The Martian Book Cover

So I seem to be very late to this party, but Audible recommended The Martian to me every time I logged in for as long as I can remember.  I finally decided to give it a go this week as I didn’t have anything else on my wish list.

I went to the cinema and had a real sense of recognition when the trailer was half way through.  I was like ‘This is weird, I’m listening to a book where all of this stuff happens’.  So yeah, I have read a book where I could have just waited a month to watch the film, ah well.

The story line is very much based in reality, but just a bit in the future.  NASA have a mission on Mars and something goes wrong and 1 of the astronauts is stranded on Mars while his team think he is dead and have no way of contacting him.

This book is very good.  VERY GOOD.  The main character has a sense of humour that carries him through his ordeal and makes the ending chapter genuinely teary.  I listened to this so I could work and listen and I have to say, I had to go to the bathroom near the end so I could a) concentrate on the gripping finale and b)cry a bit.

The author does an incredible job of making the science believable and the maths probably accurate (there’s loads of both in this book).

All of the characters are well thought out and you care about them all which all adds up to a real sense of dread and all the feelings at the end of the book.

I am now genuinely excited to see how they have made this into a film.

The voice actor does every character with a distinctive voice and in genuinely amazing.

I rate this book
7.marvin-what-we-think-martians-look-like-130318

out of
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Armada Book Cover

Hello everyone,

A few months ago I read ‘Ready Player One’. I really liked it, it was really good as a geek to read about games and such.
Armada has pretty much all of the same ingredients to make this a similar experience, but is it?

The answer is no. I cannot understand why, I don’t know what it is about this book but I really didn’t enjoy it anywhere near as much as the Author’s previous book. Much like the previous book, I listened to it via Audible so I could listen to this guy read the words out to me. I have to say, I am enjoying listening to books. A) It’s quicker B) Celebrities.

It feels like the book was rushed out as it doesn’t have anywhere near the level of detail and geeky nods of it’s predecessor.  The main characters aren’t fleshed out, there is barely any development for the anyone.

Relationships aren’t developed in a natural way and it’s just all a bit rubbish.  There is a relationship between father and son issue that gets sorted out within a page.

I can’t recommend this book, I’m not even going to rate it out of something.

Bye.

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OK, so I have been a small fan of Felicia Day since I saw her on Season 1 of ‘The Guild‘ which was a short web series that I saw when it first appeared on my Xbox 360.

It was a really funny geeky show about mmorpg ‘addicts’ and lasted for 6 seasons (each episode was about 10 minutes long so not you’re average season).

Anyway, I wasn’t really sure if I’d be interested in reading about her life, she isn’t all that real life famous and I’m not sure what she would have to say that I’d find interesting but I had a spare Audible credit going and so decided to give it a go.  (Seriously, if you don’t have audible you should definitely sign up, it’s well worth it)

I worried that I’d end up not liking her (after listening to that awful self involved creature Lena Dunham, god her book made me hate her). I was pleasantly surprised, I have finished the book and so not hate her.  I’m going to go through the 3 sections of the book and give each a rating.

1. Early life
This section is quite good and pretty funny. 4 stars

2. GamerGate 2 stars
I didn’t understand what gamer gate was before reading this and still don’t really understand.  A lot of people seem to hate her because of it though.

3. The Guild and Geeks and Sundry 3 stars
A bit bleh, it was nice to understand how it came about but nothing you couldn’t have guessed.

I would suggest reading this book if you really like Felecia Day, otherwise you’ll probably care very little about what she has to say.

Also, why are all American female celebrities that have written a book full of anxiety?

I rate this book

codex out of FELICIA-Avatar-Pose-hi-resjpg

 

Now then, I read ‘To Kill A Mockingbird‘ in February last year and very much enjoyed it. I immediately bought Go Set a Watchman when it was released and was just waiting on finishing my last book before I got dug in.

