Tag Archive: book-1



Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1)

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What an adventure!

Fledgling was the last book I read by Octavia E. Butler. I liked that it had a different take and more diversity than many other ‘vampire’ book. So I wanted to see more by this author.

This book takes the apocalyptic point of view from the beginning of the end. Our main character is the daughter of a preacher. She is black but the color of her skin is not the point. She is a teenager in a protected community that suddenly isn’t. As a teen, she sees things her own way, not like her parents or anyone else. So it is a story of growing up in social, physical, and psychological chaos.

I have to admit to loving the story. I did get tired of the God Seed of her making against the biblical verses of her father. But it was her experience so I accepted it as the character point of view not preaching to the reader. This blended with her bringing together a group of people wandering up the California highway and byways while protecting each other and defending their rights to live in this new world.

Though the story leaves the reader in a safe place, not a cliffhanger, I feel the need to read the next and see what happens now that they have settled. My e-library had this one but not the next so I requested they get it.

It must be nice for black readers to have stories that reflect them. I’m not black but I would love to see diversity more often. As much as I am loving seeing female authors writing strong female characters, let’s see more of the female experience in other races and experiences. Maybe our future generations of people will have books written from all points of view encouraging the reading experience by all society! I’d love to read more about women who are in their sixties and seventies and older! Let’s make sure everyone gets to see the world from characters like them!

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If you read the above you will notice I used the prompt word ‘social’ a couple times. I was going to do two separate posts but computer issues prevented it. So this is a combo of Review and Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

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The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (The Road to Nowhere, #1)The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book kept me awake! I couldn’t stop reading. Meg Elison’s writing was engaging; the main character was believable and interesting. The plot was well thought out and much more plausible than zombie-apocalypse. It is a similar idea in that masses get sick and die, but no biters. It just sucks because a lot of people die. Mostly women and newborns. Again, it’s possible.

With that scenario, the story is told in many ways. There is a third-person point of view. Then the main character writes in her journal bringing it to first-person. Thrown in are chapters about other characters or even globally how others are dealing with a new world with very few women. And though I read this Kindle Unlimited version with Whispersynch to the Audible, I found myself READING as much as listening because even the fonts were different and interesting.

But without the narration by Angela Dawe, the book becomes less. Angela’s acting was flawless and added a lot to the story. I think this book is read best the way I did it as all the layers the author intended are there.

Though this was book one and you know there is more, there was no cliffhanger. You reach a natural somewhat comfortable ending. I was just excited to know there was more! I have already downloaded the Audible and Kindle Unlimited of book two. I can hardly wait to get to it!

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A Small World (Zombies! #1)A Small World by R.S. Merritt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Shreaking, fast running zombie. Yikes! At least they aren’t all skinny and slow. They have differences like the people they were before the virus. That’s my biggest complaint of The Walking Dead. If 70% of Americans are overweight, how would all the zombies become skinny? I’ll take that diet! LOL!

It isn’t the zombies that pull me into books about zombies. It is the survivors. You probably don’t get a choice who you spend the apocalypse with. Our ways of defining each other, style, size, shape, gender, age, etc., are wiped away. Good and bad show up. The good guy isn’t really when you put him against the zombies, the bad guy comes up with ways to save everyone. Moment by moment the apocalypse tests people. As I read/watch these kinds of stories I jump in and wonder how would I react, how would other people handle it all? Since the author gave us characters and their traits we are surprised and yet not at the reactions of trying to survive. I think there is a wisdom to how people can’t be enclosed in a box of what you think might happen. It is often the people that are scary, maybe more than the monsters.

In the above character arch, I find this book interesting. Mr. Merritt seemed to try and change things up to what you might expect in these kinds of situations. And he wrote the story in such a way that the reader doesn’t want to put the book away for the night.

BUT narratives that say Him and take me right out of the story. There were a few places an editor needed to be stronger. AND I’m not an editor! I usually don’t see oopsies. I get caught up in the story and rarely notice the problems. So if I see it, I am hesitant to recommend the book to my more astute friends.

My biggest problem is not finishing the book. Yep! Cliffhangers! HATE THEM!!! If I didn’t already have the next book from Kindle Unlimited (how I got this one) so I could move on I wouldn’t have moved on. If I had bought this, I would not buy the next!

