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  • gilwilson 6:18 PM on November 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: darth maul,   

    Star Wars: Maul Lockdown By: Joe Schreiber 

    51TNoNHfUSL._SL500_Star Wars: Maul
    By: Joe Schreiber
    Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
    Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
    Published by Random House Audio (2014)

    I’ve been on a Star Wars audiobook kick for a couple of years now.  It’s funny I’m not a huge fan of Star Wars but I’m having lots of fun with these audiobooks.

    This book takes place shortly before The Phantom Menace, this book is NOT the sequel you might expect. This is a standalone story that has but one objective: to let Maul loose to wreak havoc. Ironically, unleashing Maul means putting restraints on him, and that only seems to make him even more dangerous.

    When those horrid prequels came out there were a few characters I was intrigued by and one was Darth Maul.  Maul just looks cool and with that double sided light saber.  This book gives us a background story to go by and to really get the meat of the matter when it comes to why Darth Maul is Darth Maul.

    Jonathan Davis brings the characters to life with his extraordinary vocal workout.  The book then mixes in sound effects and a handful of classic John Williams musical cues, and you are immersed in the prison trying to escape with Maul.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Set before the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, this new novel is a thrilling follow-up to Star Wars: Darth Plagueis.

    It’s kill or be killed in the space penitentiary that houses the galaxy’s worst criminals, where convicts face off in gladiatorial combat while an underworld gambling empire reaps the profits of the illicit blood sport. But the newest contender in this savage arena, as demonic to behold as he is deadly to challenge, is fighting for more than just survival. His do-or-die mission, for the dark masters he serves, is to capture the ultimate weapon: an object that will enable the Sith to conquer the galaxy.

    Sith lords Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious are determined to possess the prize. And one of the power-hungry duo has his own treacherous plans for it. But first, their fearsome apprentice must take on a bloodthirsty prison warden, a cannibal gang, cutthroat crime lord Jabba the Hutt, and an unspeakable alien horror. No one else could brave such a gauntlet of death and live. But no one else is the dreaded dark-side disciple known as Darth Maul.

    ©2014 Joe Schreiber (P)2014 Random House Audio

  • gilwilson 5:46 PM on November 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars) By: Renée Ahdieh, Meg Cabot, Pierce Brown, Nnedi Okorafor, Sabaa Tahir 

    From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars)
    By: Renée Ahdieh, Meg Cabot, Pierce Brown, Nnedi Okorafor, Sabaa Tahir
    Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Ashley Eckstein, Janina Gavankar, Jon Hamm, Neil Patrick Harris
    Series: Star Wars
    Length: 15 hrs and 3 mins
    Release date: 10-03-17
    Publisher: Random House Audio

    So you’ve seen Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.  Maybe you’ve seen the Lucas recuts.  We’ll you still haven’t seen it all.  “From a Certain Point of View” re-tells the original Star Wars movie from the points of view of several other characters in the movie.  This fun revisiting of the movie that started it all combines the original story with some of the fun that was going on in the background.  For example; whether you think Greedo or Han shot first, how did Greedo end up in that cantina looking for Han Solo?  That segment of the movie is told from his point of view and even up to his final words before Solo shoots him.  

    What this book does is take the approximately 2 hour original movie and by looking through the eyes of the other characters gives you a 15 hour seemingly real time adventure.  Everything from the musicians in the Cantina, the Jawas capturing and then selling R2-D2 and C3PO, to even the R5-D4 astromech robot that blew up providing Luke’s Uncle the opportunity to keep R2 & 3PO together work together to bring you the same story but with more fun.

    I totally enjoyed hearing the story told through all the characters in the Cantina and on Tatooine, sometimes the same moment over and over but through different points of view.  A couple of my favorite stories were told by the 2 stormtroopers who knew those were the droids they were looking for but let the old man and kid pass anyway.  Another fun story was one told of the mouse droid who only appeared in the movie for a few seconds in the actual movie only to be scared off by Chewbacca.  That little droid had a great backstory.

    This audiobook was more fun than I had thought it would be, I only hope they can do the same with the other movies.  Maybe then they can make the prequels bearable.


    Publisher’s Summary
    Experience Star Wars: A New Hope from a whole new point of view.
    On May 25, 1977, the world was introduced to Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, and a galaxy full of possibilities. In honor of the 40th anniversary, more than 40 contributors lend their vision to this retelling of Star Wars. Each of the 40 short stories reimagines a moment from the original film, but through the eyes of a supporting character. From a Certain Point of View features contributions by best-selling authors, trendsetting artists, and treasured voices from the literary history of Star Wars:

    Gary Whitta bridges the gap from Rogue One to A New Hope through the eyes of Captain Antilles.
    Aunt Beru finds her voice in an intimate character study by Meg Cabot.
    Nnedi Okorofor brings dignity and depth to a most unlikely character: the monster in the trash compactor.
    Pablo Hidalgo provides a chilling glimpse inside the mind of Grand Moff Tarkin.
    Pierce Brown chronicles Biggs Darklighter’s final flight during the Rebellion’s harrowing attack on the Death Star.
    Wil Wheaton spins a poignant tale of the rebels left behind on Yavin.

