Monday, August 15, 2011

Manly Mondays- Mini Reviews from the Hubby

Because every once in awhile you need to throw a little testosterone on the perspective.

Robopocalypse: A Novel, by Daniel H. Wilson
From Goodreads:

In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans – a single mother disconcerted by her daughter’s menacing “smart” toys, a lonely Japanese bachelor who is victimized by his domestic robot companion, an isolated U.S. soldier who witnesses a ‘pacification unit’ go haywire – but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is too late.

When the Robot War ignites -- at a moment known later as Zero Hour -- humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united.
Robopocalypse would probably make a better movie than a book, and I couldn't help but feel the author was envisioning the movie the entire time he was writing.  There was some cool stuff in this book, I especially liked how the evil A.I. is defeated in the end (no, I didn't just spoil the end, this is one of those books that starts at the end then tells you how it got there), but the lack of any character development was a huge draw back.  maybe the author is waiting for Johnny Depp or Leonardo Dicaprio to breath some life into the non-robots of the book.

Robopocalypse: A Novel, by Daniel H. Wilson
Published by Doubleday, June 2011
Copy kindly provided by Random House Canada
Robopocalypse: A Novel

The Children of Men, by P.D. James
From Goodreads:
In the year 2021, the world is a bleak place where all human males have become sterile, and no child can ever be born again. Civilization is giving way to cruelty and despair, and historian Theo Faron has nearly resigned himself to apathy. Then he is asked to join a band of revolutionaries--a move that may hold the key to humanity's survival.

Children of Men was one of those rare instances where I liked the movie better than the book.  Not to say I didn't like the book, because I did, but the movie was just that good.  For a small book there was a ton of stuff that wasn't in the movie, and for that it was totally worth reading.

The Children of Men, by P.D. James
Published by Vintage (reprint) 2006
Buy The Children of Men on Amazon

The Hypnotist, by Lars Kepler
From Goodreads:
Prepare for The Hypnotist to cast its spell In the frigid clime of Tumba, Sweden, a gruesome triple homicide attracts the interest of Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the murders. The killer is still at large, and there’s only one surviving witness—the boy whose family was killed before his eyes. Whoever committed the crimes wanted this boy to die: he’s suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. Desperate for information, Linna sees only one option: hypnotism. He enlists Dr. Erik Maria Bark to mesmerize the boy, hoping to discover the killer through his eyes. It’s the sort of work that Bark has sworn he would never do again—ethically dubious and psychically scarring. When he breaks his promise and hypnotizes the victim, a long and terrifying chain of events begins to unfurl.

The Hypnotist cover is scarier than it's contents, but I still enjoyed the book.  Hypnosis is an intriguing thing, it has this underlying dark side to it, even when used as harmless entertainment.  Reading this book, what scared me the most (even more than its misleading cover) was the fear that I was being hypnotized through subliminal messages in the writing.  I was worried I was going to be used as a tool for murder, just like the characters in the book. 
Who knows, maybe I was.

The Hypnotist, by Lars Kepler
Published by Blue Door, May 2011
Copy kindly provided by Random House Canada
Buy the Hypnotist on Amazon

Carrion Comfort, by Dan Simmons
From Goodreads:
THE PAST... Caught behind the lines of Hitler’s Final Solution, Saul Laski is one of the multitudes destined to die in the notorious Chelmno extermination camp. Until he rises to meet his fate and finds himself face to face with an evil far older, and far greater, than the Nazi’s themselves…

THE PRESENT... Compelled by the encounter to survive at all costs, so begins a journey that for Saul will span decades and cross continents, plunging into the darkest corners of 20th century history to reveal a secret society of beings who may often exist behind the world's most horrible and violent events. Killing from a distance, and by darkly manipulative proxy, they are people with the psychic ability to 'use' humans: read their minds, subjugate them to their wills, experience through their senses, feed off their emotions, force them to acts of unspeakable aggression. Each year, three of the most powerful of this hidden order meet to discuss their ongoing campaign of induced bloodshed and deliberate destruction. But this reunion, something will go terribly wrong. Saul’s quest is about to reach its elusive object, drawing hunter and hunted alike into a struggle that will plumb the depths of mankind’s attraction to violence, and determine the future of the world itself…

Carrion Comfort is not a light summer read.  It's probably better left for the cold, house-bound depths of winter.  For that reason I have mixed feelings about the book. 
Did I enjoy reading it? Sometimes.
Did I like like it? I think so.
Will I read it again? Yes, down the road in a few years or so, in February.

Carrion Comfort, by Dan Simmons
Published by St. Martin's Griffin, (reprint)November  2009
Buy Carrion Comfort on Amazon

1 comment:

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