By the way, are you being paid by Disney? It seems there are a lot of references along the way. I felt those rather out of the blue and weird. I suppose if the person is from Orlando, FL or Anaheim, CA, that would be a big part of your life, but most aren’t lucky enough to be near those, even in the apocalypse!

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Planetfall (Planetfall, #1)Planetfall by Emma Newman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Darn cliffhangers! I cannot wait until the library can get book two onto my Kindle Fire! That is the only reason I rated it four stars.

If you are a sci-fi fan like me, especially the kind that include space travel or new planets, you’ll love it, too. One of my friends recommended this to me and she is not wrong, this is my kind of book!

Ren is the main character. She has some personal issues but tries to stay professional. We aren’t sure what causes her to be the way she is. But we like her and follow her life on this planet. Other characters aren’t nearly as developed but don’t need to be. There are a couple of them that are not as nice or are too pushy but, hey, in any group of people there are going to be individuals who are not as accessible.

The science used in this book was fascinating. It all seems not only plausible but necessary if we are ever to explore other worlds.

What isn’t often explored in sci-fi are mental issues and how that could affect all on a new planet. And mental issues may not be there at the beginning when being processed towards being an astronaut but that doesn’t mean that issues won’t come about later to trigger individuals.

I love how issues like anxiety and depression and even hoarding are brought up. As we all know, the patient is the one that has to ask for help for help to be most effective. I seem to be making this sound clinical, it isn’t. It is exciting and kept me up reading far longer than I should. The excitement of a new planet and flora and fauna never seen before kept my interest until nearly sunrise a couple of nights.

I highly recommend this book. And as I said, I can’t wait for the next book to become available.

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Pulse (Pulse Effex #1)Pulse by L.R. Burkard
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

What if a solar EMP hit and all electronics, even in cars and landline phones stopped working and it was in the middle of one of our coldest winters? Good plot premise.

Three teen girls from the same clique at school can’t get to each other or school. Written in their points of view in their journals, first person. And not too much teen romantic angst.

Sounds like my kind of book.

If it had stayed with the above status I would have loved it.

It was a political anti-everyone that isn’t them propaganda. Gun carrying prolifers–only ours, no one else’s counts. Judgemental as all get out.

I believe the best Christians are humble and caring for others. No matter whether they think or look like me or not. ‘We are all made in the image of God.’ ‘Judge not lest ye be judged.’ ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ The christians in this book represent a lot of people who pick and choose which verses to preach believing it makes them more holy.

Stepping off my soapbox now. There were plenty of different scenarios in how folks are dealing with this new world. In real life right now, we are going through a very cold snowy winter so a lot is believable.

Hunger is the first and biggest problem in this story as there are no stores or ways to get food. As abhorrent as a lot of the book is, the writing is good and I didn’t throw it across the room because there are all kinds of people in this world and this story is from one kind of view.

Which is why I felt shooting that many people, thinking they were in the right and others who were hungry were wrong… was wrong.

What would I do if I lived through the situation our main characters were in? Is there a way as we prepare for such as this that we try to share our abundance. As we prepare we have to remember that our case of food is kept in our car or home and the catastrophe is an earthquake, volcano, or fire and that case of food is destroyed. When we are prepared but but end up the hungry ones, how would we like to be treated? I have rarely missed a meal. I can’t imagine being that cold, tired, and hungry.

Regardless of politics, I’m glad I read it. I won’t bother with the rest of the series. There are a lot better sci-fi’s to see the post-apocalypse through a more open-minded prep and love.

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The Royal Cleaner: Books 1-3The Royal Cleaner: Books 1-3 by L.C. Mawson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, this was fun. And different. It is because of the differences that I give it 5 instead of 4 stars.

This was an ARC that I begged to get to review. It didn’t let me down. I don’t know the author so I have nothing forcing the high rating. I liked it. A lot. In fact, I want to read it again. When you read using mostly text-to-speech it is easy to get lost. Luckily, the book was so well written that I wasn’t lost for long. Still, it wasn’t repetitive. Never boring.

