Showing posts from August, 2017

The Girl with All the Gifts

The Girl with All the Gifts M. R. Carey, 2014 Premise: Melanie goes to class with a group of other kids. She likes their teachers, one in particular. She learns a lot in class, but she doesn't learn why she and her classmates live in cells on the base, or why no one is allowed to touch them, or why they only eat once a week... This book suffered a little for me from expectations that were one hundred percent not the book's fault. I had heard a lot of hype about this book, but on reflection, I only knew two things about it - it's about a little girl who is a zombie, but she doesn't know it, and it was really popular. I extrapolated from there that it would be a psychological book, full of unreliable narration, twists, and theories. I thought it would be entirely or mostly from her perspective, that the adults around the character might not know what was going on, that there would be a slow-burn reveal, and maybe she was the beginning of an outbreak. It'

Patsy Walker, A.K.A Hellcat: Vol. 1: Hooked On A Feline, Vol. 2: Don't Stop Me-ow, Vol 3: Careless Whisker(s)

Patsy Walker, A.K.A Hellcat: Vol. 1: Hooked On A Feline, Vol. 2: Don't Stop Me-ow, Vol 3: Careless Whisker(s) Kate Leth, Brittney Williams, 2016, 2017 Premise: Patsy has been through a lot. She's been an Avenger. She's been to Hell. Now she just wants to figure out how to make enough money for rent, and help other people out along the way. Collects Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat #1-17 (complete run). Aww. Shelve this book next to Squirrel Girl, they're both great examples of friendly comics with diverse casts of interesting characters that deal with emotion and action without losing a sense of hope and camaraderie. Patsy Walker is a really interesting character in a meta sense. She was created as a teen humor comic that turned to romance as the characters aged. (There were many of these comics in the 40s and 50s; the Archie comics are nearly the only surviving example of the type.) A cameo in an superhero title established that the characters might exist in the

Final Girls

Final Girls Seanan McGuire, writing as Mira Grant, 2017 Premise: A new technology for completely immersive VR promises extremely effective therapy by causing the patient to feel as though they lived through a specific traumatic experience. A reporter is determined to determine whether it's a hoax. I've liked all of McGuire's novellas so far, and this didn't break the streak. It's interesting that this was released under her horror pen name; it does fit that paradigm. The world created by the VR technology is less intriguing than the magic and ghosts in Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day  and a lot less inventive than the world of Every Heart a Doorway  (which just won a Hugo!), but it's enjoyable nonetheless. This one is a tense, short thriller in which, after everything predictably goes wrong, the main characters are trapped in an unreal dream that is trying to really kill them. It's more compelling than most spins on this premise, partially because it

A Fire Upon the Deep

A Fire Upon the Deep Vernor Vinge, 1992 Hugo Winner - 1993 Premise: The galaxy is a big place, full of old civilizations, ancient powers, and ancient traps. What are the lives of two children and a librarian worth in all the universe? It took me a while to get through this book, and I'm not 100 percent sure what I think of it. I was thrown off at the start, as it takes a lot of pages to introduce all the characters, factions, and situations. I started expecting one kind of story and ended up in quite another. I think overall it's a good book, and an interesting one, but it's much more about world building than characters, so how much you enjoy that type of thing will probably dictate how much you enjoy this book. To be fair, the worldbuilding is really neat. It questions the breadth of consciousness that might be possible across a diverse and strange galaxy. The major alien races include one who is more or less a plant augmented by technology, and a race