At the start of the twenty-first century, unconditional war swept across the Earth. A war that engulfed the great and the small, the rich and the poor, giving no quarter. Each side strove for unconditional victory, and as battle built upon battle, the living began to envy the dead. Chastised by the cataclysm that they had unleashed, the governments of Earth came together. Humanity vowed to put an end to war and to strive for the betterment of every living creature. A united Earth created Starfleet, an interstellar agency whose mission was to explore the cosmos, to come in peace for all mankind. It was a naïve wish that was battered by interstellar realities, yet man persists in the belief that peace is the way. Banding together with other powers to form a Coalition of Planets, humanity hopes that the strength each can offer the other will allow for peaceful exploration. However, the rise of the Coalition strikes dread within the Romulan Star Empire. They feel its growing reach will cut them off from what is rightfully theirs. The Romulans know that the alliance is fragile, that the correct strategy could turn allies into foes. Perfecting a way of remotely controlling Coalition ships and using them as weapons against one another, the Romulans hope to drive a wedge of suspicion and mistrust between these new allies. One Starfleet captain uncovers this insidious plot: Jonathan Archer of the Enterprise. Determined not to lose what they have gained, outmanned and outgunned, the captains of Starfleet stand tall, vowing to defend every inch of Coalition space until the tide begins to turn. The Romulans now plan to strike at what they see as the heart of their problem. With nothing left to lose, the Romulan Star Empire engages in all-out war against humanity, determined once and for all to stop the human menace from spreading across the galaxy.
Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: Oh man, did this book move slow. It took me about a week to read it. I do remember in various Star Trek shows that when it came to the Romulans, humans pretty much beat them back singlehandedly. This book explores why that happened. Basically, the other signers to the Federation treaty all shared Vulcan based technology. Earth and Alpha Centauri did not. For some reason, humans are a lot more adaptable than Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites. It is very interesting to me that Vulcans got to the point where they voluntarily ceded its influence in the early Federation so that human could take over. The next book is the conclusion.
“If I ask you to do something, will you do it?”
“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.
Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: Beware artificial intelligence. Any time you create a machine that can think and reason for itself, there is always the danger that it is going to get out of your control pretty much just like an actual human being will. The only thing is that a computer can out think humans; so planning a couple steps ahead really isn’t going to work. The ending of this book really didn’t seem like an ending to me. It seemed like the story could continue. Maybe it will.
The young Mary Cassatt never thought moving to Paris after the Civil War to be an artist was going to be easy, but when, after a decade of work, her submission to the Paris Salon is rejected, Mary’s fierce determination wavers. Her father is begging her to return to Philadelphia to find a husband before it is too late, her sister Lydia is falling mysteriously ill, and worse, Mary is beginning to doubt herself. Then one evening a friend introduces her to Edgar Degas and her life changes forever. Years later she will learn that he had begged for the introduction, but in that moment their meeting seems a miracle. So begins the defining period of her life and the most tempestuous of relationships.
In I Always Loved You, Robin Oliveira brilliantly re-creates the irresistible world of Belle Époque Paris, writing with grace and uncommon insight into the passion and foibles of the human heart.
Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: I picked this book up because Impressionistic painting is my favorite. I’m more of a Seurat kind of girl, but Mary Cassatt’s paintings aren’t too bad. Anyway, I didn’t realize that Degas or Cassatt really interacted. I’m not sure why. I think I tended to think of artists exclusively by their work rather than the fact that they were actual people. It was a very interesting read. Their relationship wasn’t what you would call torrid. I think it was more ideological than anything else. Anyway, it was an interesting read.
Well! Another week has come and gone. Downtown Abbey is over. Sherlock is over. Call of the Midwife starts next week I believe!
Musing Monday/Mailbox Monday
I only got one book last week.
Star Trek the Original Series No Time Like the Past by Greg Cox.
STARDATE 6122.5. A diplomatic mission to the planet Yusub erupts in violence when ruthless Orion raiders attempt to disrupt the crucial negotiations by force. Caught in the midst of a tense and dangerous situation, Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise finds an unexpected ally in the form of an enigmatic stranger who calls herself “Annika Seven.”
STARDATE 53786.1. Seven of Nine is taking part in an archaeological expedition on an obscure planetoid in the Delta Quadrant when a disastrous turn of events puts Voyager’s away team in jeopardy—and transports Seven across time and space to Yusub, where she comes face-to-face with one of Starfleet’s greatest legends.
With haunting prose and deft psychological insight, Averil Dean spins a chilling story that explores the dark corners of obsession—love, pain and revenge.
Ten years ago, someone ruined Alice Croft’s life. Now, she has a chance to right that wrong—and she thinks she’s found the perfect man to carry out her plan.
After watching him for weeks, she breaks into Jack Calabrese’s house to collect the evidence that will confirm her hopes. When Jack comes home unexpectedly, Alice hides in the closet, fearing for her life. But upon finding her, Jack is strangely calm, solicitous and intrigued.
That night is the start of a dark and intense attraction, and soon Alice finds herself drawn into a labyrinth of terrifying surrender to a man who is more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. As their relationship spirals toward a breaking point, Alice starts to see just how deep Jack’s secrets run—and how deadly they could be.
Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: Alice was playing a very dangerous game. If you want someone to kill for you, you have to realize that they could turn on you. For some reason, she didn’t really seem to get this until the very end.
Alice was a very suspect narrator in this story. As the tale progress, I kept trying to understand what had happened to her. What I imagined couldn’t have been any further than the truth. The sad thing is that Alice was so wrong about so many things about her life. I kind of felt sorry for her.
So why the low rating? D stands for “Didn’t hate it, but didn’t like it either.” Their relationship went beyond dysfunctional. It really crossed the line into abuse. That didn’t set well with me.
Boy! Where did the time go. I think I last posted in December. Life has become quite chaotic. The weather isn’t helping. But I’m going to try to be more regular in my posting.
Musing Monday/Mailbox Monday
Here are the books I’ve purchased:
Star Trek Enterprise The Romulan War
Alice Close Your Eyes
Star Trek the Fall Peaceable Kingdoms
I Have Always LovedYou
What Are You Reading on Mondays?
I re-read Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, Inheritance. The I read Alice Close Your Eyes. Star Trek the Fall Peaceable Kingdoms, and I Have Always Loved You. I’m currently reading the Romulan War.