There is a lot of magic. Some I wish I knew, including a dream visit situation I don’t want to ruin with spoilers. As if witch and demon relationship isn’t hard enough they are lesbian. Oh, wait, reverse that.

The romance isn’t overdone or overly codependent. What a relief! And though the main characters were fantasy beings their problems seemed human and real.

I loved Coraline but Mina and her daughter grabbed my heart.

Oh, for those that see the title and think it is about house-cleaning. Think Scandal from ABC Thursday line-up. Only not Washington D.C. The kingdom of magic. Kerry Washington would have fainted at the stuff these ladies had to deal with.

If you get the chance read this three in one book. I love reading all straight in a row like that.

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The Night of the Screaming Horses (Dead Air Season 1 Episode 1)The Night of the Screaming Horses by Gwenda Bond
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I finished this in a couple of hours. It was basically a short episode. Like a short story that ends with a bit of cliff-hanger. No. It was written well. It was a good idea but to only have one at a time available, this binger of shows and books wanted to throw my Fire across the room.

Like I said, I like the podcast idea. The podcaster had a great curiosity about a murder and used that sent the DJ out to explore the mystery. Though she seems a strong person, I felt the main character foolish. But I was game and read along hoping she would get satisfied in her search. But it ended before I felt it had a chance to even get started.

Maybe others will like this. I do seem to be in a minority in my need to read very long series. I like getting to know all the characters in depth and watch history in the making in fictional worlds.

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Serendipity (Southern Comfort, #1)Serendipity by Lisa Clark O’Neill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was an interesting story. What grabbed my attention was the main character, Ava, is a capable person who is out to protect others. She is a veterinarian after all.

There is romance. It gets a little bit too much for me. But it plays a part in the suspense and mystery.

It’s worth the read. Especially if you like mysteries.

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Mary Poppins: 80th Anniversary CollectionMary Poppins: 80th Anniversary Collection by P.L. Travers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I was in fifth grade, I was a library regular. I would check out the limit of ten books at a time. Mary Poppins was a series I got into and read all of them. I never had seen Julie Andrews version. We weren’t allowed to go to movies in my family. Maybe that’s the reason I am so into movies now?

Anyway, I wasn’t a fan of the illustrations, still don’t care for them. I got irritated with Michael getting so much attention. I felt that this read through, too.

Something that I noticed that I don’t remember my childhood thoughts on. How prideful Mary Poppins was, and how grumpy/bossy she was. But now that it’s been a couple days since I finished this quartet of books I think I’m glad she was that way. She didn’t feel she needed to tell the family when she’d be leaving. She rarely admitted to the kids about her friends or her habits with them. It was like she had her own life apart from the wards of her job. I think she shows women and girls that they don’t have to tell everything and they can be independent.

Since I read these four books in a row using text-to-speech, I didn’t notice where one book ended and another began–except when she left and said she wasn’t coming back–but then she came back.

I don’t remember finding the adventures tedious as a child. But as an adult, I see they are far too similar and I lost interest sometimes.

Particular to this version, the Audible available as whispersynch to this book was just for the first book. Most folks would probably read on without a problem. I need the text-to-speech to take over and it was hard to make my Fire understand that. The good news was that I called Amazon and they made it all good. I had loved the Audible narration. I just didn’t have the money to get the rest of the books at that time. They let me remove it and then my text-to-speech with the British voice that always sounds like Julie Andrews got me through the rest of the books.

Now I feel ready to watch the new Mary Poppins movie.

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My Alien (The Alien Chronicles Book 1)My Alien by Robin Martin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Though I have rated this three stars, I still went and bought the next book. I have to stay true to me and my feelings.

The first part of this book is a lot like The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Ugh! what a horrid book that was. So as this alien takes over this teen girl it feels just like that!

Then this turned into a YA. Yes, with all that angst! UGH! times two!

By this point, I was ready to throw the book away. But I couldn’t get my other book to load up. So I continued reading. Somewhere around the three-quarters mark, I somehow cared for a couple of the characters.

I didn’t like the ending, a bit of a cliff-hanger. But curiosity got the better of me. I want to see what happens.

If you liked The Host, you might love this book, too. If you love teen angst, this is right up your alley,

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