Month: November 2017

Book Review – Tarkin by James Luceno

25614845Book: Tarkin

Author: James Luceno

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4/5

Review: This book is basically about how Wilhuff Tarkin (known in the book as Governor Wilhuff Tarkin and Moff Tarkin) and how he became Grand Moff Tarkin, as we know him in Star Wars. It’s in a third person perspective and most of the time is focalised through Tarkin himself, as it contains an insight into his childhood/teenage years and how it shaped him into the man we know in Star Wars. It did jump from past to present quite suddenly at times which could be confusing but it was nice having that insight into his younger years. The writing was both detailed and straight to the point. It was very factual as you’d expect from a Star Wars book to do with Tarkin but I did at moments find it to drag a bit. I also couldn’t help but picture Tarkin as Peter Cushing (as he is portrayed on the cover) and just imagining that made it enjoyable as I am a fan of Peter Cushing. Both Darth Vader and Palpatine are involved in this book and it’s interesting to see how the relationship, particularly between Vader and Tarkin, develops, especially as Tarkin is somewhat intrigued by Vader and has his suspicions that Vader is indeed Anakin Skywalker (who he once fought beside). The book is pretty much a Vader and Tarkin adventure and is filled with action in places and can be quite suspenseful! Although some places, as previously said, are a tiny bit confusing and are very heavy on the descriptions. Overall, I did still enjoy this book and I do recommend it to Star Wars fans as getting to learn more about Tarkin was very interesting and it does kind of give insight into why Darth Vader actually listens to Tarkin. It was nice to see a book about the evil side without necessarily portraying it as such.

-Laura

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Thoughts on the Kindle Voyage

For a few years I had the Kindle Paperwhite but I missed the press of buttons (or kind of buttons) that I experienced with my first Kindle (the Kindle 4), and I wanted a screen with a higher PPI, so I upgraded to the Kindle Voyage (kindly donated by my dad who didn’t use it as he prefers the fire tablets).

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In all honesty, the Voyage isn’t much different from the Paperwhite, but even when setting up the Kindle and transferring my books over, I noticed a significant difference in the screen. I’m not sure of the PPI in the Paperwhite as I have an earlier version of it (I think), but I know the PPI of the Voyage is 300. Whether they are the same or different, to me the writing on the Voyage looked more crisp and clear, therefore making it a much more enjoyable reading experience.

I love the little ‘buttons’ to turn the pages. It’s much more reminiscent of what I remember from the Kindle 4, where you could turn the pages forward or backwards one handed and you didn’t need to touch the screen. With the Voyage, it is a one-handed experience because of that and because it is so light. The Kindles have never really weighed much and have always been comfortable for me to hold one-handed (even with my dodgy wrists). This is much better than the Paperwhite, which although is very light, requires two hands, as you press on the left of the screen to go back a page, and right of the screen to go forward a page. I know this is a very lazy thing for me to make a comment on, but for a lot of people, it makes multitasking easier. People can eat their food or drink something or stand up on the bus/train and still read. If you travel and are on a train and have to stand up, you’ve got one hand supporting you while having the other hand able to turn the pages no matter which way you need to go.

wpid-kindle-voyage-00f-us-thin-780x840Another thing I really love about the design of the Kindle Voyage is the bezel being flush against the screen. It makes the Voyage thinner and if anything I think it makes the words sort of pop out at you more, so even if the Paperwhite has the same resolution, because the screen is flat with the bezel and not further into the Kindle (like with the Paperwhite), it makes the screen look nicer and crisper.

Although both the Voyage and Paperwhite have a light, there has definitely been a significant improvement since the Paperwhite with the addition of auto-brightness. Although during the day this may not be particularly useful, at night it’ll mean it slowly adjusts to the brightness around you, meaning your eyes will slowly adjust to the darkness and the light of the screen will be suitable for your eyes, meaning it’s not too bright or too dark for you, making it a comfortable experience. The light of the Kindle is, of course, my favourite feature because back when I had the Kindle 4, I struggled to see the screen properly in dimmer lights, and I caused my eyes to strain in darker lighting (like when travelling).

