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url 2018-01-16 14:05
Dawn of Chrysalis

After narrowly claiming victory in the first invasion, the F.O.R.C.E. team thinks it has time to rest. Not so. When Whatsit finds out Chrysalis is in danger, he's determined to rescue his fellow Chrysallamans. It's a task he knows he cannot accomplish without the help of his human brethren, but humans and Chrysallamans may not unite against a common foe. Will they work together or be destroyed?

Source: www.amazon.com/dp/B01HOO9UEQ
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review 2018-01-05 16:40
The Soultakers - Review
The Soultakers: (YA Dystopian Scifi Horror) (The Treemakers Trilogy Book 2) - Christina L. Rozelle,Christian Bentulan,Kimberly Grenfell
"I've learned...fear does sometimes have its place in the grand scheme of things. If we let it, the Universe can make right from wrong, light from darkness, life from death" (Rozelle, 340). 
The Soultakers starts off where we left off in the Treemakers, in the safety of Zentao. But things turn awry quickly as secrets are uncovered and the safety of their newfound paradise is gone forever. Forced to evacuate, they fall into the depths of hell and struggle to make it out alive. 
Typically, the middle book in a trilogy is pure filler. The events between the beginning of their adventure, and their happy (or terrible) ending. While the story IS in between those two events, Rozelle made it its own adventure. 
There was so much new information revealed leading to the big ending that is The Seeker's Keys, the last book in the trilogy. The incredible events and exciting story never ceased to surprise and amaze me, and even scare me. 
The character development shown for Joy was astonishing. We are with her through so much in this novel and we get to experience what she goes through. Rozelle doesn't lack in suspense or surprise when it comes to what happens to this girl. 

We also get to explore some of the other characters a bit more, like Johnny, and Serna, who we finally get to know a little better. 
The theme of never giving up and pevailing against all odds sticks with us through this novel. It is ever present and constantly brought up, keeping up hopes of readers as to the fate of the beloved characters we have fallen in love with. 
Rozelle did an incredible job at involving so much content without making the story seem cluttered and unnecessary, all while keeping suspense present and preventing things from getting dull or obvious. 
As before, I look forward to reading the next book, namely the final book in the Treemaker series, however sad I might be when it ends. The story has evolved so much in these past two novels, and I can't wait to see what the next one brings. Again, Rozelle did a fantastic job with this novel. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. 
Source: www.hayleysreviews.com/single-post/2017/01/07/The-Soultakers---Review
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review 2017-12-30 23:19
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 16 - New Year’s Eve / St. Sylvester’s Day: Prophetic Bells
The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In - Charles Dickens,Richard Armitage

Well, well -- nothing like ringing in the New Year (albeit a day early) with Charles Dickens: What he did for Christmas in the story about the old miser Scrooge, he did again a year later for New Year's Eve with this story; which is, however, quite a bit darker than A Christmas Carol.  Once again, a man is swept away to see the future; this time, however, it's not a miserly rich man but a member of the working classes, a porter named Toby (nicknamed Trotty) Veck eeking out a living near a church whose migihty bells ring out the rhythm of his life -- as if Dickens had wanted to remind his audience that the moral of A Christmas Carol doesn't only apply to the rich but, indeed, to everyone.  Along the way, the high, mighty and greedy are duly pilloried -- in this, The Chimes is decidedly closer to Hard Times, Our Mutual Friend, A Tale of Two Cities, and Bleak House than it is to A Christmas Carol -- and there are more than a minor number of anxious moments to be had before we're reaching the story's conclusion (which, in turn, however, sweeps in like a cross breed of those of Oliver Twist and Oscar Wilde's Importance of Being Earnest).


Richard Armitage's reading is phantastic: at times, there are overtones of John Thornton from the TV adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, (or in fact, both John Thornton and Nicholas Higgins) which matches the spirit of the story very well, however, since workers' rights and exploitation are explicitly addressed here, too, even if this story is ostensibly set in London, not in Manchester.


In the context of the 16 Festive Tasks, The Chimes is an obvious choice for the New Year's Eve holiday book joker, so that it is going to be.



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review 2017-12-30 11:00
Matriarchs: Eliza's Revenge- Susan McDonough-Wachtman

   A light-hearted, entertaining post-feminist twist from a committed feminist writer?

I’m not sure that McDonough-Wachtman would accept that as an even partly accurate statement, but that was the sense of her writer that reading Eliza’s Revenge gave me. It is nice to read books from her generation of feminist writers that manage to be affirmative for women, while accepting that female governance doesn’t naturally take the thorns off pink-tinted roses, or indeed those blooms of any other hue. Men in this story are still agonists but, refreshingly, at least not protagonists.

   We are some way in the future, with a story that is set on a female controlled planet. This world’s environment is well governed by its women, though from the human perspective in a rather worryingly narrow ‘religiously’ organised way. The whole planet has the feel of being moulded by a tree-hugging, socialist, governance of pagan feminist priestesses. This is certainly no utopia, though we begin with that expectation. There are sinister undertones of unnatural practices and manipulation of male genetic characteristics. The men of this planet are now as female as Barbie Dolls, while some of the women certainly aren’t all ‘sugar and spice’ humanists.

   The writing is rather head-hoppy which doesn’t help the flow of the story, but the overall read is entertaining. Whether philosophical thought really stretches from entertainment into a substantive speculation I can’t really decide. Certainly, there are some important pointers about the directions humanity might move in, and the subsequent effects. The science fiction is a story enabler, rather than a serious framework; a fantasy setting in which to play with social perspective. Where one is obliged to give stars then I would give five, for the overall readability and quality, even if these stars twinkle rather than shine a consistent and penetrating bright light.

   I got the sense that McDonough-Wachtman is capable of writing with a great deal more ambition than she showed here. Far too many corners were cut with a convenient fantastical twist, and the tone was far too tongue-in-cheek to give any hard bite to the plot. This is a general readers book, not a genre scifi, and though it may well be appealing to rather more female than male readers that really isn’t a defining quality. The point that a matriarchy is no more capable of maintaining utopia from subversion than a patriarchy is well made.


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review 2017-12-27 02:32
Annihilation - Jeff VanderMeer

Yeah, this was a weird one. Don't even know how to sum it up. But I wanted to read it because I've seen it around the library quite a bit and am very excited for the movie coming out since it looks awesome. Just so y'all now, I think the movie is gonna be really different from the book.


I enjoyed this book, though it's definitely a slow burn and not what I expected. It was hard to get into in the beginning and it's definitely a dense book. There were quite a few points where I got lost in the text and not necessarily in a good way. But the more I read, the more into the story I became and in the end, I think I'd read it again if only because it's so deep. 


One thing I'll say of the book that I think is important, I wouldn't call it a horror novel. I've seen a few reviewers explain it as a "scifi horror" or "scifi thriller", but really it's just scifi. There are creepy parts in it, to be sure, but that creepy factor isn't present enough for me to consider it a member of the horror genre. The movie might be, but the book is not. 


Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars. It's basically a really intense and strange episode of Planet Earth. Imagine Morgan Freeman narrating it. 

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