Mister B. Gone
Author: Clive Barker
Published: October 30, 2007
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
The Mister B. of the title is Jakabob Botch, a demon whose ghastly past could make even the most merciless sociopath whimper in sympathy. Born in the deepest regions of hell, the spawn of an abusive drunkard and his whorish wife, Jakabob escapes to the world above after suffering fiendish torture. Once topside, he lands conveniently in 15th-century Mainz, the home of printing inventor Johannes Gutenberg. However, Mister B. isn’t interested in merely observing history; like any other self-respecting diabolical being, he’s just searching for a new demonic angle. A ghoulishly good fright fest.
This is my first Clive Barker book. It seems a little on the obscure side, but I liked it so I plan to read more. The whole “burn this book” tag line really drew me in. I’ve never read a book quite like this where the narrator is so commanding of the reader. I legit wondered if I should set fire to this book when I finished! That kinda says a lot!
I think this was one of those mostly metaphorical reads that I was afraid I wasn’t gonna get beacuse I’m definitely not deep enough, but I’m pretty sure I got the main lesson. Jakabok Botch was definitely interesting. A demon kidnapped from hell and set to wander the earth and learning as he went; I grew to like him and hate him all at the same time. I found his simultaneous optimism and cynicism very fascinating. And Barker seems to have a finger on the pulse of any ruling factions in the world. I may not have liked the religious aspect of the metaphor, but the underlying philosophy is on point!! Overall, I really liked this book! I’d recommend this to those who enjoy random philosophizing and metaphorical meanderings!
Author: Clive Fleury
Published: December 5, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 20-27, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
When the Oceans Rise…The Truth Drowns
It’s the year 2031. Our future. Their present. A world decimated by climate catastrophe, where the sun’s heat is deadly and the ocean rises higher every day. A world ruled by the rich, powerful, and corrupt. A world where a good man can’t survive for long.
Hogan Duran was a good man once. He was a cop, forced to resign in disgrace when he couldn’t save his partner from a bullet. Now Hogan lives on the fraying edges of society, serving cruel masters and scavenging trash dumps just to survive.
But after four years of living in poverty, Hogan finally gets a chance to get back on his feet. He’s invited to join the National Security Council, the powerful paramilitary organization responsible for protecting the rich and powerful from the more unsavory elements of society. All he needs to do is pass their deadly entrance exam, and he’ll be rewarded with wealth and opportunity beyond his wildest dreams.
But this ex-cop’s path to redemption won’t be easy. The NSC are hiding something, and as Hogan descends deeper and deeper into their world, he starts to uncover the terrible truth of how the powerful in this new world maintain their power…and just how far they will go to protect their secrets.
In a world gone wrong, can one man actually make a difference, or will he die trying?
Kill Code is set 10 years in the future and the apocalyptic world is bleak: There is an 80% unemployment rate where one has to salvage items from the trash and take the lowest jobs possible in order to survive. Climate change has also ruined the world, as the sun can kill you.
Hogan Duran is our narrator and he tells us his story. He is a former cop who failed to save his partner from being shot and he lives with this daily. He struggles to live in this desolate world, but then faces a possible positive future: He is invited to become a part of the NSC (National Security Council), if he can make it through the most rigorous training he has ever gone through, and then his life will improve for the better.
Most of Kill Code takes place in the NSC training center and Duran meets other candidates (trainees) and we see how the candidates are fully tested from the physical, mental, logical, loyalty, and more. Men and women are treated and tested on the same level, but that does not mean that these strong women are any weaker than the men, which we see in Ruby, a candidate that Duran befriends that the reader grows to like. There are also the candidates that you quickly grow to hate.
Kill Code is a short novella at just under 140 pages and full of action. There is no rest for the weary in this novella. It is super-fast paced, and you can tell through his writing that the author, Clive Fleury does have a background in films and television. This novella is for adults, as there is usage of foul language and nudity throughout. I would say this novella could be for ages 15 and up, as it is nothing too extreme that has not been heard before. There are unexpected twists and Kill Code does have an ending, but the story is not over, and I look forward to the next in this series.
Many thanks to the publisher TCK Publishing for granting me a copy to read and review in my own time.[Top]
The Paper Girl of Paris
Author: Jordyn Taylor
Published: May 26, 2020
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Sixteen-year-old Alice is spending the summer in Paris, but she isn’t there for pastries and walks along the Seine. When her grandmother passed away two months ago, she left Alice an apartment in France that no one knew existed. An apartment that has been locked for more than seventy years.
Alice is determined to find out why the apartment was abandoned and why her grandmother never once mentioned the family she left behind when she moved to America after World War II. With the help of Paul, a charming Parisian student, she sets out to uncover the truth. However, the more time she spends digging through the mysteries of the past, the more she realizes there are secrets in the present that her family is still refusing to talk about.
Sixteen-year-old Adalyn doesn’t recognize Paris anymore. Everywhere she looks, there are Nazis, and every day brings a new horror of life under the Occupation. When she meets Luc, the dashing and enigmatic leader of a resistance group, Adalyn feels she finally has a chance to fight back. But keeping up the appearance of being a much-admired socialite while working to undermine the Nazis is more complicated than she could have imagined. As the war goes on, Adalyn finds herself having to make more and more compromises—to her safety, to her reputation, and to her relationships with the people she loves the most.
So this cover. This. Cover. And the story was pretty good too.
We all dream of being left a random metropolitan apartment that has been preserved by time and we are the first to open the door in decades. I geeked out just reading it. And then finding the diary of your grandmother’s sister from WWII? I was living vicariously through Alice and thoroughly enjoying it. Adalyn’s story was great! A Parisian girl who joined the French Resistance and bravely helping to defeat the Nazis is always going to be exciting and engaging. I had tears in my eyes by the time I reached the end, which was more twisty than I expected.
My main criticism is with Alice herself. I acknowledge as a historian that we can only go by documented evidence and I hold to that. But there will always be speculation, no matter the situation. Alice apparently has no imagination and could only handle one theory at a time and that got frustrating real quick. I can’t get into too much detail because I don’t want to give anything away, but long before the truth was revealed, I wanted to throw the diary at Alice’s head just to get her to open her mind a little.
But overall, I thought this was a good book and I really enjoyed it. This is a great one to give to teens for WWII reading!