A while back, I wrote a review of Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, which begins a series the author calls The Lunar Chronicles. After I bought it, I did not read it, but put it off for a while. I like science fiction and have no problem with YA titles, but it sounded kinda weird. Once I read it, I did like it. I really liked it, actually. And, once again, I bought the next installment, but put it off while I read another book (Darrell Bain’s The Frontier Rebellion). Then, a few weeks back, I clicked on the cover of Scarlet, and I will admit that I was not entranced after the first chapter, but I pushed myself, and the book did pick up. If you begin and wonder if it is book extolling the virtues of organic gardening, just hold on. Scarlet is a worthy tale, but I will offer a warning to readers—it would be quite confusing to a someone who did not read Cinder first. The story of Scarlet, who abandons the family farm to search for her lost grandmother, is so intertwined with Cinder’s continuing adventures that it is far better to begin with that book and then pick up this action packed story. If this were just the story of Scarlet and Wolf, I would not give it a five star review, but when I reached the end of Cinder, Meyer was clearly not finished, so I was expecting to see her again. Perhaps not so much of her, but that is actually a plus. Now, the character of Scarlet is interesting, and there is plenty of suspense as she struggles to find her grandmother before something really bad happens, but I especially like the multilayer enigma of Wolf. Even more than the first book, this one has the trappings of a gritty urban fantasy, with science fiction elements, and a bit of romance, too. Many times, I have stated that the best fiction is aimed at younger audiences, and this novel is more evidence of that. I noticed that Cress is now available, so I will buy it the next time I am loading up on Kindle titles.
My husband stumbled upon an episode of “Star Trek Continues” and after just a few minutes, we were hooked. This upscale “fan film” site is really something to see. There are only a couple of full episodes, but a fully funded Kickstarter campaign from last year should fund at least a couple more episodes. We really liked the loving homage of this effort. Seeing new episodes with the same music, similar storylines, familiar costumes and props, and amazingly original looking sets make this nothing like the “reboot” movies.
These free online videos, which do include some shorter “vignettes” are made by a not-for-profit-entity, filming in Kingsland, Georgia, in a warehouse with 10,000 square feet of sets built to look just like the sets from 40+ years back. The actors do not just dress and look somewhat like the original series characters, but add their own interpretations as well. And, get this: the actor portraying Chief Engineer Scott is James Doohan’s son, Chris. That casting choice is far more authentic than the reboot’s Simon Pegg. Kirk is portrayed by Vic Mignogna, a voice actor and director, and Todd Haberkorn is Spock.
At first, seeing these different actors portraying well known (and loved) characters seemed odd, but after a few minutes, we were more interested in the story line than the actor’s faces and voices. There are some new characters, too, as the premise is that STC is telling the tales from years four and five of the “five year mission” that was only three years long in the original series. Had the series continued, no doubt new characters would have come along, so this concept works well.
Fans of TOS should check out Star Trek Continues, because it is quite entertaining. My husband and I are hoping for many new episodes. And, as residents of Georgia, we are wondering if they are going to have another open house, as they did a couple of years back. I’d love to see those sets!