Getcha Head in the Game (Ender’s Game – A Book Review)

Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1)
Author: Orson Scott Card
Published: 1985

On Goodreads

Ender's Game

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

17/25

“I’ve watched through his eyes. I’ve listened through his ears, and I tell you, he’s the one. Or at least as close as we’re going to get.”

Andrew “Ender Wiggin, a Third, is chosen to go to Battle School for the I.F., the international fleet at the ripe age of six. What he believes are just games that he’s engaged in with other kids is actually much bigger than he knows. He hasn’t met a soldier he can’t mold or a battle he can’t win. Originally a part of a grand experiment that’ll save Earth, he becomes the top soldier in his class, advancing quicker than anybody else in history.

Ender being a part of an experiment to create soldiers and fleet generals isn’t all of it. The buggers have been attacking the Earth since long before Ender was born. If not stopped, the next attack made on the planet will end it altogether.

This book marks 17 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I’ve heard about the movie and that the book was a genius and conqueror in the Sci-Fi genre.

This blew my mind! Nuclear. BOOM. Orson is a master storyteller and this is only book one of a saga. So much happened and he did a splendid job of spanning it over years. It was a journey that was trying and it chipped away at not only Ender, but his sister, Valentine, and his brother, Peter. All three of them had a large part to play, proving that age doesn’t really matter when it comes to power. Rising up to their has shown both heroism and jealousy. They show that Ender isn’t the only brilliant one, but emphasize how scary it is. It was mind-blowing to see children rise up in power and scary.Scarlet Reader

Ender had so much pressing down on his shoulders. For a six-year-old, Ender was such an incredible character. So many times, he was ready to give up, but he had so many by his side. Petra and Dink guided Ender to become a better shooter. Alai and Dwarf became his closest friends in a place where friends seem impossible because everybody is against him. This isn’t just some game though. It’s more. Bigger.

Scarlet Reader

I became intrigued with Ender’s name the further I got in the book. He became responsible for hurting people and dominating in Battle School. I never thought to question the nickname until I was well over halfway through. Ender and how it relates to his actions and determination. He ends every simulation, battle, and fight on top, winning. Realizing this was chilling.

Scarlet Reader

The writing and style was amazing. Engrossing and not a detail amiss. Orson really captured a whole new frontier in this novel. It reached deep into a place that pulled at one’s humanity. He really grabbed at emotions, rocking them, and getting them to feel the pressure that Ender felt. Just captivating. And I really liked the dialogue at the beginning of each chapter from the head of the I.F. and how it gave accounts of progress with their war against the buggers. They knew what they were doing and it was great, haunting foreshadowing.

Overall

This book was engaging from page one and so entertaining. So in-depth. I was so sucked in that I felt like I was in the book. And that ending! I teared up big time. I really just want to cradle Ender in my arms after everything he went through. A phenomenal book that surprised me. The writing swept me away into this galactic world with many disguises. Everything was just perfect. I loved this. I hope to read the rest someday.

Quotables:

“The battleroom is ready. Petra’s hands are steady. The enemy is deadly.” (Petra, p. 82)

“We aren’t just ordinary children, are we? None of us.” (Valentine, p. 240)

“I’ll tell you something. If you try and lose then it isn’t your fault. But if you don’t try and we lose, then it’s all your fault. You killed us all.” (Valentine, p. 241)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Titanium by Sia.

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The Black Tidal Wave (The Hatching – A Book Review)

The Hatching (The Hatching #1)
Author: Ezekiel Boone
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

The Hatching

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

 

There is no waking up from this nightmare…

An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake. A nuke is dropped in China. A strange  and fatal plane crash is investigated by the FBI in America. Strange earthquakes in India. As the series of events increase, they come to a head.

A species thought long dead wakes up and begin swallowing the world, turning into a horrifying  apocalypse that’ll haunt waking dreams.

 

First, the cover art is wicked. Webbing over a black cover really gave a great idea that the book was about spider and that it would be creepy. I got a copy that actually came with a slip on case that enhanced the ominous vibe. It really got my hopes up! Which kind of sucked.

