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review 2017-12-03 14:13
ARC Review: Danger’s Vice (Holly Danger #2) by Amanda Carlson
Danger's Vice: (Holly Danger Book 2) - Amanda Carlson
Danger's Vice

Holly Danger #2
Amanda Carlson
Urban Fantasy - Science Fiction - Dystopia
ACI Books
October 23rd 2017
eBook
190
ARC Review Copy

 

Outskirts never die…

 

After narrowly escaping death, Holly is back on the streets in a quest to find the elusive pico. Discovering what’s on the quantum drive—the same one the outskirts had been willing to kill for—is priority number one. Daze is recovering, and forgiving the kid was easier than she thought it would be. The cranky outskirt is another story.

 

It doesn’t take Holly long to discover that Tandor’s crew hasn’t been obliterated, and are actively seeking retribution. They’re recruiting Northerners, but she’s found one who’s willing to spill. It’s a good thing, too, since things are starting to get strange. On the hunt, she stumbles on an old man dressed in a burial cloth, and witnesses a seeker wandering the streets where it shouldn’t be.

 

But after a friend gets caught up in the fray, Holly’s hand is forced. She has to act fast to procure the information she needs. But what she learns is harrowing. The outskirts aren’t just taking over the city—they’re infecting people with Plush, and the quantum drive may hold the only key. In order to save lives, she’s must find that pico. The only problem is, it might be too late...

 

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

 

 

Holly and crew are at it again. Danger’s Vice starts right where Danger’s Halo ends. It takes us straight back into the world and dangers Holly and crew are still facing. You won’t know what happens next as Holly’s life and her crews lives are put in danger again for the notorious pico.

 

Tandor maybe out of the picture, but some of his crew aren’t and it doesn’t take long for Holly and her crew to realize that their is a threat not just to them, but the people in their city. The stakes are higher, especially since they have a chance to learn what’s on the quantum drive and discover the secrets it holds.

 

Theirs a lot going on in Danger’s Vice. We get a bit more on Holly’s crew, Case, and her retainer Daze who starts to play a more prominent role in her life and the crew’s. Their is no shortage of danger, adventure, mystery, and situations that will put you on edge.

 

I’m loving this new futuristic sci-fi series by Ms. Carlson. It’s full of action, adventure, and mystery. I’m looking fowled to Holly’s next adventure.

 

Rated: 4 Stars

 

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Amanda Carlson with the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

 

Challenge(s): Pick Your Genre (UF) New Release (2017)

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/12/arc-review-dangers-vice-holly-danger-2-by-amanda-carlson
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review 2017-11-29 10:20
Die Zukunft ist eine Sardinenbüchse
Future - Dmitry Glukhovsky

Dmitry Glukhovsky ist für mich kein Unbekannter. Der Lieblingsmensch ist ein enthusiastischer Fan der „Metro“-Reihe, bisher steckte mich seine Begeisterung jedoch nicht an. Ich schleiche schon lange um „Metro“ herum, konnte mich aber noch nicht zur Lektüre überreden. Als meine Mutter mir mitteilte, dass Glukhovsky einen dystopischen Einzelband veröffentlicht hatte, ergriff ich meine Chance. Ich beschloss, den russischen Autor durch „Futu.Re“ erst einmal kennenzulernen, bevor ich es mit „Metro“ versuchte. Ein sanfter Einstieg erschien mir erfolgsversprechender.

 

In der Zukunft wurde das Altern bezwungen, abgeschafft, aus der Gesellschaft getilgt. In der megalomanen Metropole Europa wird jeder Mensch mit dem Recht auf Unsterblichkeit geboren. Um die Überbevölkerung unter Kontrolle zu halten, unterliegt die Fortpflanzung strenger Richtlinien. Das Gesetz über die Wahl fordert für das Leben des Kindes das Leben eines Elternteils. Illegale Schwangerschaften und Geburten sind keine Seltenheit. Jan Nachtigalls Aufgabe besteht darin, diese Verbrecher aufzuspüren und das Gesetz zu vollstrecken. Er ist stolz auf seinen Beruf. Wenn diese Systemgefährder keine Verantwortung für ihre Zügellosigkeit übernehmen wollen, muss er es eben tun. Eines Tages wird ihm von einem einflussreichen Senator ein Spezialauftrag übertragen, der seine Karriere entscheidend vorantreiben könnte. Er soll einen bekannten Terroristen und dessen schwangere Freundin ausschalten. Doch während des Einsatzes kommt alles anders als geplant und plötzlich findet sich Jan in der Gesellschaft der jungen Frau wieder, die er umbringen sollte. Sie stürzt sein Leben ins Chaos, stellt alles infrage, wofür er steht und weckt in ihm tiefe Zweifel: ist die Menschheit für die Unsterblichkeit geschaffen?

