Archive for January, 2016

LOVELOCK

Posted: January 29, 2016 in Book Reviews

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Lovelock by Orson Scott Card and Kathryn H Kidd

283 pages

Lovelock is a Genetically enhanced, super intelligent Capuchin monkey who serves his master as a witness. His job is to observe and record every moment of his masters life so that it might be preserved for further generations. He joins his master on deep space vessel destined for a new world where humanity can thrive. The Ark is a space ship design with natural farming land and villages. Equipped with artificial rotational gravity and inflatable housing for the families who come aboard the Ark.

Lovelock however is no ordinary, Genetically enhanced monkey. He longs for his own freedom that he sees all the other humans have. Slowly he begins to break from his conditioning and becomes more independent as he tries to break free from the bonds of servitude that have been programmed into him.

The story is told from Lovelock’s perspective and reads like a diary of sorts as he struggles to work through his own feelings and desires for freedom. Because of his genetic enhancements and super intelligence he comes off as very human in his emotional maturity and thought patterns and processes.

This story in many ways is a bit of a weird one. Lovelock’s desire for freedom begins to be centered around the theme of sex, incest and parenthood. One family on the Ark has a child who is a victim of incest, while Lovelock in secret grows his own child from the other Capuchin embryos to be his eventual lover. First however he must overcome his conditioning which brings him great pain at the thought of sex and sexual pleasure. While his master is having sex he can only succeed in masturbating by thinking of pleasing her. This really became a story which obsesses with sex and sexuality.

Sex can certainly have its place in a story and that in and of itself is a non-issue. It can certainly enhance a story and bring more realism to the characters. This book however I thought had an unusual obsession with sex, while not graphic or explicit, it was an odd way of progressing the underlying theme of slavery vs freedom. It became a central theme to the story line. The story would suggest that in order to break the bonds of slavery one must break through our inhibitions and conditioning regarding sex.

I found the way in which this book dealt with these concepts was disturbing. Lovelock basically creates offspring for the purpose of becoming a sexual partner then rationalizes killing this offspring to satisfy his own desire for protection and self-preservation.

I have to admit however I do take pleasure in the darker side of life. It fascinates me. I supposed that explains much of the types of books I read and music I listen to. This story does more however than play on the theme of sex and bondage.

Throughout the world there are tens of thousands of assistance animals. They are in effect bound by training to be a servant of the people they work for. This story taken from the perspective of one such animal is all about how our animal servants may feel if they had the intelligence to understand their captivity. Would they resent the servitude? Would they yearn for the freedom and ability to pro-create as their human masters do? Would they long for their freedom?

This is supposed to be the first book of a 3 part trilogy of books, however the second book is still listed at forthcoming. The end of the book certainly left room for further story telling and set up a possible future for Lovelock effectively. hopeful book 2 in this series will eventually get published and we will learn what happens to Lovelock and the society he wishes to build.

I will say that I enjoyed this read. While a bit obsessive over sex, it was certainly an entertaining read. I would most certainly recommend it. If you like that sort of thing anyway.

I give this book 6/10 book worms.

WARHEART

Posted: January 23, 2016 in Book Reviews

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WARHEART by Terry Goodkind

463 pages.

This book has been a long time coming and is the conclusion to the sword of truth series by Terry Goodkind. This book ends a final 4 book series within the Sword of Truth that started with The Omen Machine. I kind of wish I had taken the time to go back and review each and every book in this series like I did with the Wheel of Time.

What I can say about this series however is that it is by far one of the best series I have ever read. Terry Goodkind’s fantasy comes from a dark and disturbing imagination filled with our worst nightmares. Everything from armies of the walking dead to living hells direct from the underworld itself.

The characters and creations of this series are truly terrifying in their conception. The Hedgemaid who has had her lips sown shut as her scream is the scream of death itself from the world of the dead. Hearing it will poison your soul and suck the very force of life from your body. Hannis Arc who raised the dead Emperor Sulachan who created an army of the un-dead who savagely destroy, eat and tear you limb from limb while still alive in a desperate effort to steal your soul for themselves.

Warheart starts with Richard, the Seeker of Truth, the Bringer of Death and the one to end prophecy laid out on a funeral pyre. He had sacrificed his life for Kahlan and brough her back from the world of the dead. Kahlan in a desperate effort, and knowing that he was the key to defeating Hannis Arc and Emperor Sulachan’s army of shun tuk, the half men zombie apocalypse horde of soul seeking desperate walking dead, seeks out a witch woman to help her bring Richard back from the dead.

She accomplishes this task, however Richard still has the poison of death within him and must find his way back to the People’s Palace. It is only there, with the containment field and power of Orden that he can defeat Sulachan and Hannis Arc and cure himself of the touch of death. To do so he must end prophecy to save the world of life.

This book was fast paced with tons of action. The writing style of short chapters keeps you wanting more and makes it very difficult to put the book down.

This volume however had some disappointing aspects to it. I really felt a sense of rushing through the story in an effort to finalize all the story arcs. Things just happened at random it seems it some cases all in an effort to solve the problems at hand in order to move the story along. Cara for example just suddenly showing up with no explanation in order to fill the need in the moment. Richard’s time in the underworld and the battle with the demons holding him captive was over almost as soon as it started. The search for Richard in the Underworld could have easily taken a full volume in this series without losing any of the exciting aspect of the story telling. The race to the People’s Palace and subsequent battle there as well lacked I felt. It is almost as if this book reads as a summary of the final story arcs more than a full read of the story itself.

This book certainly holds to Terry Goodkind’s story telling style however. His classic style of magical descriptions of how things work I personally have really enjoyed. Any book by him that lacked this element would just be odd and out-of-place.

