The Island by Jen Minkman
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
I’m sitting on the fence with this novella. I did not love it (as in “I put it down last night and I can’t stop thinking about it”), nor did I hate it. I knew pretty quickly that “The Book” was one of the Star Wars trilogy, and it was most likely the first one. It did not turn me off from the story, but the knowledge of it did not mislead me.
For me, the story was there, and it was entertaining, but there could have been more. Events seemed to come to a head much too quickly, Saul’s character needed much more fleshing out, and the ending fell flat.
Saul killed a man (a Fool), tortured and manipulated children from the settlement, and threatened to kill on of their own people (Andy). What did he get for punishment? They laid out a bunch of excuses as to why he was that way and they let him live with the village elder. Saul was 21. He knew what he was doing. Just like the “parents” in the settlement should have removed Saul from power at the Manor a long, long time ago.
There are many issues like that within the novella that detracted from the story for me. It felt as though things were “conveniently” that way so that the story could be told. The “Parents” behaved more like children than the children did.
All in all, it was an okay story. It passed a couple of hours of my day for me, but I don’t think I will be purchasing the next novella in the series.
Ebola K: A Terrorism Thriller: Book 1 by Bobby Adair
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This book was a suggestion from one my writing friends that loves Dystopian novels. Books such as this are not usually my cup of tea, but I did enjoy this one. It took a virus that people have always feared, made it more dangerous, then added in outside elements to make it lethal.
I did not give this novel five stars for two reasons. One, it just ended. When I read a book that is part of a series, I expect the novel to have a small problem and one “big picture” problem. This one had both, but neither set of stories was “solved” at the end of the book. It just ended.
The other reason was that there was too much head-hopping. Each section did a good job staying in the head of the current character telling the story, but there were too many points of view to keep track of. We had Austin’s POV, Salim’s POV, Paul’s POV, Olivia’s POV, and Mitch’s POV, just to name a few. I think there were one or two other POVs in there as well. It was extremely confusing. I could have handled up to three, easily, but once the fourth and fifth were added in, it was hard to figure out what was going on in a chapter until I knew exactly who was telling the story.
Otherwise, it was a good story, and I think if I read all of the books in the series, I would be able to give it 5-stars, but a book should be able to stand on it’s own merit.
Breakers by Edward W. Robertson
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Even though this was a typically plotted Science Fiction book, it was still a really good read. When the Earth is attacked by a virus that acts like the flu but kills within a week, things look bleak. So, 99% of the world’s population is dead; the virus has burned itself out. It’s been a few months, so the survivors have, for the most part, settled into a new daily routine. Lo and behold, on the horizon, an alien ship arrives. The action keeps coming as the aliens invade and attempt to wipe out what few remain.
The few who remain are very well-rounded people. A few of them aren’t very likable, but their good qualities outweigh the bad. Only one character truly bugged me, and it was mostly because she went from being in the background and being a very amiable character to just suddenly being a major, power-hungry pyscho. And that was Anna. From the moment Walt, Raymond, and Mia teamed up with Otto, Anna, and David, Anna was in the background. She always did as she was asked, never really stood out. Then when Raymond, David, and Anna set out for the missile silo, she just suddenly wants to take over. It seemed very out of character for me.
And although, it was filled with action and suspense, it still moved a tad slow for me, but that was mostly because it was a long book. But it was a long book that I really didn’t want to put down when I was reading it.
This book is part of a larger series, and although I don’t have Book 2 in my possession yet, I’m eagerly awaiting the chance to read it.
Another week has passed, and I really didn’t do a good job staying on track with my writing. I wrote. A lot. Just not on anything that I would call “creative.” I did a lot of journal writing this week, getting my ideas down on paper and organizing what I needed to do to accomplish each of them in a timely manner. My biggest issue is that I have a lot of ideas, but I tend to flit from idea to idea without ever finishing any of them unless I have a structured plan to work from. That is what I have been doing this week.
I will be returning to Pangaea this week, planning out the seasons and the episodes within the seasons. I will also be finishing up the edits on “Trenches” because I did not quite finish working through those.
I’m not planning a lot for this week because I am nursing a kitten back to good health, so most of my attention will be on him.
What do you have planned for your week?
Left Alive #1 by Jeremy Laszlo
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
First off, this book is one that is a bit outside my preferred reading. Not because of genre–I simply don’t usually read books that are written in the first person point-of-view. When I do read books written in this point-of-view, they have to be tightly written or I find myself putting them down. This one was not as tightly written as I prefer, but I did push through it simply because I’m a writer, too, and I would like to think that people will give my books the same consideration.
A few things I noticed that really made the book seem hum-drum to me was that it really needed a good, thorough editing by someone who does that type of thing for a living. In the first 38% of the book (I read it on the Kindle), the main character essentially thought the same cluster of input about his wife and two daughters about every other paragraph. I almost put the book down, and I’ll be honest, I did close it out on my Kindle and go read some short stories to give myself a break from it.
The other major issue I noticed is that all the trees and plants are dead. With all those people breathing, the world would be full of carbon dioxide pretty quickly without our natural carbon dioxide scrubbers going through photosynthesis. I’m assuming that some survived somewhere, but it would not be enough to sustain an entire planet of people, and there still seem to be a lot of people.
It had great potential for an excellent dystopian novel, and I do believe that if Laszlo had gone through a few more edits, it could have been a 5-star novel. It just needed a bit more polish.