Vox by Christina Dalcher #BookReview

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I am so delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on Vox by Chistina Dalcher. I had originally requested this via NetGalley and was declined by the publisher. I am not a reader who expects all requests to be accepted so, not being deterred at all I treated myself to the hardback copy, it was one I was desperate to read. Also the added bonus is that when my review goes onto Amazon it will be as a verified purchase, so a win for all. One hundred words isn’t a lot, this first paragraph is exactly one hundred words long…

Synopsis:

Silence can be deafening.

Jean McClellan spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just one hundred words a day. Any more, and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins.

Now the new government is in power, everything has changed. But only if you’re a woman.

Almost overnight, bank accounts are frozen, passports are taken away and seventy million women lose their jobs. Even more terrifyingly, young girls are no longer taught to read or write.

For herself, her daughter, and for every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. This is only the beginning…

My Thoughts:

If you are a female you have 100 words a day that you can speak. You have no bank account. No job. No entitlement. No mail. No nothing. If you have a son, he will have more rights than you, his mother…

Did I mention that as a female you are required to wear a word counter. Oh and it will give a bolt of electricity if you exceed the word count!

Oh WTFlaming Hell….. I can speak 100 words and most of them crap and waffle before I have finished my second cup of coffee in the morning…

This book did such a good job of building up not only the sense of injustice in a patriarchal society but there was such a heartbreaking essence to it as well. As a mother you want to chat to your children about what they did at school, yeah well forget that… Sentences have become condensed to such an extreme, yet the father and male siblings can chat away about anything, laugh and joke about things but you dare not utter a word, as that means you may not be able to Goodnight, or Love You at the end of the day.

It was as if the women became an asset to be managed, a homemaker, cleaner, carer and a quiet one at that. Now we may laugh and joke about people who constantly chatter away, but the author has managed to build a world that has a scary reality to it.

As I was reading through the book and getting to grips with how and why things had changed, the tone and way of the story started to change. This did initially throw me and took me a while to get my head around.

Essentially women played their role in society before the enforced change. They had jobs, responsibilities, they were leaders in certain fields and had in some areas knowledge that few others had. This change of direction in the story, once I had time to get used to it actually made sense. Even though it was worked quite well into the story, it did give the book a feeling of being one of two stories.

This is a book that will possibly divide readers, but for this reader worked so well. I also think it would be a great book for reading groups as there are many possibilities for discussion. I found it quite thought-provoking and there are concepts that I have not touched on as I don’t want to spoil it for other readers.

Ideal for those who like dystopian read with a political aspect, contemporary fiction as well as general fiction genres I would also add that there is a psychological aspect to it. This is a book I would definitely recommend to readers who like a book with an eerily realistic feel.

It is published by HQ in various formats and available from good book shops and also AMAZON UK.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or a share would be amazing.

Avian by Emma Pullar @EmmaStoryteller @sarahhardy681 @Bloodhoundbook #BookReview

Emma Pullar - Skeletal_cover

I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on Avian by Emma Pullar. This is the second in this two book set. You can see my review of the first book Skeletal HERE. I would like to say a big thank you to Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound Books for my invite on the tour and also my e-copy of both books.

Synopsis:

CENTRAL IS LOSING ITS GRIP ON THE CITIZENS OF GALE CITY.

Megan Skyla, who refused to play by Central’s rules and become a surrogate for her masters, has thrown the city into chaos. Corrupting those around her, she and her friends are forced into hiding – hunted by Central, the evil rulers of Gale City. Skyla’s desperate attempts to keep everyone alive ends when they’re kidnapped by feuding gangs.

Skyla cuts a deal and then betrays both gangs. Now there is nowhere left to run. It’s the desert or die. Her best friend, Crow, thinks she still wants to find a way to cure the Morbian masters of their obesity and finish what she started.

But Skyla has other plans. She’s sure there are settlements in the desert, there must be something out there … and there is. Something terrible.

Skyla is about to find out there’s more than one way to bring about change but one truth remains … Central must be destroyed in order to ensure her survival. There is no other way.

My Thoughts:

Before I start my review of Avian I would like to take the time to suggest that you read the first book Skeletal, reading these two books in order will give you an understanding of the whys and hows of the story.

