Monthly Archives: November 2016

Wednesday Wake Up

Nothing says good morning like coffee and a cat butt coaster.

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Wake of Vultures – Book Review

5 out of 5 stars

Nettie Lonesome is half-Injun, half-black and 100% alone in this world. Abandoned as an infant for unknown reasons, and raised by low class filthy white people who “run” a dilapidated ranch, Nettie has been alone for her entire life save for a one-eyed mule. She’s made to make Pap and Mam’s breakfast every day and do all the chores to keep the farm running. Her only friend an old cowpoke at the ranch next door who took pity on her and began teaching her how to break broncs. Now, she breaks the mangy nags that Pap brings home and sells for a little bit of money. Since she turned twelve and Pap saw her naked in the river washing, and the look in his eye was unsavory, she’s been dressing as a boy ever since.

One night, Nettie is attacked by a strange man in their yard, another man looking at her in an unsavory fashion. Except he doesn’t try to hide it. There’s something wrong with him, besides the obvious, his eyes are an unnatural color and he has fangs. Now Nettie Lonesome is no coward, so she sticks a sickle in his eye. He doesn’t die. Not until she stabs a stick into his heart. From then on, she sees things that have no right to be real.

Shortly thereafter, the ranch boss next door witnesses her skill at breaking broncs and hires her on. He doesn’t know she’s a girl but that’s okay, she’s more comfortable as a boy anyway. She’ll get to make money, have a roof over her head, food in the her belly, no longer be beat and do what she loves, working with horses. It’s everything she’s ever wanted from life, until a dying Indian woman curses her.

Now she’s being forced to hunt the Cannibal Owl by the Indian woman’s ghost and if she doesn’t she’ll die. The Cannibal Owl steals all the children of Indian tribes. Attacks in the night silently, the parents awake to find their children forever missing. No one knows what it looks like or what it does with the children. Nettie is about to embark on a journey of the paranormal to protect the new life she has built for herself and maybe she’ll learn more about who she is and where she comes from along the way.

Have you been looking for a book that just blasts the shit out of tropes and stereotypes and gives you an authentic glimpse into a person? That exposes the many ways that humans are not black and white? That there are shades of gray to everything and that that is perfectly okay? Here you fucking go. I have not read a more accepting book in a very long time. It made me feel all warm and glowing on the inside. It tickled my pizzle.

The Martian – Book Review

4 out of 5 stars

“My asshole is doing as much to keep me alive as my brain.”

Mark Watney has just been accidentally abandoned by his crew on Mars. The next mission to Mars won’t happen for another four years. It’s either find a clever way to survive until then or give up.

If that were me, I would have just shit my spacesuit.

But I’m not an astronaut, botanist or on my way to Mars for any reason, so for now spacesuits are safe from me.

At first, I was worried that I would get bored with the style of this book. It begins as a journal of Watney realizing he’s been left behind and trying to find a way to survive. A diary style novel is hit or miss with me. That protagonist better be damn entertaining if I’m going to read their every thought. Thankfully, Watney is sarcastic and humorous. Had the author written him any other way, I don’t think I would have kept on. It then shuttles back to Earth and gives us the point of view of NASA scientists doing everything they can to bring an abandoned astronaut home. And for a little extra space love, it also tunes you into Watney’s crew mates, who think they’ve left a team member dead on Mars.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best science fiction has actual science in it. This has butt-tons. Metric butt-tons of science. So not only was this an enjoyable escape to read, I also learned more about rocket science and potatoes than I ever thought I would know.

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Bah Hum Bug

Oi, the holidays. And aren’t we just getting started? Usually I really enjoy the holidays, this year, especially after Thanksgiving, I’m feeling pretty Grinchy. All I really want to do is prepare for winter to hit. Prepare meaning, I have a sufficient supply of books, coffee, cocoa, and blankets because I’m not leaving the house unless I absolutely have to. I can handle any amount of snow the universe wants to throw at me, but bitter cold is another thing altogether.

I literally just spent 10 minutes trying to find an appropriate coffee addiction meme. However, every single fucking one of them was not an acceptable file type. Coffee meme people, get your shit together!

So, ahem, I’ve been absent thanks to holiday crap. Now it’s time to add coffee to an IV bag and get caught up on things. Including all your lovely blogs, I’ve been a bad blog friend and I intend to make things right! I made a bomb ass bread recipe that I’ll be sharing here soon. The new kid at work was finally was fired. I can’t even tell you how happy that made me but it does mean that I’ll be working a lot more weekends until we hire another pharmacy technician who can handle their shit. I have high standards so it may take awhile.

Forthcoming book reviews:

 

themartian  wakeofvultures

Retribution Falls – Book Review

4 out of 5 stars

I have a GR friend who is always suggesting new books to me, we shall call him, Sir Lancer. I have this wonderful habit of adding said books to my TBR pile, or even purchasing them outright based on his suggestion. This wonderful habit evolves into myself not reading them for quite sometime, despite the recommendation. So this past week, I decided that it was time to break my own habits and crack open a Sir Lancer novel!

I am most pleased with that decision.

