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Number of pages: 240

The one thing I feel bad about is dismissing this book as a child, as reading it again I've realised this is quite good.

This Narnia book stands out from the others in that it does not feature characters from our world being whisked into the universe of Narnia. Here, the main character Shasta lives in the fictional Calormen, one of the lands that lies close to Narnia.

At the start, Shasta escapes from his cruel father by stealing a visitor's horse, who turns out to be a talking horse from Narnia. On their journey to Narnia they meet another traveller, a girl called Aravis (and her horse Hwin); they also discover a plot to invade Narnia.

Aslan appears as usual, at first appearing frightening, as Shasta thinks he is being attacked, but later on Aslan gives a great speech about the number of forms he has appeared in (at one point he appears as a cat), and how he has had an influence throughout Shasta's life, protecting him. The whole idea is that Shasta has to pay attention to Aslan, and my understanding (from reading "The Narnia Code") is that this book is all about listening out for God. The book also has a few references to remaining vigilant and not falling asleep, which put me in mind of many church sermons I've heard.

Shasta also discovers that another character, Prince Corin, is his exact double. This leads to a plot twist at the end that I could see coming a mile off, but which did not detract from the book's quality. As this book's hero himself says, "I might really have guessed it".

Overall, I enjoyed how simplistic this book was, with a straightforward adventure story, with a climactic battle similar to some of the other Narnia titles. I remember one moment that seemed unusually gruesome for a book that a reading age that seems to be even younger than Harry Potter; at one point, Aravis tells of how she almost committed suicide before being talked out of it by Hwin (this is possibly the darkest moment in the whole Narnia series).

This book was the fifth written (the story is alluded to in the book written just before this, "The Silver Chair"), but falls third in the series. This might seem odd, as at first it appears to only loosely connect to the other books through the presence of Aslan and Narnia. There is a good explanation for this, but it will give spoilers for "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe".

[The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Spoilers]

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe tells of how Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter, with Aslan's help, defeat the White Witch, who has turned Narnia into eternal winter, with no Christmas. At the end of the book, the four children are crowned as kings and queens and grow up to reach adulthood, before they stumble out of the wardrobe and (presumably through Aslan's magic) are turned into children again, while only a few moments passed in their own world.

This story noticeably takes place between the coronation and when they finally left Narnia; Lucy, Edmund and Susan (all adults in this book) appear as Kings and Queens of Narnia (their roles are vastly bigger than I had remembered). High King Peter is also mentioned as being away on some sort of business, and does not appear in person.

I also liked the fact that the White Witch was also mentioned; one character is mentioned as believing that she is still reigning in Narnia.



Re-reading has made me feel that this is one of the better Narnia titles, despite my previous feelings.

Next book: Shirley (Charlotte Brontë)

Book #47: The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis



This book is the sixth in the chronological order of the Narnia books, but was the fourth to be written.

Eustace Scrubb, introduced in the previous instalment, reappears, this time without his cousins, as he teams up with Jill Pole, who is being bullied at school. Jill almost right away notices that Eustace, who started off as an obnoxious brat, has changed considerably.

After Eustace tells her of his visit to Narnia, the two children find their own way to Narnia, escaping the bullies. Eustace almost immediately falls off a cliff, but is saved by Aslan, who tasks Jill with remembering four signs as part of their quest to rescue the kidnapped Prince Rilian.

Rilian is also the son of King Caspian, who was one of the main characters in previous books. Last seen as a young man, he is now elderly, due to the fact that time in Narnia passes a lot faster than in our world.

This sets off a standard adventure story, with the children joined by Puddleglum, the marsh wiggle (basically, a race of people with webbed hands and feet who live in the marhses); Puddleglum provides some comic relief, mostly through being interminably pessimistic (he's similar in character to Marvin from the HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy Books).

Like the other Narnia books, this contains a lot of Christian symbolism, and this book has a lot of significance to avoiding distractions or forgetting your true purpose, as Jill constantly fails to spot the signs, and they fall way to temptation by staying with a race of giants instead of getting on with their quest. The Bible has a lot of light and dark metaphors (basically, the idea that Jesus is the light of the world and the fact that the light reveals things, but lots of people are metaphorically "in the dark". This seems to be the symbolism that occurs in the latter part of the book, with a journey underground where a race of gnome-like people live.

Also, while the main villain of the book hardly appears, she is shown to be quite powerful and has the power to cloud peoples' minds; she is also said to be related in some way to the White Witch, from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In 1990, when the BBC dramatised this book, they made it more obvious by casting the same actress who had played the White Witch two years earlier. They also cast Tom Baker (famous from Doctor Who) as Puddleglum, Warwick Davis as Glimfeather the owl and while the underground sequences could have been off a cheesy 1970s science fiction show, they managed to feature gnomes that were creepier than the way the book described them.

This was also the only time that I watched a Narnia adaptation before reading the book that it is based on, so I was surprised when I noticed that the pacing was a bit different from the book - most notably, they made more things out of the climactic scenes, and took out a lot of stuff from the last few chapters.

I love the fact that this book has a neat twist; it is also the only moment in the story that features the silver chair - spoilers ahead:

[Spoiler (click to open)]

The journey underground takes the children and Puddleglum to an encounter with a knight, who is married to "The Lady of the Green Kirtle", and says he can't remember how he got there, just that he and his lady are going to invade Narnia.

You might guess the twist before it happens, but it turns out that this is Prince Rilian; I loved the irony of how the main characters meet him about half way through the book but have no idea who he is as he is in a suit of armour with the visor down. It turns out he's been brainwashed by "his lady".

Where the silver chair comes in is the fact that Prince Rilian is tied to it every night because this is when he remembers who he is.

