Tag: 4 stars

Book Review: The Boys from Brazil by Ira Levin

The Boys From Brazil
Author: Ira Levin

Published: February 12, 1976
312 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Alive and hiding in South America, the fiendish Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele gathers a group of former colleagues for a horrifying project—the creation of the Fourth Reich. Barry Kohler, a young investigative journalist, gets wind of the project and informs famed Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman, but before he can relay the evidence, Kohler is killed.

Thus Ira Levin opens one of the strangest and most masterful novels of his career. Why has Mengele marked a number of harmless aging men for murder? What is the hidden link that binds them? What interest can they possibly hold for their killers: six former SS men dispatched from South America by the most wanted Nazi still alive, the notorious “Angel of Death”? One man alone must answer these questions and stop the killings—Lieberman, himself aging and thought by some to be losing his grip on reality.

At the heart of The Boys from Brazil lies a frightening contemporary nightmare, chilling and all too possible.

Kim’s Review:

I randomly found this book referenced in a silly conspiracy book I found in the clearance section of Books-a-Million. It was about Hitler’s use of dark magic in his rise to power and all it did was disprove the author’s whole thesis. I didn’t make it through chapter 3 of that book, but thankfully, I got a good book recommendation out of it.

I’m not sure I’d call Rosemary’s Baby horror, and I kinda feel the same way about this book. The overall idea is a scary one. However, the book comes across more as a thriller with some medical leanings. I mean, Dr. Mengele is the main villain so of course there’s gonna be some medical weirdness happening. I don’t want to give away the twist, though I knew half of it going into the story. I was still surprised once the twist was completely laid out for me. I didn’t see the whole picture clearly until then and I actually liked that. Even the open ending didn’t bother me!! It did get a little slow in the middle, but other than that, I really enjoyed this book!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale
Series: The Handmaid’s Tale #1

Author: Margaret Atwood
First Published: 1985
314 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now . . .

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

Kim’s Review:

What an intense read! Like Orwell and Bradbury, Atwood is great with the cautionary tales! It does take a little while to get going and figure out what is happening, but then it takes off! I realize that as a woman, my perspective is going to be different. Listening to Offred comparing her life in Gilead to her life during the Anarchy, I was terrified. Leaving abortion out of it (I’m not going to start a political fight, we all love each other too much to do that), all the rights and freedoms pulled from women are the kinds of things that we’re even seeing today for everyone! Thankfully, it hasn’t gotten nearly as far as Gilead, but like I said, Atwood is all about a cautionary tale. Is it as good as 1984 or Fahrenheit 451? I won’t say that. I’ll also say that maybe it could have used a little more action. However, it’s and engaging and scary read and I think the majority of Americans should read it!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
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Book Review: Inspection by Josh Malerman

Inspection
Author: Josh Malerman

Published: March 19, 2019
383 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

J is a student at a school deep in a forest far away from the rest of the world.

J is one of only twenty-six students, all of whom think of the school’s enigmatic founder as their father. J’s peers are the only family he has ever had. The students are being trained to be prodigies of art, science, and athletics, and their life at the school is all they know—and all they are allowed to know.

But J suspects that there is something out there, beyond the pines, that the founder does not want him to see, and he’s beginning to ask questions. What is the real purpose of this place? Why can the students never leave? And what secrets is their father hiding from them?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the forest, in a school very much like J’s, a girl named K is asking the same questions. J has never seen a girl, and K has never seen a boy. As K and J work to investigate the secrets of their two strange schools, they come to discover something even more mysterious: each other.

Kim’s Review:

Wow. This book definitely was a thinker! There was a lot of philosophizing and internal dialogue through the whole story. Thankfully, the ideas were fascinating enough that I was able to keep up fairly well. The main reason for the 4 stars is because I missed the action. I do like character driven plots but they do need to move along. This book was a little slow. However when the action did start, then it went fast! I liked the overall concept and even though many of the kids blurred together, I liked getting to know the characters. Overall, this was a fascinating read that scratched the dystopian itch, without actually being dystopian.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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