Touch of Power follows Avry, a healer on the run. After a large portion of the population is decimated by a plague, healers are blamed for the outbreak mainly due to a poorly worded missive released during the early stages of the outbreak that directed healers not to heal anyone with the plague because it was fatal to healers. Healers draw pain, wounds, and sickness from the bodies of others onto themselves, allowing their natural healing abilities to help them recover quicker than the normal person. Despite the fact that no one is no longer being infected by the plague years after the outbreak, healers are still hunted by impoverished communities for gold offered by the rulers. Avry finds herself in the middle of a political struggle after a group of men rescue her from certain death to help an ailing prince that she blames for many things that happened to her people but who may be the realm's only hope of salvation in this new ravished world.
The people who recommended this book to me weren't kidding when they said that the "zombies" in this story were very background. (Refer to this post.) In fact, I almost forgot there were supposed to be zombies in this book until the end when they were a peripheral threat. Overall, the story was a bit shallow, which means I found that I didn't invest much emotion into the characters or their world. I was disappointed that there was not much more to Avry other than to be the long-suffering healer who takes everything in stride without complaint. You'd think someone who took people's pain, illnesses, and injuries would express some discontent from time to time, especially when you consider she's the one who ends up bearing their scars. I did enjoy learning more about the healers and their powers, though, and the connection it forged between a healer and those she helped.
The other characters were essentially basic molds and forgettable, but you still kind of develop a soft spot for them. The love interest is one that's typical of the genre. You know, the asshole that the girl just can't help liking who turns into total mush near the end. The one, though, takes the cake. It's one thing to be an asshole. It's another to initially be an abusive asshole, and I refuse to try to explain away his actions earlier in the story. His logic is, "Yeah, I might've shackled you to a tree, starved you, and attempted to coerce you to do what I wanted by walking you to exhaustion while you're half-starved and freezing, but I saved you from jail and mercenaries. So, there's that. I'm not a bad guy, really. I love you. Love me." With that being said, the romance part of this book didn't overwhelm the story that Snyder was trying to tell. And I could've liked Kerrick in the end if he hadn't pulled that dick move in the beginning. Honestly, most of the men in this book seemed to have a "I do what I want, Thor!" mentality. And that's pretty meant you're going to do what they want whether through charm, force, or magic. Sometimes, this book was like reading about a bunch of 10-year-old boys.
The writing had a tendency to feel like it was skewed for a much younger audience despite Avry being on the older side of the young adult spectrum. At the same time, the story was allowed more adult moments since the characters are all in their twenties, which did lead for some non-graphic, sensual moments. Gabra Zackman was a solid narrator. The only thing that really irked me about it was the voices she used for the male characters. She sounded a bit stilted and awkward while trying to voice them. However, this was an okay story. I dare say it's good even if it sounds like I hated. The writing is tight, and I thought the last half of the book was much more engaging than the beginning which is largely why this got at least three stars. If I'd just based my rating on the last half of the book, I could've given it 4 stars. I did actually start to care more toward the end and was sad that the feeling I had during the last half of the book hadn't translated to the whole book and then, it was over. I tend to be overly critical of anything that categorizes itself as speculative YA, so my opinion is to be taken with a grain of salt. I think that most people who typically enjoy YA of this variety will be mostly pleased with this because there's much here to enjoy especially during the second half. Despite being underwhelmed, I do still want to try Snyder's Poison Study. I'm still trying to decide if I want to continue with this series or not....more
3.5 stars. I would've never thought that one of my favorite wrestlers fought as hard as CJ during his formidable years in the WWE. You couldn't tell m3.5 stars. I would've never thought that one of my favorite wrestlers fought as hard as CJ during his formidable years in the WWE. You couldn't tell me that Chris Jericho wasn't a rock star, so it was sobering to read how much of his career was an uphill battle that he sometimes stumbled on, but never gave up on. I have some little annoyances with this, but overall an interesting follow up. It makes me nostalgic for the Attitude Era in wrestling. ...more
I started really watching wrestling in late 2000 during the Attitude Era when I started dating my boyfriend (now husband) at the time. We were young cI started really watching wrestling in late 2000 during the Attitude Era when I started dating my boyfriend (now husband) at the time. We were young college kids. Up to that point, I'd only glimpsed wrestling on television. I had a cousin who was big fan of wrestling when we were kids and was convinced that she was going to marry Shawn Michaels. She talked nonstop about him. I knew a little about NWO and Goldberg, but that was the extent of my knowledge. When I started watching wrestling, I was solely watching the WWE product. I was immediately taken by characters like Lita and The Rock. I didn't even give the WCW brand a glance. I was so invested in the stories the WWE was telling that it never even crossed my mind to give the other guys a chance.
On my birthday in 2001, Vince made the announcement on RAW that he'd acquired WCW. I still didn't really know who Eric Bischoff was at that point. However, I started going back, watching old matches and shows from both products. I wanted to know the history of wrestling and its players. I blame my love of history and needing to know the history of things for this. I've always thought that Eric Bischoff was a great heel character once I learned about him, and I never hated the guy. I understand why he is a polarizing character, but I never despised him or felt the same level of antipathy that many fans have for him.
