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V171 Locked account

Joined 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm gay and I read books. New Jersey.

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V171's books

2024 Reading Goal

33% complete! V171 has read 4 of 12 books.

John Leahy: Unity (2015, Necro Publications) 3 stars

Something is missing in young Jonah Gates. He doesn't mix or make friends. When his …

Review of Unity by John Leahy

3 stars

Unity by John Leahy offers a captivating and unexpected journey into the disturbing psyche of Jonah Gates, a man wielding world-ending power. The narrative delves into the consequences of an incel armed with the means to seek revenge on the entire world, presenting a chilling exploration of human depravity.

Jonah Gates had a hard lot in life. Coming from a family where his mother abandoned them, his twin older brothers died, and his father fell into alcoholism, Jonah was left completely alone. However, despite the fact that he was always an odd child with some concerning behaviors, he was not without ambition. After one of his brother dies from rabies, Jonah becomes utterly fascinated with the concept of viruses, and at the age of 9, decides to devote his life to studying them. And study them he does, through high school, college, and graduate school, he focuses on almost nothing …

Benjamin Myers: The Offing (2020, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc) 4 stars

Review of The Offing, by Benjamin Myers

No rating

"The Offing" is a sensory tale of a young boy's coming-of-age in England, marked by a unique friendship with an older woman on the outskirts of a bay town. While the narrative unfolds as a sweet and engaging story, it leaves me wanding more substance beyond its charming surface.

At 16, Robert, hailing from a coal mining family, embarks on a solo journey after completing his school exams. His travels, filled with encounters with diverse individuals and moments of rustic charm, lead him to a cabin near Yorkshire. Here, he encounters Dulcie, an older woman with her dog Butler, whose blunt demeanor contrasts with her warm hospitality. Despite the simplicity of the plot, their evolving friendship becomes the focal point, revealing life lessons and a mystery surrounding Dulcie's past. Everything is beared eventually, drawing these two people to a friendship that will impact both of them for the rest of …

Goodreads Review of Silver Under Nightfall by Rin Chupeco

2 stars

I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm a vampire girly at heart. Having never read Twilight or anything by Anne Rice, I'm not sure, but I was eager to jump into this to get a taste for that sweet, sweet vampire life. Unfortunately, this wasn't it. It was 200 pages too long, had too many tropes, and couldn't settle on a consistent tone, all while having a choppy, unsatisfying story.

In Silver Under Nightfall, we are following Remy, a vampire hunter in the kingdom of Aluria, son of a renowned vampire hunting duke who kind of hates him. After Aluria strikes an alliance with one vampire court, Remy is roped into allying with two engaged vampire lords, Malekh and Xiaodan to find the source of a mysterious, undead plague that is affecting both vampires and humans alike. Through this, he grows closer to both Xiaodan and Malekh and eventually becomes …

reviewed System Collapse by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries, #7)

Martha Wells: System Collapse (Hardcover, 2023, Tordotcom) 4 stars

Am I making it worse? I think I'm making it worse.

Following the events in …

Goodreads Review of System Collapse by Martha Wells

4 stars

System Collapse feels like a tightening of the Murderbot Diaries formula that really paid off. Despite some of the same issues that have gotten in the way of my enjoyment of previous installations, I really liked this one and it's reinvigorated my love for the series.

It wouldn't be accurate to say that Murderbot is back at it again, because it hasn't been away from the action in a few books now. We left off on a planet with a few colonies that were being ravaged by a strange alien contaminant that had the ability to jump between humans and artificial systems, making both act erratically. Murderbot, along with a gaggle of "its humans" continue to help the colonists on this planet, but are soon met with a corporate exploration team from the company Barish-Estranza (B-E) who they suspect is scouting the planet to assess whether they can take advantage …

Colson Whitehead: Harlem Shuffle (Paperback, 2021, Random House Large Print) 4 stars

To his customers and neighbours on 125th Street, Ray Carney is an upstanding salesman of …

Goodreads Review of Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

2 stars

I mean it was fine. What's there to say. Quite well written, don't get me wrong. But I found the three acts all lacking action, intrigue, and a consistent through line. None of the characters were memorable or distinct in a way that impacted the story, including the main character. They all seemed to serve as a backdrop for a story that was was not interesting enough to stand up on its own. It wasn't a bad read at all, just wholly unmemorable.

