Tag-Archive for » Dystopian «

The Song of the Jubilee: A Review

This was an ebook I was given by the author, Raeden Zen, in return for my review, and is the first book in the Phantom of the Earth series.

Song of the JubileeThis is a science fiction sort of story with strong dystopian elements which unfortunately the cover and title don’t make obvious. I’m quite a science fan so found I enjoyed the book but there was a lot of science and complicated genetics type stuff. The book also had quite a few statistics pictures and tables to help the reader try and get immersed in the story with plenty of information which was an interesting way to handle backstory without actually giving any backstory.

For the most part this worked but I must admit at a few points I found myself confused with who was who and what motivated them and why. I liked the characters once I actually got to know them but it took a while and did make me a little frustrated. Motivations and character backstory was very lacking.

This did mean the book was very fast paced, which is something I prefer. There wasn’t a lack of action and plot within this book for sure and it was an interesting story. There were several things hinted at about the scoiety and I got to the end with plenty of questions and desire to keep reading despite the few flaws, so there’s something awesome in this book for sure.

I’ll keep reading the series (there are 5 books in the series out as of today). I just hope the later stories explain a bit more and I can properly get to know the characters.

Dust: A Review

This is the third book in the Silo series by Hugh Howey and finishes the series.

DustThis was shorter than the other two books in the series and tied up at least some of the loose ends the previous book had created, but still wasn’t quite as good as the first, I don’t think.

It was better than the second in that it finally moved forward the timeline from the end of the first combining characters pov’s from both the first and second books in the series, but it still didn’t explain what has happened to silo 40, or if it did then it was only a passing remark that they might have been bombed.

It was pretty typical in style for Hugh Howey and had a similar pacing and build up towards the end of the book, but once again the ending felt a little too anti-climactic. I liked most of how the ending was portrayed but felt there were a few people who really didn’t need to die to make it happen, and I also don’t like how quickly the peole in silo 18 unraveled when they found themselves somewhere else. It felt too much like it happened without masses of warning.

With that said, I think the main characters were great. Donald’s regrets and decisions were great. Also loved Solo and his character progression.

Still five starring this book because it’s a great read, just not quite good enough to be one of my all time favourites.

Wool: A Review

I’ve been intending to read this book for a while. Not only is the author, Hugh Howey, a genuinely nice guy, but the book has been very popular among my peer group and quite a few people have suggested I read it. Thankfully bookclub decided it would be great to read the trilogy, so I’ll be reviewing Shift and Dust as well over the next few months.

WoolI didn’t entirely know what to expect of this story when I started. I knew it was dystopian and silo based (whatever that meant exactly), but I was hooked within the first few pages. I loved the sample I read and quickly devoured the rest of the book. It’s not short, over 500 pages but it feels short because I didn’t want to put it down.

About a third of the way in, I got a little worried with the number of deaths that this would be another George R. R. Martin style book but it wasn’t, just realistic. The middle felt a little on the slow side plot wise, but character and situation wise was still interesting and the action sequences occasionally had me confused.

The premise isn’t really something new. People in a small society being controlled and kept in their insular place while the world outside tries to recover, but there was something very fresh in this telling of it. The societies rules were a new take.

I’m very much looking forward to reading the sequel and loved this book. Not perfect but close enough and a relief to read a popular book that definitely deserves it.

The Contaminants: A Review

This book was given to me by the author, Devin K. Smyth, in return for my review of it.

The ContaminantsThe cover of this book is very simple and works with the story which initially pulled me into reading something I would normally be a little wary of. It’s in first person present tense which is never something I find easy to read but the author did a good job of sucking me into the story quickly enough that it didn’t seem to matter.

The pacing is quite fast without masses of description, which for the most part is a good thing, especially as it’s a dystopian sort of book. A few times I’d have liked a bit more information, especially given the strange new tech. I found myself confused occasionally and unsure what something was or what it did as the characters just started using it. Sometimes this gave a sort of Deus Ex Machina feel to the plot, but it was only a slight niggle.

I liked the two kids, although I felt they were very similar and a lot of the adults were too, but I was definitely engaged enough to care.

All in all I was suitably entertained and would read more about these characters and the world they find themselves in even with the few imperfections.

1984: A Review

This was another bookclub book, and one I’ve wanted to read for a while.

1984I’d heard lots about this book before I read it. Plenty about Big Brother and the idea of a controlled nation where no one could think for themselves but nothing quite prepared me for what I found once I read it. For one it’s also partially a romance. The main character falls in love and it’s the motivating force behind lots of his decisions.

As with most classics its not the easiest to read language and there’s some very complicated thoughts and ideas in the book, with things like doublethink and thoughtcrime as words for what you should and shouldn’t do with your thoughts. The explanations of doublethink especially were interesting and suggestive of the delusional way we convince ourselves that a bad thing can be a good thing when in powerful positions.

I can see why the book is still so popular. Given that it was written over seventy years ago it has incredibly accurately predicted some aspects of human life and where the world is at now. George Orwell had a good handly on human nature, our drive to discover and invent, and our attitude towards war and other nations.

Not an easy read, and the romance was rather dry and emotionless, but still a book I’d recommend for the ideas and thoughts it might provoke. A very good book to discuss after reading.

Last Day In October

So today is technically halloween, but that’s not something I’m really into so sorry if people were expecting some kind of halloween thingy. I’m just not that into it. It is also the night before NaNo, so there’s all that I’ve got to worry about too so I’m busy with last minute preparations. On top of all that my good friend Brandon is still in the process of fighting cancer (doing a second round of chemo currently) and I think, given the day and the fact I have no review written, it would be good to mention his awesome set of books.

Firstly there’s the Day soldiers series which is about vampires, but a bit more of a traditional viewpoint on them, as in they’re evil and humanity is fighting against them. If you like action books with plenty of fast pacing and life or death situations it’s a great book to read and it’s also free to grab right now, on amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and all the other major ebook retailers.

Brandon also happens to be really good at the cowboy sort of stuff and has a brilliant series of cowboy futuristic dystopian novellas in the Man from Newella series. You can get that on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk too. It’s only 77p or 99cents.

Fracture: A Review

I was given a copy of this book by the author, D. D. Chant to review. It’s the first book in the Chronicles of Discord series.

I totally loved this book!

There were a few tiny niggles so I will start with those and get them out the way. Firstly there was the same omnipresent viewpoint in this book again which confused me a little again and felt a little too head hoppy for my liking but for the most part it was handled well and I only got a little confused as to who’s POV it was. I am definitely a fan of scene breaks and chapter breaks in between POV changes though, and I also found it was a little too descriptive in places, but it really is a minor niggle.

The characters were amazing. Their depth and little characteristics made it easy to get to know them and I felt my self tensing up when Astra did and feeling Kai’s desire to protect.

The plot was nicely fluid and although a tad on the predictable side didn’t have me feeling disappointed at all. I also completely loved how all the sayings of the old world were woven into the plot as well as all the references to what came before the current situation and wars. Those were all nicely drip fed and kept me wanting more.

I really hope the next book in this series comes out soon. This is by far my favourite book by this author so far.