Fiendish Schemes

Fiendish Schemes
(Infernal Devices #2)
by K.W. Jeter (2013)

The world Dower left when he went into hiding was significantly simpler than the new, steam-powered Victorian London, a mad whirl of civilization filled with gadgets and gears in the least expected places. After accepting congratulations for his late father’s grandest invention—a walking, steam-powered lighthouse—Dower is enticed by the prospect of financial gain into a web of intrigue with ominously mysterious players who have nefarious plans of which he can only guess.

Another try at a K. W. Jeter book.  This is the second in his steampunk trilogy. The first “Morlock Night” I had read in 2013, so had little memory of it.

This is written in a very florid and verbose style, trying to emulate the ethos and style of the Victorian era. It is well done, and works as it’s written in first person and the protagonist is not that smart and almost an un-reliable narrator.

There is considerable detail and explanation of the invented world. And it does stretch on with excessive dialogue. But at almost halfway through it becomes clear that this is a case of style over substance. Dower gets taken to a brothel and the author seems intent on explaining more of his world than pushing on with the story.

It this point I became frustrated and stopped reading.

Clone Wars 1.20-22

Star Wars – The Clone Wars

1.20 “Innocents of Ryloth”
With the space blockade around Ryloth destroyed, Obi-Wan must lead a small clone force into a droid occupied town to sabotage their anti-aircraft guns. Obi-Wan’s mission is complicated when he learns the town’s inhabitants are being used as living shields. A pair of clones in his platoon forges an unlikely friendship with a refugee Twi’lek girl, Numa, who has been orphaned by the war. Through their relationship with her, the clones begin to understand the real cost of the war.

1.21 “Liberty on Ryloth”
The battle for Ryloth rages as the Republic attempts to drive off the occupying droid army led by Techno Union foreman Wat Tambor. Mace Windu must convince Twi’lek freedom fighter, Cham Syndulla, to help him save the capital city from the droids’ destruction.

1.22 “Hostage Crisis”
In an attempt to force the release of the crime lord Ziro the Hutt from prison, bounty hunters seize control of the Senate Building and hold members of the Senate hostage. Cad Bane, the leader of the operation, with the help of bounty hunter Aurra Sing, issues his demands to Chancellor Palpatine.

 

Mandalor Armour

The Mandalorian Armor
(Star Wars: The Bounty Hunter Wars #1)
by K.W. Jeter (1998)

He’s the most feared and successful bounty hunter in the galaxy. He is Boba Fett, and even the most hardened criminals tremble at his name. Now he faces the deadliest challenge of his infamous career–an all-out war against his most dangerous enemies.

K. W. Jeter has always been a reliable author, notable in his ‘Kim Oh’ series of thrillers. In this Star Wars book, he is not so good. Where, in the thrillers things move fast and break, here it’s all exposition and talk. Boba Fett is first introduced after his experience in the Sarlac pit of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. Turns out he survives, just. He is taken for recuperation by an unknown alien.

Then a young woman turns up looking for him. It’s not clear she is and what she wants. Then there is a jump back in time to Boba Fett and his working to plot against smugglers. It’s all a bit slow and political. Nothing much happens, and the jumping between timelines doesn’t help.

So ultimately I tired of the lack of any clear plot and just gave up.

Clone Wars 1.06-1.19

1.16 “The Hidden Enemy”
Anakin and Obi-Wan lead Republic forces in an attempt to defeat the droid armies and free the planet of Christophsis from the Separatist siege. When the Republic is ambushed and forced to retreat, it becomes clear that someone in their midst is a traitor.

Another good episode illustrating that not all clones think alike.

1.17 “Blue Shadow Virus”
The Republic discovers a Separatist bio-weapon lab hidden on the planet of Naboo. Rather than wait for help, Padmé explores the lab with Jar Jar. Dr. Nuvo Vindi, a mad scientist has been developing a lethal virus.

Another plot filled episode. Things really move, a lot of running and exploration.

1.18 “Mystery of a Thousand Moons”
Dr. Vindi manages to activate the dreaded Blue Shadow Virus, infecting Ahsoka and Padmé. Anakin and Obi-Wan must travel to the mysterious planet, Lego, to secure the only known antidote to the sickness.

Back to Anakin and Obi-Wan  who retrieve a root that magically fixes everything.

1.19 “Storm Over Ryloth”
Ryloth, home world of the Twi’lek people, has been subjected to military occupation by the droid army of the Separatists, and surrounded by a blockade of Trade Federation battleships. Ahsoka, for no apparent reason is now in charge of a squadron. Everyone dies, except for the plotoniun that saves her.

Then Anakin takes charge and destroys a very expensive spacecraft, just to make a point (that he’s the most awesome being in the universe).

 

Clone Wars 1.12-1.15

1.12 “The Gungan General”
Anakin and Obi-Wan have been duped and are being held for ransom, along with Count Dooku, by the pirate chief Hondo Ohnaka. But don’t worry, Ja Jar Binks is in the way.

1.13 “Jedi Crash
Anakin and Ahsoka arrive at a pitched sky battle to help besieged Jedi General Aayla Secura. Anakin is gravely injured in the fight. Aayla and Ahsoka, along with the now-wounded Anakin, Rex, and the surviving clones, crash land on the uncharted grass-covered planet, Maridun.

