Apocaliptic Books

Stephen King – The Gunslinger | The Dark Tower 1

43615I bought this book so very long ago. Yet came about to reading it only when they released the series. I’ve a love-hate relationship with King’s books. I like his stories, but don’t much enjoy the books themselves. Adaptations are often good, but then… Anyway, I’ve finally read “The Gunslinger” by Stephen King (The Dark Tower 1; ISBN 0452284694; 231p.; Goodreads), the first book in The Dark Tower series. And I really didn’t like as much as I hoped I would.

This is a very slow story of a Gunslinger, the last of his kind, chasing a man in black in a world that’s tearing itself apart, across the desert beyond which the world, according to some, simply ends. But that is where he must go, for he must find the Dark Tower, and the man in black is likely the key to getting there, getting inside. All the while he’s expecting a trap from the man in black, for he has seen it before. He left villages obliterated due to those traps, due to people attacking him with firm belief that he is the very devil incarnate. He saw it in minds of others, even in people he liked. Like the woman who was given a keyword that would’ve opened the memory of her risen from the dead friend. He would’ve then told her what’s out there, beyond, and it would’ve driven her mad. Much like the idea of a trap is driving the Gunslinger mad.

The Dark Tower itself is a nexus of everything. Time, possibilities, but most importantly – size. What’s behind the door, behind the sun, the galaxy, all of the galaxies, what’s there, at the far end, where nothing is anymore? The idea of it, the want to see, to know, is driving Gunslinger through this scorched place of madness and delusions.

The idea would’ve been of epic scale, if I’ve not read similar philosophies many times before. This embodiment of everything, across the dunes, and over the train tracks, built by gods, for who else could’ve done that? Demons in the sand, in the bones, in the machinery that no longer goes. If none of that sounds familiar, then you might just like this book. It is worth your love, it is a classic for a reason. It’s just not my cup of tea. 2 out of 5, but, yes, there’s a but. I’m not ready to quit just yet, so I’ll be reading the next one.

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Categories: 2-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Dystopian, Books: Fantasy, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

N.K. Jemisin – The Fifth Season [1]

fifthseasonI took this book for all the wrong reasons, yet loved it to bits never the less. “The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth 1; ISBN 0316229296; 468p.; Goodreads) is a colossal fantasy book, falling under the general genre of sci-fi too. The world is nothing like I ever read before, and the threat to it is even more so. There’s just nothing I can compare it to. And I promise, it feels like pure high-fantasy, so if you don’t like sci-fi, don’t even think of it as of such.

Father Earth is angry with all those crawling little things at the top. No one is sure why, but the anger is constantly there, on ever shifting, trembling, constant seismic activities undergoing surface. Any quake can start a new Season, and humans can only pray they have enough to outlast it, until sun comes out the ash-filled skies, lava cools, and volcanoes choke their last. It is because of this constant threat that people hate, and fear the breed of people called Orogenes. For even a babe in a cradle can quench a tremor, tapping into it as easily, as it breathes. And just as well, that babe can grow, get angry, and set off something that’ll kill them all. And that’s not the only odd race of beings here.

Damaya was one of the orogenes given away to Guardians, assassins who can turn their power against them, if need be, and thus, by humans, considered the lesser evil, even if they aren’t. But Damaya trained, learned, and not being of seemingly any special skill, was put to pair with a ten-ringer Alabaster. Her chaotic accidental power, born out of no where, to his well bred potential. It’s just that they don’t like each other much, and yet not only are they required to try for a baby, but get on with an assignment too. One that changed their lives forever, and the rest of the world’s too.

This was a superb book I cannot even begin describing. If I thought that Final Empire / Mistborn was great, then this is more. The characters are so very interesting, with their own personalities, that don’t just fill in for others. There’s easy acceptance of trans character being who they are, and a little tiny love triangle where Damaya and Alebaster fell for the same guy. But it went well, that guy liked them both anyway. There’s beings that walk through stone like it’s water, and mountains, well, obelisks, that follow people around, inching with their colossal size towards them. It’s all so very amazing. 5 out of 5, really.

Categories: 5-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, high fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dmitry Glukhovsky – Metro 2035

2035Let me tell you straight away, I’m angry. I am very angry at “Metro 2035” book by Dmitry Glukhovsky (ISBN 1539930726; 497p.; Goodreads), the final book in the story. All that you might have loved about those books is destroyed here. You’ve been lied to, you’ve been deceived. This is no better than another Silo/Wool book, because all I hated about those is now true here.

Artyom, for hell knows what reasons, keeps fighting his way out of the station, onto the surface. There he climbs the highest towers, undisturbed by anything living, with not a single monster in sight. Then he takes out his radio, and tries to contact the rest of the world, hoping that the Moscow Metro, the same one that thinks him a hero for ridding the world of the Dark Ones, is not the only humanity left. Only his own station knows the truth, and thinks him a madman. They believe that the Dark Ones, back in the day, cracked his brain a tad bit, and constant exposure to radiation is by far not helping the condition. They’re getting more annoyed by a day, for, by going out, what’s he dragging back in? All that opening and closing of the seals can’t be healthy. And it’s hardly a coincidence, that the mushrooms, the same ones whole Metro is eating as main source of food, is now suffering a devastating plague.

Homer travels all the way to the station Hero lives in, hoping to hear his story from his own lips, hoping to write a book. In the end, it wasn’t just Miller who mentioned Artyom, but Hunter too. He has to see this legendary young man, and find out why he, he alone, the savior of this Metro, believes that he doomed the humanity by destroying its worst enemy – the Dark Ones.

