Tag: 3.5 stars

Book Review: Walk the Vanished Earth by Erin Swan

Walk the Vanished Earth
Author:
Erin Swan

Published: May 31, 2022
384 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

The year is 1873, and a bison hunter named Samson travels the Kansas plains, full of hope for his new country. The year is 1975, and an adolescent girl named Bea walks those very same plains; pregnant, mute, and raised in extreme seclusion, she lands in an institution, where a well-meaning psychiatrist struggles to decipher the pictures she draws of her past. The year is 2027 and, after a series of devastating storms, a tenacious engineer named Paul has left behind his banal suburban existence to build a floating city above the drowned streets that were once New Orleans. There with his poet daughter he rules over a society of dreamers and vagabonds who salvage vintage dresses, ferment rotgut wine out of fruit, paint murals on the ceiling of the Superdome, and try to write the story of their existence. The year is 2073, and Moon has heard only stories of the blue planet–Earth, as they once called it, now succumbed entirely to water. Now that Moon has come of age, she could become a mother if she wanted to-if only she understood what a mother is. Alone on Mars with her two alien uncles, she must decide whether to continue her family line and repopulate humanity on a new planet.

A sweeping family epic, told over seven generations, as America changes and so does its dream, Walk the Vanished Earth explores ancestry, legacy, motherhood, the trauma we inherit, and the power of connection in the face of our planet’s imminent collapse.

This is a story about the end of the world–but it is also about the beginning of something entirely new. Thoughtful, warm, and wildly prescient, this work of bright imagination promises that, no matter what the future looks like, there is always room for hope.

Kim’s Review:

I’m starting to see differences within the sci-fi genre. And unfortunately, this book is in the group that I’m not a super huge fan of. I’m glad I read it; it’s an overall good story, I just feel like it wasn’t for me. It’s a multi timeline, multi POV story that covers a lot! The story line I liked most was that of Moon, an odd child in the care of a pair of odd robotic beings on an odd quest to save the human race and discover her own origins. She falls under the more traditional title of sci-fi and I wish I could have a book just about her. The rest of it was just necessary context for me. I didn’t really have any emotional attachment to most of the characters and the overplayed apocalyptic climate change trope just bored me. It’s definitely not a loss because it kept me entertained while reading and I am glad I did … I just don’t feel much for it now that I’m done with it. But … that cover!!!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Sundial by Catriona Ward

Sundial
Author:
Catriona Ward

Published: March 1, 2022
304 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

You can’t escape what’s in your blood…

All Rob wanted was a normal life. She almost got it, too: a husband, two kids, a nice house in the suburbs. But Rob fears for her oldest daughter, Callie, who collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her too much of the family she left behind.

She decides to take Callie back to her childhood home, to Sundial, deep in the Mojave Desert. And there she will have to make a terrible choice.

Callie is worried about her mother. Rob has begun to look at her strangely, and speaks of past secrets. And Callie fears that only one of them will leave Sundial alive…

The mother and daughter embark on a dark, desert journey to the past in the hopes of redeeming their future.

Kim’s Review:

This is an odd one. I’m not sure why it was put in the horror section; I would classify it more as a thriller. I wasn’t actually scared by this book, but that twist was pretty crazy. There were too many annoying things in it for me to say that I liked it. I hated how Rob let her husband walk all over her; how Falcon didn’t raise the girls, just let them run wild; how Rob let Callie know that she preferred Annie … I was just too annoyed to really enjoy any of it. Honestly the only thing that saved this book was the twist; it was a struggle to get there, but it was twisty all right. I can’t really say that I’d recommend this book, but I also wouldn’t tell anyone not to read it. So it was just meh.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Audiobook Review: It Will End Like This by Kyra Leigh

It Will End Like This
Author: Kyra Leigh
Published: January 4, 2022
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 30-April 4, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars     

Book Description:

For fans of The Cheerleaders and Sadie comes a psychological thriller that reminds us that in real life, endings are rarely as neat as happily ever after. A contemporay take on the Lizzie Borden story that explores how grief can cut deep.

Charlotte lost her mother six months ago, and still no one will tell her exactly what happened the day she mysteriously died. They say her heart stopped, but Charlotte knows deep down that there’s more to the story.

The only person who gets it is Charlotte’s sister, Maddi. Maddi agrees—people’s hearts don’t just stop. There are too many questions left unanswered for the girls to move on.

But their father is moving on. With their mother’s personal assistant. And both girls are sure that she’s determined to take everything that’s theirs away for herself.

Now the only way to get their lives back is for Charlotte and Maddi to decide how this story ends, themselves.

Jessica’s Review:

It Will End Like This is a contemporary take on the Lizzie Borden case.  After unexpectedly losing their mother, Charlotte and Maddi are heavily grieving while their father has all but moved on… with their mother’s personal assistant.  The PA is also closer to their ages, so the sting is worse for the girls.

What follows is an extended story of unreliable narrators, mental illness, and grief. Over time the grief they are feeling encompasses everything. Our main narrator and focus of the story is Charlotte, but I wanted more of Maddi’s narration.  Their grief became too much of a focus and it made the story drag on.  It was just too excessive for me.  I think I was also really anticipating the ending since we (sort of) know what happens in the real case. I wanted to know how the author was going to reach that climax and the conclusion.  I listened to the audiobook and the last hour of the novel really picked up for me.  This is what kept me listening.  And then we have that ending!  That last hour is what redeemed the novel for me. 

I have always found the Lizzie Borden case intriguing and have read a few books on it. The fact that we won’t ever truly know what happened keeps the case alive to this day almost 130 years later.   Listening to this fictional tale made me want to read about the Borden case again: And I might just do that!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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