Written by Pierce Brown.
Narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds
Darrow is a hell-diver of a clan that doesn’t get any laurels for accomplishing feats of daring, progress or achievement. He braves pit vipers( something different yet the same on Mars), a 90′ drill and heat that can burn the “Fry suit” off of you body.
Dissidence is punishable by flogging and in some cases by hanging where you better hope someone likes you enough to pull on your legs and quicken it.
Darrow is a Red. Humans are in caste now by their colors and Red is the lowest yet most populous caste. After Darrow’s wife, Eo, gets hung it is on bitches.
Darrow becomes a Gold through the help of Dancer and a cutter. He enters the institute and survives to win using tactics the institute has not witness before. Enjoy his road to victory and discovery!
Five out of five entertainment units of your choice!
Karma Decay (The Karma Trilogy 1)
Written by Jude Fawley.
Aaron is not happy most of the time these days. He just can’t motivate himself to pick up a dropped item for somebody, hold a door open, go to a house of worship and utter prayers and platitudes because all of these works…are paid. That is how citizens pay their way through society metered by a relay device in their heads to the invasive but saintly Karma computer. It’s there to help mankind achieve great things.
Charles Darcy, hopefully not a mash-up of two characters from Pride and Prejudice, is a model of a modern major…Karma Do Gooder. He doesn’t sleep, doesn’t frolic with the ladies, barely eats, does good works constantly to earn millions of dollars and is the jealous envy of all society even Karma. Is he for real? Will Spector thinks so until he is elevated to SuperKarmaCop and starts tracing inconsistencies. No one is that good!
This was an engaging tale of Science Fiction in a camouflaged dystopian world. Copy edit errors were minimal in that they did not cause me to have to reread material to glean its meaning. The World and Character building were top notch including the side or happenstance characters. I’m giving this a four out of five entertainment thingies. Enjoy!
I’ll Buy You the Moon
Written by Hugh B. Long.
This short story takes place in a not so future Earth. Mega Corp has blocked out the sky with solar collectors and the chasm between the poor and the rich is huge. No longer can anyone have access to medical care, most have to give up have a years wages to even get a check up. Hanna and Clara are orphaned sisters.
Hanna works in a food processing plant sixteen hours a day to pay for the one bedroom apartment she shares with Clara and occasionally food. Her landlady helps but things are bleak. Clara is sickly and has only one persistent wish. Hanna only has Clara now…and she will give of herself to grant that wish.
As a short story this tale rocked it. The science fiction is not hand wavy and the description of society as it is right now is accurate to a scary truth. Dying seems to be the only free thing. I’m giving this four out of five entertainment points. Well done!
Normally I would put a direct link for where you could buy this work but instead I’ve given you the author’s website. Enjoy!
The Unincorporated Man
Written by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin
Narrated by Todd McLaren
Justin Cord has been awakened from his hidden suspension unit approximately three hundred years after being stored. His cancer is gone, the world he knew is gone and the one he has woken to, though much better, is painfully flawed to his world view. Everyone owns shares of people and thinks that is an acceptable practice.
You might consider this story to be rather slow moving and dull. That would be a wrong assumption. Hector Sambianco, a constitutional law attorney on special assignment for GCI, is a first class Dill-hole. He knows what shares of Justin Cord would be worth and he is constantly angling to get him to incorporate though any means available.
Action includes neurolyzers, 24th century taser, that disrupt a person’s brain for permanent death; membrane walls that part to let you through instead of doors, until you walk into one that dissolves your body; security robots that have no mercy; psyche audits where nanites are injected into your brain to rewrite aberrant behavior pathways. That’s enough spoilers to whet your appetite.
The version I consumed was an audio book from audible. The product was excellent and the narrator did a superb job on gender voices. Story and delivery get a thumbs up.
I like to maintain some consistency in these reviews so this work is getting a five out of five on entertainment points. Some might think that five out of five is a masterpiece. I am not that snobby. Five out of five to me means that I enjoyed it, recommend it and found nothing to detract from it.
V for Vendetta
by Allan Moore and David Lloyd
with Steve Whitaker and Siobhan Dodds
Been a while since this work was added to my reading list and now I’ve completed it. Let me just say that it was worth it. V is a man who was experimented on in an internment camp for undesirable persons. Who said they were undesirable you ask? The government of England does in this storyline because they are the last country standing after World War III. They decide who to lock up and who to allow the semblance of freedom to based on skin color, sexual persuasion, credo and the droning belief of “England Prevails.”
V blows stuff up while he rescues Evey from being raped and killed by a gaggle of Vice cops. He takes her into his refuge and teaches her all the things that have been purged from the officially sanctioned school curriculum. He teaches her to think independently.
There are several compelling storylines in this presentation of V for Vendetta and sometimes they come off almost like a soap opera but they all have their little parts to play. It is a shame that they did not pick this up as a mini-series instead of a one shot movie because there is a lot missing in that piece.
