Spoiler Alert: While The Night Bookmobile isn’t necessarily part of a series, this review is not spoiler free. To comment on the story I have found I cannot avoid spoilers. For those who are wondering, and would like to avoid spoilers, I loved The Night Bookmobile and would recommend it to those who love books, libraries, and graphic novels.
I’m a woman of science. While I have researched different religions and belief systems, I find myself firmly believing our bodies will decompose once we die and our ‘souls’ are the by-product of our body’s lively machinations; a construct wherein a soul will die out once our bodies give up the ghost, so to speak.
Naturally this belief leads to not believing an afterlife exists. The Night Bookmobile has made me want to believe in an afterlife. At the moment I am not excited about the prospect of death, but if an afterlife existed and it was the chance to become a librarian in The Library for the Night Bookmobile then I would be too excited for words. I’d have excitement about life and an excitement for death too, which would be sooner rather than later because I would probably hyperventilate over the prospect.
Excitement and wished for reality aside; The Night Bookmobile perplexed me. While I love the idea of a bookmobile collecting your written and read life, I think Lexi spends a detrimental amount of time focused on The Night Bookmobile. So much so her partner leaves her and she eventually kills herself. To make matters worse, when she finally becomes what she had been pursuing, the end result is she can’t read anymore!
I’m sure another reader would be more focused on how Lexi pissed her life away and then killed herself when The Night Bookmobile’s driver wouldn’t hire her, but I would like to focus on the act of reading for the moment. Imagine, here you are wandering around at night and you happen upon an awesome bus with your life’s read collection to date.
You come back the next night and there’s no bus. You become so obsessed with the bus you begin searching for it and when you can’t find it you begin reading voraciously. You read so voraciously that when you chance upon the bus again, the collection has grown exponentially. It gets to the point where your life’s read collection is beyond visual scope when you first enter the bus for the last time and when you go back home there’s books everywhere.
To a voracious reader I’m sure this sounds awesome. How could you be unhappy with being surrounded by books? Not only that, but The Night Bookmobile has fed your passion for reading so much it has taken over your life! Then you die and end up in a library… where reading is reserved for the living. Heaven and Hell mixed into one!
I’m not sure if it’s Lexi herself or if it’s my perception, but I felt the story was tinged with sadness throughout. Lexi had this wonderful passion for books, but underneath it was a passion for The Night Bookmobile and I think a bit of a daddy complex with the driver. She wanted his approval and to impress him with her reading material. She was willing to die for The Night Bookmobile. Isn’t that heartbreaking?
This leads to my perplexing feelings towards the story. I’m saddened, but have received a happy buzz at the same time! Lexi, to me, represents someone who ambles through life without ever reaching a point of contentment. It takes one thing to finally fulfil her, which she then strives to reach once again until her self-inflicted demise. I loved the concept and want a Night Bookmobile for myself, except with unread material included in the bus and the added bonus of continuing to read once you become a librarian. I love the concept so much I want to find out more about The Night Bookmobile and how the system works.
If you’re a reader, a book collector, and a lover of libraries then you might want to read The Night Bookmobile, especially if you are given to nostalgia and are a fan of graphic novels. It’s a short story, but I think the content makes it an emotionally lasting one. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
If you’re a reader like me you’ll begin reading a book without high expectations. It doesn’t matte...moreThis review was originally posted on Bookish Ardour.
If you’re a reader like me you’ll begin reading a book without high expectations. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read the author’s work before, or if you’ve been anticipating the current title’s release. You’ve read enough to know not to judge a book by the author’s previous work, or your previous reading history.
Personally I love to reign in my expectations so when I come across something awesome, the end-result-buzz leaves me cuckoo for hours (I tend to move on quickly). I’ve read Terra Whiteman’s The Antithesis series and loved it though, so trying to reign in expectations for her newest release has been difficult. It is even more difficult when you know there’s going to be tough female characters who can kick butt and you have a thing about armed women walking around in cool worn-out outfits (I’m a sucker for the Resident Evil movies). The cover cemented that image in my head, but knowing Meridian is a dystopian science-fiction based story made my imagination swoon with the possibilities.
