How would America be different if the Alamo had ended with Texas declaring itself a separate nation under a new king? Tracing the lineage of Texas Royalty, imbued with bio-electric power, The Charge taps into the alternate history and develops an awesome contemporary sci-fi.
It is so refreshing to see an NA (New Adult, for ages 18-22) book not be a romance. Sharon Bayliss puts together a wild and fast ride as young adults get pulled into the political games of the highest political powers in the world. With genetic modification, counter-charge technology, and plenty of guns, the consequences are astounding. Impressive and believable characters in an overwhelming setting make for an awesome coming of age tale.
While I seldom read alternate history, this one really drew me in. Though it is not fully a dystopian work, there is plenty of that to go around, too. I especially enjoyed the new take on “mutants” with shockingly realistic consequences. (Pun intended.) Four stars out of five.
I have very specific tastes when it comes to horror. I am not impressed by gratuitous blood and gore. I don’t buy into sadistic demons with no other purpose than to murder and spread pain. And I really don’t enjoy reading from the perspective of a serial killer. However, I have found there is some horror out there I really like. It is literary horror with deeper meaning, which really leaves me thinking long after I finish the story. That is exactly what happened with The Prince of Earth by Mike Robinson.
Quincy found things went missing from her life. Sometimes even people. She remembers them perfectly, while everybody around her has completely forgotten. These disturbing events send her mind back to events that happened ten years earlier, things she’d hoped to forget.
With amazing prose and emotional imagery, The Prince of Earth really speaks to something primal inside all of us. Jumping back and forth between two critical times in the main character’s life, the narrative is at once compelling and haunting. Set against a mysterious and picturesque mountain in Scotland and touching on the human condition in a dark and beautiful way, Mike Robinson’s book construction is masterful. The ideas and images continue to echo in my mind.
I wouldn’t think I could still be scared by a book until this one reached into my psyche. Five stars.
Posted in Books, Horror
Tagged books, Review
Above the engaging narrative, the thing that sets Mark Z. Danielewski apart is the way he bends the words into concrete poetry. Breaking the mold to use colors, pictures, and other visual effects as part of the narrative really adds impact. While these devices are common in all his work, they are taken to a new level in The Fifty Year Sword.
In some ways the book seems more like a comic book. This play, originally performed only on stage on Halloween, breaks the standard form, using colored quotations to indicate the various speakers. The dialogue describes a story told to five orphans by a reclusive old man. The pages are filled with pictures created by embroidery, sewing, and other artistic sewing. While the point of the book is subtly hidden beneath fantasy stories of magical swords, it is still poignant and inspiring.
While I found the colored quotations interesting at first, they became tiresome. By the end, I didn’t even try to track who said what. It didn’t detract from the story at all. I expected more horror or paranormal. So people looking for those genres will be disappointed by the subtlety in this book. I found it delightful. It doesn’t take that long to read. I give it four stars because I really like experimental work. I highly recommend you check this book out just for a novel art experience.