5 May 2020

#Review: VANISHING HOUR by Lisa King

05 May 2 Comments

VANISHING HOUR

Author: Lisa King
Series: N/A
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Fiction Studio Books
Publication Date: March 31, 2020
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:



Summary:
Seventy-year-old Matthew Werner, who suffers from a debilitating case of Not Normal, doesn't know that nearly everyone on earth has died. He only knows that, out in the world, something terrible is happening – something he's not willing to discover. So he barricades himself inside and tries to stay ignorant. That is, until twelve-year-old Ruby Sterling shows up at his doorstep, all alone.

The two have little in common. Matthew is old, strange, grumbly, and concerned only with figuring out what happened to his wife, who went missing months earlier. Ruby is serious, curious, and worried about the fate of her father and whether the future even exists. Neither wants much to do with the other. Which is why, when Ruby hears a voice on the radio telling people to come to a place called the Horizon, she's determined to find it, even if Matthew isn't.

But outside, he's the least of her problems, and she's the least of his. To survive, they must count on the last thing either expected: each other.

And the Horizon? It could be anywhere. Or nowhere at all.

Vanishing Hour is a work of apocalyptic fiction unlike any other. As much a story about the beginning of an unlikely friendship as it is about the end of the world, it resonates on both the personal and social levels. You're not likely to forget this one anytime soon.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. I was compensated to expedite my review to May. This in no way impacts my opinion.

“She never asked for the sea or the sky, just a tiny shred of wonderful.”

I thought this was an interesting mix of Middle Grade and Adult Science Fiction. I liked seeing those two worlds collide and how this one eventually played out. My biggest complaint really is that it wasn’t given the time it needed to fully develop. I wish this had been broken into a duology so that we could have adequate time understanding the breakdown of society as well as the new “utopia” and hope. We weren’t given enough time for either and there was a rush to tell us what the virus was, which took a bit away from the reading experience. Overall though it was a really interesting look to apocalyptic fiction that had a lot of twists and turns along the way.

I really liked both of our main characters - Matthew and Ruby. I thought they played well off of one another and built up a really good rapport throughout. I liked how they became each other’s family. The book was a really good case of found family and how people can come together and be stronger than they think during a time of crisis.

I thought the plot line was interesting but sometimes it revealed too much too quickly. I would have liked more time to guess about why only certain people were left in the world rather than being told (relatively quickly). I thought it was really interesting and well done but I would have liked it to be more of a surprise or at least some sort of “figuring out.”

I did like the different ways we see society break in this one - first with Centre One and then seeing the world as Matthew and Ruby traveled to what they hoped was a better place. I think there was too much emphasis on how Jud was Bad and Evil and not enough on how there are varying degrees of this and that his mental health obviously played a role. There isn’t really black and white in this scenario but it was portrayed that way.

Overall, I was hoping that this was a longer book than it ended up being because more needed to be explained for the reader to fully encompass the world and everything inside of it. But I thought it was a really interesting take on apocalyptic futures and I definitely recommend it!

Have you read this one? What was your favourite part?

2 May 2020

Stacking the Shelves (30): May 2, 2020

02 May 1 Comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!
I am hoping that this week goes by a little quicker because we're almost in May! I don't foresee when we'll be leaving the house but it's almost been 5 years of blogging for me! I'll have a fun post up for that with some great giveaways!

In terms of reading, I've been tracking my progress this year in terms of diversity, page numbers, audios vs non, and publication year. It's been so interesting to see what my reading trend has been like! I've been reading such a variety of books and it's so fun to watch my taste expand and my page count grow.

How's everyone holding up?

25 Apr 2020

Stacking the Shelves (29): April 25, 2020

25 April 1 Comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!
I am hoping that this week goes by a little quicker because we're almost in May! I don't foresee when we'll be leaving the house but it's almost been 5 years of blogging for me! I'll have a fun post up for that with some great giveaways!

