I thoroughly enjoyed this and went into it expecting the usual not-enough-depth that comes with reading most young-adult books. This was not the caseI thoroughly enjoyed this and went into it expecting the usual not-enough-depth that comes with reading most young-adult books. This was not the case here, not in my opinion. It was super-concise sure, which meant every word was vital to understanding what was happening - so no skimming.
Some may have found this style of writing abrupt but I didn't. There were no digressions and no unnecessary descriptions - so refreshing. Issues were raised which I'm familiar with and believe they were explained perfectly. The story was original, at least from my point of view, and didn't feel contrived or formulaic.
The only thing I can think of that is negative is the fact that I wanted a little more emotion from Janie when she is with Cabel and things are good between them, I had to use my imagination - or perhaps that was the point.
I can't wait to read the sequel. I won't be surprised if I'm reading it tomorrow. Well worth staying up to finish. I can't believe I waited so long to read it. It had me in its clutches from beginning to end....more
"Riveting stuff, Mulder and Scully. Please, continue your good work," Skinner said.
Yes, I'm continuing with The X-Files comparison. I'm determined to"Riveting stuff, Mulder and Scully. Please, continue your good work," Skinner said.
Yes, I'm continuing with The X-Files comparison. I'm determined to wring every last drop out of it.
JCP, I love you. You're one excellent writer. This episode just about knocked my socks off. And that's without any sex scenes...yet. ;)
Hitherto, we've had only theories based on assumption about the ins and outs of how the turbulence-induced split realities/bodies/personalities work. Now we have actual science experiments! I love science. Except when it means testing on animals. Yet JCP skirts this by using cockroaches. No one likes cockroaches. The relief I felt at Marlin and Dallas's refusal to act on Kaye's mouse suggestion, was palpable as I silently hailed, "Thank god," at my ceiling.
Marlin's Animal Experiment #1
Roach in the cockpit (in a margarine tub) was duplicated when he rode the turbulence, just like Kaye and Me. I flattened post-turbulence roach and left his carcass in the container. After the return turbulence, his counterpart was not flattened, but he was legs up.
So, dead in the unnatural plane = dead in the normal one.
Marlin's Animal Experiment #3
I removed the left rear leg of Roach 3 inside the turbulence. Not only was he still alive when we embarked on the return flight, but when we came back through the turbulence, HIS LEG WAS STILL INTACT.
So, injured in the unnatural plane = healed in the normal one. Strange, very strange.
Conclusion 'Was the Autopilot body the "real" body, and his post-turbulence existence some mental construct?' We're straying into The Matrix territory here. Die in the Matrix, die in the real world. Hmm.
The Matrix, a mental construct.
Besides having the mechanics to chew on, we also have the four main characters and their relationships with one another to contend with.
Marlin: "If you walked into a crowd and lobbed three water balloons at random," Marlin had once said, "you couldn't nail three people more different than you, me and Kaye." [...] Marlin: "You seem to think everyone's well-being is your personal responsibility. Kaye is reliable, your're nurturing, and I'm bold -practically fearless" Dallas: "And so modest, too." Marlin: "Think about it: we're archetypes. The Leader [Captain Kaye], the Keeper [Flight Attendant Dallas], and the Guide [First Officer Marlin]."
At first, like Paul, I thought Marlin had been playing too many video games and read too much epic fantasy, but then Marlin writes the following:
'So from now on, the two of us [Kaye & Marlin] rode the turbulence together, while Dallas stays whole and does his best to wrangle the Autopilots. It's the only way. These are the roles we've been waiting to play all our lives. Maybe they're even roles we've played in previous lives. Kaye the Leader, Dallas the Keeper, and me the Guide. Maybe we slogged though the fields at Normandy together. Or stormed the Alamo. Or lopped heads in the Crusades. ~An excerpt from Marlin's notebook
And it all makes an odd kind of sense. When Marlin as the Guide suicides out, Paul replaces him. He happens to have the exact qualities that would make him the perfect Guide. He's rigidly OCD and by the book about everything. Science and rational thought will give him answers, not conjecture. And so he tries to reason his way to understanding. So perhaps Marlin's at-first-glance crazy ramblings have weight.
