to the audience his ambition to rise to power and take the throne from his brother, although as yet he is unsure how to go about it.

After Towton, Warwick goes to France to secure for Edward the hand of Louis XI’s sister-in-law, Lady Bona, thus ensuring peace between the two nations by uniting in marriage their two monarchies. Warwick arrives at the French court to find that Margaret, Prince Edward and the Earl of Oxford have come to Louis to seek his aid in the conflict in England. Just as Louis is about to agree to supply Margaret with troops, Warwick intervenes, and convinces Louis that it is in his interests to support Edward and approve the marriage. Back in England, however, the recently widowed Lady Grey (Elizabeth Woodville) has come to King Edward requesting her late husband’s lands be returned to her. Edward is captivated by her beauty and promises to return her husband’s lands to her if she becomes his mistress, but Lady Grey refuses. The two exchange sexually-charged banter, but Lady Grey continues to refuse Edward on the grounds of preserving her honor. Edward declares that, besides being beautiful, she is also clever and virtuous, and decides to marry her against the advice of both George and Richard. Upon hearing of this, Warwick, feeling he has been made to look a fool despite service to the House of York, denounces Edward, and switches allegiance to the Lancastrians, promising his daughter Anne’s hand in marriage to Prince Edward as a sign of his loyalty. Shortly thereafter, George and Montague also defect to the Lancastrians. Warwick then invades England with French troops, and Edward is taken prisoner and conveyed to Warwick’s brother, the Archbishop of York, while heavily pregnant Lady Grey (now Queen Elizabeth) flees to sanctuary.

However, Edward is soon rescued by Richard, Lord Hastings and Sir William Stanley. Henry, having been restored to the throne, appoints Warwick and George as his Lords Protector. News of the escape reaches Henry’s court, and the young Earl of Richmond is sent into exile in Brittany for safety. Richmond is a descendant of John of Gaunt, uncle of Richard II and son of Edward III, and therefore a potential Lancastrian heir should anything happen to Henry and his son; hence the need to protect him.

Edward reorganizes his forces and confronts Warwick’s army. Before the walls of Coventry, George betrays Warwick, and rejoins the Yorkists; this is lauded by Edward and Richard, and furiously condemned by the Lancastrians. The Yorkists achieve a decisive victory at the Battle of Barnet (1471), during which both Warwick and Montague are killed. Meanwhile, Edward’s forces have captured Henry and sent him to the Tower of London.

Oxford and the Duke of Somerset now assume command of the Lancastrian forces, and join a second battalion newly arrived from France led by Margaret and Prince Edward. In the subsequent Battle of Tewkesbury (1471), the Yorkists rout the Lancastrians, capturing Margaret, Prince Edward, Somerset and Oxford. Somerset is sentenced to death, Oxford to life imprisonment, Margaret is banished, and Prince Edward is stabbed to death by the three Plantagenet brothers, who fly into a rage after he refuses to recognise the House of York as the legitimate royal family. At this point, Richard goes to London to kill Henry. At Richard’s arrival at the Tower, the two argue, and in a rage Richard stabs Henry. With his dying breath, Henry prophesies Richard’s future villainy and the chaos that will engulf the country.

Back at court, Edward is reunited with his queen and meets his infant son, who was born in sanctuary. Edward orders celebrations to begin, believing the civil wars are finally over and lasting peace is at hand. He is unaware, however, of Richard’s scheming and his desire for power at any cost.

My Thoughts:

Henry the VI is a pussy and it gets him and his son killed. Henry the V is probably rolling in his grave at what a jackass his son was.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

People’s Dreams ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: People’s Dreams
Series: One Piece #24
Arc: Skypiea #1
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 209
Words: 9K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(187_388)

“Stowaway”

“Why the Log Pose Is Dome-Shaped”

“Masira the Salvage King”

“A Walk on the Seafloor”

“Monsters”

“The Giant Novice”

“I Promise Never to Fight in This Town”

“Do Not Dream”

“People’s Dreams”

“Shoujou, the Salvage King of the Seafloor”

Indebted to Luffy for rescuing her, Nico Robin joins the Straw Hat Pirates. An old ship falls from the sky. Rummaging through some of its remains, while dealing with a rival salvaging crew led by the monkey-like Masira, and nearby monstrous sea creatures, the Straw Hats discover the fallen ship has come from Skypiea, an island high in the sky. Unsure of how to reach it, the Straw Hats visit a nearby port on the island of Jaya. There they meet Bellamy, a pirate who looks down on Luffy, and mocks his dreams of becoming Pirate King. Luffy, who had promised Nami not to fight in the town, allows himself to be beaten up and bullied by Bellamy. The Straw Hats then proceed to another part of Jaya to meet a man who might have a lead on how to reach Skypiea. However, they must first get past Masira’s brother Shoujou and his crew.

My Thoughts:

A new adventure, hurray! Now all the crew has to do is actually find this mythological floating island. Should be easy peasy…

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Muppets (2011 Movie)

Disney attempts to cash in on the Muppet Franchise and reboots it. There are a lot of call back scenes to the Original Muppet Movie and there is a LOT of group singing and dancing. That cover feels pretty accurate in conveying the tone of the movie.

I enjoyed this movie more than some of the other Muppet stuff but this time I felt that it would have been ok if the Muppets had been left in the past. There were some great comedic schticks (the scenes where Jack Black is tied up on stage and is involuntarily having a comedy duo routine with Fozzy was absolutely priceless) but Disney’s fingerprints were all over this and they were very smudgy and jelly’ish fingerprints, not at all unobtrusive or subtle.

Unlike the Muppets Wizard of Oz, I found the interaction between the humans and the Muppets to be quite believable and once again the Muppets were as much stars as the human cast. That’s how it should be.

I’m going to keep on watching the Muppet oeuvre until the end but it is now completely apparent to me that without Jim Henson’s direct hand, the Muppets aren’t quite all that. Henson made the correct decision to end the tv show on a high point and this continuation of the franchise shows the wisdom of his decision. While fans clamor for more Muppets, they should have trusted Henson’s decision. While Disney is a big fat target for my dislike (what they have done to my beloved Star Wars is unconscionable), fans are as much to blame.

I’d only recommend this to hardcore Muppet Completionists.