THE SEVEN WONDERS by Steven Saylor

•October 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The Seven Wonders is the latest novel of Steven Saylor’s Gordianus the Finder series. It tells the Finder’s origins and I read it with the same enraptured attention I’ve read each and everyone one of Gordianus’ adventures. A great read!

In my years of reading about Gordianus and sharing his adventures, I’ve experience his life side-by-side with him from the height of his manhood through the birth of his daughter, adoption of two sons and into his old age. After reading the last Gordianus book I was somewhat depressed and saddened (because of what happened to the characters). But I was impressed with Saylor’s skill as a writer in weaving such a touching tale. At the end of The Seven Wonders I felt something completely different: hope. Hope for more Gordianus novels and hope for the man (fictional though he is) himself and the life he has ahead of him.

The Seven Wonders is truly the beginning of Gordianus in every sense possible and is a story told with an appreciation and respect for the ancient world that is apparent to all who read it. He masterfully recreates wonders we shall never see because they no longer exist. The Library at Alexandria in particular is a wonder I would give much to see. Thanks to Saylor, though I will never see it personally, I did visit it with Gordianus. Through Saylor’s words, I traveled back in time and saw them all. It’s a gift for which the reader can never repay the author.

As Gordianus and his old tutor travelled the world from one wonder to the next, mystery, intrigue, murder and adventure are their constant companions. If you take away the trappings of the ancient world, you’re still left with an entertaining coming of age tale. Read it and let me know what you think.

If you liked The Seven Wonders, be sure to check out Roma and Empire, Saylor’s tale of Rome told through generations of the same families and spanning a thousand years of the Eternal City’s history. I hope this review holds you for a while. I’ve been studying for a major certification exam, which I take next month, so please be patient faithful readers. I’ll have more frequent posts after my exam.

 

And that’s my 2¢ for today.

Hart of Dixie Season 2 Premiere

•October 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

If you remember, the end of season one left those of us for whom Hart of Dixie is a guilty pleasure bouncing on the edge of our season, wondering who Zoe would chose when the next season started. Last night we picked up the morning after. In case you didn’t follow the link, Zoe was mid-coitus with Wade when George showed up to tell her he left Lemon at the altar in hopes of being with her. The episode was hilarious, unrealistic and just what we need on a Tuesday night. We also saw the introduction of Ruby, who used to live in Blue Bell and has now returned for an undetermined amount of time. She was once Lavon’s girlfriend and it looked to me like there were still sparks between the two of them, so the road back together for Lavon and Lemon might not be as straight as viewers thought. As for Zoe, well George declared he was all in, despite the fact that it meant competing with his oldest friend. Wade on the other hand refuses to admit how he feels – and yes, an argument between him and Zoe about just that very thing did get them back in bed together.

Zoe declared that she was choosing no one, but it certainly looks to me like she’s going to try to make a go of it while George goes out to heal and date others (at Zoe’s insistence).

 

And that’s my short and sweet 2¢ for today.

Criminal Minds Season 8 Premiere

•September 26, 2012 • 2 Comments

Human beings don’t like change as a rule and Criminal Minds (or rather their network) has given us two changes this year: a new night and a replacement for Prentiss. Let me just say that since they’ve insisted on changing the night, I’ll probably make use of my new PVR each week and then watch it on Wednesdays (sans commercials) but I couldn’t wait this week because I needed a Matthew Gray Gubler fix.

In typical Criminal Minds fashion, we get just a smidge of the personal before diving right into a case. The essential mystery of the characters is something I’ve enjoyed over the years, and on the other side of the coin, I get great satisfaction from gleaning the little personal pieces of each character that long-time viewers of the show get rewarded with.

We knew it was coming and that it would happen in the premiere. Alex Blake (Jeanne Tripplehorn) has replaced Prentiss. She has a longstanding relationship with Reid and has worked some cases with the team already. Morgan and Garcia have just returned home from London and thus we get to go through our growing pains of getting to know the newest member of the BAU team with them. She’s not Strauss’ biggest fan and I can’t help but wonder if it was deliberately designed that way to get viewers on her side (there aren’t a lot of Strauss fans out there). Also, note that Tripplehorn is in the opening credits so they’re pretty confident in her reception. Which means we’ll just have to get used to her. I am trying to reserve judgement but I’m not sure that I’ll ever like her. Of course it’s a language-related case to introduce us to the new Prentiss, but how usefull will Blake be going forward? Does she have other skills?