Things for Skyla have changed since meeting her in the first book, changes mentally and also physically as well as being a person of interest for different groups for various different reasons. Skyla has built up a reputation, it is dangerous not only for herself but, also for her companions as the next stage of her journey starts.

This story continues as well as finishes the story of Skyla, though I do hope that at some point the author will write more about this fiery and feisty character. Skyla continues her fight against Central, it is something she is passionate about and is determined to destroy the cruel and unjust ruling body. This puts herself in even more danger and testing her to the limit, oh boy does the author put this character through the mill!

As well as dealing with her self-imposed mission to destroy Central, Skyla also has her own problems to deal with, she is riddled with guilt, and thoughts that niggle as well as fear of what she is doing.

This is another brilliant read from this author as she does such a fantastic job with vivid descriptions and a compelling story line. This is a brutal and harsh place that I am happy to visit from the pages of a book and no further. The journey Skyla and her companions take is very much one that is “from the frying pan and into the fire”, it got bad, then it got worse and then the truth finally reveals itself.

This is a two book series that I would absolutely recommend for readers who like brutal, harsh and regime ridden dystopian fiction. It is descriptive, addictive and looks at a different way of life.

 

About the Author:

dsc_3665_lowres-2.jpgEmma Pullar is a writer of dark fiction and Children’s books. Her picture book, Curly from Shirley, was a national bestseller and named best opening lines by NZ Post. Emma has also written several winning short horror/Sci-fi stories which have been published in four different anthologies. Emma’s latest picture book, Kitty Stuck, has been hugely popular and her novel, Skeletal, and the sequel, Avian, have been described as disturbing and not for the faint-hearted. She also writes articles for an online advice site called Bang2write and dabbles in screenwriting.

 

Follow Emma at:  Amazon Page –  Website – Twitter

 

 

See what other bloggers think by following the tour

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx 

 

#BlogTour : The Prole Soldier by Oliver Tidy @olivertidy @CarolineBookBit #BookReview

The Prole Soldier - Oliver Tidy - Book Cover.jpgI am delighted to finally get my chance to share my thoughts with you on this, the last day of the #BlogTour for “The Prole Soldier” by Oliver Tidy.  My thanks to Oliver for my eARC and also to Caroline for my spot on the tour.  This book is available to purchase in eBook format and can be purchased HERE.

Synopsis:

In Rainbow City your colour counts.

Theo lives and works in the Blue Zone of Rainbow City. He is almost sixteen at which age he will begin four years conscription – military or mines. He wants neither. He hates his life and despises the cruelty, injustice and inequality that prevails. When the opportunity arises for Theo to be involved in the fight for change he grabs it, knowing that failure will cost him everything.

My Thoughts:

The synopsis sums up this book perfectly, the injustice, inequality, cruelty and lack of hope in this brillaint dystopian story.  The first in the Rainbow City series, and what a start it is.  Theo is nearly 16 years old and is due to start a new chapter in his life, that is the rule, that is what must happen.  The only other choice is death! Not a choice as such, but it is a way out some may think about or even choose.

Oliver has written many books, I have some on my TBR and have read only one as part of the Blog Tour last year for “The Fallen Agent” and I thoroughly enjoyed it (this is where i hang my head in shame for not reading more).  The Prole Soldier is a journey into a dystopian world, one where sectors are zones, each zone is a different colour.  The colour of the zone denotes your role in society.  If you think of the zones in “The Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins, then you will get a good idea of how this works.  There are many believable aspects to this book and I found similarities to The Handmaidens Tale and also 1984, but the author has brought a new, more up to date and modern feel.  I loved the world through the eyes of Theo who wants more from his life.  He does not want to do what is expected of him, or what Rainbow City dictates. He is a character with hope for something better and has the opportunity to help instigate change.

The story depicts a very real feel to the city and the zones.  The way of life for Theo and those  in the Blue Zone is harsh, basic and very unforgiving.  Yes they have food, clothes, work, electric and the very basic things needed to sustain, but there is a catch.  If you don’t work you don’t eat.  If you are ill and cannot get to work, then you don’t eat. The focus on the social injustice is told in a very addictive way through the first half of the book, then as you carry on further you sense a real change.  I am not going into details but I will say that this change is dramatic, dangerous and potentially deadly.  It is a great twist and one that I really did not expect.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it has a great atmospheric darkness and depth that pulls you into a desperate and gritty story.  Where you live makes a difference in how you are treated, the difference between the “have’s” and the “have not’s”, even here the author has introduced an opinion from those that “have”, what you discover is that life is not all that rosy from their side of the fence either.