This episode I recall from the first time I watched it. Mainly due to the pacifist vs warrior theme.

1.14 “Defenders of Peace”
Tee Watt Kaa refuses to shelter the Jedi from arriving Separatist forces, fearing that such an action would unnecessarily bring his neutral people into the war. Ultimately, the villagers have to decide whether they will lay down to the Separatists or fight with the Jedi to defend their village.

1.15 “Trespass” 
On the desolate ice world of Orto Plutonia, Anakin and Obi-Wan investigate the disappearance of a clone security force stationed on a remote outpost. The Jedi, soon discover their clone troopers were attacked by a tribe of furry natives known as the Talz.

There is a lot of plot in this episode, from introduction of a new species to resolution of a long standing war.

 

Clone Wars 1.09-1.11

1.09 “Cloak of Darkness”
Ahsoka and Jedi Master Luminara Unduli escort the captured notorious Separatist leader Nute Gunray to Coruscant so he can stand trial for his crimes. Count Dooku has sent his assassin, Asajj Ventress, to free their captive.

An excellent episode as it’s the secondary characters that do most of the fighting. And it’s not clear that any need to survive the season.

 

1.10 “Lair of Grievous”
Jedi Master Kit Fisto and his former Padawan, the Mon Calamari Jedi Nahdar Vebb, track escaped prisoner Nute Gunray to a remote world. Learning that Count Dooku has led the Jedi there in order to punish Grievous for his recent failures, the general is determined to prove his abilities and destroy the Jedi.

Another great episode with an (almost) unexpected ending.

1.11 “Dooku Captured”
The Sith lord has already been captured by pirates. Hondo Ohnaka and his gang of pirates hold Dooku captive in their den on Florrum, for ransom. Anakin and Obi-Wan go to see if the offer is too good to be true.

Why must the Jedi Council always send these two to act as ‘negotiators’ ?. They never succeed or get along.

 

ST:D 3.06

Star Trek Discovery 3.06 Scavengers

 

Burnham and Georgiou run off to get her boyfriend banc and retrieve a ‘Black Box’ that may provide answers to the Burn.

Yet again, Burnham can’t be trusted. And it wasn’t that urgent. The Discovery could have done missions, but for tension and drama it had to be this way.

Georgiou seems to be partially in the alternative universe, but she is a major character so can’t die at this stage.

There were some impressive sets and CGI on the rust coloured world they visited.

 

Clone Wars 1.05-1.08

Star Wars – The Clone Wars – Season 1

1.05 “Rookies”
Alone on a distant outpost, clone officers Rex and Cody must inspire their rookie unit to believe in themselves to stave off a droid commando invasion. Thone focuses on a group to Troopers.

1.06 “Downfall of a Droid”
R2-D2 is lost during a fierce space battle—and Anakin must find him before the Separatists discover the Jedi military secrets locked in his memory banks. Introducing ‘Bad Droid’.

1.07 “Duel of the Droids”
Anakin, Ahsoka, and replacement droid R3-S6 embark on a dual rescue/sabotage mission when they discover that R2-D2 is being held at General Grievous’s secret enemy listening post.

1.08 “Bombad Jedi”
On a diplomatic mission to the planet Rodia, Padmé discovers that her old friend and fellow Republic senator Onaconda Farr has allied his planet with the Separatists.

Jar Jar Binks out for another comedic adventure!

 

Clone Wars 1.03-1.04

1.03 “Shadow of Malevolence”
With the help of his Padawan, Ahsoka, and Jedi Master Plo Koon, Anakin utilizes new long-range Y-wing bombers to lead a bold strike on General Grievous’s warship, the Malevolence, and its destructive weapon.

1.04 “Destroy Malevolence”
Padmé Amidala and C-3PO are taken hostage by General Grievous, leaving Anakin and Obi-Wan to save the senator and complete the destruction of the Malevolence.

Clone Wars 1.01-1.02

So Ko-Katan turns up in the Mandalorian. Turns out she was a character in the animated series ‘The Clone Wars’ and ‘Rebels’. It’s time to go back and catch up. I watched ‘The Clone Wars’ when it first arrived around 2008-2009 So this is a re-watch/refresher of the seven season show.

 

1.01 “Ambush”
Jedi Master Yoda must face off against Count Dooku’s dreaded assassin Asajj Ventress and her massive droid army to prove the Jedi are strong enough to protect a strategic planet and forge a treaty for the Republic. Ventress fails against Yoda, so Dooku tells Ventress to kill the king of the planet, who wants to sign the treaty with the Republic. Yoda protects the king from Ventress, who then flees.

This first episode seems to have the objective of showing Yoda as a bad-ass warrior and leader. He does show this, but only at critical times in the plot when needed. Otherwise it’s up to the troopers to blast the enemy.

The writing also emphasis’s the humour and flippancy in the droid army. They are clearly al the low end of the AI spectrum.

 

1.02 “Rising Malevolence”
An attack by a devastating new Separatist weapon—the powerful starship Malevolence—leaves Jedi Master Plo Koon and his clone troopers struggling to survive until Anakin and Ahsoka can find them.

This episode kicks off a long story involving Count Douka and Anakin Skywalker. It also introduces  Ahsoka, his padawan apprentice.