Showing posts with label Sci fi book review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sci fi book review. Show all posts

July 22, 2022

In Every Generation by Kendare Blake

 Synopsis

A new Slayer for a new generation...

Frankie Rosenberg is passionate about the environment, a sophomore at New Sunnydale High School, and the daughter of the most powerful witch in Sunnydale history. Her mom, Willow, is slowly teaching her magic on the condition that she use it to better the world. But Frankie’s happily quiet life is upended when new girl Hailey shows up with news that the annual Slayer convention has been the target of an attack, and all the Slayers—including Buffy, Faith, and Hailey’s older sister Vi—might be dead. That means it’s time for this generation’s Slayer to be born.

But being the first ever Slayer-Witch means learning how to wield a stake while trying to control her budding powers. With the help of Hailey, a werewolf named Jake, and a hot but nerdy sage demon, Frankie must become the Slayer, prevent the Hellmouth from opening again, and find out what happened to her Aunt Buffy, before she’s next.

 

I was very late to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer party and only watched the TV series last year in 2021. Better late than never, right?

I'm kind of mad no one told me how good it was ages ago. But obviously I loved it. 

So when I became aware of this book, it was an instant purchase!

I was a little nervous that it would lose the tone and essence of the show, but it held up surprisingly well. Of course it was a bit different, but it felt familiar all at the same time. 

Just like with the TV series, I got completely sucked into the book and didn't want to put it down until it was over. I won't put any spoilers in this review. But, I will say that it has all of the vampire and slayer goodness we've come to know and love. 

Plus there was a hint of Elizabeth Bathory, and I'm a sucker for anything Bathory related. 

If you want to return to Sunnydale, this book is an extremely fun vehicle to do so. 


5/5 Stars




Click to Purchase!

The Cell by Stephen King

 Synopsis

On October 1, God is in His heaven, the stock market stands at 10,140, most of the planes are on time, and Clayton Riddell, an artist from Maine, is almost bouncing up Boylston Street in Boston. He's just landed a comic book deal that might finally enable him to support his family by making art instead of teaching it. He's already picked up a small (but expensive!) gift for his long-suffering wife, and he knows just what he will get for his boy Johnny. Why not a little treat for himself? Clay is feeling good about the future.

That changes in a hurry. The cause of the devastation is a phenomenon that will come to be known as The Pulse, and the delivery method is a cell phone. Everyone's cell phone. Clay and the few desperate survivors who join him suddenly find themselves in the pitch-black night of civilization's darkest age, surrounded by chaos, carnage, and a human horde that has been reduced to its basest nature...and then begins to evolve.

There is really no escaping this nightmare. But for Clay, an arrow points home to Maine, and as he and his fellow refugees make their harrowing journey north they begin to see crude signs confirming their direction. A promise, perhaps. Or a threat...


The Cell took me awhile to get into. The story was interesting. The characters were likable. But there was just something about it that didn't grip me from the beginning. 

I did enjoy the story, so I chugged along - just very slowly. 

Once I got about halfway through, a switch flipped and I couldn't put it down and it became a much better reading experience. The thought of the device in our pockets that we are all hooked on turning against us is truly terrifying. 

At the end, I'm not sure if all of my questions were answered or if I was left with more than I started with, but the book was an enjoyable experience. So, if you're into sci-fi and enjoy Stephen King's writing, I think you'll enjoy this one. 


3/5 stars



Click to Purchase!

April 8, 2020

Odd Interlude by Dean Koontz (Odd Thomas 4.5)

Synopsis
Nestled on a lonely stretch along the Pacific coast, quaint roadside outpost Harmony Corner offers everything a weary traveler needs—a cozy diner, a handy service station, a cluster of cottages . . . and the Harmony family homestead presiding over it all. But when Odd Thomas and company stop to spend the night, they discover that there’s more to this secluded haven than meets the eye—and that between life and death, there is something more frightening than either. 

Having read books 3 & 4 of the Odd Thomas series out of order, I had to call back to when I read Odd Hours upon picking this one up. It wasn’t too hard. The worst part was that Odd Hours was my least favorite book in the series so far. Because of that, I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to get into Odd Interlude.

I’m sure glad Mr. Koontz proved me very wrong.

Interlude in a shorter book and initially was released in 3 small parts. What I loved about it was it never really slowed down. It was pretty action-packed right from the beginning, and the mystery behind the town he was in was rather intriguing. Then, for the fans of Dean Koontz’s monsters, there’s a pretty epic monster that Odd Thomas has to meet up with at the end.

For being so short, it really had a little bit of everything. Odd being Odd, a great new character, a strong mystery, and a wild monster.

Odd Interlude definitely redeemed the series from Odd Hours which kind of bored me. I can’t wait to read the next one.

5/5 Stars

Memorable quotes: “This broken world, however, breaks most of us, grinding relentlessly on its metaled tracks.”

“Darkness has its charms, and even in our own hometowns, the world at night can be as enchanting as any foreign port with its exotic architectures. Between dusk and dawn, the commonplace is full of visual delights that only the moon, the stars, and richly textured shadows can provide.”

“No doubt misery, like happiness and hope, is found throughout the stars.” 


Click To Purchase!

March 20, 2020

The Forbidden Door (Jane Hawk #4) by Dean Koontz

Synopsis:

She was one of the FBI’s top agents until she became the nation’s most-wanted fugitive. Now Jane Hawk may be all that stands between a free nation and its enslavement by a powerful secret society’s terrifying mind-control technology. She couldn’t save her husband, or the others whose lives have been destroyed, but equipped with superior tactical and survival skills—and the fury born of a broken heart and a hunger for justice—Jane has struck major blows against the insidious cabal. 
But Jane’s enemies are about to hit back hard. If their best operatives can’t outrun her, they mean to bring her running to them, using her five-year-old son as bait. Jane knows there’s no underestimating their capabilities, but she must battle her way back across the country to the remote shelter where her boy is safely hidden . . . for now.
As she moves resolutely forward, new threats begin to emerge: a growing number of brain-altered victims driven hopelessly, violently insane. With the madness spreading like a virus, the war between Jane and her enemies will become a fight for all their lives—against the lethal terror unleashed from behind the forbidden door.

If you’ve been keeping up with my reviews, you know I’ve been attached to this series. So, imagine my disappointment when I felt like this installment wasn’t necessary to the series. There were a few bits a pieces that definitely added to the series, but this book could have been cut in half, and I would have been totally fine with it.

It was slow-moving. There was not nearly enough Jane in this one. I really don’t care about getting full character arcs for characters that just end up dying – not at the hand of Jane. Maybe the first three books were just too good that getting a mediocre one made me seem worse than it was.

There was a steady building sense of dread while I read the first three. I had that sense of dread going into this one, but nothing really . . . happened. It kept building up like something was going to, and it just didn’t. Here is where I feel conflicted. I usually enjoy books more when my favorite characters make it out safe and alive. I still wanted that in this book, but I could have used some more action too.

I will say, The Forbidden Door which the title of the book references is very interesting, and I would like to hear more about how it happened all of a sudden.

On to the next one. . .

2.5/5 stars


Click To Purchase! 

November 13, 2019

Odd Hours by Dean Koontz

Synopsis: 
Now Koontz follows Odd as he is irresistibly drawn onward, to a destiny he cannot imagine. The legend began in the obscure little town of Pico Mundo. A fry cook named Odd was rumored to have the extraordinary ability to communicate with the dead. Through tragedy and triumph, exhilaration and heartbreak, word of Odd Thomas' gifts filtered far beyond Pico Mundo, attracting unforgettable new friends - and enemies of implacable evil. With great gifts comes the responsibility to meet great challenges. But no mere human being was ever meant to face the darkness that now stalks the world - not even one as oddly special as Odd Thomas. 
After grappling with the very essence of reality itself, after finding the veil separating him from his soul mate, Stormy Llewellyn, tantalizingly thin yet impenetrable, Odd longed only to return to a life of quiet anonymity with his two otherworldly sidekicks - his dog, Boo, and a new companion, one of the few who might rival his old pal Elvis. But a true hero, however humble, must persevere.
Haunted by dreams of an all-encompassing red tide, Odd is pulled inexorably to the sea, to a small California coastal town where nothing is as it seems. Now the forces arrayed against him have both official sanction and an infinitely more sinister authority...and in this dark night of the soul, dawn will come only after the most shattering revelations of all.

Chalk this up to another book that I had started during my reading slump and took me awhile to finish.

I think my slump was partially due to not being motivated to read and also being the middle of a few books that I didn’t get immediately sucked into/needed breaks from.

This was the first Odd Thomas book that didn’t pull me in and refuse to spit me out until it was over. There was just something about the storyline that I didn’t really care about. Once I was determined to finish it and actually sat down with the intent to do so, I did enjoy it. But, I was not hooked on the storyline in this one.

Odd Thomas sets out to stop a nuclear disaster. With a little help from psychic magnetism and Frank Sinatra – yes, THAT Frank Sinatra, he gets put into some sticky situations but comes out of it as only Odd can.

The story got deeper towards the end. Odd was in moral conflict with himself which was interesting to read. I hope the next storyline grips me more than this one. I really enjoy this series, but it’s hard when it’s a book that isn’t a “cant put this down” read.

