All posts by ntbadmin

Ascendance

Ascendance
(The Second DemonWars Saga #1)
by R.A. Salvatore (2002)
 

Jilseponie Wyndon (Pony) becomes Queen. However unknown to her, the child she thought lost never died. Aydrian was stolen away by the queen of the elves. He is raised by the Elves, then joins with his mother’s enemy to overthrow the Monarchy and install himself as King.


The first of the second trilogy, this is more human centred politics that wouldn’t be out of place in a George RR Martin novel. Not much action, but with a surprising ending.

Good Place 3.08

The Good Place 3.08 – The Worst Possible Use of Free Will
 

This is mostly a throwback to a previous reset where Eleanor falls in love with Chidi. Then it’s all about free will vs determinism.

This episode seems to cover ground we have traveled.

At the end, Shawn and Vicky travel to Earth via an illegal portal.

Saul 4.10

Better Call Saul 4.10 – Winner

 

The final in the last broadcast series. Series 5 has been green-lit and should appear next year.

Kim helps Jimmy’s appeal by arranging public displays where he feigns grief for Chuck. Jimmy participates in interviewing Chuck’s scholarship candidates and connects with one whose past includes shoplifting.

At his appeal, Jimmy speaks extemporaneously about how he wants to bring credit to the McGill name if he’s allowed to practice law again. His appeal succeeds, and even Kim believes him, but he reveals it was a con, and his declaration that won’t practice under his own name stuns her.

Mike intends to kill him, so Werner calls his wife at the airport and convinces her to return home, after which Mike shoots him.

Gus shows Gale the nearly completed lab, constructed according to Gale’s design.

Until the next season, sometime 2019 it’s bye from Saul.

 

Saul 4.09

Better Call Saul 4.09 – Wiedersehen
 

Wiedersehen is German for “See you again”. Now I am getting up to date as this was originally aired on October 1, 2018 in the United States.

This starts with another elaborate scam by Jimmy and Kim who surreptitiously replace approved plans for a Mesa Verde branch in Lubbock, Texas with plans for a bigger building.

Jimmy answers the questions eloquently at his reinstatement hearing, but his application is denied.

Lalo visits Hector and improves his communication ability with a concierge bell Lalo kept as a souvenir. This will be the bell we see in Breaking Bad.

Werner’s crew blows up the rock preventing construction of the elevator and celebrate that their work is almost done, but Werner misses his wife and escapes.

Rainer Bock as Werner Ziegler

Space Force

Space Force
by Jeremy Robinson (2018)
 

Five years ago, the United States Space Force became a reality. And while those writing the checks took things very seriously, the other military branches did not. As a result, Space Force was populated by undesirables: men and women who made too many mistakes, didn’t follow the rules, or…slept with the wrong general’s daughter. Three times. On camera. It was a mistake, okay?

My name is Captain Ethan Stone, a decorated member of SEAL Team 6 turned Space Force ‘recruit.’ While the powers-that-be attempted to make Space Force an embarrassment, they also sent some of the very best minds, fighters, and pilots to the program, because sometimes the best of us decide to take a stand against those same powers. Yeah, yeah. Not me. Though I seem to recall I was standing when…

Sadly, this is the least successful of all the Jeremy Robinson novels. His take on humour is not successful, trying to come out of the situations and characters. The prose style is the same, so the narrators do not add to the humour. This is the first problem, the story is told in first person, from two protagonists, a man and a woman. I often forgot who the POV character was, and by the middle of the story got a bit lost in what was happening. It didn’t help that the story is apparently bases in ‘Battle Royale’ a film I have not seen.

Things do pick up in second half of the story, and there are amusing interviews after the main plot ends. But overall, it comes off as a rather average adventure alien invasion novel.

Saul 4.08

Better Call Saul 4.08 – Coushatta
 

Kim enlists S&C employees in Huell’s defense and indicates she’ll bury Suzanne in paperwork. Jimmy takes a bus ride, writes supportive mail for Huell, and enlists passengers to help.

This is Kim’s scheme, and it looks like a lot of money and effort to keep Heull out of jail. She does appear to be enjoying herself.

A fully-healed Nacho is more prominent in the Salamanca organization, and trains Domingo to take a hard line with dealers who don’t meet their quota. “Lalo” Salamanca arrives to aid in running the business.

Good Place 3.07

The Good Place 3.07 – A Fractured Inheritance

Eleanor’s Mother and her boyfriend

Eleanor gets to confront her mother, Donna about what an awful mother she was.

In Budapest, Tahani attempts to make amends with her annoyingly successful sister, Kamilah.

I didn’t buy Leslie Grossman as Eleanor’s mother. Leslie is 47, Kriseen Bell 38 only nine years younger. And Dave, the new father-in-law played by Andrew Daly is also 47. The Tahini story was better.

This episode was a bit slower and lacked the pacing of previous episodes.

 

 

Nutty Pair

A Pair of Nuts on the Throne
Robot vs Dragons #3
by Simon Haynes (2018)
 

The third and concluding novel.

With Hal in the picture, you can be sure that him and Clunk will meet up. And they do, but fairly late in the story and not as expected.

There are plenty of visual jokes and you can just image the author thinking how they would look in the screen.

It’s a satisfying conclusion to the series, however it does suffer from a few too many plot lines. I do miss when it was just Hal and Clunk vs the universe.

 

Saul 4.07

Better Call Saul 4.07 – Something Stupid
In a time jump sequence of several months that advances the series to early 2004, Jimmy and Kim are shown to be drifting further apart.

Kim’s arm has healed, and to Jimmy’s chagrin she thrives at Schweikart & Cokely, with Mesa Verde’s expansion continuing and Kim finding time to work on the pro bono criminal defense cases that give her satisfaction.

Jimmy plans his return to practicing law, including searching for an office. His business re-selling prepaid phones on the street continues to grow, and he increasingly uses his “Saul Goodman” alias.

Starting to get the sense that Kim is not that happy in her job. Maybe  it is not what she wanted.

Saul 4.06

Better Call Saul 4.06 – Pinata
Kim juggles Mesa Verde work with pro bono criminal defense cases, and Jimmy struggles financially during his suspension.

Kim joins Schweikart and Cokely, enabling her to handle both Mesa Verde and criminal cases, but disappointing Jimmy, who realizes the death of his dream to re-start the Wexler-McGill office.

Jimmy uses his $5,000 inheritance to buy prepaid cell phones for street resale.

Mike creates secret living and recreation facilities for Werner’s crew, who begin constructing Gus’s meth “superlab”.