Review of Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke

Childhood's EndChildhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Clarke manages to craft a strange, and at times morbidly intriguing world. As humanity learns the answer to the age old question “are we alone?” Turns out the answer is no, but the Overlords are mysterious upon their first arrival. Being careful and selective on who they choose to interact , in terms of socially, diplomatically, and psychically. In some way the Overlords are more like the alien version of an anthropologist, observing without bias. Interacting, and guiding humanity as needed. Getting humanity to its next stage of life.

Review of A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgress

A Clockwork OrangeA Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 out of five stars. While the main character Alex is interesting, as the story follows him and his life as a droog. However the heavy use of nonsensical slang, is a bit annoying to read at times. Let alone figure out what is going on, in Alex’s twisted mind. Yet there is something iconic in this twisted coming of age style tale.

Review of the Simarillion by J. R.R Tolkien

The Silmarillion (Middle-Earth Universe)The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Despite the relative shortness of the book, it is filled with history and great detail of how Middle-Earth came to be. Downside that makes reviewing it a challenge without revealing a lot of the details. However given the amount of history, it is an essential for anyone who loved the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. A large chunk of the book is about the creation of Middle Earth, and how the world was shaped. The last part ties in to some extent with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, as it tells how Sauraman, Gandalf and a few other wizards arrived in the world.

Review of Revival by Stephan King

RevivalRevival by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is a reason Stephen King is one the world’s best writers, and this book is no exception. While the book is may have a on and off pace, as the story churns between the relatively normal life of Jamie Morton, and the not so ordinary life he has at times. Combining classical elements of horror, occult, mysticism, and science this book is defiantly an up and down thrill ride, as Jamie grows up. You can see the influence of two notable classic writers of horror, Mary Shelly and H.P. Lovecraft, intertwined within the story.

Of course there are some humorous and tragic elements intertwined in the story, as Pastor Charlie Jacobs, and Jamie Morton have this yin-yang style relationship. Sometimes it is good, and other times it is complex and horrible. For the most part these two definitely make the book oddly interesting, as Charlie Jacobs explores his obsession with secret electricity.

Reveiw of Jupiter’s Daughter by Tom Hymn

Jupiter's DaughterJupiter’s Daughter by Tom Hyman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For a book heavily dosed with genetics, this book is one interesting thrill ride. The concept of using genetic engineering to build a “superior,” child is interesting, despite the odd simplicity of the concept. For the most part the characters are like able, outside of Dalton Stewart, and the Baroness. Those two are two sides of the same coin, ruthless, money hungry business types. However, Dalton is a little more charismatic than the baroness.

Story wise, it sounds like something that would make a decent X-Files style show. Complete with complex characters, various locations, and the superior product child of the Jupiter project, Genny. I will admit I’m curious to see what she is like as an adult/teenager as compared to the three year old child she is in this novel. Given the unique situation of her creation, it would interesting to see what is stronger. Nurture, or nature.

Review of Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Heart-Shaped BoxHeart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a similar vein to Stephan king’s Christine, this tale takes a simple buying of a dead man’s possession gone wrong. Honestly that may be the simplest way to describe this book.

While the main character is a slightly cliche, occult rocker with a taste for heavy music, and gothic, tattooed women. Oddly enough he has this slight redneck, gear head that is very southern to me. Even his lover/girlfriend has this oddly organic, natural vibe to her. That actually really helps making the world feel real. However there like every world in a horror atmosphere, there is something dark involved. Something that isn’t natural at all, and stands out. In this case it is a vindictive, vengeful ghost of father of one of Jude’s ex-lovers.

I could tell you the story, but that would spoil a lot that is best experienced first hand. Defiantly will be picking up more of Joe Hills work in the future.

Review of The Innovators:How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

The Innovators: How a Group of  Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital RevolutionThe Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Honestly, this book is very interesting. However, I feel unless you have an interest in the subject matter, you will find it a little dry.

That being said, for those of you have an interest in the contents in this book, will find it a mix of autobiographical and historical. Most of the accounts highlight the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and some of the noted people that brought about some of the innovations discussed innovations as well as inventions. I have to mention inventions since this book included the history and development of the transistor. In addition to that it includes account of various methods of programming, the microchip, the internet, the personal computer, among other things.

