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Reviews from October 2018 (22)

Save the World

Krrish  (Krrish, book 2)

By Rakesh Roshan

31 Oct, 2018

Miscellaneous Reviews

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2006’s Krrish is the second film in the Krrish franchise (which includes at least five films, a television show, television movies, a comic, and a computer game, and probably more tie-ins I’ve missed). It was written, directed, and produced by Rakesh Roshan. It stars the producer’s son Hrithik Roshan1 as the title character, as well as Priyanka Chopra, Rekha, and Naseeruddin Shah.

As soon as orphan Krishna Mehra’s super-intelligence begins to show itself, his doting grandmother Sonia (Rekha) whisks him away to a remote village in northern India. Krishna’s father Rohit had similar abilities, which led to tragedy when an evil man tried to exploit him. Sonia is determined not to lose her grandson as she lost her son and daughter-in-law. 

Sonia can flee the world but that won’t keep the world from coming to that remote village. 

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Evil Genius

Vicious  (Villains, book 1)

By V. E. Schwab

30 Oct, 2018

Miscellaneous Reviews

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2013’s Vicious is the first volume in V. E. Schwab’s Villains series. 

ExtraOrdinary (EO) people are the stuff of rumours. That doesn’t stop ambitious college students Eli and Victor from trying their hand at artificially inducing EOs. The key seems to be near-death experiences, which are easy enough to orchestrate provided one has no professional ethics and less caution. 

EOs do exist and Eli and Victor’s method does work. Which is how Eli and Victor got their powers, why Victor spent a decade in prison, and why as the book opens Victor and his new friend Sydney are digging up a dead body. 

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On the Road Again

The Man of Bronze  (Doc Savage, book 1)

By Lester Dent

28 Oct, 2018

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Lester Dent’s 1933 The Man of Bronze is the first volume in the Doc Savage series. It was published under the house name Kenneth Robeson and was followed by 180 further adventures (penned mostly by Dent) until the title was cancelled in 1949. There have been further sequels and adaptations, as detailed here.

Trained from birth to be a paragon of human achievement, Clark Doc” Savage is the Man of Bronze: a gigantic, extraordinarily talented genius who is monumentally wealthy as well. He uses his abilities to better the world. 

Clark Doc” Savage returns from a sojourn in his arctic Fortress of Solitude to face a tragedy. In his absence, his father, Clark Savage senior, has died of a mysterious illness. No sooner does Doc convene with his five chums on the 86th floor of a skyscraper to discuss the matter than a mysterious red-fingered sniper tries to murder Doc. Something is up! 


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The Colours of Your Life

Dreams of the Golden Age  (After the Golden Age, book 2)

By Carrie Vaughn

27 Oct, 2018

A Variety of Vaughns

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2014’s Dreams of the Golden Age is the second volume in Carrie Vaughn’s After the Golden Age series. 

Anna West is the grand-daughter of two of Commerce City’s greatest superheroes (Spark and the late Captain Olympus) and the daughter of Dr. Mentis (telepath). Anna’s mother Celia and Anna’s sister Bethy dodged the superpower bullet, but Anna was not so lucky. She has a bona fide extraordinary ability. Like her four friends (Teddy, Sam, and twins Teia and Lew) she has the makings of a genuine superhero. 

If only her power didn’t seem to be useless. 

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Nothing’s Gonna Change My World

A Real Sky

By Tori_Siikanen

25 Oct, 2018

Miscellaneous Reviews

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tori_siikanen’s A Real Sky is an unfinished novel, readable at Archive of Our Own. It attempts to give Tanith Lee’s Don’t Bite the Sun and Drinking Sapphire Wine duology a concluding volume.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.

But not in Four-BEE, Four-BOO, and Four-BAA, where, for humans, there is no death and no escape from the carefully orchestrated existence permitted by their quasi-robot (Q‑R) tenders. Attempts to step outside carefully defined borders spark the close attention of the Q‑Rs.

