Posted in Liked It, Sci-Fi Friday, Science Fiction, Space travel, Star Wars

Star Wars Crucible

Star Wars Crucible

Author: Troy Denning

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: LI

Synopsis:

Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo, and Luke Skywalker return in an all-new Star Wars adventure, which will challenge them in ways they never expected—and forever alter their understanding of life and the Force.

When Han and Leia Solo arrive at Lando Calrissian’s Outer Rim mining operation to help him thwart a hostile takeover, their aim is just to even up the odds and lay down the law. Then monstrous aliens arrive with a message, and mere threats escalate into violent sabotage with mass fatalities. When the dust settles, what began as corporate warfare becomes a battle with much higher stakes—and far deadlier consequences.

Now Han, Leia, and Luke team up once again in a quest to defeat a dangerous adversary bent on galaxy-wide domination. Only this time, the Empire is not the enemy. It is a pair of ruthless geniuses with a lethal ally and a lifelong vendetta against Han Solo. And when the murderous duo gets the drop on Han, he finds himself outgunned in the fight of his life. To save him, and the galaxy, Luke and Leia must brave a gauntlet of treachery, terrorism, and the untold power of an enigmatic artifact capable of bending space, time, and even the Force itself into an apocalyptic nightmare.

Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: I feel really bad because I haven’t reviewed the last Star Wars books that have come out. The Crucible sets the stage for the next story arc in the Star Wars universe. I can tell from this book that it is going to be a major change. Luke, Leia, and Han Solo have been fixtures in the Star Wars universe. Finally they are passing the torch on to the next generation. It’s about time too! I mean, this book takes place 45 years after Star Wars: A New Hope. In that book, Luke and Leia were 18 which means they are about 63 now. They cannot handle all the adventures that are being thrown their way. Not to mention, they can’t recover from injuries the way that they used to. Vestara Khai is back. I’m sure in the end she will renounce her Sith ways and marry Ben Skywalker, but I’m sure that the writers will drag it out quite a bit. Tahiri is also back. Jaina Solo became a Jedi Master in the last book. I’m hoping we see motherhood in her future.This whole Force Monolith thing is going to be interesting. It appears that there is more than one. The monolith has the ability to give Force abilities to non-Force sensitive people. This of course spells trouble.

1: a vessel of a very refractory material (as porcelain) used for melting and calcining a substance that requires a high degree of heat
2: a severe test
3: a place or situation in which concentrated forces interact to cause or influence change or development

I think the title of this book was particularly apt because all three definitions of the word crucible applied in this book. I think Luke, Leia, and Han faced their greatest test and realized that they had to change. Physically, they could not go back. The Force had forever changed all three of them. I saw an interesting tie between this story and Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void. In the Dawn of the Jedi, the series is really getting into the beginnings of the Light/Dark side of the Force. The thing is Light/Dark isn’t necessarily good/evil. Nature has creative forces and destructive forces, but the destructive forces (for example a wild fire) aren’t necessarily evil. In fact some destructive forces are necessary to pave the way for new life. Luke realizes that at a certain point. It is all about balance.

Anyway, I’m eager to see where the new story arc goes.

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Posted in Monday Morning Update

Monday Morning Update July 8, 2013

20130707-202218.jpgI hope everyone had a great holiday!!! I was pretty lazy. It was too hot to do anything.

Mailbox Monday

I haven’t posted in a while; but I’ve gotten a bunch of books.

1. Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

The highest-rated drama in BBC history returns to PBS Presents in March 2013

Less than a year after the first season finale, PBS’s hit series Call the Midwife returns to Sunday nights this spring with an all-new eight-episode season.

Fans of Downton Abbey and Mad Men have fallen in love with this candid look at post-war London. In the 1950s, twenty-two-year-old Jenny Lee leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in London’s East End slums. While delivering babies all over the city, Jenny encounters a colorful cast of women—from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lives, to the woman with twenty-four children who can’t speak English, to the prostitutes of the city’s seedier side.

Based on Jennifer Worth’s bestselling memoirs, Call the Midwife will continue to delight its millions of viewers in the U.S.

2. Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth

The last book in the trilogy begun by Jennifer Worth’s New York Times bestseller and the basis for the PBS series Call the Midwife

When twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the poorest section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood’s most vivid chronicler. Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End is the last book in Worth’s memoir trilogy, which the Times Literary Supplement described as “powerful stories with sweet charm and controlled outrage” in the face of dire circumstances.

Here, at last, is the full story of Chummy’s delightful courtship and wedding. We also meet Megan’mave, identical twins who share a browbeaten husband, and return to Sister Monica Joan, who is in top eccentric form. As in Worth’s first two books, Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times and Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse, the vividly portrayed denizens of a postwar East End contend with the trials of extreme poverty—unsanitary conditions, hunger, and disease—and find surprising ways to thrive in their tightly knit community.

A rich portrait of a bygone era of comradeship and midwifery populated by unforgettable characters, Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End will appeal to readers of Frank McCourt, Katherine Boo, and James Herriot, as well as to the fans of the acclaimed PBS show based on the trilogy.

3. Star Trek: The Shocks of Adversity by William Leisner

Located far beyond the boundaries of explored space, the Goeg Domain is a political union of dozens of planets and races. When the U.S.S. Enterprise arrives in its territory to investigate an interstellar phenomenon, Commander Laspas of the Domain Defense Corps is at first guarded, then fascinated to discover the existence of an alliance of worlds much like his own, and finds a kindred spirit in Captain James T. Kirk. And when the Enterprise is attacked by the Domain’s enemies, crippling the starship’s warp capability and leaving its crew facing the prospect of a slow, months-long journey home, the Goeg leader volunteers the help of his own ship, offering to combine the resources of both vessels to bring the Enterprise to a nearby Domain facility to make the necessary repairs.

But what at first seems to be an act of peace and friendship soon turns out to be a devil’s bargain, as Kirk and the Enterprise crew learn that there are perhaps more differences than similarities between the Federation and the Domain. When the Goeg’s adversaries strike again, the Enterprise is drawn deeper and inexorably into the conflict, and Kirk begins to realize that they may have allied themselves with the wrong side….

4. Star Trek Enterprise: A Choice of Futures

Overview
A new nation has arisen from the ashes of the Romulan War: the United Federation of Planets, an unprecedented union of diverse species cooperating for the good of all. Admiral Jonathan Archer—the former captain of the Earth starship Enterprise, whose efforts made this union possible—envisions a vibrant Federation promoting galactic peace and a multispecies Starfleet dedicated to exploring strange new worlds. Archer’s former crewmates, including Captain T’Pol of the U.S.S. Endeavour and Captain Malcolm Reed of the U.S.S. Pioneer, work with him to secure that bright future. Yet others within the Federation see its purpose as chiefly military, a united defense against a dangerous galaxy, while some of its neighbors view that military might with suspicion and fear. And getting the member nations, their space fleets, and even their technologies to work together as a unified whole is an ongoing challenge.

When a new threat emerges from a force so alien and hostile that negotiation seems impossible, a group of unaligned worlds asks Starfleet to come to its defense, and the Federation’s leaders seize the opportunity to build their reputation as an interstellar power. But Archer fears the conflict is building toward an unnecessary war, potentially taking the young nation down a path it was never meant to follow. Archer and his allies strive to find a better solution . . . but old foes are working secretly to sabotage their efforts and ensure that the great experiment called the Federation comes to a quick and bloody end.

5. The Black Country by Alex Grecian

Overview
Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad returns, in the stunning new historical thriller from the author of the acclaimed national bestseller The Yard.

The British Midlands. It’s called the “Black Country” for a reason. Bad things happen there.

When members of a prominent family disappear from a coal-mining village—and a human eyeball is discovered in a bird’s nest—the local constable sends for help from Scotland Yard’s new Murder Squad. Fresh off the grisly 1889 murders of The Yard, Inspector Walter Day and Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith respond, but they have no idea what they’re about to get into. The villagers have intense, intertwined histories. Everybody bears a secret. Superstitions abound. And the village itself is slowly sinking into the mines beneath it.

