BOOK REVIEW: The Feed by Nick Clark Windo

Format: ARC, NetGalley
Links: Amazon UK | Goodreads
Publisher: Headline
Publication date: 25th January 2018
Blurb:It makes us. It destroys us.

The Feed is everywhere. It can be accessed by anyone, at any time. Every interaction, every emotion, every image can be shared through it.

Tom and Kate use The Feed, but they have resisted addiction to it. And this will serve them well when The Feed collapses. Until their six-year-old daughter, Bea, goes missing.

Because how do you find someone in a world devoid of technology? And what happens when you can no longer trust that your loved ones are really who they claim to be? Continue reading

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COVER REVEAL: The Collective by R.S Williams

I’m super duper excited to bring you a gorgeous cover reveal today! This book is by my friend and blogger Rhianne but you probably know her from her blog Little Novelist. I’ve heard about her writing journey and ventures, probably since I first “met” her on Twitter a year or two ago and have always known she was an avid writer and has always been working on something or another! I’m so happy to tell you that the time has come and her first novel is out on 30th January. Pirates? Check. Fantasy? Check. A gorgeous cover? Double check! Are you ready?… Continue reading

Movie Review: Her (2013)

her_xlgWhat it’s about: A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need.

Genre: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

Rating: 15

Starring: Jaoquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt

Director: Spike Jonze

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Review: Although this film is up for 2 Oscars, I haven’t really heard much hype about it. I was highly sceptical at first, the plot of the film just seemed a bit… I don’t know… Something. It just seemed off to me so I was in no rush to see it but after it finished I was absolutely blown away. You know they tell you not to judge a book by it’s cover? Well, don’t. Her is set in the future and Theodore Twombly is going through a divorce. He is at a very vulnerable time in his life when he unexpectedly falls in love with his Operating System (a future version of Siri for the iPhone but much more technologically advanced). The story follows Theodore and Samantha’s (the OS) relationship, the highs, the lows and whether it is possible to have a loving and meaningful relationship with something/someone that you can’t physically see.

At first, I thought Theodore was going to be really weird. I know that’s a pretty generalized statement but like, who the heck falls in love with a computer? I automatically thought he was going to be a creep but I was wrong on so many different levels. He was humble, tender and extremely likeable. You begin to understand how much of an effect his imminent divorce is having on him and the way he struggles with human communication so you really do feel for him. When Samantha comes along, he really opens up and lets his true self shine through. He becomes more confident and happier and that can only be a good thing. Samantha’s voice is played by Scarlett Johansson and you really can understand why he falls for her. She is charming, funny, bubbly and yes, I know she’s a computer but that’s the whole point of the story isn’t it? Amy Adams plays Theodore’s friend and she’s beautiful – as always. I liked her character because she was very understanding, soft and gentle and it was a nice contrast from her role in American Hustle.

This film definitely gives a good representation of what the future of technology is going to look like. It’s adapting and growing every single day so I feel it’s not going to be long until we are able to have genuinely realistic conversations with our computers or phones. That being said, it makes me wonder whether this is something that could actually happen in the future? I definitely wouldn’t rule it out completely. This was far from your typical, predictable romance story and although at this point in time, Theodore and Samantha’s relationship was unconventional, ridiculous and unrealistic, it was so so beautiful. I don’t cry at romances, heck, I don’t even like romances but this was different and there was something about this film that touched emotions and heart strings I never knew I had.

Book Review: Channel Blue by Jay Martel

18776080What it’s about:

Earth used to be Galaxy Entertainment’s most lucrative show. The inhabitants of the Western Galaxy – the savviest, richest demographic in the Milky Way – just couldn’t get enough of the day-to-day details of the average Earthling’s life.

But Channel Blue’s ratings are flagging and its producers are planning a spectacular finale. In just three weeks, their TV show will go out with a bang. The trouble is, so will Earth.

