Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon is the fourth in the time travelling historical fiction series following our protagonists Claire and Jamie Fraser as they attempt to start a new life in the American Colonies.

Weighing in at nearly 900 pages, or 44 hrs and 54 mins of audiobook, this is a real behemoth of a book.  It’s also the book on my shelf that’s taken me the longest to read.  GoodReads tells me that I finished the previous book in the series, Voyager, back in April 2015, and I started Drums of Autumn around that time.  This means that Drums of Autumn has taken me almost a year to finish.

I read it in chunks.  I would read a large section – usually when the Outlander TV series piqued my interest again – and then struggle to continue and put it aside for other books.  It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it; I simply struggled to maintain my interest to read 800+ pages over a short period.  

What I liked

The characters.  I love the characters in the book, particularly Claire and Jamie and their unconventional romance.  Gabaldon has said that she wanted to show a mature relationship – one in which the partners have been together for many years – and she certainly achieves that with Claire and Jamie.  Brianna and Roger also take centre stage in this book and that was wonderful to read.

The Jamie/Brianna relationship.  For me, this was one of the highlights of the book.  I adored the interactions between Jamie and his daughter.  They are both stubborn Frasers, with differing views of morality due to their different upbringings in different centuries and both have red headed tempers.  it was clear that things were never going to go smoothly for them.  I loved that Claire was stuck in the middle and was uncertain if she should physically separate them or let them fight it out.  What was particularly beautifully written was the way in which Jamie’s and Brianna’s past experiences created a real bond and connection between them.

What I didn’t like

Repetition.  I must admit, earlier parts of the book are rather foggy in my memory having been read almost a year ago, but I seem to remember there was a distinct pattern of Jamie and/or Claire getting into some kind of situation in which they are in mortal danger and then they are rescued.  Rinse and repeat.  Given that this is the fourth in a (likely) ten book series, there was absolutely no dramatic tension at all.  There was no way either of our two main protagonists was not going to survive.  I imagine this was intended to provide colour to show how dangerous their environment was, and perhaps to develop their relationship, but I must admit I found it a little tedious after a while.

All in all I really enjoyed Drums of Autumn and gave it four stars out of five.

four-stars

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon – Review was originally published on Canadian eReader

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I received a free review copy of The Cobweb Bride via Netgalley.

The Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian is a fantasy novel which tells the story of Death’s demand for his Cobweb Bride.  The premise of the book is that Death has refused to take any more dying people or animals until his Cobweb Bride presents herself to him at his hidden fortress.  It follows the journeys of several potential Cobweb Brides as well as those interested in aiding as well as thwarting them.

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I was motivated to write this entry today following the news that GoT screenwriter Bryan Cogman has left Twitter. He explains that this is due to negative backlash on some of the creative decisions made by the team.  I can respect Mr. Cogman's decision and am sorry that the feedback he received was phrased in a negative and hurtful way.  As a fan of both book and TV adaptation, I would like to share my thoughts.  

One of George R.R. Martin's strengths as a writer is in his characterization.  The multiple point of view structure of the novels allows him to populate his world with characters as varied as a young tomboy, a young Queen coming to grips with her newfound power and a smart dwarf who wears his armour in his mind and for us to get to know and love them.  Each of these characters has a well thought out story arc with its own emotional beats, and following these characters on their respective journeys is one of the pleasures of reading A Song of Ice and Fire.

HBO has brought together a fantastic cast and crew to bring these characters to life, and it has been a joy to watch them.  I also appreciate that putting together an adaption of these novels within time constraints and within budget is challenging.  Also, if characterization is one of George R.R. Martin's strengths, pacing is one area in which his writing is perhaps not quite so strong.  There are moments when little is happening, but the characters are still moving along their arcs.  That doesn't necessarily make for great television.  

Clearly then, changes have to be made.  The changes I personally find easiest to deal with are those that don't throw main characters off their book emotional story arc or miss an emotional beat.  For example, what does it really matter whether Theon's sister is called Asha or Yara as long as her emotional arc stays true?  While I miss the Reeds, I can live without them as long as Osha is there to service Bran's storyline of learning about his dreams and the three-eyed crow.

