Written by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, “All the Stars are Suns” is the author’s estimation of what the future will hold as humans evolve and shape the technology around them. At its core, this book is a look at the relationship between man and machine and how the different religious groups and governing bodies view that changing relationship. It offers a portrayal of how the world becomes ever smaller, blending cultures and languages into one big hodgepodge of dialects and races as well as the acceptance of different sexual orientations. As someone who is entrenched in the changing tech world the way Brown is, it’s no surprise that her story follows that of a true sentient artificial life form and the perils that come with being different from others, all while striving to colonize the stars when terrorist and idealist fanatics stand in the way. And, indeed, that’s what the synopsis has you believe as well, and while the book is about all these things, it’s not as… tense, shall we say, as the synopsis portrays. This is no hair raising race to the stars before the main character(s) secrets are found out, but more a slow, methodical chess game to show where all the players are as they converge on Sincerity/Quan.
“The Guardians Crest” is the third book in the “Guardians of Zion” series, and like the previous book, this particular volume makes the most sense if read in order, so you know the players etc. If you haven’t read the first two books, go do that now and then come back to this review, as there might be some mild spoilers for those books lurking in this review. Now, as is customary, the author starts the book with an introduction that 1. Kind of reminds the reader where the heroes left off and 2. Tells you a bit more of what this book is about and a little reasoning as to why Chrobak choose to start the novel the way he did: going back to when Thomas was first discovering his faith and powers. This time, however, we’re focusing on his little sister’s experiences, and the author also explains why he chose to include some of the demons this time. Normally, I’m not a fan of introductions like that because I don’t want someone to tell me what I’m about to read, but, for this book, I appreciated it because it was necessary for one very important reason: we don’t visit Thomas and where book two left off until about half way through this novel.
Behind Every Great Man: The Forgotten Women Behind the World's Famous and Infamous; Marlene Wagman-Geller
“Behind Every Great Man” has a great—pardon the pun—premise: highlighting the lives of extraordinary women whose lives and accomplishments have been forgotten in the shadow of their famous—or infamous—husbands. Forty women whose names have been forgotten, some while still alive, is documented in short 5-8 page chapters in a rather light and sometimes humorous manner. But for how perfect this books sounds, how desperately I wanted to praise these forgotten sister’s accomplishments, about 80% of the time, that wasn’t the case.
What a ride! Caligation is the name of the town—city? Let’s go with city—that Ripley Mason, our MC, finds himself mysteriously in after a terrible car accident. Struggling to understand how he got there and how to leave, Ripley starts wandering deeper into the city where he finds everyone has an effigia—think animal familiar—and some of the people are very much like vampires, while others are pretty much shapeshifters, and then others can manipulate a certain natural element, while others are just boring humans, but with the animal, of course. Everything is new and strange, and unfamiliar to Ripley who just wants to LEAVE, but can’t figure out HOW, and neither can anyone else he encounters in this strange place. Which lands Ripley in a metric ton of trouble as he inadvertently gets himself mixed up with the underground gangs in his quest to figure out what’s going on, and how he can get out of Caligation before it kills him.
“Victor” is the second book in the Eden East series, and you really do need to read the first book before jumping into this story, as Black doesn’t do a ton of recapping, which I like! I don’t like spending chapter after chapter just going over past information, but at the same time, I did have a bit of a hard time remembering some of the smaller characters… Still! This book picks up right where we left off, with the slain Victor coming back to enact his revenge and to push Eden and her Balancer (think husband/soulmate) towards a prophecy that will change their world forever. Black has an incredible ability to make each chapter gripping and leave you wanting more. The world of Truintor is fascinating and the struggle Eden finds herself in is extremely compelling; I felt all the feelings during this book and enjoyed it a great deal more than the first book, which is saying a lot as I enjoyed the first book! There are only a few things in this story that left me a little less than satisfied.
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