 

Okay, das lief nicht wie erwartet. Ich möchte nicht behaupten, dass mein Versuch einer Annäherung an Dmitry Glukhovsky durch „Futu.Re“ vollkommen in die Hose ging, aber als erfolgreich kann ich dieses Experiment ebenfalls nicht bezeichnen. Ich fühle mich genauso schlau wie vorher. Meine Motivation, die „Metro“-Trilogie zu lesen, ist noch immer überschaubar. Tatsächlich verunsicherte mich „Futu.Re“ zusätzlich. Wäre das Buch einfach schlecht, hätte ich keinerlei Hemmungen, Dmitry Glukhovsky in das Nirvana der enttäuschenden Autor_innen zu verbannen. Dummerweise sind lediglich einige Aspekte fragwürdig – andere dafür jedoch hervorragend. Ich bin zwiegespalten.
Das Design der Dystopie beeindruckte mich nachhaltig. Glukhovskys beängstigend vorstellbare Zukunftsvision stützt sich auf zwei korrelative Säulen: der Sieg der Wissenschaft über das Altern und die daraus resultierende Überbevölkerung der Erde, die ihrerseits verschiedene Modelle zur Populationskontrolle (z.B. das Gesetz über die Wahl) erzwang und eine unermesslich erweiterte und verdichtete Besiedlung des Planeten zur Folge hatte. Die Weite der Welt ist passé. Die Zukunft ist eine Sardinenbüchse, die Menschen stapeln sich buchstäblich. Die klaustrophobische Atmosphäre übertrug sich intensiv auf mich. Ich fühlte mich körperlich unwohl, erdrückt, eine Empfindung, die durch die dargestellte Sinn- und Ziellosigkeit der menschlichen Existenz verstärkt wurde. Niemand wird mehr von der eigenen Sterblichkeit gejagt; es fehlt die Triebfeder, die heute fieberhafte Forschung und den Wunsch, die Welt für die nächste Generation zu verbessern, befeuert. Wer denkt an die nächste Generation, wenn man ewig leben kann? Die einzige Ausnahme in diesem Sumpf der völligen Abgestumpftheit sind die wenigen Menschen, die das Funktionieren des Systems gewährleisten, obwohl der Protagonist Jan Nachtigall belegt, dass auch diese berufliche Befriedigung oberflächlich ist und keinen wahren Lebenssinn stiftet. Für mich ist Jan der Übeltäter, der eine durchgehend positive Leseerfahrung mit „Futu.Re“ verhinderte. Dmitry Glukhovsky entschied sich für die Ich-Perspektive, ergo befand ich mich während der gesamten Lektüre in Jans Kopf – ein Ort, an dem ich keinesfalls sein wollte. Während der ersten Hälfte des Buches konnte ich mich überhaupt nicht mit ihm arrangieren, fand ihn aggressiv, hasserfüllt und gewaltbereit; ein von Komplexen gequälter Junge im Körper eines Mannes mit minimaler Frustrationsgrenze. Rückblenden in Form von unrealistisch strukturierten Träumen sollten seine Persönlichkeit erklären und rechtfertigen, doch ich konnte trotzdem nur wenig Verständnis für ihn aufbringen. In der zweiten Hälfte ertrug ich ihn besser, da Jan eine berechenbare und durch die gekünstelte Handlung unausweichliche Wandlung durchlebt, aber beste Freunde konnten wir nicht mehr werden. Glukhovsky nahm mir die Möglichkeit, mich von Jan zu distanzieren und mich an anderen Figuren zu orientieren, weil es neben ihm keine nennenswerten Handlungsträger_innen gibt. Eingesperrt in den Gedanken eines misogynen Schlägers hatte ich kaum Freude an der Lektüre und musste mich voll auf die Dystopie konzentrieren, um durchzuhalten.

