Review: Cibola Burn

Cibola Burn Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'd had plenty of warning in advance that this book represents a low point in the series. Now that I'm finished, I can agree that it doesn't live up to the rest, but I still enjoyed visiting the world of the expanse. As other reviewers have said at length, this episode does very little to build on the previous books. It also lacks a lot of what made the first books so good: political intrigue, interesting side characters, and gripping action. I thought we might be in for some interesting debate about who has rights to undiscovered country, how true new frontiers are explored, examined, and colonized. Perhaps we might learn something substantial about the protomolecule, or at the very least get some interesting speculative science regarding this foreign world. Instead, we get a lot of empty posturing and an 'everything and the kitchen sync' apocalypse that conveniently dissipates as our heroes save the day. I'll keep reading the series, but I get the sense that this book could be skipped without missing anything of consequence.

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Review: Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you, Mary Roach, for giving me so much interesting material to relay to my unfortunate family and friends! I'm a big fan of Roach's other works, so I had a pretty good idea what I was in for here. Mary is inquisitive, funny, ornery, and seeks out areas of study that most folks find taboo, or at the very least unmentionable in polite company. Gulp is an exploration of how we ingest, digest, and excrete. I think this provides for one of her most relatable books as these are all acts that we are intimately familiar with on a daily basis. If you haven't read any of Mary's books before, this is definitely where to start.

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Jade Mason