Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"Waiting On" Wednesday - Opposition

"Waiting On"  Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on...  


Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

* Book will be released August 5, 2014

Check out the description from Goodreads:

"Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.  
She can't believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.  
Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.  
They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.  
War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing."

This series just draws me right into the story and I can’t believe this is going to be the last book. The story is soapy yet awesome and this whole alien invasion angle looks like it'll make for a truly epic ending.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review - Perfected

Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

* Read via NetGalley for review

4 gnomes out of 5 gnomes

This is such a weird book. I was surprised by how much this book just drew me into it’s world. I stayed up until three in the morning on a Saturday to finish it.

The world of this book is just, well interesting but wrong. It’s in some future time where it’s legal to have pets in the United States (not dog and cat kind of pets but genetically engineered girls as pets.)  These pets are taught at their kennels to be pretty much ornaments for whoever buys them.

This is told from the point of view of one of the pets. All she knows is how she’s supposed to act and what’s expected of her. Things get interesting though when she starts to have feelings for someone.

There is a menacing feeling about the whole book and doing what is right for these pets. This book will definitely stay with you.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Rachel Reviews - Echopraxia

Echopraxia by Peter Watts

* Read via NetGalley for review.

4 out of 5 gnomes

The book Echopraxia by Peter Watts is narrated by the main character, Daniel Brüks, and takes place in the future. Climate Changes have resulted in deserts in Oregon where we find Brüks, on an encouraged sabbatical to do field work in biology after his previous work killed thousands of people. His work mainly involves tagging and cataloging different mutations in desert reptiles found outside of the Bicameral Hive monastery, guarded by a pet tornado. One night his perimeter alarms start going off and after careful observation, he finds out that zombies are in the area. He runs to the monastery and gets let in just before the pet tornado is let loose on the undead. Then things start to get interesting.


This book takes you a wild ride from beginning to end. It was a bit confusing at first, but that could be because I haven’t read Blindsight, the precursor to Echopraxia. I give Watts full credit for still being able to include enough exposition to explain the cataclysmic events that led to this future while keeping us in the second book and keep the reader interested. It’s never easy to start with the second book of a series, but Watts’ writing is up to the task.


The vast majority of this book’s content, it seems to me, is philosophical in nature. Arguments between Brüks and Lillian over matters of faith vs. science, whom to put your faith into, etc. make up a lot of the dialog. There are also internal monologues for Brüks that go into matters of what makes a person a person and what is the cost of giving up your personality to become part of the Bicameral Hive Mind. I know that, as a Philosophy major I probably find this more interesting than most, but don’t discount the setting and the story. Watts has a tough task of keeping the science and the philosophy within the realm of possibility (he has quite the bibliography backing him up) while keeping the reader entertained and he does it. Brüks is on a ship with an old soldier, who lost his son on the ship that they are looking for; a translator for the Bicamerals, who follows them on blind faith; a pilot, who considers Brüks a roach; and a super-smart, super-strong vampire. There is plenty else going on for the reader.


There are a few things, though, that didn’t seem to work for me. I don’t know if Rakshi, the pilot, just doesn’t know how to use grammar or talks so fast that grammar is not needed, but she was constantly talking in run-on sentences with no punctuation. It was only her, though, so it’s probably part of her character. Then there’s the religious iconography at the end of the story that just didn’t seem to fit the book so well for me. It was more off-putting than resolution-finding. Then again, maybe the purpose of the ending was to leave me with questions.

Echopraxia certainly provided me with a lot of food for thought while in an interesting setting that, while confusing at times, ultimately made sense and was entertaining. Overall, I give this book 4 Gnomes. And while I encourage you to read Echopraxia, I recommend you start with Blindsight so you won’t have the same confusion problems I did in the beginning of reading.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Grandma Joanne

I am nervous as heck and more than a little bit freaked out because I plan to speak at the memorial service for my Grandma today. I'm going to miss her so much and I knew I just had to say something. 

Here's what I'm going to say:


Adventure

You took us on adventures to the car wash (which you somehow made fun.)
You fed us those frozen meals with the penguin on the package.
You always had coupons and let us choose where to go.
You retired more times than I can remember and then promptly found something new.
You were always there and ready to go to any of our important events.
You had a horrible sense of direction but we always got there in the end.
You made us feel important and most of all loved.

