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REIGN of Books Podcast
60 minutes | 9 months ago
EP. 77 Mars is for Badass Marines, Venus is for Creepy Alien Cities | Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey
Polish cover of Caliban’s War featuring badass Martian Marine Bobbie Draper (2018) There is a lot to love about James S. A. Corey’s fully realized Expanse universe. It just might help you forget about how bad Star Wars has been derailed and make you fall in love again with sweeping space sagas that can deliver on what the sci-fi genre is capable of. We’re slowly making our way through the solar system with this series, which concludes with book 9 in 2020 or 2021. We’re in for the long haul though. This second entry brings us to Mars, and introduces a character that I love as much as the Rocinante crew. Bobbie Draper is one tough Marine and takes everything the Martians, Earthers, and Belters throw at her. Listen to our break down of the book. -Josh
64 minutes | 4 years ago
We Come at Last to the End (EP. 76) | THE DARK TOWER (DARK TOWER #7) BY STEPHEN KING
How we imagine Roland at the end. https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/ep-76-the-dark-tower_final.mp3 We are finally here. We have crossed the lands of Mordor, braved the winter wastelands of Westeros, and survived Arrakis’s unforgiving and unending desert in a struggle to master fate itself and steer the course of the universe. WE NOW STAND BEFORE THE DARK TOWER. These other fictional worlds lie parallel in their own universes to Stephen King’s Dark Tower, in a metaphorical sense. They all in their own fashion represent the journey to the tower: to reach for the meaning of life, to attain one’s highest achievement, or to finally atone for one’s sins. The trek to the tower defied literally every expectation we had of this journey, and delved into some truly profound territory. Roland Deschain ended his journey as it began, alone, and using his own wit and will to defy superior powers and reach the nexus of all worlds. Wow, if that sounded spoilery, don’t worry, it’s only a vague description to keep this epic monologue going. It won’t help you fully understand or comprehend what King ultimately has our protagonist find. We’re still scratching our heads, not because of the complexity of the end, but of the implications it has for humanity. It’s not a conventional ending by a long shot, nor would we expect one from this tale. Our man Roland and his quest to save himself and all of creation will stick with us for a long time and demands attention for it’s literary elegance and execution in the questions it asks of us individually, including who do we want to be in this lifetime. If you want to hear our full discussion on the end of this amazing journey, check out the podcast. Spoilers ahead. Enjoy.
30 minutes | 4 years ago
Our Girl is in a Bad Spot (EP. 75) | SONG OF SUSANNAH (DARK TOWER #6) BY STEPHEN KING
https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/ep-75-song-of-susannah_final.mp3 The gunslingers just can’t catch a break. They face down insurmountable odds to save a town, but then Susannah goes off the deep end with the split personalities. Spoilers ahead. Wikipedia
12 minutes | 4 years ago
Drawing Battle Lines | Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King BOOK TALK
Illustration by Vincent Chong https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/book-talk-wolves-of-the-calla-final.mp3 In the quest for the Dark Tower, the gunslingers are drawn into a conflict where a town is being terrorized by wolves from the land of Thunderclap. Our heroes are reminded of the humanity they are fighting for and the terror that lies at the end of their journey. Spoilers ahead.
51 minutes | 4 years ago
Justice at the End of the World (Ep. 74) | Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
Album art from Come-come-commala https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/ep-74-wolves-of-the-calla-final.mp3 This is a mesmerizing entry into the Dark Tower series. Roland Deschain is asked to save a town from a horrible fate, and he can no more deny these people than forget the face of his father. There is an impending sense of doom and betrayal and more loss as the gunslingers must keep their own ka-tet from breaking as they face insurmountable odds against the emissaries of the Crimson King. Spoilers ahead. This amazing song about the people of Calla Bryn Sturgis transported me to the night Roland danced the Commala. It speaks of hope and fear and the fate of many resting in the hands of the few.
12 minutes | 4 years ago
REIGNFALL – Journey to the Dark Tower Movie
https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/reignfall-journey-to-the-dark-tower_final.mp3 Stephen King may be known for his horror novels, but over the span of his career he also shaped a very different type of story, one as ambitious and sprawling as the great fantasy epics of the 20th century. The Dark Tower series, now being adapted for film in 2017, follows the gunslinger, the last of a line of men who stood to defend a world that has moved on. He now wanders the lands of Mid World in search of the Dark Tower. We tackle this eight book series before the movie and TV series debut.
50 minutes | 4 years ago
Love, Loss and Exile (Ep. 73) | Wizard and Glass (Dark Tower #4) by Stephen King
The original ka-tet: Cuthbert, Roland and Alain https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/ep-73-wizard-and-glass-final.mp3 This entry into the Dark Tower odyssey offers some of the most tense and fascinating exploits in Roland Deschain’s journey to the Dark Tower. It is in fact near the beginning of a journey that will span Roland’s lifetime and it shows a boy in a trial to become a man. The game of Castles he plays with a band of desperadoes, a town hiding a mystery, his first love, and an unbreakable bond with his ka-tet — Cuthbert and Alain — make this one of my favorites of the 7-book series. Spoilers ahead.