My mind is still swooning with the possibilities after finishing the story. Meridian is a great mix of plot and character development. Neither aspect dominates, both work nicely together to further the story and fuel the imagination. What more could you want in a story? For starters you could ask for complex, with equal amounts of negative and positive traits, loveable characters. You could ask for easy to imagine cool gadgets, weapons, and technology even though the story is not in our time. You could ask for enough action scenes to get your blood pumping and to carry the momentum while there’s enough downtime to get to know the characters and give your pulse rate a break. You could probably also ask for adequate amounts of moral and religious conflicts without it becoming a heavy read.
I love these ingredients in stories, especially when the social and political aspects are so thwart with arrogance and control. It’s a great way to mess with characters, giving them opportunity for struggle under their developed hard edges, while giving readers an extra reason to root for whomever they choose. I’m rooting for all the characters myself and I’m not sure why. It might just be because I want positive outcomes, but it could also be how the characters are presented. Terra Whiteman has an excellent way of writing characters to make them robust, their morals are never black and white, and I can’t help wanting to adore all of them. I especially love Mercy and Corvis, but I also loved the characters in the prologue and that’s just the prologue!
I can’t pinpoint anything I disliked about Meridian. Obviously I loved the story and the characters, but it also reminded me of great games I’ve played, awesome movies I’ve watched, and yet it didn’t give the impression of copying any other story. Maybe deep down I really want this story to become a game too so I can play it and have more time with the characters… Instead I’ll settle with re-reading Meridian while I patiently wait for the sequel.(less)
Star Wench is awesome, and fun, and a little disturbing. As a kid I went through a read your own adventure phase and loved them so much that as an adu...moreStar Wench is awesome, and fun, and a little disturbing. As a kid I went through a read your own adventure phase and loved them so much that as an adult I bought several of them. So when I was approached to check out Star Wench, a choose your own death adventure book, I had to check it out.
I’m not disapointed that’s for sure. Unlike the choose your own adventure idea, you pick a page at random instead of any type of choice or linear storyline and every scene leading up to the character’s demise is in one page. I did find it slightly jarring to first begin a page as there wasn’t a set-up to it, I didn’t know how the character got there, or who the character is really, but after a few pages I started to settle into the idea and when you read enough of it the character of Star Wench comes out in the different endings.
I really like how each ‘story’ is in one page and sometimes accompanied by a picture. I love the art work and having the images both enhances the story and adds to the fun. They’re quirky at times, as is the whole concept, and I love quirky. Seeing a scene fill only one page, well with what I’ve read so far, makes me appreciate not only creativity, but the ability to make sure that particular scene fits without coming across as condensed.
What makes it even better though? I got the queen! It didn’t take long either and I think I might just have to go click on some more pages. If you want a fun experience, whether you like sci-fi or not, Star Wench is pretty fun and something different to entertain you.(less)
I’ve never really been interested in mermaids. Mermaid tales and myths haven’t been something to ho...moreYou can find this review and more at Bookish Ardour
I’ve never really been interested in mermaids. Mermaid tales and myths haven’t been something to hold my attention for very long, but after reading The Undrowned Child and now Ciye Cho’s Florence, I’m starting to reconsider. I’m not only seeing mermaids in a whole different light, but I’m beginning to enjoy them. I’m not curious about where mermaids come from in general (dugongs, it’s just too easy), but I find my interest piqued when it comes to Cho’s mermaids, their origins, and their culture. I want more mermaids!
It’s probably easy to tell right now that I’m quite taken with Florence. I have lost sleep over this book. Much. Needed. Sleep. One night I woke up with a low blood sugar and, even though I find it hard to focus during them, low blood sugars aren’t a pleasant experience, and it was 3am, I found myself contemplating it as an opportunity. I decided no matter how my blood sugar was making me feel I would squeeze in a chapter. An hour later I went to bed. It can take as little as ten minutes to recover from a blood sugar and yet I was going back to sleep at 4am… what does that tell you?