We will miss you.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hiatus

Got the sad news that my Grandma just passed away. While dealing with all the planning and chaos Bibliognome will be on hiatus until at least July 28th. 

Thanks for understanding.

Review - White Trash Zombie Apocalypse

White Trash Zombie Apocalypse by Diana Rowland

4 out of 5 gnomes

I just love this series so much because it has such a unique yet awesome take on zombies. The main character is also someone who you can seriously root for.

She’s trying really hard to improve her life but man there are plenty of obstacles besides the whole being a zombie part.

Angel goes back and forth a lot on whether Marcus is the right guy for her. It is not always easy for them and there are real problems there. I not so secretly hope that she ends up with somebody else.

I’m very happy that Angel’s relationship with her dad is improving. (Even though after the first book I was kind of wondering why she still even spoke to him.) There is some real growth there and hopefully he and Angel continue to try to be better.

Another reason I like this depiction of zombies is the zombie mafia/family that Angel continues to discover more about. The regular mafia is scary but the zombie mafia can be downright terrifying.

Angel’s getting in deeper and well sometimes it’s hard to see the good in the good guys. There is also plenty of ambiguity/lots of characters fall in the not a hundred percent good/not a hundred percent bad category. She also has an interesting effect on someone else that I can’t wait to see explored further.

If you haven’t checked out this series and like dark humor and or zombies than this series is definitely for you.

Sentence Sneak Peek - White Trash Zombie Apocalypse

White Trash Zombie Apocalypse by Diana Rowland

The first sentence from each chapter of White Trash Zombie Apocalypse, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

Spoilers are highlighted like so :)


“Rain.”

“Angel!”

“Five days and counting,” Nick said with a smile.”

“I raced home, showered and changed, even spent about twenty minutes on my hair and makeup and was mostly pleased with the result.”

“I quickly dug the bag of brain chips out of my purse and stuffed them into my jacket pocket, then did my best to put on an exasperated expression.”

“I’d actually planned ahead for once, and swapped part of my eight a.m. to four p.m. shift with Jerry, the other full-time van driver, so that I didn’t have to come in so early in the morning after the late night out with Marcus.”

“The autopsy of Brenda Barnes went quickly, though Dr. Leblanc remained puzzled about the cause of death despite knowing what had killed her: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which was a condition where the heart muscle got too thick to pump blood properly, he’d explained.”

“The rain came down again in a light but steady fall.”

“It was only a little after one a.m., which seemed weird.”

“The minute my shift ended I got the hell out of there.”

“I woke with a headache, which was weird since I hadn’t had a true headache since becoming a zombie.”

“Babe.”

“I told myself I’d study until eleven which would give me enough time to get ready so I wouldn’t be in a frantic rush before Brian picked me up.”

“Our route to the lab had been almost entirely back roads and seldom-used highways, though I wasn’t sure if that was the only way to get there or if it was on purpose to keep me from finding the place again.”

“Brian walked me around the corner and down a hallway.”

“To my relief, my dad’s truck wasn’t in the driveway when Brian dropped me off.”

“A sound woke me, a dull thumping, but without any particular rhythm or cadence.”

“It didn’t seem right that it could only be ten a.m.”

“The Tucker Point High School gym was one creepy-as-hell place at night.”

“Hungry, I detoured to the small fridge in the coach’s office where I’d stashed my bottles.”

“To my surprise, I managed to get back to sleep without any problem.”

“Once again I found myself grateful that I lived in a small town.”

“As the body fell, Philip dropped into a crouch, tore the man’s skull apart, and began to stuff chunks of brain into his mouth.”

“I expected Brian to head to the same lab I’d visited the other day, where I’d seen Kang’s head and met Dr. Nikas, but instead he stopped after about two minutes of driving and pulled up to a loading dock behind an old brick warehouse.”

“I gave a pint of blood to Jacques, accepted a packet of brains in return, then checked on Philip.”

“I half expected some awkwardness in the morning, but Marcus was already cooking eggs when I woke up and shambled into the kitchen.”

“You sure this is a good idea?”