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Search tags: fantasy-and-sci-fi
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review 2019-02-18 18:54
The Mouth of the Dark
The Mouth of the Dark - Tim Waggoner

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

I enjoyed the story of this father in search of his missing daughter, when everyone else is brushing this off as ‘she’s an adult, she must’ve gone with a boyfriend, she’ll surface again later’. In itself, it’s a sad illustration of how people can sometimes be very callous and not pay attention to others, including Jayce himself, who acknowledged that he hadn’t been very close to Emory and wants to find her in part because he’s feeling guilty about neglecting her.

The world of Shadow was also fascinating, in a (gruesome) way: a catalogue of all that can go twisted in people, but given a sort of physical shape. This made for a weird read, with gory and sexual depictions at times, the latter diving at times into the very disturbing—for instance, when Jayce finds a sex toy in Emory’s bedroom, or that specific flashback when he goes home and finds her in the basement: the whole sexual angle intruding in a father/child relationship cranked up the creepy factor fairly high here, and I can’t say I’m comfortable with that. This ties well into the horror part, though, but let’s just say one has better steel themselves against it. For me, it was disturbing (= sex conflated with parent/child) rather than horrific (= it didn’t scare me).

From a storytelling point of view, I had trouble with the timeline: the whole plot unfolds over less than two days (if you except the flashbacks), and I felt that this was too short for Jayce to go from ‘don’t know jack to Shadow’ to ‘oh one more disturbing thing… m’kay, let’s go on’. I also guessed pretty early what the big twist would be, so I wasn’t surprised at all when that was confirmed.

All in all, what I enjoyed most here was the world of Shadow itself, in all its bizarre glory.

Conclusion: 3 stars

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review 2019-02-18 16:00
Tiger-boy, Ted Hughes
The Tiger-boy - Ted Hughes The Tiger-boy - Ted Hughes

Well, that was short and enigmatic! Amusing, though, and better than the run-on bed-time stories that Hughes published but not as good as the origin stories such as How the Whale Became.

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text 2019-02-18 14:47
Reading progress update: I've read 27 out of 49 pages.
The Tiger-boy - Ted Hughes The Tiger-boy - Ted Hughes

What is happening to Fred Willox?

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-02-18 12:29
Terminal Uprising (Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse, #2) by Jim C. Hines
Terminal Uprising - Jim C. Hines

TITLE:  Terminal Uprising (Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse, #2)

 

AUTHOR:  Jim C. Hines

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DESCRIPTION:

"It’s been four months since Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos learned the truth. Four months since she and her team of hygiene and sanitation specialists stole the EMCS Pufferfish and stopped a bioterrorism attack against the Krakau homeworld. Four months since she set out to find proof of what really happened on Earth all those years ago.

Between trying to protect their secrets and fighting the xenocidal Prodryans, who’ve been escalating their war against everyone who isn’t Prodryan, the Krakau have their tentacles full.

Mops’ mission changes when she learns of a secret Krakau laboratory on Earth. A small group under command of Fleet Admiral Belle-Bonne Sage is working to create a new weapon, one that could bring victory over the Prodryans … or drown the galaxy in chaos.

To discover the truth, Mops and her rogue cleaning crew will have to do the one thing she fears most: return to Earth, a world overrun by feral apes, wild dogs, savage humans, and worse. (After all, the planet hasn’t been cleaned in a century and a half!) What Mops finds in the filthy ruins of humanity could change everything, assuming she survives long enough to share it.

Perhaps humanity isn’t as dead as the galaxy thought.
"

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REVIEW:

 

A beautifully written, occassionally humorous, fast paced adventure through space and back to zombie infested Earth to uncover the what-ever-it-is the Krakau are hiding.  Characters evolve, secondary characters get more page time, Puffy the help widget gets a battle mop (!!), a Prodryan lawyer joins the crew, Wolf learns about skunks, and janitors get up to ingenious (and often amusing) shenanigans with cleaning supplies.  I will never look at my cleaning agents or vacuum cleaner the same way again.  A lovely sequel to Terminal Alliance.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-02-18 05:33
Terminal Alliance (Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse, #1) by Jim C. Hines
Terminal Alliance (Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse) - Jim C. Hines

This is a re-read before reading the second book, and I still loved it!

 

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TITLE:  Terminal Alliance - Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse, #1.

 

AUTHOR:  Jim C. Hines

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From the blurb:

The Krakau came to Earth to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species. However, they happened to arrive after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know--your standard apocalypse.

The Krakau's first impulse was to turn around and go home. (After all, it's hard to have diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.) Their second impulse was to try to fix us. Now, a century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they're no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly.

Marion "Mops" Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she's in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.

Escaping the attacking aliens--not to mention her shambling crewmates--is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her team of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship as well as anyone, but flying the damn thing is another matter.

As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance... a conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago.

 

Terminal Alliance is a fast paced, humorous, science-fiction novel with an original alien cast and world building.  It's not everyday that the janitorial team ends up in the spotlight or saves the galaxy with disinfectant, so this makes for an original book concept too.  The main character is likeable, though the secondary cast are a bit flat (in this book anyway - maybe we learn more about them in following books?).  The book cover is both funny and beautiful!  This book was great fun and I'm looking forward to the next one.

NOTE:  This book is a complete story, but "what happens next" will be covered in another book.

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