Tag Archives: dystopian

Half a War – Book Review

Published Date: July 16, 2015

Publishing Co.: Harper Voyager

Pages: 513

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This will be an overall review of the entire trilogy.

I read the first book, Half a King, eight years ago. I did not think it had been quite so long when I picked up the second book recently but according to Goodreads, it most certainly had been. I never take the time to reread anything, however, I somehow remembered a great deal of the first book. I think that speaks well of the author.

In the second book, Half a World, our petty crew of misfits is traveling the world, gathering support for the Iron King against the High King. Each book has some characters that you are familiar with and a couple new ones peppered in. In this edition, we’re introduced to Thorn, a young woman desperate to become a fabled warrior like her father, and Brand, a gentle giant doing his best to stand in the light, always. Both of them learn lessons the hard way on their journey making friends for an empire.

In the last book, Half a War, war breaks out. If you can imagine that based on the title. Half a war is fought with swords, the other half with words. Princess Skara’s kingdom has crumbled beneath the armored boot of the High King’s favorite general. She works desperately to keep together an alliance between the scraps of her kingdom, the Iron King and King Grom-gil-Gorm in their war against the rest of the land.

Most of this series feels much like a Viking tale of war however, toward the end, the elf magic is revealed to be something much more familiar to us. I won’t give it away, but it was a very interesting turn of events. Overall, I very much enjoyed my adventures with this motley crew and rated this a solid 4 out of 5 stars across the board.

Bookstagram – Week 15

I’ve been slacking on updating this one. But then again, I’ve been reading slower as well. My bookstagram is not one with flowery photos of books. While those are fun and pretty to look at, I know as a reader that while I’m reading flowers are not spread next to the book with the perfect cup of tea and a pretty back drop. Not knocking the people who take the time to set that up though, I enjoy those photos as well. Just don’t expect that kind of effort from me. I’m lazy folks.

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“March is Women’s History month. I’m reading only female authors in celebration.”

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“Not sure it’s a ‘fair fight’ trying to continue this book..”

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“An author I can always turn to to distract me from life when it kicks me in the vagina.”

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“To get better; one part lots of sleep + 2 parts start new book.”

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“Dinner in the crockpot, book in the lap. “

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“This book is kind of just annoying me. There better be a damn good twist.”

Gather the Daughters – Book Review

5 out of 5 stars

You want some horror? Here’s something horrific for you.

I like horror books, horror movies, grimdark novels, all things dark and twisted. I mean really, the more fucked up the better. I studiously studied serial killers as a teenager. You can go ahead and question my state of mind or sanity, but I tell you this for two reasons. One, in case you haven’t realized all the bizarre, dark things I enjoy based on my reading yet (or if you don’t know me personally) and two, to show you exactly how horrific this novel is…It may have left me scarred.

This is quite possibly one of those stories that is going to manage to give me nightmares. Everyone talks about the likes of A Handmaid’s Tale, which is a renowned for scaring people, especially women, but this, this is better and yet worse. Better for the writing and story, and worse because it manages to be even more horrifying. In case you missed it, the word of the day, as least pertaining to this novel, is ‘horrifying’.  Continue reading Gather the Daughters – Book Review

Fire & Ash – Book Review

Rot & Ruin book four.

5 out of 5 stars

Benny Imura sat in the dark and spoke with monsters.

It was like that every day.

It had become the pattern of his life.

Shadows and blood.

And monsters.

Everywhere.

Monsters.”

The epic conclusion to my favorite zombie series of all time. That’s correct, my favorite zombie series of all time is YA Sci-Fi/horror. It shocks me as much as you but if you sat down and took the time to read it, you would understand why.

If you’ve followed Benny and his friends from the beginning then you know, they’ve seen some shit. It all begin in a small fenced-in mountain town at the edges of the Ruin (what they call the decimated lands of the United States where only the dead wander), friends trading Zombie Cards of their favorite legendary mercenaries on the steps of the general store, innocent in their knowledge of life beyond fences. Their world was turned upside when they moved out from their safety net and began exploring a lost world. Blood, death and destruction followed in their wake. It all culminates to this, the last epic showdown for the sake of humanity.

Saint John of the Night Church brings not only his flock of reapers (his holy flock tasked with sending all living people into the darkness) but a massive horde of zombies, in his quest to please the god of death, Thanatos. The one true god. He and his flock will send the blasphemers of the Nine Towns to the darkness or they will kneel and kiss the blade to take up Thanatos’ work.

How would several teenagers defeat a mad man and his horde of religious zealots and the hungering dead? Well kids, there’s three other books leading up until this point for that tale. Unfortunately, it was a time before I did reviews and I couldn’t possibly review it all for you now. SO much happens. It all leads up to this, stop this mad man now or stop him never. They may have to die to save the last chance humanity has to reclaim their world from the dead. Will they succeed?

