Month: March 2018

The Princess Diarist

Author: Carrie Fisher
Narrators: Carrie Fisher and Billie Lourd
Published: November 22, 2016
Audible: 5 hours 10 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened: February 28- March 5, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie.

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.

Jessica’s Review:

It was bittersweet to listen to the audiobook version of The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher. She also narrated it and it was great to hear her voice again. In some ways it was eerie as she talks about her future death/obituary, and even her mother, and they are both no longer with us.

She talks about her experience with Star Wars and she never expected it to be what it became. She was 19 when she filmed it, so she was still a baby in some ways.  I enjoyed hearing the stories she tells, and she relates them with enthusiasm.  She was not a perfect person and you see that in the drug use she mentions and her affair with Harrison Ford.  If you are looking for juicy details on that you are out of luck, she doesn’t spill them.  Harrison was 34 and married when they had their affair. There is some foul language as well, but nothing extreme: This is someone’s life and no one is perfect.

Fisher found diary entries when she was filming Star Wars.  Those are read by Billie Lourde. You see the feelings she had while she wrote those.  The diary entries are not that long compared to the rest of the book, so for me it was more of a memoir than about her entries.  I actually was not as interested in them as I was with the rest of the memoir.

If you are a fan of Star Wars in any way, I recommend The Princess Diarist.

Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline
Published: August 16, 2011
374 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating:  5 stars

Book Description:

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Kim’s Review

I loved this book SO much! I listened to it on audio and Wil Wheaton was the narrator . . . the ultimate nerd for the ultimate nerd book! I wasn’t born until the very end of the 80’s, 1988. I was more a 90’s kid than an 80’s kid, but I’ve seen enough movies and TV shows, listened to enough music, and experimented with enough fashion that I know a bit about the 80’s.

Unfortunately, I didn’t start with gaming until the Nintendo 64 came out, and I got into serious gaming when Ivan and I started dating.  The thing that I love about this book is that you can be someone who never once watched an 80’s movie, never heard a single 80’s song, and never played a game one day in your life, and you would still feel like you knew exactly what Cline was talking about.

This book is so nostalgic, even if you never lived during the time described, even though this book is set in the future. I couldn’t wait to get into the car just so I could listen more. Wade/Parzival is a likeable character that you root for from the very first page. James Halladay may be a computer geek recluse, but you can feel his brilliance leap off the page. The OASIS is a place that I would totally love to immerse myself in! I doubt I’d have made a very good hunter, but the hunt for Halladay’s easter egg was so amazing!!!! And if I had friends like Art3mis and Aech, I’d just live my life in a constant state of geeked out.

There were some places near the beginning where Cline skirted the line of being too political, but he managed to bring the story back so it wasn’t a problem. There was language, but it didn’t ruin the book at all for me. I would absolutely recommend this book to any gamer. And even those who don’t game, I think they’d still like it a lot!

Jessica here: The movie comes out Friday and here is the trailer. I have not read the book, but the beginning of this trailer has a creepiness with that Willy Wonka song! OMG!!! And did I see The Iron Giant and King Kong!?!?!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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A Double Review of The Dispatcher

Today Kim and I both review The Dispatcher by John Scalzi. We both listened to the Audible version which is masterfully narrated by Zachary Quinto. It is a short book, the narration is 2 hours and 18 minutes.  Needless to say both Kim and I loved The Dispatcher!

Author: John Scalzi
Narrator: Zachary Quinto
Published: October 4, 2016
Audible: 2 hours 18 minutes

Book Description from Goodreads:

One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone – 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don’t know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.

Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher – a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death’s crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge a supposed wrong.

It’s a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it’s too late…before not even a Dispatcher can save him.

Zachary Quinto: Best known for his role as the Nimoy-approved Spock in the recent Star Trek reboot and the menacing, power-stealing serial killer, Sylar, in Heroes – brings his well-earned sci-fi credentials and simmering intensity to this audio-exclusive novella from master storyteller John Scalzi.

Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Kim’s Review:

This was a short, simple mystery, with a doozy of a twist! I had never heard of anything like the dispatchers before. If a person is murdered, then 9 times out of 10, they’ll end up alive and well in their bed at home. I’m not sure where that idea came from, but I love it! And I’m totally crushing on Tony Valdez . . . it helps that he has Zachary Quinto’s voice. 😊 I liked that it was a short listen; the author didn’t detail every little thing in every room, conversations weren’t repeated, and the mystery was easily solved with some good, old detective work. It’s simple, enjoyable, and easy. I really enjoyed this audiobook!

Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Dates Listened To: March 16-18, 2018
Jessica’s Review:

The Dispatcher has an interesting premise to it: If you die at the hands some someone else, 999 times out of 1000 you come back to life.  If you die of natural causes you do not come back to life.  It is a mystery why this started happening, but we do learn about the first person that this happened to.  The Dispatcher is short at just 2 hours 18 minutes long.  And it covers a lot in that short time period!  I listened to the Audible version which was narrated by Zachary Quinto and I couldn’t help but picture him as Tony Valdez as the story progressed.

Tony is a Dispatcher, one who helps to bring people back. In other words, he murders them.  We see several examples of Tony doing his job, which he has done for eight years.  One of his dispatcher friends disappears and it is a race to find out what happened to him.

This is a novella that will make you think about many things: who could become a Dispatcher and how do they handle their job when there is that one chance out of 1000 that the person will not come back? What does someone experience when they die and then come back? There are also theological, ethical, and moral issues that surround this story and the novella brings those up as well.

I liked Tony’s character and hope that Scalzi will expand on him and write more. If this ever comes to life on film I hope they cast Quinto in the Tony Valdez role!

The Dispatcher is highly recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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