I have to admit that this book was really boring to start with, and I nearly put it down several times in exasperation, but by about 25% in it started to get more and more absorbing.
By 40% into the story, I was having trouble putting it down.
And by 50% I was hooked and had to finish it.
This is an interesting look at a piece of history that has be examined, studied, examined some more, written about, poured over, re-examined, and is ceaselessly fascinating and devastating all at once.
Having read P.K. Adams’ book ‘Silent Water’ previously, I was intrigued by The Greenest Branch, and quickly drawn into a beautiful and elegantly described world that is so richly peopled, and so intensely crafted, I was disappointed to reach the end!
Thank goodness there’s a sequel!
Having known but little about Saint Hildegard of Bingen, I almost feel now like she’s a friend.
I’ve been a fan of Star Wars since I was kid. I read most of the Extended Universe books, and have been eyeing the new materials suspiciously.
Having seen Rogue One, I was fascinated about reading Catalyst, and wanted to discover how Galen Erso ended up creating the most destructive weapon of the Empire while building into it a flaw that could be exploited.
The story takes place with Jyn’s birth, during the Clone Wars. Watching how everything quickly changed from the Republic to the Empire, and all the elements around it, was an interesting insight into society as a whole. Weaving all this in through the Erso’s own stories, showcased how much someone can be blinded by what’s around them as long as they themselves were okay.
Galen Erso is neither a hero, nor a villain. He’s a scientist who forgets the world around him. He doesn’t see the implications in what he’s doing, or the consequences of it until it hits him in the face. He is the epitome of ‘seeing if I can do it, never asking if I should do it’. There are even moments where Lyra, as his wife, is the voice of his conscience, but she too is naive to things around her, until she’s confronted head on with what the Empire is truly doing and what they want from her husband.
Krennic’s manipulation through the story is well crafted, and despite the reader knowing he’s the ‘bad guy’ you can’t help but feel he’s the only one who is actually honest about what he is doing.
If you enjoyed Rogue One the movie, you will enjoy this story as it brings past history and depth to characters that the film missed. So when you rewatch Rogue One, the opening takes on a whole new meaning, and that is exactly how movies and books in a Universe should work.
Considered to be the definitive account of Shackleton’s incredible expedition to the Antarctic in the famous ship Endurance, this book reads a lot like a thrilling novel of desperate heroism.
That it’s all real, and not fiction, makes it a breathless journey on which the reader travels with the men who endured so much, and achieved such feats as deserve to be endlessly admired.
I have read widely on this topic, and found Lansing’s book to be sufficient as actually adding new elements to my knowledge. For that, I am grateful though I had to wait 9 months in line at the library for a copy.
Nevertheless, I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like a better understanding of what Shackleton’s expedition achieved, and would suggest that this form the basis of one’s comprehension.
Intrigued by the premise of this book, I came at it with an open mind and wasn’t disappointed.
I starts at a dramatic and unrelenting pace and pauses just long enough for some eloquently lyrical moments of reflection into the human condition, from the loss of parents, the relationship between siblings, failed marriage, longing, reconciliation, and finally the recognition that God is at work in all of it.
Very well done, with just one or two moments required for that ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ that all good drama needs.
Actually, I would’ve mistaken this for Dan Brown with it’s twist on science and faith, and especially from the pace at which I had to keep turning the pages.
Highly recommended as a challenging and rollicking read.