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Caligula_K3

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  1. I definitely agree that second person was used to great effect in Fifth Season; Raven's Tower is one of the ones I was thinking of where I felt it really weakened the book. I understand what Leckie was going for intellectually, but it's effect (for me at least) was to flatten all the characters who weren't the narrator. Anyway, greatly enjoying the book as I get further, and I should probably stay out of this thread till I finish too.
  2. I'd be very down with the second person trend dying. Maybe this will be the rare book where it's used well, but it is very hard to pull off. Bonkers is definitely the right word for Harrow the Ninth though- I'm enjoying it so far, though it's pretty slow reading as I try to keep track of everything, kind of like a Wolfe book (though not at that level of density yet).
  3. Maybe I've just read too much ancient Greek tragedy in my life, but to my mind, the re-use of plot elements is not a problem by itself. While originality is a great thing, I don't think it's the be all end all; familiar stories can be retold again and again with very different purposes. So I have no problem with a second Death Star in Return of the Jedi, because they use the familiar plot template to do different things than they had in A New Hope. Sure, ewoks are pretty silly, but the three pronged climax of the movie (Endor/space battle/throne room) is phenomenal and puts its own spin on things. Honestly it's one of my favourite climaxes in movie history. Same with Starkiller base. I may have instinctively rolled my eyes when it was first revealed in the movie, especially since it really comes out of nowhere, but I enjoyed that in the climax, the space battle to take it out wasn't the point: it was the confrontation between Han and his son, followed by the lightsaber battle in the snow and Rey's powers awakening. When it comes to the Mandalorian, I'm all for the homages to individual western movies or tropes; I just wish at times they'd put a little more effort into putting their own spin on it, rather than copying things beat for beat and calling it a day (albeit with jetpacks and Tuscan Raiders instead of rifles and indigenous people). I thought one of the best episodes in this regard was last season's with the prison break; it's an old trope, sure, but they did it in a fun way with a memorable cast of characters and also used it to deepen our understanding of Mando's past.
  4. I finally got Harrow the Ninth from the library - I started reading it last night and I'm deeply confused. Which is exactly what I expected, based on what you've all said.
  5. Werner Herzog was great! I was so disappointed when they killed him off, because he had the makings of a great villain, especially with that speech he gave... right before the show killed him for no real reason. I'm still not sure what Moff Gideon got out of that. Moff Gideon has promise, but they need to do more with him than show him smirking at the camera occasionally and giving him Gus Fring's greatest hits. I do think part of the problem is Mando. It's not that Pascal is doing a bad job or anything, it's that he's both given very little to work with (he gets two kinds of dialogue: stoic cool and lightly glib); combine that with the helmet and I find it very hard to form any attachment to him. The show also wastes opportunities to give Pascal any meatier scenes; for me, the season's biggest wasted opportunity is not doing more with Mando discovering that his way of the Mandalore is not the only one out there, which should be a gamechanging moment in this guy's life. Again, I'm not asking for the Wire or Game of Thrones or even Firefly; just some basic character development or fun character dynamics. Plotwise, it's not that I'm impatient for it to develop; it's that I'd like there to be a plot, beyond vague "find someone baby Yoda can train with" and assorted sidequests. And with this show, it's never clear whether plot developments are actually setting something up for the Mandalorian; is Ahsoka and Thrawn going to be a key element of the show, or is this just setting up a spinoff, like the Cara Dune stuff last week? The production values are through the roof, it's true. The show has an excellent cast of actors, though it might as well have a cast of Cara Dunes since it rarely gives them any material. But if this show is just trying to be the equivalent of a kids' cartoon- then that feels to me to be a waste of these production values and actors, and it feels strange to me that it's getting such a huge reception for being such an unambitious show. I'm not saying it's a bad show; I can enjoy myself while watching some episodes. But in a world where Game of Thrones Season 8 is pilloried for being too much style over substance, or The Force Awakens is criticized for being derivative... I don't get it.