 

Ohne die logische, realitätsnahe und atmosphärische Dystopie würde „Futu.Re“ auf meinem Stapel der durchgefallenen Bücher landen. Die Handlung wirkte allzu konstruiert, der Protagonist war eine Zumutung. Hoffentlich begegnet mir nie wieder eine Figur wie Jan Nachtigall. Wie konnte Dmitry Glukhovsky ein Buch schreiben, das sich völlig auf einen permanent unsympathischen Hauptcharakter verlässt? Meiner Meinung nach war ich nicht die einzige, die sich auf die pervertierte Version einer globalisierten Welt fokussierte. Ich glaube, dass sich Glukhovskys Augenmerk ebenfalls auf seine Zukunftsvision richtete, weshalb ihm offenbar nicht auffiel, dass sich der unausstehliche Jan durch eine unnatürliche Handlung hangelt. Ich zögere daher, ihm genug Vertrauen zu schenken, um die „Metro“-Trilogie zu lesen. Angeblich soll diese frei der hier benannten Mängel sein – aber was, wenn nicht?

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/dmitry-glukhovsky-futu-re
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review 2017-10-29 10:26
Grip
Grip: A SciFi Dystopian Thriller (The Slip Trilogy Book 2) - David Estes

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

Keeping on catching up with my NetGalley readings. I finished the first book earlier this week, now on to book 2, which was also a good one in its own way, and not the dread ‘second book syndrome sufferer’ I usually fear in such cases.

It does pave up the way to the ‘grand finale’ of book 3, of course, among other things by introducing new developments and therefore a third way, so to speak. It’s not about the hunt for Slips only, not anymore; the Lifers are also involved, and no party is all black or all white. The action is not only about running away/reacting this time, although the book does have its share of such scenes since they’re part of its premise, however the characters also start making moves of their own, instead of only the villains setting plans in motion. And even if said moves are a little on the clunky side, the characters are clearly proactive and taking on their enemies now.

The story has its share of twists. Like in the first book, they are partly predictable (e.g. the one where only the audio part is played), yet at the same time some of them are of the gritty kind, that I wouldn’t necessarily have expected in a YA story (this is not YA for 12-year-old, for sure). And as far as I can tell, there’s one major twist that is a definitive one, there’s not going to be any ‘surprise, I’m back’ scene (I hope there won’t be because it was a sad moment, and retconning it would cheapen it).

The ads and propaganda inserts are interesting, too. At first I didn’t care much for them, but little by little they’re helping draw a more comprehensive picture of the world (the technology people have at hand, the comments—both published and deleted—on newspaper articles

The characters keep evolving, Harrison especially is going on a path I like: at first he felt to me like he was ‘just there’, some kind of afterthought patched onto Benson’s story, yet here he takes action, initiates moves that have their own ethical backlashes, gets to go through ordeals as well, discovers betrayal... At the same time, while he does resent his father and seems to unconsciously prevent himself from properly grieving, he’s also accepted his brother like, well, a brother. He’s an interesting counterpoint to Domino: both children had very similar backgrounds (a Slip sibling, one parent being constantly away to take care of the Slip), but Harrison is going a completely different path. On the other hand, I don’t care that much for the Destroyer, perhaps because at this point he’s so broken that even his fighting against his leash doesn’t look like there’ll be much development her, apart from ‘yay I get to be a psychopath 100% of the time now’.

A few new characters get introduced, like Destiny (another Slip, who goes through her own dark moments because of the mistakes she made, and has to learn to outgrow this—all the while showing her inner strength and resourcefulness in terms of survival techniques, -she- didn’t have a Michael Kelly to craft a false ID for her after all!). Or the Agriculturists, more in the background for now but with an agenda of their own.

Conclusion: A solid second book that furthers the overarching plot.

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review 2017-10-26 19:34
Slip
Slip (The Slip Trilogy Book 1) - David Estes

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

I hadn’t read anything by David Estes in quite a while, and when I saw this series on NetGalley, I thought, well, time to address this state of affairs. I shall also confess that nowadays, I do have a bit of a love-hate relationship with YA dystopias in general, for various reasons, and I was glad that this book, while it is a bit predictable and uses expected tropes, avoids what are the usual pitfalls of the genre for me.

