DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This novel centers around Jex Bowen, an intergalactic pilot who is retiring and ready for married life with his soon-to-be bride. But in his last week, his supervisor offers him a 3 month stint to pilot the latest and greatest ship that can go faster than the speed of light. He accepts amidst his fiance breaking off their engagement, his soon father-in-law pulling some behind the scenes strings, and his supervisor essentially not giving him a choice. Once the liftoff begins, this proposition isn't what it seems as he has to deal with on board terrorists, sabotage, and even space battles with angry alien species.
This book was originally written in the 1970s and it reads as such. Reeking of sexism right out of the gate, it was hard to stay focused after that. If you've ever read Asmiov and are used to the slower, non-explosive pace, you will recognize that same writing style here - just not executed quite as well. The book is meant to get more and more exciting as you read but in my experience, it just got worse. I had to force myself to get through to the end.
Other reviews differ; however, as the majority of posted reviews are around a 4/5, so if you're a fan of "vintage" feeling sci-fi, check it out.
Living in Central Florida and having an obsession for all things theme park, this book intrigued me. Centered around an Irish woman who can't seem to find direction in her life, she decides to apply for and work at Walt Disney World. This book chronicles her 18 months in Orlando and how she deals with not having a license, not having a car, an apartment, friends, money, or anything else vital to moving across the world. The book was a fast, smooth read but left a few sour tastes in my literary mouth.
One thing that she does often in this book is make fun of Floridians and tourists for being dumb. However, it seems pretty stupid of her to have done zero research. Personally if I were going to be moving across the world, I'd investigate things such as living arrangements, visa requirements, and transportation but it appears that she did none of this as she ends up walking an hour to work each day for most of the book.
Another thing that I didn't care for is that she is a self-proclaimed atheist. And she tells you that. Countless times. I wanted to scream at her through the pages and say "Okay Catherine! I get it! On with the story!" She decided to visit The Holy Land Experience, Orlando's religious theme park, and guess what? She hated it. It would be the equivalent of a vegan visiting MeatLand.
But its not all bad as there were countless times I literally laughed out loud and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out how she would get out of each predicament. One such instance was her living arrangements with countless people of different nationalities that would party every night. I also found myself cheering for her along the way, hoping she'd eventually fall in love with this city I call home.
The book mostly flows nicely and is full of funny, quirky chapters, but for some reason in the middle of this story, she goes on a 10 page historical explanation of the Apollo program. Not really sure why. Regardless one of the more interesting aspects of the book were her countless trips out to Kennedy Space Center and her unending quest to see a shuttle launch. (I won't spoil the book for you by letting you know if she actually gets to see one).
Overall this was a fun book to read especially if you're from the area. She never actually worked for WDW, but rather for the Swan and Dolphin resorts, a privately owned resort on the property of WDW. Being an avid WDW fan, there were a few "stretches-of-the-truth" but besides that, I'd recommend this book.
If you're a fan of this blog then you know I'm a big John Scalzi / OMW fan. I have already read the original trilogy so when I began to pick up Zoe's Tale, I was curious if it would add much to the story. Having read a mostly mixed bag of reviews prior to starting it, I was a little nervous that it would be the exact same story as The Last Colony except told from Zoe's perspective. I was 85% right.
But despite that, I still enjoyed this book. The reader is made aware of the behind-the-scenes doings of Zoe at the conclusion of the previous book as well as how deep the relationship between Zoe and the Obin truly is. In typical Scalzi fashion, the book is fast-paced, humorous, and written quite well. The only downside to this novel should be fairly obvious: there's not much new here. If you're a fan of varying POV telling the same story, run and get this fast (after you've read the first three of course... you'd be utterly lost without that prior knowledge). I haven't moved on to book 5 yet ("The Human Division") but I am curious if this book is vital to the whole, overarching story.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.