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If you find these things fun: steampunk, swords, guns, cannons, smuggling, piracy, rebellion, daemonism, golems, people with mechanical body parts, airships, sky battles, and alcohol just to name a few things; then you should quit reading this and sign yourself up for adventure immediately!

The crew of the Ketty Jay are a mixed bag of nuts. All hiding from their pasts, all keeping their secrets to themselves, all while attempting to function as a decent crew.
But when they take a job that ends in unintended massacre, set up by an unknown enemy, they must come together quickly to clear their names for neither side in this brewing war believes them.

For most of the book, I enjoyed the other characters more than the MC. However, towards the end even the Cap’n was growing on me. The entire book was entertaining, spunky and at parts hilarious. If you happen to be stuck in a book rut, like I was when I picked this up, it will easily turn the tide for you.

Mighty fine suggestion Sir Lancer.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Oh, did you think you were safe from pumpkin recipes since it’s long past Halloween? Well dear reader, you don’t know me very well. I will push the pumpkin all the way until Thanksgiving.

These were delicious sugar cookies, however the pumpkin didn’t really come through. Despite that, I would definitely make them again.

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Recipe Here

Top 5 Favorite Sci-fi/Dystopian Novels

(I had to do sci-fi/dystopian because that is how little science fiction I read. I’m working on correcting that though so give me a break!)

1.  Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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A rebellion is rising on colonized Mars. I mean do I really need to say more? Oh, I do? Stop being lazy and go look it up!

2. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

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This is considered a YA but I don’t care! It would go on my favorite YA novels of all time if that’s the case. This is set 15 years after the zombie apocalypse, with the main character living in a small, chained off town with his older brother. The town hires mercenaries to savage the land for things they need, but the mercenaries have been up to no good. The town tries to ignore it but the mercenaries begin turning on some of the town members. There is rumor that they are dragging children off to some place called, “Gameland.”

3. The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell

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Also set after zombies take over the planet, 15 year old Temple wanders the United States alone. She comes across small pockets of humanity but you never know if they’ll be kind or dangerous. But Temple is dangerous too. She doesn’t survive on her own by being gentle. (There is NO punctuation in this book. It takes some getting used but then adds a unique flavor to it.)

4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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I really don’t need to describe this one do I?

5. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

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Character driven space opera. Never have I been more interested in relationships in space.

 

 

Station Eleven – Book Review

3.5 stars out of 5

If you’re looking for some high octane dystopian adventure, then this may not be for you. That isn’t to say that it isn’t good, it’s just character driven more than anything else.

The story hops back and forth between the life stories of several characters (before the epidemic), the weeks leading up to the flu outbreak and anywhere between five to twenty years after the end of civilization. An actor, his ex-wives, his best friend, a paparazzo that followed him and a child actress that he once shared the stage with.
Each character is interesting on different levels and where they came to be, if they did in fact make it, twenty years later adds a commendable factor to the telling.

The best part of the novel is following the Traveling Symphony. A group of actors and musicians who travel the country to the last pockets of humanity and share their talents. I wish that this had actually had more part in the story itself as I found this notion much more interesting than how all the different characters knew a famous actor before he died just before the flu outbreak. The crazy prophet and his followers were a more intriguing faction as well. I think that the whole point of the novel, leading up to the reveal of who the prophet was, was supposed to add suspense to the big revelation. But it wasn’t all that suspenseful. I figured it out long before the reveal.

I sat and absorbed how I felt about this book for several days before I sat down and reviewed it. I enjoyed it, I think it’s worth the read but I don’t think it would ever make my list of top dystopian books. My major problem was that I didn’t feel there was a cohesive point to this entire novel. *shrugs shoulders*

Vicious – Book Review

5 out of 5 stars

“He withdrew the paper and unfolded it gingerly. It was a stick-figure drawing. Two people holding hands. A thin man in black and a girl, half his height with short hair, and wide eyes. The stick-girl’s head was cocked slightly, and a small red spot marked her arm. Three similar spots, no bigger than periods, dotted the stick-man’s chest. The stick-man’s mouth was nothing more than a faint grim line.
Beneath the drawing ran a single sentence: I made a friend.”

This story is basically about two best friends who become arch nemesis’. Each having their own extra other worldly power. Each thinking differently about people with extraordinary powers. Each betraying the other and spending the next ten years plotting revenge or massacring other people with powers. Each seeking to end the other.

Damn was this a fun ride! The first half of the book I was really worried about myself. I mean, I was siding with a sociopath. Turns out both of the main characters are sociopaths. So I started feeling a little better about things, but then I thought it through some more. I was still siding with a sociopath one way or the other. Then the guilt of that went away and I was firmly rooted in the camp of one, Victor Vale.

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I know I really condensed my feelings and summary down on this one but don’t let that deter you. I merely wish to not ruin a single thing for you.

Because this book leaves you feeling a little something like this:

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This is real. This is not a drill.

I have no intentions of making this a political blog, despite my intent to become much more politically active. But, I think some of us could use a little lift-me-up, some inspiration as we wrap our heads around recent events.

My personal motto for the next four years:

“Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Also important to remember:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Trade Socialist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Therefore, I reserve the right to change my mind and speak out on MY blog. I originally began this as a place to rant anonymously, I calmed down over the years. I’m not calm anymore and I can’t care to remain anonymous.