I’m not telling. READ THIS FUCKING SERIES.

The Water Knife – Book Review

4 out of 5 stars

Have you ever watched Tank Girl? Or read the comic? The setting for this novel is much like that. In the future, the world is basically a large desert and big companies own all the water and power. People are struggling to survive while states fight over water rights and restrict electricity from poor people. The unfortunate cluster around water pumps run by the Red Cross and buy what little water they can afford from their shitty jobs. They live in slum housing and are battered with dust and dust storms on a regular basis. They pee into contraptions called Clearsacs and drink the water that is cycled through. Gangs run the streets. Police can be bought. Texans are treated like cockroaches. They cannot travel to new cities as militia and border agents kill anyone who gets too close to their state. People pay coyotes to get them further north, most never make it.

The rich live in giant complexes with air conditioning, fountains, nice housing, money, corporate jobs, drugs, prostitutes and all the water they can handle.

When there is dispute between states about who owns the older water rights, sometimes dams end up blasted and the world loses even more water. Whole cities die. Other cities become richer.

Angel is a water knife. A hired assassin who takes out Las Vegas’ rivals.

Lucy is a journalist who’s tired of biting her tongue and not reporting the stories behind the bodies left in empty swimming pools.

Maria is trying her damnedest to get north to freedom. Even if it means having to peddle some ass to get there.

Someone has discovered the nation’s oldest water rights, worth billions, and everyone is throwing their big guns at finding them. There are no rules. Just murder, mayhem and water.

A visceral look at the possibility (read probability) of the future of the human race if we don’t start taking care of our planet.

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*

Emperor of Thorns – Book Review

The last novel in the Broken Empire Trilogy.

“It turns out I don’t listen to good advice even when I’m the one giving it.”

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If I could have had one thousand guesses at how this series ended when I began it, I still would have been wrong.

I have taken a full 24 hours to absorb that ending and I still don’t even…

In a good way of course, because I loved this whole series.

I would love to break this down into bite sized samples for you but as usual, with this series in particular, I feel that I would be stealing away the magic from you. The world building is sublime and the plot twists and turns keep things interesting. You can never really guess what Jorg is going to do.

Which brings me to the fact that Jorg may be one of my favorite anti-heroes ever. I reveled in his ruthlessness and enjoyed all the violence. I am going to miss the cantankerous, pope-killing little bastard.

“I muttered the names to myself. I would hunt them down in hell.”

There’s a thing.

Good bye Jorg of Ancrath. Burner of worlds, part-time wielder of necromancy, child killer, killer, clever-little-fuck, emperor of twisted hearts everywhere. You bathed the paths of adventure in blood and guts, fire and ice, death and life.

You really knew how to throw a goddamn party.

King of Thorns – Book Review

Book 2 of the Broken Empire trilogy.

5 out of 5 stars

“I wanted to win. The throne was just a token to demonstrate that victory. And I wanted to win because other men had said that I may not. I wanted to fight because fighting ran through me. I gave less for the people than for the dung heap we rolled Makin in.”

By now, you should be well acquainted with Jorg of Ancrath. Recently, King Jorg of the Renar Highlands. He’s beginning to grow from temperamental, vengeful prince into temperamental, vengeful king hellbent on becoming emperor. It may not seem like much of a difference in the title but there is quite the difference in the character. The angry boy becomes an angry man, but there is such growth in such a dark character that you cannot helped but be riveted by his journey.

The story is set four years after Jorg takes the throne from his uncle, however it jumps back and forth between the present and the time shortly after he took the throne. In the present, he is coming to battle with the Prince of Arrows. A young, charming prince, whom everyone is merrily opening their doors for and allowing themselves to be conquered, because it has been foretold. But, if you know Jorg, and by now you should, no one tells Jorg to do anything. Well they do, but Jorg tends not to listen. Ever.

Using wit, a small amount of allies and secrets of the Builders, Jorg is tossing his hat into the ring. He intends to win or die trying. Typical Jorg fashion.

Builders you say? Yes I can finally speak of them. In my review of Prince of Thorns , I avoided the world building because I believed it would ruin the surprise for people. If you’ve made it this far, I’m safe from being a spoilsport.

The Builders is the term used for the ancestors who knew how to create mechanical and technologically savvy devices. You see, this is set a thousand years in the future after the modern day has fallen and the world has returned to medieval-like times. And that my friends, is a brilliant premise.

When I first started this series, I really wanted to hate Jorg. He had done horrible, unspeakable things. But much to my dismay, I quite adore him. I’ve loved his opposition to authority and his will to break any who stand in his way. He is vicious and I viciously love his viciousness. I care not if it makes sense to no one else.

“In fire and in blood I will bend them to my will, because this is a game with no rules, and I will be victorious if it beggars hell.”