Book Reviews: Star Wars, Grumpy Cat, and Inhuman Love

“If the chef is adamant about being spicy, I can always eat tortilla chips. That’ll put him in his place.”
She wrinkled her nose at the thought of a chef being spicy.

Star Wars on Trial: The Force Awakens Edition
Two supposed experts—never heard of them—argue as to why Star Wars is so great and why it isn’t. There’s a droid judge. Other people I’ve never heard of testify—the original meaning, not the urban slang—to that effect with their own essays, and then get cross-examined.
I’m surprised by how much of this tediousness I enjoyed. Helps that there was plenty to laugh at, especially between the councilors. I managed to annoy myself by thinking one side had a great point and then instantly the rebuttal had me thinking, “That’s true too!” I loved that the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles was mentioned, as all of George Lucas’s catalog was fair game.
But let’s be honest: this is an old book masquerading as a current edition, supposedly given a makeover due to the new movie. Not true. With renewed interest in the series they could have simply been honest about it.

Misadventures of Grumpy Cat Volume 1
Collection of eleven stories in graphic form about that annoyed feline of internet fame, drawn very lifelike, along with her little brother Pokey. At a certain point I thought: if she has a spiritual ancestor, it would be Eeyore, except that donkey just didn’t want to do anything, whereas Grumpy will go out of her way to make Pokey look like an idiot. In the first story Grumpy pretends to be a ghost just to scare Pokey and get revenge for not sharing treats; for someone who doesn’t care for anything, that’s a lot of effort. So something brings her pleasure, even if she’s still being a jerk about it.
There’s a sarcastic sense of humor that permeates the book, especially toward the end. Nickelback recording a Creed cover? Amityville and Full House mashup? At least one of these authors had a lot of personal grumpiness to get out.
There’s some extra covers at the end, but by then I’d reached my limit; there’s only so much grumpy a reader can take.

Mated with the Cyborg
In the future humanity comes across alien races, some of them nasty. A former Special Ops-type guy goes undercover as the titular cyborg to get info on said bad guys, or even try to kill off their leaders. So of course he finds himself falling for the “princess” of the story, who’s shunned because she’s not like the others; this was a nice take on Twilight Zone’s Eye of the Beholder.
This may be listed as romance or erotica, but I see it as a sci-fi thriller with some sex scenes. The way the alien culture is portrayed, with its militancy and especially its religion, espousing rewards in the afterlife, isn’t subtle at all, but I suppose that’s the point.
Overall I found myself liking it, despite the couple of times the human was so besotted he failed at operational procedure and almost got them killed. Kinda reminded me of a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, had the show been on cable.

First Bite
A stripper in the South trying to win custody of her little brother gets dumped over the phone by her high and mighty boyfriend, then promptly meets a new guy that same night after popping out of a giant cake. He’s not what he seems.
This is another entry in the growing field of not-quite-human erotica, and since it’s told in alternating first person you get both their thoughts as they fall hard for each other. There’s a deliciously wicked sense of humor, especially from her; he’s frequently stuck in the usual alpha male role, but even though she’s into him instantly she retains her image and self-worth, which is unusual in these kinds of stories.
As this is the first of a new series, it ends in a cliffhanger, before he can tell her his secret or she can inform him about her little brother. Half a point off for that, but overall a nice read.



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