From the first line until the last I was entertained. After a forced interval from reading, whether it was a break of an hour or a day off with other plans, I found myself instantly engaged whenever I came back to the story. The characters, on top of the imagery, made this effortless to do. The main character, Florence, is easy to relate to. She’s the outcast, but she doesn’t wear on one’s nerves. I think there is a fine line between a character being a relatable, likeable outcast and going to the point of being needy and frustrating. Florence is definitely not the latter. She has a very clear, strong voice and her interactions with the rest of the characters are fun, exciting, and sometimes thrilling to read. I think all the characters are very well rounded, fleshed out, and distinct.
I’m not completely surprised by how vivid and colourful the world of Niemala, the home of Cho’s mermaids, is thanks to having read Shiewo, but I was still thoroughly impressed with the imagery. If someone came along and created a movie adaptation of Florence, it would be something I would decide to watch without hesitation and not just for the story. I’m sure Cho’s world of Niemala would make for a beautiful visual display. The colourful descriptions; sometimes it makes it seem as though the world is being painted as you read. The descriptions aren’t overcomplicated and yet there’s a vibrancy and lushness added to the scenery. Niemala is a place I want to visit.
It’s hard to make me forget I’m reading something someone has written. For the majority of Florence I found myself forgetting and I’m really quite grateful for that. When you lose that ability to forget and immerse most of the time, the stories that make you achieve that mix again hold a special place. Florence holds a special place for me and I’m so glad I didn’t let the idea of mermaids turn me away.(less)
This is the second book I’ve read, also the second book published, by Corie J. Weaver. The first being Coyote’s Daughter and, as with Coyote’s Daught...moreThis is the second book I’ve read, also the second book published, by Corie J. Weaver. The first being Coyote’s Daughter and, as with Coyote’s Daughter, Bear’s Heart is a quick read with likeable characters, an interesting setting, and deeper messages.
Unlike Coyote’s Daughter however, I didn’t eat it up as quickly as the first, but I still felt the need to read Bear’s Heart. I put this down to the language. It’s not completely different, but Bear Girl comes from an alternate world and of course her culture and how she speaks will be reflected in how the story is worded. In a way this is a good thing because it gives you more of a feeling of where she comes from and the differences between our world and hers. By the end of it though, regardless of language and wording (I want to add here too that it’s not a huge difference. When I mention language and wording, it’s not going crazy like The Lord of the Rings for instance, not even a quarter of that, but it is a subtle difference that does colour perception), I was very taken by the story of Bear Girl’s adventure and her people’s plight.
I found it refreshing and intriguing to be able to follow a story from Bear Girl’s perspective. I enjoyed Maggie’s view (from Coyote’s Daughter) and seeing the world through her eyes in the first book, but Bear Girl piqued my interest and I wanted to know more about her, her way of living, and more about the world around her. I wasn’t disappointed and now it happens that I want to learn more about other characters, mostly Jack, from their point of view. Going from Coyote’s Daughter to Bear’s Heart makes me wonder what the next one, I’m hoping there’s a next one, will be and I’m actually crossing my fingers for a Jack book. I won’t say any more on the Jack subject in case I give too much away, but I’m sure if you’ve read Coyote’s Daughter (or decide to pick it up), you’ll be curious about him too.
When it comes to reading audiences, although Bear’s Heart is young adult fiction, I would say it’s more of the middle grade tip of the YA scale. That’s not something to be turned off by if you’re an adult, Harry Potter started out as MG material and look where that went. I feel it’s important to note Bear’s Heart is far more toned down compared to a lot of YA out there. I believe this is another reason I enjoyed it so much, for the fact the story is young adult fantasy, but without the love plots and extra complications that a few years in age will bring. Instead, what I picked up from it, were characters struggling with identity and the acceptance of youth growing up.
Another aspect of Bear’s Heart I’m fond of, and is something I feel can set it apart from a lot of YA fantasy, is the theme and what it borrows from. The fantasy is a unique one in it takes a lot from Native Americans myths and history, set in the area of New Mexico. It’s a refreshing theme to a well-read genre and I liked being able to get more of a sense of the region, including mythology, even if it was centred around invading forces and one culture being dominated by another. I found the way of how this was incorporated into the story as a great means to not only engage the reader, but when it comes to a younger age especially, to perhaps create a way for the reader to sympathise and understand certain implications people suffered through (and still do) when it comes to invasion.
