Tag Archive: dystopia



The Spellslinger (A Fistful of Daggers #4)The Spellslinger by S.M. Reine

Sara Reine has done it again. I love that we get to visit our favorite characters over and over in an ever-renewing timeline. Once again we visit the Reno-Tahoe area which for me, makes for one more character to enjoy.

Through the characters, Ms. Reine asks questions that remind me of why I loved Sci-fi for all my life. With deities, angels, and demons, subjects like philosophy, religion, and why things happen the way they do, and how it applies to our norms, all this comes up in the course of the story and makes the reader think. That is my favorite kind of writing. It isn’t preachy, it doesn’t even set up any rule to follow. These are questions the characters present as they chase down the next plot twist.

Ms. Reine writes so well and keeps the reader involved. I almost always finish her books quickly as I don’t want to stop reading until the end.

As always, I suggest a person go back to the beginning, Six Moon Summer and read the gazillion other books, they are all terrific. I can’t wait to read the next book! What will she come up with next?

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The 100 (The 100 #1)The 100 by Kass Morgan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What a disappointment! I couldn’t afford to buy the Kindle and Audible versions of this book, so I looked it up in the e-library. I’m glad I didn’t spend money on this book.

What I wish is that those who took this book and made the fantastic series on Netflix would take a look at my on writing.

The thing I usually like about reading a book over watching a show is the depth of character you can enjoy. Instead, blathering emotional teen angst.

Oh, and I checked out the audio version thinking that real voices would help my reading experience. NOT! Justin Torres (Narrator), Phoebe Strole (Narrator). For some reason, the main character, Clarke, who is supposed to be the medical team leader of sorts, sounds like a five-year-old. Instead of having a space adventure or a new Earth adventure, we tripped about in romantic lunacy. Yes, the show did take more of a Lord of the Flies take on the loosed teens on Earth, but that was preferable. I wish more time would have been spent exploring and learning. I don’t think most teens are that immature as the book or the show portrays.

Anyway, after I gave up on the narrators and went with my text-to-speech. So much better. I can’t wait to see more of the 100 on Netflix, but I am not at all interested in reading more. That makes me sad!

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The Book of Flora (The Road to Nowhere, #3)The Book of Flora by Meg Elison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was the Kindle Unlimited version with the accompanying Audible Whispersynched. I’m glad I got to read the final book in the series.

I love the diversity that this series presents in a post-apocalyptic story. This last one gives the LGBTQetc. ignorant a bit of education of differing sexual leanings and desires told through characters who experience life differently than many of us. It gives us insight into how others feel and need to live made ever more complicated by dystopian life.

Etta’s story continued in Flora’s book, making book two have a little better ending. But in many ways, what worked in books one and two didn’t work here as it got far too complex in the many characters and past and present times within journals and now.

The vocal narrator did help by modulating his voice so as to help the reader know who was talking. but there were times even that didn’t help and I had to back up and figure out who’s who and what’s what.

Even though it is a lower rating than I like to give, it seems a good one for others to read and learn from while still being a fictional tale.

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The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere, #2)The Book of Etta by Meg Elison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once again, I didn’t write the review before moving on to the sequel. So now I have to remember this last book.

Kindle Unlimited is excellent in that I not only picked up the Kindle version it came with the audio whisper-synched. The narrator was a good, changing voices per character. It added to the reading experience in this dystopian world.

I don’t like to include the book blurb in any of my reviews. If you want to know what it is all about, follow the title and read it to see if it is a book for you.

I do love that it has a different take on the apocalypse. Women and childbirth are rare. That gives the imagination a rush. What would happen? What if the world is more advanced and accepting of different? Or if violence and old views remain in places?

I love this series. Each of the books is from a different character at a different part of the continuous disaster. It is nice to see the diversity this author was able to pull into these books. Etta/Eddy was a fun character to get to know as she/he learns who they are. I did love how they found their balance in each part of themselves. I know that sounds confusing but imagine being that person! But could you believe that you, too, have the yin and yang and can find your balance in a world that worships or rapes females? You might put on male clothing and attitude to keep yourself safe. You might still not want to be a breeder as that isn’t for you either.

Great series, great book! My only complaint is the way these books end. It leaves that character and moves on without a chance to say goodbye to that new friend. That is my lowered rating from a 5 to a 4. Still, worth the read!

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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.