In terms of reading, I've been tracking my progress this year in terms of diversity, page numbers, audios vs non, and publication year. It's been so interesting to see what my reading trend has been like! I've been reading such a variety of books and it's so fun to watch my taste expand and my page count grow.

How's everyone holding up?

24 Apr 2020

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: MASTER CLASS by Christina Dalcher

24 April 0 Comments

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays

introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!

MASTER CLASS


Author: Christina Dalcher
Summary:

Series: N/A
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: April 21, 2020

Every child's potential is regularly determined by a standardized measurement: their quotient (Q). Score high enough, and attend a top tier school with a golden future. Score too low, and it's off to a federal boarding school with limited prospects afterwards. The purpose? An improved society where education costs drop, teachers focus on the more promising students, and parents are happy.


Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state's elite schools. When her nine-year-old daughter bombs a monthly test and her Q score drops to a disastrously low level, she is immediately forced to leave her top school for a federal institution hundreds of miles away. As a teacher, Elena thought she understood the tiered educational system, but as a mother whose child is now gone, Elena's perspective is changed forever. She just wants her daughter back.

And she will do the unthinkable to make it happen.
Purchase:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

MASTER CLASS is set in a not too distant future where your ability to contribute to society through your education and book smarts is what contributes to the rest of your life. Set in the time when this has been in place for about 15 years (so in place but not too settled - new dystopian life), it follows our main character Elena through coming to terms with the state of things and desperately trying to make sure her family is safe. It was a look into what the world could be like if people start to value the segregation of schools and prioritization of the "gifted" children over everyone else.

This book had a lot of really good elements to it. I thought that there was a good story to be told here that took into consideration race, socio-ecomoinc status, and disability. But that's not really what we got. Just like with VOX this is a story written by and for white women who proclaim to be feminists without understanding the intracacies of what that truly means. That being said, I did really enjoy reading it and had a hard time putting it down.

I think that there was a really strong writing style to this - Dalcher has a way with words, that's for sure. I could also see the parallels between the current world state, especially in the United States, and this novel. I liked seeing how things started slowly but were clearly escalating to a point that not even the rich, white, affluent families could deal with.

But the story here wasn't as intricate or deep as I wanted it to be: it skimmed the surface of other issues such as LGBT2sQIA+ persons being "downgraded" because of their status, even though they were top students. Or race and how proportionately disadvantaged people of colour would be. Or geographic location and socio-economic status having an impact (although the main character meets someone she thinks should be "dumb" based on their accent who she then respects because she has a science degree - not sure that should have been the ploy there but it is what it is). Or how having a disability can be a barrier. All of these things were briefly mentioned but not given the attention or details they really deserved.

That's not to say that this book didn't address and pack a wallop to it's main audience: affluential white women who think that this could "never happen to them." It shows the mad sprial into "mama bear" territory and how you would do anything for your children. But only at a certain point. And I think that's important for people to see: people are only doing things once they have no other choice rather than being on the front lines from the beginning. You could definitely see that Dalcher has grown as an author from between writing VOX and writing MASTER CLASS.

I liked Elena as a character - I do think she had a lot of growth during the novel. And her relationships were really interesting and well done as well. Everyone felt like a different character and I coudl easily distingusih between what they wanted and what they needed which is always great for character development.

I would say if you loved VOX, you will love this. If you thought that was okay, you'll think this is okay. And if you hated it, you'll hate this. I would recommend it to my book club and my mom but not to anyone who is a minority. But I am looking forward to Dalcher's next book and seeing how she grows as an author.

What are some of your favourite Adult SFF books?

18 Apr 2020

Stacking the Shelves (28): April 18, 2020

18 April 1 Comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!
So quarantine sucks, eh? I am living with my boyfriend and my parents (and Pepper) which is not something I thought we would have to do. We are still paying rent for our apartment - it's just easier for us to be here because of how many cases there are in our area.

But otherwise, quarantine has been great for my TBR. I have read almost 20 books since this all happened, which is fantastic, so I'll probably blow through so many TBR books, older review books, and more! I am actually happy about that.

How's everyone holding up?