Ok guys, I need you to suspend some disbelief with me real quick as I introduce you to this incredibly topical, but also incredibly quirky book. Meet “Threshold” the story of Ooolandia (a world like ours but with the extra “o”) where humanoids and animals all work and live together. As in the animals talk and have jobs, but also still function as animals and hunt each other. See what I mean about the quirkiness? But Ooolandia is in trouble. The population has become so fixated on changing nature to do what they want, that they have completely destroyed the ecosystem on their never ending quest for MORE. The only ones to see what the business running Ooolandia is doing is the Department of Nature, run by a monkey and a really smart mouse—more quirkiness! Plagued by what they see, and others don’t, it’s up to them to open the populace’s eyes before it’s too late. Ok so you have these smart, talking animals, plus a lot of mythical creatures, and they are all on a quest that revolves around climate change, and trying to get the people who deny what’s going on to see how everyone is connected. See how relevant that subject is to our current world? Honestly, this book shouldn’t have worked, but it does! It so, so does!
“An Honest Policy” is a satirical commentary on the American voting system that was inspired by Reddits’ Writing Prompts boards. It’s a quick novella full of snarky wit, humor and an eldritch god-like entity who has decided he—it?—has had enough of the lies and the extremes of the political parties. Qym—the god’s name is much longer, so hopefully he doesn’t kill me for the abbreviation—is running on one very honest and straight forward policy: if elected president, he will murder everyone. No foreign policies, no questions on healthcare or family values, everyone will be equally dead. Tom, the Conservative extreme-esque opponent to Qym and a seasoned politician, has only ever lied to people. He’s only ever done and pandered to who and what is necessary in order to achieve his political goals, including having a fake family. Tom may not be honest, but he’s also not promising murder, so he’s pretty caught off guard when he starts losing to this ancient deity, and badly. So the question becomes if Tom can win and “save” America, but really, the story’s focus is on the circus that is politics and the echo chamber that prime time media allows us to fall into. The commentary is not subtle, no “side” is right, no one is good. It’s frustrating, but very entertaining, and unnervingly close to home—minus the murderous god thing, of course.
I don’t really know where to begin with “The Adventures of Warren Steadmill”, which isn’t a bad thing, but rating a book that’s written as a type of parody to classic folktales is just hard! Rosenberg has a distinct style of witty and sarcastic writing that reminds me a great deal of the late Sir Terry Pratchett, even down to the occasional footnote. Everything is whimsical, and silly, and also vaguely serious with some rather dark undertones. But Warren’s tale is a simple one: one of a family growing closer, finding purpose in life, and growing up. Warren falls for a girl and to impress her, he gives up his life of unproductive luxury to become a table maker and win his fair lady’s adoration. But, of course, none of that really works out for him and Warren, poor, sweet, innocent and often dumb, Warren, is left to bumble through an adventure he barely understands that will eventually leave him a hero. Kind of?
****I received an ARC copy from the author in exchange for an honest review****
The title of this book pretty much tells you everything you need to know about what you’ll find within its pages. Spoiler alert: earth is screwed. If any humans want to be spared, then our hope lays with Autumn, a klutzy young woman who’s day job is making infomercials, who needs to tell the rest of the human race to take a major chill pill, and come together singing kumbaya so the aliens will swoop down and save us. There’s a reason why this all sounds kind of silly, and that’s because that’s how the book is written (which, come on, is pretty obvious just by LOOKING at the cover, or reading the back blurb). So if you’re tired of all those serious end-of-day’s books, you know, the ones that result in redemption stories as the characters try to get back to normal life, then look no further. This book doesn’t deal with the aftermath of the end of the world (which should be self-explanatory as to why), but rather the humorous lead up to saving what remains of the human race. Who knew you could cram a decent amount of sex, food binge-fests, and bad puns, while the earth gets destroyed?
****I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review****
Growing up, I loved all things King Arthur and Camelot. I loved reading about the different iterations of Morgana from evil Fey Queen to misunderstood guardian Lady of the Lake. I loved reading the more young adult books focusing on Guinevere becoming a warrior queen rather than a damsel in distress. Then for some reason, that really isn’t witty or enlightening, I moved on from Arthur and his Knights of The Round Table, and went on to more Greek and Norse Mythology and on and on. But I am so glad to be getting back into Arthurian fantasy! It reminds me why I loved these books as a kid, and the first book in “The Legends of King Arthur” really hit the spot for a craving I had nearly forgotten about! I don’t know of a single person who hasn’t at least heard of the legends around King Arthur, so I don’t really need to say what this book is about. Suffice it to say, this story follows Arthur on those crucial few “steps” before he can covet his Kingly title, when everything goes wrong, and he has to prove himself worthy to lead his people.
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