“The Fall” by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

The second novel in the Strain trilogy was not what I thought it would be. Although it started slow, the first book was engrossing and easily hooked me. But this one was a slog sometimes.

Genre:

Horror

Series:

The Strain, book 2

Pubbed:

2010

Goodreads summary:

Humans have been displaced at the top of the food chain, and now understand – to their outright horror – what it is to be not the consumer, but the consumed.

Ephraim Goodweather, director of the New York office of the Centers for Disease control, is one of the few humans who understands what is really happening. Vampires have arrived in New York City, and their condition is contagious. If they cannot be contained, the entire world is at risk of infection.

As Eph becomes consumed with the battle against the total corruption of humanity, his ex-wife, Kelly, now a vampire herself, is ever-more determined to claim their son, Zack.

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“Childhood’s End” by Arthur C. Clarke

I’m convinced that science fiction works for me only as movies and TV shows. I don’t take well to it in novel form.

I was eager to read Childhood’s End because I’d seen the TV miniseries that aired on SyFy a couple years ago. I think it was three episodes total, and I liked the first two but didn’t like how it ends. I thought the book would be better, but the show has since grown foggy in my mind so now I can’t tell. I just know that I enjoyed watching the TV show more than reading the book.

Genre:

Science fiction

Series:

n/a

Pubbed:

August 1953

Goodreads summary:

Childhood’s End is one of the defining legacies of Arthur C. Clarke, the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey and many other groundbreaking works. Since its publication in 1953, this prescient novel about first contact gone wrong has come to be regarded not only as a science fiction classic but as a literary thriller of the highest order.

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“The Passage” by Justin Cronin, narr. by Scott Brick, Abby Craden, and Adenrele Ojo

A couple years ago, I received the first and third books in this series. I was working at a newspaper at the time and publishers would sometimes send us books. Somehow, I ended up with those two. I intended to read them, but didn’t get around to it and eventually gave them away unread. I didn’t know they were sci-fi, horror novels about a vampire apocalypse. I assumed they were mystery novels (no idea why I thought that) and that I wouldn’t like them, so I didn’t mind letting them go.

Then earlier this year, a co-worker told me about a new show that will air on Fox. He and I both like vampire/zombie-apocalypse-type flicks, so he knew I’d be excited to check out such a show, which turned out to be the TV adaptation of The Passage. I looked at the preview and got excited because the lead is a young, Black actress. I eagerly awaited the first episode but when it aired, some of my excitement dampened. The show was okay. As it progressed, it became less interesting until I no longer cared whether or not I saw the latest episode.

Vampire/zombie apocalypse stories are always interesting and exciting to me. Thinking the fault might be with the TV show’s creators, I decided to read the book, or rather, download the audiobook. But unfortunately, the book proved to be as lackluster for me as the show. This is the first vampire/zombie apocalypse story to bore me. I didn’t complete it.

Continue reading ““The Passage” by Justin Cronin, narr. by Scott Brick, Abby Craden, and Adenrele Ojo”

Top 5 Tuesday #6: Top 5 “Main Males” from the Marvel Universe

Hey y’all! It’s been a while because life got busy, so I stopped posting or keeping up with other blogs for a few days.

BUT I’m back now!

And I’ll jumpstart things with this Top 5 Tuesday post in which I’ll also announce the winner of my #WyrdandWonder GIVEAWAY!!

The winner was LISA from DEAR GEEK PLACE!!! 😀

CONGRATS LISA!!

She received a purchase of two fantasy books from Book Depository. 😀


I’ve enjoyed posting about the variety of topics for Top 5 Tuesday, which is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm.

This week’s topic:

top 5 “main males”

I don’t want to talk about books, and since I finally got around to watching Captain Marvel, the characters of the Marvel movie universe are still on my mind. So I decided to feature my top 5 men of the Marvel universe. I like them all, but I’ll list them in order of who I like the most.

Thor!!

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“All Systems Red” by Martha Wells

This one took me by surprise. Although I’ve heard great things about it, I didn’t expect to enjoy the story as much as I did. Now I am hooked and can’t wait to get stuck in another story about Murderbot.

Genre:

Sci-fi

Series:

Murderbot Diaries, book 1

Pubbed:

May 2017

Goodreads summary:

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

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Comics Roundup #27: Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet, bks. 1-4

I tried Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet series for the first time back in 2015. I was introduced to him through the Harry Potter books because he’s the illustrator of my favorite editions — the 15th anniversary editions. I love the illustrations, the scenes Kibuishi chose to highlight, and his use of color to tap into the emotion and tone of a scene or to highlight certain things. This made me want to sample more of his work, so I tried The Stonekeeper, the first book in his popular middle-grade fantasy graphic novel series.

I wasn’t blown away by The Stonekeeper, but I was interested enough to want to return to the story and, finally, I have. Recently, I reread the first book and read books two, three, and four — The Stonekeeper’s Curse, The Cloud Searchers, and The Last Council, respectively. With each installment, my interest in the story grew until I read book four and was left wanting more since I don’t have the fifth book.