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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Knave of Blades (Tarot Witches: The Raven Knights Saga #1)Knave of Blades by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not since the sixties have I seen such sexy flower power! Sorry, that’s all you get, no spoilers! Just this is mostly Ms. Reine’s usual story with twists and turns in the fantasy world within our own. Familiar places with unfamiliar buildings or beings.

This one is a bit more erotic than most. If that’s a turn off for you, maybe skip and read some of her other books. If not ENJOY!

I like reading about the Tarot Witches, even if this one finds herself in new places with bizarre but fun abilities.

I want to say more but don’t want to ruin the adventure of reading it yourself.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. It comes live to Amazon tomorrow. Hope you get the chance to read it. It is a new series within many series(s) and I think it could be a place to start on Sara’s writing. I still advice starting at the beginning with Six Moon Summer.

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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 Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone ByeThe Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My son loaned me his copy of the paper book. He knew I was into The Walking Dead television show.

Zombies are dumb and they barely shuffle along. I am not into zombies or horror in the way that tries to scare you, tries to make you jump, tries to get your heart beating faster, tries to make you cling to the person next to you. (Okay, that last one can be fun, but I don’t need that kind of encouragement!)

What I am into, with all science fiction and fantasy, is how we can be better as humans, how to improve our lives in general and individually. How we could ruin our lives if we don’t listen to sci-fi/fantasy warnings as a society and as science itself.

So for me, The Walking Dead is the best example of what we all need to see. First of all the diversity of people in the books and show are realistic. There are as many men as there are women. There are all kinds of people. And though the story has a man as the main character, Kirkman makes sure that all the people are still fighting old fights as they get together or find themselves alone. One of the first scenes at the camp are women doing laundry. These issues get drawn and challenge themselves. As the women are taught to help keep the camp safe they see they can all take turns taking care of their own clothes and hygiene. Children will have to be taken care of by everyone as they are the future. Thereby those in camp teach each other what they know so all jobs are interchangeable.

In the television show, we’ve seen Maggie and Michone taking over as the heads of their communities. Of course, this is only book number one. So it is still about Rick. I think Robert Kirkman tried to make sure anyone, male or female, could relate to Rick, waking in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse.

Introduced in this first book is how hard it is to get everyone on the same page. Is it better to stay and hope help comes? Or is it better to go and find a safer place and assume help is ourselves? Robert shows us how the lowly pizza delivery guy is the one to save the life of the so-called hero. That’s putting to the world that the idea that all people have worth and all could be the hero we need. Respect in The Walking Dead is the lesson we have to learn before some survival drama comes into our lives as a whole.

As for the difference between the books and the show, I think I like the show better so far, but as I move into the next book I will want to keep revising that. Comic books are different than non-illustrated books in that the emotions can be drawn on. But these can be misinterpreted. If this were a purely written book, we might have gone into Rick’s mind to hear his thinking about his wife being with his best friend.

The comparison is like oranges and apples. The fruit is there to glean the same intentions, the textures differ. By the way, I love the artwork. And as I’m finishing my NaNoWriMo today or tomorrow, I’m wondering how fun it might be to try and make it into a comic book/graphic novel.

I hope my review may change the minds about this story. It isn’t a zombie story. It’s a people story.

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Planet Urth Boxed Set (Planet Urth, #1-3)Planet Urth Boxed Set by Jennifer Martucci
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A while back my friend. Margaret McGaffey Fisk recommended this book on her website (https://margaretmcgaffeyfisk.com/?s=urth). I was intrigued. I looked on Amazon and it seemed that between my husband’s and my joined content we had downloaded this story many times as a boxed set and separately. So I decided to read the boxed set. And guess what? I liked it a lot!

My inner teen was happy to have a book dedicated to young people, especially a strong female teen. The book was imaginative and fast moving. I had a hard time getting to sleep as I didn’t want to leave the characters out there in possible danger.

My only problem with the writing is how repetitive it was. Aspects are repeated ad nauseum. Maybe if I were to read the books slowly, getting only moments to read, it would help remind me of the important points, but I found it distracting. I know the big sister, Avery, cares deeply for her little sister, June, and must try to protect her. Oh, and the lust Avery feels for the first guy she meets and then the second guy she meets, in spite of the dangers, and the angst that goes with adolescence is just annoying.

Overall, though, I did love the story and want to read the next in the series. Maybe you will love it even more!

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