I think it’s safe to say that Weaver’s stories leave me with a fuzzy, happy feeling by their end. I feel it’s quite appropriate that Corie’s surname is Weaver and would definitely recommend both her books for those who love the ease with which you can read a YA fiction and enjoy fantasy, but with a difference.(less)
Fourth Degree Freedom is a good book to read on the weekend, or any day you have ‘...moreYou can also find this review, along with others, at Bookish Ardour.
Fourth Degree Freedom is a good book to read on the weekend, or any day you have ‘free’ and you don’t have much time, but really feel like reading. At 41 pages, it’s a collection of five short stories. The stories showcase a talent that can cross genres, including dystopia, general, on the verge of supernatural, and mystery fiction.
The first story, Thank You For Calling, I was immersed in, but not completely taken with. I think that’s mainly because it wasn’t my type of story. It’s about a woman stuck in a job she doesn’t want to be in, trying to survive day-to-day life, and find something better.
While I wasn’t too fussed on the first one, I thought it was a good example of showing off the writer’s talents. It was easy to be carried away with the tale, get to know the character, and feel something, all within the short span of pages it took up.
The second story, titled The Event, was more interesting for me because it had a dystopian feel and is one I would love to read as a longer story. I would really like to know what the motives were behind the event in the narrative and the history behind the whole society. There was a moment there where I had a ‘woah’ reaction, as with quite a few dystopian stories, short or otherwise, there’s a scenario that’s not nice and can make you question how sick that society is.
The third one, Fourth Degree Freedom, was bittersweet and is also the one verging on supernatural. This story is more a case of loving the ending as I feel the ending makes it. Actually, I think in this case it might be the ending and the beginning. The middle holds it’s own, but sometimes there’s certain parts to the story that stand out and for me it was the start and finish.
The fourth one, The Last Six Miles, was probably the longest and more general fiction. I get the impression it’s about moving on, taking charge of your life, and doing something for yourself to create your own freedom. While not really my style of story, as it was with the first, it was easy to be swept away with the tale and feel for the character.
The final story, She Floats, is probably my second favourite after The Event. It’s also the shortest, but I think it holds a lot of impact. To me it’s the right sort of culmination to this collection with a message of live to it. And of course it’s also one I would love as a longer story. I think it has the appeal and the possibility to be one and it’s just my kind of sick crime scenario in entertainment.
All these stories, besides being about choices and what the notion of freedom is, have a great character work-up in the sense of being able to draw the reader in and connect them within a few pages. Libby Heily has not only put together narratives with a deeper message that all fit together, but she’s really been able to bring her talent forth through her words and because of that I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.(less)
I could not refuse reading Farsighted when I came across it and not just because Emlyn...moreYou can find this review, along with others, at Bookish Ardour.
I could not refuse reading Farsighted when I came across it and not just because Emlyn Chand is such a nice lady. How often do you find yourself coming across a story with all the elements that would attract you in the first place, in this case young adult paranormal themes, and told from the perspective of a character who is vision impaired?
For me I can say not often. I put it in the ‘Hmm should you touch that?’ basket, well when the author herself is not visually impaired that is, along with other uniquely personal conditions. And I’m glad Emlyn Chand decided to go there, but I don’t feel I can remark on how well she captured the perspective so I won’t. What I found really interesting was from the writer’s side of things.
Think about when you begin to read a book; what comes up and is expected in the beginning or close to? Descriptions. Physical descriptions of what people look like. Of course physical descriptions of that kind aren’t going to be present in a first person story narrated by someone who is visually impaired. It’s funny because I knew the character couldn’t see visually, but I still had to remind myself in the beginning why there were no physical descriptions of the people Alex came across.
