September Reviews

TV and films

The recommended if you can still find them anywhere.

Galaxy Quest***** (1999) I adore this film and was seriously happy to watch it yet again. A wonderful spoof of Star Trek but also a wonderful space adventure in its own right.

Manctopia**** BBC looking at the building boom in Manchester (where I live) and assessing the effects on various slices of the population.

Cyberbully**** Maisie Williams (think Arya in Game of Thrones) is alone on the screen for a riveting hour in a drama about cyber bullying.

Opioids Inc ****   Interesting look at the start of opioid addiction in US and the results, plus the influence of the big Pharmas.

Plague Fiction BBC4**** A look at literature written during and about plague, particularly the Black Death throughout the ages.

Des (and factual follow up) – with David Tennant****   The arrest, interrogation and trial of Desmond Nielson, who killed and dismembered at least fifteen young men. Gripping and gruesome. I quite like these docu-dramas that revisit crimes I was aware of at the time; somehow they put everything into context.

The Princess Spy **** Noor Inayat Khan was a young woman who was Indian royalty but died as a spy in occupied France, working on behalf of Britain, her adopted country. A blue plaque has recently been placed on her home in London.

The watchable but not highly recommended.

Secrets of Center Parcs*** How the holiday venues were founded and made popular.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1*** I watched with intense concentration so that I could write a fanfic for an auction bidder who is thankfully pleased with the result. Plot and characters are interesting but I could do without all the space battles and special effects so might not get round to watching Season 2.

The Cult that Stole Children (Storyville) ***   The chilling story of a woman and her friends who got away with kidnap, child abuse, and a great deal of falsification of documents in Australia. They had friends in high places and although they were brought back from US to answer for their crimes, they were merely fined. The woman died recently in her nineties, in a care home for those suffering from dementia. I would have liked more detail and less drama.

Books

The wonderful

Galaxies and Oceans by NR Walker***** An mm romantic mystery set on Kangaroo Island off the south coast of Australia. Gorgeous.

In a House of Lies by Ian Rankin***** Siobhan, Malcom and Rebus are catapulted into a cold case when a body is found in an abandoned car. The usual vivid detail about Edinburgh, the characters, and modern policing.

Romancing the Undercover Millionaire by Clare London***** An exciting mm thriller set in the wine trade.

Alike as two bees by Elin Gregory***** Stonemasons, stone carvers and the people who employ them in Ancient Greece. Lovely romantic mm story that brought the period and place to life. I was reminded of Tom Holt’s The Walled Garden but this had a more delicate touch.

Dark/Darker by Paul L Arvidson***** Bks 1 and 2 of Dark Trilogy. What I want to know is when book 3 is coming. It was supposed to be published earlier this year. Fascinating sci fi with memorable characters. To say anything further would give spoilers; a lot of the pleasure stems from the gradual unfolding of the plot and the world. Warning: it could have used better proof reading but in spite of that I give it five stars.

The excellent

In the Middle of Somewhere and Better than People by Roan Parrish**** Two sweet and well written rural mm romances, neither quite gripping enough to make me buy the sequels.

A Vineyard in Andalusia by Maria Dueñas****  Great historical detail about nineteenth century life in Mexico, Cuba and Spain and excellent writing but I didn’t like the characters.

The readable

The Unspoken by Ian K Smith*** Too many gangsters in Chicago. I nearly abandoned this thriller but wanted to see what happened. I believe there are sequels but I won’t be buying them. (I didn’t buy this; it was a free read from Amazon Prime.) Well done, just not to my taste.  

The Brandy Trade under the Ancien Régime by L.M.Cullen.*** Some interesting information about the growth of the international trade in spirits but too much dry financial and legal detail so I skimmed.

The Layered Mask by Sue Brown*** Regency mm with rather stereotypical characters and a somewhat contrived ending. Well written.

My Anti-Marriage by DJ Jamison*** Too much sex and a very slight story though it’s a pleasant plot and well written.

Short Stories

Rain by Nick Thiwerspoon*** A nice ficlet on Nick’s blog.

Abandoned

Nothing abandoned this month! Is this a first?

Fanfiction

Torchwood High by Pooky1234 **** Very clever and well done. Alexa has been promoting this on her author FB page and I can add my recommendation. A convoluted story about the staff (and a few kids) in a Welsh high school. However, I like Torchwood for the aliens and really missed them… It’s long: 290619 words so take a deep breath!  https://archiveofourown.org/works/22937830

Riders of the Purring Sage by Edonohana **** A delightful very short story (2906 words) about cat herding in the old wild west. No romance, just lots of cats and a possible ghost. Could be a good Hallowe’en read. http://archiveofourown.org/works/12934236

2 thoughts on “September Reviews

  1. I felt the same way about ST: Discovery – the special effects overwhelmed everything else, including characterisation. There were a few good characters but too many, even bridge crew, weren’t even named…

  2. Yes – if I hadn’t committed to writing a fic I might have abandoned it. I fhought it was all just a vehicle for special effects to wallow in their ability to make pretty pictures and explosions. I’d sooner have had a firework display. I wrote the fic – I found some of the characters interesting once I started to explore the idea – and my recipient is pleased, but still!

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