Posts Tagged With: alternative history

diversity | “Dread Nation” by Justina Ireland | Dread Nation 1

2Author: Justina Ireland
Title: Dread Nation
Series: Dread Nation 1
Genre: Alternative History, Zombies
Pages: 455
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Character-wise this book was like a gust of fresh air. For instance, our main hero is a young black woman warrior with attitude befitting someone with her skill and their underestimation. Yet, story-wise, the book was very mediocre.

About: The war between states of America has come to a halt when dead started rising on the battlefields, and killing the living. Like a plague they run over the whole nation, and possibly beyond that. Some say it is because slavery has been made illegal. Others care not for this nonsense, and still treat the colored folk as secondary. Which led to schools of combat made especially for them, where people of color were taught to fight and defend.

In some places in America there are walled off safe havens. But safety is relative in places where dead don’t stay dead. Jane McKeen could almost smell her graduation from Miss Preston’s School of Combat as her life got flipped, and the core of it might just lie in one of those places. It all started mildly. Like a lord turning into a shambler mid-ball. Then one of the best families in Baltimore disappeared, leaving everything behind. Next thing you know, she has been packed off to defend one of these undefendable forts people called havens. She was put in lines of poorly trained brothers and sisters of color. She was given weapons which wouldn’t cut grass, let alone zombies. And she was told not to kill, unless necessary… But once hordes come in, of creatures seemingly smarter than the stuff she killed before, she makes her mind up. To survive, and to get some damn answers.

Mine:¬†Somewhere in the background there’s zombies, hordes of them, crawling through forests and planes. Those who died recently are fast, agile. Those who died before are slower, but gather in greater numbers. They are seemingly evolving too… And yet all we get to read about are intrigues, crushes, lies, politics, brutes, and Jane’s want to get away from every place she lands in. She complains about how her weapons are trash for long, long chapters, and yet kills things easy enough. In fact, everyone kills with little to no taste of horror in the air, even when lines are broken, and things start roaming in the streets. It seems all we get is this one narrow bubble with, well, no feeling to it. The only reason it wasn’t boring was Jane herself. I said time and again, a good character can save your lack of plot any day. Jane’s the only reason I’ll continue with the further books, with hopes they’ll improve story-wise. How do you make a zombie book so very… Not?

I don’t know, I didn’t like the way the story was told much. I’ll give it a wobbly 4 out of 5, only because the characters were interesting.

Advertisements
Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, LGBTQ+ Books, zombies | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

“An Easy Death” by Charlaine Harris | Gunnie Rose 1

3Author: Charlaine Harris
Title: An Easy Death
Series: Gunnie Rose 1
Genre: Western, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 336
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I like the easy Charlaine Harris books. They’re simple, but by no means too simple, so it’s always interesting to read. I thought a little on it, and picked up her latest work of Gunnie Rose. Sadly, it was not my cup of tea, even as much as I like alternative history pieces.

About: Lizbeth Rose is a gunnie. Means she’s real good at shooting, and can be hired according to this skill. Due to this profession being real dangerous, what with bandits, wild animals, and other things lurking outside the settlements (and sometimes inside of them too), gunnies don’t tend to live long, and so, for a goodbye wish each other an Easy Death. Yet easy death was not what most of her crew got, all slaughtered. Being the only survivor, Liz picks up her guns and sets off to finish her mission, as any good gunnie would do. Better than mourning or going to find herself a new crew to work with anyway.

Yet due to her fine reputation she didn’t need to look for a job. The job found her in a shape of two Russian wizards. They’re on a mission to find blood descendants of no other than Grigori Rasputin in hopes it’d help save Tsar. And while they can cause enough trouble and death on their own, a gunnie would do good to travel more low-key. Soon they learn the dangers are far greater than anyone anticipated. They learned to trust only each other, and even then doubt, watch for signs. Too often familiar faces were worn by unfamiliar evil. For by far not all love Tsar.

Mine: It was an interesting alternative reality piece. I’m not sure about the exact time, even though I could’ve probably had a better understanding of time if only I paid more attention to the cars mentioned. But if wizards don’t live longer than regular people, then the setting should be somewhat after Rasputin has died. Speaking of wizards, that was the best part of the book. It reminded me a little of Dragon Age magic: circle of magi, a sort of college for mages; they get separated from parents for their own good and safety; tattoos for representing and enhancing powers; people seem wary of them, hateful even, even if they are the most dangerous things walking. But the story itself was lacking. Just as any right western movie, while packed in action, with story inching towards the goal in a steady pace, it was very limited to a camera angle.

I’m not yet sure if I’ll read the next books in the series. We’ll see, right now I have no wish, but I do change my mind time and again. This one gets 3 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 3-5, About Msg2TheMing, Alternative History Books, Books: Everything, urban fantasy, Western Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alternative History

Alternative_history_books

Alternative History genre is among my favorites. It is just that: one or several historical facts are completely or partially changed in the book, and whole world is then perceived via the prism of that possibility. Steampunk genre is most commonly known in Alternative History genre, since it operates on alternative possibility of Steam Engine being the one that got developed wider and longer than it actually was.

My most favorite examples of Alternative History could also be called Alternative Reality, since fantasy enters (fantasy as in supernatural, not as in mere fiction). One being Anno Dracula by Kim Newman. We all have read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, haven’t we? Or at least seen the dozens of movies that we can choose from without even looking for them (and if you do look, there’s hundreds awaiting). There the brave men ganged up and killed our Father in Darkness (in Anno Dracula that is how your sire is called, Mother/Father in Darkness). Yet in Newman’s story that is not what happened at all. Some meager little men against someone like the Impaler? Ha. He rips them to shreds, in some cases even literally, and slowly but surely brings vampires into the daylight. Not literally. History proceeds as is, but vampires are a great part of it. Say, Bloody Red Baron tells the famous Red Baron story, yet here we not only have some epic pilots doing their jobs, heck, we have giant blood thirsty bat-dragons.

The other example is Bartimaeus sequence by Jonathan Stroud. Empire of Great Britain has never crumbled, but just went on, and on, and on, becoming the greatest power since Roman Empire if you please. History ceases here, since this is not the main genre of the book, and yet it fits the frame.

There are, of course, many more, since I told you what Steampunk is at the base, so even our very own Tapinas with his Wolf Hour is guilty of being Alternative History writer. It’s a genre for all those who overthink things, I think (see what I did here?), since it allows us a wider view of what could’ve been, and how that would’ve changed our lives as we know it.

Categories: Alternative History Books, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, Gothic Books, Historical Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.