Reading the book did clarify a few things that weren't made clear in the TV adaption, such as the fact that the Green Lady was in cahoots with the giants (who also intend to eat the travellers). Also, the TV version had a sequence at the end where the goblins started diving into a pit of fire for no reason that was clear. The book makes clear that the Green Lady took them out of their own land further below the surface to work for her, and they are returning to where they came from. This leads to some comic relief when they reveal that this dark world is too light and too close to the surface for them.



Overall, I enjoyed this book. I like the fact that they hint at things to come, including one of Aslan's lines close to the end, and also a scene involving "Old Father Time", who will awake when the world ends. It seems to be a throwaway moment that has no relevance in this book, but it does become significant later in the series.

Another moment I spotted reading through again was a reference to "The Horse and His Boy", which was the book written subsequent to this one. Here, it is told as a Narnian legend, and I liked the fact the CS Lewis expanded on it as a full length book.

Personally I think this is one of the better titles in the Narnia series, and the ending is one of the most hilarious, dramatic and satisfying of all.

Next book: City of Thieves (Cyrus Moore)


Number of pages: 282

In this Narnia book, the fifth in the chronological order, but the third in order of writing, Lucy and Edmund are sent to stay with their obnoxious cousin Eustace (he and his mother almost seem like the original version of the Dursleys from the Harry Potter series).

Eustace has heard about his cousins' fascination about Narnia, and mocks them for it as he thinks it is all make-believe (there are definite parallels with Edmund's behaviour towards Lucy at the start of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Not long into the book, the three children are whisked into Narnia, this time through a picture that appears to portray a Narnian ship. They are promptly picked up by the crew of the Dawn Treader, captained by Caspian, now older and also king of Narnia (although it is not mentioned explicitly, the age difference can be explained by the fact that time in Narnia runs faster than in the real world).

This sets the scene for a sea-bound adventure that feels very episodic in nature, as the story tells of what happens on each island that the travellers arrive on. The McGuffin that sets all things in motion in this case is that Caspian is searching for the lost seven lords of Narnia. Just about every adventure they have leads to the discovery of one of the lords (the exception being a section of the book involving the invisible Dufflepuds). I also noticed that Aslan doesn't appear much, but nevertheless becomes increasingly present as the book moves towards his conclusion.

I remember at times this book felt like it was aimed at a slightly older audience than some of the previous books in the series, particularly the plot revolving around characters being sold for slavery and a lot of conversations between the grown up characters that as I recall probably caused me to abandon reading the book out of boredom when I was young. I think what prompted me to read the book in its entirety as a kid was seeing the BBC's 1989 adaptation of the book, in a four-part serial that followed immediately on from their dramatization of Prince Caspian. Reading it again, I spotted a few things I didn't notice when I was younger, particularly Caspian wondering why they couldn't cross into "their world" (this becomes relevant at the end of the subsequent book, The Silver Chair.

There are a couple of chapters near the start that feel a little tedious, but the book becomes increasingly compelling after about a quarter of the way in. I liked the fact that Reepicheep came back, as a crew member on the Dawn Treader, and got a bigger part than in the previous book. Eustace is initially portrayed as the absolutely vile and dislikeable character, and this is expressed most vividly through his diary entries that come across as constantly narcissistic and self-pitying. However, eventually I found myself liking Eustace, mostly through a particular chapter...

[Spoiler (click to open)]

Eustace is turned into a dragon by a magic curse, and slowly begins to realise that the other characters don't hate him; he also has the task of proving who he is, before Aslan turns him back into a boy.

I remember I was surprised by the way it was written; in the BBC adaptation (presumably because it looked better dramatically0, Aslan was seen appearing before the dragon and peeling away his scales to reveal Eustace underneath; in the book, Eustace appears as a boy again to Edmund, and tells him the story in the form of a flashback. The whole chapter feels like a figurative absolving of sins, adding to the fact that Aslan represents Jesus.



Overall, I enjoyed the fact that I can now understand more of the religious symbolism of the book, and there are definite recurrent themes of gold, greed and even covetousness as various characters struggle with different temptations. "Aslan's country", mentioned several times, is clearly a metaphor for Heaven, or the New Creation. The other thing I enjoyed a lot was how vividly the sea near to the end of the world was described, in a style reminiscent of Jules Verne.

This made for an immensely satisfying read, and this is one of my favourites in the series.

Next book: The X-Files Season 10, Issue #7 (Joe Harris, Elena Casagrande, Silvia Califano, Arianna Florean, Azzura M. Florean)

Book #12: Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis



This book is almost a direct sequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and brings back Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. Set a year after their previous adventure, it opens with the children being mysteriously whisked into Narnia from a station platform. However, they find that many years have passed since they last visited (the series has already established that Narnia has a different time stream to our world), and all the talking animals have gone into hiding; the Castle of Cair Paravel is in ruins. The rightful king, Prince Caspian, is in exile while another king sits on the throne, following an invasion of the “Telmarines”. It turns out that the Narnians also summoned the children specifically to save them from the oppression. The whole story leads towards the meeting between the children and Caspian, and the battle to reclaim the throne. Once again, the lion Aslan is present, guiding the children, mostly through appearing to Lucy.

The book feels shorter and is certainly less complex than its predecessor; to give an idea, the BBC televised both books in the late 1980s. The adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe just about managed to fit into six half-hour episodes, while, Prince Caspian ran to just two half-hour episodes (it was padded out slightly with a cliffhanger that set the scene for the very next book in the series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader).

I remember reading this book (or at least having it read to me) when I was young and getting very frustrated at an extended flashback with the dwarf Trumpkin telling Caspian’s backstory, which takes up about a quarter of the story, but reading it again I just enjoyed getting to revisit the characters from a book that I absolutely loved when I was young. I noticed that when the climactic battle finally does arrive, it doesn’t take up a large portion of the story (although the more recent movie of this book milked it for all it was worth), and much more weight is given by the actions of Aslan and the other heroes of the story. I noticed that, for a children’s book, it actually got quite violent at times; for example, one scene where they talk about a hag getting decapitated.

