It’s not often that I get the privilege of reading really great science fiction. There’s ample amounts of terrible and mediocre science fiction out there, but so seldom do you see anything that might just be as readable a century from now as it is today. Theocracide really shines in its treatment of relevant modern-day issues, plotting and character development. In a way, it felt a lot like Ender’s Game in terms of its levels of intrigue and depth, but without all the stupid little geniuses.
Instead, I was treated to character development and a dismal future Earth. Aliens. An Undying Emperor. All kinds of fun stuff. It intermingles the best in cognitive dissonance with action, and the result is outstanding. I was always pushing the “one more chapter” self-delusion, well passed my bedtime. I so badly needed to put all of the little pieces together. There are hooks galore in this story. Aliens. Undying emperor. Crazy hermit guy. A love story is a world where nobody loves anything but their computer. It’s a breaking down of the lies we allow ourselves to be sold in return for comfort.
At its core, Theocracide addresses the concept of pervasive apathy in a society. Then, it drags in other themes. Colonialism. The hypocrisy of an American Emperor. The perversion of religion to suit the needs of the rulers. It’s a very wild ride. My only (albiet minor) complaint: all of the chapters are prefaced by a news story. It took a while for them to integrate with the rest of the story, as they initially didn’t sync well. But, by the time to story caught up, I was glad they had been included! They give a better feel to the world, and make Earth seem more rounded and complete.
I was provided with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
End-of-the-world scenarios are a dime-a-dozen. From your everyday zombie apocalypse to a giant meteor smashing the Earth, it’s all been done. But, what if an event that is suspiciously like the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ prophesies came to pass? Smart, believable, and certainly blasphemous to our door-to-door friends, Mathenia’s Paradise Earth hits hard and hits home. I read it in four hours, without putting it down.
The first chapter won me over. Its darkness and utter despair pulled me in–the imagery and emotion of it was like a punch to the gut. I needed to know what happened. After that, I was held captive by the storytelling. The narrative follows an unnamed brother throughout the early stages of the apocalypse. The dissection of his faith and the loosening boundaries in his mind between past and present are fascinating. Much of the character’s back story is explained via flashback, which makes it seem as though two stories are being woven together.
In the end, all he has left is his naked faith.
As far as religious-themed books go, this one is presented in a way that both the religious and non-religious can take enjoyment in. Perhaps not for the same reasons, but I can see it as being interesting to either perspective. It’s not preachy and does not seek to give the heavy-handed treatment to the reader. You’re left to draw your own conclusions, much like the main character has to. I greatly enjoyed the Zombie Bible for similar reasons, so if you’re familiar with Litore’s work then you’ll have an understanding of the treatment faith has.
I was given a copy for purposes of posting an honest review.
I was asked to review Mike Robinson’s new book “The Green-Eyed Monster.” It’s a paranormal horror/mystery that twists through the interlinked lives of two men: Martin Smith and John Becker.
This is a mystery laced with metaphysical and philosophical questions. You start off at the end–the final battle in the war between two competing giants. Much of the rest of the book is presented in flash-back, where the characters who had been influenced by the tendrils of chaos that emanate from the two boys tell their story.
The two main stories are those of Mrs. Chatsworth, their first grade teacher, and Harry Zweig, a classmate of theirs. This makes up the real meat of the book. Each character had a distinctive voice, and even though you knew in advance what happened to them, their stories were fascinating. They felt like real people–or as real as possible when their reality is rapidly approaching insane. These stories take up the majority of the book, which is good, because they’re what I most enjoyed.
The monster/philosophical part never takes concrete form–the “grandfather” can always been identified by his butterflies, but he seldom communicates directly with the characters. What is interesting is how both Becker and Smith appear to be two halves of the same soul–their books are almost identical, as are their life stories. They don’t really seem human–too lost in some other world to interact with the other characters well. It makes them seem mysterious and a little dangerous–especially after Mrs. Chattsworth’s story is told.
In short, don’t accept favors from anyone’s grandfather. Ever. Bad idea.
I recently had the privilege of reviewing Coral Moore’s Broods of Fenrir. It’s a werewolf urban fantasy, and let’s just say I am now in love with werewolves.
Have a watch:
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Additionally, I promised some submission guidelines for those among you who are up to the nerve-wracking awesomeness that is having me video-review a book. Well, look no longer. I’ve got a bit of a back list, but I’m still accepting submissions for the time being. Let me know in the comments, twitter or any of the other myriad ways there are of contacting me.
I had the privilege of reading and reviewing the second book of The Zombie Bible, What Our Eyes Have Witnessed. The story takes place in ancient Rome, and focuses on the events leading up to the martyrdom of St-Polycarp.
Head on over to The Zombie Bible’s website, and tell Stant I say hi. Or, better yet, pick up this great read. Treat yourself. It’s a couple of months until the next Zombie Bedtime Story, after all.
By popular demand, I have another video review for you.
This was a highly enjoyable book, and I am going to say that if you like stories of the darker persuasion (of course you do, that’s why you’re on my blog!)
This Brilliant Darkness on Amazon
Red Tash’s website
More reviews are on their way!
I was given the opportunity to do a video review of The Zombie Bible: Death Has Come Up Into Our Windows by none other than Stant Litore, the zombie historian himself.
Stant has done a wonderful job at making zombies and history accessible, while still being artistic and opening up an incredibly beautiful world for us to explore through Yirmiyahu’s eyes and heart. For the rest, watch the video for my thoughts on this remarkable melding of biblical history, the undead and the fragility of human life.