Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Harper Voyager in exchange for an honest review. I also read a large part of this book via audiobook, which was purchased through my own Audible account.
The Book of M is a one of the best post-apocalyptic fiction I have read in recent years, and it’s hard to believe it’s a debut novel. It’s a poignant examination of human memories and connection, filled with powerful and surrealistic imageries. The last pages of the novel still haunt me, and I keep catching myself thinking about the book’s shadowless world. I did have some issues with the book which I will discuss below, but overall, this book marks Peng Shepherd as an author to be watched – I can’t wait to see what she will come up with next. Continue reading “Book Review: The Book of M”→
I received a copy of this book from Harper Voyager Australia in exchange for an honest review.
I loved the concept of The Fire Sermon, the book certainly showed a lot of promise in the first chapters. Towards the middle, I felt that the plot dragged a bit. Thankfully, it resurges at the end to finish on a strong note.
A TWIST ON THE USUAL APOCALYPTIC WASTELAND
There was always one boy and one girl, with one from each pair perfect. Not just well-formed but strong, robust. But soon the fatal symmetry became evident’ the price to be paid for each perfect baby was its twin. They came in many different forms: limbs missing, or atrophied, or occasionally multiplied. Absent eyes, extra eyes, or eyes sealed shut. These were the Omegas, the shadow counterparts to the Alphas.
The young adult genre is littered with farfetched post apocalyptic set-ups: ranging wildly from worlds where love are outlawed, to planets where all your thoughts are vocalised in an endless stream of noise (an aside: I LOVE THE CHAOS WALKING TRILOGY). Hence, when I found The Fire Sermon is based on the concept of twins and their dichotomy: with one being mutated, the other flawless – I took it all in stride.
The Fire Sermon can be an upsetting read, as the world it’s set in is definitely dictated by ableism. As parents on Omega children are lawfully required to abandon them, sequestering them into isolated, starving colonies – the book allows its plot to explore the marginalisation of the disabled. More than this, the Omega are infertile, derogatorily called dead-end and forced to believe that they have no future as a people. I love The Fire Sermon for being able to examine some of their struggles.
However, I wished that our main character did not come from a position of relative privilege. Though Cass is an Omega, she was able to hide this for most of her childhood as she had no physical deformities. Instead, her curse is being a Seer – with the ability to sense danger, directions, and glimpsing at the occasional prophetic dream. She’s stuck in-between, the Omega envies her while the Alphas fear her. She’s in a fairly awful situation, but the Omegas are correct to say that she has it easier than the rest of them, to be frank. Continue reading “Book Review: The Fire Sermon”→
August has been a fantastic reading month for me thus far! Archivist Wasp was purchased because I saw The Book Smugglers, some of my most trusted book bloggers, gushing over it on their site. Equipped with a unique setting, beautiful writing and compelling characters, this book was sure to steal my heart.
A LAYERED & DEEPLY FLAWED PROTAGONIST
I am the Archivist. Catchkeep’s emissary, ambassador, and avatar on earth. Her bones and stars my flesh; my flesh and bones Her stars. Mine is the mouth through which the dead world speaks. Mine are the hands that record what the dead world left behind. Mine are the eyes that hold vigil, so that the old world’s death does not return to kill the world anew.
Archivist Wasp has been serving as the Catchkeep’s mortal emissary for three years. She was not born into the role, Wasp had to kill the previous Archivist to attain this position. Every year, Wasp has to fight and eliminate younger upstarts to keep her spot as Archivist. It’s kill or die, though Wasp has tried in vain to spare the upstarts who challenged her.
As Archivist, Wasp’s primary function is to seek out, contain and record information on the many ghosts that inhabit her post-apocalyptic world. None of the ghosts can speak, so many generations of Archivist have searched in vain for an answer to why The Before world has perished. At the beginning of the book, Wasp encounters the first ghost in recorded history who can speak – and together they embark on a quest to the underworld. Continue reading “Book Review: Archivist Wasp”→
Oh my goodness this book was so fun! If the rest of my reads this August is as entertaining as Steelheart, I’m in for a treat this month!
I know I was harping on about how I was sick of dystopia just like one review ago. This book is a post-apocalyptic type scenario but I loved it so much, here’s all my reasons why. SPOILERS: It’s because Brandon Sanderson is a freaking genius.
Epics had a distinct, even incredible, lack of morals or conscience. That bothered some people, on a philosophical level. Theorists, scholars. They wondered at the sheer inhumanity many Epics manifested. Did the Epics kill because Calamity chose—for whatever reason—only terrible people to gain powers? Or did they kill because such amazing power twisted a person, made them irresponsible?
Since an event known as Calamity, numerous humans throughout The Fractured States developed superpowers. Instead of following down Spiderman’s path and exercise the whole ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ stint, all of these mutants – now called Epics – just kinda went ‘Hey, screw the rest of mankind, I’m gonna enslave you all’. You know the old adage, ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’.
“I’ve seen Steelheart bleed.
And I will see him bleed again.”
The villain of this piece is Steelheart, a High Epic with super strength, impervious to all assaults, shoots lasers out of his hands, and oh… he can turn everything into steel. No one’s ever seen him vulnerable, except for our young protagonist: David. David witnessed Steelheart bleed when he was 8, right before the Epic ruthlessly killed his father. He’s been plotting his revenge ever since.
All of the different Epics and their varied super powers + corresponding weaknesses: there’s Faultline who can cause earthquakes, Nightwielder who can hold an entire city in darkness, Fortuity with precognitive abilities, all must be taken down by a different method. I’ve always admired Brandon Sanderson’s magic systems, despite set laws so much is possible! The plans our protagonists have to devised to take down each Epic is particularly fun.
If you loved the X-men, you’ll adore this. If you liked superheroes, you’ll adore this. Heck, even if you’re sick of Marvel’s cinematic sea of sameness (like myself), you’ll adore this! Continue reading “Book Review: Steelheart”→
“How do you rid the Earth of humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.”
With The 5th Wave, there’s intrigue and action from the get-go as we’re plopped unceremoniously into the midst of an apocalypse. The human race has been decimated by four previous waves of attack by mysterious beings. The methods they used to dispose of us are ruthless, designed not only to kill but to destroy our spirit, I thought it was like a modern iteration of the Plagues of Egypt. But God wasn’t behind these destruction, instead it was an alien race with unknown motives. At the end of the 4th wave, our narrator, Cassie thinks she’s possibly the only human left on Earth. After all the horrors she’s witnessed, Cassie is understandably jaded and mistrustful. Her only mission left in life is to find her little brother, who became separated from her earlier on in the plotline.