In the end, Paul decides he's going to sign-up for all future flight 511 shifts, however as he decides this he gets a glimpse of his self-absorbed, id-centric Autopilot as his two selves reintegrate.
Paul stared at the drink, then raised it and gave it a sniff. Orange juice-and champagne. Mostly champagne. "What the-?" Captain Kaye said, "You'll want to dump that in the toilet before we touch down." "I'm so sorry. I can't believe-I'd never-oh, man." "I know." Completely unfazed. "That's how it goes when Dallas doesn't stay behind to keep us in line. I'll probably throw up once we land." She sighed. "That's probably for the best."
If you're wondering, Kaye's Autopilot is a glutton. She races to the restaurants credit card at the ready, stuffs herself with good food and drink until she's full-to-bursting. She's put on a few pounds as a result.
The complex plot, level of depth, and character development, is pretty amazing when you realise how these three episodes in total contain only 25,900 words, that of less than half a short full-length novel. This takes real talent. Also, I heart the covers, and I know JCP made them herself.
New episodes can't come soon enough! They just keep getting better.
I hesitated when I picked this up as I wasn't sure if I was in the right mood but as soon as I started I was hooked! Like the last one I was a goner aI hesitated when I picked this up as I wasn't sure if I was in the right mood but as soon as I started I was hooked! Like the last one I was a goner after the first paragraph.
I loved all the different threads and POVs. The letters were an excellent way of contrasting the past and the present but still keeping a link (a genetic one) to the main characters. Even though the main couple were both Psy, Dev acted very much like a changeling, to a point where I wondered if one of his ancestors was one.
Katya was extremely strong, thoughtful and caring despite being new to positive emotion. Little Keenan and Noor were amazing, I really thought Katya was going to die but those two were a great twist. I can't wait to see more of them, their progress and hopefully, fingers crossed, they'll get their own book one day.
This series is great there are so many possibilities that this series could go on for many years to come. Only 3 days until Bonds of Justice comes out, I can only hope it's as brilliant as this one....more
Locked In Syndrome. It's a controversial subject that's regularly discussed in the UK, in the same sentence as "euthanasia" and "quality of life". It'Locked In Syndrome. It's a controversial subject that's regularly discussed in the UK, in the same sentence as "euthanasia" and "quality of life". It's a sad situation.
Rose was in an accident a considerable number of years ago which has left her body broken and unrecognisable. She can't do anything for herself and is constantly at the mercy of others. Her only interaction with the world is via communication device that translates what little movement she can make into a voice so she can make herself heard, though that suffers a technical fault, and watching MTV all day. She has few visitors except for her sister but never the man she loved, though it quickly becomes obvious that he married her sister.
Rose longs for the day of her death when she can walk through the special door inside her only respite and retreat to what she calls the "Mind Cafe" where she appears as her younger self, complete and healthy as before the accident, a place she can speak with those who've recently died. She wishes to join her loved ones on the other side and can't fathom why those of her family and friends who weren't disabled in a terrible accident have all died before her. What purpose is there to keep her breathing when she's a vegetable?
It's an awful situation. One in which I hope to never be in. And if I ever am, I hope euthanasia is an option by that point.
"I'm officially a dirty old man. You know how cool that is?" I shook my head. "It's one of the stages of life. Dirty old manhood is what every man secretly waits for."
I heartily enjoyed this and was sad when it ended. I wanted more. More, more, more! This feels as if it's set in the same world as Andrews' Edge serieI heartily enjoyed this and was sad when it ended. I wanted more. More, more, more! This feels as if it's set in the same world as Andrews' Edge series so if you liked that, you'll most likely enjoy this little story too. It's not a romance exactly but romance is a theme.
Kindle cheapie called "Of Swine and Roses". Currently $0.99 / £0.70....more
I'm fairly new to m/m but I really enjoyed this. The characters were great. All of them were very real to me. None of them were perfect. The world-buiI'm fairly new to m/m but I really enjoyed this. The characters were great. All of them were very real to me. None of them were perfect. The world-building was well done and the story was gripping. The romance and sexual tension was bold, exciting, hot and yet sweet at the same time. I'll definitely be continuing with this series....more
Okay, I will admit there was an element of predictability. Oh come on, (view spoiler)[Roger and his gallons of free coffee (hide spoiler)] -suspiciousOkay, I will admit there was an element of predictability. Oh come on, (view spoiler)[Roger and his gallons of free coffee (hide spoiler)] -suspicious! And I can't blame Vic for his TSTL behaviour, there were mitigating circumstances. But this didn't diminish my enjoyment.