I enjoyed this enough to give it four satisfaction points for story and artwork. Enjoy, and embrace anarchy…not chaos.
A Clockwork Orange
by Anthony Burgess
Alex DeBarge and his droogs, Pete, Dim and Georgie, set about creating the maximum level of damage and chaos in their drug fueled rampaging behavior throughout the first third of the book. It’s Your Humble Narrator relating these slovos about him and his droogs. Fights with britvas, buying old ladies scotch to cover for them, delivering a bit of the Ultra Violence to hapless victims caught unaware on the street and the occasional hold-down assisted In-Out to a piece of loud classical music.
This is Alex’s life at fifteen envisioned by the author in 1963 when the work was created and maybe then, Britain was having a long bout with levels of social reform. Anyway, Alex gets caught because he was set up by his droogs, mainly Dim. He gets carted off to State Prison where he tries his best to ingratiate himself to the Chaplain and portray model reform though nobody is really watching. A new government takes control and institutes change. Where that impacts Alex is that he volunteers to be cured of his evil ways in a fort-night, not knowing that it would involve drugs and conditioning.
Even though this work is fifty one years old as of this review I don’t want to trash your experience with spoilers because I recommend reading. Better get your stamina up though as Burgess almost made up an entire language to relate how teenagers in his envisioned world would talk just to separate themselves from the old bored and stuffies. What makes the version I read better in my mind, at least closer to the modern classic it’s pumped up to be, is the reinstatement of the last chapter. That completely changes the story and illustrates why publishers and editors should never be given complete creative control. To be clear, this is the 1986 American Edition with the final chapter added back in. I give this a four out of five satisfaction points and that is because wading through the invented language was kind of a chore.
Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline
narrated by Wil Wheaton
Wade Owen Watts or WOW as his initials on video games would be is a teenager gamer extraordinaire. This isn’t because he squanders time and money living in a virtual world to escape from reality…well, not mostly. James Halliday, an eccentric billionaire game designer died with no heirs and the mass of Earth are spending a lot of effort in solving the gaming mystery he set up to give away his fortune after dying. WOW is dead broke and victimized by his dead beat Aunt so he has incentive to crawl out.
WOW only really has virtual friends and goes to school online. The bulk of his world is a construct.
The story is well told how WOW and his few friends compete with a vile corporation to unravel Halliday’s monumental string of gaming clues. There is murder, theft, romance and nostalgic journeys back into the day of Galaga, Zork, D&D, Joust, Pac Man…long list buddy.
Excellent story professionally delivered by Mr. Wheaton. Four out of five.
The Prefect (Book 5 in the Revelation Space series)
by Alistair Reynolds
narrated by John Lee
Back in the Yellowstone system this story is set amongst the Glitter band, a group of ten thousand human space habitats that are governed democratically via an organization called Panoply. Each of the habitats have a central stalk that houses a poling core, using abstraction (a hand waving term for network), representatives from each habitat rotate through the civic duty of voting.
This idyllic thing comes crashing to a halt as an Alpha level imprint from the Silvestri 80, Aurora, takes over four habitats and manufactures warbots called Weevils to spread. Meanwhile, a creature from the past called the Clockmaker which was thought destroyed resurfaces to threaten the maybe invincible Aurora.
Field Prefect Tom Dreyfus, Deputy Field Talia Ing, Deputy Field hyper-pig Sparva are just some of the key spicy characters leading the fight against the dark annihilators of humans in this installment. I enjoy how the author juggles multiple story lines into a mesmerizing tapestry of entertainment. Five out of five for this one. Excellent job!
The Sword of the Lamb
by M.K. Wren
This vision of the future takes place around the year 3200 and depicts humankind as star faring, but only so far. Set in the Centauri system the Elite Houses of a future feudal system determine how to keep the system going in their favor while keeping the Bonds and Feshs working productively. I’m not sure entirely why this could go this way but I embraced the story.
Rich and Alexand Woolf are the only two heirs of the Woolf House. Rich is diseased and will not live far into adulthood while Alexand is disenchanted with his lot and the system that allows them their station in life. Things must change.
The House system is somewhat reminiscent of Dune yet not so far flung that Earth based references are lost. An organization of scholars and ethical people are working behind the scenes, Phoenix, to path the way for social change and bettering humankind. Their methods and decision making remind me of Harry Seldon from Foundation and his psycho-historical equations to model the future. The slang of the Outsiders reminds me of William Gibson’s works in Cyberpunk. Enough name dropping.
This is book one in the series and I enjoyed it enough to consider reading the remainder when my TBR is under control again. That’ll be…sometime. The only down side for me was the arranged marriages and being immersed in so much Elite House machinations angst. If you like Space Opera and epic stories then this is for you. I’m giving it a three out of five.