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Moe Sasseville "Moester" (Montreal, QC, Canada)

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The Lost Fleet: Victorious
The Lost Fleet: Victorious
by Jack Campbell
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
45 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great ending, but I want more!, May 3 2010
This is the triumphant end to one of the best and most successful new science fiction series I've read in a long time. The prose is nice, punchy, and flows extremely well. This novel avoids being overly repetitive, which was a problem in previous books in the series. Most of the loose threads have been neatly tied up by the end of the novel and some interesting new ones have been laid down. This is hopefully the birth of a rich new multi-layered series. So far, its everything I was hoping the Honor Harrington series would be. My only complaint is that some of the interactions I was hoping to see with some secondary characters just didn't happen...or at least not explicitly. There are a few references to conversations and events that I would have liked to see in more details. I can't wait to see what Campbell comes up with next.

Mass Effect 2 - Xbox 360 Standard Edition
Mass Effect 2 - Xbox 360 Standard Edition
Offered by Warehouse105
Price: CDN$ 14.94
52 used & new from CDN$ 2.00

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very rare example of a sequel better than the original., Feb. 21 2010
Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Mass effect 2 is one of those games who just comes out and grabs you. The story, and voice acting are at par with the best animated sci-fi movies in existence. The game play is simple and fun, and the entire pace moves forward in a way that makes you want to play for one more minute...hours at a time.

The plot is pretty simple, you are Commander Sheppard you've been brought back to live after being dead for two years. And your former enemies are your current sponsors. You work for an organization where the ends justify the means and the ends is the survival and dominance of humanity at any cost. You may choose the path of amorality or morality, or you may choose to play a little of both.

The game's best feature to me is the fact that the choices you made in the original game come back in this one which adds to the original's replay value and the game's overall immersion factor. The second best feature is the revamped paragon and renegade system. In the previous game the paragon option was the "boyscout" route and the Renegade choices made the character appear like a brutish jerk. Now, the paragon option makes the character seem more fair minded and respectful of life while the Renegade is more of a anti-hero type character who gets the job done whatever the cost.

There are a few weak areas in the game notably the exploration and resource gathering system and the weapon which seems to be you get either a quick firing weapon with little power and high ammo or a high powered weapon with slow fire and low ammo capacity. It could be a lot worse, and these small weaknesses don't take anything away from a great game. Overall this is the best sci-fi game in a long time.

Empire
Empire
by Orson Scott Card
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
73 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A good book if the context isn't taken too far., Dec 20 2009
This review is from: Empire (Mass Market Paperback)
I bought this book for three reasons. One I enjoyed the game it was a tie-in for and the second was that I heard it was very politically charged; and the third is that Orson Scott Card wrote it.

Card is a very talented writer who has written quite a few classics and I was looking forward to reading this one. As far as the writing was concerned I wasn't disappointed. Sure, its no Ender's game, but the writing flows, the action is punchy and the characters are relate-able. Many people complain that Card's writing is sub-par but I think what they really mean is that they don't like the politics of the book. The writing itself is at the very least decent.

Which brings me to the politics, and in a very real way the story and the premise of the plot. If taken as a very basic lefty vs. righty story; its pretty poor and if you get lost in your own political views its very easy to dislike a book who's characters are oriented strongly on one end of the political spectrum. What really hurts this novel is that its contemporary. If the novel was set in a place called "United Endoria" in some far away time like typical sci-fi; nobody would really raise a stink. But as it is, everyone is missing the point.

The fact of the matter is, the overwhelming majority of heroes in any time of military fiction are right wingers. While Rube is a paladin for the right wing; its not necessarily a bad thing. The plot wouldn't advance if he or Cole had been anything less than true believers in the cause. As a matter of fact, the fact that they believe the way they do is a major factor in their being manipulated in the story. As a matter of fact, after a point, its quite obvious that both sides are being used...which to me was the whole point of the story. To believe in a cause or a side blindly and without question will let you be manipulated into doing the very things you were trying to prevent.

I don't want to give up too much of the plot, but to me the true meaning of this book is that its an indictment of the current political climate in the united states. Both sides are far too into their own rhetoric and...under the right circumstances could be manipulated.

Personally I recommend this book to someone who isn't going to roll their eyes at a "Republican" hero and a "Democrat" villain and is looking to possibly willing to admit that both sides have their flaws. That heroes and villains are typically painted in a very broad brush, and are willing to have that in a book set in "the Bush years" which does not match accepted wisdom...Then go for it. Otherwise avoid this book like the plague.

But i enjoyed it, and plan on getting the sequel.

The Last Centurion
The Last Centurion
by John Ringo
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.02
59 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars A heavilly politicized book which is far more interesting as a sociological study than it is as a work of fiction., Nov. 4 2009
This novel is very much about the American Right Wing's growing moral outrage and bunker mentality in response to an increasingly polarized American political arena. This book is very a mirror of current extreme right wing view of total rectitude, where the left can do no right and the right can do no wrong. Which is a far sight from Ringo's nuanced work in a Hymn Before battle where both sides of the political spectrum were shown to be as able of incompetence as well as of competence.

This book is very much a rant as well as one might say wishful thinking as much as someone can apply the term to a disaster novel. In spite of the horribly one-sided and obtuse viewpoint; the book in itself is very accessible and easy to read. There were a lot of times where I wondered how much better this book would have been with proper editing.

