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    In Other Spaces and Places

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    2011 Reading Challenge

    Fiendishly Bookish has read 3 books toward her goal of 250 books.
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    Saturday
    Mar202010

    New Juicy Review: Monster by A. Lee Martinez

    Book:               Monster

    Author:            A. Lee Martinez

    Publisher:        Hachette

    ISBN/ASIN:     9780316071956

    Rating:             4.5 Stars

    Buy:  | Amazon | Barnes & Noble| Borders | Indiebound

    Read an Excerpt (<-click first and then access the Open Book feature)

    Watch out for deadly garden gnomes, yeti’s that loathe vanilla, trolls, and possessed cats while the fate of the universe rests on the shoulders of three unlikely people: a disgruntled Cryptobiological Containment & Rescue Services (CCRC) worker, a paper gnome named Chester, and Judy, an incognizant mundane Food Plus Mart worker. (by the way, she’s great at stacking cans of vegetables). Not exactly the A Team when saving our collective butts. But hey… it’s all we’ve got. 

    Monster is not your ordinary kind of guy and in between his supernatural color changes, definitely brings new meaning to the word apathetic. But you’ll adore him. The two failings of this incredibly interesting character are his conscience and his selfishness. These are a point of conflict for Martinez. Which is why Chester fills the role of sensei so nicely. Not that Monster listens that well to him. Will he end up doing the right thing? Will he help Judy step up to the plate and fulfill her destiny? Or will he just do his job, swig back a beer, and veg out in front of the TV while the universe collapses around him? Monster’s man-cave guttural mentality is immensely endearing, and watching him stumble over basic rights and wrongs will bring a smile to your face.

    Martinez has taken whimsy, humor, and sci-fi and melded it into one big Scooby sandwich of a story that you’ll rub your belly and belch loudly after devouring. The efforts of Monster, Chester, and Judy to outwit their arch nemesis Lotus, snag the universe stone, and continually battle summoned cryptos is like riding The Colossus at Magic Mountain and having a few wheels break off mid-flight. Scary, but fun. I LOVED Monster. I was constantly amused and amazed at how Martinez makes his world building so effortless. How the heck does he do it?

    The pace is continually zippy and entertaining, the text snappy as Martinez unabashedly gives us a window into his quick fire mind. I was strongly reminded of Christopher Moore, but I have to say it (don’t kill me after the fact) that I think Martinez is hella funnier. Way. The Post-It's, the dialogue, And inventive. And I strongly suspect he ate up comic books as a young sprat. I now consider myself a lifelong devotee.

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review

    Friday
    Feb192010

    New Juicy Review: Keeping it Real by Justina Robson

     Book:         Keeping it Real: Quantum Gravity #1

    Author:       Justina Robson

    Publisher:   Pyr/Prometheus

    ISBN:            9780439929837

    Rating:        Four Stars

    Buy | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Borders | Indiebound |

    Read An Excerpt

    Lila Amanda Black is no more. In her place is a half-human half cyborg hybrid body. Meshed with her own psyche and an onboard Ai, Lila is no ordinary girl anymore, but she still bleeds, and still feels within that drop dead exterior-even if she can bench-press a small auto.

    Now working for Incon, Lila is test-driving her new body on a routine bodyguard assignment for one of the most popular bands to hit the realms. An unorthodox mix of faery and elven witchery, The No Shows have recently seen some press action since their lead, mysterious Zal Ahriman and Rolling Stone darling has been seriously threatened-with death. Lila has to get to the bottom of the conspiracy before she loses control of the situation and before she loses control of Zal. Little does she know that the death threats are of a political nature, that not only threaten her realm but others, and that Zal is not who he seems. Everything eventually comes full circle-including her life.

    Magic and science collide in Robson’s worlds, the casualty of a super collider incident that split realities and opened the ‘verse up to multiple realms: Demonia, Alfheim, Zoomenon, Thanatopia and Faery, the aetheric magic wielding realms versus the non-aetheric technology driven Otopia (formerly Earth). Not everybody in the realms are happy about their worlds being revealed, and xenophobia as well as burgeoning terrorism is running rampant. There are also threads of real world scenarios that add a certain depth to Robson’s writing: racism, technology saturation, and ethnocentrism to name a few.  It’s fairly coherent with the exception of some terminology and theorizing about interstitial space between the realms. I’d recommend a legend to accompany the reading.

    Aside from that criticism Keeping it Real was like nothing I had ever read before and I loved every minute of it especially the intense attraction between Zal and Lila which only grows as she traverses the realms to rescue him. From the wilds of Zathanor to the clutches of the Jayon Daga and Arie, to the gig circuit where Zal and his band rock on, Robson doesn’t relent until she is sure that she has taken us for an incredibly lavish ride.  Readers will detect a slight Isaac Adamson-Jamie Hewlett-Lester Bangs feel to the story. It’s a rock n’ roll tale merged with slick technology, magic, and futuristic popular culture. I’ve heard others remark that it reminds them of the Bionic Woman, but come on…the Bionic Woman only wishes she were as cool as Lila! I’ve already finished Selling Out, Book #2 and have started on Book #3 Going Under, that’s how much I have been sold on this series.

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review