Book Review: Freezing Point by Grace Hamilton

Publishing Date: September 2018

Publisher: Relay

ISBN: 9781726446136

Genre: Post Apoc

Rating: 1.9/5

Publisher’s Description: In the dawn of a new Ice Age, families everywhere are taking to the road to escape the frigid landscape—but you can’t outrun the cold. No one could have predicted the terrifying impact of human interference in the Arctic. Shifts in the Earth’s crust have led to catastrophe and now the North Pole is located in the mid-Atlantic, making much of the eastern United States an unlivable polar hellscape.

Review: This novel was so filled with tropes that the cup overfloweth with patterned passages in hopes of a movie deal. The movie preview might read like: “The stalwart wife who was raised under the tutelage of a prepper master is as tough as nails, can shoot better than an expert, is a naturally gifted tracker, is hotter than a popcorn fart and likes a good spanking.  Nathan: the husband who is just too good for his own underpants, reticent to leave a life of established mediocrity for the big city, can’t help but help the stranded and dispossessed. When not being obstinate and over-reactive, he likes to tousle little wheezy’s hair “ An asthmatic son rounds out this familial trio of asshats because insurmountable odds are just not enough. You gotta have wheezy there for false poignancy. Don’t forget the dog/human that barks and whines like Lassie during all the pivotal scenes.

This author and I would not get along in a post-apoc world. She would most likely shoot me on site (because I am a male and naturally want to rape everything) or accidentally shoot herself because she knows dick-all about firearms. It is strange how all her books follow this rapey gang/ Road Warrior trope and her ideas of realistic situations constantly collide with entertainment rhetoric. Her novels follow a pattern of canned “Made for Movie” material that is relentless in it’s bombardment of the senses.

There are a few firearm fails which are pretty standard from this author. For instance, the “line of bullet holes of which the frequency of the holes suggests they were spray from an automatic weapon.” So you can now tell that bullet holes in a car are from an automatic weapon versus a semi-auto or single shot? In another scene, “Blackhair” (a 7-1 evilly gang member) fires his AK-47 hitting their Dodge auto wrecker, which seems to now deflect bullets rather than absorb holes like most sheet metal. What is not consistent is the use of the AK-47. Why would everyone have one when the importation of a fully automatic weapon has been illegal for decades? Conversions (as the most likely culprit) are never discussed. Oh, and in case you missed it, 7-1 signifies seven rape victim…..er, women to one humongous.

So they run into a group of Amish, are taken in, and wouldn’t you know? Fukin’ Cyndi grew up around the Amish and through her Father, adopted the Amish way of life, thereby enhancing her prepping skills. Fug me with a hammer. So when all hope is lost, Nathan rises from the ashes like the proverbial Phoenix to save a little street urchin/pedo victim/junkie daughter/gang mistress from NY (who now talks with a southern accent) while finding redemption in the form of a dead elk which are not found anywhere near the Midwest or Detroit for that matter. They are definitely not referred to as 16 pointers. That is a Midwest idiom.

So as I beat my head against a table, I wonder if there is some momma bear in the woods somewhere looking after her little wheezy’s while canning catfish and getting spanked by a sonorous male drone with a rubber ball in his mouth.

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Book Review: Green Jay and Crow by DJ Daniels

Publishing Date: December 2018

Publisher: Rebellion

ISBN: 9781781086445

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 1.3/5

Publisher’s Description: In the half-forgotten borough of Barlewin, in the shadow of the High Track, where neon lights fall on broken cobbles, you do what you must. To survive. To make it another day. For Eva, a 3D-printed copy of another woman, the fight is for her very existence. She was meant to be disposable. She should have disintegrated days ago…and she hasn’t. Now the powers that be want to know why.

Review:

The Good: Intriguing style of writing where events that are wholly strange, are accepted norm by the characters. The  aliens are fairly alien and the chemical robots are a great addition to an infinitely boring story line.

The Bad: To say this was a long, hard , slog across pages and pages of more or less the same situations is selling it short. The story moves in a spiral ouroboros where events fail to culminate in a noteworthy direction. This makes for characterization that is fairly one dimensional and flat. The characters reflect this flatness with situational responses that are internalized and unemotional. Their behavior is almost stunted to the point of being automatons. Perhaps this was the author’s attempt at world building through characterization.

The Ugly: Oh my fuk this was boring. Lop off a third of this novel and get to the fuking point. What does it mean to be human……Blah, blah, blah, I am green humant plant, blah, blah, blah, everybody wants me….blah. It is too bad, really, that information was intentionally dribbled to the main characters (and the reader) in order to create a salable novel. Slow reveals does not a story line make.

If you have a lot of time to burn and nothing to read, don’t read this.

Book Review: Stealing Life by Antony Johnston

Publishing Date: November 2018

Publisher: Rebellion

ISBN: 9781781085202

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.7/5

Publisher’s Description: Nicco Salarum is a thief, and a good one. In the rough-and-tumble city of Azbatha, where every street hustler has an enchantment in his back pocket, Nicco prides himself on using his skills—and the best technology money can buy—to get him into the houses and boardrooms of the wealthy. But Nicco’s last job went sour, leaving him in debt to a powerful gang boss, and deep in trouble. When a foreign wizard offers him a vast sum for a visiting diplomat’s trinket, he leaps at the opportunity.

Review: Nicco. Ah, Nicco. What a character. A thief with a heart of gold that seems to get tossed in the shjt by his own good intentions. Needing money to pay off a mob boss, he takes a job from a wizard to steal a magicked medallion.  From there it is a wild ride of fast action and daring escapes.

This was a quirky blend of SciFi and Fantasy that usually ends up in a tangled mass of contradictions. Yet, the author pulls off this blending of genres with a deft hand and critical eye on the overt. That is to say, the story line is not overwhelmed with magic bashing into an alien world. This supportive role moves the story line in interesting directions while building characterization. There is a taste of steampunk in there as well for those so inclined, and the world building supports the readers visual landscape.

Get it and have some fun.