I recently watched every episode of Monday Night Wars on the WWE Network, which was fascinating. A fellow wrestling friend gifted me with a few wrestling memoirs to check out after we had some long discussions about the rivalry between the WWE and WCW (Bischoff says it was less a rivalry and more a "rout" during the weeks they reigned supreme). Controversy Creates Cash was one of the books in this treasure trove. Eric Bischoff's book focuses more on the business side of wrestling rather than wrestling. Bischoff was a businessman, and it makes sense that his book focused on the backstage politics and troubles. He does talk about his younger years and other failed ventures that he tried in the beginning, and he jumps around quite a bit on various subjects. Some of these sections felt a bit like filler and unnecessary, especially since they lacked buildup, but perhaps there was a connection that I was missing between these scenes.
Bischoff gives entirely too much book time to his dislike of internet wrestling sites. Mentioning them once or twice would've sufficed. Often his thoughts are mentioned as asides when he discusses certain changes he made or ideas he incorporated and how wrestling sites misconstrued the intent behind these things. He even goes as far as to make disparaging remarks about how these people must be losers in real life. In a portion of his book he accuses Missy Hyatt of being catty, but his own remarks about "dirtsheets" and some of the talent/backstage employees show that he is equally as catty and political as they are. I found it particularly hilarious that he singled out Dave Meltzer who runs Wrestling Observer, accusing his paid newsletter of being unedited trash that seemed written by a 5th grader when this book was pretty terribly edited. Even in the lines about Meltzer, the word "wrestler" is spelled wrong. There's some irony there.
Eric Bischoff accuses other wrestling memoirs of being revisionist history meant to paint the author in a more favorable light. However, no matter how straightforward Bischoff believes his own narrative is, he falls into that category as well, seeming to bathe himself in a softer narrative as suits him. Anyone who's ever watched any documentary that Bischoff has been part of, especially the ones centered around the Monday Night Wars, is hardly fooled by this kinder, gentler Bischoff he tried to sell in this book. It's interesting to see how Bischoff's memories of events differ from how the other players view the events. Such as how he felt the WCW did great things with its cruiserweight division versus how people like Chris Jericho (who was part of this cruiserweight push) view those same events, which are often memories filled with frustration on their part.
However, despite the mixed feelings I had about Bischoff's account of things, I can't say that this book isn't compelling. Bischoff admits that during that time he lacked insight and didn't think about the bigger picture of some of his ideas and changes. Reading his version of some events prove there still is some lack of insight on his part. Eric talks about Paul Heyman and how he felt that Heyman was so full of shit that he believed his own delusions. That felt like the pot calling the kettle black. Bischoff seems locked in his own mind in portions of this story, choosing to believe his version of events. Do I think Eric Bischoff was the death of WCW? No, I don't. I think he got caught in the whirlwind that is business politics and was dragged along to an inevitable end. I think his assessment of the business side of wrestling as far as perceptions and the problems faced being part of a corporation like Turner/Time Warner are probably the most honest parts of this memoir....more
Originally published in 1988, Alien Child is a young adult book that follows a human girl named Nita who is being raiMore reviews @ The BiblioSanctum.
Originally published in 1988, Alien Child is a young adult book that follows a human girl named Nita who is being raised by a catlike creature, Llipel, in the remains of a medical institute. Llipel’s companion, Llare, stays holed away from them in another part of the institute that she’s not allowed to access. Nita begins to believe that she’s the last surviving human on Earth as she learns more about what happened to the rest of humanity and how she, a human girl, came to exist in a world where humans no longer roam. Then, she discovers that Llare is actually raising a human boy of the same age named Sven.
This book seems typical fare for young adult books published during the 80s and 90s. I think if I’d read this as a kid, I probably would’ve liked it more. Reading it as an adult, it was a conceptually interesting read, but not the most compelling read. It felt a bit too juvenile, even for my tastes. This skews toward the younger side of young adult. We meet Nita when she’s young and follow her to her fifteenth year, and this book focuses on the issues that she goes through as she ages from precocious child to puberty. These issues are handled in ways that a child would relate to them and not in a way that could be seen as gross or inappropriate, except for maybe one scene between Nita and Sven.
The science fiction aspect of the story is where things get a little atypical. This book explores themes such as “nature vs. nuture.” It questions how would a human child behave if raised by a being that didn’t have an innate curiosity about things, who believed that all answers come in due time. As a mom of two, I could definitely see a human child being overly curious as Nita was, despite having a guardian who was cautious and patient. Honestly, I didn’t think Sargent addressed this as well as she could have. Nita didn’t really seem that much different from a child who hasn’t been raised in isolation, and she took to many things much better than you’d expect.
Sargent did a better job trying to explain the horrors of humanity to the children and what led to their destruction, questioning whether humans were even a race worth saving once the children had full knowledge of their heritage. It might not explore this as deeply as my adult mind would like, but keeping the age group this is aimed toward in mind, this is a great way to start challenging their ideas, especially what they feel the fate of humanity should be after learning something pivotal later in the story.
Twelve-year-old me probably would’ve lapped this story up, and I think it probably would be great for kids as an introduction to science fiction and perhaps as a starting point for some of those uncomfortable conversations parents eventually have to have with their kids but are not quite sure how to get there. Adult me thought this was an okay story, but can still see why this is considered a classic and brings out nostalgia among old science fiction fans....more