    Plus 34 more hilarious, heartbreaking, and astonishing tales from Ben Acker, Renée Ahdieh, Tom Angleberger, Ben Blacker, Jeffrey Brown, Rae Carson, Adam Christopher, Zoraida Córdova, Delilah S. Dawson, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Paul Dini, Ian Doescher, Ashley Eckstein, Matt Fraction, Alexander Freed, Jason Fry, Kieron Gillen, Christie Golden, Claudia Gray, E. K. Johnston, Paul S. Kemp, Mur Lafferty, Ken Liu, Griffin McElroy, John Jackson Miller, Daniel José Older, Mallory Ortberg, Beth Revis, Madeleine Roux, Greg Rucka, Gary D. Schmidt, Cavan Scott, Charles Soule, Sabaa Tahir, Elizabeth Wein, Glen Weldon, Chuck Wendig
    Narrated by a full cast, including:

    Jonathan Davis
    Ashley Eckstein
    Janina Gavankar
    Jon Hamm
    Neil Patrick Harris
    January LaVoy
    Saskia Maarleveld
    Carol Monda
    Daniel José Older
    Marc Thompson

    All participating authors have generously forgone any compensation for their stories. Instead, their proceeds will be donated to First Book – a leading nonprofit that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to educators and organizations serving children in need. To further celebrate the launch of this book and both companies’ longstanding relationships with First Book, Penguin Random House has donated $100,000 to First Book, and Disney/Lucasfilm has donated 100,000 children’s books – valued at $1 million – to support First Book and their mission of providing equal access to quality education. Over the past 16 years, Disney and Penguin Random House combined have donated more than 88 million books to First Book.
    ©2017 Renée Ahdieh (P)2017 Random House Audio

  • gilwilson 5:33 PM on November 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    You Are the Universe Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters By: Deepak Chopra MD, Menas C. Kafatos PhD 

    30211502You Are the Universe
    Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters
    By: Deepak Chopra MD, Menas C. Kafatos PhD
    Narrated by: Kaleo Griffith
    Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
    Release date: 02-07-17
    Publisher: Random House Audio

    If you have never read a book by Deepak Chopra you owe it to yourself and your state of mind to do so.  He has a way of reducing life’s most difficult hurtles into a super simplistic and manageable view, which in turn allows you to solve nearly every problem that will ever come up.  I’ll never forget the time I was reading one of his books (not sure which one) but Dr. Chopra was talking about the concept of time and how your body deals with it.  As an exercise he had the reader perform a breathing exercise and think about slowing down time.  I thought what the heck, so I tried it and as my breathing became more controlled I could watch the second hand on a clock slow down.  After doing this for a few seconds and watching the second hand get slower and slower I stopped and almost immediately snapped back into real time.  That was the moment I was sold on the teachings of Deepak Chopra.

    The thing is, with all of Chopra’s books he has a way of not only explaining in terms anyone can understand and work with, but he also provides scientific proof of everything.  This time around he teams up with physicist Menas Kafatos and they explore all of the questions of the universe.  The questions become answered and our place in the universe is pin-pointed.  No matter what religious beliefs you come from even god is in the picture of sorts.

    On top of enjoying Chopra’s works, I have also been a fan of physics. Not so much that I chose to make it my career, but enough to study in college as much as I could while still entertaining my other 3 majors.  I’ve always felt that physics will provide the answers to all.  In this book Chopra and Kafatos set out to prove that and as they do explain why humanity is not only a part of the universe but that each individual human is the universe.

    Yeah it can be argued that there is some philosophy in all this, but any good physicist has some basis in philosophy and any good philosopher is on the verge of understanding physics.

    Gain control of your own personal reality and give this book a listen/read.

    Publisher’s Summary

    New York Times best-selling author Deepak Chopra joins forces with leading physicist Menas Kafatos to explore some of the most important and baffling questions about our place in the world.

    What happens when modern science reaches a crucial turning point that challenges everything we know about reality? In this brilliant, timely, and practical work, Chopra and Kafatos tell us that we’ve reached just such a point. In the coming era, the universe will be completely redefined as a “human universe” radically unlike the cold, empty void where human life is barely a speck in the cosmos.