There are a couple of really hilarious moments: rogering Roger and the mini-mental breakdown as a result of Vic's new hypersensitivity to ghosts, who now chase him like he's covered in come-get-me ghost pheromones. I know a mental breakdown is not something to laugh at but the way it was written...the hysterical screaming -it was difficult not to laugh my ass off.
Stoic Maurice also gave me an unexpected chuckle as he releases Vic into Jacob's care, I won't say more but once a cop, always a cop. His timing was perfect!
It was really sad reading about Vic's unconscious attacks on Jacob and him desperately trying not lose him because of it. But don't worry it all works out in the end when Vic begins to relax into his relationship with Jacob, finally trusting him by taking it to the next level. I was so happy for them both, it made my heart swell in response.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
We’ve all tried to lose weight at some point in our lives but this is different. Within the first 10 pages I was both appalled and horrified that peopWe’ve all tried to lose weight at some point in our lives but this is different. Within the first 10 pages I was both appalled and horrified that people suffer so much from these eating disorders. And it’s not described to purposely shock, it is shocking. It’s part of their lives. It is their lives.
On the very first page we witness seventeen year old Lisa’s suicide attempt after fighting with her boyfriend, feeling depressed after her former friend Suzanne tells her she’s anorexic, realising she’s angry and her feeling of emptiness all lead her to feel that life isn’t worth living anymore. She just wants it all to stop.
Something as simple as licking a tear from the corner of her mouth has her thinking it’s okay to do so because it’s calorie-free. When faced with food, every bad ingredient is rattled off by the Thin voice in her head followed by the number of calories they contain and the time required to burn them off on her exercise bike. Her obsessive compulsive actions lead her to eat little and exercise to exhaustion, and what she does eat is the epitome of health. No junk food. She even agonises over eating a simple French fry.
And Misery loves company. Lisa’s anorexic but her best friend’s bulimic. Tammy reinforces her twisted relationship with food as Lisa feels like a failure for not being able to throw up on command and is in awe of the fact that Tammy can ‘bring up a doughnut in thirty seconds’. Sadly, she thinks this is apparently something to be proud of.
Lisa’s struggle to become a better anorexic is downright scary. Her need to control every aspect of her body, frightening. But in her pursuit of this goal she fails to realise that her body is crying out for sustenance. Her confusion and trouble remembering things that only happened the day before and the absence of her period which at first she mistook for a pregnancy scare, then later believed it was just down to stress.
As Lisa describes her dream in which she’s told she is the new Famine, Tammy calmly tells her: “Your own personal Columbine. That’s what your Famine is. Your subconscious just wrapped the rage up in a food image, instead of a freak-with-a-gun image. You relate better to food, that’s all.”
An anorexic who chooses to not eat becomes Famine, something that means that choice is taken away is an interesting idea, it’s what drew me to this book in the first place. Well, after seeing the beautiful cover, anyway.
I enjoyed the symbolism of the Scales of office and the need for balance between being starved to doing things to excess or gluttony, and how one can counteract the other but it’s all down to perception. Lisa’s perception that she’s fat when everyone around her believes she’s too thin, being angry at those who eat to excess and feeling guilty for depriving herself of food when others don’t have a choice but to go hungry.
The horses made interesting supporting characters, seeing things from Midnight’s point of view as an immortal guide to their ever changing riders. Even War’s perspective helped me to see the change in Lisa, how her role as Famine had an impact on how she approached life. The riders all contributed: Death with his strange sense of humour and philosophical musings, Pestilence with his philanthropic way of seeing things and War with her bloodthirsty and forthright anger.
I couldn’t help but wonder if her meeting with Death and the other horsemen, and her role as Famine was real or imaginary though their role in her journey obviously helped her. You wouldn’t think it would considering they’re harbingers of the apocalypse.
