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review 2018-06-16 06:49
Survival Kit's Apocalypse
Survival Kit's Apocalypse - Beverly Williams

Survival Kit's Apocalypse was nothing like what I expected, based on the title. The main character has a past which puts the Apocalypse to shame, and is first just kind of aimlessly walking about until she stumbles on a bunch of brothers who almost fall over each other to please and woo her as she is such a special snowflake.

Maybe, had I expected less an Apocalypse survival story, I wouldn't have minded so bad, but now I didn't really care for it. It was very easy for me to put away, and more difficult to pick it up again (always a dangerous situation). It just really wasn't for me, I'm afraid, so I won't be continuing the series.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2018-05-22 00:00
Brave New World
Brave New World - Margaret Atwood,David Bradshaw,Aldous Huxley I am only giving it two stars because this book is for some reason considered a great classic, but I really didn’t like it.

After overcoming the initial shock of Huxley’s brave new capitalist eugenics utopia, I kept asking myself through most of the book what Huxley was high on and reminding myself that he was into experimenting with hallucinogens at the time and thus he might have actually been high on something.

While I have so far liked what I have read of contemporary dystopia, I have found the ‘old’, classic dystopia, such as Brave New World or, also recently read, Animal Farm much less likeable. On the other hand, I tremendously enjoyed Verne’s Paris in the Twentieth Century. So perhaps the fault is in these specific books.

It is strange how all these authors of the past viewed the future, which has in the meantime become our present in some cases, as a world of complete ‘moral’ disintegration of society that is entirely submitted to the ‘values’ of capitalism, consumerism, and (to an extent) technological advancement, rejecting emotion, art, and personal freedom.

And yet, I don’t see – or foresee – these bleak visions coming true. Granted, the 17th century after Ford of the Brave New World is still quite a bit ahead. Nevertheless, I think we can safely hope – as we see the very elements (or similar ones) of the scientific progress mentioned in these stories having already become our reality without most of the ‘predicted’ accompanying societal degradation – humanity will never come that far, or better said, fall that low. Maybe it is because, as a self-identified pessimistic idealist, I think individual people can be horrible (as well as others can be amazing), but I have faith in humanity as a whole.

But I digress.

To return to Brave New World, this strangely hopeless (and implausible) vision of the distant future (despite its utter ‘stability’ and overall ‘happiness’ of its inhabitants) was not even the major reason for my dislike of this book.

My biggest complaint is that Huxley keeps picking up various characters’ stories and not finishing them, save one, and what we see of them just seems under-developed, going against all the most important rules of writing a good story – at least by modern standards. I daresay that if any contemporary author pitched this story, it wouldn’t get published without some major additional work.

For example, when we first meet Bernard and Lenina, they both act ‘queer’ for the ‘civilised’ society of the book’s universe, seeking solitude, lacking lovers, or being too attached to a single one – and nothing comes out of it, apart from their trip to the reservation.

We can only guess that Lenina finds the experience so terrible that she decides to fully immerse herself in what is considered proper behaviour in the ‘civilisation’– but that is just a guess, as her change of heart is abrupt, never explained, and her past ‘queerness’ is never mentioned again. (Shouldn’t she be able to at least somewhat understand or compare her, albeit past, fleeting feelings, to Bernard’s or even John’s?)

Bernard and Helmholtz, who remain ‘queer’ and dissatisfied with the ‘civilisation’, get sent to an island for that reason – and we learn that that is actually more a reward than a punishment because islands are where people can be more individual than within the rest of the society – but that is the end of their story. Whereas, I would be very much interested in how they fare afterwards and whether they can realise their selves better there, outside of the ‘civilisation’.

And finally, there is John, the ‘Savage’. I’ll just mention the two things that irked me the most, besides the blatant racism typical of Huxley’s time.

Firstly, John forgetting about Linda when she dies. Sure, he remembers her. What I mean is: this is a man who was raised on a reservation, who is used to the human customs as we know them (mostly), who must have surely been used to something akin mourning and funerals, and he just walks out of the hospital? He doesn’t even suggest a funeral? I assume he has been told what happens to the dead, but he just accepts it? This goes completely against his character.

And secondly, how he ends up: yes, sure, in line with Huxley’s racist, capitalist, eugenics beliefs, whoever cannot adapt to his brave new world can only be driven to death by both their internal and external demons. What a pile of equine excrement.

To top it all, the writing itself, sometimes verging on stream of consciousness, is not anything to laud, either.

Hence, in conclusion, for all that Brave New World may be a classic – and it certainly has an intriguing concept that could provoke much thought, but lacks in execution and development – it just did not work for me.
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review 2018-05-08 08:00
We Can Be Mended
We Can Be Mended - Veronica Roth

I had missed the announcement of this final epilogue to the Divergent series completely, but don't worry, you won't miss a thing.

It's five years since the events in Allegiant (which was a ridiculous book and I'm still being kind), and I didn't have a strong desire to go back, but the completist in me wanted to have read the entire series, so here I was, reading We Can Be Mended.

And they get mended over the course of this 27 page story. I've seen a lot of people hate this story with a passion, but I'm more indifferent. I only got the slightest of information on how the world changed and what is going on now. Instead there's the rather forced coming together of two of the surviving characters from the book.

I would only recommend it for big fans of the series, and even then prepare to dislike it.

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review 2018-05-05 06:26
Wall-E
Wall-E - Shiro Shirai

Wall-E is awesome, there's no denying it.

Like other manga in this series it closely follows the original story so there is not a lot of new things to be discovered. The artwork delivers but is relatively simple. Wall-E is cute. There is a little bit of extra things at the end aimed for children.

Nice for fans, but otherwise I think the movie itself will do.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2018-03-03 16:57
The Sky Is Yours
The Sky is Yours - Chandler Klang Smith

I can not start to describe The Sky Is Yours, but I'm sure it will end up on my most talked out list for sure. Dragons (who seem to just be there) have taken over Empire Island and the surviving humans try to make the best of it run either by the super-rich or the mafia. Amidst all this, Duncan and Swanny prepare their forced marriage. And then, hell breaks lose.

I feel conflicted about The Sky Is Yours. At first, I didn't know what to think about it, and honestly, I was having some trouble to keep my attention focused on the book. Duncan and Swanny are both rather flawed characters, which made them interesting and a little bit annoying at the same time, but I couldn't figure out what kind of book it wanted to be (after reading all of it, I'm still not sure).

What I can say though is that it is unlike any of the other Dystopian or dragon filled books that I've read, and I've read quite a few. This is one of those books I can only classify as genre-defying. Is it all good? No, there are quite a few stereotypes being played out and some of it is just a bit too much. Would I recommend it? That's a difficult one, since it certainly isn't for everyone, however it had something of a fresh tone (that we so desperately need in the Dystopian scene) so I'm looking forward to Chandler Klang Smith's next work.

Thanks to Blogging for Books and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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