Reading Michael Ward’s The Narnia Code was very useful for helping me understand the whole Biblical allegory that this story involves. The main subject here is “putting on the armour of God” (a metaphor used in many of Paul’s letters in the Bible); early on, all the children are shown finding their weapons from the previous book, and it mentions that it is Edmund’s fault he has none (he was betraying his brother and sisters when Father Christmas showed up with the weapons). Aslan mentions at one point to Lucy that only she can see him, but eventually the others will too; taking into account that he represents Jesus, it’s not hard to get an idea of what C.S. Lewis was aiming for here.

Overall, this isn’t one of my favourite Narnia books, but I found it to be an enjoyable read all the same.

Next book: Thud! (Terry Pratchett)


Number of pages: 208

This is a book I absolutely loved as a kid so decided to read it again. It's not the first in the Narnia series, but it was the first written and most scholars agree that this should be book to start with when reading the Chronicles of Narnia.

The story opens with four children - Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy - being evacuated during World War 2 to an old country house inhabited by a professor and his housekeeper. When the weather prevents them from being able to explore the countryside, Lucy discovers that the wardrobe in an attic room leads into a woodland that turns out to be the land of Narnia.

She is approached by a faun by the name of Mr. Tumnus, who befriends her but secretly plans to hand her over to the self-proclaimed ruler of Narnia, the White Witch, who has cast a spell over Narnia to make it "always winter, never Christmas". Lucy manages to convince Mr. Tumnus to let her go and they become friends.

Of course, no one on the outside world believes where Lucy has been, and when Edmund accidentally finds Narnia and meets the White Witch, he still pretends this is all a game. Eventually all four children find themselves in Narnia while trying to hide from visitors, and this is when the adventure begins and the children find themselves being told that the great lion, Aslan, is on the move and that only he can rescue Narnia from the White Witch.

This book is, at face value, an enchanting children's tale about a fantasy world/parallel universe; anyone who reads deeper into this might even see parallels between the war that is taking place in Britain at the time of the book and the conflict between good and evil that takes place in the book. Many people who read this book will surely realise that this is also a Christian book, and in this case it is mostly an allegory to the life of Jesus (who is represented in the Narnia series by Aslan). The most obvious reference comes near to the end...

[Spoiler (click to open)]Aslan allows himself to be sacrificed in the place of Edmund, who previously betrayed his brother and sisters. This fulfils an ancient prophecy and after his death, Aslan is resurrected.

When I read Michael Ward's The Narnia Code, I found that there were other similes made by the theme of the children being crowned in Cair Paravel to the concept of "wearing a crown" in Heaven that features in the Bible.

Overall, I found this book to be just as enjoyable as it was when I was young; certainly reading it now, I can tell it is aimed at a young audience because of the way it is written (C.S. Lewis constantly reminds his audience they should not shut themselves in a wardrobe), it the final battle felt like it was a bit too short, but that was mainly from having seen TV and film adaptations that milked that particular scene for all that it was worth. I also liked the characterisation of the children, particularly how Edmund starts off as a character who should be very dislikable, but gets transformed by the books events into a heroic character. C.S. Lewis was an incredible writer and I will hopefully get a chance to re-read the rest of the Narnia series soon.

Next book: The Truth (Terry Pratchett)

Book #45: The Narnia Code by Michael Ward



Number of pages: 193

When I was young I read all of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia, and watched the BBC's adaptation of four of the books. I remember noticing how similar the events near the end of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was to the Crucifixion, and almost certainly telling my parents, "That's like Jesus".

It wasn't until I was older that I realised that all of the books are full of Christian symbolism, with some obvious (there are books that refer to creation and the apocalypse, for example, plus the fact that the lion Aslan represents God/Jesus), and others more obscure.

In this book, Michael Ward tells of how he was intrigued by the seven Narnia books, and how he eventually found a poem on the planets by C.S. Lewis, and how each book ties into a different verse about Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, plus the other heavenly bodies - the sun and moon. Throughout the book, Ward explains how each book represents the "spirit" of each planet as Lewis described it in his poem. The book discusses the apparent confusion caused by Father Christmas appearing in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and how C.S. Lewis was urged not to include him at all, but the book explains how he represents the jovial spirit of Jupiter.

After explaining this symbolism, Ward manages to effectively extract Christian messages from each of the books, and there was a lot of stuff I had never thought of before, so much that I now want to re-read all seven books. I thought this was a really enjoyable book, which felt like it was painstakingly researched.

Next book: A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin)

Book #1: Planet Narnia, Michael Ward

Another of the new turks here. I don't expect to make the fifty-book goal, but I'm interested in seeing how close I get by year's end.

Anyhow, first book: Michael Ward's Planet Narnia. The author argues that each of the Chronicles represents one of the seven medieval heavens and the Roman god who presides over the attendant planet of each. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, for example, follows the Jovian of the renewal of life after a period of death and the restoration of just rule couched in divine righteousness; Dawn Treader abounds in solar imagery and concerns an Apollonian quest for the sake of pure knowledge, etc.

It's an intriguing premise, and I do think Ward's onto something, but his argument's weak in many spots, and, man, does he make it oddly. The book seemingly was never rewritten from its origins as a doctoral thesis, and there's a lot of "I need to hit page count" bloviation and pointlessly-ornamented language. Ward has some really bizarre hang-ups that needed editorial trimming (science embraced the theory of evolution as a way of proving medieval alchemy? really?), and he makes his book as much about C. S. Lewis's obscure Ransom sci-fi trilogy as it is about Narnia. The argument itself has problems: the book-to-planet correlations for Luna, Mercury, and Venus are pretty weak, and even the strong chapters contain a lot of apophenic reaching - hey, Jupiter's traditional color was red, and Jadis has red lips, and Mablung has a red maw - and look, there's a Great Red Spot on Jupiter! Ward got a documentary made on his ideas (The Narnia Code, unseen by me), and though I hope he refined his argument for it, I'm not hopeful.
The Chronicles of Narnia
Author: C.S. Lewis
Genre: Fantasy, Children's, Christian
Pages: 1540 (all 7 books combined)
Summary from Goodreads: In brief, four children travel repeatedly to a world in which they are far more than mere children and everything is far more than it seems. Richly told, populated with fascinating characters, perfectly realized in detail of world and pacing of plot, the story is infused throughout with the timeless issues of good and evil, faith and hope.