    You Are the Universe literally means what it says: Each of us is a co-creator of reality extending to the vastest reaches of time and space. This seemingly impossible proposition follows from the current state of science, where outside the public eye, some key mysteries cannot be solved, even though they are the very issues that define reality itself:

    • What came before the big bang?
    • Why does the universe fit together so perfectly?
    • Where did time come from?
    • What is the universe made of?
    • Is the quantum world linked to everyday life?
    • Do we live in a conscious universe?
    • How did life first begin?

    “The shift into a new paradigm is happening,” the authors write. “The answers offered in this book are not our invention or eccentric flights of fancy. All of us live in a participatory universe. Once you decide that you want to participate fully with mind, body, and soul, the paradigm shift becomes personal. The reality you inhabit will be yours either to embrace or to change.” What these two great minds offer is a bold new understanding of who we are and how we can transform the world for the better while reaching our greatest potential.

    ©2017 Deepak Chopra (P)2017 Random House Audio
  • gilwilson 6:49 PM on November 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    How Not to Be Wrong The Power of Mathematical Thinking By: Jordan Ellenberg 

    18693884How Not to Be Wrong
    The Power of Mathematical Thinking
    By: Jordan Ellenberg
    Narrated by: Jordan Ellenberg
    Length: 13 hrs and 28 mins
    Release date: 05-30-14
    Publisher: Penguin Audio

    Throughout life folks who don’t enjoy math will ask the question, “When will I ever use this?” Once the basics are down people don’t realize how much their thoughts and problem solving rely on math. In fact, most of the time we use algebra and advanced math without realizing we’ve done so. That’s because it is learned and part of everyday life. Jordan Ellenberg takes that one step further and shows how we can become more adept at solving problems by training your brain to think mathematically.

    First off I have to point out that the energy and enthusiasm the author delivers this audiobook makes it so that no other person could have even halfway given this book it’s due as narrator. It was the only way this could have been an audiobook. That being said, it would have been nice to have some of the material actually written down so I could refer back to some of the examples, but I got what I wanted out of the audiobook.

    Now I also have to admit I was a bit deceived by the title. I expected to be able to be right all the time, trust me I’m not, just ask my wife. But the way of training the brain, so to speak, allows you to be on the right path the right way.

    If you love math you’ll love how this provides you with many answers to, “When will I ever use this?” Plus, the book is a great way to fine tune some of those skills we’ve learned along the way. If you are not a fan of math you should give this book a chance, it will open your eyes to the world around you and how everything is basically one big math problem.

    This book also shows how you can mathematically win the lottery. I’m not lying, a group of MIT students did just that, it took some work, but they did it. No matter what your math ability, you will find some satisfaction in this book.

    Publisher’s Summary
    The Freakonomics of math – a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands.

    The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do—the whole world is shot through with it.

    Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer?

    How Not to Be Wrong presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many more, using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon. Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God.

    Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.

    ©2014 Jordan Ellenberg (P)2014 Penguin Audio

  • gilwilson 6:14 PM on November 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    The Bones of Jack by Bill Lindsay 

    14565234The Bones of Jack
    by Bill Lindsay
    92 pages
    Published September 17th 2010 by Xlibris Corporation

    I met the author of this book at a comic convention of sorts, and took the time to let him talk me into reading this book. This independent author discovered a story about Springheel Jack, a man who could actually be referred to as the original Batman. The English folklore that covers Jack talks about how he invented different apparatus to fight crime. That’s one of the stories anyhow. Most of the stories play him as a villain who attacked women.

    Bill Lindsay takes the story a little further where to young Englishmen find the remains of Jack along with his inventions and decide to become heroes. Their adventures are fun and action-packed. Sometimes they don’t go as planned. But they try.

    Support the independent artists and writers. This independent is a nice short read that can be enjoyed by anyone ages 10 – 100.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Spring heeled Jack! Here is a twist on the Victorian era villain, who terrorized London in the 1800s. With burning red eyes, clawed hands, blue flame breath, and able to leap to impossible heights, Jack became a household fright for those who traveled by night and children who wouldn’t get to bed. In this action-packed book, two Englishmen find the infamous villain’s remains stuck in a chimney and begin to perpetuate his legend. This short, but sweet story will keep you enthralled as our two heroes bumble their way through an imitation of one of England’s most interesting legends. A good book to read on a cold, dark night or during the Halloween season. This book is also illustrated by the author with detailed and humorous sketches to help visualize the whole story(almost like watching a video). So pick up a copy and be amused by this tale of Victorian terror and humor, while enjoying the visual story.

