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review 2018-06-13 22:54
love the premise and the trees
The Overstory - Richard Powers

I love the premise and everything he wrote about trees. I found myself skipping around to read the tree parts. You could argue that it's all about trees, which it is, but the entirety did not consistently hold my interest. In my opinion, that's because the characters needed pruning. It's just too long. He's a great writer but could have used an editor on this one.

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review 2018-06-08 21:14
LIFEL1K3
LIFEL1K3 - Jay Kristoff

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

Overall, I enjoyed this book, although ultimately it didn’t live up to quite a few of my expectations.

The worldbuilding isn’t tremendously developed here, but what is shown was enough for me to draw a satisfying idea of what it must be like. Post-apocalyptic future, in that, without surprise, humans have been destroying their planet to the point of tsunamis ravaging California (the story is clearly set in its remnants) and solar radiations giving anyone cancer if they walk out unprotected even for an hour or so. It’s a harsh world to live in, where people eke out a living by foraging scraps, prostitution, being in gangs, or competing in the WarDome game by piloting huge robots meant to punish AI robots who stopped obeying the Three Laws (yes, that’s Asimov’s Laws—they tend to work well in various sci-fi worlds, methinks).

Piloting one of those ‘machinas’ is exactly what Eve, the main character, does to earn money and pay for her grandfather’s medication, encouraged by her tiny robot Cricket and her best friend Lemon. Except that her latest fight doesn’t go well at all, and she finds herself manifesting a strange power that sends religious fanatics and bounty hunters on her trail… although not only. This is how she meets Ezekiel, the ‘lifelike’ (an android built in such a way that he looks completely human not only on the surface, since he has blood-like liquid in his veins, metal bones and not simply motors, etc.) This merry band runs away, trying to escape their pursuers as well as to find what happened to Eve’s grandfather, in a world that would look great on screen: radioactive deserts with storms full of glass debris, enemies on motorbikes with rocket launchers, a city made of a whole landlocked float, the ghost town of what used to be a powerful corporation, a living underwater ship… The author doesn’t disclose that many details about geopolitics or history in here, however what he shows us worked for me, and let me imagine this world where Eve and her friends have to live.

In terms of characters, mostly I didn’t care for them, except Lemon. She comes off as the most human and balanced (both strong and fragile), with a cocky attitude and a to-the-death loyalty that felt genuine.

Also, special mention for the novel crossing Anastasia with Pinocchio. I don’t think I had seen or read that yet, and I found the idea interesting, as well as working fairly well.

Where I wasn’t happy with the book:

1) The romance. As often in YA, it was too much of the insta-love kind, without chemistry, and since we get to see how it started only through flashbacks, there was very little in it to make me like it. Eve took a bullet to the head and her memories are sometimes frazzled, and Ezekiel is too many shades of ‘I love you and you’re the only one who gave meaning to my life so now I’m here and I’ll do anything for you’ (commendable, but not very interesting nor even plausible, considering we never got to -feel- how it developed).

2) Ezekiel. Here we had an excellent opportunity to show a character that is not human, yet was built to be like humans, only without the emotional maturity that we develop over ten, twenty, thirty years. Granted, this is mentioned a couple of times, when it comes to the other lifelikes and the way they learnt to love (quickly, brutally, in a way that could drive them mad if the relationship broke, since they didn’t have the emotional background to soften the blow)—but then, this came through -them-, instead of through Ezekiel’s experience.

I think part of the problem stems from the fact we don’t have chapters from Ezekiel’s POV. Eve, Lemon, even a few minor characters now and then: sure. But not Ezekiel. So, in the end, we really get that ‘doll-like’ character who, sure, is an excellent fighter, but whose motives to help Eve never raise past the state of plot device. I would have loved to really see his point view rather than been told about it, see his inner questioning, how he sees the world, how he accepts (or not) his condition of nearly-but-never-human being, especially since this would’ve worked with a certain plot twist also prompting another character to question what being human means.