His Dark Materials Trilogy and Lyra's Oxford
Author: Philip Pullman
Genre: Fantasy, Children's, Young Adult
Pages: 1254 (all 4 books combined)
Summary from Goodreads: Lyra and Will find themselves embarked on a thrilling journey through worlds familiar and unknown. Their great quest demands a savage struggle against the most dangerous of enemies. They encounter fantastical creatures in parallel worlds - rebellious angels, soul-eating Spectres, child-catching Gobblers and the armoured bears and witch-clans of the Arctic. Finally, before reaching, perhaps, the republic of heaven, they must visit the land of the dead.


Comments: I didn't read either of these series growing up so I though I'd finally get around to doing so. I really enjoyed reading these two series together since religion was at the heart of both of them (though obviously the authors took it in completely different directions). As for The Chronicles of Narnia, I really liked the beginning of the series but I felt that after Prince Caspian it really started to drag. Then in the final book I picked up quite a bit of sexism and racism (which were both present through the whole series but really started being much more prominent). His Dark Materials, however, was excellent all the way through. I didn't really like Lyra at the beginning of the first novel but she grew on me as she matured a bit. Lyra's Oxford was a nice addition of a short story to the trilogy but I didn't really get the point of it to be honest. I mean it was a cute enough story on it's own but it didn't really add anything new or interesting to the world or characters.


16 / 50 books. 32% done!


4341 / 15000 pages. 29% done!

Jan. 23rd, 2010

1. The Queen’s Fool - Phillipa Gregory
Very good read, expected nothing less :)

2. The Magicians Nephew - CS Lewis
3. The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
4. The Horse And His Boy - CS Lewis
5. Prince Caspian - CS Lewis
6. The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader - CS Lewis
7. The Silver Chair - CS Lewis
8. The Last Battle - CS Lewis
One of my all time favourite series! Prince Caspian is my absolute favourite book, then TLTWATW!

9. Ghostwalk - Rebecca Stott
Also very good. Recommended from here I believe, so thank you for that whoever it was! I def recommend it. A little spooky in parts but very well written!

10. The Genesis Secret - Tom Knox
11. The Alexander Cipher - Will Adams
12. The Gilded Seal - James Twining
All a very similar vibe - Da Vinchi Code types - but I do enjoy them! My favourite one was the Alexander Cipher I think.

Total Books: 12
Total Pages: 3678
Currently Reading: The Prophecy by Chris Kuzneski

on a tear ...







8. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation - (1/13) - Lynn Truss 240p

4/5

Who ever would have thought punctuation could be so funny (or controversial)?

I really enjoyed this book, and I'm glad I read it. It surprised me how much I know about punctuation; where did I learn that? I'm certain I was absent most of high school. I did learn a thing or two (like the difference between who's and whose ... who knew?) But I think the tricky areas of punctuation will still remain tricky for me. Also, I'm an abuser of the eplipsis, and will probably stay that way.

Truss's sense of humor is quite keen; the humor alone made the book worth reading.

Plus, my new-found understanding of the semi-colon ....

(p.s. semi-colons seem a bit pretentious, don't they?)



7. Dead to the World - (1/11) - Charlaine Harris 292p

4.5/5

This is the fourth book in the series, and my favorite so far. Though Harris' writing isn't the best, she can tell a story and this one had a lot more supernatural creatures in it which made it a lot more fun! There were also many laugh out loud moments.

I have no idea why there's no "erotica" tag on this book. Sheesh. There was some steamy stuff. I don't read any romance novels, so I have no idea if that's normal or not, but it seemed pretty intense to me.

***spoiler*** (kind of)

I will be super bummed if the Sookie/Bill/Eric thing turns into a Stephanie/Ranger/Morelli thing. I want more integrity out of Sookie. ***end spoiler***



6. Slaughterhouse-Five - (1/10) - Kurt Vonnegut 224p

5/5

I think I read this when I was 19, but that was a really long time ago so I didn't remember it at all.  LOVED it!  Made me want to go on a Vonnegut binge.


5. Sepulchre - (1/9) - Kate Mosse 592p

4/5

I really liked this book. It was fairly well done, though certainly flawed, with a lot of various layers. There are essentially two novels in one happening, with one story taking place in 1891 and another in 2007. Eventually, they are woven together. That's not a spoiler by the way.

There were times I found it slow going, but other times I was enthralled. What Mosse did well was create this family history, rich with detail and interesting characters.

***Maybe spoiler, but not really **** There were some aspects that just didn't do much for me, and as far as I'm concerned Mosse left an issue unresolved, and I get that it was deliberate, but I found it kind of annoying. The other thing that annoyed me immensely was putting stuff in French or other language and not translating it, what's the point of that?

Overall, it was an enjoyable read and I'm glad I read it.

(Amazon currently has the hardcover bargain priced for $5.19 if anybody is interested.) 


4. The Magician's Nephew (Narnia) - (1/6) - C.S. Lewis 208p

A re-read; my favorite of the Narnia books.


My complete list can be found here

Book #3: Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

Title: Prince Caspian
Author: C.S. Lewis
Genre: Fantasy

This book is part of the Chronicles of Narnia series (second in publishing order and third according to some in reading order) and the events in it take place after the events in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I read (or shall I say re-read, although it had been ages) this book after watching the movie some time this summer, because I wasn’t really pleased with the movie and wanted to remind myself of the story.

