Introducing Audiobook Authors/Narrators Edge

What is Audiobook Edge?

·         A feature in my targeted email list for thriller, mystery, and spec fic audiobook fans. (I’m going to limit the slots to b/t 3 and 10 per letter, so you should get high visibility.) I will occasionally branch out to other clean works that aren’t in those categories, but the genres listed are the focus. Will also post ebook links, but focus is audiobooks.
·         A chance to use some of those audible book codes burning a hole in your pocket.
·         A chance to connect with other authors who write similar works to you.
·         A chance to get your book some visibility and gain some new fans.
·         Eventually, we can band together and run a FB party or something to better connect with the readers.

Update as of 8/12/17 – AE will come out the first Sunday of every month. I’d originally planned for once a week, but the amount of books I have and the time constraints involved in setting this up means something’s gotta give.

What’s the “catch”?
You will need to either gift me your book or give me an audible code to hear your book. (Don’t send it quite yet, please.) You will also need to share this page with your readers because collective bargaining power is sort of the idea behind this. One last thing, since the vetting team is me, myself, I, and a handful of trusted friends), please be patient with that process. I will try to keep you updated but I can only listen so fast. I can guarantee that if I personally enjoy your work, you will get reviews at both Amazon and audible.

You’ll have a better shot of making the list and getting fans if you offer up a few free codes. I will be strongly encouraging the readers to review things they like, but I can’t guarantee you’re a) going to get results or b) going to get results that you like.

Questions can be directed to: devyaschildren @ gmail.com (take out the spaces)

Sneak Peak: Love’s Promise by Melissa Storm

Last chance at the $0.99 sale.
What’s gone on before…
So, this book will be dropping on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.
It will also be on sale up through Sunday, so if you get it early, you get it for $0.99. It looks like it’s going to be a sweet story. Check it out.

Excerpt from Chapter 2:

Everything felt heavy when Kristina first awoke from the anesthesia. Her eyelashes almost seemed as if they’d been weighted down or glued to her cheeks. Her limbs were thick and prickled with numbness. Even breathing felt more laborious than it once had. Wasn’t this surgery supposed to have the opposite effect?

She struggled against the fatigue and opened her eyes, one after the other, in a slow, careful squint. She wanted to sit up but didn’t quite feel strong enough to do so. Maybe if she pushed down with her arms…

The movement tugged at the IV protruding silently from her arm. It didn’t hurt, but it felt icky nonetheless.

“Good morning, sleepy head,” a nearby nurse said. “I was just coming in to check on you. How do you feel?”

Heavy didn’t seem like the right response here, so Kristina murmured “groggy” instead.

The nurse chuckled and put a heartrate monitor on Kristina Rose’s fingertip. “Heart rate is good. How do you feel besides groggy? Any pain?”

Pain? Oh, yes. Surgery was supposed to hurt. But… Kristina felt absolutely fine. “I think maybe I’m too tired to hurt,” she guessed aloud.

“On a scale of one to ten?”

“Maybe two. A little like I’m hungry from not having eating all day, but nothing unbearable. I thought it would be a lot worse.”

“Well, now, why did you think that? Dr. Daniels is very good at what he does. In fact, you’ll hardly have any scars to show for it. That’s the power of laparoscopic these days. Anyway, your vitals all look great. Would you like me to invite your friends in? They’ve been waiting very patiently to see you.”

Friends? Kristina Rose had only been aware of Elise staking out the waiting room for her. Who else had come to see her? Maisie? Jennifer? Summer, maybe? She nodded, and the nurse left with her chart.

A moment later, Elise burst into the room holding tight to the string of a big, happy “It’s a Girl” balloon. “I’m so glad you’re finally up!” she said, bending down to hug her friend and taking the pain from a two straight to a four. “Oh, I hurt you, didn’t I? I’m so sorry. It’s just I’m very glad to see you. I—”

“You were worried I wouldn’t wake up.”

“I knew you were safe in the Lord’s hands, but I still worried. What would I do without you, Kris?” She shook her head and chuckled morosely.

“Is that for me?” Kristina pointed toward the pink Mylar balloon floating near the ceiling. “You know I didn’t have a baby, right?”

