Will and Asheley are teenage siblings that have grown close because of their lackluster parents. Their dad left them they were children and hasn't seen them since. Their mother is an alcoholic who is constantly in and out of rehab. The day that both Will and Asheley experience success in their sport for the first time, they come home to find their mother completely plastered after going months without drinking. She is taken to a rehabilitation center, leaving her two children alone as she has so often before. When they decide to have a party in their mother's absence, Will goes out of control and commits a terrible act that would destroy their lives. The story that follows features the siblings leaving a trail of destruction in their wake as they seek to escape.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Ren Segura, also known as Jackal to her friends, is trying to bear the responsibility of being a Hope. Because she was born exactly on the first second new year, she will become a leader in the World Government called EarthGov. Although she has been treated differently all her life and has prepared since childhood to assume responsibility, Ren finds out that she's not really a Hope. Ko, the corporate nation state she represents, and her parents lied to benefit themselves. Not wanting to let her family down, she continues to pretend that she's a Hope, but starts to mentally unravel. Her life completely turns upside down when a horrible accident has her being accused of mass murder and terrorism. To spare her family from an investigation about her fake Hope status, Ren decides to settle outside of court and agrees to undergo virtual confinement, where she will be trapped in her subconscious for 8 years virtual time, 10 months real time. Can she survive being completely isolated for so long? What will happen to her after she is released from her mental prison?
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
One assumes that Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy lived happily ever after at the finish of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. This is not quite true. After four years of marriage, Elizabeth feels unsatisfied and unhappy. Not with her husband of course, but with the fact that it's improper for her to remain the warrior she was in her unmarried days. After Darcy sees some of her old fervor when they defeat a horde of unmentionables together, Elizabeth confides in him, but their talk is interrupted. An unmentionable child bites Darcy on the neck, where amputation is impossible. Elizabeth dispatches the offending thing and takes him into their home. She calls upon her nemesis, Lady Catherine De Bourgh, who has a serum that will prevent Darcy from fully becoming one of the undead. Lady Catherine also enlists her to sacrifice her honor and her pride to seduce a doctor in London into giving her the experimental cure to save Darcy. Elizabeth has no choice but to agree and departs for London, meeting her father and her sister Kitty there to complete the facade and aid her in her quest. Can they obtain the cure before Darcy succumbs to this plague?
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
In the year 2150, girls are branded with a tattoo on their wrists proclaiming their status as a sixteen year old. This public display of their age is supposedly to protect them and provide freedom, but it really makes them a target for exploitation and sexual violence. Nina Oberon is especially nervous about turning 16. Most of the other girls in her position are excited about dating boys and being viewed as more mature because how the media portrays this age. On television, magazines, and advertisements, girls are encouraged to dress provocatively and learn to attract men. They are also encouraged to join FeLs, Feminine Liaison Specialist service, which is the only way for lower class girls to rise above their station. The organization is shrouded in mystery and not many people hear from girls after their required time there. Nina’s mother was working to uncover part of this mystery, but she is suddenly killed by her boyfriend. Nina is now determined to continue her mother’s work, but she needs to find her father. The only problem is she thought he died many years ago. Can she find her father and solve the mystery before she is killed as well?
In XVI, Julia Karr takes a negative aspect of our own society and augments it exponentially. Ours is a patriarchal society and women are frequently objectified and idealized in the media in ways not possible to naturally look. This is a negative, but generally accepted or ignored part of our society. We can see this in legislation trying to redefine rape to not include statutory rape or date rape, attacks on Planned Parenthood, blaming victims for rape, advertisements that objectify women to sell items, and legislation to criminalize both abortion and miscarriages. This is a real problem, but this book takes it even further, giving women next to no rights. A woman is killed in the novel and it's not a pressing matter at all to find her killer because she is the lowest of the low in this society: poor and a woman. One of my problems with this novel is that it's never explained why women are treated this way. I guess the rationale is the current misogynistic views evolve to be bigger and even more pervasive, but I would like something a little more concrete to base it off of. The lack of even trying to present a reason just makes it harder for me to suspend my disbelief.
I really like how overpowering the media was in the book. There are literally advertisements being blasted at people 24/7. When they are interrupted by the Resistance, people are shocked and pandemonium ensues. Information is skewed and distorted through the media to lull the masses into a false sense of security. I also like that Nina and her friend Sandy provide two polar opposites. Nina does not want to be considered a sexual being and resists the advertising and brainwashing. Sandy, on the other hand, plunges head first into dressing provocatively. Sandy and the media in XVI are a commentary on our own society. The media promotes the American ideal of beauty which is nothing really resembling natural beauty. Sandy represents the young girls who are effected by these images and work to appear less smart to attract a man.
