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review 2017-11-12 01:42
Impatient to read the next one
Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth - Judd Winick
Hilo Book 2: Saving the Whole Wide World - Judd Winick
Hilo Book 3: The Great Big Boom - Judd Winick

In an effort to expand my repertoire of graphic novels and maybe be more helpful when recommending books to my library patrons I took a trip to the shelves. I came upon a set of 3 books in a series written by Judd Winick and their covers were so eye-catching that I decided to grab all of them to binge. I'm grateful that I did because I breezed right through them and it's left me impatient for book 4 which comes out at the beginning of next year. The series centers around a character called HiLo (arguments could be made that it's written Hilo or HILO) who crash lands onto earth (and into our hearts) with The Boy Who Crashed to Earth. The title pretty much says it, right? HiLo looks like your typical kid except that he's super strong and extremely weird. He doesn't get why clothes are mandatory or that not everyone has superpowers like he does. Luckily, he makes friends with D.J. who is more than happy to show him the ropes and to absolutely have his back...even if that means fighting robots from another dimension. By the second book, Saving the Whole Wide World, their duo has expanded to include Gina who used to be D.J.'s best friend before she moved away. She's struggling with her own identity so it's challenging to try and sort out just what kind of a creature HiLo actually is...and if he's a hero or a villain. The stakes are higher and the danger is 100% real but it doesn't seem like there's anything that HiLo can't defeat...which brings us to the third book titled The Great Big Boom. There are magical warrior cats in this book. I don't think I need to say anything else because MAGICAL WARRIOR CATS. HiLo and his friends are going up against the ultimate baddie and it's only going to get worse which is why I'm practically vibrating with excitement over Waking the Monsters which is set for release on 1/16/18.

 

These books are full of heart and what it means to be a loyal friend no matter what (even if there are killer robots). The illustrations are 99% of the reason why I love these books. The colors, characters, and layouts are perfectly married to the hilarious, heartwarming prose. This is a solid 10/10 for me and I have been recommending it so much that now we only have book 2 sitting lonely on our shelves (they're going like hotcakes is what I'm saying). So catch up so that like me you can sit in anticipation for the 4th book to hit the shelves!

 

What's Up Next: Matt Phelan Masterpost

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything by Kelly & Zach Weinersmith & I'm rereading Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie because I just saw the film :-D

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-07-18 02:41
Hard SF shell with a great father-daughter story candy-core
SAUL (The Great Curve Book 1) - Bradley Horner

It just wasn’t fair. This whole fucking situation was downright ironic. The last eighty years had been a non-stop panic about righting all of their ancestor’s wrongs, a comeback after the nearly complete catastrophic dieback right before the turn of the last century.

 

Hadn’t they’d re-seeded the plains and the oceans? They had tried to make amends, hadn’t they? And apparently, the Earth was just a tiny bit slow on the uptake if this an attempt to punish them, that no, they weren’t forgiven, and no amount of flowers would ever be accepted. It was like the Earth was out to destroy their gardens just because they’d destroyed hers.


It turns out, no matter what kind of political, economic, scientific, or social utopia you create, the natural world around you isn't obligated to pay attention or cut you some slack.

 

Saul describes what Saul Rothe goes through in the 28 minutes where the Earth experiences an earthquake more widespread than anyone's experienced, resulting in devastation I can't describe. Saul's basically wrapping up professorial duties for the day, chatting with his wife while she's at work, checking on his daughter and preparing to go home when the quake hits. Basically, at this point, the infrastructure that humanity depends on fails, all of it.

 

Saul does everything he can to get to his daughter and ensure her safety, but just before he can, their apartment building collapses with her in it. Saul, who's been coming from a tower far above throws himself down, following her, doing what he can to save her.

 

Ignoring the wide-scale destruction and suffering all around him (maybe even adding too it unintentionally). To do so, he has to pull out every technological/future science trick he knows, invent a couple of new ones, violate standards, regulations, etc. By doing all this, he becomes a global celebrity and example to others -- leading many to mount their own rescue attempts to save those around them from the calamity.

 

Clarke's Third Law states, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." We've all heard that a million times, and while reading this book, I realized how handy that is for SF writers (I'm sure I'm not the first to realize this). You just imagine a technology impossibly advanced, and you can use it like magic. That's precisely what Horner does here -- and it works out pretty well for him.