It was enough to reinforce how much we can take sight for granted, including in written form, and how much we can rely on it to distinguish between one person and another. A character is physically described as burley or lanky, you’ve already got an idea of what type of character they may end up being. Our perceptions of how a character will be have been shaped over years and years of entertainment stereotypes and clichés.
But that’s entering into another argument there.
The point I’m going for here, before I digressed, is Chand has used a technique that she’s pulled off really well. Is it a never-used technique, no I don’t believe so. Is it a unique technique? I think in some ways it is because what a lot of readers have come to expect in writing standards is not something that will be present in a first person story narrated by someone who is visually impaired.
Instead we get smells and sounds, beginning with grass, which I loved. Everyone has their own unique odour and if you pay far closer attention than I did, instead of just being swept away, the different smells Alex shares with us might give you some clues as to what is going on.
There’s also the timbre of people’s voices, the music they create vocally, and the sounds that accompany them when they move or enter a room. Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes it’s easy to forget how much we can identify without the aide of vision. Farsighted brings that to your attention and I loved how the descriptions were utilised to show it. I love the use of other senses instead of relying on visual aspects of everything and how the former can create a picture for you regardless.
One of the best things about this perspective, instead of challenging writing, is the opportunity it presents with having far less emphasis on a person’s visual description. There were no ‘hot’ or ‘beautiful people’ comparisons between groups and characters. I found this very refreshing and I feel it helped to focus on Alex’s ideas and what’s going on in his head without the extra mess of cliques.
As for the story, I didn’t want it to end. When it did it took me a moment to realise that it had, followed by a second of disappointment, before I discovered there’s a sequel on the way.
I adore this story. There’s people with gifts, people struggling, people who need help, and there’s conflict. All the basics you need woven into a well-written plot that can keep you guessing. The romance side of things doesn’t have a large emphasis and I’m not sure if it’s even there to begin with. The romance might be something that has to come about later on with a more subtle beginning. I’m fine with that because I’m not big on romance, but it will still be intriguing to see how it plays out. You can’t really avoid it as it is mixed up in how Alex reacts. That young man has some definite issues to deal with and not of the physical sort.
It was interesting the turn the story took. Alex becomes fixated on the good guys Vs bad guys cliché, possibly to the point of being blinded by it, and I think that turns me off his character somewhat. I actually found myself siding more and more with Dax, the nominated bad guy, before we even find out much about him and what he is up to. There’s that idea there of judging before understanding and not accepting the grey area, which added more dimension to Alex and his experiences. I don’t see Alex giving much a chance. He seems to be more bull-headed and wearing blinders than anything, making up his mind before having all the facts. At some point my impression is of him being an arrogant lose cannon with reactions that might lead to something else and knowing other readers love him has left me baffled to a degree.
I believe Farsighted is a great example of escapism that works as it took me away from all around me. These days I do find it hard to focus on reading when there are noises around me, it doesn’t matter if they’re in another room and are hushed, but it was quite easy to do so with Farsighted. The characters are realistic, they’re interesting, and I think the way Alex perceives them adds an element of mystery to everyone around him. This is definitely a story YA fantasy lovers should check out and I know I’m looking forward to the sequel, Open Heart.(less)
Take poetry, add Tim Burton, and you have awesome! OK, I might be bias because I love a lot of Tim Burton's creations even though I haven't watched al...moreTake poetry, add Tim Burton, and you have awesome! OK, I might be bias because I love a lot of Tim Burton's creations even though I haven't watched all of them, but it's hard not to once you get a taste of his art. Sure the poetry in this case isn’t complex, the stories are short, and the majority are thoroughly morbid as so many other readers would point out, but it's a fun book nonetheless and I'm glad I found it.
No matter how bad in taste some of the stories are and how many have children or babies with defects (like Robot Boy for instance), The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy is hilarious. Twisted, macabre, and just screwed up, I still found it funny and wonderful, while also being sad at times. I don't know what that says about me, but I also don't care.