There has been a lot of news and controversy over this book and so I decided, that rather than read it through the medium of text, I would have the lovely Reese Witherspoon read it to me via the medium of audio.  I made the right choice.  I’m not paid to advertise Audible, but I will be if you click on the below link and sign up for a free trial (you get a free audio book!).  I would highly recommend listening to Reece’s southern belle voice read racist words to you.

The book is an interesting take on the characters that have been around for decades.  I’m not a massive fan of who some of the characters have become, but I guess it makes for a more interesting book than more of the same.

The book does make you think about ‘the other side’ of the argument of segregation and it actually made me consider myself a bigot at one point because I just cannot see it from the other side.

I’m not sure if it was because I listened to the book rather than read it, but the book is also very short about half the length of To Kill a Mockingbird.

I won’t recommend this book to those of you who don’t like Reece Witherspoon, but to those of you who are not evil -give it a go!  It is a very relevant book in the current racial climate in the US over 50 years after the book is set.

It’s not the sequel people wanted, but it’s a sequel that might be a bit more realistic considering the time and setting.

I rate this book

Reece Witherspoon out of 2015-07-20 13_22_56-legally blonde - Google Search

Today I finished reading ‘The Long Earth’ which is a non discworld book by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.

The book is not a discworld novel.  It is definitely not a discworld novel. I can’t tell you how much this is not a discworld novel.

It’s about some people who can travel between ‘worlds’ which are different versions of ‘The Earth’ which they call ‘The Long Earth’ through a process called stepping.  Stepping involves using a potato with a switch you can flip.
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I wasn’t a massive fan to be honest, so I probably won’t be reading the other books.  It’s not very funny, which is what I expected from a Terry Pratchett book.

I don’t have much more to add.

Bye then.

I rate this book
2015-07-15 15_02_06-potatoes - Google Search out of  2015-07-15 15_02_14-potatoes - Google Search

The Witch's Daughter Book coverI like magic.  I watched all of the Charmed seasons on the TV, and enjoyed them!

I often read books in a fantasy setting where magic features prominently.  I like books that mix the ‘real world’ and magic.  I haven’t read a book in quite a while featuring magic at it’s core.  I was getting withdrawal symptoms.  I decided to use my monthly token with audible to get this book.

The book goes back and forth between present day and the past spanning the witch trials, world war 1 and whenever jack the ripper was.  In each of the time periods the exact same thing happens.

1) The woman falls in love/lust
2) The person she falls in love / lust with is evil
3) She shoots lightning at him and then disappears and changes her name.

It is a very predicable book with very little magic and I can’t recommend it.

Instead, I suggest you read the witches novels by Terry Pratchett that form part of the discworld universe.  They are hilarious, actually evoke human emotion in the reader and have some of the most inventive use of magic I have ever read.
download (2)

Don’t bother reading it.

I rate this book 3 green lightning bolts.
images (3)

haruki-murakami_kafka-on-the-shoreWow, this book is weird. Really, really weird.  It was recommended by someone who probably reads this type of book all the time and ‘gets’ it.

The book centres around 2 characters. One is a 15 year old boy who is running away from home, the other is an old man called Nakata WHO CAN SPEAK TO CATS!
nakata

The book gets really weird about half way through where it delves into inter-dimensional incest / self-fathering and it’s really difficult to finish this book and really know what you have just read but you know you’ve enjoyed it.

I really can’t explain how strange this book is, the feeling of reading it is similar to watching a David Lynch film. You leave saying ‘OK..that was a thing that just happened’

Inland-Empire

The best bit of the book is the older man who can speak to cats, he was in an accident when he was younger and is a bit stupid as a result, but the pages where he is talking to one of the 7 or 8 cats in the book are my favourites. He is a lovable character and is a stark contrast to the weird 15 year old boy who dream rapes.

Nakata talking to a cat

This is a play of the book where Nakata talks to a cat

Overall I would rate this book a cat with 7 eyes.
Cat with 7 eyes

Fear the sky book cover

I’m not usually one for reading books about science fiction.  I realised this was strange, because I enjoy sci-fi films quite a lot.

