Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Torchwood: "Children of Earth: Day One" - There is some sort of almost subtle difference between this Torchwood and the previous ones. Like the pace is slower, but it's not. Like there is more realism, perhaps. Whatever it is, this doesn't feel like the episodes that came before. The events aren't so surprising... it is Torchwood after all, but the feel is slightly different. And the details! I loved seeing more background into some of the characters. Then there were the twists. At least one major twist I wasn't expecting in the slightest, and a couple more that were nicely hidden until they sprung. Waiting for the next episode as I write this!
  • Torchwood: "Children of Earth: Day Two" - This one starts with a bang, and doesn't stop. Starting with the running and ending with a jailbreak unlike any other. I like the civil servants' kids, with their mocking the voice.
  • Torchwood: "Children of Earth: Day Three" - Whew. This one was MUCH slower than the previous episode, but had some good suspense moments. The cliffhanger was almost expected. Not as much a twist as it could've been, I suppose. The groundwork was laid for it quite nicely. Ah, Jack... not always on the side of the angels.
  • Torchwood: "Children of Earth: Day Four" - Ianto is one of my favorite characters. He's a sweet man with an innocence that is protected by knowledge and skills. And he clearly loves his family, in all aspects. As for the aliens... oooh, what they're asking for! And I was not expecting the end of this episode. I think the finale of this is going to be painful.
  • Torchwood: "Children of Earth: Day Five" - Oh whoa. No. No no no. Jack, you... you... ug. Totally in character, and yet. Whoa. Manohmanohman. I can't see this ending any other way, but... wow. Just, wow. All-in-all, a pretty incredible story. Not what I was expecting, but then I'm never sure what to expect from this show. I just wonder where it will go from here. I just can't imagine how it will/can go on.

This week's comic book related review is Owly Volume Five: Tiny Tales by Andy Runton. This is a collection of Owly short stories, some that I'd read before in Free Comic Book Day books, and many that I'd never seen before. I love Owly in part because it makes me slow down. I read very fast, but Owly forces me to think a bit harder and reread for full understanding. This is another great volume of this character, and definitely worth getting for any kid of any age in your life.

On our trip to Asilomar, we listened to an audio book. It was Timeline by Michael Crichton. Eric checked it out because it's a book on time travel, only not really (ha), and it turned out to be a fun listen while going through endless deserts and mountain plains. The plot involves a group of students who travel back in time to rescue their professor while one of their number in the present desperately tries to help fix the machine that sent them there. It was a good listen, but the long scientific explanations might have bored me if I was trying to read them, no matter how plausible Crichton makes them seem. The motive of the villain of the piece was remarkably stupid, and I kept waiting for an exciting reason for all of the events to have happened only to be let down at the end. Otherwise, it was a ripping yarn, with lots of good history lessons. I probably wouldn't seek it out, but for a long drive it was worth listening to.

My library book this week was Ranger's Apprentice Book Two: The Burning Bridge by John Flanagan. After reading the first book in this series, I had to check out the second, and it was also good. A nice snack-like read, with enough depth to keep an adult reader interested. The first book in the series was a standalone, this tale has a cliff-hanger ending. It is a complete story in itself, but yeah, I definitely want to know what happens next.

Another book I read this week was Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Suzanne Collins, Book Two in the Underland Chronicles. After reading the first book, I put this one on hold immediately. After finishing this one, I put the rest of the series on hold, and will no doubt read them fairly soon. The story takes place a few months after the first book, when the main character and his family believe they've gotten away from the Underland, only to be pulled back into it by a second prophecy. My same complaint remains from the first book: the writing is a little simple for my tastes. It's aimed at young readers, namely 11-year-olds, and it's a quick read for an adult. Oddly enough, like the second book in the Ranger's Apprentice series, this book also ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. A good little read, I enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Agatha Christie this week was The Body in the Library from 1942. A stuffy old rich couple are surprised to find the body of a dead girl in their library, and they call in Miss Marple to help sleuth out what really happened. Nice twists in this one. No, I didn't solve it. But the levels upon levels made it pretty unlikely for me to sort out. Very much a fun story. Marple stories seem to lean toward the absurd.