If you are a fan of 1984, The Hunger Games, The Handmaidens Tale (there are a couple of others, but I cannot give names here as it could potentially be a spoiler), then this is a book you really need to read.  It has a gritty well written plot with a cast of characters that compliment it in a very balanced and well opinionated way.  A book that I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND and also one I am excited and impatient to read more in the series.

About the Author:

Oliver Tidy Author Image.jpgCrime writing author Oliver Tidy has had a life-long love affair with books. He dreams of one day writing something that he could find in a beautifully-jacketed hard-cover or paperback copy on a shelf in a book shop. He’d even be happy with something taking up space in the remainder bin, on a pavement, in the rain, outside The Works.

He found the time and opportunity to finally indulge his writing ambition after moving abroad to teach English as a foreign language to young learners eight years ago.  Impatient for success and an income that would enable him to stay at home all day in his pyjamas he discovered self-publishing. He gave it go. By and large readers have been kind to him. Very kind. Kind enough that two years ago he was able to give up the day job and write full-time. Mostly in his pyjamas.

Oliver Tidy has fourteen books in three series, a couple of stand-alone novels and a couple of short story collections. All available through Amazon (clickable link to Am Author Page). Among his books are The Romney and Marsh Files (British police procedurals set in Dover) and the Booker & Cash novels, a series of private detective tales set in the south of England and published by Bloodhound Books. Oliver is back living on Romney Marsh in the UK. His home. He still wakes in the night from time to time shouting about seeing his books on a shelf in Waterstones.

For more on Oliver Tidy and his books, check out his website: Website

Or follow him on: Twitter ~  Facebook

Many thanks for reading my post.  A share or a like would be great.  Or go and get a copy of this book and see what you think 🙂 xx

#BookReview : The Feed by Nick Clark Windo @nickhdclark @headlinepg @NetGalley

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I am delighted to be sharing “The Feed” by Nick Clark Windo.  I would like to thank the lovely people at Headline Publishing for my eARC via NetGalley.  The Feed is available in various formats from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Synopsis:

THE FEED by Nick Clark Windo is a startling and timely debut which presents a world as unique and vividly imagined as STATION ELEVEN and THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS.

Tom and Kate’s daughter turns six tomorrow, and they have to tell her about sleep.
If you sleep unwatched, you could be Taken. If you are Taken, then watching won’t save you.
Nothing saves you.

Your knowledge. Your memories. Your dreams.
If all you are is on the Feed, what will you become when the Feed goes down?

For Tom and Kate, in the six years since the world collapsed, every day has been a fight for survival. And when their daughter, Bea, goes missing, they will question whether they can even trust each other anymore.

The threat is closer than they realise…

My Thoughts:

The Feed is a futuristic look at something that could possibly happen.  An implant that gives wearers 24-7 access to news feeds, people’s lives, their feelings, where physical communication has been taken over by virtual communication. Tom and Kate are the main focus of this story, Tom insists that he and Kate do have time “off Feed” and spend time talking, this is difficult as the feed is so much part of every day life. When the feed collapses Tom and Kate go back to basics, and head into the country.  The story jumps forward six years and they have a daughter Bea.  Things are bleak but they are surviving, but when their daughter in taken they try to find her.  It is this part of the story that explains the details of the feed and what happened.

I will admit to struggling with the beginning of this book, I couldn’t quite see where the story was going and didn’t understand the concept of “The Feed”.  But I could see that there was something about it that intrigued me more than just a little bit.  I am glad I persevered with this book as suddenly it started to come together, things started to make sense.  Once these things started to fall into place I found a really enjoyable read, with some great descriptions of a bleak lawless landscape where people made the most of what they have got.  Tom and Kate I didn’t warm to immediately, but they seem to fit and almost mirror the desolation and loneliness of the land.  When I got the plot I really enjoyed it, it plays well on the fear of an advanced technologically dominated future, one that I am sure many people will see as a definite possibility. I know I do!