Andy Weir: Project Hail Mary (Hardcover, 2021, Ballantine Books) 4 stars

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission--and if he fails, humanity …

Goodreads Review of Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

4 stars

In Project Hail Mary, the sun is going out. Huge bummer. We also don't know why, and it's happening to many stars in the local area of the galaxy. But we figure out why! And we also find one system where the star ISN'T going out even though it should. So we gotta throw together a ship and crew as quickly as possible to investigate, find a solution, and get it back to Earth in time to save the sun. Enter Ryland Grace, one of the crew members of this ship. He doesn't know any of that though, because he woke up on the space ship billions of miles from home without his memory. As his memory returns, he has to work to figure out who he is, what he's doing, and how to save his home. After a shocking discovery in this alien solar system, he has new exciting …

Arkady Martine: A Memory Called Empire (Paperback, 2020, Pan Macmillan) 4 stars

Won the 2020 Hugo for Best Novel. Ambassador Mahit Dzmare is posted far from her …

Goodreads Review of A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

4 stars

This was a fantastic whirlwind of politics, intrigue, diplomacy wrapped in a vivid, unique setting. While some of the finer aspects of the book didn't quite land for me, I thought this was a great read and look forward to the next one.

In A Memory Called Empire, we follow Mahit, a resident of Lsel Station, a space station off in deep space; but that's not where the story takes place. You see, Mahit has been selected as the next ambassador to the Teixcalaanli Empire, a sprawling and powerful empire, influenced by Aztec culture. The previous ambassador, Yskander, has died under extremely mysterious circumstances, and while it is Mahit's mission to fulfill the role as ambassador, her secondary mission is to figure out what happened to him. And thankfully she has help from -- Yskander himself.. Well, an outdated version of him. On Lsel Station, residents utilize an extremely secretive …

reviewed Dawnshard by Brandon Sanderson (The Stormlight Archive, #3.5)

Brandon Sanderson: Dawnshard (Hardcover, 2021, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 4 stars

From Brandon Sanderson―author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive and its fourth …

Goodreads Review of Dawnshard by Brandon Sanderson

5 stars

Is it heresy to say that this is probably my favorite installment in the Stormlight series so far? There is so much to be said about the expansive, detailed world and captivating stories that Sanderson is known for, but Dawnshard really is a testament to his skill as a writer in creating equally captivating, brief stories that hyper focus on a small cast of characters.

In Dawnshard, we are following Rysn, a recently "graduated" full fledged merchant who studied under a master merchant for many years. After an accident, Rysn lost the use of her legs, but eager to dive into her new trade, and with a gifted ship and crew, she is eager to take up an assignment from the queen of the Alethi herself who asks her to take a ship to an isolated, mythical island to excavate for treasure. This is fortuitous for Rysn, as her faithful …

Ann Leckie: Lake of Souls (EBook, Orbit Books) 4 stars

Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke award-winner Ann Leckie is a modern master of the …

Goodreads Review of Lake of Souls by Ann Leckie

5 stars

Lake of Souls by Ann Leckie is a fantastic collection of works that showcase the author's innovative and deeply creative approach to fantasy and science fiction writing. This was a wonderful and extensive variety of stories from her Imperial Radch Universe, her Raven Tower Universe, and stand alone works as well. I couldn't get enough of these and, to varying degrees, found myself enjoying each and every one. So much so, that I actually wanted to take the effort to individually rate each one very briefly!

First up, we have her stories that are independent, unassociated with either of her existing universes.

Lake of Souls - 5 stars, love it. Love the mix between a short, sweet coming of age story and the almost shocking body horror for such a short story.

Footprints - 2 stars, just too short. Brief introduction to something uncanny, but not long enough to actually …

Helen Phillips: Hum (EBook, Simon & Schuster) 2 stars

From the National Book Award–longlisted author of The Need comes an extraordinary novel about a …

Goodreads Review of Hum by Helen Phillips

2 stars

Hum was an anxiety inducing, dystopian peek into the natural trajectory of our own world, but with so much to say, I feel that it wasn't able to say enough about any one theme it attempted to explore.