Oh Matthew Gray Gubler I’ve missed you – I also miss your shorter, hotter hair cut though. Just sayin’.

A guy who never speaks – more than a little creepy already – and silences victims by sewing their mouths shut is really sick. I wonder where the writers get their ideas.

I love how sweet and understanding Morgan is with Garcia, almost as much as I love Garcia’s jealousy. It’s so them.

Oh yea! I forgot all about this! For the first time in Criminal Minds history they are going to have an unsub that tracks across the whole season. I’m so excited to see how this turns out.

I definitely want to hear from fans; how do you feel about Alex Blake and what do you think of the season-long unsub our team is going to be facing?

 

And that’s my 2¢ for today.

NCIS Lost Angeles Season 4 Premiere

•September 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Callen arrested for publicly assassinating the Chameleon and Hetty resigned once again. That’s where NCIS Los Angeles ended last season. Now Callen has been released from jail and Hetty has apparently disappeared. Why is Callen pushing his partner away? Hopefully just for the audience that Sam is now confronting, no wait, scratch that, beating up.

Hetty can’t have tried too hard to disappear…Granger just found her. Oh. My. God! I love the hand on the hip Hetty, it’s hysterical. And Granger, you’re such a dumb ass! You led someone to Hetty that clearly is not a fan (judging by the gun on his seat).

Is Sam spying on Callen or protecting his six? We are definitely supposed to be wondering. I’m going to go with the latter because I know my team. Alright, now Sam found Hetty too, was it a way to get messages between her and Callen? I’m thinking so because in the next scene, Callen and Hetty meet up in a little bar. Hetty is followed by Viseri and a bad guy from her past. Callen makes a deal with them, but a deal with the devil only ever works out for the devil.

The bad guys have the briefcase and we’re supposed to believe that the usb is still in there. Deeks might look like the careless surfer type, but he’d never just leave the briefcase behind orders or not. The bad guys are idiotic if they fall for it.

There’s definitely something going on here that we don’t know…shit! Christopher Lambert (aka the Chameleon) is alive. Were only Sam, Granger and Callen in on it? That’s going to cause some bruised feelings – oh, nope, the whole team is in on it.

Will Hetty kill Kadem? I think she just might if an opportunity presents itself.

Check mate. That’s the kind of sass that makes NCIS LA so watchable.

Right on schedule Hetty returns to claim her desk, her tea set and her team. Why do they do that?

Why do they feel the need to explain things so that even the couch-sitting dummies everywhere get catered to while the intelligent among us get a tic of irritation? Grr. Anyway, we’re off to a fine start and I can’t wait to see what season for of NCIS Los Angeles is going to bring us.

One last post for today, Criminal Minds, coming up soon.

NCIS Season 10 Premiere

•September 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

You remember the end of the last season right? Bomb goes off at NCIS, DCucky alone on a beach (at Jimmy’s wedding) having a heart attack. If this isn’t ringing a bell, go here and get caught up. Tuesday night season premieres were marked with humour, intelligence, grit and heart. I’ll start with NCIS and later get to NCIS Los Angeles and Criminal Minds (on its new night).

Ducky can’t die! Did you see that? After years of being a recurring regular, Jimmy (Brian Dietzen) finally got himself into the intro credits. I hope it’s not a foreshadowing of Ducky’s fate.

Now let’s just make sure the team is all ok. Abby and Gibbs are fine (he protected her from the blast) as is Director Vance. And there’s Ziva and Tony, stuck in an elevator but alive and in Tony’s case, with sense of humour intact. McGee is the last member of the team to be accounted for. He seems a little shocky – which is understandable since he has a shard of glass sticking out of his abdomen; hopefully the glass missed everything important.

Gibbs says “He hurt my family.” You do know what happened to the last guy that messed with Gibbs’ family right? I’ll give you a hint: he met with Gibbs’ own version of Extreme Prejudice.