 

Saul does so many things that defy physics (well, as I understand them -- apparently, Montgomery Scott was wrong, and you can change the laws of physics), especially time. I had so many notes along the lines of "too much talky-talk, and not enough rescuing here," only to see that a couple of seconds had passed -- part of the tech allows Saul and others to have long conversations about . . . . well, all sorts of things, while he falls, taking no time at all.

 

The world-building was amazing -- it's very easy to see, from the world he describes, the language he uses (much of which is defined in the very necessary glossary), to the technology, to . . . seriously, everything. There are very few SF novels with as fully-realized worldbuilding as Horner has pulled off here. That said, he could've done a better job communicating it all (or even a substantial portion of it all) to his readers. I'm not saying I need pages and pages, or even multiple paragraphs, detailing the history of why object X developed in this way. But a line or two here and there just to fill out our understandings would've been nice. Could I follow it enough to stick with the story? Yeah. Could I easily describe it to anyone else? No.

 

In the end, the SF story just wasn't my cup of tea -- I got it, well most of it, anyway -- but I just didn't like it. The Science was too abstract, too . . . "sufficiently advanced" for me to really enjoy. However, and this is the important part, the story about a father throwing everything he had at saving his daughter -- not caring for his health, reputation, safety, future, or society as a whole's health, future, safety -- I absolutely liked. There are going to be scads of people that eat this up -- and plenty of people that will muddle through the Science-y bits for the really good characters and story.

 

Give this a shot folks, it's worth the effort -- and, while I always want to hear what you have to say about a book, I'm extra curious about what others think of this one. Let's fill up the comment section.

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review 2017-07-15 16:58
Everything you need to know before reading Eleven Minutes, by Paulo Coelho

Maria, a beautiful Brazilian girl went to Europe to work as an exotic dancer, but ended being a prostitute. An expensive one, "working" in a luxurious bar in Geneva. Maria's goal is to earn enough money to buy a farm in Brazil for her and her parents and leave Swizerland in a year. "Eleven minutes" is her story.

 

But what is her story?

 

The men she had met since she arrived in Geneva always did everything they could to appear confident, as if they were in perfect control of the world and of their own lives; Maria, however, could see in their eyes that they were afraid of their wife, the feeling of panic that they might not be able to get an erection, that they might not seem manly enough even to the ordinary prostitute whom they were paying for her services. If they went to a shop and didn’t like the shoes they had bought, they would be quite prepared to go back, receipt in hand, and demand a refund. And yet, even though they were paying for some female company, if they didn’t manage to get an erection, they would be too ashamed ever to go back to the same club again because they would assume that all the other women there would know.

Paulo Coelho - Eleven Minutes book, bestseller

‘I’m the one who should feel ashamed for being unable to arouse them, but, no, they always blame themselves.’
To avoid such embarrassments, Maria always tried to put men at their ease, and if someone seemed drunker or more fragile than usual, she would avoid full sex and concentrate instead on caresses and masturbation, which always seemed to please them immensely, absurd though this might seem, since they could perfectly well masturbate on their own.
She had to make sure that they didn’t feel ashamed. These men, so powerful and arrogant at work, constantly having to deal with employees, customers, suppliers, prejudices, secrets, posturings, hypocrisy, fear and oppression, ended their day in a nightclub and they didn’t mind spending three hundred and fifty Swiss francs to stop being themselves for a night.
‘For a night? Now come on, Maria, you’re exaggerating. It’s really only forty-five minutes, and if you allow time for taking off clothes, making some phoney gesture of affection, having a bit of banal conversation and getting dressed again, the amount of time spent actually having sex is about eleven minutes.’
Eleven minutes. The world revolved around something that only took eleven minutes.
 
And because of those eleven minutes in any one twenty-four-hour day (assuming that they all made love to their wives every day, which is patently absurd and a complete lie) they got married, supported a family, put up with screaming kids, thought up ridiculous excuses to justify getting home late, ogled dozens, if not hundreds of other women with whom they would like to go for a walk around Lake Geneva, bought expensive clothes for themselves and even more expensive clothes for their wives, paid prostitutes to try to give them what they were missing, and thus sustained a vast industry of cosmetics, diet foods, exercise, pornography and power, and yet when they got together with other men, contrary to popular belief, they never talked about women. They talked about jobs, money and sport.
Something was very wrong with civilisation, and it wasn’t the destruction of the Amazon rainforest or the ozone layer, the death of the panda, cigarettes, carcinogenic foodstuffs or prison conditions, as the newspapers would have it.
It was precisely the thing she was working with: SEX.
 
