Category Archives: Reviews

(Sort Of) Review of On Basilisk Station

It has been far too long since I have posted here. I really need to work on that. What better time to start than now?

I’ll spare you my thoughts on Wrestlemania, now two days past, and instead write a sort of book/audio book review.

on-basilisk-station

I recently picked up the audio book for On Basilisk Station by David Weber. I’ve been interested in learning more about the Honorverse, since I see The Royal Manticoran Navy at most conventions here in Minnesota. I had previously tried to read House of Steel, but struggled through it and eventually stopped. The Honorverse Companion portion of the book was far more interesting to me, though I have yet to finish it. Because of that, audio book seemed like the way for me to approach this series.

I put off beginning the series on audio book, because the preview sounded terrible. It’s worth noting that I got the audio book from Audible, so I listened to the version they made. There have been others. The narrator does some bad voices and accents, but they serve their purpose of differentiating characters well, so it can be forgiven. However, the way she says “Manticoran” is likely to make you hate her a little. In the end, I got used to the narration pretty quickly.

While this book is science fiction, at its core, it’s really just a naval story in spaaaaaace. I find keeping that in mind makes it a little more enjoyable.

Of course, David Weber is known for lengthy dialogue and info dumps. They are in this book by the pound. Sometimes it feels like it’s never going to end. While it can be tedious, the info dumps do serve the purpose of creating a very detailed universe. It even gives details and numbers about types of ships and armaments and everything. Of course, it was later determined the numbers were off and they were adjusted.

The dialogue, on the other hand, can be excessive. I think often it’s just an attempt to explain things to the reader in unnecessary detail things which should be understood as the story unfolds. It’s like a textbook example of telling, not showing.

If you can get past these things, or if you like them, the story is enjoyable enough. It feels like it opens an elaborate new world for you to explore, which it really does. The series is getting quite lengthy and there are many related books outside of it. There’s even a comic book series.

I felt like I was struggling at points, but I enjoyed it overall and even bought the audio book for the next in the series (The Honor of the Queen) right when I finished it and I’m listening to that one now.

Ash Vs. Evil Dead

While I stuck this in the Reviews category, it’s really more of a first impression thing and I won’t be rating by stars or anything.

I, like many other people, have been eagerly awaiting the premier of Ash Vs. Evil Dead since I first heard confirmation the series was happening. That day finally arrived, fittingly on Halloween, this past Saturday.

The excitement this series generated online caused Starz to renew it for a second season before it even premiered. I no doubt contributed to that, sharing several posts from the show’s Facebook page while watching and reading whatever I could find about it.

First, I’d like to say Evil Dead is probably my favorite horror franchise. Take what you want from that, as I’m not usually someone who gets really into horror movies or even books. The first Evil Dead movie is quite possibly the creepiest film I have ever seen. The first time I saw it, it brought me to a level of suspense not unlike paranoia. It’s not the scenes of graphic violence and death that did it, but rather all the space between. Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness managed to keep a level of weirdness similar to the first movie, then add a thick layer of fun like no one but Bruce Campbell can. This TV series continues that in the same gory form.

static1.squarespace.com Seriously, he flies through the air to catch his chainsaw hand, then unleashes hell on the walking dead.

The first episode of Ash Vs. Evil Dead was everything I could want it to be and even a little more. Ash is back. There was comedy. There’s Bruce Campbell. The characters are simple but not flat, as is what you’d expect and need to tell this sort of story. Oh, and it’s Bruce Fucking Campbell playing Ash again.

One thing to note is Sam Raimi, creator of the Evil Dead franchise wrote and directed this first episode but none of the others in this season. I’d be lying if I said that didn’t worry be a little. I eagerly look forward to next week’s episode. It’s even half as good as the first, this will be a series worth watching again and again. If it’s not, hopefully they can find what writers work best for the series and give us a great second season. Either way, I’ll probably keep watching.

First and foremost, this show is for those who are already fans of the franchise. That much should be obvious. After them, it’s for the growing faction of horror TV fans. Do you like American Horror Story but want something a bit more off-the-wall insane? Do you like The Walking Dead but wish it weren’t so goddamn boring? This show is for you.

I’d suggest anyone who can stomach a lot of gore and wants something exciting should check it out. If you’ve already watched the show, I’d love to hear what you thought of it in the comments.