Saturday, April 30, 2016

Star Wars The Han Solo Trilogy: The Hutt Gambit by A. C. Crispin

Here is the second novel in the blockbuster new trilogy that reveals the never-before-told story of the young Han Solo.  Set before the Star Wars(r) movie adventures, these books chronicle the coming-of-age of the galaxy's most famous con man, smuggler and thief.

Solo is now a fugitive from the Imperial Navy.  But he has made a valuable friend in a former Wookiee slave named Chewbacca, who has sworn Han a life debt.  Han will need all the help he can get.  For the Ylesian Hutts have dispatched the dreaded bounty hunter Boba Fett to track down the man who already outsmarted them once.  But Han and Chewie find themselves in even bigger trouble when they agree to lend their services to the crime lords Jiliac and Jabba the Hutt.  Suddenly the two smugglers are thrust into the middle of a battle between the might of the Empire and the treachery of their outlaw allies...a battle where even victory means death!
Review by Patrick:

So, the Imperial Navy didn't sit too well with Han. And who can blame him, those guys are jerks.

But then we get Chewbacca! The first book of the series introduced the Wookies to us, and we know how Han is fond of them, but this book is where we get to meet the iconic sidekick, and get to find out why they were together in the first place.

Okay, enough about the characters, what about the story line, you say? Well, pretty good. I mean you really get to find out what the Hutts have been doing. It ties back to the first book, but gives some really interesting insights on the politics surrounding the Hutts, the Imperials, their relation to each other, and the Outer Rim. This is also before Jabba is really in power, so we see him learning, planning, and ultimately becoming the slime ball we all know him to be in the movies.

Ah. I guess you can't explain the story without the characters. Anyways, the book was good. The plot built up with suspense, because you knew what was coming. The end of the book was going to be a battle, that's for sure. But then, ingenuity won the day, and Crispin created a battle plan that had guts, nerve, a barrel of luck, and some good strategy. The end of this book was movie quality, and I wouldn't mind paying the box office to see this one in theaters.

Disclaimer: There were no X-Wings in this book.
So, if you read the first book of this trilogy, keep reading. It's worth it. I'm giving this book a 4.5 for excellence in plot and character building.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

For a select group of girls, the Glittering Court offers a shot at a life they’ve only ever dreamed of, one of luxury, glamour, and leisure. To high-born Adelaide, whose wealthy family is forcing her into a loveless marriage, the Glittering Court represents something else: the chance to chart her own destiny, and adventure in an unspoiled, prosperous new land across the sea.

After a chance meeting with the dazzling Cedric Thorn, Adelaide poses as a servant to join the crop of impoverished girls he promises to transform into proper ladies. But her familiarity with upper class life comes with a price: she must hide her identity from her new friends, mysterious refugee Mira and fiery former laundress Tamsin, and most importantly, from Cedric himself—even though she’s falling in love with him.

Everything begins to crumble when Cedric discovers Adelaide’s ruse, and she catches the eye of a powerful young governor, who wants her for a wife. She didn’t leave the gilded cage of her old life behind just to become someone else's property. But nothing is as daunting—or as wonderful—as the potent, forbidden attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. One that, if acted on, would make them both outcasts in a wild, dangerous, uncharted world, and possibly lead them to their deaths.
Review: Rating- 4
Richelle Mead has a new series, The Glittering Court is book one, and it takes you on quite an adventure. I would not classify this as young adult, the themes are new adult. These girls are being married off, there's a lot of pent up sexual tension towards the end and it does state the characters had sex, there's also an attempted rape, and some fighting/attempted murder scenes.
It was hard to find this book okay because of the type of world these characters are in. The Glittering Court, in today's society, would be a glorified sex trafficking ring, but in the society of the book is a way to give the girls, who come from a poor background, a better life. The girls do know it's not completely okay, or some of them do, some see that they're cattle being showed off, however they dim it down because the girls do get to choose who their suitor is.
Richelle Mead likes writing drama and it shows, there are times that I thought something could have happened differently, but instead the most dramatic thing would happen in any given scene.  I don't want to say too much or give away more than the description gives because this book is a journey. I thought it was slow in the beginning, I like to get to the heart of the story, but it still kept my attention after the first couple of chapters. I do wish it had ended on page 394 though,
"Ready for our next adventure?"
The End, no more! But it kept going so it could set up for Mira's story next.
The Glittering Court isn't a book for everyone, it has old ideas that a lot of people will find archaic and wrong. However, I found the book entertaining, humorous, I loved Cedric from the first time he entered the story, and I loved some of the twists along the way. It was hard to wrap my head around the society, but it made for an enlightening story that shows a girl should do what she wants and society shouldn't dictate that. I am thrilled this was set up as a standalone book and the next book will either be Tamsin or Mira's story, leaning towards Mira based on the ending of this book. Pick this book up with caution, but if you find the description intriguing and you want to see a lot of drama then this book is for you.

*I received an ARC from Penguin in exchange for an honest review.