Other changes are not so easy to swallow.  One major emotional beat that is missing from both Robb's and Catelyn's TV adaptation storyline is their learning of Bran's and Rickon's "deaths."  In the book this is the catalyst which spurs Catelyn to release the Kingslayer and Robb to sleep with a secondary character leading to his breaking his vow to the Freys.  Without the emotional blow of their grief, these decisions are less understandable and even out of character.  It is a major misstep in their emotional journeys. From what I have read, non book readers are also picking up on this, and struggling to understand their motivations.

The biggest change to the books, and the one I have the most difficulty accepting, is in Danaerys's storyline.  In the books the dragonnapping does not take place.  Dany's book storyline is probably the one that suffers most from weak pacing, and I imagine these changes were made to bring more action to her plot and to give her more screen time.  The reason I struggle with it, is that it negates what the character went through last season.  We watched Dany grow from a frightened, powerless young girl, to a Khaleesi to the mother of dragons, taking the power of her inheritance.  Her subsequent story arcs in the books are about her learning to wield that power, not losing it again.  This can be contrasted with the handling of Jaime Lannister's storyline.  Jaime, too, has little to do in the book.  The writers have written some beautiful scenes for him with Robb and a Lannister cousin which both serve and enhance Jaime's book emotional arc.  

In summary, no adaptation of a much loved book is going to please everyone. The creative team has done a wonderful job in bringing Westeros to life and I look forward to the concluding two episodes.

This last couple of months I've got through a few good books, and rather than reviewing each individually, I decided to write a post discussing all of them.  On the fourth of May no fewer than four new releases were downloaded to my Kindle, so I am happy I had a week off work to read them all.

Fair Game – Patricia Briggs
This is the next book in the Alpha and Omega series, and it was the usual enjoyable Briggs fare.  Anna and Charles are interesting characters and it's fun to see their development.  I was particularly interested in the end game changer – I understand it's impacting the Mercy Thompson series, too.  I had been surprised that Briggs was planning a new Mercy book.  I'd felt the character had come to the end of her story, but this will add a new dimension.  I look forward to Frost Bitten next year

I gave Fair Game four stars.

The Iron King – Julie Kanawa.
This is an ebook I borrowed from the library.  A Young Adult novel, it is the usual tale of modern teen finds she has an undiscovered past and hidden powers, finds herself in a fantasy world.  It's been done before, and better executed, but the storyline and characters were engaging enough for me to want to borrow the sequels from the library.

I gave The Iron King three stars

Unholy Night – Seth Grahame-Smith
This is Grahame-Smith's take on the three Magi of the Nativity.  As the Magi are only mentioned briefly in the Gospels, the author has created a whole storyline for them.  Personally, I did not enjoy this nearly as much as his previous Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  I missed Jane Austen's wit from the former and the genuinely interesting real life story of the American President from the latter.

I gave Unholy Night two stars

Orange as Marmalade – Fran Stewart
I confess I'm a sucker for gentle mysteries where the cat helps to solve the crime, With this one I particularly enjoyed that it was written mainly from the cat owner's point of view, with regular snarky comments from the cat as she tries to make her owner see the clues she herself has found.  I will certainly be adding this series to my "to follow" list.

I gave Orange as Marmalade four stars

Les Dragons de l'Empereur Noir – Anne Robillard
I don't often read in French, preferring to read in my native English, but I couldn't call myself a self-respecting fantasy lit fan living in Quebec and not read Robillard's popular series. I've been meaning to read them ever since I arrived in Quebec nearly seven years ago, but it took publisher Welland's decision to finally publish them as ebooks for me to read them.  This is the second in the series and I adored both this and the first one.  Robillard's writing reminds me in many ways of Patricia Briggs or George R.R. Martin.  All of these writers have a very keen understanding of character.  Whether Robillard is writing from young Kira's point of view or that of the older, experienced knight Wellan, it is easy to understand and empathize with them.  I can't wait for book three to be published in ebook format.

I gave Les Dragons de l'Empereur Noir five stars

The Alchemyst – Michael Scott
It is not very often that I am beaten by a book and do not finish it, but this is one of those cases.  The premise sounded intriguing – a book involving the ancient alchemist Nicolas Flamel – but I had real problems with the execution.  The biggest issue I had was that the author plunged straight into the action without really introducing the characters.  I really found myself thinking why should I care about these people?  In the end I found I didn't care enough to finish the book.