“I know, I know, but I had to get you something, and there weren’t an awful lot of choices in the hospital gift shop. I figured the balloon is light and pretty. It floats, which is kind of like flying, right? And, well, you’re about to take off in this new life and get a lot lighter, too, if I understand it right. So… yeah. Here.” She tied the string of the balloon to the side of Kristina’s bed.

“You were waiting for me to wake up for how long, and that was the best you could do?” Kristina laughed. “But thank you. It’s perfect.”

“Hi, Kristina Rose,” a third person said almost shyly. It was a voice she knew well, but not one she had expected to hear so soon after waking.

“Jeffrey, hi. Thank you so much for coming!” She tried to adjust herself in bed to at least find a more flattering position, but doing so tugged at the IV line again and sent her pain back up to a three after it had only just settled down from the hug with Elise.

Jeffrey came to her bedside and gave her a very light and gentle embrace, then handed her a popsicle still in its shiny, white wrapper. “The nurse wanted me to bring you this,” he explained. “It’s sugar free and will keep your throat from getting too dry.”

“I’m not really hungry,” she confessed.

But then Elise was all over her. “Missy, you better do what the nurse says if you want to get better soon. Need me to unwrap it for you?”

Kristina Rose rolled her eyes. “I think I can manage.” As instructed, she unwrapped the popsicle, which was grape, her favorite flavor since childhood. She took a tentative suck and smiled. “Thank you for bringing this, Jeffrey. It’s so refreshing right now and the sugar’s helping to wake me up a little more.”

“It’s sugar free, but you’re welcome.” He smiled, too.

Elise looked from Kristina to Jeffrey then back again, but said nothing.

“I’m happy you’re okay,” Jeffrey said, ignoring Elise’s quizzical glance. “I prayed for you all day. In fact, I was so distracted at            work that I even burned the toast. Mabel sent me here, said a cook who couldn’t even make toast was no good to her anyway.”

Kristina laughed. Had he really been so worried about her? She hated to cause him concern, but she also loved that he’d been thinking of her, that he was here.

“Do you mind if I just say a little prayer with you?” he asked. “It only feels right since I spent the whole day begging God to keep you safe. And he did, so now I need to say thank you.”

“I’ll just… go for a lap around the hall,” Elise announced, slipping out of the room.

“Can I?” Jeffrey asked again, his honey eyes appeared even brighter, his brown complexion even darker underneath the fluorescent lighting. Kristina nodded, and he lowered his lean, muscular frame down onto the edge of her bed then reached for her hands. Their hands and skin often brushed whenever she grabbed a plate of fresh cooked food to serve to their mutual customers or when they were working together to refill ketchup bottles or stock napkins. But all those brushes were casual, unintended, part of a day’s work. As his hands cupped around hers, she felt a small jolt as if her whole body was just now coming to life and shaking off the heaviness of the anesthesia. Like Elise’s balloon, she’d become light, was flying.

“Dear Lord…” Jeffrey began, but honestly, Kristina didn’t even hear the rest.

Check out the FB Party going on all week:

Meet the Author:

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Magical March Giveaway

Join the Magical March Giveaway. Enter to win ~15 ish lovely fantasy stories … oh, and a magic wand. Who doesn’t love a magic wand. Your life would not be complete without it!

Check out some of the stories you could win:

The Beltane Escape by Ariella Moon (Favorite cover award from me)

Lady Fenella, Thaness of Thorburn, has no idea her fate will be shackled to a powerful sorceress. She believes Gran’s warnings about Fairy are superstition, Fairy was invented to make children behave, and Merlin and the Lady of the Lake are myths. Then, from a distant past when the rule of magic is threatened, a spell cast forward to sixteenth century Scotland finds Fenella. The incantation sets in motion a series of events that leave her branded, stolen, and betrothed. Traumatized, and separated from her clan, the Highland heiress finds an unexpected ally in Edward, her kidnapper’s son. But their fragile alliance is gravely tested when he enables Fenella’s young cousin to visit, and the Lady of the Lake seizes her opportunity and lures the reckless lad into Fairy. Fenella has seconds to decide. Should she remain with Edward, her best chance at saving herself and protecting her people? Or should she dive into Fairy to rescue her beloved cousin, endangering her clan, and abandoning Edward to his ruthless father, Lord Argonshire? Weakened, spellbound, and torn by conflicting loyalties and love, Fenella is pulled toward her fate — unaware, The Most Powerful Wizard stands in her way.

