What happens to the world when only three of the four horsemen ride? “Misericorde” looks at that in great detail. Set in the future when all horsemen of the apocalypse—except Death—ride, the author presents a world that has fallen back into the Middle Ages. All technology is gone, there is no electricity, and people go back to living in castles in the few places where basic resources can still be found. There is a ruling class that lives in luxury, while all their servants are barely surviving. You never really meet this ruling class though, instead the reader is introduced to a servant, Lourdes, the brutal soldiers she’s tasked with serving, and an Archangel that is determined to find any human still capable of mercy in such a brutal world. This book has “Angelfall” vibes but written with literary prose full of feeling, with well crafted characters, but maybe just a tad too much description.
“Poseidon’s Trident” starts almost immediately after the first book, where our main characters, the Chosen One’s of the prophecy are attempting to find (ie: steal) the godly items they need to wage war on the Greek gods and free humanity from its enslavement to these selfish, brutal deities. Be forewarned, the second book starts right in on what Andy and Zoey are attempting to do without much in the way of recap, so if you don’t remember what happened in the first book or who is who, you’ll want to refresh yourself a bit before starting this adventure, otherwise you may be a bit lost going in. But one of the things I like best about this author and her series are the subtle details she puts in that are spot on with the source material of the Greek myths, and that’s just as true in the second book as it was in the first.
What do you get when your cross the concept of Jurassic Park with a B horror movie? You get the fast-paced “Monsterland”, that’s what. “Monsterland” is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a theme park full of real-life monsters, namely zombies, vampires, and werewolves. The premise being that vampires and werewolves have always lived amongst us, just hidden, until a plague that created zombies sweeps the planet and now a billionaire mogul, Vincent Konrad, decides to make a theme park housing all these monsters for “study”, and profit obviously because why make a theme park out of it if you didn’t want to make cash? Wyatt, one of our many MC’s (but the main, main one) idolizes Vincent and wants nothing more than to go to the park opening night. He gets his wish, but of course everything changes and this supposedly “safe” park is anything but. Things escalate FAST once Wyatt and his friends are in the park, perhaps too fast to really get a feel for, well, anything. Hence the B movie vibe…
Gaiman has always been hit or miss for me. Some of his books I love, some I don’t care for, so I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about Neverwhere, outside of the fact that there’s something deeply satisfying about holding the illustrated version—something about thick little hardcovers is just the best feeling. Anyway, Neverwhere is a not subtle in its message: the homeless are invisible to those who want to pretend the “problem” doesn’t exist—but make it magic that has a very Tim Burton feel, because this is Gaiman, after all. When Richard sees one of those who have fallen through the cracks—a citizen of London Below—and proceeds to help her, it sets off a chain of events that plunges him into London Below and makes him just as invisible to London Above, and his old life, as the rest of the characters in this novel. In which there a lot, all of which are unique and magical and so beautifully distinct from each other. I even loved Mr Vandemar and Mr Croup who are unequivocally terrible people, but they are written in such a creative way that I couldn’t help but love them just as much as Richard and our heroine Door, with her opal-colored eyes.
Don’t you just hate when a book synopsis lies to you? Because this one lied HARD. And, normally, I wouldn’t even bother giving a rating or a review for a book I DNF’d simply because I can’t speak to the story in its entirety, but I do make the occasional exception. The Windup Girl being one of those exceptions. This book should have been excellent, you would assume it was, given all the praise and awards this debut garnered when it was published in 2009 for its biopunk look at our future. When the climate has changed, the oil run out, and bio-terrorism has destroyed the food to where only manufactured food (think hardcore GMO’s) survives. But, instead, this book is full of harmful stereotypes and still leans on this idea that Western colonialism is what the world needs in this, supposedly, far future setting.
Click the book images to see them on Amazon!