10 Second Reviews
“Zombies, Run!” Virtual 5K
A few months ago, Six to Start put out a call for people interested in running a virtual 5K with story content in the “Zombies, Run!” universe. Of course, I was in. I was not disappointed.
The plot was excellent, funny and scary and filled with intrigue. The pacing was great; it seemed like there was story every few minutes, which made doing the 5K a lot of fun.
Even the swag was worth the cost of admission. We got a medal and certificate, an Abel Township towel, and a “SURVIVOR 5” running bib.
Plus, virtual 5K are my favorite 5K; you don’t have to deal with other people.
Six to Start is making noises about doing more of them next year; I’d definitely recommend signing up if you’re into “Zombies, Run!” (You can get on a mailing list to get a heads up when the race opens up here.)
“The Oncoming Storm” by Christopher G. Nuttall
I really wanted to like this book. And on paper, it looks fantastic: female protagonist, tons of female characters, set in space.
The problem, unfortunately, was in the execution. None of the female characters felt believable. It felt as though the author was a man from the 1950s who really thought he was progressive and knew what heterosexual cis women think about.
So instead of a slate of female characters with thoughts and dreams and agency, we got female characters constantly reacting to and worrying about men in ways that didn’t feel authentic. The prograganist, Kat Falcone, is a ship captain who is competent though young for her role; instead of seeking out mentors to help her grow into her new post, she second-guesses herself constantly and sleeps with one of the men on her crew. Her need for outside approval—and the way she reacted to any kind of criticism—felt juvenile.
The plot itself had potential: a theocracy expanding and the start of a war with a neighboring capitalist empire. It could have been interesting; instead, it felt like a heavy-handed attempt to retell the West’s clashes with extremist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS. (It’s not even a little bit subtle; all the men have beards, the clerics are all male, women are not allowed to learn to read or write or be in public without a male relative, and all those not of the same religion are infidels.)
This book could have been awesome. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
One of the best parts of “Dragon Age: Inquisition” has been the music, and the original soundtrack for the DLC “The Descent” and “Trespasser” was no exception. Trevor Morris, who scored the full version of the game, is back—and he’s still got it.
The album has 10 tracks, five from each DLC. I haven’t stopped listening to it since I bought it. It’s evocative and compelling and reminds me of parts of the game as I listen to it.
I’m thrilled BioWare released these extra tracks. Before they did, I’d just leave my game on at key scenes and let the music play. This is much more convenient. And portable.
If you’re a fan of the game or grand, orchestral music, definitely pick this up.
I’m not really sure how it happened, but I found myself watching “The Great British Bake Off” (or “The Great British Baking Show,” as Netflix calls it), and now I’m hooked.
The premise: Follow amateur bakers as the compete to be named Britain’s best. Simple, right?
And it is. That’s the best part. There’s none of the drama that always seems to accompany American reality TV shows. The contestants were lovely and supportive. The hosts were charming and helpful. The judges gave fair critiques—and praise, when it was warranted.
The only downside: Netflix just has the one season. I need more, Netflix. I need more adorable bakers making all kinds of delicious looking pastries and cakes and breads while being genuinely kind to each other. I need it right now.