Posts Tagged ‘sci-fi’

In a Right State by Ben Ellis

October 22, 2018 - 9:21 pm No Comments

In a Right State by Ben Ellis
Published 29th June 2014
363 pages

2066 and the big corporations rule the country. Everyone’s data is analysed, and food is genetically modified. However certain residents are not happy, whether they are growing natural vegetables or having tech that will confuse satellites, they do what it takes to rebel against society.
The story opens with a body parts being auctioned to the highest bidders and you start to wonder what sort of world these people live in. Duncan an ex employer of Pharmara was not happy with how the country was going and in his own way rebelled by growing all-natural produce. Amy an employer of Pharmara, analysed data, good at her job but soon became disillusioned with the work. Whilst she did not know Duncan she knew his wife, they were thrown together when Duncan became a Person of Interest. On the run they end up at Shaded Vale, run by The Colonel, it was utopia compared to Wigthorn, living without being spied on and run by the filthy rich. The Colonel has a plan to shake up the country but need the help of Duncan, Amy and his daughter Poppy,
Amy and Duncan were as different as chalk and cheese. Amy lived by facts and patterns and was very tech savvy. Duncan at lot older, still missed the good old days. He shut himself away and only lived for his plants. Poppy was a strange girl living in her parent’s shadow, she reminded me of Violet from the Incredibles, very shy but very astute.
From the moment Duncan is in trouble you are taken on a cat and mouse adventure. The use of technology played a big part in the story and showed just how easy it was to abuse the system. The further I got into the book I did start to wonder who exactly the “good” guys as personal gain was a big issue. One character I despised straight away was Estelle, Poppy’s mom who was the biggest bitch I have read about in a while.
This was a fast-paced book as you follow the chase, but it was not all serious, there were a few comedy moments one in particular being the spray that changed your DNA, imagine a satellite seeing 3 sheep getting into a car and driving away. Whilst this is a fictional story there were parts that are realistic, and it does get you thinking what technology is in use today with our data being shared. If you enjoy dystopian with a technology twist, then this is a read for you. I hope that there is more to come and as I am interested in what happened next

Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson

October 13, 2018 - 10:05 pm No Comments

Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson
Published by Gollancz on 26th July 2018
128 pages

As a 1st timer to this author’s work, I did not know what to expect. With its mixture of crime and technology I knew that it was something I would enjoy.
Davis is a real-life detective, working an unusual beat. He doesn’t have to catch a criminal but spends his time finding evidence. Him and his partner Chaz worked in New Clipperton, living each day in a snapshot. The government used them to walk in a certain day at a certain time to get incriminating evidence, so the real police can make the arrest.
As a police officer Davis was quite non-descript. He did is job every day without a word of complaint. That was until 1st May when he decided to make a difference. Chaz was the complete opposite, he had a temper and had the same level of enjoyment as a young boy pulling wings of flies. But as a partnership they worked well together.
The story was descriptive, and you could imagine Davis walking the beat, feeling more despondent. The addition of a serial killer gave it a thriller edge. The use of technology played a big part in the story and got me thinking, which days would I want to relive, what did I miss on that day.
As it was a novella it was a quick read and a good introduction to this author’s work. The author writes an ending that was unexpected, which took the story to a different direction.
Whilst it is a standalone I would love for the story to continue to find out what happened next.

By the Pricking of Her Thumb by Adam Roberts

September 23, 2018 - 10:02 pm No Comments

By the Pricking of Her Thumb by Adam Roberts
Published by Gollancz on 23rd August 2018
272 pages