I gave The Alchemyst one star

Red Seas Under Red Skies – Scott Lynch
This is the second in the Gentlemen Bastards series of books.  I knew I was going to enjoy it when five minutes in I was giggling out loud at the banter between Locke and Jean.  This book reminded me more of a buddy road movie than an epic fantasy novel; it hangs on the relationship between these two characters – and Lynch describes it beautifully.

I gave Red Seas Under Red Skies five stars

Insurgent – Veronica Roth
Roth's Divergent series is tipped by some to be the next Hunger Games, and it is easy to see why.  The post apocalyptic world Roth creates feels real – and scary – and her characters are engaging and multi dimensional.  This is the second of the series, and while I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first one, it is still an excellent read.

I gave Insurgent four stars

The Serpent's Shadow – Rick Riordan
This is the third and final book in Riordan's Kane Chronicles series dealing with Egyptian mythology.  I have not enjoyed this series as much as the Heroes of Olympus one based on Greek/Roman mythology, but it's still a fun read.  The series is lifted from the banal by the banter and wit sprinkled throughout the pages, but still it is fairly predictable. 

I gave The Serpent's Shadow three stars

Deadlocked – Charlaine Harris
Some reviews on Goodreads criticized the novel for being bloated with too many of the minutiae of Sookie's everyday life.  That wasn't a problem for me personally.  I enjoyed reading about easygoing Southern life.  The mystery was fun if not a page-turner, and Sookie was as annoying as ever with her boyfriend angst and her insistence on proceeding despite multiple flashing, neon warning signs.  I enjoyed the book in spite of these faults.  It felt like meeting up again with old friends.

I gave Deadlocked five stars

What next?
My Kobo reader is away for servicing, so I'm unable to read the next two ebooks I have in mind as they're non-Kindle compatible ePubs.  These are Anne Robillard's A.N.G.E. and the next in Julie Kanawa's Iron series.  In the meantime I'm reading Burned, the next in the House of Night series.

What an absolutely wonderful surprise I had on reading my Twitter feed this morning (thanks @Elmblade43!) to find that the Harry Potter ebooks are now available for purchase through the Pottermore store.  This was unexpected to me as I'd not seen any prior announcements that the store was due to open; I'd expected it to be delayed until after the opening of the Pottermore site to the general public given how the original beta launch of the Pottermore site was launched.

I had many misgivings about the Pottermore store given how poorly the beta site was handled.  However, from the moment I went to the store it was clear I was in much safer hands.  The first step in the process was to create a Pottermore shop account (not the same as your Pottermore account, meaning that non Beta Pottermore fans can still purchase the books.)  This was all pretty straightforward.  The rest of the purchase process was too; select the books (I opted for the bundle of all seven for a 10% discount) – and it has to be noted that they are very reasonably priced – $7.99 – $9.99.

The next stage was the one which caused me the most anxiety – how would I get these books to my Kindle?  Would it be a pain in the arse as it is to borrow library books?  I needn't have worried.  On the My Books page, where you go to download the books, one of the options was for Kindle.  I was asked to link my Amazon account and the books immediately appeared in my Kindle archive library and started to sync to my devices.  

 Moreover, the books come with Amazon's Whispersync which keeps you on the same page if you're reading across multiple devices, and on the Kindle Touch it has X-Ray – the feature which helps you keep track of who is who and where in the book they appear.  That is a real blessing for those long series like Harry Potter or George R R Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. In short, once the books are purchased they are no different from any other book I have on my Kindle.

The whole process is well thought out at least if you buy via a web browser.  Well done Pottermore store.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith follows a similar structure to his earlier book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in that it combines existing material with the fantastical.  The premise of the book is that American President Abraham Lincoln's life was spent hunting vampires as well as abolishing slavery.  
 
A mix of genres
Now, straight historical biography is not a genre I tend to read very often; I'd rather be transported to a new world than learn about someone who lives or lived in ours.  I found this particular combination of hard fact and fantastical fiction to be both fun and somewhat informative.  A reader of this book would not finish it with an encyclopedic knowledge of Lincoln’s life – I must admit I kept Wikipedia on hand to check historical facts – but he may know more about him than he did previously, and possibly be inspired to learn more.   It should be pointed out that as a Brit, my knowledge of American history is sketchy at best.  It may be that American readers will learn little that is new to them.  They however may enjoy trying to guess how the author will incorporate certain events into the vampire mythology.
 
