Author: Octavia E. Butler
Published: June 1976
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 18-26, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
The first science fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity.
Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother.
I came across Kindred when I was looking for books for First Line Friday, and this one has a doozy:
I lost an arm on my last trip home. My left arm.
That first line, the book description, and the fact that it is the first science fiction written by a black woman piqued my interest in Kindred. My library also offered it in audiobook format: SCORE! The only thing I was worried about was when I borrowed it was the age of the book. Written 30+ years ago, some sci-fi books do not ‘age well’ and become dated quickly. This did not end up being an issue for me as I felt this could take place now. You guys know by now that I am selective with sci-fi and even more selective with fantasy. And did you say TIME TRAVEL!?!?!?! That is the kind of sci-fi and fantasy I can read!
Kindred blew me away. This novel will be in my top reads of the year. I was intrigued the whole time listening to the audiobook and had no idea how it was going to end. It twisted in ways that I did not expect and then that shocker of an ending: OMG, I would have never expected that! This needs to become a limited series that stays true to the novel. Octavia Butler wowed me with Kindred, this is a novel everyone needs to read!
If you are looking for answers to why or how Dana time travels, you will be disappointed. Kindred does not explain the time travel, but the strength of the novel is on the time, location and people of the antebellum time period. Butler must have heavily researched for the novel. Dana interprets the how and why her time traveling happens, hoping she is correct in her thoughts.
Since Kindred takes us back in time, we get a clear picture how slavery was from the view of the African American. Yes, the ‘N word’ is used a great deal in this novel, but that was how people spoke in antebellum times. Parts of the novel will be difficult for some to read. This is a novel that will have you thinking about it long after you have finished reading it.
Kindred is very highly recommended.
Today I help end the blog tour for Life and Other Dreams by sharing my review for this Sci-Fi novel. Yes, I read something Sci-fi!
Rick lives here on Earth now, with Cath. His life is boring, writing adverts for cat food and exotic holidays. When he’s asleep, he dreams vividly.
In his dreams, he lives as Dan, spending his time with his wife Vanessa. They live six-hundred years in the future, half a galaxy away. They’re explorers, searching for valuable minerals on Ecias, an alien paradise.Dan has no dreams about Rick’s life, he lives on Ecias, loves his life and Vanessa.
When the two worlds overlap, Rick starts to question what is real. Events in his waking and sleeping lives are mirrored, similar people inhabit both and coincidences mount up. Then disaster strikes in each world at the same time. In his dreams, Dan is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Meanwhile, after one coincidence too many, Cath thinks that Rick’s dreams are hiding an affair and leaves him.
Is Rick going crazy, or can he be living in two places, in two times, at once? If not, then which one of them is the reality? Will one life carry on when the other is on hold?
Richard Dee’s fast-paced, edgy science fiction -cum- psychological thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page!
Author: Richard Dee
Published: February 15, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 9-17, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
I took a chance on Life and Other Dreams when I volunteered to read it for the blog tour as it is not my usual genre. I am very selective with the sci-fi that I read, but taking a chance paid off! I really enjoyed this sci-fi/thriller novel by Richard Dee.
What intrigued me was how the two worlds were connected and I was curious as to which world is actually real. I really enjoyed the thriller aspect to the novel. For me surprisingly, I did not lose interest in either world’s stories. Both worlds felt real and you could picture everything as you read. I did not like Rick’s wife Cath at all; I felt she jumped to her conclusion too quickly. It was as if she did not trust him at all.
Be prepared when you read Life: It is not a complete story. There is going to be a second book, which I need now, but Dee is still writing it. My reaction when I finished Life was hilarious. My husband asked what was wrong. My answer was “The story isn’t over, there’s going to be another book! “ Bravo, Mr. Dee for writing a sci-fi book that was for me and left me needing more!
Life and Other Dreams is recommended.
About the Author:
Richard Dee is a native of Brixham in Devon. He left Devon when he was in his teens and settled in Kent. Leaving school at 16 he briefly worked in a supermarket, then went to sea and travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner in 1986.
Coming ashore to be with his growing family, he used his sea-going knowledge in several jobs, working as a Marine Insurance Surveyor and as Dockmaster at Tilbury, before becoming a Port Control Officer in Sheerness and then at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich.
In 1994 he was head-hunted and offered a job as a Thames Estuary Pilot. In 1999 he transferred to the Thames River Pilots, where he regularly took vessels of all sizes through the Thames Barrier and upriver as far as HMS Belfast and through Tower Bridge. In all, he piloted over 3,500 vessels in a 22-year career with the Port of London Authority.
Richard is married with three adult children and three grandchildren.
His first science-fiction novel Freefall was published in 2013, followed by Ribbonworld in 2015. September 2016 saw the publication of his Steampunk adventure The Rocks of Aserol and of Flash Fiction, a collection of Short Stories. Myra, the prequel to Freefall was published in 2017, along with Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, a murder mystery set in space and the start of a series featuring Andorra Pett, an amateur detective. Sequels to Ribbonworld and The Rocks of Aserol have been published, together with a second Andorra Pett story, Andorra Pett on Mars. He also contributed a story to the 1066 Turned Upside Down collection. Richard is currently working on prequels, sequels, and new projects.
You can find out more about me on my website at richarddeescifi.co.uk. Head over there to see what I get up to, click the FREE STUFF tab or the PORTFOLIO tab to get all the details about my work and pick up a free novel or short story.
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Published: October 2, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 3-11, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
When Caroline Sears receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and there seems to be little that can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps there is. Hunter appeared in their lives just a few years before—and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back.
Now, Hunter is telling her that something can be done about her baby’s heart. Something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Caroline has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage that Caroline never knew existed. Something that will mean a mind-bending leap of faith on Caroline’s part.
And all for the love of her unborn child.
A rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother’s quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget.
I can now say this: The Dream Daughter is my favorite book EVER! Whenever I am asked about my favorite book, I can’t give an answer other than mentioning the book that got me reading again so long ago. The Dream Daughter has taken its place and is perfection for me! This was the first book by Chamberlain I have read and it will not be my last.
The advice I can offer up to you is this: Read the book description, but other than that go into this book knowing nothing. After finishing it, even reviews give away the angle this novel goes, which I will NOT do. Due to the angle the novel moves, this one is different from other Diane Chamberlain books. All I will say is that there is a sci-fi angle. I listened to the audiobook version and I was skeptical about the novel when it got to the point where you realize the direction the novel was going, but then you are taken for a roller coaster of a ride! In fact I am still thinking about the novel a few days after finishing it! My mind was truly blown in a very good way!
Though a few parts were predictable for me, I still loved every bit of The Dream Daughter. I did not know how it was ultimately going to end and then we have that last line: SO powerful! I am not a mother, but this is a novel for mothers: it shows the unconditional love that a mother has and that Caroline (Carly) will do whatever it takes to save her child.
The narrator, Susan Bennett, captured Carly’s voice perfectly. She conveyed all the emotions needed.
Again, I can say that this is my favorite book ever, so needless to say it will be my number one read of 2019. Thank you so much to St Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio for sending me a copy to review.
The Dream Daughter is very highly recommended![Top]