The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doue (Sweet title award from me)

The Firethorn Crown (Firethorn Chronicles Book 1) by [Doué, Lea]

The crown is her strength. The crown is her weakness.

Princess Lily, the eldest of twelve sisters and heir to a mighty kingdom, desperately seeks a break from her mother’s matchmaking. Tradition forbids marriage with the man Lily loves, so she would rather rule alone than marry someone who only wants the crown.

Fleeing an overzealous suitor, Lily stumbles into a secret underground kingdom where she and her sisters encounter a mysterious sorcerer-prince and become entangled in a curse that threatens the safety of her family and her people. Lily can free them, but the price for freedom may be more than she’s willing to pay.

The Firethorn Crown, a re-imagining of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, is the first novel in The Firethorn Chronicles, a series inspired by fairy tales and other classic stories. Follow the sisters on their adventures in a land where sorcery is feared, women can rule, and dragons fly.

Leandra’s Enchanted Flute by Katy Huth Jones (Wins the I’ve-actually-read-and-approve award)

Leandra's Enchanted Flute (Tales of Finian Jahndra Book 1) by [Jones, Katy Huth]

Fourteen-year-old flutist Lee Ann Graves is a survivor–she has beaten cancer. But her greatest battle is yet to come.

The Carolina wren who has sung outside her window during the long weeks of chemotherapy reveals himself as Songcatcher. He knows Lee Ann’s real name is Leandra, and he transports her and her flute to a magical world that is dying because of a growing world-wide “canker.”

Leandra is restored to health and her flute transformed by what magic is left in the world. But as she searches for the source of the canker, the malignant forces take their toll, not only on the land, but on Leandra’s physical and mental well-being.

With the help of Songcatcher, other bird friends, and a very human prince, Leandra must find a way to heal the land she has learned to love before it is too late.

Here’s a link to every book in the collection.

Giveaway runs from March 2-17. The winner will be notified by email on March 18. [FoF reserves the right to substitute the custom wand with something of equal value for anyone outside the US or Canada.]

Email me any time (Devyaschildren @ gmail.com)

Visit my website and join the mailing list. I’ll be revamping that very soon to include more contests, giveaways, etc.

Best of luck.

Link to rafflecopter

 

Top 5 Questions about Beta Readers

*Warning – the definitions contained herein have not been confirmed by Google b/c I’m simply telling you my gut definition.

1. Introduction (What is a beta reader? How is this creature different than an advanced reader?)
To my knowledge, a beta reader is someone who reads an unpublished manuscript with an eye for sense, sensibility, and general grammar gaffs.

An advanced reader is someone who reads a soon-to-be-published manuscript with an understanding that if they like it they’ll put a review on it once the book goes live. Traditional publishers have given away Advanced Reader Copies practically since the stone age of publishing. Indie publishers too know the value of good publicity.

Beta readers can be advanced readers, but the end goal is more to make the manuscript better than to get great reviews, though that is a nice bonus.

2. When and how do you use beta readers?
When you have a finished manuscript you’ve polished a few times yourself, dig up some beta readers and see what they think. You’re completely biased when it comes to your story. Get a second, third, and fourth opinion.

Find out what format each person wants and give them the story in that format (epub, mobi, pdf are the popular formats). Keep a record of who gets what, when they get it, when they return it with comments, and the quality of those comments so you can keep track of who’s an awesome reader and who’s lousy at corresponding. You’ll need that info to refine your list later.

3. How many is enough?
For the Lei Crime Kindle World stories, I keep a list of about 50 people to contact. At any given time of year, about 10-15 of those will reply to a beta reader call. Of the responses, a few will be “so sorry, too busy right now” sorts and the rest will be “count me in!”.

4. How do you find them?
I got lucky in that the Lei Crime Kindle World main author, Toby Neal, had a list of beta readers she shared with us. (These were fans who already love her work who said they’d be willing to help out with the KW stories.) Several of those loved my work enough to follow me on some other private projects.

