Shadow Empire

Shadows of the Empire
by Steve Perry (1996)


The book introduces Prince Xizor, the alien overlord of the largest criminal organization in the galaxy. His goal is to take Darth Vader’s place at Emperor Palpatine’s side. The novel also resumes the storylines of the usual characters. Han Solo is still frozen in carbonite, being taken to the gangster Jabba the Hutt by the bounty hunter Boba Fett. It shows Princess Leia’s secret search for Boba Fett, the construction of Luke Skywalker’s new lightsaber and Darth Vader’s search for his son. It introduces a new character to the saga, Dash Rendar, a Han Solo-type smuggler, who acts primarily as a replacement for Han Solo and as a part of the action sequences.


Turns out that this is a novelization of a game. It’s a very average book, things happen in a very pre-determined a cliched way. The writing is OK, just not very inspired. So an OK book, but only for the fans.

PM Quits

John Phillip Key
(born 9 August 1961)

The 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand, in office since 2008. He led the New Zealand National Party from 2006 and has announced his resignation on 5 December 2016, effective from 12 December 2016.

Midsomer 18.2

Midsomer Murders
Series 18 Episode 2 “The Incident at Cooper Hill”
Originally broadcast 13 January 2016

Mysterious lights are seen in the sky over famous UFO hot-spot Cooper Hill. When a local forest-ranger suffers a strange death, the visiting UFO spotters are convinced aliens are responsible. DCI Barnaby and DS Nelson unearth suspicions, betrayals and long-buried secrets in their search for the truth.


Here is their attempt at Science Fiction/Horror with Military involvement. It starts off interestingly, people get drowned in slime with a hint of conspiracy. Unfortunately it all ends in the usual sex and love triangle. There was potential here to inject some REAL science fiction, but the writers took the easy way out.

Racing Glaciers

This is a progressive rock band from Macclesfield, England.

They have a nice full sound and fit into the modern rock era with good, writing and pleasant vocals. A great sense of rhythm leads to some foot tapping tunes.

 

Darth Bane Trilogy

One to embody the power, the other to crave it.
–Darth Bane, Dark Lord of the Sith

This is a story of the Old Empire.
Sometimes the bad guys get to have all the fun, here they are the brooding serious types. It’s the descent that’s compelling here.
Recommended to all Star Wars fans.


Path of Destruction (Star Wars: Darth Bane, #1)
by Drew Karpyshyn (2007)

 

On the run from vengeful Republic forces, Dessel, a Cortosis miner, vanishes into the ranks of the Sith army and ships out to join the bloody war against the Republic and its Jedi champions. There, Dessel’s brutality, cunning, and exceptional command of the Force swiftly win him renown as a warrior. But in the eyes of his watchful masters, a far greater destiny awaits him.
As an acolyte in the Sith academy, studying the secrets and skills of the dark side, Dessel embraces his new identity: Bane. But the true test is yet to come. In order to gain acceptance into the Brotherhood of Darkness, he must defy the most sacred traditions and reject all he has been taught. It is a trial by fire in which he must surrender fully to the dark side–and forge from the ashes a new era of absolute power.


Rule of Two (Star Wars: Darth Bane #2)
by Drew Karpyshyn (2007)

The story of a young mans journey from innocence to evil. That man was Darth Bane, a twisted genius whose iron will, fierce ambition, and strength in the dark side of the Force made him a natural leader among the Sith until his radical embrace of an all-but-forgotten wisdom.


Dynasty of Evil (Star Wars: Darth Bane, #3)
by Drew Karpyshyn (2009)

Twenty years have passed since Darth Bane, reigning Dark Lord of the Sith, demolished the ancient order devoted to the dark side and reinvented it as a circle of two: one Master to wield the power and pass on the wisdom, and one apprentice to learn, challenge, and ultimately usurp the Dark Lord in a duel to the death. But Bane’s acolyte, Zannah, has yet to engage her Master in mortal combat and prove herself a worthy successor. Determined that the Sith dream of galactic domination will not die with him, Bane vows to learn the secret of a forgotten Dark Lord that will assure the Sith’s immortality–and his own.

