The Purge of Babylon

Zombies. Everyone has their own theory about these sci-fi monsters. And in our dystopian loving culture, most of us even have a Zombie-Readiness plan. My husband and I even wrote it into our wedding vows.

And no, I’m not kidding.

Most of our ideas about zombies are pretty much the same:  virus infects human, human becomes zombie, zombie bites healthy human, healthy human becomes zombie. Zombies are brainless, animal-like creatures motivated only by the need to feed.

That in itself is scary as hell. But you can kill them in those conventional stories by shooting their mushy heads off with a shotgun, or running them over with a lawnmower.

But there are so many of those stories, and so they are no longer scary.

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And then Sam Sisavath comes along and rips our traditional zombie motif to shreds. Hell, he doesn’t even call them zombies. They are Ghouls. Which is probably appropriate, because these bastards are NOT brainless.

No way.

Instead, they have a hive mind. As in, they talk to each other inside their heads–Animorph-style–and they have a military structure, with a commander and soldiers. They PLANNED their invasion.

Da FUCK?!

GUYS THESE THINGS ARE SCARY AS SHIT.

Ok, so the rest of the characters are a little one dimensional. The book is your typical Brad Pitt/Katie Holmes type action hero story line at first, and you add another blonde later for a complicated love triangle. There’s also a “Army battle buddy who makes bad jokes about women” character in the mix, so he was a laugh and a half.

If it were up to those characters alone, I would not have kept going, but the zombies were so different, I wanted to know what was going on with them. They were the interesting part of the story, and worth the read. However, I probably won’t continue on with the series. This isn’t my typical genre, and while I like the direction Sisavath is taking his monsters, the characters are just too flat for me to follow them on.

If you like sci-fi, zombies, and/or dystopian, check this out. Just be wary that the guys in this book are…well…guys, I suppose.

 

Fulfills PopSugar #22:  A book that scares you

Rebel Queen

I read Michelle Moran’s Nefertiti a few months ago, and was completely drawn into her historical fiction, so when NetGalley offered me the ARC of her new book Rebel Queen my reaction was a resounding YES PLEASE!!!!!!

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There is “historical fiction” that is loosely based on a time period or event, but I never really take it any more seriously than any other fiction book that I read.

Than there is REAL HISTORICAL FICTION, where the author does buckets and buckets of research, and the end product is more fact than novel. There’s usually a hefty author’s note at the beginning, and an even bigger one at the end, explaining all of the changes made to the real events. And when you read the book, it does not take long to imagine yourself in ancient Egypt, or in India during the British colonization.

This is how I feel when I read Michelle Moran’s books. I really liked Nefertiti…I LOVED Rebel Queen. It is one of those books that even when I am not actively reading it, I’m playing parts of it in my head. Serious book hangover here. Last night while I was cutting potatoes for dinner, I was definitely reliving scenes from the Rani Mahal.

There’s such a vast spectrum of culture described in this book, and I was completely enthralled. And then when the bright colors of India clash up against Victorian England–it is almost comical to watch–the difference in modesty rules:  showing belly but not breasts vs breasts but not belly, men eating with women, kissing hands. Brightness does not always mean vulgarity.

The strength of female characters in this history is what struck me the most. The Rani and her Durga Dal are fierce competition for the British. In a country where most women are in purdah, and where in the rest of the world women are seen as meek and mild socialites, having a group of educated, strong, fighting women is such an amazing thing to me. These are good heroes. Can we start teaching our girls about these women in school?

This book is a win. It’s release date is set for March 3, and it is definitely on my TO BUY list!

Disclaimer:  This ARC was given to me by NetGalley.

I’m going to count this as #28 on PopSugar Challenge (A book with antonyms in the title), because it’s probably as close as I’m going to get.

Marcelo in the Real World

The last audiobook I reviewed was about an autistic child and his imaginary friend. At the end of the book, Max was starting to grow up–so it was only fitting that I read another book about a person on the autism spectrum–this time a young man with a unique form of Asperger’s. Marcelo feels the emotions of music inside of him–something he knows as the IAM.

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Marcelo has always gone to a special school, but his father has challenged him to work in his law firm for a summer–or else. He must try to comply with society’s “rules,” or he will have to go to public school in the fall.

At first, Marcelo is extremely awkward and uncomfortable, but he is extraordinarily intelligent, so while he doesn’t have the normal social graces, he begins to fumble along. He even begins to make friends and find passion for things he is working on.

I loved Marcelo. He was so sweet, and so lost. I was thrilled when Jasmine took him under her wing. To say I shipped them is the wrong term because he is asexual, but I loved their friendship absolutely.

Normally when we think of autism and Asperger’s, we think of children, so it was interesting to view this take on our world through an adult experience. Marcelo in the Real World is a coming of age story with a very unique perspective.

This is a painful book to read, in that Marcelo is so intelligent, so conscious of everything people are saying and doing, but no one else really understands that. The author portrays bullying at its worst, even from family members. Marcelo is never safe from people who think they can control him because he processes information differently. It is such a unique perspective from which to view our world, and one few of us ever get to experience…but most of us really should see.

 

WWW Wednesday 2/11/2015

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What are you currently reading?

Dubliners & A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Wonders by Paddy O’Reilly

Watch for these two reviews today and tomorrow!

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

The Empty Family by Colm Toibin

 

Food Philosophy

Anyone who follows me on Instagram or Twitter knows I love to eat.

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Good food, in my book, beats everything. So many memories come out of a good meal. There’s always good conversation–whether you are eating with family, or sitting alone at a pub, talking to a bartender, or fellow beer nerds.

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Everyone’s got to eat, and everyone has a strong opinion about their food. And when the conversation veers away from what is on the plate, topics range anywhere from life to books to politics and back again.

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I will almost never pass on the opportunity for a great meal. And that means I am never going to be a skinny woman. But hey, if good food and better conversation means I am not what society thinks is “beautiful,” than screw them.

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Pass the beer and cheese please.

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Thanks for being patient with me this week! I’m back from vacation, and I have a BUNCH of stuff to post in the next week or so. It was hard being away from the blog, I kept journaling posts to write! 🙂

Stay tuned!

Seeker

Somewhere between the old world and the new, there’s a powerful magic that allows people who are wiser than most to travel beyond the normal world. These people are known as the Seekers, and they have been around for centuries, descending from the Druids. The magic is guarded by a strange triad known as The Dreads. The laws they hold are sacred…or at least they used to be.

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Unfortunately, in Arwen Elys Dayton’s new book, Seeker, modern selfishness has caught up to the remaining clan of Seekers, and things aren’t as they used to be. The legends are still there, much like our tales of chivalry in King Arthur’s Round Table. But what has happened to those sacred laws to make things go so awry?

This book is going to be immensely popular when it releases in February, I can tell you that right now. I’ve already heard people talking about the ARC, and every review I’ve seen has been a positive one.

Mine is also positive–though I did think the story lost a bit of strength in the middle. I think that’s just a mental block of mine though, because I always struggle a bit with the mixture of old world magic and guns. Add a cell phone in there and I just get really confused. I feel like this story should take place in 1315…not 2015 (or later).

But, other than that, I loved it. I shipped Quin and Shinobu from the very beginning. Get out of here John. No one wants you. And can I please have a whipsword for my birthday? Please please please?

Make sure you pick this up next month. I am not going to be surprised at all to see all of Booklr posting about it soon.

 

Received ARC for free from NetGalley

Fulfills PopSugar #11:  A book with a one-word title