Not even the arrival of forensics pioneer Dr. Bernard Kingsley seems to help. In fact, the more the three of them investigate, the more they realize they may never be allowed to leave. . . .

6. The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

Overview
Inside the B&N Hardcover Special Edition of The Heist, you will find:
~ The Caper: a never before published mini adventure featuring Kate O’Hare and Nicolas Fox, the characters from The Heist
~ High Quality Euro Stickers: Every hardcover edition of THE HEIST contains two euro stickers: I “heart” Plum and The Con is On!

From Janet Evanovich, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum novels, and Lee Goldberg, bestselling author and television writer for Monk, comes the first adventure in an electrifying new series featuring an FBI agent who always gets her man, and a fearless con artist who lives for the chase.

FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare is known for her fierce dedication and discipline on the job, chasing down the world’s most wanted criminals and putting them behind bars. Her boss thinks she is tenacious and ambitious; her friends think she is tough, stubborn, and maybe even a bit obsessed. And while Kate has made quite a name for herself for the past five years, the only name she’s cared about is Nicolas Fox—an international crook she wants in more ways than one.

Audacious, handsome, and dangerously charming, Nicolas Fox is a natural con man, notorious for running elaborate scams on very high-profile people. At first he did it for the money. Now he does it for the thrill. He knows that the FBI has been hot on his trail—particularly Kate O’Hare, who has been watching his every move. For Nick, there’s no greater rush than being pursued by a beautiful woman . . . even one who aims to lock him up. But just when it seems that Nicolas Fox has been captured for good, he pulls off his greatest con of all: he convinces the FBI to offer him a job, working side by side with Special Agent Kate O’Hare.

Problem is, teaming up to stop a corrupt investment banker who’s hiding on a private island in Indonesia is going to test O’Hare’s patience and Fox’s skill. Not to mention the skills of their ragtag team made up of flamboyant actors, wanted wheelmen, and Kate’s dad. High-speed chases, pirates, and Toblerone bars are all in a day’s work . . . if O’Hare and Fox don’t kill each other first.

7. Chasing Memories by Tia Silverthorne Bach

Overview
There isn’t another way; not now. The others are coming. I can’t let them have you…
Seventeen-year-old Reagan has a problem: She can’t remember what happened the night her brother was taken. Now, the dreams haunting her from the incident are becoming more intense by the day. All the while, the lines between what’s real and what’s a product of her paranormal-obsessed mind are becoming blurred.

Is she losing her mind or has she just stepped into a world she thought only existed in books?

Caught in a web of worried parents, competing boys, Wiccan relatives, protective amulets, and psychiatrist babble, Reagan must determine the truth before it’s too late.

8. Paradigm by Helen Stringer

“If I ask you to do something, will you do it?” “Maybe.” “Maybe?” “Well, I don’t know what it is yet. But I’m guessing that death is the alternative, so I’m prepared to be reasonable.” Sam Cooper is seventeen. He drives a cherry red 1968 GTO that he won on a bet, and spends his days exploring the open roads of the great American West. He should be living the teenage dream, but post-collapse America is a hard place to survive. The United States is long dead, basic resources are getting scarcer, and no one on Earth has seen the stars since before he was born. Vast tracts of the country are now empty as people huddle together for safety. In all this chaos, Sam has survived on his wits and occasional luck. But a visit to the walled and prosperous Century City results in a split-second decision that changes everything. Soon Sam is on the run from the ruthless Carolyn Bast, and by something much more dangerous: MUTHA—a powerful artificial entity that has been watching and waiting for Sam’s return from the barren outlands. Sam unknowingly carries the key to something MUTHA can’t live without, something so dangerous that others are willing to kill him, or worse, to ensure that the great plex never possesses it. Sam can’t stay one step ahead of them forever. His only hope is to unravel the secrets of his peculiar past and awaken the incredible power that sleeps within—because even in his beloved GTO, without the truth, Sam will never succeed in outracing the nightmare to come.

What Are You Reading on Mondays?
I’ve read Chasing Memories, Call the Midwife, Call the Midwife: Shadow of the Workhouse, Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End, Star Trek: The Shocks of Adversity, Star Trek: the Choice of Futures. I’m currently reading Paradigm.