Lucy, Susan, Edmund, and Peter Pevensie find themselves back in the magical land of Narnia a full year after their previous adventure there. However, they come to realize that although only one year has passed for them in England, in Narnia many centuries have passed. They also find out that they have been summoned to help a young prince named Caspian take the throne of Narnia back from his uncle Miraz, who had declared himself king after the death of Caspian's father (the previous king). Caspian had not been aware that he was the true heir to the throne but Miraz had been content to let the boy succeed him...until his Queen, Prunaprismia, had a son. From that moment on Caspian's life had been in danger and the Pevensies were his last hope.

spoilers and an aside hereCollapse )

From the moment Peter meets Caspian, there is civility between them – something not seen in the movie. Although part of this has to do with a certain amount of awe that Caspian has for Peter as the legendary High King come out of the old tales, I think it’s also basic decency on Peter’s part. This also comes out in most of his interactions with Lucy.

And Caspian in the book seems a little less sure of himself than the Caspian in the movie, but he carries himself very well nonetheless. He's still young, after all, and shows that he's willing to learn. Movie-Caspian is too moody and angsty for my personal liking.

This book does seem to have a slightly ‘kid’s adventure’-ish feel, which I don’t think The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (LWW) had; I can understand why some people may not like this as much as LWW. That said, it’s still a good story, and it’s set in Narnia with some characters we love and others we will come to like. What more can a person ask for?

Note: I've fallen far behind my posting schedule...expect a few more reviews from me in the coming days and weeks as I attempt to catch up. And just to be clear, I started in July and intend to reach 50 books by July 2009.

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50 in 2008!

This year, I resolve not only to read fifty books, but to keep track of the books I have read, unlike last year, when I re-read a few comfort books eight times, and totally lost track of my total. Did I meet the fifty book challenge? I don't know, though I do know I read a lot and got some great recs from this community!

Books to Finish in 2008:
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The First Third
Thinking in Pictures
Anna Karenina

Books to read in 2008:
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Slaughterhouse Five
The Perks of being a Wallflower
Love, Stargirl
The rest of the Narnia books
Dry

Goals: #1 To keep a WRITTEN, hard-copy list in order to keep track of the books I have read!
             #2 To read all the books on the  little 3x5 card I have at work that is a list of books I saw reviewed either in this
                   community or heard about on the radio.
             #3 To get some more good recommendations! I love David Sedaris, Nick Hornby, Margaret Atwood,
                   Augusten Burrows, SARK, CLASSIC Fantasy (Narnia, Lord of the Rings, A Wrinkle in Time) historical 
                   non-fiction about the old west

Book number 40

I'm not sure when the last time was that I posted, but I'm sure I haven't posted about the last few books I read.  In any case, I just finished book number 40 for the year: 'The Last Battle" by C.S. Lewis.  This is the last book in The Chronicles of Narnia.  I absolutely loved it....

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Book...17?

I have no idea where I am with all this, but I just finished The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. And it was AWESOME.
Next Up: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
                 The First Third
                 Growing up firstborn

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50 books!

Ok, so I only posted my list a few days ago, but I have now completed 50 books!

January
1 Heretic - Bernard Cornwell
2 Priestess of the White - Trudi Canavan
3 Ruby In The Smoke - Phillip Pullman
4 Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
5 Deception Point - Dan Brown
6 Atlantis - David Gibbons
7 Empire Of Dragons - Valerio Massimo Manfredi
8 The Pale Horseman - Bernard Cornwell
9 Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
10 Tricksters Choice - Tamora Pierce
11 Tricksters Queen - Tamora Pierce
12 Harlequin - Bernard Cornwell
13 The Time Machine - HG Wells

- Favourite January book - These were all books I got for christmas , that I'd been wanting for ages so its close... but I'd say Priestess of the White by Trudi Canavan

February
14 He’s Just Not That Into You - Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo
15 The Magician’s Nephew - CS Lewis
16 The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
17 The Horse And His Boy - CS Lewis
18 Prince Caspian - CS Lewis
19 The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader - CS Lewis
20 The Silver Chair - CS Lewis
21 The Last Battle - CS Lewis
22 Nobody Likes You - Marc Spitz
23 Helen Of Troy - Margaret George

- Favourite February book - Draw between Prince Caspian by CS Lewis and Helen Of Troy by Margaret George

March
24 Last Of The Wilds - Trudi Canavan
25 The Language Of Stones - Robert Carter
26 The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
27 Lady Friday - Garth Nix
28 The Giants’ Dance - Robert Carter
29 Gulliver’s Travels - Jonathan Swift
30 The Railway Children - E. Nesbit
31 The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling

- Favourite March book - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Read this becasue of a recomendation off here, and if you haven't already read it then do so now!

April
32 Memoirs Of A Geisha - Arthur Golden
33 Sharon Osbourne Extreme - My Biography - Sharon Osbourne
34 Voice Of The Gods - Trudi Canavan
35 Robin Hood - Henry Gilbert
36 Sovereign - CJ Sansom

- Favourite April book - Voice Of The Gods by Trudi Canavan. Part 3 to the best Jan book! Hust a fantastic series, even if the twist was incredibly predictable!

May
37 The Eye Of The World - Robert Jordan
38 The Great Hunt - Robert Jordan
39 The Dragon Reborn - Robert Jordan
40 The Shadow Rising - Robert Jordan

- Favourite May book - I'm just going to go for the whole series! I was a bit dubious to begin with, but I love them now, and I need to get the other 7 or 8 I don't own!

June
41 The Fires Of Heaven - Robert Jordan
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
44 A Study In Scarlet - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
45 The Sign Of The Four - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
46 The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
47 The Hound Of The Baskervilles - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
48 The Return Of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

- Favourite June book - Hmmm. The Hound Of The Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I'd wanted to read this for ages, and never got round to it, and I just love all the Sherlock Holmes books, and this one was as good as I'd hoped it would be!

