Star Trek: Khan by Mike Johnson

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Don’t be cheated by the cover. Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t come up until much later through several volumes of this compilation of the new-ish non-TOS Star Trek canon detailing the past life of Khan Noonien Singh.

I don’t know about you, the Khan we all love was Mexican Khan. He is not Sikh and TOS just gloss it out way more offensive than JJ Abrams did. I don’t know about you, TOS series did use that evil foreigner villain trope and nope that isn’t a good attempt to diversify anything. What this graphic novels did was atleast trying to correct the gross appropriation of the character origins… and eventually explain why he look like Benedict Cumberbatch in the end.

I think the graphic novels did more justice to the movies than Enterprise post-“Into Darkness” graphic sequels. For all I know, “Into Darkness” should be renamed as “Star Trek Khan”. I don’t think there’s a direct impact from Spock’s meddling into the timeline as this origin story was several hundred years before the current canon, you could consider it as well the origin story of the original TOS Khan without the actual TOS Khan episodes.

Moreover, it did explain why Khan was genuinely and deeply angry at Marcus for doing whatever he was doing to him prior to “Into Darkness” events and connect the relationship between him and the rest of his original crew. Also it did explain the canon before the utopian civilization happen and how Khan was directly involved with the future.

If you are a Trekkie or just someone who want to learn more about the character or Cumberbitches, Star Trek : Khan was a good modern novelization of your favourite character if you don’t mind Cumberbatch being Khan since I do think he does a good job with it. I’m Asian, its an antagonist character historically played by non-Asian although the character was 100% Asian. Although now that the graphic novel solve the issue of how MexicanKhan become SikhKhan becoming KhanBatch, if JJ Abrams want to fix what Marcus did to Khan with a real older Sikh actor, I don’t mind Ajay Devgan being him.

This ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Doctor Who: The Bog Warrior (Time Trips) by Cecelia Ahern

22047671 ScreenHunter_71 May. 29 21.57 I have a big expectation from this story and the author. But I can’t help feeling disappointed by this story. Much like the rest of 10th Doctor stories, the Doctor went into a planet to observe but inexplicably got himself into trouble and then resolve the problems and happily ever after. The problem is, the story lack the essence of Russell T Davies’s Doctor. Since this 10th Doctor was without any companion and without backstory what so ever, you can easily assume this story is set before the regeneration episode. But without a hook to bring the readers into the story or a clue to where this story may pick up from, The Bog Warrior was just another novelization without substance and the plot was rather threadbare to be a canon. I think the story gave too much focus to the ‘romance’ aspect of the 10th Doctor story which was like “The Day of the Doctor”, both writers just skip three season worth of character development just to flesh out the superficial attractiveness of 10th Doctor. Since this is a science fiction Cinderella romance story that centered around a masquerade ball, forbidden romance and stuff, very predictable and its not hard to feel being cheated by it. While there’s some technobable from the Doctor (who is curiously a side character), most of the gruff I had with the story was the thin characterization themselves. 10th Doctor story tend to have a history with a lot of character deft and I guess the new character introduction made the story severely lacking. It felt like it was written as if it was out of habit rather than genuine interest. In fact, I’ve read better fan fiction by famous author that encompass all these Tenth Doctor feels without intentionally being a Doctor Who fanfic i.e: Fortunately, the Milk. Unless you’re a Cecelia Ahern fan, this book might not sooth your mid-season coma. The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

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Light is the left hand of darkness and darkness the right hand of light.

This book was deep. Philosophical and wonder laced with alien hLight is the left hand of darkness and darkness the right hand of light.

This book was deep. Philosophical and wonder laced with alien humanity and sexuality. The nearest comparison I had with the feels was “Frank Herbert’s Dune” and this book barely 200 pages a pop. That is how powerful this seemingly pulpish novel is and how any author should aspire.

I’ve read Ursula Le Guin before with Tales of Earthsea as a kid but The Left Hand of Darkness made me a fan of her as an adult. You could say the book fit more into literary fiction genre than it does with science fiction but everything can be a form of literature with merit even if it was in a category many critics despise.

“The Left Hand of Darkness” was an epistolary novel set in a winter world called Gethen, populated by hermaphroditic people who changed sex by monthly cycle. The story was mixed-narrated by the Ekumen envoy, Genly Ai who was on a diplomatic mission to form an alliance with the Gethenian. At the same time, he form an understanding of sorts with the Karhidian Prime Minister, Estraven, who was later being branded as a traitor and exiled. In his narrative, Therem Harth -or Estreven- provided another aspect of the world through a native’s eyes. Through Ai, we learn the basic of the society through a stranger’s eyes but through Therem, we learn how the society reacted, the culture, the religion and belief, what was norm and taboo. The narratives was added with reports of various Ekumen scientists and Genthen’s mythology. Essentially, majority of the story focused itself with the story of these people, cross-linked with alien anthropology and politics. Again, a ginormous feat done in a rather compact volume while many authors choose to write endless series just to explain minute details of everything.

I like that the book somehow layered with stories, human emotions, philosophical questions and more mythologies. Curiously, even when the gender roles was reversed and absent or existed (in Kemmer), the characters became even more layered with potentials exceeding what we’re used too. Weirdly enough, even Genly had a problem describing women to Therem although he did use a lot of female adjectives to describe some of the Gethenians even in their natural state (well, the author is a woman).

The writing is beautiful. The story is brief and beautiful. About two person and a planet and how things don’t always go as everyone planned. About regrets and mistakes. About pain and suffering and joy and love. Powerful and simple themes in one tiny book.umanity and sexuality. The nearest comparison I had with the feels was “Frank Herbert’s Dune” and this book barely 200 pages a pop. That is how powerful this seemingly pulpish novel is and how any author should aspire.

I’ve read Ursula Le Guin before with Tales of Earthsea as a kid but The Left Hand of Darkness made me a fan of her as an adult. You could say the book fit more into literary fiction genre than it does with science fiction but everything can be a form of literature with merit even if it was in a category many critics despise. 

“The Left Hand of Darkness” was an epistolary novel set in a winter world called Gethen, populated by hermaphroditic people who changed sex by monthly cycle. The story was mixed-narrated by the Ekumen envoy, Genly Ai who was on a diplomatic mission to form an alliance with the Gethenian. At the same time, he form an understanding of sorts with the Karhidian Prime Minister, Estraven, who was later being branded as a traitor and exiled. In his narrative, Therem Harth -or Estreven- provided another aspect of the world through a native’s eyes. Through Ai, we learn the basic of the society through a stranger’s eyes but through Therem, we learn how the society reacted, the culture, the religion and belief, what was norm and taboo. The narratives was added with reports of various Ekumen scientists and Genthen’s mythology. Essentially, majority of the story focused itself with the story of these people, cross-linked with alien anthropology and politics. Again, a ginormous feat done in a rather compact volume while many authors choose to write endless series just to explain minute details of everything.

I like that the book somehow layered with stories, human emotions, philosophical questions and more mythologies. Curiously, even when the gender roles was reversed and absent or existed (in Kemmer), the characters became even more layered with potentials exceeding what we’re used too. Weirdly enough, even Genly had a problem describing women to Therem although he did use a lot of female adjectives to describe some of the Gethenians even in their natural state (well, the author is a woman). 

The writing is beautiful. The story is brief and beautiful. About two person and a planet and how things don’t always go as everyone planned. About regrets and mistakes. About pain and suffering and joy and love. Powerful and simple themes in one tiny book.