One aspect I particularly enjoyed was the overarching theme connecting both the historical and supernatural; the idea of not judging an individual by the group to which he or she belongs.  This plays out both in Abraham’s attitude towards the vampires as well as the real world issue of race relations and slavery.
 
Pacing and structure
I found the pacing of the novel to be fast – almost too fast at some points.  Sometimes I had the impression Grahame Smith was doing a simple join-the-dots puzzle.  By that I mean he highlighted several well-documented events in Lincoln’s life and built the vampire mythology around them, for example the deaths of Lincoln’s first love and his sons.  These were very well done in themselves, but I would have the author’s going into more depth in many places and expanded upon them. 
 
The novel also breaks its own framing structure; it begins with Seth Grahame Smith’s being presented with Lincoln’s diaries by a vampire, upon which he supposedly based the book.  However, he fails to close this framing structure by not ending the book with a note from the author.   
 
The cultural card
I should point out that as a non-American, my knowledge of America's 16th President is sketchy at best, so I enjoyed learning a little more about Lincoln's life and work.  My enjoyment was probably enhanced also by the fact that, as a Brit, I have no cultural baggage regarding this historical figure. I can imagine that some readers may not be comfortable with the liberties taken with the life of a significant historical character the same way that others did not enjoy Austen’s Pride and Prejudice’s forming the basis of Grahame Smith’s earlier work.  I notice a series has recently been commissioned with Britain's Queen Victoria as a vampire – it will be interesting to see if I have the same reaction.
 
Why should you read this book?
Assuming you have no objections to historical figures being imported into vampire fiction, and despite its flaws, this is a fun read.  The overarching theme of not judging individuals by their group is well presented and forms a cohesive link between historical fact and vampire fiction.  Don’t expect any insights into Lincoln’s mind though!
 

Odds and Ends

Posted: October 1, 2011 in Miscellaneous
Tags: , , , , , ,

I thought I would write a short entry today about a few thoughts that have occurred to me.

First, Pottermore announced yesterday on its blog that it is extending the beta process for another month, new registrants will have to wait weeks or even months for their welcome emails granting them access to the site, and that the Pottermore store selling Harry Potter ebooks and audiobooks will not open until mid 2012.  None of this comes as a surprise to those of us in the beta program, who have borne witness to the numerous downtimes and the notorious Purple Screen of Death.  Indeed, it's probably the sensible – if only – decision the Pottermore site managers could make.  It is very disappointing though.  The site itself is fun and interesting when you actually get on, and of course, I was anxious to be able to add the Harry Potter ebooks to my collection.  

Speaking of ebooks, I realised over the last couple of days just how much more enjoyable I find long form reading on my Kindle rather than my iPad, my iPhone or my iMac.  In all fairness, I should add that reading magazines is a delight on the iPad. The books I borrowed from the local library were not compatible with my Kindle, so I had to read on my iPad.  In the end I struggled with it too much and returned the book.  I am now back to reading on my Kindle and loving it.  In terms of weight, the Kindle is much more comfortable to hold for long periods than the iPad. The Kindle (now called Kindle Keyboard) weighs in at 8.7 ounces plus 1.8 ounces for the cover.  The iPad (I have the original one) is 1.6 pounds plus a cover.  I have two kitties who like to be petted while I read and it's very uncomfortable to hold the iPad one-handed for a long while.  As I have mentioned before, eInk is much more comfortable on the eyes.   Over at Bit101.com there is an interesting macro photo comparison of the screens:

Kindle

iPad

iPad

My next reading challenge is some fantasy not written in English.  As I am in Quebec, I have been looking to find Anne Robillard's Les Chevaliers d'Emeraude in ebook format.  I was finally able to find book one on Archambault's website.  It will be interesting to see if I find reading fantasy as enjoyable and understandable when it's not written in my native language.  I have read French translations of American/British fantasy works before, and do prefer them in their original English.  

Odds and Ends

Posted: October 1, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

I thought I would write a short entry today about a few thoughts that have occurred to me.