These are some of the very non-cryptic titles to paint you more of a picture - The Boy with Nails in His Eyes, The Girl Who Turned into a Bed, Stain Boy, Jimmy The Hideous Penguin Boy and it pretty much goes on like that. Those titles state basically what does happen, but the pictures add to the stories by fleshing them out, and giving them some dimension. In some cases I think a lack of images would make the stories fall rather flat. Not that the tales by themselves wouldn’t express and evoke some sort of emotion completely, but it really is a case of two types of art complementing each other.
I think it goes without saying that a lot of Goths at heart and Tim Burton fans would get a kick out of this book, but I also believe it would make a quirky little collector's item to have on a book lover's bookshelf.(less)
What a pleasure Coyote’s Daughter was to read. Here is an example of why self-published authors should not be stigmatised and instead given a go. Stra...moreWhat a pleasure Coyote’s Daughter was to read. Here is an example of why self-published authors should not be stigmatised and instead given a go. Straight away I was appreciating several elements of the story; being able to see how well written grammar and sentence structure wise it was within the first few pages, being introduced to the main character Maggie and being able to glean an idea of her personality while the story was carried forward as opposed to pausing the narrative to introduce the character, having surroundings described without being inundated with detail. All of this was enough to sell the story to me and get me hooked within the first five pages.
It does help that I’m a sucker for folklore and mythology, especially with Spanish folklore, combined with modern world perspective. I love how the fantasy setting isn’t what’s now a cliché, such as Pict and Celtic backgrounds, and what I appreciated even more was the story took place mostly at her house, on this trail, around and in Ash’s village, but didn’t feel as though the story was restricted because of it.
Maggie is a likeable character and yes she is unhappy about her family moving, but I picked up more loneliness compared to resentment. In fact, the impression I have of Maggie is of someone who is very thoughtful, worrying about how her parents were feeling, and able to move on from negative feelings brought about by the move. It probably helps the other characters she meets are just as likeable and readable.
I enjoy reading collections of written work and art by a younger age bracket; that is kids and young adults. Call me a dork for it if you must, but I’...moreI enjoy reading collections of written work and art by a younger age bracket; that is kids and young adults. Call me a dork for it if you must, but I’m always moved, and it strikes a chord in me when I have the honour of reading the work of a young writer.
Deep Suburbia is a collection of poems, real life prose, and photography by a large range of ages, from seven at the youngest to around the age of 17. They range from work that is by people sharing and telling us a little about themselves to others who have some real talent with words and expression. That’s not to say that the former ones don’t leave an impression too. Regardless of whether the work is by someone who has a talent or doesn’t, they’re a kaleidoscope of opinions, backgrounds, and cultures that are emotive, colourful, insightful, perceptive, and thought provoking.
I know technically this isn’t my first angel themed novel seeing as I’ve already read Mercy and Exile by Rebecca Lim, but unlike that series that read...moreI know technically this isn’t my first angel themed novel seeing as I’ve already read Mercy and Exile by Rebecca Lim, but unlike that series that reads more like an internal psychological struggle, Angelfall is a post-apocalyptic story with quite a few angel appearances. I feel like this has been the first true angel themed story I’ve read in this new angel loving wave and I have to say, as far as angel themed stories go, this one is a great one to start with.
I really enjoyed it, not only for the whole post-apocalyptic theme, but because it’s not battering you with religion and the angels are on the sinister side. They’re invaders, akin to aliens invading humanity, and it’s similar to reading a story set in a war torn, post-apocalyptic setting, but this time with the bad guys being able to fly.
I also love that whilst there is a bit of admiration for aesthetics towards the main angel in this story, Penryn isn’t all doe-eyed and stupid over him. She realises he isn’t human, even when she has her moments of weakness when it comes to his beauty, and she still sees him as her enemy. Her main focus, to the end, is truly rescuing her sister and survival. Yet with that as her main focus, there is still a tantalising touch of romance to it, but not enough to distract her from her course or to overly complicate things more than they already are.
**spoiler alert** When I finish a book that I’m going to review, I usually try to write about it straight after so my thoughts are still fresh and I s...more**spoiler alert** When I finish a book that I’m going to review, I usually try to write about it straight after so my thoughts are still fresh and I still remember the feeling it left with me, but that wasn’t the case with Survivor. I’m still writing this review within a couple hours of finishing it, but I’m also procrastinating.
