Books

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

May 24, 2011

There is something magical about getting to preview a work before it is published. You are getting to see something before (most of) the rest of the world and that makes you feel special, maybe even “better” than the rest of the plebeians who must wait for the release date. Back in April, I received a sample for Susan Ee’s new book, Angelfall. The sample contained the first 5 chapters of the book, and an invite offering to allow me to read the entirety of the novel. Being sufficiently intrigued by the first few chapters, I responded to the invite and requested a MOBI version to read on my Kindle. The kindle is such a wonderful reading tool. In addition to providing an easy reading experience, it allows for markups. So when I noticed something that seemed slightly off (or that I wanted to ask the author about), I was able to flag it to come back to later. On to the book! Let’s start with the author’s description: It’s been six weeks since the Angels of the Apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her 17 year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back. Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel. Raffe (Editor’s note: pronounced Raw-fee) is a warrior angel who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenaged girl. Traveling through a devastated California with only each other to rely on for survival, an unwanted and forbidden romance begins to bloom. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies in the hope of becoming whole again.

Review: Flashforward (book)

January 4, 2010

This fall the new series “FlashForward” premiered on ABC. I’d seen the previews of it and thought it was an interesting concept. It didn’t catch my attention as a good concept for a TV show, but more from a “What if this were real?” scenario. What would you do if you saw the the future? How would it effect you? If it was something bad, would you try to change the outcome? If it was something good, would you try to hasten it? Is our destiny predetermined? All of these questions sprung to mind, which made me curious and interested to see how the the TV show would handle all this (and more). So far, it isn’t great, but it isn’t bad. I know the review’s aren’t terribly positive, but I’m sticking with the “wait and see”. During that “waiting” period (re-enforced by yet another mid-season break), I found out that there was a book by the same name (not that this should surprise me). Over the holidays I had time so <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Flashforward-Robert-J-Sawyer/dp/076532413X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261954787&sr=8-1&void=fidelis” title=”[amazon] Flashforward (paperback)>I bought and read it on my kindle. Overall, I’m not terribly enthusiastic about the book. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either. Now, the TV show is based on the book, but there are some major differences. First off, in the book the FlashFoward is 21 years, not 6 months. The second major change is that in the book the FBI isn’t involved at all, the protagonists are Lloyd Simcoe and Theo Procpides, who work at CERN (just like the TV show). The third and final major difference is that there is no major conspiracy (as there is in the TV show). (No major plot spoilers)

Thoughts about the Kindle DX

May 11, 2009

So last Wednesday, the brand spanking new Kindle DX was released. As has now become usual (considering the 2 previous announcements of the Amazon Kindle), the “cat was out of the bag” before the show even started. Amazon doesn’t have nearly as good information control as Apple, or they realized that it drums up interest so they don’t try to cap it; my belief is the latter. The DX is very similar to the Kindle 2. The major changes are: bigger screen (9.7″ vs 6″), more memory (3.3gb vs 1.4gb), Rotation detection (like the iPod, you tilt it on it’s side, and it rotates the screen to match – oh and unlike the iPod you can disable it), and built in PDF support (versus the previous need to submit it for conversion). Other than that the two units are very similar in look physically (excepting the obvious size difference) and run the same UI. So is the Kindle DX the “next great device”? Well… it really depends on who you ask. It seems a good portion of people are upset by the fact that Amazon announced the KDX just 3 months after they announced the K2. A fact that does not get lost on many of the Engadget editors in their editorial on the KDX. Thankfully, it seems there are at least 1 or 2 editors that have some sense left in them. I’m sure you’ll find just as many people angry at Amazon and the KDX for one reason or another, as you’ll find people excited about the KDX (and of course loud, angry people stand out more than the happy ones). What do I think? I think that these 2 devices are targeting very different groups and purposes. On top of that I think it is worth pissing off a few people in order to put out multiple devices quickly in order to snap up a bigger segment of the market (a market which is still considerably small). You can look at the KDX and the K2 as being just like the iPod versus the iPod Nano, they serve typically different markets. Yes, there is some overlap in markets for the KDX/K2, but unless you’re company only makes a spoon and a space shuttle, you’ll probably have market crossover too.