 

Cataylst

Catalyst
A Rogue One Novel (Star Wars Disney Canon Novel)
by James Luceno (2016)

 

A prequel novel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the upcoming film set before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, that reveals the untold story of the rebel effort to steal the plans to the Death Star.


 

This is a very workman like book. It ticks all the boxes of characters and settings necessary for the new film. The problem is, that’s all. It’s not inspiring, adventurous or engaging. There are too many characters, too many plot threads. It was probably rushed out for the movie. So an OK book but probably not necessary to read before the new film.

 

Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde The Musical

Music & lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe & Nell Benjamin
Book by Heather Hach
Based on a novel by Amanda Brownand the Metro Goldwyn Mayer motion picture

Directed by Stephen Robertson
Musical Direction by Richard Marrett

The hit comedy film becomes a fresh, fun and upbeat musical that explodes on stage.

Perky, blonde college student Elle Woods has her life all planned out – but when her boyfriend dumps her for someone more “serious”, Elle follows him to Harvard Law School to prove she’s capable of much more than anyone thought…


It’s a vivacious heady mix of pink, pop music and prancing about. What I liked was the consistantly good music score throughout. Everyone was good, from the lead to minor characters.


Cast

Ellie Neal: Elle Woods
Damon Grebert-Wade: Warner Huntington III
Cameron Douglas: Emmett Forrest
Ali Harper: Paulette Bonafonté
Roy Snow: Professor Callahan
Jane Leonard: Vivienne Kensington
Lucy Porter: Enid Hoopes
Kira Josephson: Brooke Wyndham/Ensemble
Nomi Cohen: Serena
Erin Wells: Margot
Monique Clementson: Pilar
Emily Burns: D.A. Joyce Riley/Ensemble/Understudy Elle
Holly Stokes: Kate/Chutney/Ensemble
Kim Garrett: Judge/Store Manager/Ensemble
Ben Freeth: Aaron/Ensemble
Olly Humphries: Kyle/Ensemble
Greta Casey-Solly: Mom/Whitney/Ensemble
Nick Purdie: Dad/Winthrop/Dewey/Ensemble
Emiliano Pereyra: Nikos/Grandmaster Chad/Padamadan/Ensemble
Brylee Lockhart: Courtney/Cashier/Ensemble
Isaac Pawson: Carlos/Pforzheimer/Ensemble
Jack Marshall: Lowell/Reporter/Ensemble
Jeremy Hinman: Ensemble
Hayden Joseph Withers: Kiki/Ensemble
Julia Bell: Bookish Client/Ensemble
Gemma Kearney: Dance Captain/Ensemble/Stenographer

Band

Richard Marrett: Conductor / Keyboard
Ben Eldridge: Guitar
Tim Sellars: Drums
Chris Wethey: Bass
Matthew Everingham: Assistant Conductor / Keyboard
Hamish Oliver: Alternate Keyboard

Japanese Disco

That’s right, it’s Japanese and Disco. Just as the British bands like the Beatles and Rolling Stones took rhythm and blues from American and turned it into hit songs, this artist takes Disco/Funk, adds modern audio production and really pumps up the bass.

Midsomer 18.1

Midsomer Murders
Series 18 Episode 1 “Habeas Corpus”
Originally broadcast 6 January 2016

When wealthy landowner Gregory Lancaster’s body goes missing on the night of his death, a sinister web of secrets and lies is exposed in the village of Little Malton. DCI Barnaby, DS Nelson and new Forensic Pathologist Kam Karimore are drawn into a macabre world of body-snatching as they seek to identify the villain.
First appearance of Dr. Kam Karimore.


Missing bodies and murder. This suffers from the inactivity of the main police protagonists. Most of the story happens not because of Barnaby and Nelson’s sleuthing, but through the interactions of the characters.