Case in point: a nameless protagonist plagued with unexplained dreams of a past of which they should have no knowledge. Also, unfashionable interests. 


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And Then Marched Under a Chair

NieR: Automata: Long Story Short

By Yoko Taro

24 Oct, 2018

Translation

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2017’s NieR: Automata: Long Story Short is Jun Eishima’s novelization of Square Enix’s computer game of the same name. The original story is by Yoko Taro. Translation is by Shota Okui. 

Seven thousand years ago, aliens conquered the Earth, or rather, their Machines conquered the Earth. Humanity’s last refuge is the Moon. Just as the aliens act through their artificial servants, so too has humanity left the war for Earth to their creations, the YoHRa androids. Between android and Machine, there can be no peace. 

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A Stranger at Her Place

Mirage  (Mirage, book 1)

By Somaiya Daud

23 Oct, 2018

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2018’s Mirage is the first novel in Somaiya Daud’s Mirage series. It is her debut novel. 

When environmental collapse forced the Vathek from their homeworld, they conquered new worlds. Amani’s world Cadiz was one of the Vathek’s victims. Her world was invaded, defeated, then ruled with ruthless brutality. 

As long as she keeps her head down, the worst Amani has to fear is death by starvation or random mass execution. Terrible fates but nothing personal. Amani is not so lucky: she has one remarkable quality that will mark her out for an extremely odd yet dangerous role in the Vathek state. 

She looks just like a certain Vathek princess. 

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Worry, Worry, Scurry, Scurry

Earthwreck!

By Thomas N. Scortia

21 Oct, 2018

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Thomas N. Scortia’s 1974 Earthwreck! is a standalone near-future SF novel. 

Captain Quintus Longo leaves his wife and children for what he believes will be a routine tour of duty on the American space station1. Thanks to a bold gambit by Japanese and Palestinian terrorists, it is the last time Longo sees his family alive. 

The first hint the world gets that terrorists have seized control of the Arab Republic nuclear weapons comes in the form of three kiloton-range nuclear explosions in Tel Aviv. The Israelis respond with a megaton-range strike on the Aswan Dam. Millions die in Israel and Egypt; tragic but not world-ending. Russia and China back opposing sides in the conflict, but the Soviet-Chinese clash that follows isn’t necessarily the apocalypse, since both sides initially limit themselves to battlefield nukes. The United States issues an ultimatum to China and Russia: negotiate or face American fury. Rather than forcing the Russians and Chinese to stand down, the result is a full scale global thermonuclear war. 

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The Fox is on the Town

Penric’s Fox  (Penric & Desdemona, book 3)

By Lois McMaster Bujold

20 Oct, 2018

A Bunch of Bujolds

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2017’s Penric’s Fox is the fifth piece published and the third piece by internal chronology in Lois McMaster’s Penric & Desdemona series. The series is set in Bujold’s Five Gods setting. 

What should have been a quiet afternoon of fishing and amiable conversation takes an unexpected turn. Penric and his shaman companion Inglis are conscripted to assist an inquirer in a murder investigation. 

Murder is always a grave matter. This particular murder is even more disquieting: the dead person is Learned Magal, a sorcerer. 

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Two Different Faces

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

By Shirley Jackson

18 Oct, 2018

Graveyard Orbits

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Shirley Jackson’s 1962 We Have Always Lived in the Castle was published three years before her death. It was the last novel she published. 

Mary Katherine Merricat” Blackwood lives on the vast Blackwood estate with her older sister Constance, her ailing uncle Julian, and Jonas the cat. She seldom sees other people, but that doesn’t bother her. Her periodic encounters with the people of the nearby village have convinced her that people are for the most part unpleasant, troublesome, and best avoided. 

The villagers would claim they have good reason to distrust and dislike the Blackwoods. Not only is the family standoffish, and not only did the late Mr. Blackwood fence off the estate to keep lesser people from using it as a short-cut, the townsfolk are utterly convinced that Constance got away with murder. 


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