Kalma: Alnenia turned her cran to one side and looked thoughtful. "It's the fourth day," she said to herself. "It is finally seeming to work." Her face told that she had come to a decision. "Yes, it is the time for truth." She sat back and smiled. "Know you anything," she asked, "about the Ming-ti plant?"
"No, I know not," I told her cold. "What is the Ming-ti plant?"
She picked up a skol-stick and tapped it nervously on her desk. "It really should be Doret or Elsbeth to explain it. What I know, they told me. The Ming-ti plant is a heaf that grows not natural on the Old Continent. It's one Doret ordered seeds for from Menzia. It's a powerful, ah, ah, well, when its leaves are dried and cooked into foods as spices or ground into powder and put into nectars, it, ah, ah," she smiled broad, "considerably enflames our natural drive to be speared. It creates a strong need, very strong, in women for a man-stalk bonding. In your case, the results should be very, very interesting."
"Interesting!" I thundered. "You've poisoned me and call that interesting! What mean you?"
Alnenia looked hurt and shook her head. "Poisoned? Oh no, there is nothing toxic in Ming-ti. The only possible trouble you could have is, well, if you were unable to act on the stimulus inside you. But," her smile returned, "your acting on it is the point. It is long past time for Malcolm to part your legs with full thrusts in between."
I stood and paced before her desk. Questions filled me, and the first was obvious.
"Have you others taken this Ming-ti?"
"No," Alnenia admitted. "We knew nothing of it until Doret spoke of it after our visit to the Mother-Icealt. None of us, ah, have ever needed the stimulus. We thought of experimenting with it, naturally. For Doret, she'd probably only need a very small amount. Then again, all Malcolm has to do is reach his hand up her tunic, play with her nipples, and irresistible shockwaves, well, you know. Or soon will."
She laughed. "Joline is about your body weight although not as strongly built or muscled." She laughed again. "But, then again, you'd only have to show Joline the plant, tell her of its purpose, and its effect would be complete on sight."
I stared at her. "So, how much of this Ming-ti is in my blood?"
Her eyes lit up. "That's what is extraordinary! Very, very extraordinary! Again, Doret can better answer your questions. Normally, I understand, one meal only is sufficient. You've —." She paused and looked at me in wonder." You should, by now, be unable to do anything else but think of being speared. I'm tempted to alert Yil and tell him to clear all males out of —."
"You'll do no such thing!" I exclaimed with full power, pulling her door open. "I am sufficiently disciplined and self-controlled to fight this poison! I will go find Doret and find a cure for this mean trick!"
As you may have noticed, it has been a very slow year for me reading wise. Who knew having an infant and toddler to take care of full time would leave me little "me" time. The chronic sleep deprivation hasn't helped things either, but the plus side is that the few books I have managed to get to this year have been amazing. This one is no exception.
In true YA fashion, Yalena has a cryptic past that leads her on a journey to find both her origins and herself. This being the first book in the series, there is a lot of informative information and character introductions but it's a great lead in to what is sure to be a fantastic series. Yalena is an interesting character who surprised me a bit as she found her own voice in a sea of overachievers.
I really enjoyed the world building elements that Zeeland includes. Brief history lessons that you attend with Yalena and her classmates make this space world more and more interesting. Of course, what's a good novel without some romantic interests and competitive drama to keep things interesting. STAR Academy is a college level specialty school by invitation only. It is an elite group of students expected to become the next best thing in their respective fields, no pressure there.
I highly recommend this book to science fiction fans, especially those who enjoy young adult as well. Space is the next frontier and there is so much to learn from the next generation of explorations. The Unsound Theory has a little bit of everything in it and I can't wait for the next installment of this series!
Some Biblical and ancient Chinese documents contain very opaque passages that some allege describe aurorae; I find that interpretation entirely unconvincing - they're so vague as to be impossible to concretely ascribe any phenomonological interpretation to them. The notorious auroral noise is also mentioned. There's no sound evidence that this phenomenon is real. All claims in favour of it are amateur and unsound.
As soon as I saw Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang I knew that I had to get it in my hands. If the name alone doesn't intrigue you then I don't know what will. This book is full to bursting with historical facts about crazy medical practices through the ages. It is an excellent resource about the history of the medical profession as well as education and social change. Much like when I read Soonish, I felt that it was a little heavy with the 'relatable' humor but this was easily overlooked. (I think Kang pulled it off better anyway.) As someone who has read quite a bit about the history of medicine, I was surprised by just how much I didn't know. For example, did you know that leeches have 3 stomachs, 3 jaws, and 100 teeth in each of those jaws?! Kang sets up the different medical practices and procedures by first giving a history of the person that started it off (generally a 'medical practitioner' or someone at least purporting to be one). She then shares accounts from the patients who endured such crazy routines (like bloodletting or ingesting arsenic) paired with diagrams of the medical equipment used to accomplish such feats. (I hope you have a strong stomach for the bloodletting chapter.) I especially enjoyed the little asides about what we now know about the concoctions put together long ago to 'cure' and how the vast majority of them were either complete hokum or actually increased the chances of the patient suffering an agonizing death. It makes you wonder how the future generations will view our supposedly 'innovative' medicines and treatments of the sick. Will we be seen as medical charlatans and blind fools or will they take into account the socioeconomic and political climate that we live in and how that shapes our view on medicine as a whole? As you read this book (and I hope you will) ponder that very question because then perhaps you won't judge past generations quite so harshly...unless it's the guys who took Strychnine in order to increase their sex drive. Always judge those guys. 9/10
|I wasn't lying about the leeches. [Source: Amazon]|
What's Up Next: HiLo Book 4: Waking the Monsters by Jeff Winick
What I'm Currently Reading: The Murderer's Ape by Jakob Wegelius