After reading about Lisa’s disturbing thought processes and observing her behaviour, I had a fervent wish that please god, let this girl be okay. When she is confronted again by Suzanne and her boyfriend James, she is so distressed at them calling her anorexic that I had conflicting thoughts on whose side I should be on, when sanity told me to be on the side that makes her seek help.
Then finally we hear the three words that I’ve been desperate to read: “You’re too thin”. They come from the most unlikely source. Then again this person was so straight talking and direct, and the truth hurts.
I find that YA rarely touches upon such serious topics and I’m very glad that the author was brave enough to share some of her own experiences as she explains in the Author’s Notes at the back. I’m not certain why I’m not giving this 5 stars because it’s definitely something I’d slip to a friend with similar troubles, hoping it would help them in some way.
eBook received for review courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company....more
In this installment we discover the consequences of the unsupervised actions of the autopilot versions of Paul and Dallas in Bermuda before their bodies/psyches were reintegrated, making for hilarious reading. I can say 'hilarious' since it turned out all right in the end. Dallas and Paul are so sweet together. The former worrying over his subconscious greed, the latter trying to figure out if they'd hooked up, and them both obsessing over each other.
You know, I had to up the star rating on the last one to 5 stars because it was so awesome. I find it so hard to discern "I love it, I love it!" and "I love it!", a frequent problem I have with books by JCP.
"I need to buy more gold!" Seriously, that was my first thought upon finishing You Slay Me. It's a fun, entertaining read. Yes, it had some ridiculous"I need to buy more gold!" Seriously, that was my first thought upon finishing You Slay Me. It's a fun, entertaining read. Yes, it had some ridiculously silly moments but I went in knowing what I was getting into so I didn't mind. It brightened my day and that's all I required from it. The sequel, Fire Me Up will be read very soon!...more
I picked up this book to see if I was in a reading funk or if Feed was just hard to get into. Turns out it was the latter because once I picked up thiI picked up this book to see if I was in a reading funk or if Feed was just hard to get into. Turns out it was the latter because once I picked up this baby I didn't wanna put it down. For sheer readability and level of enjoyment I wanted to give this book 5 stars but I have to acknowledge Hunting Lila's potentially overlookable flaws.
1) Lila's trusting nature. Her age explains this but the strangers she trusted could've so easily been feeding her lies in order to manipulate her, and honestly in the real world they would've most likely been the bad guys. She was very, very lucky. Too lucky, really.
2) The reciprocated love. Tricky, so tricky. How to make this seem like real love when Lila is 5 months shy of 18 and Alex in his early 20s? I was trying to figure out which country's sex laws we were playing under -age of consent in England is 16 and the US mostly 18. Legal in one country -the home Lila ran from, and illegal in the US -the "home" she ran to. Although they'd grown up together this is the first time they've seen each other in 3 years, along with her brother. Alex says he fell for Lila when he first saw her again, he can't say he's been holding a torch for her (that would be wrong, right? *paedophile alarm bells*) as she has done but it's clear he cares deeply for her.
Anyway, it was fairly easy for me to ignore these relatively minor faults in the scheme of things. It was sweet, funny and engrossing but not terribly deep and meaningful, just harmless sugar-coated candy floss. Charming little details like being unused to using her arms because Lila was relying too heavily on her telekinesis, her fear of telling her brother the truth about her ability and Alex's calm protectiveness, helped me enjoy this. I was gripped by the action, by the will-they-or-won't-they, and the (sometimes unexpectedly) endearing characters, until the end and I briefly bitched about the next book coming out in August.
I also now understand why the cover looks the way it does because on first inspection it didn't look like much but it has meaning and is not just a random image. It reflects an exact point in time during the book perfectly when everything changed for Lila & Co.
Lila reminded me what it felt like to be a teenager again without me wanting to beat her head into the ground for being stupid and annoying but I do think there is a danger Losing Lila could descend into unbearable angsty territory though I hope it doesn't. ...more
Whether you believe climate change is man-made or not is immaterial, the point is it exists inside this book.Dark Life, The Little Mermaid in reverse.