Over time, I’ve also found some beta readers from my newsletter list (painstakingly built over the years) as well as Facebook groups. When I took part in a fantasy anthology, many of the authors agreed to beta read each other’s stories. Same thing happened with a Christian anthology I entered, but that was a little more organized because there were far fewer authors so we all had to read 2 other stories to make it work.

Family members can be good beta readers, but it really depends on the situation. Do not rely upon them as your only feedback because they are biased too. Unless they’re already an editor in the real world, family members tend not to give you the sort of feedback you need (this and this and that needs to be reworked to make the story awesome.)

5. What if you don’t agree with them?
It’s always nice to have beta readers who say “this is wonderful” but they’re not typically the most useful. The main goal of having beta readers is to improve the overall quality of the story. Not every beta reader has the right mind or skill set to give you articulate feedback you can work with. Some will just comb through for basic grammar mistakes and that’s totally helpful too. I used to read my own projects 9 times before letting others read it. Then I started writing more and 9 became an untouchable number of reads.

Hearing about flaws can be tough, but those who can point out the negatives might just have the few gems of wisdom that will make that story rock. (As a beta reader, I fall into that category. I tend to be brutally honest about what’s working for me and what’s not. I’ll let you know where I laughed and where ya lost me. Unfortunately, I with very few exceptions, I can’t take on new beta projects right now.)

In the end, it’s your story and you do what you want, but do carefully weigh their advice.

Want more unsolicited advice, random news, and freebie info?
Sign up for my monthly newsletter.
If anybody wants to join my beta reading or advanced reader teams, please drop me a line (devyaschildren @gmaildotcom). (Replace the dot with a “.” and take out the extra space…simple test to prove you’re not a robot. I know it’s annoying not to be able to copy paste. Call it character building.) Give me a brief intro to you and your qualifications as a reader. (I love to read! is a pretty good qualification, but I need to know a little about what you like to read to be able to place you properly with projects you’d enjoy.)

P.S. Guardian Angel Files: Spirit’s Bane (YA Contemporary Fantasy) is up for grabs as a beta reading project. First two pics are the anthologies I did some beta reading for because I was a part of them.

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Take the Book Quiz; Win Stuff

So, this is gonna be a super short post.

Go here: http://www.litring.com/giveaways/ and answer a few simple questions to grab some freebies and enter to win some great stuff.

The concept is pretty cool. These questions will help you narrow down from a bunch of different genres to get you a focused list of books aimed at your likes and passions.

Go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose.

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2016 Movie Mini-Reviews

*Note: I’m an Amazon reviewer, I’m just used to a 5 star system*

*The dates I saw the movie are in parentheses.*

*As usual, I don’t own any of the images. I got them via google searches.*

As much as possible, I will try to keep these mini-reviews spoiler-free, but no firm promises. Most of these films have long-since left theaters and been picked apart every which way by critics and movie lovers alike.

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Star Wars Ep VII: The Force Awakens

(1/2; 1/5; 1/12; 1/19; 1/26; 2/2; 2/16; 2/22; 2/29; 3/7/16)
5/5 stars. Mini-synopsis: A Stormtrooper and a scavenger team up with an adorable orange droid to bring the Rebellion vital information. Judging by the amount of times I saw this movie in theaters, I’d say I loved it. It’s kid-friendly. Yes, it’s very reminiscent of Star Wars Ep IV: A New Hope, but in good ways. The new characters: Rey, Finn, BB-8, Poe Dameron, and Kylo Ren are largely hits. The comic relief is handled with a deft hand. There’s a struggle and both a tired Rebellion and New Order ready to deal each other what death blows they can.

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Zootopia

(3/15/16)
3.5/5 stars. Mini-synopsis: A bunny cop takes on stereotypes to expose an evil plot to set Zootopian society on its ear. It’s a solidly good movie, but there seemed to be hidden agendas that were about as subtle as a neon sign. I typically try to overlook such things and just sit back and enjoy, but this movie sort of kept throwing it in your face. It’s not a bad message, but I go to the movies for entertainment not moral postulating.

