Review: The Culling by JC Andrijeski

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Publisher: White sun press
Publishing Date: April 2014
ISBN: 9781499306743
Genre: SciFi
Rating: 1.5/5

Publisher Description: Jet is a 19-year-old skag, one of the humans still living free on Earth following an invasion of creatures called the Nirreth. Squatting in the ruins of Vancouver, Jet and her family eke out an existence underground, hiding from culler ships and fighting off raiding humans.

Review: There are a couple of covers out there. This one is perplexing. Why is the hot bad ass chick always have her back to you while looking over her shoulder? Not a real good self-defense tactic.

Ah, dystopia where is thy sting? Oh shjt, I said I would never read another novel by this author after “Rook”. Oh well. The general plot has a pretty weak premise as far a science fiction goes. Why would an alien species, capable of inter-stellar travel, come to a back water planet in a back water galaxy to take up residence and enslave the human race? Earth chicks are hot? They lost their lease on planet X? And how in the fug did they find us? Are they like a spacefaring plague that spreads galactic tentacles, ensnaring populated worlds? Why no, they are here to subjugate, enslave and place human combatants in a fighting arena against themselves. Make sense? No? Tough shjt.

Jet and her sword, Black (get it?) fight in order to survive. And did you know that her sword maker Mishimo, told her that “Jet”, in Latin means black. In case you were unaware about black, jet and the Latin connection…….So she gets captured, cause, well, we need a fugging story-line and meets the Captain of some hovering ship that turns out to be, Richter!!! DUN! DUN! DUN!. Some human sleeze-ball colluding with the aliens. But he’s hot and is just trying to survive and has mischief and steel in his eyes and a smirk or a smile about his lips 24/7. Fug.

The dialogue, much like “Rook” is endlessessesssessss. Every scene is fraught with an over abundance of needless detail and internalization. “Should I run here, go there, (ruminates on past life while fleeing)”. And then boom-splat, she is having a face to face with the Captain and getting all hot an bothered while freshly captured and stung with poison from the tail of an alien. In one scene where she first meets Richter, Jet “folded” or was “folding” her arms at least four times. Did the author forget that she had folded her arms already, or had she dropped her arms, only to fold them again to purvey an emotional tense? Who knows. Throughout this conversation the author takes not so subtle pains to describe Richter. “Meeting her gaze with those coffee colored eyes…..smiled at her with those perfect white teeth…..laid his thick arms on the table……patted her shoulder with his big hands…” blah blah blah. Jets jaw either “hardened”, got “hard” or was “hardening” at least 24 times throughout this novella, which I must say, is quite a bit grindage.

This novel has scant action, even less story-line appeal and a never ending spew of dialogue of the internal kind. Not to mention the constant yapping between the characters and Jet’s ever present frumpy indignation over EVERYTHING. Just be a mean slave girl. Why the air of humanity and false bravado when there is no hope? This novel could of had a great character in Jet. Make her a self-reliant bad-ass of the future whom survived underground, was captured and now fights in the ring. There would be no love interest, no arguing politics about rebels or aliens. Just a chick with a sword with an attitude to kill.

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