Happy Halloween! It is a Monday, so it’s a work day for Jessica, but we celebrated over the weekend watching scary movies! I love this time of year!!!! And we all know how much Kim loves it and seemingly celebrates year round with her collection of scary dolls!…..
In the spirit of the day, we bring you a review from Kim, this one a classic:
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury!
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Series: Green Town #2
Author: Ray Bradbury
Published: September 17, 1962
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4.5 stars
For those who still dream and remember, for those yet to experience the hypnotic power of its dark poetry, step inside. The show is about to begin. Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. A calliope’s shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. Two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes…and the stuff of nightmares.
Few novels have endured in the heart and memory as has Ray Bradbury’s unparalleled literary masterpiece Something Wicked This Way Comes. Scary and suspenseful, it is a timeless classic in the American canon.
I just love Bradbury. He’s the true definition of a diverse author. So far we’ve seen sci-fi, political dystopia, and now soft horror.
While I admit that I didn’t get all the metaphors in this book, the plot and characters alone carry this book. They’re real and relatable and by the time you’re done, you want to live in Green Town every year at Halloween. Jim and Will are boys as boys should be. Their curiosity and courageous fear drive them through this story with reckless and responsible abandon. I know that sounds paradoxical, but isn’t that what little boys are?? And Mr. Halloway might be the most relatable character in literature. He works his way through reconciling his age with his position in life. And in the end, he is content. I really loved watching his journey and I love and respect him! I’ll admit that the carnival is where I get a little lost, but even without any complicated metaphors, the carousel is a terrifying prospect!!
Overall, this is a great Halloween read and I absolutely recommend it!!
Travel by Bullet
Series: The Dispatcher #3
Author: John Scalzi
Narrator: Zachary Quinto
Published: September 1, 2022
Audiobook: 3 hours 43 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: October 13-15, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
The world has changed. Now, when someone is murdered, they almost always come back to life—and there are professionals, called “dispatchers,” who kill in order to save lives, to give those near the end a second chance. Tony Valdez is a dispatcher, and he has never been busier.
But for as much as the world has changed, some things have stayed the same. Greed, corruption and avarice are still in full swing. When Tony is called to a Chicago emergency room by an old friend and fellow dispatcher, he is suddenly and unwillingly thrown into a whirlpool of schemes and plots involving billions of dollars, with vast caches of wealth ranging from real estate to cryptocurrency up for grabs.
All Tony wants to do is keep his friend safe. But it’s hard to do when friends keep secrets, enemies offer seductive deals, and nothing is ever what it seems. The world has changed… but the stakes are still life and death.
Scalzi is back with a third Dispatcher novel and Quinto narrates again! And this one is a recent release too! This new novella seems even more real because the pandemic is brought into play and affected this world as well as ours! It affected a dispatcher’s job too, and we get to see this mentioned. And wearing a mask is commonplace in this world as it can be in our world, with people choosing to wear masks whenever they are out.
The world is much darker too with the rich/elite/villains taking advantage of ‘murder’ and the 99.9% chance of coming back by ‘traveling by bullet’, hence the title of this new novella. This world has so much more greed, corruption, and death manipulation than what we have now and if this actually happened I can see our world becoming like Tony’s world.
These novellas are fast paced, and enjoyable! You like Tony, but is he as good as we think? Quinto is the perfect Tony and I really want to see these stories play on tv with him starring!
I hope Scalzi gives us more Dispatcher novellas! This series is one to make you think a lot about this world, and Scalzi has done a brilliant job of bringing us into it.[Top]
Murder by Other Means
Series: The Dispatcher #2
Author: John Scalzi
Narrator: Zachary Quinto
Published: September 20, 2020
Audiobook 3 hours 33 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: October 12-13, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
In the world of the Dispatchers, a natural or accidental death is an endpoint; a murder pushes the do-over button and 99.99% of the time the victim comes back to life. Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher who’s been taking shadier and shadier gigs in financial tough times, and after witnessing a crime gone wrong, he finds people around him permanently dying in a way that implicates him. He has to solve the mystery of these deaths to save the lives of others–and keep himself out of trouble with the law.
This novella should follow your reading of The Dispatcher and then continue on. This world is such a strange world where if you are murdered, there is a 99.9% chance that you will come back to life. We still don’t know why this started or the cause, and I don’t think we will ever know. This world has just come to accept this and move on in a new way, the good and the bad.
We have Tony Valdez back and you just can’t help but like him. And he gets in way over his head when he witnesses a bank robbery gone wrong: One of the bank robbers doesn’t come back to life.
This story is definitely of the noir category and a quick read/listen and Quinto is just brilliant and makes the story enjoyable! This is not a world I would like to find myself in, or even find myself in the job of a Dispatcher: There are so many issues with this type of job of being a Dispatcher along with morality issues and the law in general. And just the temptation of becoming ‘dirty’ for money. I hope Scalzi brings us more of Tony and his misadventures of life as a Dispatcher![Top]