July
49 The Valley Of Fear - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
50 His Last Bow - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A few more Sherlock Holmes books, then re-read of the Harry Potters ready for Deathly Hallows :D:D

If you want to know anything about any of the books feel free to ask!

Books - 50
Pages - 93 320

Re-reads - 13
Non-Fiction - 3

Books so far...

Jan
1 Heretic - Bernard Cornwell
2 Priestess of the White - Trudi Canavan
3 Ruby In The Smoke - Phillip Pullman
4 Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
5 Deception Point - Dan Brown
6 Atlantis - David Gibbons
7 Empire Of Dragons - Valerio Massimo Manfredi
8 The Pale Horseman - Bernard Cornwell
9 Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
10 Tricksters Choice - Tamora Pierce
11 Tricksters Queen - Tamora Pierce
12 Harlequin - Bernard Cornwell
13 The Time Machine - HG Wells

Feb
14 He’s Just Not That Into You - Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo
15 The Magician’s Nephew - CS Lewis
16 The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
17 The Horse And His Boy - CS Lewis
18 Prince Caspian - CS Lewis
19 The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader - CS Lewis
20 The Silver Chair - CS Lewis
21 The Last Battle - CS Lewis
22 Nobody Likes You - Marc Spitz
23 Helen Of Troy - Margaret George

March
24 Last Of The Wilds - Trudi Canavan
25 The Language Of Stones - Robert Carter
26 The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
27 Lady Friday - Garth Nix
28 The Giants’ Dance - Robert Carter
29 Gulliver’s Travels - Jonathan Swift
30 The Railway Children - E. Nesbit
31 The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling

April
32 Memoirs Of A Geisha - Arthur Golden
33 Sharon Osbourne Extreme - My Biography - Sharon Osbourne
34 Voice Of The Gods - Trudi Canavan
35 Robin Hood - Henry Gilbert
36 Sovereign - CJ Sansom

May
37 The Eye Of The World - Robert Jordan
38 The Great Hunt - Robert Jordan
39 The Dragon Reborn - Robert Jordan
40 The Shadow Rising - Robert Jordan

June
41 The Fires Of Heaven - Robert Jordan
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
44 A Study In Scarlet - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
45 The Sign Of The Four - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
46 The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
47 The Hound Of The Baskervilles - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
48 The Return Of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Doing pretty well! May wasn't so good due to exams and the Wheel of Time series are pretty hefty books, and it took me a while to get into them!

Still reading Sherlock Holmes books, but I think I'm reading them out of order. DO they have any particular order? I put them in order of their publication dates, but it doesn't seem to be right!?

If you want to know anything about any of the books feel free to ask!

#29

#29. The Silver Chair - C.S. Lewis

Since I haven't posted it in quite a while, here's the whole list:

Books Read in 2007Collapse )

Tags:

#28

28. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis


I think this is my favorite so far of the 3 books I've read from The Chronicles of Narnia. I am not reading them in their official 'order', but rather in the order in which they were published.

Tags:

Almost there! Update

January
1 Heretic - Bernard Cornwell
2 Priestess of the White - Trudi Canavan
3 Ruby In The Smoke - Phillip Pullman
4 Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
5 Deception Point - Dan Brown
6 Atlantis - David Gibbons
7 Empire Of Dragons - Valerio Massimo Manfredi
8 The Pale Horseman - Bernard Cornwell
9 Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
10 Tricksters Choice - Tamora Pierce
11 Tricksters Queen - Tamora Pierce
12 Harlequin - Bernard Cornwell
13 The Time Machine - HG Wells

February
14 He’s Just Not That Into You - Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo
15 The Magician’s Nephew - CS Lewis
16 The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
17 The Horse And His Boy - CS Lewis
18 Prince Caspian - CS Lewis
19 The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader - CS Lewis
20 The Silver Chair - CS Lewis
21 The Last Battle - CS Lewis
22 Nobody Likes You - Marc Spitz
23 Helen Of Troy - Margaret George

March
24 Last Of The Wilds - Trudi Canavan
25 The Language Of Stones - Robert Carter
26 The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
27 Lady Friday - Garth Nix
28 The Giants’ Dance - Robert Carter
29 Gulliver’s Travels - Jonathan Swift
30 The Railway Children - E. Nesbit
31 The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling

April
32 Memoirs Of A Geisha - Arthur Golden
33 Sharon Osbourne Extreme - My Biography - Sharon Osbourne
34 Voice Of The Gods - Trudi Canavan
35 Robin Hood - Henry Gilbert
36 Sovereign - CJ Sansom

May
37 The Eye Of The World - Robert Jordan
38 The Great Hunt - Robert Jordan
39 The Dragon Reborn - Robert Jordan
40 The Shadow Rising - Robert Jordan

June
41 The Fires Of Heaven - Robert Jordan
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

Half way through Angel and Demons - Dan Brown
Reading has sort of tailed off in May and June cause of exams, but it'll pick back up soon!

If anyone wants my opinion on any of the books I'm happy to give it!

Update

I've not been on here for a while, cause the series I'm reading is taking me ages!
But heres what I've read so far this year.