This book straight-up comes off as a SyFy (or if you still remember the original tag-SciFi) movie. No joke. The terrible graphics and bad puns, all done on purpose, and completely unbelievable. Come on, guys. You know what I’m talking about. Sharknado. Lavalantula. And this one, of course, is about ancient spiders waking up, ready to take over the world.

the hatching - The Scarlet Reader - tumblr

I found this book unrealistic and not as scary as I was hoping. It wasn’t scary at all actually, and I’m jumpy around spiders. With how the characters came off—overly vulgar and over the top—I couldn’t take this book seriously. It dimmed my interest.

This book jumped all over the planet. From where the ancient spiders breached the earth in South America and devoured a tourist group to a nuke drop in Asia to the oval office, the book really circulated around the important parts, tying them together in a unique way that seemed random, but wasn’t. Was it clear all of the time? No. Did it seem pointless sometimes? Yes. But it wasn’t. It was just incredibly expansive, showing how dangerous this ancient species had and in such a short time. That a shoe wasn’t going to be enough to stomp them out.

the hatching -The Scarlet Reader - tumblr

 

Overall

This was not what I excepted. I just couldn’t get into this book, but I started it and then finished it. Now I will go ahead and donate it, because maybe somebody else will enjoy it more than me.

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Pinch Me by The Barenaked Ladies.

 

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The World is Changing (daughters – A Book Review)

daughters
Author: Stuart Land
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

daughter

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

There are no terrorists, only mothers.

Young girls all over the world are suddenly becoming pregnant. First thoughts are, who are the fathers. But then more strange news. They’re virgins. Doctor Sam Enright is the father of one of these girls and takes it upon himself to help them as they come from the far reaches. This worldwide epidemic keeps growing with grave consequences that leaves humanity’s existence in question.

 

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

The book had a slow start. It felt kind of drawn out, so I was pushing through it some, but it got really good! I was getting strong X-Files vibes as I read. Even had the theme song going on in my head. There weren’t any aliens, but this would be a case for Scully and Mulder. The 11 to 12 year-old girls getting mysteriously pregnant was mind boggling and crazy. And it didn’t stop there. Births came to term quickly. And the children born were anything but ordinary.

x-files theme - The Scarlet Reader

The plot was very intricate and detailed. Wonderful imagery. There wasn’t a beat missed. The multiple POVs was nice! Very refreshing. There wasn’t just one person involved or focused on. It was the whole world, so I was stretching from the United States to Russia to Africa and many other places. The diversity is one of my favorite parts. Dr. Enright, the father of Kimber, one of the girls that became pregnant, did become more central than other characters at times. The way he struggled to handle this worldwide situation was so remarkably human. While angry and confused, he’s scared. Anybody would be scared. It was realistic. I love it when a book can do that.

The down side, I couldn’t get a strong emotional touch on these characters. I wasn’t feeling anything for them. I would’ve been more into this if I could’ve gotten a stronger emotional pull.

 

What I found son interesting was that this came across pretty realistically. I could imagine something like this happening and causing a worldwide, apocalyptic worthy, riot and panic. The controversy of young pregnancy and how it effects people differently. Whether it’s an abomination or a miracle. The things that followed as aftershocks tested the world, and since I’m not privy to too much spoiler-y you’ll just have to read this book someday.

 

Overall

This was a book that stretched my mind. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this. The concept is original and really got me thinking. This book allows the reader to be open about a subject and others that are difficult. I do wish I liked this more, but it came across more as something of a theory than something I could enjoy.

 

More to come coon…

-K.

 

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P.S. Song today? A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay.

 

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Insert Coins to Play (Ready Player One – A Book Review)

Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

Ready Player One

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place…

The only place Wade Watts feels like himself—feels alive—is in the OASIS, a virtual world that spans beyond what the eye can even imagine. He’s devoted most of his life to going to the virtual school, but when not in school, he’s obsessing over Halliday’s Easter Egg Hunt, the great hunt created by James Donavan Halliday, creator of OASIS. The winner receives not only all of the billions that the great creator has left behind, but all of OASIS as well.

When Wade stumbles across the first clue the race is on. With all of his knowledge on his hero, he must avoid people who want to kill him and false friends if he has any hopes of being the first to reach the end. His greatest test will be confronting what he’s been so desperate to escape. The real world.