Review of Strange Flesh

Strange FleshStrange Flesh by Michael Olson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was one of the first books I have read by this author. While the testimony on the back says “(strangeFlesh==(sex&&games),” is odd but brief description of what lies inside. Combining a mix of hacking, a game of cat and mouse, murders, robotic sex, suicide, gaming, and a family’s odd history gives this book a cyberpunk feel.

He is paid by Billy’s twin siblings Blythe and Blake, who have a complicated history with their brother to say the least.Focused on exposing Billy Randell, James is chasing him. Delving into a computerized world, and an IT (not information technology) project as he tries to understand Billy’s strange and dark sense of artistry. James finds out Billy has withdrawn into a virtual world of sadism, and pornography followed by Gina’s suicide. He is forced to do things of questionable morality and legality, to get to close to Billy. To find him in this sea of blood, and sex.

Billy’s behavior becomes increasingly paranoid, as James begins getting close. A this is going on he is living a double life, working on a project designed to make virtual sex much more “real.” Between the pressure of that and the sexual tension between a mutual friend of Billy and James, things go from interesting to a rapid descent down madness.

Honestly the book is defiantly worth reading. Especially if enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I will be keeping my eye out for more books to come from this author.

Review of The Dust of Wonderland

The Dust of WonderlandThe Dust of Wonderland by Lee Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well much to my surprise the book has a happy ending. Happier than most horror novels at least. Honestly this book is a simple read, despite the sometimes complicated plot. The setting of New Orleans actually seems to contribute to the atmosphere of the story well, given it blends real history and fictional history building up the villain. For the most part the characters are relatable, outside of some of the more extreme reactions that happen.

Ken returns home, after his son bobby is an accident. Which sounds like it would be a simple visit, with his ex-wife, daughter and a few ex lovers. Of course it isn’t that simple, things get interesting as they search for bobby’s mysterious fiancé Vicki Blanch. Things spiral out of control as bobby briefly returns to life before being murdered in his hospital bed. Mysterious forces are at play, from a long dead lover ken had when he was eighteen. A mythos of sorts is built around Travis and his estate Wonderland. As the story progress the mythos is revealed and truth is brought about in a old storybook. The end is well written as Ken must choose between his ex wife and daughter, or an old lover.

Overall the book is well written and blends the realistic and gruesome with ease. It will be a welcome addition to the library of any fan of horror.

Review of A feast for Crows (A song of Ice and Fire, #4)

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4)A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Honestly reviewing this book poses a little challenge since most of the story is told from the perspective of Jamie and Cersei Lannister, and leaves out a good chunk of the main characters. However two return with changed names to hide their noble linage, from a kingdom that thinks/wants them dead. In this case, the kingdom is pretty much made up entirely of Cersei Lannister. The fact she ends up being put in cell near the end of the book is equally amusing as it is fitting for the lioness. Lady Margery is in there as well after being accused of treason, adultery and not being a maiden by Cerseri. Arya/ Cat is living in Bravos, as she learns things and is forced forget who she once was. Sansa/Alayna is living with Lord Littlefinger, as his bastard daughter and the son of Jon Arryn. Brienne of Tarth is working on finding both daughters of the late Edward Stark.

The war for the Iron Throne may be mostly won, but I doubt that is an end to the fighting. Jon Snow or should I say Commander Snow, sends Samwell Tully, Gilly and the young babe of caster away from the wall, with Maester Aemon. The Maester dies on the way back to the citadel at Oldtown. Samwell has strict orders from Lord Commander to become a Maester for the wall. The Ironmen have chosen a new King and prepare tot resume the war.

It is obvious to most readers, that there is other things that are happening as the book progress, but that would make the book massive. Honestly I am eager to see what happens to the jailed Lioness and Lady Margery in the next book. As much as I loath Ceresei as a character since she is a manipulative, power hungry women,whose primary concern is her son more than the realm, her character makes the world much more interesting.