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review 2018-11-21 01:25
Profound questions about what makes us human come up in this alternate present-day San Francisco in 'The Waning Age'
The Waning Age - S.E. Grove

It's present-day San Francisco, and ’The Waning Age’ is 10 years old. This means that at that age, it's expected that you will lose your ability to feel emotions. You will lose not only lose the ability to feel sadness, but also joy and everything in between.

 

Natalia Peña is the main character in this engaging novel, written as dated entries in a journal, and she has already waned. But her younger brother Calvino, who she calls Cal, has not, and he doesn't seem to show any signs that he will. Since their mother died tragically they have been living with foster parents, and while they show close bonds, it's only Cal who shows what would be recognizable as normal human responses to events around him, so much so that a company called RealCorp takes Cal to do tests on him to find out why he isn't waning.

 

 

They are also a major manufacturer of ’synaffs’ which are synthetic drops that basically only the wealthy can now afford in order to feel whatever emotion you choose. Ones that are bought on the street could be made of any unknown dangerous harmful chemicals causing the wrong emotional reactions. Most people instead choose to go through their lives feeling nothing, having forgotten what it felt like to have an emotion.

 

At the center of this illuminating book, beyond the fight that Natalia goes through to get her brother back from RealCorp, is a look at what humans are without their ability to feel. The absolute best sci-fi writing can feel so frighteningly real and believable, and this conversation about what humans are without - most importantly - being empathetic towards each other, touches on a nerve.

 

 

As someone who has always been emotional, having dealt with depression and anxiety and being the sort of person who has even lamented about how much easier life would be if I wasn't so empathetic (in contrast to others around me), this was eye-opening.

 

What has supposedly separated us from other beings is our ability to have emotions, to be ’sentient’, so what are we when we can't feel?

This is at the core of the characters in the book called Fish: they make me think of those who can commit baseless crimes without remorse or motive, they're basically psychopaths.

Questions came up in my head about how is this different from the thinking of someone who shows no emotion toward the victim and can commit serial murders.

 

 

What's the difference between thinking and feeling? How do we express emotion without feeling it? How do we have relationships without showing emotions? Is our own society going in the direction of where people aren't able to show or feel emotions? How have technology and social media contributed to this?

 

All of these questions come up and it really had me thinking!

 

I personally feel like one of the most essential problems today is that most people lack the ability to be empathetic towards each other. ’The Waning Age’ really made me sad (*emotion!) at the prospect of emotions disappearing altogether, good and bad, and how that would obliterate compassion completely.

 

Author S.E. Grove has managed to write a YA sci-fi novel that not only recognizes the bond between brother and sister, but she has also done some brilliant world-building, with just the right amount of action, and has brought some big ideas to the table. I will be thinking about this one for a long time, and I have already told a few other sci-fi authors about it.

 

'The Waning Age' is more profound than initial impressions would let on. And I have to say, this would make an excellent movie!

 

RELEASE DATE: February 5th, 2019 (add it to your TBR now!!)

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/40057886-the-waning-age
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text 2018-11-18 15:28
The Dreaded DNF
Someone Like Me - Mike Carey

My apologies to NetGalley, the publisher and author, but I will not be finishing this book.

 

At 35% it has still not captured my attention and I have no feelings for the characters.

 

Perhaps I will pick it up at another time and if so, I will provide feedback then.

 

Thank you for the opportunity.

 

DNF-No rating

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review 2018-11-14 13:06
Blood Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff
Blood Moon - Alexandra Sokoloff

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I thought that this book was very well done. This is the second book in the Huntress/FBI Thrillers series which is a series that really does need to be read in order. This book picks up shortly after the events in the first installment in the series with Special Agent Roarke still trying to capture Cara. I was quickly pulled back into this ongoing story and had a really good time with it.

Cara Lindstrom was the only survivor of a murderer known as The Reaper when she was just a young child. She is now also a murderer and wanted by the FBI. Her crimes have been committed against those that have harmed or are in the process of harming others. It is next to impossible to feel regret over the lives she has taken but Roarke is determined to bring her in.

Roarke intends to set a trap for Cara and stumbles upon a crime much larger than he thought possible. I was completely pulled in by this story and had a great time trying to figure out how everything would work out and what the FBI's next move would be. There was a lot of action and the story moved at a pretty fast pace. I liked the profiling aspect of the story and thought it added a really interesting aspect to the story.

R.C. Bray did a fantastic job with the narration. For some reason, his voice just seems perfect for this kind of story. He was able to really bring the story to life and did a great job with all of the character voices. I really like the quality of his voice and found that I wanted to listen to this book for hours at a time.