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Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice

(4/1/16)
3/5 stars. Mini-synopsis: Batman and Superman are pitted against each other by someone with a twisted mind. It’s okay. I honestly don’t remember all that much about it. I enjoyed it while in the theater, but I didn’t run home to Batman or Superman toys, not that I’d do that anyway.

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The Jungle Book

(4/19/16)
4/5 stars. Mini-synopsis: A boy raised by wolves makes dangerous enemies simply by being human. A beautiful return to a classic cartoon. I kind of think I liked the cartoon version a bit better, but this stays true to much of that classic.

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The Huntsman: Winter’s War

(4/26/16)
3.5/5 stars. Mini-synopsis: The Huntsman returns to battle the Ice Queen. I’m probably in the minority here in actually liking this movie. It’s not a super-deep thinker. The fight scenes are decent. The comic relief falls a little flat, but overall, it’s a worthy follow up to The Huntsman. Fantasy movies are almost as hard as video game movies to get right. (Unless it’s Harry Potter, then it’ll make money anyway.)

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Captain America: Civil War

(5/10; 5/17/16)
4.5/5 stars. Mini-synopsis: Captain America and crew are sharply divided when the world turns against heroes and a council hands down some pretty strict oversight rules. Although not as good as the first, it’s an interesting sequel. Marvel does a nice job of weaving in a large cast of beloved characters and making them relevant. The action sequences are great and the plot has a few layers.

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Independence Day: Resurgence

(7/2/16)
3.5/5 stars. Mini-synopsis: The aliens Earth sent packing 25 years ago are back with a vengeance. Suffers from being a sequel, but stays true to the original in key ways. Cast is very good. The mythology expands a little. Not sure it made enough movie for them to attempt making it a trilogy, but it took a few decades to get a sequel so you never know.

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The Secret Life of Pets

(7/16/16)

3.5/5 stars. Mini-synopsis: Privileged animal companions end up in quite a scrap when they become lost in NYC. I appreciate this more having seen it while actually in New York City. Entertaining but not memorable. For some reason (maybe I’m just old??), the new animated films don’t have quite the sticking power with me as the old school ones. I think Frozen is the last one I can think of that really stuck out as fantastic.

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Moana (12/27/16)

4/5 stars. Mini-synopsis: A chieftain’s daughter embarks on a grand adventure to write some mythical proportion wrongs brought about by one demi-god’s misdeed generations ago. Amusing. Beautiful. The songs are lovely but not the sort you’ll find yourself humming in the shower. The comic relief is a tad forced but it works. The chicken is hilarious.

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Rogue One (12/16; 12/17; 12/19; 12/30/16)

5/5 stars. Mini-synopsis: A band of Rebels go on a desperate mission to give the galaxy hope once again. I have determined to make this the last movie I see of 2016, so I’ll include it last even though that means some of this will be out of order. Somewhat unfairly, I think people are naturally going to compare this to The Force Awakens and find Rogue One slightly wanting. While in a straight up duel between the two I might be tempted to side with TFA too, the comparison’s not exactly fair. The movies fulfill different purposes. TFA expands on Star Wars mythology and gives the Star Wars fans hope that our beloved saga will continue on in steady hands with Disney at the helm. Rogue One is a backstory. It tells a tale we’ve long known had to be out there and answers some deep, burning questions that could crop up during Ep IV: A New Hope. I don’t think it will have as long of a run in theaters as TFA because it’s really a film aimed at the massive amounts of adult fans. TFA fulfills that role (aimed at fans) as well as has a general audience appeal. Rogue One is way more violent. That said, I loved it. I loved it differently than I did TFA, but once again, I will be spending quite a few afternoons in theaters immersed in a galaxy far, far away.

Conclusion:

It’s been a pretty good year for movies. What’d you think?

What movies in 2017 are you looking forward to?
Of course, I’m interested in the new Star Wars movie, but I’m also sort of interested in Hidden Figures, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Logan, Lego Batman, and The Boss Baby (though I’m not sure about seeing that one in theaters).

 

Spoiler-Filled Review of Rogue One

*Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers, spoilers. And once again, I own nothing of the pictures.*

BTW, this movie is definitely better without spoilers. Go watch it first, then look for the discussions.