Amulet, bks. 1-4 by Kazu Kibuishi (illus.)

Genre:

Middle-grade fantasy

Pubbed:

2008-2011

Series:

Amulet

The Stonekeeper (book 1)

The Stonekeeper’s Curse (book 2)

The Cloud Searchers (book 3)

The Last Council (book 4)

Quick summary:

Emily and her brother Navin move to their old family home with their mom after their father died in a car crash. While fixing up the house, which is in dire need of repair, Emily and Navin find a peculiar necklace that Emily takes a liking to. One night while sleeping, the family is woken by a noise that the kids’ mom investigates. She’s kidnapped and taken to a different world where Emily and Navin encounter queer creatures such as monsters, robots, and talking animals. There, the kids learn more about their family, Emily learns about the necklace she inherited, and they make new friends who help them to rescue their mother.

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“The Invisible Man” by H.G. Wells

I decided to revisit The Invisible Man a few weeks ago when I saw it on a feature shelf at my library.

I’d first read it when I was in high school and was so hooked on the story back then that I completed the book in a day. I wanted to know if my experience with the story would be the same or if the intervening years had dried the story for me and made it a bore, so I gave it another read.

Genre:

Sci-fi; Classic

Pubbed:

1897

Goodreads summary:

This masterpiece of science fiction is the fascinating story of Griffin, a scientist who creates a serum to render himself invisible, and his descent into madness that follows. (Goodreads)

My thoughts: (spoilers)

In short, I enjoyed the story. Again I was hooked just as I was when I first read it. But unlike my high school years, I now have responsibilities that claim my time, so it took a few days to complete the story, which is quite short at under 200 pages.

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Comics Roundup #26: Free Comic Book Day Samples

In an attempt to clean up my bookshelves, I decided to spend a day reading and reviewing all the comic book samples I got on this year’s Free Comic Book Day back in May. Here are my thoughts on the samples. Some of them I’ll certainly get when my piggybank is once again full.


The Metabaron, Book 3: The Meta-Guardianess & the Techno-Baron by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Jerry Frissen, illus. Valentin Secher

Genre: Sci-fi

Pubbed: September 2018

What it’s about:

The bit I read is about an android who visits a planet in a parallel universe to learn more about Epyphite, a substance that is used as fuel and seems to have many other properties. The story is narrated by the consciousness, or rather the robotic memory, of the protagonist’s apprentice (well, the narrator refers to the protagonist (the Metabaron) as “master,” so I assume the narrator is the apprentice).

My thoughts:

This is a fail for me and I knew it would be when I picked it up because a) it’s not a genre I usually go for (I don’t mind sci-fi stories sometimes but I can’t do this hardcore sci-fi with all the robots and bots and parallel universes and things) and b) this is the third volume, so I’ve missed much of the story.

I was confused when I started reading this. On the plus side, I slowly began to understand what’s going on because the narrator spends a lot of time catching up the reader on where the story is now, but because I don’t know what happened before this volume, certain things didn’t have an impact on me, so I lost interest.

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Two Audiobooks: “The Girl with All the Gifts” by M.R. Carey & “The Two Towers” by J.R.R. Tolkien

My reading experience with these audiobooks were vastly different. As I mentioned in my recent Weekend Reads post, I loved one but hated the other; however, both were a struggle to read since it’s hard to keep a rein on my mind to prevent it from wandering while listening to the story.

I guess my ratings of these books are questionable. I rate books based on how much I enjoyed them and what they made me feel, not necessarily if they are composed well, though I do consider that but not as highly as the enjoyment factor. With audiobooks, I also consider the narrator’s contribution to the work, and my rating reflects that, which is seen in my rating of The Two Towers. If I’d read the physical/e- book, I’d have given it a half star more.


The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, narr. by Finty Williams

Genre:

Horror; sci-fi: dystopian

Goodreads summary:

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

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“Above the Timberline” by Gregory Manchess

I was beyond excited when I was contacted to receive a copy of this book to review. I learned of the book through one of Mogsy’s Stacking the Shelves posts and immediately added it to my TBR because it’s described as a “painted novel,” which I interpreted as “this is a book Zezee MUST read!”

I was sent a free completed copy of the book from Wunderkind PR, which I am grateful for (Thanks y’all!!!), but (of course) I’ll be totally honest in my review.

Goodreads summary:

From renowned artist Gregory Manchess comes a lavishly painted novel about the son of a famed polar explorer searching for his stranded father, and a lost city buried under snow in an alternate future.

When it started to snow, it didn’t stop for 1,500 years. The Pole Shift that ancient climatologists talked about finally came, the topography was ripped apart and the weather of the world was changed—forever. Now the Earth is covered in snow, and to unknown depths in some places.

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