When Living Doesn’t Become Living No More..

0373210426.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

Lea Kirino is a “Lifer,” which means that a roll of the genetic dice has given her the potential to live forever—if she does everything right. And Lea is an overachiever. She’s a successful trader on the New York exchange—where instead of stocks, human organs are now bought and sold—she has a beautiful apartment, and a fiancé who rivals her in genetic perfection. And with the right balance of HealthTech™, rigorous juicing, and low-impact exercise, she might never die.  But Lea’s perfect life is turned upside down when she spots her estranged father on a crowded sidewalk. His return marks the beginning of her downfall as she is drawn into his mysterious world of the Suicide Club, a network of powerful individuals and rebels who reject society’s pursuit of immortality, and instead chose to live—and die—on their own terms. In this future world, death is not only taboo; it’s also highly illegal. Soon Lea is forced to choose between a sanitized immortal existence and a short, bittersweet time with a man she has never really known, but who is the only family she has left in the world. (From Goodreads)

I enjoyed the world building and setting here in this book. It’s set in the future, people now live much longer than normal. They are pumped up with various implants (e.g. Diamondskin) and follow a strict diet and exercise program, and even go as far as to reducing various activities that activate cortisol levels that put them on overdrive. It may seems appealing, because you live longer than the normal life span and you’re looking like a supermodel but at the same time there’s an underlying dictatorial tone where you have to follow the rules or you’ll be seen ‘different’ and won’t be qualified to have these perks anymore. Everything is dictated by the “Ministry” and once you fall off the path you’ll be observed by the men in black which could lead to potentially drastic results.

It’s an interesting world, where suddenly everything that you thought was normal isn’t anymore and is frowned upon. These special perks are not always granted to everyone because it’s also based on your genetics, your job, and your social standing as well. It’s appealing but at the same time it doesn’t sound so fun and it feels like you’re a drone.

The plot itself was interesting and follows two points of view. Lea and Anja. I prefer Anja’s point of view because she’s part of the underground Suicide Club movement for various reasons. She’s a carefree spirit who does what she wants despite society and its’ demands because she’s seen the other side of things and how it’s affected people she cares about (her mom in this instance). The two characters offer two very different perspectives in the novel and it all comes together nicely and seamlessly.

I rather enjoyed the part with Lea and Kaito on the boat. You feel the emotion and the sadness of what’s to come. You feel the regret of moments missed in life and although it can’t be made up in just one sitting, that one moment together still creates a powerful memory that stays with you – which no one can take away. It’s a bittersweet moment and the most memorable in the book.

Although the plot flowed through nicely, I can’t really say I like the writing style. It drags in some parts and it shows an attempt to be lyrical and poetic with way too many descriptions of smells and sights. I understand the point of it being that instead of becoming a drone like everyone else, stop and just live the moment and take in your surroundings. However it bogs down the reading flow and I found myself struggling to keep the pace. Less lyrical prettiness and let’s just get down to the basics shall we? It would have made the reading more enjoyable.

Overall, a great interesting idea and a good deep read. Worth the time to go through.

I give it a 6 out of 10.

Thank you Henry Holt and Co for the review copy!

 

Advertisements

Great collection of sci fi short stories

0373210426.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

Are you living in a simulation?

If you aren’t now, you soon will be. The technology is fast approaching, and within our lifetimes the vast majority of humanity may be plugged into their own private worlds, living out dreams indistinguishable from reality. It sounds like a paradise. But even paradise has its price.  Restricted Fantasies is a collection of short stories about lives lived inside and outside of virtual reality. The advent of simulated realities raises questions of philosophy and technology that drive at the core of our nature as humans—and in the tradition of classic sci-fi, the stories in this collection wrestle with these questions and with the shape of things to come.  (From Goodreads)

I hardly read short stories. I picked this one up because I was in a major sci fi withdrawal and needed something to read in that genre (plus I was going through a major synthwave moment – still am and needed the reading material to compliment the music)

So I’ll break down by story and grade each one.

Seven Minutes in Heaven (5/5)

I loved this blend of keeping tabs on people and making it into a highly addictive game. I’d probably join in on the fun too and feel like I’m contributing to society at the same time amassing enough points to battle that dragon. I’d be addicted just like the guy in this story.

