2021 pick&mix


This is the second book based on the space western TV-show Firefly.

Publication year: 2019
Format: Audio
Running time: 8 hours 23 minutes
Narrator: James Anderson Foster

This second book focuses on Jayne Cobb. He’s my least favorite crew member so, I wasn’t thrilled about that. However, Mal and Inara get their own time in the spotlight, too.

The title gives away the inspiration to the story, the movie “Seven Samurai” and of course all the other stories inspired by “Seven Samurai”. The basic storyline follows the plot clearly. Our nine heroes come to defend a beleaguered little town on the edge of nowhere, against an enemy which has far more gunfighters. Of course, there’s more to the story than that.

Jayne gets a call from his former lover/partner-in-crime Temperance Jones, now McCloud. A group of bandits terrorizes the town where she lives in. The townsfolk don’t have a prayer against the ruthless men (and a few women). The Scourers’ leader, Elias Vandal, is rumored to be a former Reaver…

When the rest of the crew hears about the terrible situation, they’re ready to help. Except for Mal, who wants to get paid for it. But they head to the town, anyway. Near it, Serenity is shot down. Wash just manages to set the ship down.

Mal, Jayne, and Zoe head to the town. It turns out that the townsfolk are too afraid of the bandits to defend their homes and expect the crew of the Serenity to save them. So, the crew is in a tough situation.

And Temperance has a teenaged daughter. Named Jane.

This was mostly a fun listen. The banter between the crew was great and the story even has a couple of surprises in the end. However, while each of the crew got at least one chapter from their POV, some of them felt neglected. Simon, Wash, and Zoe in particular. River also felt off.

I was expecting the ending to be a cop-out, and it was. Of course. The crew must stay together and fly to the next adventure. In that respect, the whole Temperance and her daughter angle felt like a waste of time because nothing can come from it. It’s not a big problem, but it still makes the ending very obvious. Oh, and even since I fell in love with “Legends of Tomorrow” when I see a man with the name “Vandal” I just can’t help but to think of Vandal Savage. This time it sort of fit because the bandits’ leader’s name is Vandal, but it’s still distracting.

But this was a fun, entertaining episode.

The third book in the Daevabad trilogy.

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Publication year: 2020
Format: Audio
Running time: 28 hours 37 minutes
Narrator: Soneela Nankani
Publisher: Harper Voyager

This is a good ending to this Middle-Eastern fantasy series.

This third book has the three familiar POV characters as the first two. But the ending of the second book changed the status quo. This book starts only moments after the end of the second book.

Nahri and Ali are exiles, struggling to survive and to return to Daevabad. But they’re alone. What can just two people do against the powerful enemy who has taken over the city? Especially when the conqueror has Dara by their side? Meanwhile, Dara is having more and more doubts about the person he’s serving when he sees how the people of Daevabad are treated.

This is a huge book, almost 800 pages. It’s full of twists, surprising revelations, and our heroes learn surprising things about themselves and others.

However, because of the ending in the second book, Kingdom of Copper, many of the political machinations which were such an integral part of the first two books, are mostly abandoned. In fact, since Nahri and Ali aren’t in Daevabad anymore, the story takes us to new places and introduces new characters, most of whom I enjoyed.

On the negative side, I didn’t care about some family revelations which I don’t think were foreshadowed but came out of nowhere. There was also a big difference in tone between some chapters (the desperation in Daevabad and Dara’s personal hell compared to the Ali and Nahri chapters). I also think that Dara’s arch was pretty brutal and he never did find out some very crucial things. Also, he should have seen what his master was doing wrong quicker. Ali also didn’t really face consequences for his attitudes and actions.

Still, I enjoyed this ending for the most part.

I’ve joined Pick&Mix challenge this year, too.

This challenge is for people who don’t quite match up with more specific challenges. So whether you are a super busy person who can barely find time to read a dozen random books a year, or someone who has a yen to read the whole opus of a fave author, this is the place for you. Happy reading!
Challenge Details
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror
Challenge Span: January 2021 – December 2021

The Reading Levels are 10, 20, 40, or 80 books.
Once again I’m choosing just ten for the simple reason that I won’t be counting my Mount TBR books to this challenge. I also read some indy books which aren’t on this site.

Happy reading!

Books read:
1, S. A. Chakraborty: The Empire of Gold
2,