Sunday, December 30, 2012

Book Review: Death Drop By Sean Allen

" "He's onto us, Admiral!" Shouted Otto. "No real runner would steal cargo and go off course in the middle of a run - they'd never run again, not to mention the bounty put on their heads by the ringers in Trillis - It's HIM!" Malo grunted his agreement and flexed his fists in anger"
NOTE: This review may contain SPOILERS.

Death Drop by Sean Allen. I got my copy of this book from a giveaway at Goodreads by the author. (almost a year ago now) As it was a giveaway I really wanted to like this book a lot, however, I think it is just OK. I still liked it some just not as much as I was hoping I'd like it. This is the first book in a series called The D-Evolution. I was aware of that when I entered the giveaway, I think the series is planned to be a trilogy. This book sets up the series very well, but I will probably pass on the other books in the series.

First off my big disappointment was with the story synopsis that is on the back of the book (and used at Goodreads for the book's entry) described a character named Desmara, which I thought would be the main character,  but she doesn't appear until a few pages before page 150. She is really just one of an ensemble cast, which I don't mind I just wish my expectations hadn't had been set so high, or that the synopsis had concentrated more on the bigger plot arc of the story. I really enjoyed her as a character and she was one of the few characters I could relate to. She is also the only human of the main characters. Her story which is included in the synopsis is more the "B plot" of the book. The "A plot" is something entirely different, but is the story arc for the entire series.

A second disappointment with this book was at 560 pages it took me a long while to get through it and it was a little difficult to follow. It also dragged for me for the first 100 pages or so waiting for Desmara to make her entrance and to get her into the main plot. In some ways she reminded me of the title character of Aeon Flux (the MTV Liquid Television cartoon series I have yet to watch the movie even though I have the DVD) and a little of Lara Croft. The pace picked up for me about half-way through the book, then dragged a little more but picked back up and then when the end came. I was torn between being excited about what would happen in the next book or two and being disappointed that the book ended with such a cliffhanger to set up the next book. It didn't help that while the book was dragging for me I put it down for over a month before picking it back up.

I also had difficulty picturing all the different characters because they were so non-human, I'm partly a visual person, and their descriptions were a bit confusing. I think if some of them were a little easier to picture I might have liked this a bit more. OK yes there are some character drawings on the website for the book series ( ), but to be honest at the time I didn't think the website would have as much info such as character images on it (it might not have at the time I first checked it out). I also had forgotten there was a website for it until I finished the book. So I had to rely on my own imagination, like readers used to have to do all the time, and many of the characters are completely different from what I had imagined.

The book started off with two characters that are sort of a George and Lenny from "Of Mice and Men" so I thought it would be more of a sci-fi buddy adventure story. I was wrong they are part of an underdog rebellion that is fighting to save the entire universe from a super powerful being (mostly spiritual not physical?) that is hell bent on being the supreme emperor of the universe by destroying, controlling and or enslaving every species and race in the universe, and will most likely succeed. So instead of a buddy story I got an intergalactic revolution story. Cue up the opening theme from Star Wars.

The bulk of the story involves the rebels, who have discovered a drug that makes beings immune to the psychic control of this would be universal emperor/demon, the problem is their resources are decreasing rapidly and their population dying off. Also the wanna-be uber emperor with his psychic powers usually knows about things way before they get anywhere near him, and he has some moles in the system that are trying to stop the flow of this drug for obvious reasons.

Oh and the main plot point with Desmara? She was a smuggler or as the book calls them "runners". Apparently in the universe of this book these runners compete against each other. So the more cargo you haul around and deliver to people the bigger and better your reputation. Desmara was the best in the business, although she hid her identity since she was a human, humans in this universe are thought to have been killed off by the super-uber emperor and thought to be extinct. If her humanness was discovered she would be killed. So her public persona was named "The Ghost" it was also believed that The Ghost was a male his specific species not known due to him not being seen. The fact that the Ghost was really a human female was inconceivable.

For more information on this book and The D-Evolution Series you can visit the website for it: .

Death Drop by Sean Allen 2011 Vintage Six Media 560 pages. - **

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Recent Read Number 18

" The Stranger chuckled, "My name is Applegate,but that's of no importance" he said. "What's important right now at the moment is that punk baseball team you've been rooting for all these years." "
NOTE: This review may contain SPOILERS.
Since my transition time between reading a book and finally getting around to reviewing it is super long and getting longer this will be the next to the last "A Recent Read" review. Future book reviews I will just use the book title. To date I've been reviewing the books in the order that I read them, but I need to crank out a super late review for a book I got from a giveaway and it is far from the "next" book in my recently read queue. On to this book's review.

