Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

The Nightmare We Know by Krista D. Ball:
The second book in the Dark Abyss of Our Sins trilogy drags unmercifully. The book is in need of a good editor to catch typos and tighten up the repetitive inner monologues -- plot events are often followed up with how different characters perceived those events, regardless of the fact that no one character's perception was different enough for a rehash. Exposition and character description suffers when the same information is conveyed slightly differently in two consecutive paragraphs (as if the writer was drafting both but forgot to delete one). After the great character development in Book One, everything felt like it was treading water here.

Final Grade: C

Secret City, Season One:
This Australian geopolitical thriller has shades of The Code in the way it does world-building and allows you to piece together relationships and plot events. There are a few weaknesses and awkward bouts of acting, but it's generally worth watching. Damon Herriman (Dewey Crowe from Justified) puts in a great performance as a a transgender signals analyst, proving that Walton Goggins doesn't have an exclusive on wearing womens' clothing. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B

Incredibles 2 (PG):
I thought the original Incredibles was cute yet unmemorable, mainly notable for the fact that Michael Giacchino had graduated from TV music on Alias to the movies. It seems odd and a little unnecessary to follow up on an animated movie 14 years after the original. However, Incredibles 2 is pretty fun in a lightweight entertainment vein. I found it pleasant to watch while running on the treadmill, although I probably won't remember any of the plot details a month from now. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyou:
This is the story of Theranos and how Elizabeth Holmes boldly fooled the world with her story of a new, almost magical blood testing device. The assortment of lies, narcissism, and employees abandoning ship snowballs through the first half of the book. Just when it starts getting tedious and you can't imagine how anyone might continue being fooled, everything unravels satisfyingly to the end.

Final Grade: B+

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