I finished reading Survivor and opted to potter around the house, do a little housework, and I admit I let out some discontented sighs every now and then because of the book… This sounds like I’m going in a negative direction doesn’t it? I’m not. It’s been awhile since I read a novel in part of a series or trilogy that left me wanting more; left me wanting more enough to lament reading it in the first place and ruing the decision not to wait till the next book!
I find Survivor, just like its predecessor, to be one of those books that are hard to put down, make you want to miss out on sleep, and get so sucked in to the character’s world that it can take awhile to come back again. The trilogy so far is, in short, addictive.
After the twist at the end of Chasers, and thankfully to a re-read just before I began Survivor, I was left saddened and wondering how Jesse was going to cope with not only his revelation, but being alone from then on. I was a little thrown by where he was when we first come across him because of where the previous book had left him and the idea of where he would be had taken a deep root into my brain, but it soon became clear what was going on and once again I was able to be sucked into his story.
The way Survivor is written gives you a chance to mourn and come to grips with the loss of his friends at the same time Jesse does, which is great because that revelation was quite the shell shocking kind if you didn’t see it coming.
When I picked up my copy of Random Magic I only had a vague idea of what to expect and that was pirates, magic, and fantasy. I got those three things...moreWhen I picked up my copy of Random Magic I only had a vague idea of what to expect and that was pirates, magic, and fantasy. I got those three things and more. Random Magic is what I like to call Alice Fantasy because it’s not exactly definable by genre, but at the same time comes across as being inspired by Alice in Wonderland; that sort of surreal setting where the world hasn’t the logic of our own reality, but a logic of the unreal, and is a story that will throw the unexpected at you and keep you thinking about it long after.
Although it is Alice inspired, Random Magic has its own merits, and is its own story. Alice from Alice in Wonderland does make an appearance and of course it’s something a reader is going to find memorable because Alice is so steeped in today’s pop culture and a memorable figure herself, but that doesn’t mean a story with an Alice feel is going to be about Alice (I can name one right off the top of my head, Resident Evil and I refer to the movie here, while not using the element of dreamscape, still has an Alice inspired element to it).
Straight away I found myself warming to Random Magic starting with the fact that it doesn’t use a dreamscape (such as Carroll did) to enter a world of magic and the unbelievable. There’s only so many dreamscapes or dreamworlds you should read in a lifetime, at least in my opinion, so you don’t get bored of them. Random Magic is also full of humour, warmth, curiosity, as well as being quite a playful story. At once it’s a fantasy world filled with magic, whilst other times it is also a light satirical of fairy tales, legends, and magic itself.
I think Eugenics, without any help or added extras, is a creepy subject to begin with; practice of it is a horror in itself. Human beings are usually...moreI think Eugenics, without any help or added extras, is a creepy subject to begin with; practice of it is a horror in itself. Human beings are usually influenced by their emotions and their belief systems, and I think Eugenics gives a human being too much capability, and excuse, to be a bigot. In my opinion, Eugenics can never be a practice without prejudice, and the idea of people in power practicing it is horrifying (Hitler is a great example of this). Eugenics is a great format to delve into issues of racism, ethics, morals, and belief systems, but the use of it as a horror story has been really well presented by Nickle. It’s been awhile since I have read a book at night time, which has left me feeling unsettled when I’m trying to go to sleep afterwards. Eutopia unsettled me whilst also wrapping me up in its story and having me enjoy it.
It’s set in the early 1900s when Eugenics was a favoured ideal at the time and I think the place and time is captured and conveyed really well via the way the characters interact and share their thoughts with us. And unlike other stories set in that time, it is not convoluted with the language of Victoriana. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Victorian settings and stories written and based in that time, but there are times when the language of it can come across as being a little too up itself and hard to digest. How easy it is to digest can have an impact on the pace of it. Eutopia, whilst still keeping in with Victorian language, isn’t overly verbose about it. I found this helped keep up the pace and suspense, a suspense that is subtle and smart, but not pretentious, in its delivery.