Tag: Science FIction

Release Day Review: Curfew by Jane Cowie

Jayne Cowie

Published: TODAY, March 22, 2022
320 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 3-14, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Think The Handmaid’s Tale but with the women in charge, set in a world where all men are electronically tagged and placed under strict curfew, and the murder investigation threatening to undo it all.

Imagine a near-future Britain in which women dominate workplaces, public spaces, and government. Where the gender pay gap no longer exists and motherhood opens doors instead of closing them. Where women are no longer afraid to walk home alone, to cross a dark parking lot, or to catch the last train.

Where all men are electronically tagged and not allowed out after 7 p.m.

But the curfew hasn’t made life easy for everyone. Sarah is a single mother who happily rebuilt her life after her husband, Greg, was sent to prison for breaking curfew. Now he’s about to be released, and Sarah isn’t expecting a happy reunion, given that she’s the reason he was sent there.

Her teenage daughter, Cass, hates living in a world that restricts boys like her best friend, Billy. Billy would never hurt anyone, and she’s determined to prove it. Somehow.

Helen is a teacher at the local school. Secretly desperate for a baby, she’s applied for a cohab certificate with her boyfriend, Tom, and is terrified that they won’t get it. The last thing she wants is to have a baby on her own.

These women don’t know it yet, but one of them is about to be violently murdered. Evidence will suggest that she died late at night and that she knew her attacker. It couldn’t have been a man because a CURFEW tag is a solid alibi.

Jessica’s Review:

Curfew is a dystopian novel set in the not-too-distant future of Britain.  In this world, women rule and men suffer by being tagged with an ankle monitor and under a curfew from 7pm-7am. If they break it they go to prison. The premise intrigued me and the feminist in me was ready to rock and roll in this world and see what happens!  Curfew gives us a different sort of world where it sucks to be a man.  Men are tagged starting at age 10, which is just hard to comprehend. There is a scene that shows a boy going to get his first tag that was a bit heartbreaking for me.   

We start the novel with a body being found from overnight and it just doesn’t seem like a woman could have done it.  But men are under curfew and the police would have known right away if a man was outside after 7pm.  The mystery of who the victim is lasts for most of the novel and I kept changing my guess as to who the victim was.  She is one of several characters we meet and all the characters have a reason they could be our victim. 

Curfew gives you a lot of things to think about. Would a world like this actually work? Would women actually be safe?  For me some of the rules/laws set up to help women also seemed to hinder women. I personally don’t see the concept of Curfew working and could never see society agree to something like this. But the way some things are headed you never know what might happen. 

The novel does have ‘man bashing’ undertones to it which I looked past. I also had an issue with something that has to do with one certain character that I can’t say without spoilers.  For me, it just seemed to show how the whole tagging issue may not actually work. 

I enjoyed this one and it would be a great book club read to get many kinds of conversations going, some of which might get heated. 

Many thanks to the publisher for granting me an e-arc through NetGalley. 

Purchase/Pre-Order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK (Will be published as After Dark on April 1, 2022)

The Autobiography of Mr. Spock by Una McCormack

The Autobiography of Mr. Spock
Series: Star Trek Autobiographies

Author: Una McCormack
Published: September 7, 2021
200 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Fictional autobiography of the iconic Star Trek character, told in his own words and telling the story of his life, including his difficult childhood, his adventures on the Enterprise, and his death and resurrection on the Genesis Planet.

The Autobiography of Mr. Spock tells the story of one of Starfleet’s finest officers, and one the Federations most celebrated citizens. Half human and half Vulcan, the book, written in Spock’s own words, follows his difficult childhood on the planet Vulcan; his controversial enrollment at Starfleet Academy; his adventures with Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise; his diplomatic triumphs with the Klingons and Romulans; and his death and amazing resurrection on the Genesis Planet. We meet the friends he’s made, the women he loved, and experience the triumphs and tragedies of a life and career that spanned a century. Despite his alien blood, his struggle to find his place in the universe is one we can all relate to.

Kim’s Review:

I was so excited to finally read this! Everyone who even remotely likes Star Trek should definitely read this book! Spock is easily one of my favorite characters and his complicated, internal struggle is laid out perfectly in these pages. It was good to see an author have a true sense of a character, as opposed to so many who seem to wing it and miss the mark entirely. I appreciated how she included the more modern franchises without making them a huge priority. Spock came to life in this book and it felt like a true autobiography written by an experienced and complex person. Even as a Vulcan, he allowed his feelings to shine while also reigning them in so they didn’t muddle everything.

My only real issues are the obvious acknowledgment of the Kelvin timeline, which actually made me angry, and the seeming glance over of James T. Kirk. After all their years together, I wish more had been written. Because of that, this story just felt incomplete. But I still really enjoyed it and I hope to continue to read the autobiographical series!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Book Review: The Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Author:  Jack Finney

First Published: 1955

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

On a quiet fall evening in the small, peaceful town of Mill Valley, California, Dr. Miles Bennell discovered an insidious, horrifying plot. Silently, subtly, almost imperceptibly, alien life-forms were taking over the bodies and minds of his neighbors, his friends, his family, the woman he loved—the world as he knew it.

First published in 1955, this classic thriller of the ultimate alien invasion and the triumph of the human spirit over an invisible enemy inspired the acclaimed 1956 film, directed by Don Siegel and starring Kevin McCarthy, one of Time magazine’s 100 Best Films.

Kim’s Review:

I listened to this book on audio and I really enjoyed it! I had seen the old movie several years ago, so I remembered the bare bones of the story. It’s definitely subtle horror, but horror none the less! It was a little too slow for me at the beginning, but then it picked up till the very end. The concept of being replaced by whatever these pods created was pretty scary and the feeling of utter helpless really sold this story. It’s not very long and very easy to read. Finney even opens it by saying that there aren’t many answers given and it left many loose ends, so I was actually worried I wasn’t going to like it. Sure I’d love to know the history of these seed pods, but I was happy with the information given and I really enjoyed the story!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK