A First-page Review (#3) They say, don't judge a book by its cover, but how about judging a book by its first page instead? It seems like I have an infA First-page Review (#3) They say, don't judge a book by its cover, but how about judging a book by its first page instead? It seems like I have an infinite amount of books on my shelves and no time to read all of them, so this is my attempt at finding the good ones that is actually worth my time. And furthermore, first-pages always gives very good hints at what is to come, if only you take the time to really read them and not just pass them on the way to the second and third page. Anyways, this is a new idea I am testing out, might work... might not.
Also, if I one day decide to read the entire book, which I might if it gets a good first-page review, expect this review to be replaced with a proper review of the entire book.
The Book Iron Sunrise is a science fiction novel, and by the looks of it, one of the hardcore science ones. The cover displays what appears to be a supernova, with a satelitte (or maybe a small space station of sorts) circling at the edge of the explosion.
The Story Wednesday, a sixteen year old girl, is trapped on a space station, Old Newfoundland. She is also fleeing a killhound bend on killing her. However, there may be an even greater threat to her, as a watch is slowly running out. This space station should have been launched fourteen minutes ago.
Wednesday knows of this second and greater threat, but to survive, she must first escape the dog and reach the docking hub.
Language and Style The language of this novel is fastpaced, keeping the reader on the edge. And while this is only the prologue of the novel, we have a feeling that we will surely get to know everything about this girl, Wednesday.
While the cover might have pointed to a hardcore science fiction novel, the landguage and writing style does not. This seems more like a cyberpunk novel set in space.
Expectations The book promises to follow the life of Wednesday. Why is she seemingly the only person aboard this space station? Why should it have been launched fourteen minutes ago and what fate awaits her if she doesn't escape the dog and reached the docking hub?
For some reason, Wednesday appear older than she seems. She knows stuff that a sixteen year old girl shouldn't know, but how will this knowledge shape the story.
Sixteen year old girls are normally not the main character of science fiction stories, so that in itself is a mystery that I, as the reader, would like to solve.
First Judgment There is a nice contrast between what you expect based on the cover, and what you appear to be getting based on the first page. This doesn't seem like your run-of-the-mill type of science fiction novel and for that, I want to continue forward. I give this novel 4-5 stars based solely on the first page....more
The Story... [Before I say anything about the story, I should perhaps issue a warning... this is one of the weirdest books that I've read in years. IThe Story... [Before I say anything about the story, I should perhaps issue a warning... this is one of the weirdest books that I've read in years. I like weird. But. Perhaps you don't. If so, be warned!]
This is the story of Malchiade Bedrosian Baol, a baol wizard who does not want to be a baol wizard. He wanders the streets of the City T., having fun, messing with peoples lives and just observing what is going on. One day he is contacted by an old pornstar called Mara May. She has been looking for him and wants him to follow her. She takes him to an old comedian, Grapatax. Grapatax needs the baol wizard. He wants Bed (which is what Malchiade Bedrosian Baol calls himself, sometimes) to enter Hell and find Archive Zero, they are looking for a movie, a movie of truth.
The setting is one where the Government tries to create their own reality. They keep movies in their archives, some that needs to be evaluated (for changing) and some that contains the reality. There are just things (like war and torture) that the Government doesn't want the people to learn about.
Bed is our narrator. We listen to his thoughts, however, halfway through the book, the author introduces a new character called Atharva. He is also a baol wizard, but one who is working for the Government. He is also looking to enter Archive Zero, but can't enter it completely. He is also looking for a movie...
Hopefully, I've managed to confuse you completely! :)
My Judgement... This book is awesome! You sense this right away. Like A Clockwork Orange, this book has a language all its own - a really weird and wonderful language that isn't all that difficult to understand. It is set in our world, yet it doesn't look like our world. It is set in a near-present, yet it feels like a weird mix between fantasy and cyberpunk. Perhaps I should just keep my labels to myself and let the book stand on its own...
This book will surely make you laugh... that I guarantee! Had it made me cry too, it might have been a 5-star book......more
I have yet to read all the stories in this book, but I'll try to review them as I read them. Also, this anthology includes a discussion of cyberpunk bI have yet to read all the stories in this book, but I'll try to review them as I read them. Also, this anthology includes a discussion of cyberpunk between Bruce Sterling and the editor, John Kessel.
Bicycle Repairman by Bruce Sterling. This story features an ordinary bicycle... repairman, obviously. His life is boring to say the least, but then he receives a package one day, a package meant for an old friend of his. This start off events that end up changing Lyle's life. Not the best story, a little weird at times and I dont think I got everything it was trying to tell me. (2 stars)
Red Sonja and Lessingham in Dreamland by Gwyneth Jones. This is a story about... sex. It features a Virtual Reality, a frustrated woman and a psychotherapist. It has an interesting angle, but failed to really captivate me. (2 stars)
The third story, which I'm reading at the moment, proves to be much better than the first two. ...more
The Story... In Hex, we meet two siblings called Wraith and Raven, not their real names. They are the product of living in the 23rd century somewhereThe Story... In Hex, we meet two siblings called Wraith and Raven, not their real names. They are the product of living in the 23rd century somewhere in the States. However, the States is not where the story takes place, the stage of the story is London. Perhaps now is the time to tell you a little about the title... what is the Hex? Imagine having a Hex gene... a mutant gene that allows you incredible control of computers, and I don't just mean giving you quick fingers on the Keyboard, no, with this gene you can actually enter the Net and control anything related to computers. Raven, a young girl, possesses the Hex gene. In fact, she was one of the lucky ones, one of those who escaped the clutches of the CPS (Centre for Paranormal Studies), who works for the government, to rid the world of the Hexes. The Hex is obviously something to be feared, although it was government scientists that created the Hex genes.
Wraith and Raven has another, younger sister called Rachel. She was adobted and carried off to England before either of the two siblings could do anything about it. They want to find their sister, and have therefore travelled all the way across the ocean. London has changed, it has become a vertical metropolis with skyscrapers of up to 3 miles, very impressive and a little bit scary, really.
They acquire the help of a young ganger named Kez, but also a powerful person called the Countess. Their search reveals that Rachel also posses the Hex gene and has been taken by the CPS, taken to some place hidden, some place with no computers, at least not any computers that Raven has the power to control.
The question now becomes... is Rachel alive? How to bring her back, if she is alive, and where is it, exactly, that the CPS takes the Hexes?
My Judgement... Hex is obviously Cyberpunk, and not Sci-fi in the classical sense. It focuses on the Computer aspect, but also on themes such as the manipulation of genes, how far can and should we go... However, it doesn't really dwell on this last point, in fact, Hex is mostly an action-packed story about two siblings looking for their sister. They have the world against them and find friends in the strangest places, friends that will help them find their sister.
It's easy to read, perhaps a little too easy. I would have liked some deeper themes, but the book is only 216 pages long and its not a large book. It's obviously meant to be pure entertainment, with gun fights, cool Web cruising and lots of partying.
Furthermore, Hex is the first book in a large series, so if you like it more than I did, you can pick up the others and find out what happens next. I'm sure I wont be picking up the rest, but thats ok. It's not a bad book, but you definitely have to like the Cyberpunk genre and you have to like action and lots of it....more
I can highly recommend this book to fans of sci-fi; it has a dark protagonist who is searching for herself, and who have learned to use the powers ofI can highly recommend this book to fans of sci-fi; it has a dark protagonist who is searching for herself, and who have learned to use the powers of the world in a rather strange ways. She knows how to travels through the various versions of the world......more