3/5 Stars

Memorable Quotes: “Bad men wound and destroy one another, although as targets they prefer those who are innocent and as pure as this world allows anyone to be. They feed on violence, but they feast on the despoiling of what is good.”

“Sometimes I am a mystery to myself.”

“In fact, people were not in the habit of asking if I would die for them. And I was not accustomed to answering in the positive, without hesitation.”

“No one can genuinely love the world, which is too large to love entire. To love all the world at once is pretense or dangerous self-delusion. Loving the world is like loving the idea of love, which is perilous because, feeling virtuous about this grand affection, you are freed from the struggles and the duties that come with loving people as individuals, with loving one place — home — above all others.”

“Loss is the hardest thing. But it’s also the teacher that’s the most difficult to ignore.”

“Grief can destroy you — or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see it wasn’t just a movie and dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.”

“Of all the things I am, a killer is one of them. Not a murderer, but still a killer. And a fool. The only child of a mad mother and a narcissistic father. A failed hero. A confused boy. A troubled man. A guy who makes his life up as he goes along. A seeker who cannot find his way.”


Click To Purchase!

May 9, 2019

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Synopsis
"The dead don't talk. I don't know why." But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn.
Maybe he has a gift, maybe it's a curse, Odd has never been sure, but he tries to do his best by the silent souls who seek him out. Sometimes they want justice, and Odd's otherworldly tips to Pico Mundo's sympathetic police chief, Wyatt Porter, can solve a crime. Occasionally they can prevent one. But this time it's different.
A mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite, a filing cabinet stuffed with information on the world's worst killers, and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. Who the man is and what he wants, not even Odd's deceased informants can tell him. His most ominous clue is a page ripped from a day-by-day calendar for August 15.
Today is August 14.
In less than twenty-four hours, Pico Mundo will awaken to a day of catastrophe. As evil coils under the searing desert sun, Odd travels through the shifting prisms of his world, struggling to avert a looming cataclysm with the aid of his soul mate and an unlikely community of allies that includes the King of Rock 'n' Roll. His account of two shattering days when past and present, fate and destiny converge is the stuff of our worst nightmares, and a testament by which to live: sanely if not safely, with courage, humor, and a full heart that even in the darkness must persevere.

This book was recommended to me by a friend/bomb Americano maker. So, obviously I had to read it. She was kind enough to lend it to me. Now, I have to say, I’m pretty hooked on this character.

This book was a ride from beginning to end. It laid the foundation for the protagonists. It explored their depth and the depth of the story. Then it completely took off.

I didn’t know the synopsis when I went into the book, so I was going in blind. I think that was good for this one. It made for so many surprises. I didn’t think it was going to be creepy, but I didn’t expect that it would also break my heart. There were so many different emotions. I can’t wait to read the next one. I have to see what comes next for everyone involved.

5/5 Stars

Memorable Quotes: “We are not, however, a species that can choose the baggage with which it must travel. In spite of our best intentions, we always find that we have brought along a suitcase or two of darkness, and misery.”

“The dead are sensitive to the living. They have walked this path ahead of us and know our fears, our failings, our desperate hopes, and how much we cherish what cannot last. They pity us, I think, and no doubt they should.”

“In our dreams, we are not detached observers, as are the characters who dream in movies. These internal dramas are usually seen strictly from the dreamer’s point of view. In nightmares, we can’t look I to our own eyes except by indirection, perhaps because we fear discovering that therein lie the worst monsters plaguing us.”

“Most people desperately desire to believe that they are part of a great mystery, that Creation is a work of grace and glory, not merely the result of random forces of colliding. Yet each time that they are given but one reason to doubt, a worm in the apple of the heart makes them turn away from a thousand proofs of the miraculous, whereupon they have a drunkard’s thirst for cynicism, and they feed upon despair as a starving man upon a loaf of bread.”

“A cynic once said that the most identifying trait of humanity is our ability to be in humane to one another.”

“The town slept, but not its demons.”

“Life, Stormy says, is not about how fast you run or even with what degree of grace. It’s about perseverance, about staying on your feet and slogging forward no matter what.”

“Most people tend to think the best of those who are blessed with beauty; we have difficulty imagining that physical perfection can conceal twisted emotions or a damaged mind. “

“We are not strangers to ourselves; we only try to be.”

“It takes awhile to realize what a lonely world it is, and when you do . . . Then the future looks kinda scary. “

“We who survive must go on in the names of those who fall, but if we dwell too much on the vivid details of what we’ve witnessed of man’s inhumanity to man, we simply can’t go on. Perseverance is impossible if we don’t permit ourselves to hope.”


Click To Purchase!