First, Pottermore announced yesterday on its blog that it is extending the beta process for another month, new registrants will have to wait weeks or even months for their welcome emails granting them access to the site, and that the Pottermore store selling Harry Potter ebooks and audiobooks will not open until mid 2012.  None of this comes as a surprise to those of us in the beta program, who have borne witness to the numerous downtimes and the notorious Purple Screen of Death.  Indeed, it's probably the sensible – if only – decision the Pottermore site managers could make.  It is very disappointing though.  The site itself is fun and interesting when you actually get on, and of course, I was anxious to be able to add the Harry Potter ebooks to my collection.  

Speaking of ebooks, I realised over the last couple of days just how much more enjoyable I find long form reading on my Kindle rather than my iPad, my iPhone or my iMac.  In all fairness, I should add that reading magazines is a delight on the iPad. The books I borrowed from the local library were not compatible with my Kindle, so I had to read on my iPad.  In the end I struggled with it too much and returned the book.  I am now back to reading on my Kindle and loving it.  In terms of weight, the Kindle is much more comfortable to hold for long periods than the iPad. The Kindle (now called Kindle Keyboard) weighs in at 8.7 ounces plus 1.8 ounces for the cover.  The iPad (I have the original one) is 1.6 pounds plus a cover.  I have two kitties who like to be petted while I read and it's very uncomfortable to hold the iPad one-handed for a long while.  As I have mentioned before, eInk is much more comfortable on the eyes.   Over at Bit101.com there is an interesting macro photo comparison of the screens:

Kindle

iPad

iPad

My next reading challenge is some fantasy not written in English.  As I am in Quebec, I have been looking to find Anne Robillard's Les Chevaliers d'Emeraude in ebook format.  I was finally able to find book one on Archambault's website.  It will be interesting to see if I find reading fantasy as enjoyable and understandable when it's not written in my native language.  I have read French translations of American/British fantasy works before, and do prefer them in their original English.  

Amazon recently announced that their flagship Kindle ebook reader was now capable of borrowing from public libraries.  As my ebook budget is a source of, um, friendly banter between my husband and me, this is one functionality that was very welcome to me.  However, at this point, this ability is only available in the US.  

I know from past experience that the Montreal public library, of which I am a member, does have some limited ebooks to borrow, so I decided to check it out.  When I last checked several months ago, the selection available, at least in terms of my preferred genre of fantasy, was extremely limited, especially in English.  Well, it is the main city of Francophone Canada, so I guess I'll forgive it for having most books in French.  In all fairness I believe their selection has improved markedly since my initial investigation 18 months or so ago.

My experience borrowing from the library was painful and I felt it would have been easier to write the darned book.  I am no technophobe by any means, in fact more the opposite, but I found the numerous stages ponderous and unnecessary.  I really hope Amazon's process is much easier.

First step was to go to the homepage of the Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales du Quebec.  


First challenge: where to go for ebooks?  I eventually found it under Online Resources then ebooks.  Okay.  Clearly, ebook lending is not a high priority at the BANQ.  The ebook resource page brought me to a whole list of other resources:


So, to find a book they expect you to click on each of the links to search?  The search box above is less than useless for ebooks.  I searched for Percy Jackson – a book I know is there – and it found nothing.   Eventually I selected the Numlog link and after logging in finally got to a selection of ebooks for borrowing.  I should mention that the website flashed a warning saying that the Safari browser wasn't recommended, but I had no issues with it.

As you can see, many of the books are marked "deja emprunte" – on loan.  That is a positive sign I guess.  The more people in Montreal who borrow ebooks from the library, the greater likelihood of the selection's increasing.  I would have welcomed a link to add myself to the waiting list for some of these, though.  

I selected to borrow Percy Jackson in French and an acsm file was duly downloaded to my computer.  I was already aware that the Adobe Digital Editions software and an Adobe ID were required and these were already in place.  Once entering my Adobe ID I was soon set up to read the book on my Mac.

So far so good.  I knew already that the Kindle is not setup to read ePub format books.  Fair enough.  I did want to get the book on my iPhone and iPad, however.  I hooked my IDevices up to my Mac and in iTunes in the Apps pane I navigated to the acsm file to add it.  