There are a few things that bothered me about this book. Nina is pretty inconsistent and frustrates me with her antics at times. One minute she's super overprotective of her sister and then the next she seems to forget about her altogether. It just didn't really make sense to me and made me want to shake her. Some of the language in the novel is weird. For instance, cars are now known as "trannies." I think an author writing now should be aware of current slang. I just laughed to myself every time I saw the word and that brings me out of the story. The word "sexteen" is repeated a ridiculous amount in the novel and it eventually became an annoyance. The mysteries that consume Nina for most of the book are predictable and I figured them out very early on.
XVI is a quick dystopic read that leads the reader to examine their own society. There are a few flaws, including annoying words and a predictable plot, but it is a good introduction to science fiction.
My rating: 3/5 fishmuffins
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I found awesome stuff on the internet and I would like to share it with you!
Monday, March 7, 2011
Gretchen Lowell, the Beauty Killer, is finally safely locked up so Archie Sheridan can focus on other things. Their love-hate relationship is finally laid to rest and Archie has become much healthier. He no longer pops pills as if they were candy and religiously goes to his therapy sessions. There isn't long to relax because of the torrential, heavy rains causing the Willamette River to come to the cusp of flooding. As a result, drownings are becoming a more frequent occurence and the corpse of a man who died sixty years ago is found, which is possibly a link to a devastating flood that destroyed the city Vanport in 1968. The drownings, upon closer analysis, seem to be linked because of a strange mark found on the palm of each victim. Archie is on the case with quirky, nosy, indomitable Susan Ward. The increasingly bad weather and threatening flood make it harder for them to do their job and easier for the killer to disguise his actions. Can Susan and Archie catch the killer before they become victims themselves?
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
If the horror movies of the late twentieth century taught us anything, it’s that household gadgets can become evil and turn against us. Cars, trucks, computers, and video games all had their turns at being monstrous. Gremlins featured creatures who specialized in sabotaging machinery to malfunction in a deadly fashion. Long before that, The Twilight Zone brought us a story of a haunted telephone in the episode “Long Distance Call.”
Bearing this history in mind, it’s only realistic to expect to find out that our Kindles, Nooks, and other ebook readers are also vulnerable to being haunted. When we consider the rich variety of characters, emotions, and imaginary worlds that pass through such a small device, it’s only natural that a supernatural spirit will, sooner or later, attempt to take up residence in your ebook device.
Some of these ghosts are simply nuisance hauntings, and will do little more than put typos into your ebooks. Others, however, are more dangerous.
Here are a few signs that you may have a haunted e-reader:
1. Loads stories you didn’t buy. They may be gruesome tales of death and deception, or that new book by Snooki. Either way, this could be a sign that a malevolent intelligence has moved into your Kindle.
2. Speaks to you personally. If the text-to-speech feature on your Kindle starts making conversation with you, whether pleasant or threatening, you should be aware that is not a normal function of the Kindle and could indicate a ghost.
3. Displays frightening and non-book-related images. If screaming faces appear at random on the screen of your reader, this could be a haunting. Note: These faces are especially terrifying on the Nook Color.
4. Displays stories about you. Your e-reader may begin to tell you stories about yourself, involving terrible things happening to you. If so, this is very likely a haunting.
What can you do about the risk of your Kindle, Nook or Sony reader being haunted?
1. Prevention. Some people claim that affixing a dreamcatcher to your reader’s carrying case will help block out evil spirits. Also, avoid the temptation to download The Haunted E-book to your device, despite its spookily low price of just $2.99. This book has been known to cause supernatural problems for readers.
2. Contact tech support. If your e-reader is under warranty, they may simply switch out your haunted reader for a new one. Then the ghost becomes somebody else’s problem instead of yours!
3. Download a variety of religious texts. I’m not sure which ones would work best, but certainly if you download enough sacred material, something might shake that ghost loose.
4. Exorcism. Have your Kindle or Nook professionally exorcised, if you can find a professional exorcist willing to do so. This service is offered at more progressive voodoo shops.
5. Cope. Determine whether you can just live with the amount of trouble your ghost is giving you.
We hope these tips have helped you today. In the comments below, you might let us know some more signs that your e-readers may be haunted, or your thoughts on how to deal with such a problem.
Commenting on this post within seven days enters you for The Haunted E-book Tour Grand Prizes, including The Haunted Library and a Kindle (or two!).
Your comment also enters you to win a pair of ebooks from Titania (The Haunted E-book and Dark Tomorrows) according to her usual giveaway rules: Please leave a comment with your email address before the contest closes on 3/18!
Thanks for following the tour! And thanks to Titania for hosting The Haunted E-book Tour today.
J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on the English Renaissance and the Romantic period. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He is the author of five novels and one short-story collection. He enjoys remixing elements of paranormal, supernatural, fantasy, horror and science fiction into new kinds of stories. His new novel is The Haunted E-book. The sequel to his novel Jenny Pox will be available by summer 2011.