 

I am a big gamer, or at least I used to be. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to fire up my games. I really ought to though. I’m a big lover of pop culture. I’m always excited to learn new things, too. Each of the pop cultural mentions were drawing me in more and more. They weren’t just there for effect. They had purpose and life. It took my breath away with how much Cline intertwined it with the story.

Ready Player One

I loved the feeling this book gave me. The storyline was gripping. I was hooked. So much action and emotions. This wasn’t the typical sci-fi story. If you do gaming then you know there are cut scenes and then there is game play. Or if you watch gameplay you know this. I love both. Anyway, this book covered both avenues and I LOVED IT!!! It was watching gameplay all over again. I got so excitable that I was jumping around from time to time. Cline really covered both of these perspectives with grand skill. I’ve never read anything like it.

The first couple of chapters work as a tutorial of sorts, giving you the lowdown of how OASIS works and how you maneuver around in it. If you’ve played video game or really any kind of electronic game then you know tutorials can be kind of boring, but necessary, which also mean you want to speed through them and be done with them. Exactly what I was feeling. And on the cusp of chapter 6. Legit, BAM and you’re in the story/game with Wade.Ready Player One

Each of the characters were intriguing. Wade, Art3mis, Aech, Daito, and Shoto are incredibly individual. By that, I mean that they each reach out with a sense of self that really connected with me. From comical to honorable to sarcastic and blunt, they each stood out on their own. That is always soooo important to me. They each came across as big players. Nobody felt small.

 

When it comes to the film, I get angry. I did watch it. As somebody that loves gaming and following the book to a great degree, I was so incredibly disappointed with the movie. The setting with the beautiful graphics and dedications to great icons of pop cultures were amazing, but it was as if it followed its own story. Nothing was the same. Now, I can’t give too much away because I don’t like to be a spoil-sport, but I just couldn’t believe how far from the book the movie went. It took away

Ready Player One

 

Overall

Book was beyond what words can really say. Cline brought about a world most people only imagine, see during gameplay, and wish for. This brought out my inner nerd. There were os many moments I held my breath. This world, OASIS, it’s one that millions of people dream of, I think. A place where we can be anyone, anything, and never feel afraid or judged or unsafe. Where we can do anything, and feel free. *sighs* I miss video games.

Also, I heard about that cube in Fortnite…what the what? I’ve seen the videos and I am just as curious about why a bright, purple cube is crawling around.

 

Quotables:

“I felt like a kid standing in the world’s greatest video arcade without and quarters, unable to do anything but walk around and watch the other kids play.” (Wade, p. 51)

“Nobody ever gets what they wand and that is beautiful.” (Wade, p. 199)

“It’s not over until the fat lady is singing, right?” (Shoto, p. 248)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Video Killed the Radio Star by Buggles.

 

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Sundown Rundown – August, 2018

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Hello, my awesome booknerds!

It is the end of August and this is the Sundown Rundown. The sun is setting a little earlier each day with Fall’s arrival. Leaves are already changing. And I’m sure you’ve hear the brake release of those big yellow buses as a sign that school has begun again.

This is also the time for everything pumpkin!

Pumpkin

So, here’s where I tell about what I’ve read and you have a chance to catch up on any reviews you might’ve missed this month. I’m a little sad that I didn’t get to everything I wanted to read this month, though there were some pretty good ones. Life hit me with a little bit of extra stress. I’m hoping to get back in gear in September.

 

House of Dark Shadows

House of Dark Shadows

Author: Robert Liparulo

The Kings move into a new house and there’s a very strong chance they aren’t getting out. Doors leading to different points in time. Creepy footprints. The house has a mind of its own. How logn will the King’s last?

 

Watcher in the Woods - Scholastic

Watcher in the Woods

Author: Robert Liparulo

Mom’s missing. An assassin tries to steal the Dreamhouse Kings’ house. The townspeople try evict them and they must hurry if they hope to solve this house and save mom.

 

Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman

The crazy and witty style with wisdom and enlightening storytelling of mythos that lead up to the end of the world. Ragnarok. From grand schemes to incredible origins, even the Norse Gods have life stories to tell.

 

Willow

Willow

Author: V. C. Andrews

Willow pretends to be a grad student as she searches for her mother and is suddenly thrown into the middle of the lifestyles of the rich and famous. And secrets, which is currency for these people. Soon enough, she is getting sucked into the glitz and glam. Can she stay on course to get close to her mother, or will she become forever enamored by wealth and gossip.

