Here we learn that last volume's triumphant showdown with Lilith didn't solve much of anything, and there seems to be a serial killer at work as well.Here we learn that last volume's triumphant showdown with Lilith didn't solve much of anything, and there seems to be a serial killer at work as well. We also learn that Rachel learned some incredibly powerful magic from Lilith, back in the day. Plus, Zoe's darkness grows more delightful. The ending, though, is pretty ambiguous. Where is it going to go from here? Only one thing is really clear. There is a lot more to come. ...more
I got hooked on Wilson with Robopocalypse, and was excited to see Robogenesis on the shelves. At the time it was only in hardback, and I decided to waI got hooked on Wilson with Robopocalypse, and was excited to see Robogenesis on the shelves. At the time it was only in hardback, and I decided to wait for the paperback so my books would match. But in the meantime, I tided myself over with Amped.
Set in a near-future when brain implants are being used to treat a variety of medical needs, the presence of some elective users, especially a handful of military enhancements, causes serious public concern that is incubated into paranoia by a senator who is very shades of Senator Kelly from X-Men. There is a moment where public fear is whipped into such a frenzy that "amped" individuals are stripped of legal rights -- and the fictionalized court and legal documents interspersed in the text were painful to read.
The descriptions of the amps, how they work and how they were rolled out felt plausible and were very interesting. I am tempted to call this hard science fiction, but am not sure if it really qualifies. The characters could have had a little more depth, been a little more unexpected, but that's not ultimately what you pick up a story like this for.
You come t a story like this to see your country, your world, face a dystopic future and then shake it off. To see people confront their fears, and then even if they get lost in them for a while, to ultimately reject being ruled by them. To side with our better nature and affirm the humanity of all people. Even those who scare us. That Wilson delivers.
Amped lacks the Native American influences of Robopocalypse but Amped takes us to Oklahoma trailer parks and construction sites. It's refreshing to have a battle for America's soul that isn't all played out on one of the coasts....more
Frivolous, fluffy, superhero fun. Three giddy story arcs. #1 -- Chewie (Carol's cat) really is a flerkin and finally lays her eggs. #2 -- Carol &Frivolous, fluffy, superhero fun. Three giddy story arcs. #1 -- Chewie (Carol's cat) really is a flerkin and finally lays her eggs. #2 -- Carol & Tic meet a galaxy-crossing teleporting super-pop star who sort of accidentally is betrothed to a prince on some backward sort-of-reverse sexist planet, and #3 -- Carol shows up in NYC just in time for a Christmas-themed showdown with her self-appointed nemesis, Grace, with a side story of Spider-Woman having to confront her fear of vermin.
The verging on excessive lightness of the whole collection plus some super vague and questionable hand-waving in the Santa bit are all forgivable because a) Spider-Woman, b) Chewie bonding with Rocket. So, some weaknesses along the way, but enough fun to compensate. ...more
I have been lingering over this book on the Melville House webpage for ages. It sounded fascinating, but it also sounded like there was some serious pI have been lingering over this book on the Melville House webpage for ages. It sounded fascinating, but it also sounded like there was some serious potential for turning out to be some pretentious hipster "edgy" lad lit. So I hedged, and put off, until I was at the library and ended up with the book in my hand. What did I have to lose at that point, right?
I actually spent most of the book straddling that fence of "I'm really going to like this," and "this is all going to turn out to be such a huge disappointment," For a book about The Weirdness, it's really a lot about cliches -- deals with the devil, struggling young writers in the city, Chinese lucky cats. But he's playing with these cliches: the devil loves Powerpoint, the Chinese lucky cat is a perpetual motion machine that will bring about the heat-death of the universe (very quickly), the writer is a spoiler!spoiler!spoiler! Are these twists Bushnell puts on things playful enough to unroot them from the ordinary? I suspect your mileage may vary. For me it was touch and go. The story is moving along and feeling kind of familiar, like I've read just this kind of story before, and I can feel the balloon falling, and then Billy says, "Lucifer Morningstar? What is that, your World of Warcraft name?" and I'm laughing and the balloon is up in the air again. This whole book I was holding my breath, waiting for the balloon to pop. (This metaphor establishes that I may have seen the movie Jeffrey a few too many times.) Until the final conflict and its deus ex machina (but not the one you think) when I was finally about to laughingly let out my breath and pat this little lucky cat on its head.
There are a lot of clever laugh out loud moments. I'm tempted to read through this book again right now to enjoy it without that sense of withheld judgement. But book bingo beckons! Progress must be made!...more
So much has been said about this slim but devastating novel, what remains to be said? It is a novel about war certainly, but also about complexity, ceSo much has been said about this slim but devastating novel, what remains to be said? It is a novel about war certainly, but also about complexity, certainty, and culture. It's about being an outsider, about colonialism, "old" colonialisms of the English and French vs. the "new" colonialism of the Americans, but all of them self-proclaimed experts on the locals, who have, after all, no voice in any part of this novel.
Most notable about this book was the feeling of old war movies about Vietnam. I haven't seen either movie version of The Quiet American yet, (I'm letting a little more time pass, first), but the descriptions have combined in my mind with half-remembered scenes from other Vietnam movies, giving an extra vividness to my imagination.
I picked this up randomly at the library both out of the conviction that I need to read much more of Graham Greene, and also for book bingo's "Book that Became a Movie." A good book for oppressively muggy summer days. ...more
I picked up this book at the library thinking, "Hey, Tolstoy! A book from the 1800s!" (for book bingo). But it's not! But, as a trade-off for being onI picked up this book at the library thinking, "Hey, Tolstoy! A book from the 1800s!" (for book bingo). But it's not! But, as a trade-off for being one of Tolstoy's last books, it does serve as my second book by an author over the age of 65. Which I'll happily take.
This novella about a Chechen rebel is strangely relevant again. The things that I knew about Chechnya, present-day or in the time of this story, sum to approximately zero, so I spent a lot of time in the first dozen pages thumbing back and forth to the handy glossary in the back, which turned out to be a lot about clothes.
The deeper you get into this story, the more its brilliance is revealed. All the characterizations of all the people involved in Murat's story, all of them acting along their personal, selfish interests. Whether or not their actions end up benefitting Murat, or Russia, or Chechnya, they are all, in the end, perfectly self-centered. Yet the story is somehow empathetic with each of the characters, even as it makes clear the sometimes disastrous effects of their selfishness.