May has hit a rough patch in life. Recently laid off from her job due to the rise in automation and the introduction of artificial beings into the workforce called Hums, she has been struggling to land on her feet so she can continue to help support her husband Jem, a gig worker, and her two children, Sy and Lu. After a former coworker connects her to a local startup that is apparently exploring how to surgically modify faces to become unrecognizable to the big brother-esque security networks, May has enough money to finally have a bit of a safety net for her family, and a slightly new face. She takes this …

Madeline Miller: Galatea (EBook, Bloomsbury Paperbacks) 4 stars

This was a wonderful, quick little jaunt into Madeline Miller's work. I loved the story, …

Goodreads Review of Galatea by Madeline Miller

3 stars

This was a wonderful, quick little jaunt into Madeline Miller's work. I loved the story, but with it being so short, it of course left me wanting more. Don't let the three stars fool you, this was good, but there really was no time to explore anything in any depth. Because there wasn't much depth to it, I anticipate its impact won't stick with me for long. And that's not a dig at short stories in general, I think decisions could have been made about the narrative to make it more impactful, but alas here we are. Anyway, Madeline Miller remains one of my favorite authors and, in my opinion, continues to be the master in the genre of mythological retellings and I will continue to read whatever she writes.

Mike Futcher: Void Station One (EBook) 3 stars

A man resolves to commit suicide by throwing his spacecraft into a black hole.

Simon …

Goodreads Review of Void Station One by Mike Futcher

3 stars

Thanks to the publisher for sending me an arc of this book to review in advance!

Void Station One is a melancholic exploration of one's self and self worth set in an interesting, far future where humans have stretched throughout the galaxy. Despite some stumbles and being largely introspective, there was enough story to keep me intrigued, and even had some small twists along that way that made this an easy read.

We follow Cole, a deeply sad man who is struggling to find purpose in life after his beloved wife left him. He works basically as a deep space trucker, collecting salvage from wherever his agency sends him, but lately he's been taking the farthest deep space jobs located at the Void Stations, or stations that were initially set up during humanity's initial traversal into space. These stations have long been abandoned, and they take a long time to …

Edward Ashton: Mal Goes to War (EBook, St. Martin's Press) 4 stars

The humans are fighting again. Go figure.

As a free A.I., Mal finds the war …

Goodreads Review of Mal Goes to War by Edward Ashton

4 stars

Many thanks to the publisher for providing me an advanced review copy of this book, and I'm so glad they did. This was a really, really enjoyable reading experience. It was funny, charming, action packed, and had a very interesting plot throughout. While there were some issues with character development, what was done well made up for it.

Mal is software. Well, I guess the technical term is "free A.I." or sentient AI that lives in "infospace", away from the dirty, strange humans who are currently embroiled in a vicious war. The Humanists believe human augments and invasive technology has gone too far and are fighting against the Federals, the highly augmented, government backed force that is rumored to be developing technology that will give them full control of whomever they want. The free A.I.s regard humans with a sort of pitying curiosity, but when Mal finds himself temporarily controlling …

Thomas Pynchon: The Crying of Lot 49 (Hardcover, 1997, Buccaneer Books) 4 stars

The Crying of Lot 49 is a novel written by American author Thomas Pynchon and …

Goodreads Review of The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

3 stars

This was a re-read for me, figured I'd read it on a train to New York, finished it on the way back. I definitely enjoyed it more than I did the first time around, I think because I was way young when I first read it and didn't understand it's place in the literary canon, or what it was trying to do. But with that being said, I still didn't know what the hell was going on or what I was supposed to take away from it. It is just as dense and inaccessible as I remember, but there were several moments that made me laugh during this read because I caught a reference I know I didn't catch before. I probably won't re-read it again knowing my feelings still stand despite being older, but it was fun.

Kanae Minato: Confessions (AudiobookFormat, 2014) 4 stars

Her pupils killed her daughter. Now, she will have her revenge.

After an engagement that …

Goodreads Review of Confessions by Kanae Minato

2 stars

What can I say about this, it was fine but certainly nothing remarkable. There were a multitude of things in this book that I think fell short, and it all came together into one average horror/thriller experience.

In Confessions, we are initially following a middle school teacher, Yuko Moriguchi, who has decided to retire at the end of the year. The book opens with her telling her class that she'll be retiring and the reason is because her young daughter died tragically during the school year on school grounds, and she couldn't cope with it. But it is revealed in her final lecture to her students that she knows that her daughter's death wasn't actually an accident. She knows that her daughter was murdered by some of the students in that very room. What follows is a multi POV suspenseful, tragic, and often horrific exploration of all of the events …