Before I start the review, I have to say that I had not read the 1st in the series. What attracted me to this book was the blurb. A woman found dead with a needle in her thumb and one of the four richest people is dead, but no one knows who it is or who killed them. In steps to Alma, a PI, who has a knack for solving difficult cases.
You could tell straightaway that the two cases Alma was involved were complicated. Not knowing who to talk too and only having a small window of time to investigate meant that at times she did struggle to do any work. As sole carer for her partner Marguerite who was seriously ill made the need to solve these cases more important, as they were constantly in debt. Money played a big part in the story especially with the talk of absolute wealth, this emphasises just how serious Alma’s money problems were.
Throughout the story, there were a lot of play on words, usually down to Alma who was quick witted and the two thugs Reg and Ron Krys. They were some of my favourite characters, a dumbed down version of the Krays, who also loved their violence. They were like trained pets who did what they were told for the highest pay out. At the start Stanley was one of the most annoying characters I had read about in a while but the more I read, he grew on me. His love of Kubrick was full on and the world he created in the Shine to immortalize 2001 Space Odyssey, had me reminiscing watching this film with my dad.
As this is sci-fi there was a lot of tech, from smart clothes to personal feeds. There were times that I got myself confused but after a couple of lines I was able to see where the story was going. As the story concluded, the author tied up all the loose ends and the twist at the end was unexpected.
After reading this, I am interested in where this series started, so I am off to read book 1

Out of Time by Monique Martin

September 16, 2018 - 2:39 pm No Comments

Out of Time by Monique Martin
Published 20th November 2013
296 pages

Simon Cross was a professor of the Occult, helped by assistant Elizabeth (Lizzy)West, he taught his student the theory behind vampires, demons and other creatures. What he does not expect is an artefact off his deceased grandfather transporting him and Lizzy of to the 1920s. Where he must put all his knowledge to the test.
Simon and Lizzy were likeable characters; however, they were complete opposites. Lizzy strived for adventure and took everything in her stride when they were transported back to the 1920s. Simon on the other hand was cautious and over-protective, what didn’t help were the dreams he had.
The story flowed steadily, and the scenes set in the 1920s were well researched. The scenes where Lizzy got a job in the speakeasy showed how quick she could adapt and as the story continued you get to find out more about her childhood. Throughout the story you can sense their attraction for each other. To the point that I wanted to give Simon a shake and tell him to man up.
The only thing I did not enjoy was the stereotypical British statements and I don’t know why I am surprised that Simon being a British character in America was a tea drinking posh person who went to boarding school. Regular folks can be professor without a boarding school education.
I will dip into the series again, just to see which other time periods they go to

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

August 2, 2018 - 9:34 pm No Comments

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas
Published by Head of Zeus on 9th August 2018
320 pages

What drew me to this book was the unusual story. Margaret, Grace, Estelle and Barbara were pioneers who in 1969 invented time travel. All 4 were as close as sisters until Barbara suffered a psychotic episode live on TV. Shunned by the rest, she lived a quiet life in the countryside. The rest took forward their idea and created the Conclave, an institution who monopolised the time travel industry.
In February 2018, Odette, a young graduate, finds a body, wanting closure, she decided to do her own investigations.
At the start of this book I thought I would get confused with the story as it was changing character and time. However, after the 1st couple of chapters, I soon got into the swing of it. Switching times showed just how planned the story was. Even though it was in different time periods, the story flowed smoothly. Each character was described in detail and unique in their own way. Every characters acted differently in the various timelines and it showed just how much an impact the time travel had on people. As the story progressed, characters like Ruby and Odette developed, and as you followed them on their journeys of discovery, you see them grow into strong confident women. Some of my favourite scenes were when Grace met her younger or older self and threw the paradox theories out the window
The science of time travel did not distract from the story and some of the minute details added to the story. One such touch was when Ruby bought a book about time travellers’ slang which all though something small, helped me understand the story further on. The story covered a whole range of emotions, such as love, death, revenge and you are taken on a roller-coaster of a ride.
This story is beautifully written and it was a refreshing change to read a story which is dominated by women. The mystery element ran throughout and for me I thoroughly enjoyed the explanation on how the murder was done.
This is the 1st book I have read by this author and it will not be the last. I hope there will be more stories of these brave women to come.