Tag: Books: Dystopian

Review: Steelheart

Posted 12 October, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

Steelheart (Reckoners #1)
By: Brandon Sanderson
Format/Source: eBook; my copy

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

The Reckoners is technically the last series by Brandon Sanderson I haven’t read anything from until now (I don’t count The Wheel of Time). The book was on sale when the last in the trilogy, Calamity, was released earlier this year so I finally picked it up with plans to read it.

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Review: The Handmaid’s Tale

Posted 27 June, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

The Handmaid’s Tale
By: Margaret Atwood
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population. The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions.

I seem to be on a roll these days, getting around to books that I’ve been meaning to get around to reading for years. This is one of those books. Good Canadian that I am, I never read it, lol, despite hearing about it for years and years and its impact in literature. This isn’t my first Margaret Atwood novel though; I had read her early novel Surfacing (review) a few years ago but I didn’t enjoy it. I figured maybe one of her more well-known novels would provide a different reading experience for me with regards to her body of work.

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Review: Station Eleven

Posted 4 March, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Station Eleven
By: Emily St. John Mandel
Format/Source: Trade paperback; was a Christmas gift

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of “King Lear.” Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

Oh man, there was so much buzz about this novel last year, it’s hard to have not known about this book. The premise of this novel sounded really interesting, very eerie, and I’ve been reading so much positive buzz about the book. My best friend gifted me a copy of the book last Christmas and it drifted up to the top of my to-read pile fairly quickly 😉

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Review: Until We End

Posted 28 April, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Until We End
By: Frankie Brown
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

It’s been nine months since the virus hit, killing almost everyone it touched. Seventeen-year-old Cora and her little brother, Coby, haven’t left home since. Not after the power cut out; not even after sirens faded in the distance and the world outside their backyard fence fell silent. But when a blistering drought forces Cora to go in search of water, she discovers that the post-apocalyptic world isn’t as deserted as she thought when she meets Brooks, a drop-dead sexy army deserter.

Fighting their way back home, Cora finds her house ransacked and Coby missing – kidnapped by the military for dangerous medical experiments in the name of finding a cure. Brooks knows exactly where Cora can find her brother, except he says it’s a suicide mission. Cora doesn’t care. But Brooks can’t let her go…

I heard about this novel on Twitter; it was plugged by another author–I can’t remember who now, oops!–and she wholeheartedly recommended it. I was curious so I checked out the premise and added it on my wishlist. It was recently on sale on Kobo Books so I decided to pick it up then.

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Review: Fahrenheit 451

Posted 27 February, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Fahrenheit 451
By: Ray Bradbury
Format/Source: Mass bound paperback

Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires …

The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning … along with the houses in which they were hidden.

Guy Montag enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames … never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid.

Then he met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think … and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do!

For many years my brother has been telling me to read this novel. The book wasn’t part of my curriculum in high school and despite having read George Orwell’s 1984 and other classic dystopian books by other authors, I just never got around to this one. While browsing through the Book Depository recently, I finally got around to just picking up a copy for myself–hurray! Contains some spoilers ahead!

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