Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Verse Trilogy)

Shadow and Bone sounds like a goth biker bar. Hey, it could work. The jukebox has Motorhead, Judas Priest, maybe a little Bauhaus.  Lots of tattoos. Shoot, this thing sells itself. If you have an angel investor for a biker bar would that be a devil investor? That kind of Dad joke would not be tolerated at my Shadow and Bone bar.

I can't make enough jokes for all three books so this is a review of the trilogy. More magic than the Six of Crows, its a more traditional fantasy series but again with the dysfunctional romance. I guess a mature relationship is kind of boring.

Woman: "I'm off to the rock climbing gym."

Man: "Ok honey, I'm glad you are taking time for yourself while feeling empowered and strong!"

It's a decent fantasy series but I kind of started to run out of caring. I was trying finish this on the treadmill at the gym but the girl behind me was loudly complaining about her old roommate. It's not the like the gym should be silent but I would go to a bookworm gym with less bros and a lot less Fox News(as in none). In my gym there should be at least one Alan Rickman movie going on at all times. My friend says they play Kardashians and such so you can step on and off at any time. But at my nerd gym...we know the Rickman oeuvre.  I could step on in the middle of Die Hard and not miss a beat.

Ok if you read the series then you'd know that this is the perfect drink: Night and Day Cocktail: Partially fill a sour glass, large champagne flute or wine glass with crushed ice. Add 1/2 ounce of Cointreau, 3/4 ounce of brandy and one dash of bitters. Top the glass with champagne or other sparkling wine.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


If I write a book with a big section about diarrhea do you think that would work?  I think it should be called Coming out of the Water Closet: My Adventures With the Whispering Scatters. Yes, there is a whole section in Calypso about David getting diarrhea on his book tour. (sigh) Granted diarrhea is an objectively funny word, but I mean....c'mon. You might have read some of these essays before and most critics love it but it's not exactly inspirational. One younger guy wrote an essay that pointed out that David's long term relationship with Hugh seems kind of messed up. Of course, David takes liberty with the truth but the reality is that his life may be too boring and he needs to create an fictional conflict. I'm pretty sure that's sit-com writing 101. He's doing the best he can. He doesn't have any wacky co-workers like the typical sit-com. I've noticed in British comedies someone falls down a flight of stairs for some reason. He did fall out of the attic and hurt himself because he lives in the UK. It's a part of their tax code I think.

Don't get me wrong, Calypso is perfectly fine, but in my opinion, it's not his best work. You would be better off reading Theft by Finding. He publishes like he's got boat payments to make. A huge section of the book is about the beach house he owns and that's close enough. There are certainly some funny bits in here but I think it has a bit of a melancholy aspect. Even the book cover is gloomy. Of course he finally talks about his Mom's alcoholism and his sister's suicide so that's kind of difficult to make comedy bits from that material. Ricky Gervais would attempt some jokes but fail miserably and then double down about "being offensive." Seriously dude, what happened to you? When people are comparing you to Piers Morgan you need to reevaluate your career.

Hey if we are hanging out at the beach house watching sunsets and such, why not drink this very light cocktail: Rum Sunset: 6 ounces of orange juice, 2 ounces of light rum, one tablespoon of grenadine. Combine the orange juice and the rum but set aside a third of the mixture. Pour the rest of the mixture in a glass with ice.  Mix the grenadine with the remaining mix, slowly pour in in the glass to create an ombre effect. Garnish with lime slices.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Dark Forest

SPACE FORCE! We do indeed have a space force in The Dark Forest but in this sequel to Three Body Problem, some jokers from a another planet are coming to earth to annihilate us as we have nice beaches or something. An important plot point is that they are coming from really far away and it will take them over 300 years to get here. Jokes on them it will be one big hot landfill by then. Sure, come and enjoy your garbage beach. We treat this planet like a high school senior that went to Daytona. Trashed and everyone gets the Herps.

There is a female character in here that is I mean...just worse than a Mary Sue. Now, a Mary Sue is a character so perfect that she upstages the protagonist. This one doesn't even do that. This is literally a dream woman/girl and serves no additional function than the comfort you could get from a nice memory foam mattress.  I've read more nuanced sex robot characters. Now, I can't tell if its bad writing, a bad translation or the author is just a real weirdo. According to wikipedia the author's wife and daughter almost never read his books. (It shows, dude, it shows).

I read this book because a very nice person recommended it. Yes, I read the first book and was like ok, cool, but it was kind of challenging and I'm good, but no, he's insisted and like someone buying you a beer it's hard to say no. I can't tell you how many times I've made the delicious free beer mistake. Both literally and metaphorically.  At least we had an interesting discussion. (A part of me was, the ladies in the book though...I mean c'mon man). The nice person was a man as you might have guessed. Any woman that read this would be like, I'm not normally pro burning books but....I could make an exception.

Dark Forest is long and complicated.  But this sequel to Three Body Problem has less theoretical physics, more game strategy and some philosophy. His references to God were really weird, like he'd heard of the concept of God but didn't really understand it. Women and God. I don't understand them...but I'll put them in the book anyway!  It would be like writing a whole section on deep sea diving and never seeing the ocean.  What do you mean a human can't normally breathe underwater? Poppycock. Anyway, you can skip this one unless you looooved Three Body Problem. Yeah, I thought so.

Since we have a while before the space aliens get here, why not drink this earthly (and summer-garden) cocktail?  Basil Gimlet:  2 ounces dry gin, 3/4 ounce lime juice, 1/2 ounce simple syrup, 3-5 basil leaves.  Put all in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a basil leaf.