Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Book Review: Class 5 Series

I’ve been on a huge space opera/SFR kick lately. That’s all I’ve wanted to read. I prefer them to be light on the technical details as long as the world is interesting. After all, I’m reading about spaceships and aliens so I’m willing to accept the fantastical. Most of the recent sci-fi romance seems to be self-published. I’m ok with that and I try to do a little digging for content. Goodreads has some good lists I’ve been browsing through for new books to try.
I recently discovered Michelle Diener’s Class 5 series: Dark Horse, Dark Deeds, and Dark Minds. I read Dark Horse in June and liked it quite a bit except for a few things.  This last week I read Dark Deeds and then realized that Dark Minds was just published and I bought it and read the entire book last night.
Each book has a different heroine who has been abducted from Earth and held hostage or prisoner and each of them comes in contact with an AI or “thinking system” and becomes a kind of conscience for them as they are set free. There’s an ongoing story about the different alien races trying to destroy or capture the Class 5 ships and keep the galaxy from war.  And of course, there are the heroes who find and rescue the ladies (initially – there’s a lot of ladies rescuing their men also).
The series as a whole is fantastic. I had 2 problems with it in general. The first is that all 3 women learned multiple languages fluently in 2 months or less. It’s a minor issue and it’s offset by the whole notion that there were other races and cultures and of course they would speak differently. The second is that each book has a central romance and they all took place in less than a week. I generally don’t like insta-love and wasn’t prepared for it to be that fast in the first book. I was ready for the others and they didn’t bother me so much and I just went with it.
Again, those are minor issues. There are a lot of little details that I just loved. One was the fact that the food didn’t taste great to Rose, Fiona, or Imogen and they had to find things they could eat and did like. Another was how music was used culturally by the Grih and how different it is from Earth culture. The songs sung by Fiona and Imogen cracked me up a few times. I have to admit the songs that weren’t actually named had me wondering what they were exactly, and the ones that were had me listening/watching videos on YouTube.
Anyway, I’ve had a great time with this series and can already tell I will be re-reading at least my favorite parts.
I think readers who enjoyed the Scarabaeus series by Sara Creasy or the Paradox series by Rachel Bach would enjoy this.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


I don't really like animals. I don't wish them harm or anything and bad pet owners make me mad, but I don't want to have pets myself.

But sometimes they are fun to play with. My sister's dog is crazy but I like him anyway. Sometimes.

He's sitting in my front seat ready to go for a ride. How could you not love this face? LOL

In other news... we decided to not go to Japan next year for a variety of reasons. We are looking at a couple other places though. And we'll see what happens. In the meantime, I will keep saving money and vacation for travel and home repairs.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Decisions, Decisions

Grrr.... my sister sent me an email that Cathay Pacific is having a sale of 55% off flights to Japan. It would be $1000.00 from Salt Lake. Tickets have to be purchased by July 31 and flights have to be before May 31, 2017. Foreign flights for $1000 or less is a great price and Cathay Pacific is an airline that I really like. Very comfortable for long flights.

I have the money, that's not a problem...but I was kind of planning on staying home next year. I've been thinking about a new car, and I've been thinking about painting walls and replacing the carpet in my home and a myriad of other things that cost money or would need a little time off from work. LOL - what's a girl to do?

What if this is my chance to see Japan? We have friends living in Tokyo right now and they won't be there forever. I told her we better seriously consider this. People tell me a lot that they wish they could travel like I do. Someday is a word I hear all the time. It's a terrible word. Sometimes you have to say TODAY. Or at least before the end of the month. :)

A trip to the library for some Japan travel guides is going to happen really soon.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July!

It's been a great holiday weekend.

It started on Friday when my sister and I took my two nieces on a little overnight backpack trip. I let her talk me into it (she didn't have to talk very hard) because I thought it would be fun to get out and I have all that backpacking gear now that I should use once in a while.

We were going to go to the Uintah's and do a small trail there but the forecast was calling for rain so the day before we left, Amy decided that we'd go up Logan Canyon and hike the Temple Fork Sawmill trail. She said it was 2.5 miles although the sign says 3.2. I think she clocked 3 on her phone.

The trail starts out with a lot of sagebrush and small trees. It was hot and dusty but then you get into the canyon and there are pine trees and wildflowers and all kinds of grass and vegetation. Beautiful.

It was the perfect trail for the kids. Ha ha... and myself. Not too steep and 3 miles was just right. The girls had to carry their sleeping bag, clothes, and water while Amy and I carried the rest. It was their first backpack trip and Amy wanted it to be fun for them so they would want to do it again. They had a great time and already want to go again next year and maybe take more people.

The dog had a great time. Funny story... we were sitting around the fire and it was getting dark but you could still see and Charlie barked and then some animal made a noise. We all looked at each other and started wondering what it could be. We knew bears wouldn't be an issue, even though Amy did take her bear spray. The noise came again and it was hard to make out and we were trying not to freak out. Then it got closer and we could hear it again and this time it was a definite moo. Yeah, we had seen cows on the way up. They graze up there. They were on the side of mountain on the other side of the stream, slowing making their way up and over the side. Ha ha, what a relief to have that mystery noise solved.

The sawmill was built when the LDS settlers were cutting down trees to build the Logan Temple. A few rusted out tools of some kind and the stone monument with a plaque are all that remains.

In a clearing not far from the sawmill remains, we found a spot that has been used for camping, complete with a fire ring. There were 2 other groups of hikers that evening and then we passed 3 or 4 groups coming up as we headed out.

Sitting in the mountains by a campfire is truly one of my favorite things to do. There isn't a lot that is more relaxing than that. Even if I am sitting on a hard log.

We need to go back up that trail sometime. We had left the spare clothes and flip flops in the car and there were so many places we could have gotten in the water if only we knew and had some spare clothes and shoes with us.

After we got back to the car on Saturday morning, we continued up the canyon to Bear Lake and had lunch, complete with famous raspberry shakes. :) Naturally, I didn't sleep very well Friday night so by the time I got home and showered I didn't do much and was in bed by 8:30 and slept like I was dead.

On Sunday, the family had a picnic at the botanical garden on the Ogden river parkway. And since there is a river there, we were in it. The kids were soaked but it was hot and it felt so good to be in the cold water.

And today I've been doing little things around the house like getting the hiking stuff picked up and put away and then reading and enjoying the sunshine.