Tag Archive: dystopia



The House Of The ScorpionThe House Of The Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have mixed feelings about this book. Much of it gives me the creeps. I love the Walking Dead and think cloning will never bring exact replicas due to the environment and circumstances of the original versus that of the clone. But the treatment of people in this dystopia seems horrible and never improves.

Nancy Farmer’s writing keeps the reader engaged. That is why I read to the end.

Robert Ramirez (Narrator) did well when reading for the males in the book, but all the females sounded foolish and unreal.

A few years ago, I decided to read primarily women authors who wrote of strong female main characters. I have found that women portray their sex far better than males do. The male narrators are great for boys or men but seem unable to play the fem parts.

Another thing, this is supposed to be a book for middle grades to adults. I can’t imagine a child reading this. I can’t imagine not getting nightmares from this as a kid. It nearly did that to me as an adult. On the other hand, I think it would have been a good read together and discussed with my children when they were old enough to handle the subject matter. My kids were better at the scary books and movies than I was. But I wouldn’t have wanted them to miss the lessons presented.

On the plus side, I loved getting into another culture. The Spanish language and mores are a beautiful addition.

Look, I don’t want to taint your opinion of this book. There are so many varied ratings; everyone sees this story differently. There are lessons for the modern world to look at sprinkled all over.

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What Comes AfterWhat Comes After by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, wow! I have never been so impressed with an actor and many writers as I felt reading this book. I wish I had read it before seeing the Negan comic books of this series. I might have been even more impressed to read first. That said, it leads me to give the most enormous kudos to Robert Kirkman for giving life to this universe!

This Walking Dead world that Kirkman birthed is amazing and asks so much of our society to examine. I often think that Mr. Kirkman was wise beyond his years. He seems to have human nature down to each of our kinds and how any society can become its own worst enemy by standing too hard on specific statutes while not paying attention to others. I see that in the news every day.

So the writers of the show have done everything they can to respect the author. It is hard, I’m sure, to move a story from page to people. But all along the way, all 18 issues of this comic, I see how well they do. And resounding praise for the handsome Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The comic Negan isn’t as stunning to look at, but, oh, my! Mr. Morgan has made the paper Negan come to life! I didn’t realize it before reading this book. I just saw the gorgeous man we all fell in love with on Grey’s Anatomy become with the same smile and demeanor an evil bastard you love to hate. He had every line of the comic book delivered in the same fashion. Just amazing.

If you get the chance to read these comics, please do. The Kindle version works better as I couldn’t see the text in the paper version. Kindle lets you enlarge everything. Details of the drawing are more precise. Wow! Just Wow!

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LexiconLexicon by Max Barry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m so glad I found this on Libby as an audio recording. The narrators, Heather Corrigan and Zach Appelman, made this story come to life.

At first, the book seemed to have a lot of aspects of things we face today. Not as heavily as the author’s other book I loved Jennifer Government. I highly recommend it also. I am going to need to read his other books now!

Reading this before going to sleep was problematic for sure. First of all, it was hard to put the book aside. Second, some scary concepts can keep you awake.

The most fun concept is the power of words and poets presented here.

This book might be too violent for some. It was for me at times. Still, it keeps you on the edge of your seat as you move through the story. Read if you dare!

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The Butchers (Breeders #6)The Butchers by Katie French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are many different reviews on this book, low stars and high. I’m giving it five stars as I still care for the characters and the situation enough to make it through the whole series. And I look forward to the new book in a takeaway series in the future but in the same place.

What I hate has nothing to do with this book, except the way books have to be labeled. Yes, it is nice to have a guideline of readability levels. But maybe we need something that says, this is gory and has a lot of killing and blood. There is a romantic element but no sex. There are gender issues addressed in the way of this series’ settings.

But here’s my thing: Why do young adult books have to have young adults? I remember being a young adult and loving science fiction. The more, the better. Those characters were men, not anyone that looked like me. Still, I consumed them. Am I happier to see books that reflect every age of me now? Absolutely! I’m not ever depicted in exciting books, adventures, etc. Auntie is the closest to me. I think all of us need a variety of types of characters to get to know. What we relate to are the places, flaws, ability to rise above, etc. 71 year-olds are people who need all that, too!

The reading level is easily accessible by middle grades though a parent or teacher may want to talk to the child about it. Certainly, children these days watch shows on the media that contain all that is here. And for many, the survival of our characters teaches how one might be to be out in the New Mexico desert with bad guys everywhere out to kill you.

But barring all those elements, this story pulls me in. From the very beginning, The Breeders. I do agree that it is hard to differentiate between characters. Even having the title of the chapter as the heads up for the viewpoint, the character Sounds the same until he/she bring up individualized things. I’m not sure how to fix that confusion that happens if you are reading by listening only to text-to-speech. But I somehow got used to it and felt the new chapter beginning.

