I thank the author who contacted me thanks to Lit World Interviews for offering me an ARC copy of his novel that I freely chose to review.
I am not a big reader of science-fiction (perhaps because I don’t seem to have much patience these days for lengthy descriptions and world building and I’m more interested in books that focus on complex characters) so I was doubtful when the author suggested I review it, but the angel plot and the peculiarities of the story won me over. There are many things I enjoyed in this book but I’m not sure that it was the book for me.
As I’ve included the description and it is quite detailed (I was worried about how I could write about the book without revealing any spoilers but, many of the things I was worried about are already included in the description) I won’t go into the ins and outs of the story. The novel starts as a thriller, set in 1975. A private detective has taken a compromising photo and that puts him in harm’s way. Apple, the main character, seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, although later events make us question this and wonder if perhaps what happens was preordained. One of the interesting points in the novel, for me, was that the main character was a Vietnam War veteran, amputee (he lost a leg) and now addicted to Morphine. He also experiences symptoms of PTSD. Although his vivid dreams and flashbacks slowly offer us some background information, and the whole adventure gives him a new perspective on life and a love interest, I found it difficult to fully connect with the character. It was perhaps due to the fast action and the changes in setting and point of view that make it difficult to fully settle one’s attention on the main protagonists. One of the premises of the story is that Angela, the mysterious character who is his ersatz guardian angel, has known him all his life. She is oddly familiar to him, and she decides to give up her privileges and her life mission because of him, but as Angela’s interest in him precedes the story, there is no true development of a relationship and readers don’t necessarily understand why they are attracted to each other from the start.
The story, written in the third person, is told mostly from Apple’s point of view but there are also two other characters, from Tibet, Shilog, a farmer, and Yowl, what most of us would think of as a Yeti, but that we later learn is a member of a native Earth species. In my opinion, these two characters are more fully realised, as we don’t have any previous knowledge or any expectations of who they are, and they work well as a new pair of eyes (two pairs of eyes) for the readers, as they start their adventure truly clueless as to what is going on, and the situation is as baffling to them as it is to us. They are also warm and genuinely amusing and they offer much welcome comic relief. They are less bogged down by conventions and less worried about their own selves.
I enjoyed also the background story and the underlying reasoning behind the presence of the “angels” (aliens) in the world. It does allow for interesting debates as to what makes us human and what our role on Earth is. How this all fits in with traditional religions and beliefs is well thought out and it works as a plot element. It definitely had me thinking.
I said before that one of the problems I had with some fantasy and science-fiction is my lack of patience with world building and detailed descriptions. In this case, though, other than some descriptions about the Tibetan forest and mountains, I missed having a greater sense of location. The characters moved a lot from one place to the next and, even if you were paying attention, sometimes it was difficult to follow where exactly the action was taking place (especially because some of the episodes depended heavily on secret passages, doors, locked rooms…) and I had to go back a few times to check, in case I had missed some change of location inadvertently. (This might not be a problem for people who are used to reading more frantically paced action stories.) I guess there are two possible reading modes I’d recommend for this story; either pay very close attention or go with the flow and enjoy the ride.
I really enjoyed the baddie. Dane is awesome. I don’t mind the bad characters that are victims of their circumstances or really conflicted about what they do, but every so often I like a convinced baddie, who takes no prisoners and goes all the way. She is not without justification either, and later we learn something that puts a different spin on her behaviour (I didn’t find it necessary but it does fit in with the overall story arc). The irony of her character and how she uses human institutions and religions to subvert the given order is one of my favourite plot points and she is another source of humour, although darker in this case.
All in all, this is a book for readers who enjoy science-fiction that asks big questions, with religious undertones, lots of action and not too worried about the psychological makeup of the main characters. Ah, and if you love stories about Bigfoot or the Yeti, you’ll love this one.
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.
I follow this artist on Twitter, and I just heart his comics. Some are just pure brilliance, others make me laugh aloud.
The comics are about the organs (in what I am guessing is the artist's body), from going to the doctor and fooling the heart, to what happens when you eat something wrong (I laughed so hard about that one). I do have to say that I generally liked the ones without the brain more, or the ones in which the brain wasn't talking in overload. I know the series is Heart and Brain, and I do love heart, he is just so funny and hilarious. A typical heart, never thinking, and often just jumping into things without regard of the brain.
The most gruesome comic? One that I also know from online, the one with with nails and the teeth and the modification. *shivers* That was just a bit too much for me.
We also see the artist (Awkwardyeti) himself and then see how the brain or other organs are tricking him. (Like when you wake up for toilet because your bladder thought 4 am was a perfect time, well then the brain also wakes and it wants to do all sorts of things, have fun sleeping again! Or when you want to impress someone, and your brain just conveniently forgets everything!)
The art is pretty awesome, though I mostly tend to come because of the awesome, spot-on comics.
There are also several new comics, which is great, I do like it when I see something new in a comic bundle. Not only online stuff, but new or unpublished stuff as well.
Would I recommend this book? Oh yes I would!
Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com
A good month! I read 26 books and reached my goal of reading 200 books for the year!
The books above were my top 9 reads for the month, with the first 3 being 5 star reads and the rest 4 stars. The other 17 were broke down into 10- 3 star reads, 6- 2 star reads and one DNF.
Of my top 3 reads, I cannot recommend, "The Awakening" by Brett McBean enough, especially if you liked, "Boy's Life" by Robert R, McCammon.
"Kings of the Promised Land" is an excellent re-telling of the biblical story of King Saul and David. I'm still actually reading it, but I love it and should be done with it tomorrow.
"Federal Underground" is a thriller, shock full of conspiracy theories and malevolent aliens.
That was a fun read :)
Looking forward to October, not because of the holiday, as it's just another day for me, but because they show lots of scary movies on TV, and I love to watch them. So, with my reading goal out of the way, I am going to take it easy, curl up on my comfy bed with some popcorn and prepare to be scared!
Hope you all have a great October!
*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Anna the anthropologist is working on a pet project of hers for biotech firm MedSecs when she’s rudely yanked off it to work on a male infertility project run by her asshole ex-boyfriend. The surprising thing about the project is it features a yeti. A yeti she’s strangely attracted to and wants to set free, but he ex threatens her, get the yeti sperm or lose her research grant. Dilemma!
For monster porn this is a decent story with a monster, sex, hot woman, an asshole and a problem to be solved. I found myself really hating Anna’s ex and cheering for Anna and the yeti, who she calls Prince. The ending is a little too rosy and pie in the sky, but for the most part I enjoyed this sexy monster porn.