Retro Reread #6: First King of Shannara by Terry Brooks

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This is my first Retro Reread pick that I didn’t like rereading as much as I liked reading it the first time. It has been about ten plus years since I read it. This was one of my dad’s favorite fantasy series so I was determined to read it too and I started with this prequel and had no idea what the rest of the series would be like. It was dark and sometimes quite hopeless but I had no idea how it was going to end. Knowing how everything was going to go down already made this hard to reread this month.

The Druid Bremen has confirmed that the renegade Druid Brona is still alive and gearing up to take over the world. Bremen and his friends are determined to stop him from succeeding.

What got me through were the characters Bremen and Mareth. They were both fascinating to me the first time but I was able to understand them better the second time around.

Gundam Seed Episode 17: Payback

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When Waltfeld attacks Tassil he does destroy their food supplies and stockpiles of weapons but he doesn’t kill anyone. (There are a few who get injured though.)

In response the young Desert Dawn people go after Waltfeld’s force. Not wise. Most of them die then Kira catches up to the survivors and defeats Waltfeld’s troops. But then he gets out of the Strike and gives Cagalli a piece of his mind about how stupid she was to go after the ZAFT group. He also smacks her.

Honestly they were pretty stupid. The situation was pretty bad though. They felt powerless in the face of their families not having food and shelter. I do feel like they should have focused on their feelings of relief at their family members being alive. But I can understand why they were upset and decided to go after Waltfeld.

Kokoro by Natsume Soseki

Book Review Red and Black

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I finished this one in the middle of the night last night because it was due today and I was determined to finish.

Honestly, I’m still processing.

At the center of the book is a student and the man he calls Sensei. This book is also about family and friendship plus it is about the transition from the Japan of Sensei’s youth to modern Japan.

This is a character driven story. At first the student is the narrator so we get what he’s thinking and feeling and how he perceives others. Then Sensei is the narrator and his section mostly focuses on his past because he is attempting to explain why he is the way he is.

After I finished I realized that Sensei has depression but it wasn’t until I got his perspective that I understood.

That’s also why I cautiously give a trigger warning. The word “depression” may not be used but Sensei feels the symptoms. Suicide is also a prominent part of this book.

Overall, I found this book compelling. As soon as I met the characters in the first chapter I wanted to know more about them and what their lives were like during the late 1800’s through early 1900’s in Japan.

Gundam Seed Episode 16: Cagalli Returns

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And thank goodness, Cagalli and Kira reunite. Cagalli has flaws (including an anger management problem) but I love her. I think she’s an amazing female character.

Desert Dawn helps Kira blow up Waltfeld’s attack force and he withdraws. The Archangel and Desert Dawn decide to team up for mutual benefit.

I love that Waltfeld is a coffee snob. His relationship with Dacosta is also pretty funny too.

But what isn’t fun is the fight between Sai and Kira over Flay. This is definitely indicative of where Kira’s head is at. She’s not worth it, guys.

Then Waltfeld attacks the town where Desert Dawn’s families live.

Gundam Seed Episode 15: Burning Clouds of Sand

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I’m going to focus on something that was different in the remastered version I watched through the Gundam Info channel on YouTube.

The Archangel has arrived on Earth. Cagalli and her friends from Desert Dawn are observing as well as Waltfeld and the ZAFT forces he commands.

Then the Archangel is under attack.

Kira gets up from his bunk leaving Flay, who we can tell is naked under the sheet, to go fight. We can pretty much guess what has happened between them even if we aren’t shown.

In the remastered version we do get blink-and-you-miss-it snippets of Kira flashing back to having sex with Flay while he is battling. This helped me understand his mental state better. I felt like it was important to be shown this emotional conflict inside him. He’s just been through this awful moment with the refugees being blown up right in front of him. He’s also feeling very alone. Then you have Flay comforting him and it takes that extra step to intimacy. Kira’s had a crush on her for a long time. Whether this is their first time having sex at all or not it is still a very emotional thing between them. And she was unofficially with Sai before this.

Keeping all that emotional soup in mind helped me understand why Kira is so angry and aggressive as he launches and as he battles. Having those snippets added more emotional complexity to the scene.

Operation 

I don’t want to permanently remove my heart

Just a temporary operation

The doctors can put it back when it’s healed

Gundam Seed Episode 14: The Respective Solitudes

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The first part of this episode is dedicated to reviewing the first few episodes then we get information about George Glenn, the first Coordinator. We also find out about the “Whale Stone” which comes from Jupiter and looks like a whale with wings.

And back to the Archangel trying to go through Earth’s atmosphere. Kira is in the strike but they aren’t entering in the same place so the Archangel has to change its trajectory to save him. So they end up landing in the desert, in the middle of ZAFT territory. Kira has to recover from reentry because his cockpit got really hot. Flay is determined to take care of him and pretty much dumps Sai. Flay also gives Kira back the flower that the little girl gave to him. Then she holds him while he cries. And her face is so evil. More cringing from me and telling Kira to run. He’s so vulnerable and she is so scary.

But we also catch a glimpse of Cagalli and Dacosta and that made me happy. Waltfeld is such a fabulous character so I’m looking forward to his episodes.

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the Broke and the Bookish. This week it is about series I keep meaning to start. I’ve mentioned most of these at some point. Eventually I’ll get to them, maybe… And then I have two series I would like to finish.

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Two sci-fi series!

Binti and Home by Nnedi Okorafor (I don’t think this series is finished but it sounds really interesting. The main character has to leave her home planet to go to school.)

Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler (including Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago) I’m so intimidated by this one. I know it will be amazing and that I’ll love it but I’m still nervous.

Two fantasy series!

People love The Fifth Season and it sounds amazing but I’m definitely intimidated. The Way of Kings is a big book. Also, the series isn’t done and from what I understand there’s supposed to be seven books total and the third one just came out. Plus, Brandon Sanderson has been a hit and a miss with me. I loved Elantris but was barely able to get through Mistborn.

Two fantasy series I want to finish! These are the books in the series I haven’t read yet.

And!

Gundam Seed Episode 13: Stars Falling in Space

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So Flay hugs Kira then they chat then she kisses him. During that whole sequence I was cringing and telling Kira to run away. Even though he is in space and there’s no gravity. Also, he’s fictional. (Side note: I am perpetually fascinated by how they get around the ship in zero gravity.)

Battle commences and the Archangel is ordered to descend to Earth.

But the shuttle full of Heliopolis refugees gets between Yzak and Kira and Yzak destroys it.

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