Bazaar of Bad Dreams

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

Author: Stephen King

A collection of the strange, dark, and creepy. All the beautiful and morbid things the King is. From a story about a people-eating car to a bad kid that’s responsible for the death of people to the apocalypse to a kindle that’s somehow connected to the Dark Tower. Peruse carefully.

 

CD Secrets of Foxworth

Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth

Author: V. C. Andrews

Decades after Flowers in the Attic, the diary of Christopher Dollanganger is discovered and becomes the obsession of a teenage girl. Soon, she finds herself relating to the eldest Dollanganger child more than she likes.

 

CD Echoes of Dollanganger

Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger

Author: V. C. Andrews

After divulging the diary to her boyfriend, Kristin’s dark obsession becomes their obsession. The further they read the more disturbing they becomes, breaching the same lines as the Dollanganger children did.

 

Thebes

Thebes of the Hundred GatesThebes of the Hundred Gates

Author: Robert Silverberg

Time travel back to Ancient Egypt. Edward must find two missing teammates that got lost and must do so before the allure of the grand city of Thebes—a place he’s studied and always dreamt of seeing—traps him forever.

 

Favorite Book this Month: I’d read and heard many people say that Norse Mythology wasn’t their favorite novel by Gaiman. It wasn’t his typical style, like with American Gods and The Ocean at the end of the Lane, but it was still beautiful and fantastical. The stories were all independent but led up to an explosive end where everything came to together. I really enjoyed this book.

 

Least Favorite Book This Month: This one is a double doozy. I could not get down with Christopher’s Diary. I was majorly creeped out and disturbed. More so, there were aspects of the storyline that just wasn’t believable for me.

 

Until next month!!

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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Soon You’ll Be an Osiris (Thebes of the Hundred Gates – A Book Review)

Thebes of the Hundred Gates
Author: Robert Silverberg
Published: 1992

On Goodreads

Thebes

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

 

Lost in time…

Twenty-seven-year-old Edward Davis is a promising rookie in the Time Service. He’s passed all the tests, but it’s a completely different ballgame to actually jump back in time. Leaping back to 35C, Eighteenth Dynasty Egypt, he has to find and bring back two teammates that got lost in time. Surrounded on all sides by the bustling life of the bazaar with the hot sun beating down on him.

Suddenly, he’s taken in by a priestess and befriended by the slave girl assigned to help him get well. When he discovers the fate of his lost teammates any chance of getting home turns dangerous. Yet, with the allure of the grand city that he’s only dreamt of seeing in real life, Edward begins to wonder if he even wants to go back to his time.

 

The detail was just stunning. Truly. Vivid with wondrous color and way of life. When it comes to world history I was fascinated with both Greece and Egypt. It’s the construction of their amazing architecture and their religion system, society, the fashion, the way they handle death. It’s my favorite study. It’s almost like a fantasy, I guess. Granted, there were also a lot of tragic aspects as well: slavery, disease, sacrifices to the gods. Nonetheless, I found Ancient Egypt to be one of the eras that was pretty advanced for its time. The acute imagery was powerful. Such beautiful description down to the very crevices of life and death.

Thebes of the Hundred Gates

This was a speedy read at a mere 116 pages. It was still pretty interesting. Though the chapters were short, they left me excited for the next chapter.

TIME TRAVEL!!!! One of the funnest parts of the sci-fi genre. Who doesn’t have a time period they wish they could go to! I’ve already said Ancient Egypt is one of them, but just to reiterate—this was a cool place to go back in time to.

time travel

The characters were very interesting. Edward was no newbie, but he didn’t hide his boyish excitement, and who would!? It was like jumping into the middle of a TV series. You get a taste of these characters and their story in one of the best ways—by getting dropped right smack dab in the middle of it. I do think that there could’ve been more to their background. It felt very vague, especially regarding the Time Service.

The dangers and expectations of working as a time travel were well done. Very realistic. Edward took all the precautions, making sure to blend in as best as possible, so he wasn’t a total rookie, though he didn’t except to get tangles with a slave girl. It was enticing.

