Sunday, April 26, 2015

In Search of - that most myterious literary cryptoid - the Jabberwock!!

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There are some who have all the choices of the world open to them, but for some there is but one choice.  That choice:  to fetch up the old family Vorpal Sword and heading out to track down the namesake of your house - the Jabberwock.

And that is just what the young Astreus does, much to the despair of his father.

And where to start a quest for this creature who, beforehand, is only know through the memory of a chance encounter over centuries before.  In true Lewis Carroll-like fashion - if you don't know where you are going - then any road will get you there.

One does not simply walk out of their home and run into the Jabberwock and cleave off its head.  That would not be a quest worthy of such a legendary recluse creature that is known only to the world but through a poem.  One must go through ill-fated romances on strange islands, become a servant to a chess playing cat, and learn the fate of the person who brings plight to a land that you have never heard of before you started your adventure.

After all of this - you will go through a mind bending trip that will have you thinking "maybe I shouldn't have ordered the mushrooms in that omelet" and cross over into yet another odder world.  Astreus may have second thoughts and may be content about just staying in an odd world, but when you have blood on your hands, the odder and unknown looks like a better choice every minute.

What will our young hero find at the end of this journey?  Will he even know what to do when he finds what he thinks he should find?  Why can't you ever just find a Mad Hatter and sit back with some tea to discuss things and sort them out when you need to?


Jabberwocky:  A Novella by Theodore Singer is a story that picks up on the poem of the Jabberwock that was written by Lewis Carroll and included in the "Through the Looking Glass" installment of the Alice in Wonderland books.

Never has such nonsense created so much seeking for sense.  What is the meaning of this? Why?  I am sure a doctoral thesis has been done on this cryptid who only walks on paths of parchment in children's books.

And that brings us to this wonderful novella that Singer has created.  I am not going to fall into the trap of trying to look for the deep meaning of the quest of Astreus - that is for the wonkheads to wonk about.  They need to get paid for coming up with wonkish thoughts that only they can understand.

Sometimes the thing that makes the most sense to do with nonsense is to sit back and enjoy it for what it is - a fun and entertaining story designed to put a smile on the face of all who are lucky enough to pick up the book and lose themselves down a rabbit hole for a while.

(This book review is part of a paid advertising package - this has no bearing on what I choose to include in the review)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Take the "Wool" off your eyes and get into this series!

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The air outside is toxic, and no one remembers how it got that way - but that is to be expected after living in an underground "silo" long enough to see generations come and go.  Underground living isn't for the faint of heart (or the weak of legs), but it sure beats asphyxiating on toxic fumes.

Every once in a while the sensors need "cleaned" - and this is a process that is truly on the job training since you only get one shot at doing this job.  Then the "protective" suit seems to deteriorate to the point of the cleaning turning into a literal death sentence.  But when you live underground, this is cause for celebrations and festivities.  Really, the people deserved to be sent to cleaning because the broke the #1 rule of silo fight club - and that is that one simply doesn't speak about anything outside of the silo.

But every twenty years or so, people start wondering what is REALLY outside of the silo.  People start to get a form of "silo fever" that starts to make them think that maybe things are not really what they seem.  And who is the evil empire who controls everything?  Howey goes straight to the depths of hell to pull out the ultimate bad guys - IT techs.......  

It really doesn't get any scarier than that, folks.  (shudder).

"Wool," by Hugh Howey is one of those books that should be on every science fiction fan's e-reader!   Do yourself a favor and just buy the Omnibus.  Howey is a self published author who started selling his short stories online - and then they went viral.  He has sold the movie rights to the book, and I think this would be a huge hit.

The plot, characters, and setting is enough to draw you into the world that Howey creates, and in a strange way makes you want to grab a shovel and start digging your own silo in your back yard.  I mean seriously - who can make a freaking underground silo sound interesting as a setting.  Hugh Howey can - and that should tell you all you need to know about this man's talent as a writer.....

This was an unsolicited review.  I purchased this book out of my own interest and curiosity - and very happy that I did!