  • “Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn't have the courage to say "yes" to life?”
     ― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

     “At every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss.”
     ― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

     “It is not time that changes man nor knowledge the only thing that can change someone's mind is love.”
     ― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes



     “Love is not to be found in someone else but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need the other person.”

     ― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

     “Sometimes, you get no second chance and that its best to accept the gifts the world offers you.” 

    ― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes


     “When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side. And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left!”
     ― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes


     “I am two women: one wants to have all the joy, passion & adventure that life can give me. The other wants to be a slave to routine, to family life, to the things that can be planned and achieved. I'm a housewife & a prostitute, both of us living in the same body & doing battle with each other. The meeting of these two women is a game with serious risks. A divine dance. When we meet, we are two divine energies, two universes colliding. If the meeting is not carried out with due reverence, one universe destroys the other.”
     ― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes



     “A writer once said that it is not time that changes man, nor knowledge; the only thing that can change someone's mind is love. What nonsense! The person who wrote that clearly knew only one side of the coin.”
     ― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes



     “In love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel.”
     ― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes
     
    Reviews
     

     

    In comparison to my experiences with his other pieces. I can confidently say that this Paulo Cohelo work tests the reader in a unique and dangerous way.

    Each of his novels teach valuable lessons for adults through the interesting happenings of his protagonists. This story does the same. However the lesson taught borders on relationship counseling and sexual education. It was just as compelling and effective as it was uncomfortable. Uncomfortable in the sense that the information being learned as one reads each chapter is not theirs to have. He accomplishes this through the less than innovative approach of journal or diary entries, but envertheless, it is striking how moving it is to read the sexual and romantic discoveries of a conventional young lady.

    A book that is difficult to put down. A must-read for many, but especially those who have not yet discoveredy what makes them tick, oo and ahhh. Again, an inspiration!

 

Once upon a time, there was a bird. He was adorned with two perfect wings and with glossy, colorful, marvelous feathers. In short, he was a creature made to fly about freely in the sky, bringing joy to everyone who saw him.

One day, a woman saw this bird and fell in love with him. She watched his flight, her mouth wide in amazement, her heart pounding, her eyes shining with excitement. She invited the bird to fly with her, and the two traveled across the sky in perfect harmony. She admired and venerated and celebrated that bird.

But then she thought: He might want to visit far-off mountains! And she was afraid, afraid that she would never feel the same way about any other bird. And she felt envy, envy for the bird's ability to fly.

And she felt alone.

And she thought: "I'm going to set a trap. The next time the bird appears, he will never leave again."

The bird who was also in love, returned the following day, fell into the trap and was put in a cage.

She looked at the bird everyday. There he was, the object of her passion, and she showed him to her friends, who said: "Now you have everything you could possibly want." However, a strange transformation began to take place: now that she had the bird and no longer needed to woo him, she began to lose interest. The bird, unable to fly and express the true meaning of his life, began to waste away and his feathers to lose their gloss; he grew ugly; and the woman no longer paid him any attention, except by feeding him and cleaning out his cage.

One day, the bird died. The woman felt terribly sad and spent all her time thinking about him But she did not remember the cage, she thought only of the day when she had seen him for the first time, flying contentedly amongst the clouds.

If she had looked more deeply into herself, she would have realized that what had thrilled her about the bird was his freedom, the energy of his wings in motion, not his physical body.

Without the bird, her life too lost all meaning, and Death came knocking at her door. "Why have you come?" she asked Death. "So that you can fly once more with him across the sky," Death replied. "If you had allowed him to come and go, you would have loved and admired him even more; alas, you now need me in order to find him again."



So now I think that passage from the book already ate up my review so I'll just add some extra things.

First: As expected from Paulo Coelho this is another philosophical somewhat self-help, inspirational novel. This book was actually dedicated to a fan named Maurice Gravelines and Coelho met this guy unintentionally when he visited the Grotto in Lourdes. When they met the guy was like "You know, you look just like Paulo Coelho." And then Coelho said that yeah it was really him. And then the guy embraced him and he said to Coelho that, "They(Coelho's books) make me dream." I think that pretty sum up what kind of books Coelho's are.

Second: This book actually talks a lot about sex so I really recommend this book to adult readers, 18 years old and above. The novel has some masturbation scenes, BDSM, a blowjob scene etc. It just talks a lot about orgasm and in the other hand it also talks about the sacredness of sex and some history of prostitution blah blah blah. So really, adult readers or if you're sensitive about sex or anything about it maybe this book is not for you.