Overall, I do recommend this Kindle, yet I still recommend the Paperwhite too, although the Voyage feels like more of a premium experience. The price for the Paperwhite as of writing this is £109.99 vs £169.99 for the Voyage, and although the functions do not differ much, I do prefer the Voyage. The pagepress sensors, auto-brightness and overall sleek look and feel are worth the extra money, but if you want an e-reader with a light, I see no problem with anyone purchasing the Paperwhite, and it is up to the budget of the potential purchaser as to whether they think the features and slightly more premium build are worth the extra £60.

-Laura

Book Review – Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

34443972Book: Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Format: Paperback

Rating: 5/5

Review: This book is to do with Diana, who is an Amazon born from dirt on the island of Themyscira to the queen, so she is a princess. In this book, she is a teenager and so are the mortals/humans she meets. It’s from a third person perspective and gets focalised around not only Diana, but from the main mortal in this book, Alia. It revolves around Alia being a descendant of Helen of Troy and being a ‘warbringer’, which means she is dangerous. They meet because of a tragedy and Diana must make the moral decision of letting a mortal human live or die, unaware of what Alia is. Both Alia and Diana are characters that can relate to each other as they both feel as if they are outsiders (Diana because she didn’t earn her right to be on the island like her warrior ‘sisters’, and Alia because of what she has discovered of her own past as well as her Race, as she is black) and a huge part of Diana in this book is that she wants to prove herself to her ‘sisters’ and to her new friends, she wants to be a hero and save the day. And because of the relation to Helen of Troy, a lot of this book revolved around Greek Mythology and Greek Gods, but it also mixes with science. The book is also based around modern day, which is different to the film starring Gal Galdot, as that was set around WW1. The characters in this book have such variety, with the main people being people of colour and one even being LGBT, it’s very interesting to have that variety and they’re all very well written. The plot twists in this book were incredible and I couldn’t believe some of it, and the character development of Alia and Diana was amazing to see, I found myself really rooting for them! In all, this book is action-packed, well written, interesting, fun and has a beautifully sweet ending. I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of Wonder Woman or just DC in general.

-Laura

Book Review – Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran

7954376Book: Cleopatra’s Daughter

Author: Michelle Moran

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4/5

Review: This book is from the perspective of Kleopatra Selene, one of the three children of Queen Kleopatra/Cleopatra and Marc Antony. The beginning revolves around the defeat of Egypt by Octavian, and her and her twin brother Alexander and their little brother are taken to Rome. There’s a strong theme of family and it does contain the historically accurate suicides of her parents and although she tries not to mention them much because of the pain it causes her, her parents are clearly never forgotten. This book is easy to understand, even if you have little knowledge of that period like me, although this means I am not completely sure of the historical accuracy, although, at the end of the book, Michelle Moran has included a historical note which contains some information on how she developed the personalities of the characters, and how she mixed fact with fiction. The novel contains some mature themes of death and ‘romance’ so that is something to look out for, but as well we see these children develop into adults and even when they are young (12) they are still very mature for their age, which is a demonstration of their education. There are themes of jealousy in some places but also a huge mention of love in both a family and romantic sense and the story contains so much hope you really feel for these characters. Selene (as she is known in the book) has this huge love of architecture and this means that because it’s all from her perspective, you get beautiful descriptions of the buildings in Egypt and Rome. There is tension and emotion and it’s so beautiful and I really did enjoy this book and it ended in a perfect place. Michelle Moran also includes a small section on what happened after the book with the characters which I would assume is historically accurate from what we can gather from that time. Overall, if you are a lover of Egypt, Rome or general history, I really recommend this book, although something about it just wasn’t 5 stars for me but I can’t think what.

-Laura