January
1 Heretic - Bernard Cornwell
2 Priestess of the White - Trudi Canavan
3 Ruby In The Smoke - Phillip Pullman
4 Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
5 Deception Point - Dan Brown
6 Atlantis - David Gibbons
7 Empire Of Dragons - Valerio Massimo Manfredi
8 The Pale Horseman - Bernard Cornwell
9 Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
10 Tricksters Choice - Tamora Pierce
11 Tricksters Queen - Tamora Pierce
12 Harlequin - Bernard Cornwell
13 The Time Machine - HG Wells

February
14 He’s Just Not That Into You - Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo
15 The Magician’s Nephew - CS Lewis
16 The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
17 The Horse And His Boy - CS Lewis
18 Prince Caspian - CS Lewis
19 The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader - CS Lewis
20 The Silver Chair - CS Lewis
21 The Last Battle - CS Lewis
22 Nobody Likes You - Marc Spitz
23 Helen Of Troy - Margaret George

March
24 Last Of The Wilds - Trudi Canavan
25 The Language Of Stones - Robert Carter
26 The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
27 Lady Friday - Garth Nix
28 The Giants’ Dance - Robert Carter
29 Gulliver’s Travels - Jonathan Swift
30 The Railway Children - E. Nesbit
31 The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling

April
32 Memoirs Of A Geisha - Arthur Golden
33 Sharon Osbourne Extreme - My Biography - Sharon Osbourne
34 Voice Of The Gods - Trudi Canavan
35 Robin Hood - Henry Gilbert
36 Sovereign - CJ Sansom
37 The Eye Of The World - Robert Jordan

Books - 37
Pages - 14, 530

Currently Reading - The Great Hunt - Robert Jordan

36/75





 




I would have written more, but I am tired and my brain is still processing McMurty's book. I think I'll go to bed now and go to work in the morning. Then during my break I will begin one of these books:
The Sixth Grandfather: Black Elk's Teachings Given to John G. Neihardt, edited by Raymond J. DeMallie
In Patagonia-Bruce Chatwin
Pecked to Death by Ducks-Tim Cahill (or it could've been Hold hte Enlightenment... I don't recall)

Books 31 and 32

The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
I've never read this before, because thought I'd be the same as the Disney film. More fool me. I wish I read this before as its a fantastic book and there are some really nice stories in here!

Memoirs Of A Geisha - Arthur Golden
I have no words to describe how much I loved this book! It was just...brilliant. About life as a Geisha in Japan and her stuggles to become one. Definatly reccommend!


Review
Jan

Heretic - Bernard Cornwell
Priestess of the White - Trudi Canavan
Ruby In The Smoke - Phillip Pullman
Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
Deception Point - Dan Brown
Atlantis - David Gibbons
Empire Of Dragons - Valerio Massimo Manfredi
The Pale Horseman - Bernard Cornwell
Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
Tricksters Choice - Tamora Pierce
Tricksters Queen - Tamora Pierce
Harlequin - Bernard Cornwell
The Time Machine - HG Wells

Feb
He’s Just Not That Into You - Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo
The Magician’s Nephew - CS Lewis
The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
The Horse And His Boy - CS Lewis
Prince Caspian - CS Lewis
The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader - CS Lewis
The Silver Chair - CS Lewis
The Last Battle - CS Lewis
Nobody Likes You - Marc Spitz
Helen Of Troy - Margaret George

March
Last Of The Wilds - Trudi Canavan
The Language Of Stones - Robert Carter
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
Lady Friday - Garth Nix
The Giants’ Dance - Robert Carter
Gulliver’s Travels - Jonathan Swift
The Railway Children - E. Nesbit
The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
Memoirs Of A Geisha - Arthur Golden

Books - 32
Pages - 11859

Book #9

1. Charmed by Jayne Ann Krentz 4/5
2. Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 5/5
3. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Album 5/5
4. I Shaved My Legs for This? an anthology by Theresa Alan, etc. 2/5
5. Harry Potter #6 The Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling 5/5
6. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom 5/5
7. Wicked by Gregory MaGuire 4/5
8. Enchanted: Erotic Bedtime Stories For Women by Nancy Madore 2/5
9. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis 5/5

I plan on continuing through the Narnia series, as I am loving it! I will also be reading some financial books as I have decided to make April my "get my finances in shape" month.

Tags:

#13

Books read so far Collapse )

13. The Last Battle - C.S. Lewis. Well thats me finished the whole Narnia series, and I'm a bit sad to reach the end. This is probably the most complex book out of the series and has the heaviest religious overtones. Many old characters appear, such as all the Pevensies (except Susan, I didn't really understand why this was), Digory and Polly, Reepicheep and Mr Tumnus. It ties in nicely with the earlier books and is a fitting end to the series.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
13 / 50
(26.0%)

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#12

Books read so far Collapse )

12. The Silver Chair - C.S. Lewis. Another Narnia book finished! None of the Pevensie children travel to Narnia this time, instead it is their cousin Eustace and Jill Pole, a girl from his school. Aslan has brought them to rescue King Caspians son Rilian. I think I like Eustace and Jill better, the fact that they kept making mistakes along the way actually made it more realistic!

Also it inspired me to dig out my Silverchair CDs.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
12 / 50
(24.0%)

Tags:

#11

Books read so farCollapse )

11. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. This was my favourite of the Narnia books as a child, and I'm happy to report that I enjoyed it just as much re-reading it now.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
11 / 50
(22.0%)

Tags:

#9+10

Books read so farCollapse )

9. The Horse and His Boy - C.S. Lewis. I decided to skip The lion, the witch and the wardrobe since I read the book and saw the film last year, and just went straight on to The Horse and His Boy. I found it quite boring the first time I read it as a child (actually I don't think I finished it), but re-reading it now I enjoyed it a lot more. It reminded me of the Arabian Nights stories and I liked both Shasta and Aravis as characters.

10. Prince Caspian - C.S. Lewis. A much more straight forward read than The Horse and His Boy. I probably rushed through it though because I want to get to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which is my favourite of the series!

10/50

Tags:

#7

Books read so farCollapse )

7. The Magicians Nephew - C.S. Lewis I loved The Chronicles of Narnia series as a child but never actually owned the books. I spotted the whole set going cheap in a book shop last week and bought them. I don't come from a particularly religious family so I never actually picked up on the parallels to christianity when reading them before, they seem glaringly obvious now! I'm reading them in chronological order rather than when they were published.

The Magicians Nephew is not one of my favourites from the series but it is worth reading as it explains how Narnia comes into existence.