8 minutes | 4 years ago
REIGNfall – Star Wars Aftermath – Readers Hate It, Listeners Love it
https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/reignfall-star-wars-aftermath-readers-hate-it-listeners-love-it_final.mp3 The Star Wars movie franchise is back and strong with the Force. So are the new “official” novels any good? Fans are divided, and it’s clear that the format of the book matters. Before Rogue One arrives in theaters, check out another band of rebels in “Star Wars: Aftermath” by Chuck Wendig laying the hurt on the Empire so that they can’t get back up.
12 minutes | 4 years ago
REIGNfall – Video Game Culture in Books
https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/reignfall-video-game-culture-in-books_final.mp3 Tron had its heyday. The future is the Oasis. We were inspired by Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One to discuss how both games and books are home to some of the best fiction anywhere.
8 minutes | 5 years ago
Dreams of a Better World – The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin BOOK TALK
https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/dreams-of-a-better-world-the-obelisk-gate-by-n-k-jemisin-book-talk.wav Seriously good fantasy fiction ahead, light spoilers included. The end of the Earth is happening, again, and maybe for the final time. Some humans, who are more than human, are realizing they may have the power to change their planet’s fate, but it is an odyssey filled with pain and uncertainty. Ancient truths from dead civilizations are starting to surface and a war waged for eons may finally be nearing its end.
35 minutes | 5 years ago
A Lifetime of Running, Then a Revolution (Ep. 72) | The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/ep-72-the-obelisk-gate-final.mp3 The humans of this world carry so much pain and sorrow with them. They are under perpetual threat of death by their own planet and must take on a resilience to survive threats that upend whole parts of the world. Yet there is hope, and it’s through the strength of one family that humankind may be restored, or destroyed. 4.5 stars
10 minutes | 5 years ago
Gritty Good Fun | Star Wars: Aftermath Life Debt by Chuck Wendig BOOK TALK
https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/book-talk-star-wars-aftermath-life-debt-by-chuck-wendig_final.mp3 Does it keep with the Star Wars spirit? Yes. Is it Empire Strikes Back good? No, but it could have been. Han is still a scoundrel, the new crew earns their keep, and the intrigue with the empire continues. But there are missed opportunities in the liberation of Kashyyyk, Chewie’s home planet and one of the best parts of Star Wars lore.
33 minutes | 5 years ago
Galaxy Questing (Ep. 71) | Star Wars Aftermath Life Debt by Chuck Wendig
https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/ep-71-star-wars-aftermath-life-debt-final.mp3 Some Star Wars movie regulars get into the action and we see what war on a planetary scale looks like (kind of). Solid entry into the galaxy far, far away.
62 minutes | 5 years ago
Reimagining Human Reality (Ep. 70) | Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/ep-70-ready-player-one.mp3 Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is essential science fiction reading; one of the most brilliant pieces of fiction we have ever read. It imagines our future by peeking just around the corner and showing how one new piece of technology could plausibly change everything about how we live.
46 minutes | 5 years ago
Soldiers We Leave Behind (Ep. 69) | The Forever War by John Haldeman
https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/ep-69-the-forever-war-final.mp3 This sci-fi classic examines the trauma of war and how in the future, to ensure humankind’s survival, some soldiers must sacrifice almost all of their connections to the species.
82 minutes | 5 years ago
Kids Combat Evil (Eps. 67-68) | Summer of Night by Dan Simmons
https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/eps-6768-the-summer-of-night.mp3 Dan Simmons, as we’ve noted, is a genius. This is his first horror novel we’ve picked up. There are nods to Stephen King’s “It” and vibes of “Poltergeist,” but this story is wholly its own. It’s a tale of bravery, friendship and dealing with loss. Simmons makes some memorable and gut-wrenching choices that leave this book at the top of our favorites list.
74 minutes | 5 years ago
Feel Good Fantasy (Eps. 65-66) | The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/eps-6566-the-sword-of-shannara.mp3 OK, this tale has some teeth. Even though I was face palming during the first two thirds because it followed Frodo and Sam’s playbook almost exactly, there’s a great world to explore and some exciting action that make the latter part of the story all its own.
57 minutes | 5 years ago
A Scary Freedomless Society (Ep. 63-64) | The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/ep-6364-the-handmaids-tale-pts1-and-2.mp3 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood in many ways can be compared to George Orwell’s classic novel 1984. While the world of 1984 felt like a dystopian relic when I read it (albeit an especially scary, fascist dystopian relic), The Handmaid’s Tale disturbs me because it seems like a future that could be right around the corner. Slavery, oppression, genocide – all the worst of our past – are present in this future.
8 minutes | 5 years ago
BOOK TALK: Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne
https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/book-talk-day-by-day-armageddon.mp3 It’s no Walking Dead, but the high-octane action, death-defying escapes and survivalist tips make for a fun romp through zombie land, doubling as a user’s manual to the apocalypse.
7 minutes | 5 years ago
REIGNfall – Kindle Unlimited vs. The Library
https://reignofbooks.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/reignfall-kindle-unlimited-vs-the-library.mp3 We discuss topics in written fiction in our REIGNfall series. This week, we talk about two sources for borrowing books. Which one is better? We debate. Kind of.
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