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review 2018-11-21 01:25
Profound questions about what makes us human come up in this alternate present-day San Francisco in 'The Waning Age'
The Waning Age - S.E. Grove

It's present-day San Francisco, and ’The Waning Age’ is 10 years old. This means that at that age, it's expected that you will lose your ability to feel emotions. You will lose not only lose the ability to feel sadness, but also joy and everything in between.

 

Natalia Peña is the main character in this engaging novel, written as dated entries in a journal, and she has already waned. But her younger brother Calvino, who she calls Cal, has not, and he doesn't seem to show any signs that he will. Since their mother died tragically they have been living with foster parents, and while they show close bonds, it's only Cal who shows what would be recognizable as normal human responses to events around him, so much so that a company called RealCorp takes Cal to do tests on him to find out why he isn't waning.

 

 

They are also a major manufacturer of ’synaffs’ which are synthetic drops that basically only the wealthy can now afford in order to feel whatever emotion you choose. Ones that are bought on the street could be made of any unknown dangerous harmful chemicals causing the wrong emotional reactions. Most people instead choose to go through their lives feeling nothing, having forgotten what it felt like to have an emotion.

 

At the center of this illuminating book, beyond the fight that Natalia goes through to get her brother back from RealCorp, is a look at what humans are without their ability to feel. The absolute best sci-fi writing can feel so frighteningly real and believable, and this conversation about what humans are without - most importantly - being empathetic towards each other, touches on a nerve.

 

 

As someone who has always been emotional, having dealt with depression and anxiety and being the sort of person who has even lamented about how much easier life would be if I wasn't so empathetic (in contrast to others around me), this was eye-opening.

 

What has supposedly separated us from other beings is our ability to have emotions, to be ’sentient’, so what are we when we can't feel?

This is at the core of the characters in the book called Fish: they make me think of those who can commit baseless crimes without remorse or motive, they're basically psychopaths.

Questions came up in my head about how is this different from the thinking of someone who shows no emotion toward the victim and can commit serial murders.

 

 

What's the difference between thinking and feeling? How do we express emotion without feeling it? How do we have relationships without showing emotions? Is our own society going in the direction of where people aren't able to show or feel emotions? How have technology and social media contributed to this?

 

All of these questions come up and it really had me thinking!

 

I personally feel like one of the most essential problems today is that most people lack the ability to be empathetic towards each other. ’The Waning Age’ really made me sad (*emotion!) at the prospect of emotions disappearing altogether, good and bad, and how that would obliterate compassion completely.

 

Author S.E. Grove has managed to write a YA sci-fi novel that not only recognizes the bond between brother and sister, but she has also done some brilliant world-building, with just the right amount of action, and has brought some big ideas to the table. I will be thinking about this one for a long time, and I have already told a few other sci-fi authors about it.

 

'The Waning Age' is more profound than initial impressions would let on. And I have to say, this would make an excellent movie!

 

RELEASE DATE: February 5th, 2019 (add it to your TBR now!!)

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/40057886-the-waning-age
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review 2018-11-20 22:05
Real
Future Fake Husband - Kate Hawthorne,E.M. Denning

Cole is running out of time.  His mother lets him in on the secret that his grandparents are giving the vineyard he runs to his vapid sister after she marries.  All that he has worked for will be lost.

 

Rhett has always known he is not good enough for his twin brother's best friend.  Cole is the sexiest man he has ever seen.  When he proposes they plan for their futures together, it seems like the best plan.

 

I am going to be honest with you.  I have never read either of these authors' books.  After this amazing story - that will change.  I loved this story so much I eagerly gobbled each page.  I laughed, cried, and rejoiced with these characters.  Happily, this is an amazing read that I, for one, hope makes it into the movie theaters.  So hot!  I give this a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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review 2018-11-20 16:10
ARCREVIEW Escape Velocity by Jonathan Paul Isaacs

 

Escape Velocity (The Quantum War Book 1)

The Quantum War Series #1, New author for me, very impressed. I really enjoyed this one it's action packed and the characters are well written. It's third person POV but the focus switches between Lieutenant Wyatt Wills and his Staff Sergeant Laramie McCoy. The story kind of reminds me of Resident Evil (the movies) meets The Omega Man (Yes the Charlton Heston movie) but in space. I liked the world building the descriptive narrative was wonderfully done the characters have plenty of depth. Wyatt is dealing with guilt from the last mission that cost several people their lives and him his leg. Laramie, I loved her, she's a badass chick I pictured her looking something like Rhonda Rousey. 

Wyatt's first mission back from medical leave is to take his team through the quantum gates from Proxima to Alpha Centari A and then on to the colonized planet of Juliet. All communication and interstellar travel between the two has stopped. Juliet has gone silent. What they find there is far more disturbing and deadly than dealing with pirates on Proxima.    

Overall, it was a great read. It has intense action the pacing is great. It does leave off with a bit of a teaser for the next book which has me hooked, I'll definitely read it. 

 

 

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review 2018-11-20 13:49
Again
You’re the One I Don’t Want (The Tenth Girl #2) - Carrie Aarons

This is book #2 in The Tenth Girl series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader understanding, and too avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this series in order.

 

Annabelle is on the verge of getting everything she has worked so hard for.  The only thing that seems to be stopping her right now is the mad feelings she has for her ex-boyfriend who just moved back to town.  Can she move past it when she sees him everywhere?

 

Boone cannot get past the fact he literally ran into his ex.  She left a scar he is not sure he can get over.  He needs to concentrate on his new job.  Easier said than done.

 

The characters just bring the heat!  The sparks are jumping all around these two.  I absolutely loved the heartfelt emotions that these characters showed.  I loved that they learned to talk and more again.  I really thought this was a good book and a stunning addition to an already amazing series.  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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review 2018-11-20 13:33
Forbidden
The Husband Gambit - L.A. Witt

Hayden is just about down to his last dollar.  Looking at the want ads, since he needs a miracle or another job, he finds something surprising.  Then he meets the writer and is in shock.

 

Jesse is desperate enough to offer quote a bit of money to someone who can handle the job.  When Hayden responds, it is like it was meant to be.  Now they just have to make it work and get the evidence to make all this worth it.

 

This book is a surprise from the beginning to the end.  Lots of little things to enjoy inside!  I loved the banter.  I loved the pace moved quickly.  I also loved the raw honesty these characters tried so hard to maintain without hurting one another.  Such a great story and a good old fashioned read.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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