Introduction:

I love this movie. I’m a little baffled as to why people keep trying to compare it to The Force Awakens. They’re completely separate entities and fulfill different functions within the Star Wars canon as re-imagined by Disney. It definitely deserves its PG-13 rating. It’s a movie about war during the height of the Empire.

Discussion of the Character Arcs:

They did a very nice job with the character development of Jyn Erso. They took her from innocent kid pretty much orphaned by war, raised by a radical, emotionally wounded by being abandoned a second time by Saw Gerrera when she was 16 … in short, hardened by life … and gave her a cause to fight for. The more times I watch the movie, the more I pick up on in terms of the connections and turning points in some of the characters, especially Jyn. This is what I meant by replay value in my spoiler-free review. I’ve seen this movie 3 times to date and will likely see it a few more times.

Jyn Erso

When we first meet her, Jyn’s a criminal imprisoned for possessing illegal weapons, resisting arrest, etc. She’s got this flippant shell around her emotions that gets blasted to pieces when she sees her father’s hologram message. I’d say that’s the first real turning point for her. The second major turning point happens on Eadu when her father dies in her arms, killed by Alliance bombs. I’m surprised she can push that aside and focus on the mission her father basically hands to her, undoing his life’s work. She returns to Yavin 4 to convince the Rebel Alliance to go to Scarif for the Death Star plans, which will allow them to exploit the weakness her father put in the system. And fails. But she convinces the right people who go rogue with her, breaking away from the Alliance long enough to steal the Imperial shuttle acquired on Eadu and dash off to Scarif. I think the last major shift in her attitude takes place when she realizes they’re trapped but the mission’s only really half completed at that point. They don’t even have the plans secured. Staring at the end flying her way along with Cassian, you get the sense that she’s accepted it and made peace with the fact that others will have to carry on the war from here.

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Cassian Andor

We don’t learn all the much about this guy’s background. He’s a captain in Rebel Alliance intelligence. He’s done things he regrets in the name of the cause. And he says he’s been in this fight since he was 6. The viewer gets the sense he’s got a ship’s load of tragedy in his past. Throughout the story, his attitude toward Jyn changes. At first, she’s just a pawn to be used to approach Saw Gerrera without getting killed. He doesn’t trust her, and he certainly doesn’t trust her father. I think the first turning point for him is when he sees her fighting when they’re in the streets of Jedha. It probably helps that at one point she jumps in front of K2SO—Cassian’s droid buddy—to protect him. His second turning point is when he’s staring down the barrel of his sniper rifle ready to take out Jyn’s father. Cassian hesitates and ultimately disobeys General Draven’s orders. Another turning point happens when he realizes she wants to fight despite the Council’s decision. He’s been in the fight long enough to be able to predict the outcome of the political machine. The last turning point comes when he pulls her back from going after Krennic. I think they both knew they were doomed at that point.

Galen Erso

The more I see the movie, the more I love this guy. All the actors and actresses did a splendid job, but the character of Galen Erso is awesomely tragic. He’s the kind of misunderstood figure whose name gets lost to time. Is he a hero or a villain? That depends on the point of view you’re seeing the situation from. He’s a brilliant scientist forced to work on a project that scars his conscience. Collaborator – certainly. Double-agent – apparently. He loses his wife and his daughter in one fell swoop, one to death, one to inevitable separation. (There are still some big leaps of logic one has to nod and smile at in order to enjoy without questioning it too much.)

K2SO

K2SO joins a long list of lovable droids. He tends to say whatever comes into his circuits. The interactions he has with Jyn and Cassian are great. Pretty much everything he says is funny. He’s reminiscent of HK-47 from Knights of the Old Republic. The sassy droid seems to love what he does.

Bohdi Rook

We don’t get to learn much about his backstory. But somewhere along the way, he interacted with Galen Erso who basically told him to follow his heart, which led him to the Rebellion.

 

Baze Malbus

Once a devoted guardian of the Whills. He seems a little cynical, but he’s devoted to his blind friend. I love his machine gun blaster. The dude wears a backpack tank thing that must have a lot of fuel in it because he mows down opposition.

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Chirrut Imwe

He’s blind, yet he sees much in the Force. This might be the first time we see a cool action sequence of this nature without a lightsaber involved.