It turns out, that I quite enjoy a sci-fi book as well and may decide to read more sci-fi books in the future.

This book is about the earth in it’s present day, but with secret futuristic aliens plotting to invade the world.  It’s a bit like terminator, but with aliens. Or maybe a bit like war of the worlds, but without the massive war with there only being a few aliens on the earth.

The story is very long, it took me about 19 hours of actual reading to get through this book.  19 hours!  I’m not sure why it took me this long but it did and it might take you longer for all I know.

The book is split into 3 sections in my opinion.

1) Aliens are unknown
2) Aliens are known, but Aliens don’t know that they’re known
3) Aliens know they’re known, and non-aliens know they know they know.

My favourite section was probably 2, but I quite liked 3 as well.

If you enjoyed the film Independent Day, but thought the aliens should have human looking robot hosts and there be little to know action for the first half of the film, you will enjoy this book.

There are 2 more books in this series so I might read those as well.

I rate this book the first image that comes up when you google robot alien.

Robot Alien

A Place Called WinterMatthew and I are still adamant about having a book club with ourselves.  If you fancy joining it, let us know and we’ll let you know the book we’re planning to review.

Matthew asked someone on twitter what to read and this was the book they recommended.

The book is about a guy who is basically in Pride and Prejudice for the first 15 chapters and then it turns into a bit of  a Brokeback mountain cover for the majority of the rest of the book with some major differences.  For instance, it describes in laborious detail how to farm in the olden days while occasionally having a bit of gay loving thrown in, but there is also MURDER.

Brokeback mountain

The ending of the book is pretty good though, and you do feel like you’ve earned yourself a good rest from thinking.

The words used in the book are English, and I understood all of them, however it doesn’t read quite as easily as most of my normal books. The Author seems to enjoy saying 3 words where 1 would suffice, but it’s not painful to read.  He also enjoys describing things that my brain at least does not care about, but doesn’t mind processing.

Matthew hasn’t finished the book yet, I finished it after 2 and a bit days of reading which you can take however you like.

All in all, it was a good book, but not one I would recommend to my mother.

Disapproving Mother

My mother looks younger than this

All in all, I rate this book Will from Will and Grace

Will from Will and Grace

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A few weeks ago Matthew and I read ‘The Rosie Project’ as part of our book club. It was a decent book. I didn’t review this book for some reason and so will include my opinions of the book in the next paragraph.

It was good, but Australian.
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I started reading this book before I started the audio book ‘Ready Player One’ and as I enjoyed that book so much, it took away from my reading of this book, so much so that Matthew finished the book before me!
The books (both this and ‘The Rosie Project’) centre around this guy called Don who has some form of Autism or Asperses or something, it’s not clear. In the first book he is trying to get a wife and *SPOILER* finds one in a woman called Rosie. The second book picks off a few months into their marriage and deals with them becoming pregnant. *END OF SPOILER*

It is a very sad book with occasions of humour. It is difficult to read this guy trying very hard and all of his efforts not being understood by his wife. The first book was significantly better, with a slightly more believable story line (the ending of the second book is frustratingly simple).

At the end of the book, I felt the author had been lazy with the way everything was rounded off. I can’t go into details without spoiling things, so if you don’t want to know what is frustrating then please ignore the next paragraph.
*SPOILER*
So his wife is basically leaving him because she doesn’t think he’ll be a good father, or because she thinks he’ll be too good and she wouldn’t be able to be a normal mother because he’d keep remarking on her mistakes etc. The main issue is that she couldn’t see him being a normal father.
This is all resolved, by a video being shown where he interacts with a lesbian’s child as part of an experiment (he’s a scientist). She sees the video and all is solved. COME ON!
*END OF SPOILER*
I appreciate that in my last book review I gave it a pass on believability because it was fiction, well this is also fiction but it is set in a more realistic environment and so I shall not give this a pass.
I rate this book an image of Sebastian from the little mermaid with a confusing name ‘Jason’ underneath out of 10
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