The Year The Yankees Lost The Pennant by Douglas Wallop

The Year The Yankees Lost The Pennant was written in the mid 1950s when the New York Yankees were all but unstoppable and were the Kings of the baseball diamond. It was first published in 1954. The story is the typical "Faustian bargain" of making a deal with the devil. In this case middle-aged Joe Boyd a diehard Washington Senators fan is tired of seeing his beloved Senators in the basement during the pennant race. One summer evening he meets a Mr. Applegate (aka: the Devil) they talk baseball, The Senators. They agree the team needs a super slugger and a great fielder they end up making a deal that will get the Senators into the pennant race. Applegate turns frumpy middle-aged Joe Boyd into young studly Joe Hardy the super player that the Senators need to pull them from the division cellar and put them on top of those "Damn Yankees".

Yes this is the book that inspired the Broadway musical "Damn Yankees".  The musical keeps the basic gist of the story and leaves out a character or two. One of the characters left out of the musical that I enjoyed reading in the book was a pitcher for the Senators who begins to suspect the truth about young Joe Hardy and tries to expose Joe as a fraud of some kind but fails.

The musical also doesn't really tell you that Lola is not just one of Applegate's subordinates for the fun of it. She had also made a deal with him to get a man to truly fall in love with her.

In 1955 when the musical "Damn Yankees" opened on Broadway a special paper flyer/wrapper (with actress Gwen Verdon in a baseball jersey, stockings, high-heels and not much else) like a cigar band was placed on the book's dust jacket. I think these were only produced in May 1955 for the musical's opening (I haven't found any good specific reliable info on this rare gem). Due to the rarity of this advertisement on the dustcover, which in themselves are somewhat of a rarity now, the copies with it on the cover are very expensive. I would love to get a copy of it, but I don't think I ever will due to the price.

Some of the later printings of the book have updated the year the story takes place from 1958 to 1964.

The Year The Yankees Lost The Pennant by Douglas Wallop 1954 W.W. Norton & Company Inc 250 pages. - *****

Friday, December 28, 2012

Fryday Fourtoon: Numba 20

"The Mood is right for a friendly chat to lead to romance."

Lucky Numbers  11, 14, 18, 25, 26, 41
(old one sided fortune)

*Fortunes and Lottery Numbers just posted for entertainment purposes only.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fryday Fourtoon Numba 19

If I'm not Mayan I'm Dyin', OK maybe not but today is the day many people think the world is going to end because of a misinterpretation of an ancient Mayan Calendar. It is just the end of an era, not the World. 
OK so now here is today's "Fryday Fourtoon"

"Behind bad luck comes good luck."

Daily Numbers  1 6 9
Lotto Six #'s  9 21 38 6 44 18

*Fortunes and Lottery Numbers just posted for entertainment purposes only.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fryday Fourtoon Numba 18

"You have an unusually magnetic personality."

Daily Numbers 3 3 9
Lotto Six #'s 76 9 59 20 23 26

*Fortunes and Lottery Numbers just posted for entertainment purposes only. 

Friday, December 07, 2012

Fryday Fourtoon Numba 17

"You have a quiet and unobtrusive nature."

Daily Numbers 3 3 6
Lotto Six #'s 11 7 6 15 39 9

*Fortunes and Lottery Numbers just posted for entertainment purposes only. 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Getting a little bit of a handle on it

Finally I am sort of disciplining myself to blog some more. I am getting many of my "planned" ideas onto paper, or rather onto the computer screen. At least for my other two blogs as of late: CaptKirk42's Trading Card Blog and Curly W Cards. Here on this blog it is a little different matter but I am making some progress.

My posting queue for my regular trading card blog is filling up quite nicely. I have one post per day for the next few days more or less. Now I have to get off my duff and get some of my post drafts in here finished and put in the queue here.

My minimum post quota has been reached as I knew it would be about a week or two ago. Earlier this year I wasn't too sure about that.

Hmmm found this blog with this cartoon:
Yep that is me, except my 'puter is a laptop, but still the idea is there.