I would recommend this series to others. I think that this is a very well done mystery that kept me guessing paired with great characters and enough action to keep things interesting. I am looking forward to listening to the next book in the series very soon.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley and purchased a copy of the audiobook.

Initial Thoughts
I am so glad that I got back to this series. This book was very well done. It picks up shortly after the events of the first book with Cara still on the loose. Roarke and the team are trying to find her and the stakes are high before the end of this story. I liked getting a chance to be with the agents as they worked to figure out how the criminal would act and process the evidence. R.C. Bray did a great job with the narration.

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text 2018-11-13 17:30
BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY (+ excerpt link): ‘Amber & Dusk’ by Lyra Selene
Amber & Dusk - Lyra Selene

 

I’m going to go ahead and post the info and giveaway, (and link to an excerpt!) for this wonderful fantasy book about to be released on November 27th, but I didn’t get to review it in time because my early reader’s copy has got lost in the mail (or someone is reading it at the post office)!!

Once I have received it I’ll be able to post a review but for now, I’ll tell you a little bit more.

 

Thanks, as always, to my friends at The Fantastic Flying Book Club for having me on the book tour!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, LYRA SELENE

 

 

 

Lyra Selene was born under a full moon and has never quite managed to wipe the
moonlight out of her eyes. When she isn’t dreaming up fantastical cities and brood-
ing landscapes, Lyra enjoys hiking, rainstorms, autumn, and pretending she’s any
good at painting.
She lives in New England with her husband, in an antique farmhouse that’s probably
not haunted. AMBER & DUSK is her debut novel.

 

You can find her online at LyraSelene.com

 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

 

Amber & Dusk
by Lyra Selene
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: November 27, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy


SYNOPSIS: 
Sylvie has always known she deserves more. Out in the permanent twilight of the
Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. But Sylvie
knows it gives her a place in Coeur d'Or, the palais of the Amber Empress and her
highborn legacies.
So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never
sets, to take what is hers.
But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as
part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers. Sylvie must assume a new
name, Mirage, and begin to navigate secretive social circles and deadly games of
intrigue in order to claim her spot. Soon it becomes apparent that nothing is as it ap-
pears and no one, including her cruel yet captivating sponsor, Sunder, will answer
her questions. As Mirage strives to assume what should be her rightful place, she'll
have to consider whether it is worth the price she must pay.

 

Here is AN EXCLUSIVE BOOK EXCERPT! Just click on this SCRIBD LINK!

 

 

And to enter the GIVEAWAY to get the chance to win a copy of book (US only), head over to the AMBER & DUSK GIVEAWAY! It’s running from 11/12 - 11/30

 

In the meantime, add this to your Booklikes TBR, and to your GOODREADS!

 

 

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE LINK

 

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/37825423-amber-dusk
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review 2018-11-01 17:45
100 FATHOMS BELOW by Steven Kent and Nicholas Kaufman
100 Fathoms Below - Nicholas Kaufmann,Steven L. Kent

100 FATHOMS BELOW is the depth where sunlight no longer penetrates the sea. That depth and further is where you'll find submarines and that's where the USS Roanoke attempted to locate the new class of Russian sub-supposedly in development. Unfortunately, the Roanoke encountered some problems accomplishing their mission.

 

Set in 1983, during the height of the cold war, the Roanoke and her crew are going about day to day submarine life. Not everyone gets along in such tight quarters, but they make do for the good of the ship. When Petty Officer Stubic becomes ill, the crew isn't worried, they have a medic to help with such things. But thereafter, as officer after officer sickens, and as lights keep getting smashed out on each deck, the crew begins to get frightened, and rightfully so. Will they survive whatever it is that's on their ship? Will they find the new Russian sub? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

This is my first book from these authors and I'm happy to say that I enjoyed it immensely. It's a fun story and it's fast paced with lots of action. I enjoyed the fact that several of the character's names in the book are actually the names of authors I recognize, so that added a bit of fun as well.

 

What I thought was slightly lacking was character development-I could have used a bit more to add to the depth of the cast. However, I understand this book isn't trying to be a literary classic, and what we do have here is some creature feature fun!

 

100 FATHOMS BELOW is probably just what you expect it to be, if you're looking for underwater, claustrophobic, B-movie-type fun. If that's what you are in the mood for reading right now? Go ahead, take the plunge: Dive! Dive! Dive!

 

Recommended!

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and Blackstone for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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