Sunday, March 29, 2020

Review: Rocket Raccoon and Groot Steal the Galaxy!


rocket and groot

Review of Guardians of the Galaxy: 

Rocket Raccoon and Groot Steal the Galaxy! 

    This dramatic graphic audio follows the adventures of Rocket, a genetically modified, cheerfully trigger-happy raccoonoid, and his walking tree sidekick, the mighty Groot. This is a really fun audio book. The dramatic recording is complete with an excellent voice cast, music, and sound effects. The recorder is lovable and while he is rather helpless in a firefight, his skill is his vast database, which continually provides useful information. There is a lot of action, and a lot of plot in every chapter. Dan Abnett wrote this as a comic book in prose form, recorded by very good voice actors. I really enjoyed listening to this, it non-stop action, and the story really drew me in.

Their adventure is narrated by Rigelian Recorder 127. Recorder 127 contains a vital piece of information needed to create a device to control the multiverse. Unfortunately, he has no idea what this information is, and he has very large memory banks. Fortunately, Recorder 127 has fallen into the company of Rocket and Groot, who are on an independent trading excursion from the other Guardians of the Galaxy. Multiple galactic powers are in pursuit of them, including the Kree, the Nova Core, and a Black Knight with a Teleportation Plot Device. There is no shortage of action, danger, jeopardy, and shooting. A lot of shooting. Mostly by a raccooniod with “freakishly human-like hands.”

Rocket Raccoon and Groot Steal the Galaxy is also available in book form. The graphic audio has been abridged to about six hours, which was perfect for listening to at home over the course of a week. It’s a hoot. They are all literally running around, running out of danger, and inexplicably attracting danger in absurdly silly ways.  Five of five stars. Definitely a good book for a repeat listen. If you like action/adventure comics or Marvel, you will like this audio-book.

For those following the Marvel Cinematic Universe,  this story is on a slightly different timeline. The team is alive on hiatus, and Groot is an adult.  You don’t need the movies to understand the story. If you have seen the movies, don’t worry, this is a whole new plot.

Contains comic violence and tight clothes. Objectionable words have been replaced by “flark.” It’s probably at the higher end of PG and the lower end of PG-13.



Monday, March 9, 2020

Review: The Light Princess


the light princess

The Light Princess

          The Light Princess by George MacDonald is a classic fairy tale. In fact, it purposefully and comically includes every traditional fairy tale element, down to the king in his counting house, counting out his money. The plot starts out with a common issue: The king forgets to invite his sister (who also happens to be a vengeful witch) to his daughter's christening. The witch shows up anyway and curses the baby princess to be light of spirit and body. From there, the story takes a unique and hilarious turn: The lighthearted princess has no gravity, and laughs at everything. The story follows the implications of growing up without gravity. Written in the pre-space age of 1864, the book does a very good job detailing the princess's plight. The servants can gently toss her back and forth like a ball, but if she isn't caught, she drifts to the ceiling, and they may need a ladder to bring her down again. It's a fun, relaxing book full of puns and delightfully hilarious scenes.

          The king's philosopher's devise many plans to return to her gravity, though none are safe enough to implement.  By accident the princess discovers her gravity returns in the water, so she spends her days in her beloved lake. The king’s philosopher’s finally decide she will be cured if she cries, but the princess cannot cry because she is lighthearted and only laughs. My mom read this to my siblings and me repeatedly as we were growing up, and it always provoked a lot of discussion. What would happen if someone put a string on the princess, and floated her about like a balloon, for instance? What if she drifted out a window? How far up would she float? The version we had when I was little was beautifully illustrated with sketches by Maurcie Sendak.

          The Light Princess is a short book. It can be read aloud in under two hours. It is slightly verbose in places, which can be helpful for expanding children’s vocabularies. Five of five stars. Definitely a good book to read again and again.