7/50

Tags:

Books 15-21

15. The Magician’s Nephew – CS Lewis
16. The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
17. The Horse And His Boy – CS Lewis
18. Prince Caspian – CS Lewis
19. The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader – CS Lewis
20. The Silver Chair – CS Lewis
21. The Last Battle – CS Lewis

I wasn't going to re-read these til I'd read all my new books, but the urge became too much!!
I love this series so much. I always have. Especially Prince Caspian. When I read them I always say that I don't like The Magician's Nephew, The Silver Chair & The Last Battle as much as the others, because they don't have the Pensivies in, but, when I read them I still love them!
All of hem bring back really strong childhood memories :)

Anyway,
Books - 21
Pages - 7297

Also half way through a books on The Knights Templar, a book on King Arthur, and Mark Spitz's Green Day book, which I thibk I'll finish off next!

Tags:

Books, books, books...

In no particular order, the novels I have devoured in 2007 so far:

Sacrifice Moon - Julie Fortune

This book is set in Season 1 of Stargate. SG1 hasn't really had a chance to really meld as a group yet - Carter's a bit unsure of O'Neill, the team is just starting to become the tight knit group that we have come to know and love.

I thought that going back to an earlier time might be boring, predictable - stagnant even. Silly me. With Julie Fortune at the helm, it's anything but.

The story is well paced and engaging. Daniel is still in mourning for Sha're, and we can feel it. Jack's tough and headstrong determination comes though, but he's written as human, not an invincible iron man. The enemy is more than just a little bit crazy, and our team has a pretty difficult row to hoe before they kick some Goa'uld butt.

Good stuff.

Prince Caspian - C.S. Lewis

Book 4 in the Chronicles of Narnia which my kids enjoy having read to them again and again.

Young Prince Caspian must flee from his Uncle who is bent on murder. Caspian discovers that his cherished nanny and beloved tutor had indeed been telling him the truth - there were talking beasts, elves and dwarves in them thar woods.

At the same time, the Pevensie children are at a train station, bound for school when a strange event pulls them into Narnia.

It turns out, of course, that was the moment Prince Caspian blew the horn of Queen Susan. Aslan promised that help would come when the horn was blown, and thus it did.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis

Book 5 in the Chronicles of Narnia

We start this book to find that Edmund and Lucy are visiting with their Cousin Eustace. Of course, Eustace is a perfectly horrible boy, and we dislike him from the start. It's rather fun to see him end up in Narnia with his cousins and then fumble about, complaining, whinging and almost getting his butt kicked by Reepicheep, the Mouse.

There is much adventure, but easily the most poignant event in the book is the moment when Eustace has to deal with the hideous nature of his inner self turned outward in the guise of a dragon.

In my opinion, Lewis is an amazing writer. He weaves a morality play with a cautionary tale, and yet does not feel preachy or pedantic. Granting, the language shows its age - but I even so, I actually find it easier to read to the kids than Lemony Snicket books. I don't care for the writing in those books, which is really too bad, since I bought the set specifically to read them to the kids.

Magic Kingdom For Sale - Terry Brooks

This is not a book that I ever would have bought for myself. I'm a Hard SF girl, and only occasionally do I read Fantasy. Terry Brooks has waaaay too many books out for me to even consider trying to figure out where to start and chance possibly getting hooked.

Luckily, this is, apparently, and standalone book and I need seek no others. Which is good, cuz it was kinda fun.

So, who ever heard of buying a magic kingdom via mail order catalog? But there it was, complete with wizards, dragons a castle and a kingship. It was just what an over-worked, heart-sick lonely attorney needs.

Talk about a break from the everyday.

Of course, once the deed was signed and the deal was done, the less palatable issues came to light. No one was willing to take the new King seriously. There were some kick ass bad guys, and rather indifferent fairy folk with generally chaotic-good alignment.

And wouldn't it just figure the the heroine of the story happened to be a little more than she seemed?

All in all, a rollicking good tale with some nice bits of dry humour. Landover seems to be a nifty place. I might just have to go back and visit sometime.


Glass Houses - Rachel Caine

Going to a tiny college in a small town - when you could have gone to a big city college - sucks.

Being the young, uber-smart kid that the ultra-bitchy popular girl has it in for sucks even more.

Finding out that said town is crawling with vampires? That brought sucktitude to a whole new level.

Welcome to Claire Danvers life in Morganville, Texas. College days may be busy, but it's the late nights that'll kill you.

This book may be oriented to a teen/YA audience, but it's a very good read. Like all Caine books, Glass Houses is action packed. Clues are found, actions are taken and something always goes wrong. The plot doesn't just move, it hauls ass. You reach the end gasping for breath, and yelling at the author for leaving you hanging.

Fear not! Book two, Dead Girls Dance, is due out April 2007.

Firestorm - Rachel Caine

Book 5 in the Weather Warden series.

As if Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin hasn't been through enough. She's had a demon mark, been murdered, come back as a Djinn then ended up human again. Now she's busy saving mankind from a semi-sentient planet and some crazy rogue Djinn while also trying keep her sister safe from insane murderer who has kidnapped her.

All this running around is hell on her Manolo Blahniks. Good thing she has a really fast car.

Startide Rising - by David Brin

The 3rd novel in the Uplift series.

Uplift: The process by which older spacefaring races bring new species into Galactic culture, through breeding and genetic engineering. The resulting client species serves its patron for a period of indenture to pay for this favour.

Hugo and LOCUS Award winner and Nebula nominee, this book is set in a universe where humans are seen as "wolflings", millions of years behind diverse Galactic cultures that have been. A large number of these cultures believe the human race is not yet fully Uplifted and still far too primitive for the status of Patron race with Uplift clients of it's own.

Into this powder keg of Galactic politics, the Terragens Council throws a spark. A small crew of neo-dolphins, Humanity's second client race, find a huge fleet of dead ships. The news gets out, and the 5 Galaxies explode. Everyone, it seems, wants in on the find, and the will stop at nothing, including blowing each other to kingdom come to get it.

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7 / 50
(14.0%)

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