A quick Sync and I thought I'd be able to read the book in my Kobo app or the Bluefire reader.  No, that would have been too easy…  After much Googling I finally understood I had to navigate to the Digital Editions folder on my Mac and upload the epub file to my iDevice.   Once I had understood that I was finally able to read my book on my iPhone and iPad.  

One thing I haven't been able to test is the syncing of the books across the devices.  One of the delights of Amazon's Kindle and Kindle apps is the Whispersync.  I can start reading a book on my Mac at breakfast, then use my iPhone to read on the bus and it will automatically pick up to where I left off on the Mac.  I suspect that will not be possible on this non Amazon lending.  We shall see.

All in all, the process took me well over 90 minutes, although next time it will probably be quicker.

In order to be fair, I decided to borrow a second book directly on my iPad to see if that would be any easier and in all fairness it was.  Once I'd navigated the mess of the ebook resources though the iPad's Safari browser, chosen a book and logged in to the library website I was asked to enter my Adobe ID in the Overdrive application and was soon reading.  

As a comparison of ease of use I bought a (free) book from Amazon for my Kindle.  I went to the Amazon Kindle web page and chose my book.

I clicked on the buy now button:

And within 60 seconds was reading on my Kindle, just like the ad says.  

In general, I would say that the ebook borrowing process at the BANQ is painful at present.  The poor website layout combined with the multi step process makes it discouraging for people to become interested in ebooks.  However, I do believe that this will improve as more and more people become accustomed to ereading.  I look forward to seeing the progress.

It hardly seemed less than a week since I was last in our comfortable, if tiny, flat in London, unaware of the existence of Amalisia, nor that my husband was its rightful king.  Yet here I was, staring across the field at my brother-in-law’s army and his dragons.  Let me just repeat that. DRAGONS!  I mean big, scary, fire-breathing lizards – three of them, and not too happy, to judge from the snarls and clouds of smoke drifting over.  What the heck was I doing here?  What could a website designer from Hammersmith hope to achieve against the might of a dragon-backed army?
 
Then I looked over at my husband, and remembered why I had come to this place.  His brother’s prisoner, chained, dressed in rags and beaten to within an inch of his life, he still retained that quiet, calm dignity and inner strength that had won my heart the first time we met.  I may not be able to do much, but I had to try.
 
Taking a deep breath to steel myself, I stepped out to confront the new king, ignoring the frantic mutterings from the ragtag little group at my side.  It had to be said, my brother-in-law cut an imposing, charismatic figure.  Over six foot, with short blond hair and a beautiful smile, I suppose I can understand how this charismatic man turned a people against my husband.
 
“So.  You’re the foreign chit my brother married,” he said, in a voice like pure velvet.
“Yes,” I replied.  “And I believe it would be a very good idea for you to release my husband and restore what is rightfully his.”
 
His answering snort of derision hit me like a slap across the face.   What if I’d miscalculated?
“And why should I do that?  Are you going to force me with that little army of yours?” 
 
A ripple of laughter ran through his army.  My own group, bless them, fought back its weariness as every man, woman and child we had gathered in support of my husband stood straighter, grasped his or her homemade weapon and stared back with a determined look. 
 
I turned back to my brother-in-law.  “I have a powerful protector who will see justice done.”
 
At that last remark he couldn’t contain his amusement.  “Really?  He must be powerful indeed to face a dragonlord.”
 
“My protector is a lord of time and space.  He fears no dragons.  I have a message from him.”
 
At that, I stepped forward, and handed the king my iPhone, pressing play on the video I had selected.  Everything hung on his reaction.  The world seemed to slow to a halt as the video played.  My eyes were fixed on the king’s face.  What would he think?  What would he do?  Would he see through my trick?  It seemed an eternity before the amusement in the king’s eyes turned to puzzlement.  Finally, joy of joys, all the colour in that beautiful face drained away as fear took over. 
 
Pointing to my husband, the king ordered his release before commanding his army and the dragons to move out.  It was over.
 
Later that night in our tent, my husband asked me what video I had shown his brother that had turned the course of the war.  Smiling, I handed him my iPhone – thank goodness I’d had it with me the day I travelled to Amalisia – and rewound the video.  My husband’s peal of laughter as he watched Matt Smith as The Doctor telling the Atraxi to “basically… run” was the most heartwarming sound I had heard in weeks. 
 
“A lord of time and space indeed!”