All-in-all, I loved these books enough to overcome the issues presented. I’m looking forward to reading more by Katie French.

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Review: The Barriers by Katie French


The Barriers (Breeders #5)The Barriers by Katie French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the fifth book in the Breeder series. Dystopia is different in any sci-fi I’ve ever read. This whole story from book one on has been quite the ride.

The characters by this book five are well rounded and though many each has a purpose. I felt myself nearly on the edge of my bed and far from sleep hoping for the best for these young people and their loved ones. There were a couple nights I had to force myself to put away the Fire at three or even four in the morning.

Thank goodness these are on Kindle Unlimited because when this book ended I could grab the next!

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The Walking Dead, Vol. 16: A Larger WorldThe Walking Dead, Vol. 16: A Larger World by Robert Kirkman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just finished watching the series, getting ready for season 11 and wasn’t prepared to let the TWD characters go. So I picked up the next in the comic series that I hadn’t read yet. I can’t believe how far behind I am in the reading.

The Kindle version is my favorite, so I can open up each frame, see details, and read the dialogue. Maybe after cataract surgery, I will be able to read books and comic books. Meanwhile, I’m glad this technology is out there for folks like me. And it doesn’t take up room in my already stuffed bookshelves.

This particular volume was about discovering Hilltop and meeting the character Jesus. I know this is the calm before the storm. But it was nice to have the reprieve, even if a little boring. Still, it was great to connect with the TWD family, even if it is different from the show’s characters.

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The Walking Dead, Vol. 15: We Find Ourselves (The Walking Dead #85-90)The Walking Dead, Vol. 15: We Find Ourselves by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wish I had read the graphic novels first. Then I could have said how wonderful the scriptwriters had great ideas in changing things around a bit to make the series last longer. If you saw the bit when Carl recuperates from having his eye shot out, that is where this issue is. But things are more centered on Rick and trying to bring out his softer sides and explore the nearby areas.

When you have seen the show first, this seems weird, but I think I would have liked to see a little less insanity and a little more sadness about the losses he and his friends have experienced.

But either way, the story goes, it must be remembered this is a post-apocalyptic time, and survival is the key. It is impossible to know who are good guys or who are the bad as they all think they are the good guys. It is how we all think. But actions show the people for the camp they are in. That is why I love reading and watching these shows. I think Robert Kirkman and the scriptwriters reveal the humanity and give us all guidelines to remaining humane. I think these are good stories for our present world.

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Ready Player Two (Ready Player One, #2)Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought I loved book number one. But this one was even better. And I am not a gamer from the 80s. But my adult kids were. They met most of their friends in their games. I think they would like this. But then again, I remember enough of their games and terminology that this was serendipitous for me.

If you read the first book (or even saw the movie), you will remember that the story started fast and nearly left you breathless. This book started lots slower. Video/computer game nostalgia and reconnecting with the main characters keep that slower first part moving and interesting. But you will be left not sleeping and breathless by the end of this book.

Though I bought the Kindle version of the book and then the Audible to Whispersynch both versions. I just liked the way Wil Wheaton acted the story that I gave up reading and just listened.

I can’t wait to reread this. And wow! If there is going to be one, the movie will be even better than book number one! I hope you check it out!

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The Brothers (Breeders, #4)The Brothers by Katie French
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the fourth book in the Breeders series. I almost didn’t read it, but curiosity led me to see what happened to the characters. I have to admit that it was depressing. It is a dystopia, after all. I don’t know what I was expecting in that there are a few more books in the series. (sarcasm) The characters and their family and friends probably have a lot more hardships to go through.

I didn’t hate the book. It was just too depressing to continue. Even so, I will return this one to Kindle Unlimited and get the next one. I’ll catch up on other reading until I am ready to try the rest of the series.

Still, if you like dystopian stories, this series draws you in. By the way, this book didn’t have an Audible version, so I read it with text-to-speech.

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The Benders (Breeders, #3)The Benders by Katie French
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book three and aiming to get the next book? I guess I liked it! I am growing to like the characters. Even if the world is dark and they keep finding themself in dangerous places being experimented on or enslaved and lots of running and hiding.

I’ve been listening to the book on Kindle Unlimited. In this case, Audible, narrated by Carla Mercer-Meyer. I love how well she acts out the characters.

This is a dark dystopian series. Yeah, I don’t know why in the darkness of 2020 I choose to read these, but I guess it has kept me more optimistic than others as I know it could get worse. Let’s read these and prevent this from happening!

Now on to number four!

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