Category Archives: Science Fiction/Fantasy

The Rising by Kelley Armstrong

Ahhh, Kelley, you’ve done it again. Somehow you’ve managed to make the third book in a trilogy better than the first two while simultaneously intertwining two parallel story lines. Phew. I’m tired just saying that.

The Rising wraps up the Darkness Rising trilogy, which follows Maya, a mountain lion shapeshifter, and her band of genetically modified friends. They’re on the run from some of the most dangerous cabals in the supernatural underworld and have recently learned that the sleepy life they were accustomed to was all a lie. 11864728

Much to my delight, while on the run, they meet up with the teens from Armstrong’s Darkest Powers trilogy and kinda wrap that whole situation up too. I enjoyed this series wholeheartedly–probably for its simplicity. Everything was as it seemed for the most part and for ONCE an ending didn’t piss me off. Things were as they should be. And this love triangle ended the right way.

Reading these books was like dipping my toes in a lukewarm pool. It was pleasant, relaxing, and I didn’t have to get soaked. Some books cause me so much anxiety that I almost stop reading them out of enjoyment and read them to relieve the nervousness they cause. Like I said, these are easy reading.

Keep up the good work, Kelley!

3 birth marks of 5

Also, I highly recommend reading The Darkest Powers bonus pack one and two. They each contain two or three stories out of the DP world and they are definitely worth your time. They fill in a lot of gaps and add a lot to the overall trilogy and are super cheap for the Kindle. (I actually think KA posts them for free on her website but takes them down as new ones are written…)

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And as another, probably useless, sidenote– I also happened to download her other short story Hunting Kat. As far as I know it’s a stand alone, and hopefully it stays that way. The new vampire/genetic vampire/bitten vampire on the run thing was way too contrived. KA has some awesome work out there and this comes no where close to representing her talent. Skip it.

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Hater by David Moody

REMAIN CALM DO NOT PANIC TAKE SHELTER WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS THE SITUATION IS UNDER CONTROL.

Ok, I’m just gonna say it. I HATED Haterhater-david-moody-2006-21412924

Whatever, haters gonna hate!

(Sorry, I had to…)

Danny lives in England and has a job that he can’t stand, a wife who doesn’t appreciate him, and three rambunctious kids that don’t know when to stop. Every day of his life is a plodding misery. Go to work, get yelled at. Come home, get yelled out. There is hardly ever any freedom or joy during his week. (Sounds familiar, right?)

Suddenly, a pandemic strikes! All across the globe “Haters” have cropped up. Seemingly normal people are instantly changed into violent killers, often lashing out at the first person within striking range. (Think zombies, but without the dead grossness and hunger for brains. More like a rage virus, really).

Danny and his family hole up in their small apartment and wait for the government to come to their aid. (Hah.) But while they’re prisoners in their own home, something unexpected happens that tears apart their family forever.

Ok… *sigh* This is where things get tricky. Haters was SOOOOO predictable that I probably could’ve gotten my 14 year old sister to finish the book for Mr. Moody. The first half was really poorly written, and the second half was interesting, but the movement came too late. I’m almost tempted to read the second book just because I am nosey and like to see what happens next. Plus, it could always be better, right?

But alas, I will probably refrain. There are so many good books out there calling my name.

Skip it.

2 stab wounds of 5

 


Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Prachett

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At only 25 years of age, I’ve apparently lived through at least three widely touted “end of the world” dates. Y2K, the 2011 Rapture, and December 2012. Man… think of how much I would’ve saved on car insurance if I’d switched to Oblivion!

Good Omens (the collaboration of two literary masterminds–Gaiman and Prachett) details the events leading up to the infamous Rapture as predicted by the centuries-dead witch Agnes Nutter. It switches back and forth from a multitude of perspectives, including an unlikely demon and angel duo–who have come to enjoy the pleasures of earth quite a bit thankyouverymuch, a descendent of Agnes Nutter, a descendent of a famous witch hunter, the boy who should’ve been the Antichrist, and the four “horsemen” of the apocalypse. (The four horsemen were absolutely badass and totally my favorite characters!)

With G&P at the helm, one could expect nothing less than an old-fashioned story told in a modern British voice–with more than a twist of dry humor. I’ve realized that part of the genius of NG’s story-telling ability is that he makes it seem so effortless and simple that you catch yourself thinking, I could write just like that! And then wahwahwahhhhh, you can’t.

The story was readable but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a page-turner. My only real complaint was that the multitude of characters sometimes made it hard to remember where you were in the story the following morning. Oh yeah, and I thought the ending had a distinct lack of action. Boo.

3 Freddie Mercury tapes of 5


Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee

Biting the Sun is actually a compilation of two of Tanith Lee’s books: Don’t Bite the Sun and Drinking Sapphire Wine. Set in a futuristic utopia, the unnamed (predominately) female protagonist has everything she could want. Technology is there to serve. There are no required jobs, no responsibilities, you are free to do whatever you want. The only currency is “thank you.” You can design the perfect body, be put in “Limbo” and come out a completely different-looking person. Or gender. The teenage society called the Jang have everything handed to them. Free love reigns supreme and all the food, drugs, and clothes they could ever want are at their fingertips. If you get tired of your perfect body–no problem. Just suicide yourself and they’ll bring you back and whomever else you want.

SOUNDS PRETTY GOOD TO ME. BitingTheSun_1811

But for our leading lady, the world is not enough. Somehow she can’t find satisfaction in the endless parade of dashing lovers, club drugs, and perfect looks. (Poor thing…) She no longer feels as though she fits in with the Jang and asks the robotic government if she can be made into an “Older Person.” An Older Person can get a job if they want, find a partner and become a “maker” (parent)–but other than that there is no real difference. When the government turns her down–she goes a little out of control. The resulting mess of her trying to find herself, getting in loads of trouble in the process, and the government’s strong reaction is the resulting story.

She is yearning to know what it truly means to be human.

“Oh ooma–” said Danor, but Kam must have shaken his head, telepathically advising her to do what I said. They really were a pair, just like lovers in old books–one mind, one heart and so on. They’d have made you puke if there hadn’t been that sense of something shining and rock-hard at the spine of their idyll.”

loved this book. I actually would put it down and read other things so I could still come back to it. The world-building was excellent and I really wanted to be a part of that perfect world. *A PART OF YOUR WORRRRRRRRRRLLLLLDDDD!* (Sorry I had to). Her inner struggles were compelling, and her revolt against society inspired others to take action. She knew what it was like to be both male and female. It was quintessential science fiction and fantasy–how could we expect any less from Tanith Lee?

There was quite a bit of “Jang Slang” thrown in there. I heartily recommend referring to the guide several times until you get it down, because otherwise their conversations may be without context. The cover is completely ridiculous for the actual story–other than for symbolic purposes. It was also a little strange to have an unnamed protagonist (something that didn’t even occur to me until halfway through the first book). I kept flipping backwards, sure I’d missed something. But all in all, excellent.

This is a need to read, my friends.

4 ecstasy tablets of 5

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