A Review of The Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Malorie and her children are leaving their house and sanctuary for the first time since she was pregnant. Almost 5 years after an event that changed the course of humanity as she knew it, she had to raise her children in this new post cataclysmic world where your eyes could be your undoing. There is something out there that is causing people to go crazy and commit suicide the second they lay their eyes on it. This narrative goes between present time and the time before, while she was pregnant, and just learning about the events as they slowly take over the whole world.

I read this book in a day. That’s how good it was. I normally don’t have time to read but I put everything aside to finish this one. The story was gripping. I was compelled to read it after I was told by quite a few people how weird and interesting it was. I couldn’t put it down. There were no lulls in the book and the author gave hints at the characters back stories, developing them in a way that made me care about their safety and what happens to them.

The only thing I didn’t like is that I felt there were a few discrepancies within the story and I don’t feel like there was a complete explanation or resolution to what was going on. Many theories were given but none were fully satisfactory to me and they never once said that any of the theories were what was happening.

I loved this book. I will give it a solid 5 out of 5. It’s rare for a book to capture me so much where I can’t stop reading it. There is some parts of fairly graphic gore so it may not be for you if you are squeamish. But for someone who is into post apocalyptic survival type books, it is fully engrossing, and will knock your socks off!

Advertisements

A Review of Society Builders by Anthony Puyo

I was gifted this ARC by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. As an advanced copy it is also a pre-edited edition.

Society Builders is a science fiction account about a world on the cusp of total technological immersion. There are no more cell phones. Citizens now have usb style chips ported directly into their brains. This allows them to access the entirety of the internet with just their thoughts, including calling and messaging others- all from their brains. Jason Mendes works for the company powering this endeavor, Matson Cybertech. But he is also a double agent working on getting intel for his true allegiance, PAC, an organization developed to stop what they view to be a breach of ethics and morality. Matson’s latest edition, The Thin Chip, may have more behind it than just to bring together humanity- something much more nefarious.

I’ll start with my only real criticism and I don’t want to say much so you can make your own decision once you’ve read it. I really didn’t like how the relationship between the love interests in the book played out. I wanted more and I also thought more time could have been put into developing their relationship. It was sudden and very quick.

On the whole, I quite enjoyed this one. I’m a big fan of sci fi, especially that dealing with future societies and the toll technology can take on them. The thing that really impressed me with the whole concept of the book is how real it seems and the way humanity is evolving alongside tech. In a lot of ways, this story is kind of prophetic and because of that also truly terrifying. I found many similarities and parallels to our current society and the technology we are already trying to develop. Jason is a great main character, he’s passionate about the morals his dear grandmother instilled at him and he doesn’t sway from those even when confronted with things like love and as an every man type he’s relatable.

I recommend this book to any fan of sci fi. If you like things like the Terminator franchise, this will appeal to you. There’s a lot of action and after the first few chapters I couldn’t put it down. I give this a 4.5 out of 5. This was without taking the editing mistakes into account because the author made it clear this was pre-editing review copy. I gave it this score because I really enjoyed the plot but I thought there were a few things that needed more development and I don’t care for how the romantic sub plot played out.

A Review of Hatred Day by TS Pettibone

This book starts out in the viewpoint of Desya while trying to rescue his sister but changes almost as soon as he rescues her to her point of view. In the distant future, a race of beings called the Inborns, leave their world through a portal to inhabit Earth. The people of earth do not like this and destroy the portal killing thousands of inborns and separating thousands more from their families. Since that time, the people of earth have celebrated Hatred Day, the day they forced out the Inborns. But the Inborns are still living amongst them in hiding because they look just like earthlings. Many have mated with earth beings and produced halfbreed children. But the government is tired of them living with them and has shut Hollowstone off from the rest of the world and is intending to do DNA testing and only allowing pure earthlings to leave the dome. Snofrid and her family must find a way out before they are eradicated with the rest of the city.

I liked the science fiction aspect of this book, especially the technology. The characters had well developed back stories and there was a lot of action. The governmental aspect was very true to life and the race story arc was reminiscent of Nazi Germany and all the Jewish people and those that supported them had to deal with.

Though I liked the book, the plot took way too long to unfold. The character back stories were given in the smallest pieces and left me mostly unsatisfied. This was obviously meant to be a series, so much was left unsolved or not even touched on at all, even though mentioned in the book and as a reader I find that to be infuriating. I don’t mind cliffhangers but to leave out large points was annoying.

I gave this one a 3 out of 5. It has potential to be great but it is a really long book with too much left out. If the author was going to include as much as she did then I expect her to not leave so much for the next book. There was also a secondary love story between a couple of the characters that I actually really enjoyed but there was no resolution to that at all. If you like sci fi and slow burn novels that turn into series than you would enjoy this.

A Review of Sick Bastards by Matt Shaw

So, I had to think very carefully about how I was going to review this book for various reasons. And I think the fact that the book comes with a warning will give you an idea why. The only reason I even picked up this eBook to begin with because I was dared to read it by a fellow book worm. Heed the book’s warning. Heed my warning: If you are in any way, shape, or form bothered by anything at all, do not read this book. With that said, I’ve actually read worse, but this is pretty bad.

The main character wakes up in a post apocalyptic world after a nuclear blast and he has no idea who he is. No name, no date of birth, no society he can reach in a dense wood. He is living with an older man, an older woman, and a young adult woman. There is only a family picture of them in the truck outside their cabin to show them that they are a family.

