Book Review: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is an apocalyptic tale that focus on the small things like loss and connection instead of bigger thing like how did this happen and how are we going to go back to society we once had. This novel is is masterfully connected through small gestures of flawed characters, theres connections started before the pandemic, durning the pandemic, a year or two after and 15 years after(which is the novel’s present day). The novel jumps around a lot which is sure to frustrate some, but I found the story was still easy to follow. The characters are interesting, you fell like you know them, but they are all still filled with secrets. The story theme is about finding yourself and being honest what you want out of life. I found the writing really similar to The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier which deal with an apocalyptic plague and the connections in purgatory. This book is perfect for a book club or a college discussion, there’s lots of themes and narratives to explore. This book has been on my Radar and my TBR for quite sometime, I wanted to read this because I saw a trailer for an HBOMAX limited series based on this book. Just watching the trailer they changed one scene which was for the better, So I plan to watch it soon as a reward for reading the book.

The Plot Summary: Arthur Leander a famous actor has died on stage playing King Lear, his death is memorable for his celebrity status, also the night of his death is the start of a plague that knocks out 90% of humanity. Kristen in present day 15 years after the plague is in a traveling symphony that performs Shakespeare and music to keep the arts going. Kristen was in Arthur Leander’s last performance of King lear and their connection as small as it was will effect this new society. A graphic novel that’s origins are attached to Arthur tell of a society that has struggles and will go into isolation influences society in a mysterious way. The man that preformed CPR on Arthur as he died has been shaped my this moment and connections. Authur’s ex-wives and son are also a great influence on this new world. It’s a pretty interesting read how these small interactions and exchanges can influence and change society.

What I Liked: The story of how the society of people lived at the Airport those 15 years, I found these chapters the most compelling. I like the prophet but wanted to know more about him the hints weren’t enough, I did like the reveal on who he was and his connection to the Arthur and the the others. I like the connections and the questions it asked the reader about the current society and how the connections changed it. I liked Miranda and Jeevan character’s the best, and the way that they are connected. I liked the really small bits of action, that were fast but tense. I do like the connotations between Shakespeare’s time dealing with the plague and the why are the player doing Shakespeare.

What I Disliked: I did not care for Arthur Leander, I get his character was supposed to be a bit detached to society, but his backstory cold have been a lot richer. I did not like that we never got to know Miranda’s fate since she was left overseas. I wanted Jeevan to meet Kristen this is one thing the series looks to have fixed.

Recommendation: Station Eleven is a good work of modern fiction. I would recommend this as a book club or group read because there is a lot to discuss. Some people have put this book in the science fiction category, which I feel doesn’t reflect it well enough, it’s a book you can get people skeptical of the Science Fiction genre to dip their feet into, but the only science fiction trope are the decay of society both socially and psychically. I rated Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel 4 out of 5 stars.

Tv Series Review: The Mandalorian chapter one -Star Wars Disney+

The Mandalorian episode 1 written by Jon Favreau and directed by Dave Filoni is off to a good start in the first live action show in the Star Wars universe it captures the look of Star Wars off the bat. The first episode took a minute to get into, I would have to say mainly to Horatio Sanz acting. I didn’t feel like he was part of the universe and more or less a guy in a costume. I was very satisfied with what happened to his character. The music was kind of odd at times, some times it was nailed, but I swear I heard parts of a Rocky like theme, I honestly don’t think it was implanted in my brain because I saw Carl Weathers, who was good. The cast without Horatio Sanz and other actors in the opening scene are good, really good. You will play where have I heard that voice from with voice talent from Nick Nolte and Taika Waititi. Other actors are Pedro Pascal as the Mandalorian, who does not take his helmet off and sounds more like a young Timothy Olyphant tan Pedro Pascal under the helmet, Werner Hertzog, Carl Weathers, Omid Abtahi and Brian Posehn. I’m a pretty big Star wars fans I’ve seen every movie watched most of the tv shows I love Rebels, read a decent amount of Star Wars books.

 

The Plot: (loose spoilers – I describe the first five minutes of the show) The world is torn after the defeat of the empire (The Mandalorian takes place after Return of the Jedi and before The Force Awakens. Bounty Hunting is in business, the mandalorian enters into a bar after a character was getting shaken down. When he walks in he’s immediately accosted he takes down the thugs and in brutal form (the camera cuts away as some one is sliced in half), The guy getting shakendown offers a reward as thanks, but the mandalorian looks him up and he has a bounty and is removed. That sets up the tone of the show. The mandalorian turns in his bounties then learns of a top secret loose on the details mission that he takes on a remote planet.

 

What I Liked: The visuals are stunning there’s a lot of really cool visuals that could be posters the final shot, and the walking out of the bar shot. The transitions in the show are the exact in a Star War . The acting is good except for Horatio Sanz, sorry. The story moves really well, the episode is only 35 minutes, which felt odd and went very fast. I liked that he doesn’t take the helmet off, we get to see his face as a boy through flashbacks. The special effects were really good for a tv show. There’s a creature that was in Jabba’s palace, that is featured here in a really memorable cameo scene, it is not the same creature but a cousin or brother maybe. Excellent action scenes. There’s good bits of humor throughout, Taika Waititi’s character gave me the biggest laughs. I love the characterization of the bounty hunter, very Clint Eastwood the spaghetti westerns. Theirs is a western no man’s land vibe.

 

What I Disliked: The music was at times weird, and did not fit. There’s only one episode up for now but no timeline listed of when new episodes come out, which I find frustrating. I liked Nick Nolte’s character but did not like the scene he was in, it felt like total filler. I reminded me of a bad episode of the Clone Wars. I took a second to get in to the universe.

 

Recommendations: I will recommend the series, it feels more like Rogue One the film than any other star wars film. The action and atmosphere is great. You doesn’t have to know anything about star wars too watch this show. I rated this episode 4 out of 5 stars. Personal note don’t worry my book review friends this is mainly a book review site, I just got Disney+ the three year deal and wanted to give my insight to the new show, for people that are star wars fans that are maybe on the fence.

The latest trailer