Star Trek: Exodus by Josepha Sherman & Susan Schwartz

Star Trek Exodus
Star Trek: Exodus Book One of the Vulcan’s Soul trilogy
by Josepha Sherman & Susan Schwartz
Get it from Amazon.

Fans of Star Trek have always wondered exactly what it was like when a significant number of Vulcans packed up their belongings like so much Delsey luggage, and moved away to eventually become Romulans. In this trilogy, we find out.

It’s a story that runs in two timelines at once. The first takes place in the days of Surak, and shows us the acts that led up to and caused the Sundering, and the second shows us Spock, Saavik, Uhura, and Chekov rushing off with cooperation from modern Romulans to face down a little known enemy called the Watraii, who are as obscure as they are dangerous.

Both story lines have a mix of action sequences and character sections, which allow us not only to catch up the the characters we know, but also grow to like the original characters we meet.

A further review will be posted when I finish reading the trilogy.

Goes well with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and ice cold milk.

Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey

Kushiel's Scion
Kushiel’s Scion, by Jacqueline Carey
Get it at Amazon.

Re-visiting the world of Terre d’Ange after more than a year since I last read about Phedre’ and Joscelin, and their adopted son Prince Imriel could have been a jarring experience – after all, Imri in this novel is no longer a child, afraid of monsters lurking beneath the bedroom furniture, but a young man about to attain true adulthood.

Jacqueline Carey’s world building is so detailed, however, that stepping back into Montreve, and the various other locations, was just like stepping into the kitchen of an old friend. Well, if that kitchen was in a time hundreds of years before now, and part of a society built on the concept of Love as thou wilt.

In this, the fourth novel of the Kushiel’s Legacy series, young Imriel is caught between being “good” and being true to himself, as a member of Kushiel’s line, and coming to grips with a childhood of abuse, and the darker desires he was born with. Amidst all this teen angst, there is a quest to find the source of a specific school of knowledge, and much ado with the ladies of the Court.

All in all, it’s a rollicking adventure that acts as the lead-in to the next two books in the series.

Goes well with a tankard of ale, hearty fresh-baked bread, and a good sharp cheddar.

Lit-Ra-Chur (Booking Through Thursday)

When somebody mentions “literature,” what’s the first thing you think of? (Dickens? Tolstoy? Shakespeare?)

Do you read “literature” (however you define it) for pleasure? Or is it something that you read only when you must?

I’ve been pretty insular lately, so I thought I’d take a break from writing medicare advantage articles to actually participate in a meme. It’s not Thursday, but if you don’t tell, I won’t either.

Literature, at least in my personal lexicon, does include Shakespeare, Dickens and Tolstoy, as well as Melville, Fitzgerald, and Hawthorne, but it also includes the Bronte sisters, Austen, Woolf, Cather, Alcott, and George Sand. Not to mention Dickinson, Emerson, Whitman, Plath and Thoreau. I don’t believe something has to be part of a “great books” program in order to be literature, but there’s a reason the classics are, well, classic.

Staying power is one part of what distinguishes literature from, say, general fiction, but it’s also not the only factor. I believe literature is still being created. Consider the beauty of the language in Memoirs of a Geisha, for example, or the works of A. S. Byatt.

As to what I read for pleasure. I read a bit of everything. I like the classics. Curling up with Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre on a dismal weekend evening is just as restful as breezing through a couple of Star Trek novels, and the latter are often just as provocative as any of the works I studied in school.

As I write this, I’m in the middle of two books – one is the middle novel in a trilogy of Trekfiction, the other is the latest in the Kushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline, and I’m about to begin reading Pride and Prejudice.

As a writer, I learn from everything I read. Not just the stuff that we used to write essays about.

August Rush

August RushAugust Rush
Available on DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-Ray
Get it at Amazon

Fuzzy and I haven’t yet invested in a plasma tv and a plasma mount with which to suspend it from the wall or ceiling, but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying movies. Recently, we rented August Rush because we never managed to see it in a theater, and we both loved it.

August Rush is an urban fantasy about a cellist and a rock star who meet, have a one-night stand, and are forced apart. She (the cellist) gets pregnant and her over protective father puts the baby up for adoption while she is in the hospital after an accident. Eleven years later, the child, a musical prodigy who has refused to leave an orphanage because he believes he can hear his parents, decides he has to find them.

We then follow the cellist as she searches for the child she never agreed to give up, and never knew was alive, the rock star, who is searching for the cellist, unaware there is a child, and the boy, Evan, who is given the name August Rush by a street musician who takes him in, and becomes the catalyst for the blooming of a musical prodigy.

Of course the movie ends with August conducting an urban rhapsody (symphony for orchestra and wind chimes) in Central Park, and there’s every sign his parents will find him, especially since he’s run into his father already, they just weren’t aware.

It’s a charming tale, with great music and wonderful performances from all three principals – Freddy Highmore (August) Keri Russell (Lyla, the cellist), and John Rhys Myers (as the rock star).

Goes well with a dreamsicle, and a hot summer night.