(A note here regarding the sexual relationship between Ezekiel and Eve; we don’t see it, but it’s more than just vaguely implied. I know that for some people, this is a complete turn-off. I must say I did find it interesting, not so much abnormal and disgusting than intriguing and raising lots of questions about, well, being human, what it means, how it is defined, etc. Did the lifelikes have sexual relationships because they were programmed to, in a perfectionist desire to copy human biology? Was it something that developed ‘naturally’ in them because they looked so much like humans and lived among them? Did they read about it, and so were conditioned from the beginning to believe it was the next step, and from there, would it mean that they could’ve learnt other forms of physical love if given the chance? So many roads to explore, but that weren’t… -sigh-)

Conclusion: In terms of action and of a world easy to picture, this was a fun and entertaining read. However, I regret it didn’t go further than that.

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url 2018-05-26 14:26
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url 2018-05-24 19:03
Yin Yang Manifestation of Consciousness within War of Genders
Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Art of 4 Elements - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Tree of Life - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Eating with Delicious Raw Vegan Recipes - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Chanting Mantras with Best Chords - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Being - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Conscious Creativity: Mindfulness Meditations - Nataša Pantović Nuit

Yin Yang Manifestation of Consciousness within War of Genders

Quantum Physics Applied to Philosophy within Male / Female RelationshipsSelf-DevelopmentRelationshipsSpiritual DevelopmentAlchemy of LoveConscious MindMindfulnessOnline Life Coachingmeditation

 

Microcosmos of Relationships

Applying Quantum Physics Consciousness within  of 

The War of Genders is as old as Humanity. It has very established patterns within our Sub, or Conscious and Unconscious behavior patterns.

Yin Yang Manifestation of Consciousness within War of Genders

Did you know that your country is a Microcosms manifesting its states of Consciousness, breathing, living in an endless spiral of applying knowledge, understanding mishaps, constantly measuring collective and individual states of Consciousness?

Did you know that your family as a Microcosms reflects an environment of our ever-breathing Country, our ever-loving Gaiaour so complex and puzzling Solar System, our  Cosmos?

Did you know that your  within its journey towards  uses your body’s DNAs and your brain’s chemistry to carry a Microcosms of decisions, influences, thoughts that are all influenced by huge amount of learning, or external impacts? A soul that is now experiencing Consciousness manifestations within the most air polluted world’s cities in 2018, the WHO's database that measures pollution in every cubic meter of air will tell you of more than 4,300 cities such as Delhi, Varanasi and Patna, in India, who lives every day with this problem, will tell you all about how difficult it is to connect with Prana (in Hindu thought – an essential Life Force) within such an environment.

Source: www.artof4elements.com/entry/yin-yang-manifestation-of-consciousness-within-war-of-genders
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text 2018-05-11 09:17
Burdened with excessive detail, Orfeo drifts to a predictable, melodramatic conclusion
Orfeo - Richard Powers

Orfeo

By Richard Powers

 

Peter Els is a composer of new music, an old man, a adjunct professor who has been put out to pasture. When his dog, Orfeo, his only companion, dies suddenly he's so distraught he mistakenly calls 9-1-1. He abruptly ends the call which brings the police to his home only to find he's been passing his time cooking up variant biological strains in his kitchen laboratory.

 

Is this crackpot a bioterrorist? When the authorities come to investigate, Els goes on the lam.

 

Author Richard Powers has the narrative go back and forth between Els' past and the present until they converge. Gradually a picture emerges of the a man obsessed with music, music that sounds like noise to most people.

 

I was never sure if Els was a genius, delusional, lazy or just stubborn, but his obsession manages to wreck every career opportunity and relationship he comes in contact with.

 

As a protagonist Els is not sympathetic, he's frustrating.

 

Powers burdens the story with extensive passages about experimental music and minute details on musical composition. It's excessive and redundant as are his passages of transcendence the composer feels when in the thrall of his muse. The plot seems to drift as if the author wasn't sure where to take it and the conclusion is as predictable as it is melodramatic.

 

Throughout the book the author has inserted intrusive sentences presented in a different font and separated from the text by bold lines. I had no idea what the quotes were referring to, who they were by or what part they played in the story other than pulling me out of the reading experience.

 

 

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