Whether you believe climate change is man-made or not is immaterial, the point is it exists inside this book. Anyway, uniquely set “Under the Sea” in a starkly plausible dystopian future with a plot which delves deeper into this unsettling world. Unfortunately, I could’ve done without the tacked-on romance.
Fish out of water, young Ariel Gemma meets Prince Eric Ty on her mission to find and join her long lost elder brother after they were separated in an orphanage years ago and is rumoured to be working in an underwater settlement. As a Topsider (a land resident) she’s blindly stumbling about unaware of the dangers of travelling alone. Ty becomes her guide as a lifelong subsea resident and as the only teenager in the still growing marine community he’s eager to spend time with someone his own age by showing her around his world.
We learn Earth is in a warm stage; icecaps have melted, sea levels have risen and large swathes of low-lying land are underwater. Space is limited. Privacy is a luxury no one can afford until the advent of Liquigen bringing with it the ability to breathe underwater and withstand the pressure, and the development of underwater settlements which farm much needed food for those left on land.
One problem, the prejudiced attitudes towards those who’ve chosen this new lifestyle. Rumours abound about what living down there does to you. People believe prolonged submergence will lead to the development of abnormal abilities and have labelled people with them Dark Life, though no one has actually owned up to having these powers. On top of this, pirates are plaguing supply vessels to and from land putting underwater residents on edge.
The world-building is amazing. The exotic fish, the fear of sharks, the inventive underwater architecture, bubble fences etc. It’s wonderfully imaginative.
I have one bone to pick with Dark Life and it revolves around the topics of gender and romance.
“Ty collected all of it himself.” ~ page 66
The protagonist is male? This gender reveal isn’t intentional. It plays no part in the plot. I had no idea. I assumed Ty was female and we were in for a rare treat. Two girls join up for a death-defying adventure. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ty was originally female and the author was instructed to change that and make him “Kiss the Girl” in order to make this baby more marketable.
Ty didn’t feel male. His interaction with Gemma didn’t say male-female relationship. Some effort was made later to masculinise Ty but I didn’t fully believe it. Ty’s physical description beyond “I sparkle” (don’t worry there’s a perfectly legitimate reason for it -eating lots of luminescent fish) is also lacking.
These “Poor Unfortunate Souls” should not be forced together. They had little chemistry. I didn't like it. They were friends, we didn't need more.
So, terrific worldbuilding, not the best conspiracy plot but it successfully drew us further into this intriguing future scenario. Thin characters. Beyond her mission there isn’t much to Gemma other than her fascination with and envy of Ty’s life compared to her cramped packed-like-sardines love-deprived existence on land. Ty is more fleshed out as a collector of the artifacts he finds, with hopes and dreams.
If Liquigen is invented...Indian Ocean here I come! Warm waters for me. Not Atlantic or Pacific –positively arctic in comparison. Although I am a bit claustrophobic. Hmm. I'll give this series another shot, hoping the characters are better developed with the excellent world-building out of the way....more
Spider's Bite is pretty good, it stuttered in a few places especially in the first half but it got better. I initially thought Gin was a very hard womSpider's Bite is pretty good, it stuttered in a few places especially in the first half but it got better. I initially thought Gin was a very hard woman but then you begin to witness her emotions, that she can feel hurt and is still vulnerable despite the bulletproof ultra tough exterior. Plus, she has morals, rules she's not willing to break. Her targets are rarely saints and she doesn't touch kids or animals (pets). She's also very protective of those she cares about, only a handful of people.
There was some repetition, mostly eye colour but I saw it as symbolic. Gin's grey eyes are jaded they say she's death, cold and calculating whereas Caine's gold ones are full of life, passion and dare I say purity?
I all ready want to step in and referee the relationship between Gin and Caine. They need to spill their guts to each other: Gin about Caine's dead partner and the morality in her profession and Caine needs to loosen up a bit and encourage Gin to spew.