Really FBI? You didn’t think Dearing was too smart to fall for random hot chick wanted to get busy with him because there was a terrorist attack and maybe we’ll all die? That’s a little naive, even if Dearing did take it too far by blowing up the agents. Speaking of naive FBI agents, why does Fornell think it’s over?

You have got to give Dearing credit for pure evil geniusness (no it’s not a word, I just made it up). I am of course referring to Dearing blowing up his brother’s remains so people would think he’s dead. A situation that’ll be remedied by Gibbs before the episode wraps up, you just wait.

And there we have it; a knife is all Gibbs needed to get the job done. The sight of his team, his family is what helps Gibbs sleep after taking one more life. Because men like Gibbs do what’s necessary to protect (or to avenge) the people they love. It really is that simple for him.

Good start to season 10. Let’s hope they can continue to keep it fresh.

 

Check back later for more reviews of Tuesday night season premieres.

Hawaii Five-O Season 3 Premiere

•September 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It you’re anything like me, you’ve been waiting since the season 2 finale to meet McGarrett’s mom and to see if Chin can save his wife and Kono.

I’m not surprised to see that Chin went for the wife first. Kono is a surfer, she’s good in the water so she probably has more time…and we learn later that Chin does what he can by calling Adam, Kono’s mob-adjacent sometimes boyfriend (played by the delicious Ian Anthony Dale) to save her while he goes for his wife. Unfortunately, the paramedics aren’t able to save her. Not the most auspicious start for the Five-O team.

McGarrett’s mom was a spy. I’m not gonna lie, that’s both expected and a little disappointing – I hate it when I can guess the direction that easily. I’m also not crazy about the choice of actress. Nothing wrong with Christine Lahti, I just can’t see her as McGarrett’s mom.

Wo Fat might be on his way to a supermax, but we didn’t need the commercial previews to know he won’t make it there. The only mystery is who breaks him out. Gotta say, that was a clever way to break a guy out of police custody. Rescued by Delano. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, you know what they say about the enemy of my enemy.

Lahti, as McGarrett’s mom is growing on me (as she gives it to Danno).

McGarrett and Chin are pissed. Wo Fat and Delano are pissed. Who are you betting on? The two soulless criminals out for revenge or the ex-Seal and newly made widower out for vengeance? If I were Wo Fat and Delano, I wouldn’t like my chances.

Who are all those people and why were they killed? Ah, Delano and his guys needed their Ids so they can steal 30 million in meth. Five-O is just a bit too slow to catch them before the truck takes off, but that’s ok because it gives us a chance to see a dramatic shoot out with civilians in the crossfire. I could swear Kono’s car was a victim, but she’s driving it home later, so I guess not.

Chin killed Delano; can’t blame him. Wo Fat is in the wind, but what’s this, the guy Kono shot (I think it was the same one who pushed her into the water) is still breathing and knows where Wo Fat is.

Don’t go outside Cat – doesn’t matter, Wo Fat is already in the house anyway. That’s right navy girl, you kick his ass!

Three shots fired from only a few feet apart and neither Wo Fat nor McGarrett’s mom hit each other? I smell something fishy.

Look at Chin’s face when he comes home – Daniel Dae Kim puts on a strong performance, managing to look completely heartbroken.

McGarrett is losing his mom again, to protect her. There’s lots of places to go from here and it looks like season 3 is going to be as explosive as we’ve come to expect from Hawaii Five-O. And not that I need to mention it, but Alex O-Loughlin appears to be in fine form.

I knew it! Didn’t I tell you something was kinky with the shooting! Didn’t I? But what? Guess we’ll hall just have to watch the rest of the season to see if the Five-O team can figure it out.

Tuesday night is Criminal Minds (on their new night), NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles. I will do my utmost to park myself on the couch tonight (at the expense of studying for my big exam in November) and update you tomorrow on each.

 

And that’s my 2¢ for today.

2 Broke Girls Season 2 Premiere

•September 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

2 Broke Girls is turn-off-your-brain-sit-back-and-relax entertainment that dazzles with zingy one-liners and oldies but goodies. What keeps it fresh is the cast dynamic. Whoever did the casting made some great choices. Although it’s style and no substance, 2 Broke Girls continues to be just good fun.

Still to come: the Hawaii Five-O Season 3 premiere so make sure to come on back.