Overall this is a good read, a bit of a slow amble along in the beginning, but picks up pace to a satisfactory conclusion, with some good unexpected twists.  It is not excessively heavy on technological terms, Nick has kept it understandable.  A book I would recommend to readers of a futuristic, dystopian, mystery, thriller and science fiction genres.

My thanks to Headline Publishing Group and NetGalley for my eARC of this book.  My views expressed are my own and are unbiased.

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Better still go and buy a copy of this book xx

#Book Review : Interpretation by Dylan Callens @TheNitzsch

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Synopsis:

Carl Winston awakens to find his son, Liam, screaming with fear. Trying to understand why, Carl tries to soothe him. Neighbors gather in front of Carl’s apartment to help – until they see him. The crowd cowers back, afraid of this monster. 

Carl runs. His life of luxury is ripped away. Forced beyond the city limits, Carl sees a land bereft of life. Traveling in search of answers, his quest comes to a sudden halt when he collapses. As darkness shrouds him, a figure hovers from above. 

Traveling along the same route, Eva Thomspon finds Carl and nurtures him back to life. Together, they continue the journey, finding out that their lives have too much in common to be a coincidence. As their affection for each other deepens, an unknown nemesis attempts to remove their only source of happiness – their love for each other.

Interpretation is a dystopian fiction that explores hope and happiness in the bleakest of conditions and what happens when it’s torn away.

My Thoughts:

This is a dystopian novel set in America.  All is good for Carl and Liam, living the “American Dream” with all the mod cons and living in essence the perfect life.  “Too Good To Be True” is a phrase that jumps to mind.  When Carl starts experiencing random memories, he knows something is wrong, especially after one such episode causes a blackout.  When he awakens he realises things are not as he thought, his first thoughts are for his son, Liam.  But Liam is scared of his dad and will not come anywhere near him. Carl needs answers, why has this happened and what is going on?  His only clue is to travel north for answers.  It is on this journey he meets and befriends Eva, she is also in the same situation as Carl. Together they will find out the truth.

Technology and advancement of it are the basic premise of this plot, how we are so reliant on technology.  It is similar to plots that have been played out in many books and films over the years.  It has a feel of H.G. Wells and George Orwell but with an almost cinema-graphic feel to it, like Westworld or the Matrix.

The one thing I really liked was the way the book was laid out, chapters between Carl and his journey alternated with that of a computer system running protocols, bios and updates.  I don’t want to say too much about this for fear of spoilers.  It is set at a very good pace, and I found it a very addictive page turner.

This is a psychological dystopian novel.  It does a very good job of playing on technological fears for the future, as well as discussing human perceptions, ir their Interpretation of what they believe.  This is something that has been discussed for decades, and I am sure for more decades to come, as our advancement in a computer based systems increases then so does our reliance on it.  The story of Carl, Liam and Eva has been very well intertwined into the story, and the fact that the reader learns what is going on, often before the characters.

I think this is a book for people who like dystopian genres.  This for me has the feel of a modern story but with classic science fiction roots.  It was a very enjoyable read.  I would like to thank the author for bringing this book to my attention. My thoughts expressed here are honest, unbiased and my own.

 

Dylan Callens’ Bio:

smallerprofilepicdylancallens

Dylan Callens lands cleanly. That would be the headline of a newspaper built with an anagram generator. And although Dylan is a Welsh name meaning god or hero of the sea, he is not particularly fond of large bodies of water. His last name, Callens, might be Gaelic. If it is, his last name means rock. Rocks sink in the sea. Interestingly, he is neither Welsh nor Gaelic, but rather, French and German. The inherent contradictions and internal conflict in his life are obvious.

Purchase Links:

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073V7LSRV

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/interpretation-dylan-callens/1126732112?ean=2940154727843

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/interpretation-7

iBooks:  https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/interpretation/id1258997726?mt=11

 

Author Links:

Website:  www.cosmicteapot.net

FB:  https://www.facebook.com/heaveninctheseries/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TheNitzsch

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14739202.Dylan_Callens

Amazon Author:  https://www.amazon.com/Dylan-Callens/e/B01C6KR8P6/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Many thanks for reading my post.