The main characters in general were likeable. Benson is a good mix of resourcefulness, emotions and inner strength. Luce is the obvious ‘love interest’, but without falling in his arms, and with a past that makes it possible (while awful for her) to develop this relationship more slowly and believably than what usually happens in YA novels; she’s also resourceful, daring, and doesn’t hesitate to stand by her friends (well, OK, I guess her decision to face danger with Benson who lied to her was kind of stupid, but...). Michael Kelly as well is an interesting man, torn between his job and his mission of killing unauthorised babies and children, and his desire to protect his son. I didn’t care much for Harrison, though, perhaps because of his ‘perfect athlete and student’ record, and I thought that his mid-book decision came a little out of nowhere, considering he wasn’t seen pondering much about it (and his feelings) before. And I’m on the fence about the Destroyer, in his case I believe I -would- have want to see more of him before he became a Hunter, for his evolution into a psychopath to be better pitched against him as a child (in a way, I love to hate him for his appalling personality, but he’s too one-sided as a villain).

The world in which these characters evolve was also better rounded up than usual in dystopian YA novels (where I often get the feeling of a ‘pocket world’, totally isolated from the rest of Earth, which always makes me wonder where are the other countries and why they’re not poking their noses in). The population control method in those new USA is harsh, however the situation that led to it makes sense: climatic change, rising water levels, drowned coasts, less resources left to feed all the people, and it is logical to expect that the rest of the world has met a similar fate, hence if everybody stays in their corner and develop their own policies, it’s not unbelievable. This world is all the more creepy because it’s not such an impossible future, all in all.

Minor pet peeve: I really have a hard time with the name ‘Pop Con’, that just looks so much like ‘pop corn’ to me. XD (But I do see the naming convention roots à la 1984.)

I found the beginning a little slow, possibly because it devoted quite a few chapters to a part of Benson’s life that I felt I didn’t need so many details about—the story becomes more interesting after the boy grows up and we meet his friends. After that were more action scenes, especially once ‘the chase’ gets into motion (that’s no spoiler, of course at some point people would realise who the Slip is!). There was a bit of a plot hole/flimsy explanation, though, regarding the Wire/Jumpers/Lifers connection; it would’ve demanded some more preparation to be more logical, I think.

Conclusion: 3.5, not perfect but definitely enjoyable, especially its second half.

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review 2017-10-25 14:08
Nineteen Eighty-Bore
Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell

1984 is probably THE book when it comes to dystopian fiction, it is a canonical or if you like „classic“ novel, but now I wonder if it really deserves this status.
My dystopian October readings included Evgenij Zamjatins We, which was actually the blueprint for 1984 (believe it or not, but since Orwell knew Russian very well, he was quite familiar with Zamjatins writing), so I was quite eager to read both novels and now I just don’t understand how Orwell didn’t come up with something better.

 

I was honestly bored throughout most of the time and this has nothing to do with a lack of action in a traditional sense or the average plot, but first and foremost with the characters (1), the structure (2) and the length (3).

 

1. Good characters make good texts in my opinion. To really engage while reading, I have to feel something for at least one of the characters. This can be a liking for someone, love, dislike or even hate – but in 1984 I did not really like nor dislike anyone – I am simply completely indifferent to all of them. Where is the charisma, the uniqueness, the personality? One might argue that in the 1984-kind of future these traits are not allowed to exist, therefore no one possesses them, but then I say that this is what makes us human. I understand, that the average citizen of Oceania doesn’t have any personality, but what about Winston and Julia? I cannot remember ever having a protagonist who was such a flat, non-developing character.

 

2. If the characters are bad, sometimes the writing style or the structure of a novel can help to counterbalance the deficit. But not in this case. One cannot even see the plot for all the repetitions. So many unnecessary repetitions. The past is constantly altered and people killed by the Party have never even exited. Point made. It is a good point. But point understood the first time. There is no need to come back to this in every other chapter.


Also, Orwell obviously went through a great deal inventing Newspeak. Then why isn’t Newspeak incorporated more? I mean, seriously, compared to Burgess’s Nadsat, which is quite unintelligible at first, Newspeak is not hard to grasp.

 

3. The sheer length of 1984! This ties in with point 2 about the repetitions – You could cut out so much and it wouldn’t affect the story at all. When I was probably half through I started thinking, that maybe 1984 would work really well as a short story. And I don’t say this in regard to the shortened attention span of us modern people, but because our social, cultural and literary Erwartungshorizont has been pushed forward so much since 1949 that a modern reader is no longer challenged by this.

 

All in all, I had high expectations for 1984 and maybe that was the problem.

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