The Martian by Andy Weir

Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars

I’ve seen the movie about 6-7 times. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book? Not so much. Maybe it’s because I knew what would happen but I was pretty bored overall. I found the characters a lot more likable in the movie than in the book. The only character I preferred the book version of is Annie, probably because she had more scenes in the book than in the movie.

I just did not find Mark Watney interesting on paper. The science was all beyond me, so I skipped many paragraphs of him and the Ares 3 crew’s explanations or discussion of their actions.

For once, I say the movie was better than the book.

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Secrets in Death by JD Robb

Rating: 1 / 5 stars

The latest entry in the In Death series is the least memorable one in a while. This book’s case is the murder of someone readers met in a previous installment: Larinda Mars. Some digging by Lieutenant Eve Dallas reveals that Mars had spent years blackmailing people just because she liked it.

Spoilers below the cut.

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DC Rebirth Batman Beyond Vol. 1 Escaping the Grave by Dan Jurgens

Rating: 3 / 5 stars

Most of my knowledge of Batman Beyond is from the TV show of the same name. I have never read a BB comic book until now.

Terry McGinnis is the Batman of the future, mentored by an old, retired Bruce Wayne to protect Gotham. He has a younger brother named Matt and a girlfriend named Dana.

In this volume, Terry is believed dead (I have no idea if the cause was written about in another issue). Bruce Wayne is also believed dead. Gotham has been without a Batman for months. Terry finds the city practically overrun by Jokerz, criminal who idolize the Joker. The main plot is that the leader of the Jokerz wants to bring the Joker back to life and also kidnaps Terry’s girlfriend (now ex, since he’s believed dead) to show her what he’s doing. The leader of the Jokerz, Dana, and Terry all went to high school together apparently.

This volume has a lot of confusing references for readers who have never heard of Batman Beyond until they picked up this issue. I could only understand part of it because I watched some of the TV show. This volume is not the best introduction to a character. The art style isn’t the easiest to understand either, it’s not something I’m a fan of.

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for this honest review.

May + June Recap

Books read:

DC Rebirth Batgirl Vol 1 Beyond Burnside by Hope Larson

Symphony in Blue by MJ Duncan

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Books read but did not finish:

Patient H.M. by Luke Dittrich

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Books purchased:

Symphony in Blue by MJ Duncan

Placed on TBR:

The Tiger’s Daughter by K Arsenault Rivera

 

 

 

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Lisa See returns to share the customs of another Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha in the Yunnan province. Li-yan, her family, are all tea farmers. Their people have lived and died by the farming of tea for generations. It is not until one day a stranger arrives in a car (the first one the Akha people have seen) that their lives change. Li-yan has received some schooling thanks to a teacher sent by the Communist government years ago to educate the people and with that schooling was able to serve as a translator for the stranger. It gives her a glimmer of hope for her future as she was satisfied with her certain future as a midwife. The stranger offers her and her village a more prosperous future through the growing of a certain kind of tea he claims is worth a lot of money.

Unfortunately, Li-yan’s hope for a better education are dashed when an encounter with a young man changes her life. This sets in motion the second half of the story, wherein a Chinese girl is raised by white American parents in southern California. The adopted child wonders about her biological parents. All she has from them is a tea cake with a design on it that she cannot decipher.

As always, See writes an engaging tale. I myself was particularly invested in the young girl’s part of the story. My K-12 schooling took place in one of the cities mentioned during her tale and I recognized everything she talked about. I’m not adopted nor am I Chinese (only half Taiwanese) but I understood her feelings about many things. Frankly, if she were real she definitely could have been one of my classmates.