This week in review – what we’ve been consuming

Despite the excitements of this week – including ordering our Longreach – we’ve taken time out to enjoy some of our favourite geeky things. Here’s a roundup.

Books

David Weber’s Honorverse

Cover art of On Basilisk Station

The family is at various stages of reading their way through the Honorverse and all are thoroughly enjoying it. The main character is Honor Harrington, a naval officer from the space nation of Manticore, who solves problems of war and diplomacy from her command deck with her tree cat on her shoulder. This series has something to appeal to all – great space battles, a strong female lead and a six legged, empathic tree cat. It has a spin off universe for younger readers based a few hundred years earlier.

We’ve all finished the first book in the adult series – On Basilisk Station. I’m currently half way through book two – The Honor of the Queen. I’ve been listening to them as audiobooks as we drive or relax in our tent at night, read fairly well by Allyson Johnson. And, of course, Vince always listens to audiobooks, often multiple times.

Jamie and Annie have finished the young adult series, which starts with A Beautiful Friendship.

Vince is really enjoying playing the iPad Honor game, Tales of Honor.

The Book of Night With Moon

Cover art for The Book of Night With Moon

The Book of Night With Moon has been a favourite of ours for a long time and it’s been a delight to introduce it to both the kids. As a part of our culling process we looked for books with audio or ebook options and were very happy to find this as an audio book.

Cats, in the Young Wizards universe, are able to command and use magic. At Grand Central Station, they are members of a team that look after the four gates. The story follows Rhiow, seemingly an ordinary house cat, who leads her team to guard the gates against the Lone Power. It’s a riveting story, made compelling by its cat protagonists, something sure to draw in all cat lovers.

Suitable for preteens and up.

Games

Tsuro

Photo of two people playing Tsuro

We’ve had an eye on Tsuro since it was covered on TableTop (warning, TableTop sometimes uses bad language and innuendo). It’s a simple game, with lots of replayability. In this family that loves long and complicated games, it’s unusually short and sweet, with just enough think ahead strategy to keep it interesting. Each game lasts about 15 minutes and I find it moderately challenging with enough room for luck to change the course of the game.

Suitable for kids 8 and up.

Takenoko

IMG_3581

Annie had seen Takenoko played on Tabletop and recommended it to the family. We’ve been playing a lot of serious, story based games lately (Game of Thrones, Elder Sign and Dominion) and felt like a bit of a change. Takenoko has a whimsical feel, with a Japanese theme (always popular with our family) with little construction bits to do (which us fiddly Aspies love). The gameplay and strategy took us a little while to figure out, but we’re in the groove now and I think this one will stay in our game rotation for a while. It has a good balance of strategy to luck, with slightly more weight on luck. This makes it a good one to play with the kids.

Suitable for 8 and up.

TV

The Code

A shot of the introductory title of The Code.

I’ll admit, I’d forgotten how good Australian drama can be. The last episode of The Code aired this week and I was desperate for it to come out and finish the story in this six part drama series. The many interwoven elements of this story made it compelling watching. Matched with great acting and beautiful outback scenery, The Code is ready to remind the world that Australia can do great drama. Ashley Zukerman as Jesse banks was particularly brilliant. I love his nuanced portrayal of the Autistic co-lead and his growth through the series. I’m also a sucker for a good love story and Hani holds her own – a female hacker with an ethical dilemma. Watch out for the surprise casting of Lucy Lawless as the outback teacher, Alex. Look out for Ashley Zukerman in upcoming dramas, including his role as one of the lead characters in Manhattan, the new US dramatisation of life on the Manhattan Project.

This is a show for adults, or mature minded preteens.

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD

The Marvel's Agents of SHIELD title logo

Jamie is a big fan of the Marvel universe and, over the past few years, has taken me to see the various Marvel movies. When Agents of SHIELD started, last year, I was interested in the story and enjoyed the first season. Then the events of The Winter Soldier happened and Agents of SHIELD had to change in response. The new season has become something else. Each week reveals interesting plot and backstory, the characters now have a gritty, haunted side to them and we get to see what it’s like to be one of the little people in the Marvel universe. io9 released a great article this morning on the 10 reasons you should be watching Agents of SHIELD. If you’re not, I suggest you read the article or go straight to the source and start watching Season 2, you won’t regret it.

Suitable for kids 9 and up.

And that’s the main things we’ve been enjoying this week. What has your family been doing?

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