Monday, August 21, 2017

Acid Bath is a Blood Bath of a Production

Acid BathAcid Bath by Vaseleos Garson
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was not...what's the word I'm looking for?....good. This was not good.

I don't blame the story, so much as the production. I got Acid Bath from the Black Gold library system and listened to this short story during one quick walk down to the post office and a bit of yard work on my return. Unlike most audiobooks, it was produced like a radio drama with sound effects and ambient music, none of which was particular necessary. Aside from the overlong playing of some adult contemporary pop-schlock at the end, it didn't add or detract from the overall experience.

What really did detract from the reading was the voice, cadence and pronunciation of the narrator. He sounded like a robotic German struggling with the English. This was perfect for the robot speaking parts, but those were minimal.

The story itself is solid. It's a nice, quick action piece set on an asteroid, where a human is pitted against mechanical aliens wishing to do some testing on their captive. The author wastes no time and jumps right into it. We get very little character depth, but that's hardly to be expected in such a short work. The plot could've been deepened with a craftier twist ending, but hey, this was written in the '50s, so I'm willing to give it that forerunner, originator pass.

Not a bad little story, but I would suggest just reading it. Don't seek out this audio version.

Audio adaptation: 1.5 stars
Text: 3.3 stars

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The Continuing Tales of Uthred of Bebbanburg

Warriors of the Storm (The Saxon Stories, #9)Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Dashingly handsome Uthred of Bebbanburg's life story vikings along in Warriors of the Storm, the ninth book in the Saxon series.

First off, Uthred is never described as being handsome in the books. That is a tv fabrication. Okay, I just needed to get that out of the way.

Anywho, this is a serviceable book that continues the saga admirably. It's not anything special. No major historically related events take place. It's more personal. In fact, at one point Uthred has to rescue his daughter and son-in-law.

It does feel like maybe Bernard Cornwell is wrapping things up. A prominent character from earlier books bites the dust, and when that begins to happen the end is often nigh. However, we're talking about an author who's learned his lesson about rushing a good thing along just to get to the end. With his Sharpe series, Cornwell ended up going back and writing prequels because a tv show had developed and fans clamored for more. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Saxon series double in size before he's done with it. However, it probably should've already ended. I mean, at this point it feels like he's having to pull out of his ass new ways to get Uthred into hot water.

Having said that, if he does keep putting out more and more of these, I will keep reading them. It's enjoyable stuff and I'm fully invested in the characters. "Please sir, may I have some more?"

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