In the end, the book was very disappointing. It felt like being inside a Fox News anchor's head and its not a very pleasant place to be. In the end I only finished the book expecting something to improve. But in the end, there is very little to write home about in this novel.

Sadly this book is about par for the course since Ghost came out.

Borderlands - Xbox 360
Borderlands - Xbox 360
Offered by Warehouse105
Price: CDN$ 11.39
40 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun game, thin plot....lock n' load, Oct. 27 2009
Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This game is a highly stylistic shooter with strong RPG and looting elements. The cell shading makes the game very comic bookish and the humour is very reminiscent of the original heavy metal although without the sexual overtones. The game itself has a decent difficulty rating, but the AI is pretty basic I can't count the amount of times an enemy splattered itself on my vehicle. That being said, the enemies make up quality with quantity. The online mode is quite entertaining especially the co-op modes. The game consistently throws some enjoyable curve-balls at the players and the quests are nicely varied. The random loot generator is a lot of fun and while it doesn't feel like there's a bazillion guns, there's probably a good 50 different weapon styles beyond that just the stats differ. The game makes good use of the Mature rating, its not an orgy of "f"bombs or overly ridiculous sexual references. Its a bloody game with gruffly speaking people. And that makes all the difference. The little voice acting there is, it top notch, almost makes you wish that there would be more of it.

There is tons of replay value in this game, always something new to explore and a nice reward system for being adventurous. There's not quite so much to do as you would find in fallout 3, but that to me is the fun of this game. There were times in Fallout where there was just too much to do, too far to travel; and in the end it became a grind. While the themes are similar, this game is all action and fun. I would have liked more of a plot and more voice acting, but in the end I don't really need it in a shooter like this.

NHL 2010 - Xbox 360 Standard Edition
NHL 2010 - Xbox 360 Standard Edition
Offered by Video Gaming Outlet
Price: CDN$ 24.90
18 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polishing of an already outstanding product., Oct. 7 2009
Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This is very much the same game that started out in a rough phase with NHL 08, was refined to great heights; and has been lovingly polished this year. The game is a lot of fun, the gameplay is outstanding out of the box and is amazing once you start to play with the sliders a bit. The online play is addictive and so is the Be a Pro mode which is at its best this year. The only mode which I thought could use a bit of tweaking is "Be a GM" which feels stale as even the menu is ripped off from previous incarnations. It would have been fun to see the president/owner or even media come into play more often in the season.

This game is still hours upon hours of fun, very much a worthy successor the NHL 09.

Weapons of Choice: A Novel
Weapons of Choice: A Novel
by John Birmingham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.92
60 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great action and plot, but its hard to like the characters., Sept. 11 2009
I loved the premise of the book, the action scenes were excellent and in many ways it was well researched. But both the future and past characters are caricatures. In the future everyone will be an ultra-liberal bloodthirsty jerk on drugs; while everyone in the 40's bigoted and closed minded.

There are a few exceptions, but its just not enough. These people are hard to imagine being my peers or members of "the greatest generation" While its true that I've only met WWII vets at the end of their lives, they seemed to be much more open-minded and eager to accept others than what is shown here. Its also very hard to think that people could be so callous about killing. Also the naming of the carriers and their class seems more than a little far-fetched.

Yet in the end, the writing is quite engaging and its flaws did not stop me from liking the book. I will leave final judgement until the second instalment in the series.

By Schism Rent Asunder
By Schism Rent Asunder
by David Weber
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.92
59 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Typical Weber overwriting., Sept. 11 2009
I used to be a great fan of Weber, he had very interesting characters with strong writing and punchy action sequences. Unfortunately in the last few years as his fame grew it seems that he isn't getting edited anymore. This book needs to shift 100 pages away from political machination and description to 100 pages of story. At some points I felt like I was reading a transcript from an otherworldly C-SPAN. It was a slow ponderous book which spent most of its time setting up the next one. Too much fat, not enough protein.

Winter Duty
Winter Duty
by E Knight
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 24.80
18 used & new from CDN$ 2.87

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Setup Novel, Sept. 11 2009
This review is from: Winter Duty (Hardcover)
This book is a direct continuation of the previous novel in the series. The protagonist (Valentine) is leading an army very much in the spirit of the french foreign legion except this one recruited from former collaborators. Following a fighting retreat Valentine is forced to find ways to equip and supply his men while waiting for an inevitable counter attack by his enemies. Outnumbered, out-gunned and marginalized by his own side; Valentine doesn't have much going for him.

This book squarely focuses on Valentine's growth as a character and has just enough action to keep the storyline from bogging down into a character study. While less action oriented, it is an easy book to pick up for new readers and a satisfying read for long-time fans of the series.

My only quibble about the book was that it could have been longer and could have moved the overall storyline ahead more. But all in satisfying and in many ways a better read than the previous book.

Star Trek (Two-Disc Special Edition) (2009)
Star Trek (Two-Disc Special Edition) (2009)
DVD ~ Chris Pine
Offered by The Digital Vault
Price: CDN$ 26.77
5 used & new from CDN$ 6.00

21 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of Trek, Sept. 9 2009
I have been a fan of Trek for years, and this is one of the best, most original ideas to come out of the Trek universe in years. I loved seeing the source of the characters and can only hope that the inevitable sequels will be of the same quality. A home run by J.J. Abrams. A mix of the new and old that will please all but the most die hard purist of fans.

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