Book Review: Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders #1)


Published: January 9, 1998

Author: Robin Hobb

I have read a lot of Robin Hobb this year. Mostly due to used book sales, gifts, and eBook discounts, I’ve read five of her books in 2016. The remaining reason is because her writing is fantastic. Liveship Traders is her magnum opus. Ship of Magic is the first book in the Liveship trilogy, and it lives up to her lofty reputation. As well as Hobb writes, if I had a complaint about her other books, it is that all of her characters are whiney and unlikable. In Ship of Magic, there are only a couple whiney/unlikeable characters, but they are supposed to be.

At over 800 pages, there is a lot going on in Ship of Magic. The story follows the Vestrit family – traders and owners of a “liveship.” To give you an idea of how much is going on, the following points of view are covered: The patriarch, the patriarch’s wife, their daughter, their other daughter, her husband, the grandson, the granddaughter, the ship, the first mate and, of course, a pirate (no relation). As with Hobb’s other books, she does a masterful job of creating separate identities for each POV, making it easy to determine who is speaking or thinking.

I’ll spare you all the various storylines, but I will say it was obvious from the beginning where the story was headed. It took a long time to get there, but it eventually found its way. Once there, however, it lacked a conclusion, nor was there a cliffhanger to suck you into reading book two. It just ended. Like if I stopped this review after the first paragraph. With that in mind, I have no choice but to rate this book pending the review of book two, and possibly book three.


Goodreads: 4.1/5


TV Review: Pure Genius


Airs: Thursdays 10/9c on CBS

Review: Pilot

Medical Dramas are an incredibly popular genre. From St. Elsewhere to ER to House MD, there always seems to be a long-running medical drama on TV. The last few years have seen a dearth of quality medical shows. Code Black was inexplicably renewed, while Chicago Med is more General Hospital than ER. Pure Genius attempts to join the ranks of legendary medical dramas. It fails.

Pure Genius is set at Bunker Hill hospital where billionaire James Bell is trying to marry top-notch doctors with top-flight technology. That is the extent of the plot, because the rest of it was dull – not even the medical mysteries were entertaining. The characters matched the plot; all of them were relatively normal people with no quirks to make them interesting. House was entertaining precisely because the main character was such an ass you wanted to see what would happen next. Of course, the actors aren’t helped by the overuse of computer CGI – acting quality is inversely proportional to the amount of CGI used (Sanctuary suffered from this big time). Finally, I’m not sure how Bunker Hill is financed – yes it has a billionaire backer, but it has millions upon millions in expenses with little to no income. Not to mention the massive lawsuits that they will inevitably be hit with given the highly experimental nature of their treatments.

Pure Genius is an interesting idea that doesn’t pass a reality check. Nor does it provide the drama part of a medical drama, with flat characters and medical mysteries that didn’t drum up interest. The search for the next legendary medical drama continues.

WWYT Rating: 4.5

Nielsen Rating: 1.0 This is CBS second lowest rated show and should only fall farther, don’t expect this to see 2017. Chance of renewal 5% (down from 45%)



TV Review: The Great Indoors


Airs: Thursday 8:30/7:30c on CBS

Review: Pilot

I am a Gen Xer. I always called the generation after me Gen Y, with millennials those that were born in the new millennium. Turns out this is wrong. Millennials are what I always called Gen Y – they entered the workforce in the new millennium. [This also means that a new generation should be entering the workforce, are they Gen Zed? I think the following generation is the alpha generation. I think I have digressed rather significantly.]  Why do I bring this up? Because The Great Indoors has a Gen Xer mocking Millennials the entire show.

Jack is a typical Gen Xer, a loner, detached from society. He’s so detached that he travels the globe to remote locations and sends in stories to a magazine. As with all print media, the paper version of the magazine is dying and needs to switch to all online content – Jack is recalled to help with this transition – no more outdoor excursions. The challenge for him is a) reconnect with society; and b) deal with spoiled Millennials, who can’t handle criticism and want a prize for doing even the smallest thing correctly.

The Great Indoors is a bit heavy handed with the stereotyping. By “a bit” I mean as subtle as a sledgehammer to the face. As a Gen Xer myself, I enjoyed the endless mocking of the Millennials. However, the show might get tired after a while. And for all you Millennials reading this, GET OFF MY LAWN!

WWYT Rating: 7.0

Nielsen Rating: 1.9 An okay premier rating. Though I do have to question the strategy of mocking millennials when they will become an increasing percentage of the demo every year the show is on.