This book is a series of flashbacks mixed with present day events that weave this tale together for the reader. Though we are dropped right in the middle of an already unfolding story, every few pages we go back to the past, and that helps us to understand what’s going on. The elements of this story are the very basics in depravity: lust, incest, murder, rape, etc. This family is fighting their basest urges and protecting themselves against mutations outside their home.

I did not like this book at all. The characters are inhuman in the least. The storytelling was actually fairly good, but the subject matter and the all hope is lost ending left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I actually wanted to quick reading several times but the fact that this book was so short is the only thing that allowed me to keep reading. I give Sick Bastards a 2 out of 5 stars and only because I thought the writing style worked and the author did warn me that I mignt not ┬álike it. The very fact this thing was written was an offense to me. Some things just need to stay in people’s heads. But at the same time, the finale of the book makes a great point into human psyche. I will leave it to you to decide…

A Review of Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon

The events of Out of the Shadows take place right after Ellen Ripley is rescued from hyper sleep on board the Nostromo. This story is a canonical story that takes place in between the Alien film franchise installments 1 and 2, Alien and Aliens. It is now 37 years later and all Ripley wants to do is get back to earth to see her daughter who was 11 when she left. It is quite apparent after she is revived that the android that let the alien escape aboard the Nostromo has infiltrated the computer system after his body was destroyed. He is now hell bent on getting a xenomorph into a new human host so he can bring it and Ripley back to the corporation he works for on Earth, Weyland-Yutani.

I listened to this book in audiobook format. The first chapter is kind of slow as characters are introduced and background is established but after that this book is a non stop roller coaster thrill ride. It has every element of an Alien movie without the visual. But in this dialog driven story, you have the film running through your mind in real time. I was highly impressed.

As a full cast audio drama this works perfectly. Sigourney Weaver did not reprise her role of Ellen Ripley but the woman they got to voice the character was phenomenal and I had a hard time believing that it wasn’t Sigourney. I’m still not sure if I do. The characters were well developed and I began to like them enough to be affected if one of them died. I would say that the only real problem with the audio is that they used some radio transmissions and those were not clear enough. Some were obviously meant to be unintelligible but some had vital info that was really hard to understand.

Overall, I would give it a 5 out of 5. If you are a fan of the Alien franchise you will love this. It was fun, fast paced, and suspenseful. It ends on a cliffhanger and I absolutely can not wait to get the next audio book. This is one that I think would definitely be better in audio rather than book format. It’s set up like a radio program and puts me in mind of the suspense of classic radio programs like War of the Worlds. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

A Review of The Amber Project by JN Chaney

I received this ARC from the author via The Reading Room in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Amber Project takes place in the distant future after a cataclysmic event called The Jolt has taken place and left the earth covered in a poisonous gas that humanity can not breathe. The remaining inhabitants had only one choice in response to this: they went underground and rebuilt with machines to keep them alive.

We pick up our narrative 150 years later. The military has been working with a group called The Mothers. They are genetically identified women with superior genes that were assigned from childhood to procreate. Through genetic engineering and careful DNA selection, they are breeding children with the right cell adaptability to be able to survive a surface exploration and to be able to breathe the poisonous gas, now known as Variant.

The most perfect candidates yet have reached the age of maturity and were sent to a special school to become child soldiers as well as be experimented on to determine if their lungs will adapt to Variant or not. Their first test is the Variant gas chamber. Those that don’t make it through the gas chamber are considered not successful. Will Terry, the top of the class and the top of the genetic tier make it through the gas?

I really enjoyed this book. It started out a bit slow and had some parts where there seemed to be so much discussion on the same topic and not enough action that my mind wandered a bit. But I stuck with it and I’m really glad it did. This was not only a post-apocalyptic action/drama but it was also a coming of age story and a morality tale about saving one’s self versus humanity. I would recommend it because if you have extra time to read it would be a really quick read.

A Review of The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (Thursday Next #1)

Thursday Next is a military veteran of the Crimean War. Since leaving the military she has joined the law enforcement field, currently working in the LiteraTec office of the special operatives or spec ops. She thought she would enjoy it but it was starting to get stale.That is, until a man from spec ops 5 comes to see her and then she is instantly promoted because of her prior knowledge of the most wanted criminal in the world, Acheron Hades. He has recently stolen an original Dickens manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit. Besides the excitement of her job, her love life isn’t going so well. The man she loves and also blames for her brother’s death is finally tired of waiting over a decade for her and is set to wed someone else. She doesn’t know what she should do about it.

This book is a literary Geeks dream. Thursday lives in a world that values literature above all else: vending machines that will read you Shakespeare, societies dedicated to authors, dead authors houses as major tourist attractions and historical sites. The book references and puns are never ending. The characters names reflect their personalities. The antagonist is named Hades. The political character is called Jack Schitt. There are an abundance of plays on words.

Also, her uncle has invented a way for people to go into books called the prose portal, which brings classic literature to life in a whole new way. And with this comes the ability to accidentally change the story. So you can see how this opens up so many possibilities for the story.

I don’t usually care for Crime dramas but this is so much more. Thursday is charming and witty. Even after on Hades is an interesting and well-developed character who I found hard not to like. If you are a book lover and if you do enjoy word games and pounds I think you would really like this book. I would give it more than 5 Stars if that was possible.