Six yaears ago partners Alex and Casie hatched a cruel plan to murder Ana, a young accountant, for her father's holdings. Now, Casie receives a strange phone call that forces her to return to the mansion where it all happened. As Casie and Alex celebrate their eleventh wedding anniversary they experience a series of strange events. At the center of the events is a woman they expected to never see again. Ana has returned to make Casie and Alex pay for her tribulations.
Diving right into the action, Tribulations was a heart pounding read from the very beginning. There has been a murder, but we don't know of who or the reasons surrounding it. Casie and Alex are an interesting couple, power hungry, driven, sadists with absolutely no scruples. Ana is painted as their exact opposite, caring, polite and moral. Combining these characters makes for an intriguing, disastrous and fast-paced trial of pain and punishment. There was a sense of something paranormal throughout the story, but it never quite manifests. There would definitely be another layer of excitement for me as well as some more explanation of motives if this element is incorporated. As the story moves, an element of mystery is brought in with a separate game that law enforcement might be playing. Ending on a cliffhanger, I'll definitely have to find out what happens to this group moving forward.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
TITLE: Bird Box
AUTHOR: Josh Malerman
"Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.
Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it's time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children's trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?
Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page."
*************************LOTS OF SPOILERS*****************************
I watched the movie and read the book. I don't get what the fuss was about. As a horror novel, it might have gory bits, but it just didn't work for me. I was neither scared, left in suspense or terrified. Too slow, no details about the "creatures" (their motivations or what they were, which is completely unsatisfying and incredibly annoying), limited atmosphere, limited drama (psychological or otherwise) and I simply didn't give a damn about any of the characters (they were bland). Also, Malerman needs to do some research on child birth, especially if he is going to write about it. And calling the kids "Boy", "Girl" instead of their names? What if it had been two girls or two boys? "Boy1", "Boy2"? "Firstborn", "Secondborn"? I'm also failing to see 4 year old kids do any of the stuff the kids do in this novel. Unless my husband's 4-year old nephew is on the bottom end of the physical and mental scale? The novel basically comes down to "a bunch of people stuck in a house" dynamics, with the usual associated messiness (no need for nebulous monsters if people want to kill each other or themselves - they do this perfectly well on their own). The "creatures" come across as simply irrelevant - an excuse for people to lock themselves up.
Interesting concept, flat execution.
PS: I did not appreciate reading about the poor dog!!
As my latest readings probably reflect quite strongly, I am currently on the lookout for contemporary writings on robots/cyborgs/androids and AI due to this being the focus of my work-in-progress-master-thesis in comparative literature.
So, Hologrammatica is a detective story (the nightmare of a cover calls it a “thriller“) about our world at the end of the 21st century (2088 to be exact). By this time the so called Holonet is everywhere, which is best explained as five different levels of three dimensional holographics which are superimposed onto the real world (including advertisements, different textures on buildings and garments, alterations of appearance and so on).
While technologically advanced in this way, mankind has learned from a “little“ AI incident in the past when an AI, which was built to solve our problems with climate change, went a little skiwompous and the whole technological infrastructure had to be shut down for weeks in order to deal with this rogue AI. Since then, it is strictly forbidden to develop any “intelligent“ software and also privacy and personal data are heavily protected. Well, there wouldn’t be a story if it was like that..
In short, it is the story of a detective, hired to find a programmer who disappeared. While I am usually not a big fan of detective stories, I found the story enjoyable. Predictable from time to time, but overall entertaining.