  • gilwilson 6:37 PM on November 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    “Trust” by David Moody 

    by David Moody
    301 pages
    Published by Infected Books (July 23,2012)

    I’ll start this out by saying first, I’m a huge fan of David Moody’s work. His “Autumn” series of a zombie apocalypse was a nailbiter, his “Hater” series about an ultraviolent virus taking over society, was very eye opening. Naturally when I saw this book, I thought, oh, another series? Not yet, but maybe if we let him know how awesome it is and how much we like it, he’ll think about making “Trust” a series. A bit of a spoiler here, but it will be very hard to make a series out of this, but man, I would love to see more stories in this sci-fi apocalyptic tale.

    The story here is that aliens have landed on Earth. Everyone is enamored by their arrival and what they could do for humanity. The aliens claim the ship is a mining ship that had engine problems and was forced to land on Earth. Once the governments buy the rhetoric the aliens deliver, they begin to accept them into our society, with the promise of medical, technical and social advances that will save humanity. At least until the alien rescue ship arrives several years later. Then the possibilities are limitless.

    Nearly everyone on the planet are buying this and trusting the aliens. Tom Winter is constantly suspicious and is always looking for their ulterior motives. Tom is one of the very few that are buying into the rhetoric.

    (there may be spoilers from here on in this review)

    This book covers some issues that are affecting today’s society, such as racism, and fear of the unknown. This is not one of those nice books with a happy ending. In fact if you have read any of David Moody’s other books you will know that survival is a key motivator in his books, and this one is no different. Be prepared for an ending you will be expecting but not in the way you are expecting.

    I am still and even more so after reading this book, a huge David Moody fan. I have found since reading this book that there are some books I’ve not read yet. So I’ve got to get back to my reading. Do yourself a favor and pick this and all of his other books up and enjoy.

    Publisher’s Summary
    The most important event in human history takes place in the middle of nowhere. Perspectives are altered. Perceptions are changed. Nothing will ever be the same again. Is this a moment of deliverance for the human race, or the beginning of its end? Tom Winter thinks he knows, but if he’s right, then seven billion other people are wrong.

  • gilwilson 5:20 PM on November 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    The Blumhouse Book of Nightmares: The Haunted City By: Jason Blum 

    30729698The Blumhouse Book of Nightmares: The Haunted City
    By: Jason Blum
    Narrated by: full cast
    Length: 13 hrs and 51 mins
    Release date: 07-07-15
    Publisher: Random House Audio

    Blumhouse movies have created a system where the low budget films give the directors complete creative freedom on their films. This collection of stories follows similar guidelines in which the writers have complete ownership of their work. In the movies this has created some interesting horror movies which have been very successful and have given the audience a fresh view at horror. Such films as; “Insidious,” “Paranormal Activity,” and “The Purge” have been turned into successful box office franchises.

    The only draw back is that some of the movies hit and some miss. Then you have the ones that hit and the sequels/prequels miss. The same goes with this book. Some of the stories will send chills down your spine, while others just are there. I will not point out which ones hit and which ones miss because horror can be subjective. While some may have disturbed or scared me, they may not even phase someone else and on that same line of thought, some may scare others and not affected me.

    This collection provides a wide array of many type of horror stories. From folks trying to find the ultimate sexual experience to a portal to hell opening in a family’s new home. The stories are so diverse that even the pickiest of horror fan will find something to send chills in this collection.

    The various authors and various narrators create an ambiance of horror that will leave you wanting the next story just to see what can happen next. There was one story, “Dreamland” which was written from a male characters point of view but read by a female narrator that didn’t sit well with me, I found the point of view a bit confusing. But other than that it was a very nice collection of horror.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Original and terrifying fiction presented by Jason Blum, the award-winning producer behind the groundbreaking Paranormal Activity, The Purge, Insidious, and Sinister franchises.

    Jason Blum invited 16 cutting-edge collaborators, filmmakers, and writers to envision a city of their choosing and let their demons run wild. The Blumhouse Book of Nightmares: The Haunted City brings together all-new, boundary-breaking stories from such artists as Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Eli Roth (Hostel), Scott Derrickson (Sinister), C. Robert Cargill (Sinister), James DeMonaco (The Purge), and many others.

    “Geist” by Les Bohem… “Procedure” by James DeMonaco…” Hellhole” by Christopher Denham… “A Clean White Room” by Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill… “Novel Fifteen” by Steve Faber… “Eyes” by George Gallo… “1987” by Ethan Hawke…” Donations” by William Joselyn… “The Old Jail” by Sarah Langan… “The Darkish Man” by Nissar Modi… “Meat Maker” by Mark Neveldine… “Dreamland” by Michael Olson…” Valdivia” by Eli Roth… “Golden Hour” by Jeremy Slater… “The Leap” by Dana Stevens… “The Words” by Scott Stewart… “Gentholme” by Simon Kurt Unsworth

    ©2015 Jason Blum (P)2015 Random House Audio

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