Third: My only complain about this book is that...there's actually a Filipino character in this book and she's a prostitute in the book and she's Maria's friend. My only problem about her is her name which is Nyah. I just really find her name weird and not very quote and quote Filipino. Maybe the author did not have time to research on it but the common names of Filipinos are similar to Spanish names and American names so I just really find it odd that her name's Nyah since it doesn't sound like a Filipino name. Maybe he could just name that character Juana or Ana or Susan but to name her Nyah, it was just odd. *shoulder shrug*

 

Some of my friends were raving about Coelho's "The Alchemist"; however, my first encounter with his writing is this book. I'm a little bit disappointed, though, because I expected more. 

Source: ebookstoreal.blogspot.al/2017/07/everything-you-need-to-know-before.html
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text 2016-03-16 16:49
The undertaking of lily chen.
The Undertaking of Lily Chen - Danica Novgorodoff

The book "the undertaking of lily chen" is about a adventure a lady has with man. The lady is Lily Chen and let me tell you what happen to her in this story. It all started with the man, his brother and him were fighting at the air force. The brother was so drunk he didn't know what he was doing, while fighting a car hits him and he died but the man runs away to his parents house.  The parents were devastated on his son death, they ordered the other son to bring his dead boy a wife for the after life. In the way to bring a wife for his brother he meets a girl that was going the same way as he was, she was lily, lily was going to be force to marry a man for her family to keep their house. As the journey continue, lily starts falling in love with the guy, and when he has to go back to give a dead bride he couldn't because he couldn't find a fresh dead girl. Therefore, Lily had an idea to pretend she is dead and then they could run away together. That's what happens at the end she pretend she is dead, and then when everyone left he unbury her, and continue their journey.  

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review 2016-02-22 21:17
Hopebreaker by Dean F. Wilson
Hopebreaker (The Great Iron War, Book 1) - Dean F. Wilson

In the land of Altadas, the Regime rules with an iron fist. Through addictive drugs, might, fear tactics, and replacing the population with demons, they are nearly unchallenged. However, the Order still resists them. Jacob, a smuggler, will get caught up in their machinations and will also get to drive the magnificent coal-powered machine Hopebreaker.

This book is a steampunk novel set in a future dystopian world. Somehow, the Regime is preventing healthy conceptions and women can now only give birth to demons. The Order, and some few others, are able to create amulets that prevent conception. Jacob was caught smuggling these amulets in a Regime controlled city and summarily tossed in a dungeon. He grumbles and gripes and has this fatalistic sense of humor throughout the book, not just when he’s in prison. There he meets a young man, Whistler, who was born into the Order. Unfortunately, he’s a bit of an innocent and doesn’t know how to keep his mouth shut. Luckily for him, he has friends.

Pretty soon, Taborah and crew are breaking Whistler out and they allow Jacob to tag along. Then he owes them a favor and then the Order owes him a favor and before you know it, they are so tangled up they couldn’t possibly separate. Jacob never gives over fully to the Order’s ideals, preferring to be paid in cold, hard coils (the currency of the area). Yet he keeps giving a little bit more because down deep, he really is a nice guy. He moans and complains much of the time, but you can tell he’s getting attached to at least a few of the members.

There’s plenty of tech in this story. Obviously, there is the big war machine called Hopebreaker. There’s smaller machines, such as transports, and then these kind walking war towers. There’s also a variety of cool goggles too. I definitely enjoyed the steampunk flair of the story.

I’m not sure I understood the amulets and the demon children so well. First, I can’t recall any examples of these demons; they were simply referred to. So I would have liked to have seen a demon or two to help cement this little touch of fantasy in this otherwise steampunk scifi novel. Coupled with that, is the use of the amulets – not much is given on how or why they work to prevent conception. Perhaps you don’t wear it around your neck the entire time, electing to wear it somewhere else during intimate moments?

The characters are fun, if pretty one dimensional. The bad guys are described as slimy, etc., so you can spot them early on in the story. While the good guys have a little more depth, like Jacob wrestling with some inner demons, they are still pretty predictable. This is basically just a fun story, like brain candy. It was enjoyable and I look forward to seeing what trouble Jacob gets into (and out of) in the next book.

Narration: T. Anthony Quinn has a lovely rich voice. He made a great Jacob, pulling off the humor and emotions quite nicely. His female voices were distinct and I especially liked his accent for Taborah.

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