I saw the ending coming a mile away, no body = not dead in my book, I like definitive proof. It was implied that Mab is responsible which is understandable since Mab is the big bad, a mob boss sort of character and unofficial mayor of the town. Gin has that huge file on her for a time when she is able to take her out so I guess she'll be using that soon. I'll definitely be reading the sequel, Web of Lies when it comes out next month....more
A Secret Rage made for an uneasy listening experience, not just because of the graphic rape and its aftermath, but the misguided anti-racism and the sA Secret Rage made for an uneasy listening experience, not just because of the graphic rape and its aftermath, but the misguided anti-racism and the shaky writing, had I been reading, may have resulted in a DNF.
Narrator Johanna Parker made Nickie's fear and horror so convincing I struggled to remain calm and continue listening. The rapes and the effect it has on its victims and the Southern community were well done, though you really can't definitively tell someone's skin colour from their voice despite Nickie and Barbara's assertion that you can, marking their rapist as white and not an N-word - that word used a couple of times.
Well, that's yet another of Charlaine Harris's protagonists to be unhappy and abused along with Sookie, Harper and Lily although this time she was an NYC model returning to the South and going back to college whereas the others tried to blend into the background whenever possible.
A Secret Rage doesn't possess all of the telltale qualities of a typical Harris novel, but as I understand it, this is one of the first books she'd ever written....more
In this second episode, we have alternating POVs between Dallas's (Mulder) first turbulence encounter on the way to Berm"This time, on The X-Files..."
In this second episode, we have alternating POVs between Dallas's (Mulder) first turbulence encounter on the way to Bermuda in the past and Paul's (Scully) present experience. By Price structuring it this way we get to know Dallas better, and we also see a few glimpses of what Marlin was like before he committed suicide at the very beginning of Into the Bermuda Triangle.
(view spoiler)[It turns out what's happening is the reverse of what I expected. (This is a good thing!) It's the flight crew and not the passengers who are tampered with. There's a Freudian split of their personalities into two different bodies: the wild id and ego on the normal plane of existence and the calm voice of reason of the superego on this unnerving, deserted plane.
Buffy fans, think of "The Replacement" episode when Xander was split in two: the strong confident one and the weak screw-up. Similar thing here.
Trivia: There really are two Xanders. Real life twins!
Anyway, we get to witness both versions. The crazy ids are wreckless with no inhibitions, they do anything they want while their other halves are forced to sit around, worry and wait until it's time for the return flight out, to be reintegrated when they hit the turbulence again. (hide spoiler)]
I must say, I'm intrigued by this unpredictable tale. 3.5 stars.
Onto the next episode, Red-Eye Dawn.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Once upon a time, a young naive princess unwittingly encounters a giant disembodied penis in her bed, poking her in the butt. She has no idea what itOnce upon a time, a young naive princess unwittingly encounters a giant disembodied penis in her bed, poking her in the butt. She has no idea what it is as she’s been kept in the dark about male anatomy and sex by her stubborn father, the king. All she knows is that she likes the way it feels...between her breasts and legs much to the shock/horror of her family. Moral: Sex Education is good. Forewarned is forearmed and all that.
Anyway, Prince Rupert hearing of her innocence and virtue begins to court the princess but all she wants to do is spend time with her penis. One kiss and the penis is now attached to a man –Prince Longwood of Shlongdia. Poor Rupert never had a chance against such large family jewels!
You can't help but laugh at the princess's hilarious descriptions and the aunts' knowing comments. ...more
Think back to that pilot episode when Gillian Anderson was frumpy and David Duchovny was still cute, when everyone believedCue The X-Files theme tune.
Think back to that pilot episode when Gillian Anderson was frumpy and David Duchovny was still cute, when everyone believed Mulder to be just another nutty alien-enthusiast. That is, until Scully witnessed strange events for herself and her whole world view changes.
"The truth is out there."
The above reflects this first "episode" of Turbulence. First Officer Paul Conin is cast in the role of Scully, the newbie sceptic. Dallas, a flight attendant, is Mulder to Paul's Scully. And like Mulder & Scully, I fully expect these two to get it on. ;)
The first scene, detailing the suicide of the previous First Officer, is a bit confusing but I expect it will all slot into place later on. I look forward to learning more about what happens at the end. (view spoiler)[I wonder why the passengers are "taken" (if that's the correct term) and not the crew. And where do they go? (hide spoiler)]
Guess what I'm reading next? :D["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more