Restricted Fantasies (5/5)

Disturbing but a good one. Imagine going into someone’s twisted world (ie: Where Nazis reign supreme) where he’s made a home in a camp and made himself King. You’d want to take the little girls out of that horrible environment too.

Panopticon (5/5)

A prison setting with an all seeing computer. The little twist in the end almost made me want to weep. I don’t know whether to congratulate on the deviousness of the plan, or to cry because of the gullibility of the other character. Still really good to read.

Second Honeymoon (3.5/5)

This one was okay. A bit of a cheap laugh because of the ending. The honeymoon was long over before it started with this couple. The idea behind it is amazing though. Who wouldn’t want to be in a virtual world where a dreamy pirate comes to rescue you 😉

Irish Grudge (2/5 )

I didn’t like this one. The guy had a lot of anger and resentment issues, lots of ambition and the whole story was just him ranting out. Meh.

First Contact (3.5/5)

This felt like longer than the rest of the stories. It was pretty good and interesting as it dealt with space exploration (apparently it’s a big huge competition) the ending would probably elicit a giggle or two – can you imagine being credited for discovering aliens in a massive love fest?

The Only Way Out is Down (4 / 5)

Another one where the ending made me laugh. You get that one person to ruin everything and you tell yourself it’s because of these immature people, this is why we can’t have nice awesome things. I loved the idea of world creation until that one person comes to ruin it all with stupidity.

Cheat Code (5/5)

I really liked this one! It’s almost like the sci-fi version of the Monkey’s Paw! The wishes just get more insane as the story progresses. You wouldn’t think of it but there is such thing as too much and too many wishes.

Rumspringa (1/5 )

My least favorite. I didn’t care too much for the main character who came off pretty whiny and behaved like a lovesick cow. And she falls for it again too, to add to the frustration. It was drawn out and just felt too long and filled with self pity. My least favorite story in this collection.

Smartest Guy in the Room (5/5)

You really feel for the guy here. Intelligent, a bit on the anti social side, his condescending view on everyone is off putting and he does sort of get his comeuppance in the end. But just when he thought he’s ready to put some real effort into society he gets the shaft. It’s funny and ironic at the same time.

Pleasuredome (1/5)

My other least favorite. It’s just a narration on how he just love spending time in his fantasy world. You do get a bit of the background on where the world is headed and we’re pretty much doomed, but this story didn’t really do justice and it was all about the character having a blast.

Overall a few duds but the majority of the short stories were excellent. Definitely recommended and worth the time to read.

I give it an 8 out of 10.

Thanks Netgalley for the review copy!

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

BookDateMonday.jpg

Reading has been pretty slow lately. I think I hit a rut. I think I know the book responsible. Nevertheless we power on! I’m also really hooked on Darkest Dungeon which has also taken up most of my spare time. Not really good when you have lots of good books to read, but again sometimes it’s nice to take a break and let the mind vegetate for a few hours (okay..I’ve been playing more than that…awful awful me)

I did manage to finish one book:

14061955.jpg

I’ll be reviewing this one and the post should be up tomorrow.

 

34017058.jpg

 

 

I’m reading this for an upcoming book blog tour and the world building is excellent and so far it’s not that bad. Arian is starting to grate on my nerves though. I’ll let you all know why when I review it when it’s my turn on the blog tour!

 

 

 

 

11515955.jpg

 

 

Started this one and really like how it’s going. I’m in need for some real good sci fi with a bit of noir mixed in. Imagine Futurama but more gritty and no comedy (dry sense of humor is more like it).

 

 

 

 

 

32744042.jpg

 

 

Not much progress on this one a few pages here and there but I still love the read. I find Dante and Colomba make quite an interesting working pair despite Dante’s quirks and Colomba’s past trauma (which we have yet to know what happened – yet you’re given snippets here and there.)

 

 

 

31748890.jpg

 

Besides finishing Siege and Storm, this book was the one I was focusing on the most. I’m nearly halfway and I’m so intrigued as to what’s going on. I’ve noticed the chapters are short in parts of the book which probably attributes to the feeling you’re progressing faster but the plot is so..wow. I’m loving this one so far. I really want to know who’s behind this Pact and what else our Alice and Jake are in for.

 

 

 

These are my reads for the week. Let’s hope Darkest Dungeon doesn’t take up all my time and I try and at least gome some reading done 😀