  6. I don't know that I'm expecting The Wire from this. I'm hoping for the show to do something at all interesting characterwise or plotwise, which isn't a high bar to get over. The best of the old cheesy adventure shows from the 90s and 2000s had characters you loved to root for and villains you loved to hate. This show has Baby Yoda. But yeah, count me in on those disappointed by this last episode. The action was quite cool. I did love the opening fight and how it was shot like a horror film, and the final sword fight was fine, even if I was silently screaming at Ahsoka to just like force push her adversary or rip the staff out of her hand. But as an adventure serial show, it's still really hindered by the fact that the show refuses to try to get you to care about any characters except in the most cursory way. It also suffers from its plot structure; even an episode that seems central to the plot like this one ends up turning into another sidequest ("I won't train baby Yoda for reasons, but maybe another random Jedi could if you go to some random planet" is not a great plot hook). I'm sure if I'd watched Clone Wars and Rebels I'd have gotten more out of Ahsoka's appearance, but as it stands... Also, I know this silliness is more the prequels' fault, but about Baby Yoda: he can't be trained as a Jedi because he's attached to the Mandalorian and has fear inside him. But, despite the fact that he's 50 years old and has been through a lot, Baby Yoda seems to be at the development stage of a toddler, or maybe a 4-5 year old. Just about every 4-5 year old (or two year old) has attachments and feels fear. How is it possible for anybody to become a Jedi? Do they swipe babies at birth?
  7. Oh yeah, that episode definitely did not show off the character at his best. But what I appreciate about that episode is that it didn't let Bashir's behaviour off the hook; he was clearly in the wrong and this was shown (whereas early in the episode, I was afraid they were going to try to romanticize it). But you're right that the skeevy elements of his character never quite go away.. Still, what a performance in this scene:
  8. Aww, I like Bashir. He was definitely pretty annoying in the first couple seasons, especially with women, but I thought he developed very nicely over the course of the show. Though I do hate that they made him fall in love with Jadzia again towards the end of the show and then had that atrocious Ezri/Bashir romance, which was bad for both characters and handled in the most 90s sitcom way possible.
  9. I agree. Out of all the plotlines they have to wrap up, aside from the immediate cliffhanger stuff from season 4, this is by far the most important, and not say, the Laconia stuff. But I suppose it depends on how much they knew about when the show was likely to end while writing season 5.
  10. I'm not proud of this, but I got a mod yesterday that basically activates god mode one hit kills. I turn it off when I'm interested in doing some combat, but it really helps to get me through the slog of some of the main quests, like the Circle Tower (and I definitely will be using it for the Deep Roads). I only played Awakenings once, so I'm excited for it in this playthrough, because it should be pretty fresh- I have very few memories of it, aside from the writers for some reason deciding that the companion they really needed to bring over was... Oghren.
  11. I commend Sanderson for wanting to explore the long-term debilitating effects of mental health issues, and for wanting to show that there often isn't a magical bullet characters can use to cure themselves. But there are authors who've done a much better job of showing this sort of cycle in 200 pages than Sanderson has in almost 5,000. It would probably be helpful if every book didn't end with Kaladin "leveling up" and having a breakthrough at the same time, and if there were more showing rather than telling. As for bloat and what it is and who can recognize it, @IlyaP, if you get 20 fantasy fans in a room you'll probably have 30 answers. For me it manifests itself in a few different ways commonly in fantasy series: when an author starts taking more and more pages to accomplish something they used to be able to accomplish in many fewer; when an author falls in love with their worldbuilding to the detriment of characterization and plot; when an author starts to focus on minor characters and plotlines that ultimately don't matter much. But the threat of bloat is always there, especially when your starting point is that you need 10,000 pages to tell a story..
  12. I would beat the final boss of Hades ten times before calling it a day, since that's when you get the "ending" of the game.
  13. Interesting news. My gut feeling is that whether or not Season 6 will be a mess depends on if the showrunners knew that they were likely to only get one more season when writing season 5. If not... season 6 is going to be a bumpy ride. But if they did and if they lay the groundwork well in season 5, I'm not against a more streamlined version of the show. The book series didn't need 9 books, and this show doesn't ultimately need nine seasons.
  14. Everytime someone complains about the bombers or Admiral Holdo's manuever being unrealistic a little part of me dies inside. Star Wars space combat (or combat in general) has always been motivated by the rule of cool above all else. There are of course many reasons you can criticize a combat scene in any of these movies, but realism is completely missing the point.
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