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text 2018-04-25 15:02
BOOK REVIEW - Damaged Beyond All Recognition

Damaged Beyond All Recognition (Infinity's Trinity Book 1)

 

Alan Felyk

Print Length: 361 pages

 

Publisher: Alan Felyk; 1 edition (January 1, 2018)

Publication Date: January 1, 2018

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

ASIN: B077VJGJCD

 

https://www.amazon.com/Damaged-Beyond-Recognition-Infinitys-Trinity-ebook/dp/B077VJGJCD

 

 

 

Reviewed by Dr Wesley Britton

 

I admit it. Alan Felyk has an imagination I simply envy. The tag line for his new Damaged Beyond All Recognition is “Extending the literary traditions of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams ...”  Vonnegut, certainly. Adams, well, from time to time. It’s certainly true that this novel is going to appeal to readers who like high-minded humor laced into a complex, layered yarn.

 

Three unusual protagonists anchor the proceedings.  First, there’s Paul Tomenko who is a famous writer chronicling events in the counter-culture in Colorado in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Suddenly, he finds himself traveling to and from God's library somewhere outside the Universe. That’s the current God, the less than omnipotent being in a long chain of less than omnipotent beings.

 

For example, there’s no longer an afterlife for humanity to ascend to. Humans can no longer access memories from their past lives in previous versions of the Universe or acquire new memories. So who can replace God when he dies as he is coming very close to that point?

 

It’s Paul who has to find the solution to this dilemma with the help of his two lovers, the genius genetic Maggie Mae Monahan and the Sci-Fi novelist Allie Briarsworth who intuitively senses events from the past and future.

 

Paul’s brain creates some unusual supporting players like the gatekeeper to God’s archives who is a doppelganger for Cher and the very helpful librarian who is a doppelganger for actress Katharine Ross. Clearly, these women came from Paul’s unfulfilled carnal wishes. Toss in Gronk and Grita, two six-year-old neo-Neanderthals who are the most intelligent humans on Earth due to reconstructed DNA. Did I mention the story includes traveling across multiple planes of existence or a species of aliens who want to obliterate humanity so they can become the supreme creations of the cosmos?

 

Metaphysics have rarely been treated with such originality or irreverence. This is entertaining science fiction with a cerebral framework, lively tone, well-drawn characters (with overly restrained sex lives, sad to say), and the unexpected on nearly every page. You should probably make a point of not missing this one as you too might be a figment of Paul Tomenko’s imagination. Wait till you find out where you’ve been. Talk about a Big Bang . . .

 

This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on April 24 at:

https://waa.ai/z5mq

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review 2018-04-24 15:37
Fantastic Follow-Up to Lock In!
Head On - John Scalzi

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

 

Not a lot to say here besides I freaking loved this book. I loved Lock In (the first book in the series) and the world that John Scalzi created. I adored the characters of Vann and Chris. Though the book is told via Chris's POV, I do wish one of the books would be told in Vann's POV. She is just my favorite.

 

It's been several months or at least a year since the events in the first book. We have Chris still working for the FBI and partnering with Vann. When Chris goes to meet his parents at a Hilketa game, he witnesses a player being taken off the field. Everyone quickly realizes the player is dead. The FBI is brought in due to the fact that the Hilketa game is played by Hadens and that means though the crime took place in Washington, D.C. the Haden player's body was somewhere else. What follows is a lot of twists and turns until you have Chris and Vann figure out how somehow could have killed someone while they were playing a game. 

 

Chris is still living with his roommates and though they were barely in the first half of the book, they do pop up in the second half more. His partnership with Vann is still the best. They crack me up and pop off each other a lot. Chris's parents are still reassuringly there for their son and are involved with the plot in this book too. 


We do get new characters in this one and we get to meet another integrator (someone who had the first symptoms of Haden's, but didn't get the full disease) whose life I wish we were told more about. I swear that Scalzi could totally publish some novellas featuring new characters and I would not be upset. 


I do love the world that Scalzi has built in this one. Hadens are unfortunately dealing with the fall-out from a bill that was passed in the last book. Many are struggling to make ends meet and now there are rumblings about having non-Hadens get their own threeps as well. I like that Chris sees the issues with this in this book, and I wonder if this is going to pop up in the next book as a plot point. 

 

The ending leaves things with some of the bad guys caught, but with Chris and Vann realizing a bigger conspiracy may be out there. I really did need the X-Files theme song blaring away in the background at this point. 

 

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review 2018-04-24 14:46
The Truth About Animals by Lucy Cooke
The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife - Lucy Cooke

TITLE:  The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife

 

AUTHOR:  Lucy Cooke

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2018

 

FORMAT:  ebook

 

ISBN-13:  978-0-465-09465-3

___________________________

 

From the blurb:

"Mary Roach meets Sam Kean and Bill Bryson in this uproarious tour of the basest instincts and biggest mysteries of the animal world.  Humans have gone to the Moon and discovered the Higgs boson, but when it comes to understanding animals, we've still got a long way to go. Whether we're seeing a viral video of romping baby pandas or a picture of penguins "holding hands," it's hard for us not to project our own values--innocence, fidelity, temperance, hard work--onto animals. So you've probably never considered if moose get drunk, penguins cheat on their mates, or worker ants lay about. They do--and that's just for starters. In The Truth About Animals, Lucy Cooke takes us on a worldwide journey to meet everyone from a Colombian hippo castrator to a Chinese panda porn peddler, all to lay bare the secret--and often hilarious--habits of the animal kingdom. Charming and at times downright weird, this modern bestiary is perfect for anyone who has ever suspected that virtue might be unnatural."

 

 

 

The Truth About Animals provides an entertaining and interesting look at the private lives of animals.  The book takes a look at the oddball myths that surround some of these animals and the (sometimes ling-winded) opinions/works of historical (and modern) naturalists with regards to these myths.  Each chapter deals with a different animal and is filled with fascinating tidbits and humour.  Animals covered in the book include eels, beavers, sloths, hyenas, storks, vultures, bats, frogs, pandas, penguins, hippos, mooses, and chimpanzees.  This is an enjoyable, informative and light read.

 

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text 2018-04-24 05:25
Laugh out Loud Science
Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife - Mary Roach

Mary Roach explores current science on reincarnation, soul weighing, out of body experiences, and also the history of mediums and other interactions with the spirits of the dead. She’s one of the funniest writers I’ve come across. She manages to find the strangest items in the historical record—her chapter on ectoplasm, for example. The fact that it was regarded so seriously at the time it was a popular mediumistic trick is as fascinating as the methods used to produce it.

Roach participates in a training for becoming a medium; takes part in a study on creating the perception of a ghost through infrasound; goes along on reincarnation research trips in India; visits a small North Carolina town where a ghost helped a man win a lawsuit; and more. Her inquiries are serious, but she never takes herself seriously. Much of the humor comes from her ability to laugh at herself, and to notice the workings of her own mind.

Whether or not you believe in ghosts or life after death, you can enjoy and learn from the author’s journey.

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text 2018-04-24 00:15
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Head On - John Scalzi

Please let there be a third book!

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