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) Ph: Jonathan Olley �Lucasfilm LFL 2016.

Director Orson Krennic

In some ways, you want to feel bad for this guy. He’s a bureaucrat who’s devoted his life to making the ultimate superweapon in the galaxy only to have a pen-pushing psychopath who happens to have more favor with the Emperor to usurp control at the last second. Ouch.

War is Messy:

Good guys being bad; bad guys being good. The movie portrays the blurred lines of morality in war very well. Some examples include: Cassian shooting the informant who tells him about the Imperial defector, Galen Erso’s revenge in the design of the original Death Star, and Saw Gerrera’s rebels relying on terrorist tactics in their quest to rescue the Kyber crystals.

Things that they could have cut or modified:

The tentacle creature Saw uses to probe Bohdi’s mind. I get it; it’s Star Wars, they want to include some weird stuff, but I think it would make more sense to have him using an Imperial probe droid or something. Make it so he’s using a weapon of his enemy against the defector. His suspicion comes through clearly enough.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the end, but there could have been one survivor. I will say that the end gives new depth and menace to the way Tarkin calculates things

Reaction to the End:

I had zero expectations going in. Not sure what it says about me, but I find the ending beautiful and powerful and, of course, very, very sad. It brings new meaning to the simple words from the opening crawl of A New Hope where we learn that the Rebels have finally struck a decent blow to the Empire by stealing the Death Star plans. Typically, I’m a happy-ending sort of girl, so the fact that I love this movie despite its tragic ending says a lot.

I’m definitely game to see it again. (I’m up to 3 times vs The Force Awakens 14, but hey, it’s early in the run.)

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5 Reasons to Love it – Rogue One Spoiler Free Review

*Please note, I do not own the rights to any pictures on here. I looked them up on Google images*

Overview

The movie is amazing. You should definitely go see it. I’ve seen it 3 times since it opened on the 16th of December, and I fully intend to go see it a few more times. It’s actually convinced me to buy more Star Wars books. I’d pretty much sworn off Star Wars back when the expanded universe got massively stupid post-New Jedi Order. When they kicked off The Force Awakens, I did buy a few of the kiddie adaptations. I couldn’t bring myself to buy the official novelization because I don’t like Alan Dean Foster, but this time around, they have Alexander Freed penning the adaptation, so I’ll give it a go. But I digress … this is about the movie.

 

  1. Visually Stunning

Although I didn’t see much of an advantage to 3D vs 2D, this is overall a gorgeous movie. The ironic part is that it’s dirty, it’s gritty, yet the most beautiful scenes have the most power behind the emotional punch. Can’t say too much more without spoilers. The prettiest scenes were the ones that showed the scope of the Death Star.

orson-krennic

  1. Memorable Characters (Good Development in Jyn)

Star Wars has always excelled at creating characters that you care about. Jyn Erso’s character is probably the one that develops the most throughout this narrative. There are a ton of main characters, so it’s hard to get them all to be fully developed. There are cool insights into them, but we don’t see too much into their backstories. I’m hoping the book expands on this a bit. It’s a surprisingly large cast of main characters with some key cameos by fan favorites.

I love Galen Erso and the dynamic he has with Orson Krennic.

K2SO is awesome.

I will say there’s not anybody immediately adorable like BB-8 was for The Force Awakens, although the kid they got to play Young Jyn is lovable.

  1. Good Replay Value

While a simplistic story on the surface, there are a lot of lines and nuances to pick up on subsequent viewings.

  1. Sets up A New Hope Brilliantly (includes orienting tangent)

Sorry for being vague here. Star Wars can be a bit odd and confusing for non-fans. The classic Star Wars trilogy consists of Episode IV A New Hope, Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, and Episode VI Return of the Jedi. These were made back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The Prequel Trilogy started out in 1999 with Episode I The Phantom Menace, followed in 2002 by Attack of the Clones, and rounded out in 2005 with Revenge of the Sith. This later trilogy is set roughly twenty to thirty-something years before the events in A New Hope.

The vast majority of hard core Star Wars fans (over 20) love the classic trilogy and are pained by the prequel trilogy. Those younger than 20 might love the prequel trilogy more because they grew up with it?? Not sure. I’d have to ask ’em.

