Book Review: Theocracide by James Wymore

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.

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Book review: The Green-Eyed Monster by Mike Robinson

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.