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review 2018-07-10 23:21
4 Out Of 5 "Norco-induced paranoia" STARS
Obscura - Joe Hart

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~BOOK BLURB~

Obscura

Joe Hart

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In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similarly inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses.

Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission. With her grip weakening on reality, she starts to doubt her own innocence. And she’s beginning to question so much more—like the true nature of the mission, the motivations of the crew, and every deadly new secret space has to offer.

Merging thrilling science-fiction adventure with mind-bending psychological suspense, Wall Street Journal bestselling author Joe Hart explores both the vast mysteries of outer space and the even darker unknown that lies within ourselves.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Obscura is one part psychological thriller, one part critical journey into deep space, and another part scientific search for a cure for a devastating disease, with a dousing of Norco induced paranoia; tossed together with mostly likable characters.  I should have fully connected with this more than I did.  Maybe it was the lackluster characters or the narration, or that it was to science fiction-y for me.  Maybe…it’s a little of each.

 

I will say this…Obscura could be awesome as a movie, I'm quite certain it would hold my complete attention in that context.  While I definitely liked this, I just always felt somewhat detached while listening.  You know when you're watching something on TV while scrolling through social media on your phone.  It was kind of like that, basically, I was easily distracted.  But seriously, what I'm really trying to say is you should totally give this a try if the synopsis sounds good to you.

 

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~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.7/5

Main Characters~ 3.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.5/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 4.3/5

Addictiveness~ 4.2/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.3/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4.5/5 Cliffhanger~ Sort of…

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Book Cover~ It drew me in…

Narration~☆3.5☆ for Christina Traister...she was okay, I guess.

Setting~ Outer Space --between Earth and Mars, mostly

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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review 2018-07-08 12:11
It's a Question of Space
 It's a Question of Space: An Ordinary Astronaut's Answers to Sometimes Extraordinary Questions - Clayton C. Anderson

[I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.]

I’m going to admit I had no idea who Clayton Anderson was when I requested this book, but it sounded interesting, and interesting it turned to be, indeed. There were plenty of little things I never suspected regarding life on the ISS, and in space in general, and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot. Which I’m sure is absolutely not going to be useful if I write a sci-fi story someday. Never.

It’s a fast read, in Q&A format, which is ideal when, like me, you read a lot during breaks at work, or while commuting. No long chapters that make it difficult to stop (almost) any time. These cover a lot of various things, from how the human body reacts in space to the kind of operations astronauts have to be trained in, from the former space shuttle program to little things like ‘how to you wash yourself in micro-gravity’.

While I felt that Anderson might have misinterpreted a couple of questions (I’m thinking more specifically about the one regarding ‘what do you think of people who say the moon landing is a conspiracy’), overall his answers were simple and often full of humour. The man doesn’t hesitate to make fun of himself, and admits when he goofed on the station. He doesn’t always get into details, and he doesn’t hide it when he doesn’t know something, so perhaps some of the answers were a little lackluster; still, in general, this was fairly informative for me.

Conclusion: 3.5 stars. And I wouldn’t mind reading his other book, for sure.

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text 2018-07-06 19:26
BBC 1! BBC 2! BBC 3!
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

A Cat Valente novel in the vein of Hitchhiker's Guide, which both works and doesn't work in the ways one would expect from such a thing. Valente's prose has always been extremely ornamental, and she applies this to British-style humor with a trowel. Sometimes this becomes just deliriously, fabulously overdone, and sometimes it collapses from the weight. I hear it's getting a movie treatment (or possibly short series) which will probably be a better medium, especially if it's BBC micro-budget. 

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text 2018-06-25 10:15
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text 2018-06-25 09:08
A LIVING UNIVERSE - ALEXIS KARPOUZOS

The intimate sense of self-awareness we experience bubbling up at each moment is rooted in the originating activity of the Universe. We are all of us arising together at the invisible center of the cosmos.” We once thought that we were no bigger than our physical bodies, but now we are discovering that we are deeply connected participants in the continuous co-arising of the entire Universe. Awakening to our larger identity as both unique and inseparably connected with a co- arising Universe transforms feelings of existential separation into experiences of subtle communion as bio-cosmic beings. We are far richer, deeper, more complex, and more alive than we ever thought.

 

To discover this in our direct experience is to enter a new age of exploration and discovery.The Universe is continuously emerging as a fresh creation at every moment. All point to this same, extraordinary insight.

 

The Universe is not static, nor is its continuation assured. Instead, the Universe is like a cosmic hologram that is being continuously upheld and renewed at every instant.14 A universal encouragement found across the world’s wisdom traditions is to live in the ‘NOW.’ This core insight has a clear basis in physics: The present moment is the place of direct connection with the entire Universe as it arises continuously. Each moment is a fresh formation of the Universe, emerging seamlessly and flawlessly.

 

Awakening to our conscious connection with the living Universe naturally expands our scope of concern and compassion—and brightens the prospect of working together to build a sustainable future.

 
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