In any case, 2015 brought us Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which is set roughly thirty years after Return of the Jedi. This was the first movie put out post-Disney buyout.

This movie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set immediately before  A New Hope. Although many of us loved Star Wars from the beginning, it started in the middle of the story. We kind of learned to just go with the flow, but now, we have some answers to burning questions.

  1. Easter Eggs!

While a decent action movie, I’m not sure how many non-Star Wars fans are going to really fall in love with this movie. It’s not really fair to compare The Force Awakens to Rogue One, but I’m gonna do it anyway because it seems the rest of the world wants to do so. That said, TFA has a lot of kid appeal that will be lacking in Rogue One. That’s not a knock against the movie, like I said, it’s amazing. There are a lot of things to look for, and as far as I know, they did a spot-on job with continuity.

Conclusion

It’s worth seeing … a few times.

Favorite Quotes from Rogue One

*Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers, spoilers*
*I have no rights to any of the pictures. I found them on google images.*

Needless to say, this will have spoilers … a lot of them. So if you haven’t seen Rogue One, don’t read this post. I will have my spoiler free review up sometime soon, followed by my spoiler filled reaction. But I wanted to get this post together while I could remember most of the quotes. Many are probably just paraphrases, but I should be close on a bunch.

Inspiring

Jyn Erso: May the Force be with us.

Jyn Erso: When we reach the ground, we’ll take the next chance and the next and on and on until we win … or the chances are spent.

Chirrut Imwe: I am one with the Force. The Force is with me.

Touching

Bail Organa: I would trust her with my life.

Baze Malbus: Good luck, little sister.

Cassian: Welcome home.

Turning Points

Lyra Erso: Saw, it’s happened. He’s come for us!

Galen: Jyn, whatever I do, I do it to protect you. Say you understand.
Young Jyn: I understand.

Lyra: You’re not taking him!
Krennic: Of course not. I’m taking you all. You, you husband, your child. You’ll all live in comfort.
Lyra: As hostages.
Krennic: As heroes of the Empire.

Krennic: They have a child. Find it!

K2SO: Area clear of hostiles.
*Baze Malbus points gun at K2SO.*
K2SO: *hands fly up* One hostile!
Jyn: *jumps in front of K2SO.* He’s with us!

Rebel: What’s your call sign, pilot?
Jyn (whispers): Say something!
Bohdi Rook: It’s… um … Rogue. Rogue one.

Jyn: Here, you’re going to need this. (Hands the droid a blaster)
K2SO: Jyn Erso, your behavior is continually … unexpected. (paraphrase)

empire_rogueone
Funny (pretty much any time K2SO spoke)

K2SO: (after knocking Jyn flat) Congratulations! You are being rescued. Please do not resist.

Orson Krennic: Oh look. Here’s Lyra back from the dead. It’s a miracle!

K2SO: I see the council is sending you to Jedha with us.
Jyn: Apparently.
K2SO: That is a bad idea. I think so, and so does Cassian.

K2SO: Why does she get a blaster and I don’t?
Cassian: Where did you get it? (the blaster)
Jyn: I found it.
K2SO: I find that answer vague and unconvincing.

Jyn: Maybe we should leave Target Practice behind.
(a little later in the conversation)
K2SO: I didn’t know you’d be so concerned with my well-being.
Jyn: I’m not. I just don’t want them to miss and hit me.
K2SO: *mutters* Doesn’t sound like such a bad idea to me.

K2SO: You’re letting her keep it? Do you want to know the probability of her using it (a blaster) against you? It’s high. It’s very high.

*Jyn shoots a droid that looks identical to K2SO.*
K2SO: Did you know that wasn’t me?
Jyn: ’Course.

Cassian: I thought I told you to stay on the ship.

K2SO: You did, but I thought it was boring and you’re in trouble.

K2SO: There are an awful lot of explosions around here for two people blending in.

Darth Vader: Be careful not to choke on you aspirations, Director.

 

K2SO: I’ve got a bad feeling about—

Stormtrooper: Where are you taking these prisoners?
K2SO: These are prisoners? I am taking these prisoners to prison … to imprison them.