It is unfortunate however that the concluding volume of the Sword Of Truth lacked in the story telling side of things in the sense that things happened way too quickly. This conclusion could have easily been told just as well in 2 books of the same size, or even 3. There were so many parts that I would have love to been able to get more into. The zombie battle at the People’s Palace for example, or Richard’s battle in the underworld with the demons holding him captive and Nicci’s Search for him there. His confrontation with Sulachan could certainly have used much more time and many more chapters.

Overall however I still really enjoyed the read. Regardless of my critiques it will still be one of my favorite book series of all time. Disappointing concluding volume that had potential for so much more. But still overall good.

In the end, sadly I have to give this book a 6/10 bookworms. Still worth the read and good ending, but could have used a lot more expansion on the general story line of this book.

A Memory of Light

Posted: January 15, 2016 in Book Reviews

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A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

1,148 pages

“And it shall come to pass that what men made shall be shattered. The Shadow shall lie across the pattern of the age, and the Dark One shall once more lay his hand upon the world of man. Women shall weep and men quail as the nations of the Earth are rent like rotting cloth. Neither shall anything stand or abide.”

Yet one shall be born to face the Shadow, born once more as he was born before, and shall be born again, time without end! The dragon shall be Reborn, and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth at his rebirth. In sackcloth and ashes shall he clothe the people, and he shall break the world again by his coming, tearing apart all ties that bind.

Like the unfettered dawn shall he blind us, and burn us, yet shall the Dragon Reborn confront the Shadow at the last battle, and his blood shall give us the light. Let tears flow, o ye people of the world. Weep for your salvation!” — Prophecy of the Dragon

The final book of the Wheel Of Time. The conclusion to an amazing epic journey of a Simple sheep herder, a Gambler and Blacksmith apprentice. Swept up in a world beyond their control. Rand, Perrin, Matt, their fates give us an epic conclusion to a masterful story. This story reads like a master Gleemans tale in every respect. Thom Merrilin would be proud.

This book is intense. 1,000 + pages of almost non stop battle and war. This entire book is virtually the last battle, fought on multiple fronts. One of my personal favorites was the sequences of the last hunt in the world of dreams. Perrin, hunting slayer, who becomes the hunted. Pushed to his limits and nearly losing this vital battle. Slayer is out to destroy Rand who must face the Shadow, AKA, Shaitan, alone. The wolf dream battle serves a vital component to the last battle to save the world from complete destruction.

Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson paint a vivid and apocalyptic picture of the last battle. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children brought to fight against the forces of the Shadow. No one has peace and rest, all are called to the fight without mercy. It is scenes filled with savage brutality of war, filled with nightmares and terror from every side. Every nation in the world at war against a single dark and evil foe. Like the battle of Armageddon the apocalypse has come. And it is a scene straight out of your worst nightmare.

Rand’s battle with Shaitan is a battle of wills. I cannot help but see the parallels┬áto Christian theology, the name of the dark one, Shaitan, the prophecies of his blood being spilled to bring the world light. During this battle of wills worlds were created and destroyed.

“What have you done to them” Rand demanded

“I LET THEM THINK THEY HAVE WON”

“Why?” Rand asks

“MANY WHO FOLLOW ME DO NOT UNDERSTAND TYRANNY”

“You took their conscience, didn’t you”

“MEN WHO THINK THEY ARE OPPRESSED WILL SOMEDAY FIGHT. I WILL REMOVE FROM THEM NOT JUST THEIR WILL TO RESIST, BUT THE VERY SUSPICION THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG”

“So you leave them without compassion”

“COMPASSION IS NOT NEEDED”

“This is different from the world you showed me before”

“WHAT I SHOWED YOU BEFORE IS WHAT MEN EXPECT. IT IS THE EVIL THEY THINK THEY FIGHT. BUT I WILL MAKE A WORLD WHERE THERE IS NO GOOD, NO EVIL. ONLY ME.”

This is a world that is truly horrifying, no good, no evil, no will, no knowledge, no souls. A world that Rand is desperately trying to fight. It is a fight that we daily struggle with ourselves. We see this struggle today, the fight against oppression and evil. Every sequence and description of Rands fight against the powers and forces of Shaitan is just amazing, wonderful and deeply fulfilling read.

Reading this series of books I feel that I have made so many new friends. I have fought with them on the fields of Merrilor and shayol Ghul at the last battle, I have mourned with the death of them. I have felt their pain, passion, and anger. I feel as if I have lived a lifetime among Rand, Egwene, Nynaeve, Matt, Moraine, Oliver, Perrin, Faile, Avienda, Lan, Birgette, etc… and so many others. Ending this series feels like the end and parting ways of friendships. It is a bitter-sweet parting and yet a fulfilling and truly satisfying end to a brilliant series. To my friends Matt, Perrin, and Rand and all your associates, I will always remember the times we have shared and the struggles we have endured together fondly.

I love this book, and everyone that came before it. I will miss my friends, but will know that they will always be there, sitting on my shelf waiting for me to someday return to them. A series and story like this will never fade from memory but will be remembered with fondness for the times that were shared with these beloved characters.

If you have not read this book or any in the wheel of time, DO IT! it is just worth it. I am so glad that I took the time to re-read ALL 14 books. I have spent over a year getting re-acquainted with the friends I have made and telling you all about them.

Everyone one in this book, dead or alive will live on in memory and hearts, most especially Rand who banishes Shaitan once again, and ends his destiny with his final breath, but once again to be reborn on the winds of time.

The Wheel of time turns, and ages come and pass. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time, and forever in our hearts.

WHAT AN AMAZING READ!

10/10 book worms, as must read!