NEED

But…yes, I’m sorry. There’s a but. People hate them, but I have one. There were drop off points where I guess I was supposed to pick up on the situation, but was left with noise. I mean it. Just characters making noise. It was slightly off-putting. Now, I assumed there was some intense things happening, but I really wished there had been a little more depth to parts like this to better the imagery of these moments. What can I say? When you give such great imagery, then drop off as if it’s too awkward, then I’m going to complain.

 

Overall

My only issue with this book was that there wasn’t enough background on the Time Service and the characters. But the imagery was vivid and incredibly believable with its accuracy. A really interesting read, especially for fanatics of ancient Egypt. A lot happening, and a fantastic close-up in history, in this small novel.

 

Quotables:

“To die like a pig—that is not good, not good at all, my friend.” (p. 8)

“You will be an Osiris soon.” (p.9)

“Death was a big business in this country.” (p. 45)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? We Come Running by Youngblood Hawke.

 

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Peruse Carefully (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams – A Book Review)

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Author: Stephen King
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

Bazaar of Bad Dreams

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

A master of horror, crazy, and supernatural, Stephen King brings another collection of short stories. A few you may know. Others come at you with a realistic and horrifying twist that will make you shiver. From a people-eating car to a little green god of agony possessing an elderly, rich and entitled asshole to a Kindle linked to the Dark Tower.

In this latest collection, the King still stirs that pot, mixing the dark and morbid side of reality with that of the fantasy side.

 

Personally, Nightmares & Dreamscapes is my favorite collection of the King’s stories: the hardcover, purple with the gravestone. Just beautiful. This one wasn’t as great, but their were a few stories that really perked my interest. Just something about the way they caught me by surprise.

Mile 81

The Bad Kid

Ur

The Little Green God of Agony

Obits

Summer Thunder

The ominous shadow that hangs over all of these stories really enticed me. It kept me curious.

I found the title of the book to be intriguing. A bazaar-a market that sells goods-was a unique choice for it, emphasizing that you can peruse these short stories instead of reading them in order. And, bad dreams? Yeah, the King isn’t kidding. Some of these stories are what nightmares are made of. And the cover, looking at a person and only seeing death, is beautiful and chilling.

Short stories are an art form. I agree with this. Very hard to conquer. Sometimes. With this book, I feel that. This was one that I had 50/50 feelings about. It was good, yet not really. The imagery was powerful with each one. Some of the stories I enjoyed immensely and others not so much. There were points where I just couldn’t get invested into the story. I felt like I was getting dragged.

However, each detailed intro to each story was poignant and beautiful. It’s getting a backstage pass to what I believe to be one of the funniest yet outspoken minds of fiction. He truly writes some beautiful words in a cloud of morbidity. I dig it.

Thumbs Up

Now, my favorite stories (above) are favorites because of one BIG element. Shouldn’t be that hard to guess if you’ve been keeping up with me this far in the blog. There’s that special supernatural touch. Though, if I had a specific favorite it would be Obits. The story centers on a journalist’s dark comedy obituary and his sudden ability to kill people with it. So much power and so dangerous!! This was the greatest page turner, and maybe that makes me a bit morbid, but I’ve read stories similar to this—where you could write someone’s death and then it actually happens. Its creepy and unnerving. Imagine having that kind of power. It’s mind-blowing!

mind blown

And I swear, when reading this, I can hear the King’s voice ring so clearly, and it sounds very close to a professor’s I had: cocky and condescendingly intelligent with a thrive for life. It made me smile. I liked that professor, because while he did sound like that, he was a cool guy. Made everyone feel included and nobody felt stupid. There was learning to be had and he did a great job of helping with that.

 

Overall

This book left me tied up on how I feel about it. There were some great stories. They really pulled me in. But…I wasn’t moved to love the entire book. That’s what’s interesting about short stories. Because you don’t like one, doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the entire book.

Beautiful words, chilling stories, intense characters, but a one-time read for me.

 

Quotables:

“If you saw a guy lying by the side of the road, it didn’t matter if he was a Samaritan or a Martian. You stopped to help.” (Mile 81, p. 23)

“Arr, reality’s a dirty place with no religion in it.

So buy me a drink, goddam you!

We’ll toast elephants that never were.” (The Bone Church, p. 162)

“I think the world is mostly populated by shitheads. You take it from there.” (UR, p. 210)

 

More to comes soon…

-K.

 

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P.S. Song today? Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson

 

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