 

I loved the first book. Nothing was real in the darkness, and you could trust no senses. The voice might be real, but it might as well be the dark seeping through your ears, telling you lies. Artyom, in the dark, was told to stop once, and he did. And that saved his life. I loved the second book too. Hunter was a broken man. Dark Ones tried to communicate, but found his mind incompatible, thus accidentally, or purposefully, splitting it. Now he lives with madness inside of him, and constantly battles his other self. And then there’s this shit. Whatever you loved – is a lie. Whatever you liked – was faked. To add to that, the plot has ridiculous holes to it too. So I give it 3 out of 5, merely because of good wishes, and memories of those other good books. Metro 2035 is a book about mushrooms. Metro saga ended at ’34.

Categories: 3-5, Apocaliptic Books | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hugh Howey – Dust [3]

dustAnd so ends the Silo trilogy. With Hugh Howey book “Dust” (Silo 3, ISBN 1490904387; 458p.; Goodreads), which is not even translated to my native yet, but then I’ve read them all in English, so whatever. Not the best dystopian post-apocalypse story, but ended well, and thus it’s fine. I’m feeling very neutral about it…

All the while silos were told the world upstairs was poisonous, and unsuitable for living. Something happened up there long ago, and thus Silos doors need to stay firmly shut. But Jules is no longer content with their stories, proven too often to be nothing but a bunch of lies. She’s up to figure out what’s wrong with the surface on her own, careful to avoid the prying eye of Silo 1. Test the soil in earnest. Test the air. And if she really can’t cross her way via surface to the other silo, she might as well dig…

Silo 1 is in turmoil too. Something’s happening. Dead people, murdered people are appearing. Someone from the top was awakened from their cryogenic sleep, and is feeling enough guilt on what happened to those poor people for all. Things are about to be changed, whether these comfortable puppet masters want it or not.

The books are not bad, they’re just not for me. Everything’s clean, bright, but poisonous. I missed the mind-invading darkness of Metro 2033, and thus I guess my expectations were way off the radar. I’ll give it 3 out of 5, and I assure you, this is NOT a waste of time. In the end, it’s a good story.

Categories: 3-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Everything, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hugh Howey – Shift [silo, 2]

shiftSo ominous the warnings, don’t dig, don’t search for the truth. Then the story gets told to the reader backwards, and I find myself rolling my eyes… “Shift” by Hugh Howey (Silo 2, Omnibus edition; ASIN B00B6Z6HI2; 520p.; GoodreadsGoodreads) was a challenge to read. I don’t have a good memory, and thus find it preferable to follow a plot, rather than try to remember several characters, and update their stories as they progress, or give prequels.

Story follows several characters. Some built the silos, back in the day. Others lived in those that fell first. Some survived the falls, others survived the truth. And each one has knowledge of something that could be groundbreaking, that could cause another silo, or all of them, to fall, riot. How was the world before, and what caused humanity’s retreat? Can they ever go back up, and could it be, that not all of the world is as devastated as this corner of the earth with buried silos is? Each one, in their own way, is prepared to go beyond these walls.

The book could really serve as a prequel with inserts of current event updates. There’s really little new to the now of it all, but a lot of backstories. Like Jimmy, the previously sole survivor of one of the fallen silos. Or Mission, who witnessed the start of the fall, and knew the culprits. Or Donald, who approved Lucas promotion, and spoke to Juliette, giving them grains of truth, without them knowing that he too, doing this, has rebelled.

Honestly, I find it a bit ridiculous with premonitions like “the truth will kill you, oh don’t go looking for the truth!” – it’s the same damn thing I keep getting in Nightrunner, and it makes my whole reading process lag. The truth is – nanotechnology. Great, that’s new and unique, unlike atomic bombs would be. But so what? I just can’t see why this kid, knowing his great great great great grandfather maybe helped doom humanity to live in a silo should beat himself over it. Strive to fix it, sure, but go crazy and run out, where the air itself is going to kill you due to the knowledge? 3 out of 5, no more. I’ll read the last one just to close it up. Story has and had potential, but having it, and using is – are two different things.

Categories: 3-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Everything, Sci-Fi Books, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

High Howey – Wool [Silo 1]

wool_omnibusSuch a good rating, so many good reviews. And yet Wool by Hugh Howey (Omnibus; Silo 1; ASIN B00873GRU4; 509p.; Goodreads) didn’t make a fan out of me. While a good story, and thus not a bad book, it felt dull, at times – forced, and very repetitive.

Whole of the humanity is contained in a hundred story silo like tower underground. World above is devastated and deadly, watched via screens transmitting the image from sensors above. In the dusty dark brown world that eats everything which doesn’t belong these sensor lenses get dirty with time, making the oppressing view skewed. No one has memory or knowledge of how it happened to be so, but no one is ready to abandon the little glimpses of sun in dirty clouds either. Enter the cleaners.

A cleaner is someone on death row, or a volunteer, either way – a dead man walking, who gets an isolated suit, oxygen, and a piece of wool to go up, out, and clean the sensors. The rest of the silo treats this almost as a celebration, gathering by the screens as soon as the person, oddly euphoric, runs off into the distance, just to collapse in a similar distance to everyone else who ever did the same cleaning duty. For the atmosphere eats their suit, and then eats them too. Juliette’s friend just took this duty, just a few years after his wife went raving mad, begging to be let outside. After all, screens are not exactly windows…

I usually like this kind of books, but this one didn’t feel right. Constant repeating of events soon got to me: he found a grain, he committed a suicide, she didn’t believe it was a suicide, so she started searching, and found the grain, and… died? I hoped to get another Metro 2033, I guess, and instead received Ember City in a Silo. 3 out of 5, no more. But I will read the next one anyway.

Categories: 3-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Everything | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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