Only one man can save our planet and he’s hardly a likely hero…

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Review:

I’d firstly like to thank Becci Sharpe from Head of Zeus for providing me with a paperback copy of this book. I was really intrigued by Channel Blue – I love Sci-Fi but I don’t think I’ve read enough of it over the years and the synopsis of this sounded really different, unlike anything that I’ve ever heard of which is ultimately what drew me to it. In the world of Channel Blue, Earth is a reality TV show which has provided entertainment to distant planets for years. However, due to the fact that mankind are arrogant creatures, the ratings of Channel Blue are dropping and the producers need a way to boost the ratings back up. Perry Bunt is a washed up screen writing teacher who has had the misfortune of stumbling across the Channel Blue studios and finding out exactly what they’ve been doing. He’s the only human on Earth that knows what’s going on and producer, Amanda Mundo, who took Perry’s class, has set him the task of trying to save the Earth from being taken off-air. Because Channel Blue are planning a huge finale, which will quite literally, see Earth go out with a bang.

I have quite varied opinions of this book so please forgive me if I’m going backwards and forwards like a yo-yo. I was super excited about reading this book and before the story even begins, the prologue got me at the sentence, ‘I also need to recognise that the storylines have become too bizarre the cast too unlikeable’ – which is talking about Earth. If we’re really digging deep, this sentence alone can definitely translate into today’s society as over the years storylines and scenarios have gotten more and more ridiculous to the point of stupid. I found it a little hard to get in to at the beginning but once I was in it was quite compelling. Despite how unrealistic the storyline is, it gave an overall good portrayal of today’s society and how reliant we can be in entertainment, TV and watching everyone else like our lives aren’t enough. Amanda, one of the producers of Earth and an Edenite (aka. an Alien) gives a very outside view of our civilisation stating that, “Earthles would literally kill themselves climbing tall mountains and diving deep into oceans. And why would they do these things? Were they being chased by predators? No – there was no reason. They did these things only because they wanted to prove that they could do them. How could you not love that?” She goes onto explain how “heartbreakingly beautiful” humankind is that we search jungles for gold that never existed and go blind writing immense books no one ever reads and how we believe in religion and a higher power that will rescue us and reading it like that from the point of view of someone beyond this world (even if it is an alien…) makes you realise that the world can be beautiful but living amongst the hustle and bustle of stress and struggle gives a somewhat tainted view of that beauty.

The overall narrative of the book is extremely energetic. After a somewhat slow start, it picks up and once it gets going it doesn’t stop for a breather. There was a lot of characters in this book, maybe a few too many to keep up with but I liked Perry – the main character – he was very likeable and I did feel quite sorry for him at times what with not having much luck in his dream career as a screenwriter or love life and living in a really small apartment however I did feel that it was emphasised at every chance the book got to remind of his misfortunes  which wasn’t really all that needed. Amanda was an interesting character. At first she seems completely normal but we learn that she’s far from it. I liked her involvement in the story and her relationship with Perry but I couldn’t tell whether I liked her as a character or not. My mind jumped backwards and forwards as sometimes I loved her for being strong and in charge whereas other times I found her incredibly annoying.

At the beginning I felt there was a bit too much going on and not enough specifics. Some parts were so ridiculous I just needed more information and back story. It’s like if a friend came up to you and said, “Yeah so then the badger came up to me and told me about this talking teapot”, you’d demand more information because you wouldn’t be able to accept a story starting with, “So the badger came up to me…” and that’s kind of how I felt with some parts of this book, that someone came up to me, started talking about badgers and teapots then just walked off. I loved the story and I loved the concept but I did sometimes feel like I was being told everything rather than having the experience of living it myself through the pages. There were large chunks without any dialogue and it started to get a bit tedious. Also, when two characters were having a conversation, if one of them was explaining something to the other the narrative often said, ‘Amanda explained that…’ rather than Amanda actually explaining it – which I found quite strange. I like sci-fi, I really do, but I felt this was pushing the limits a bit. I can get to grips with made up worlds but trying to “make up” a world which already exists and changing it is not only bound to be very difficult but also risky and I fear that Channel Blue didn’t quite pull it off as well as it could have. It was an intriguing story and concept and I will admit, I was excited to discover the outcome of it all but I personally think it was all a bit too far-fetched and ridiculous for me.

You can find Jay Martel and Channel Blue on the following links

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Book Review: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson-Walker

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Age-of-Miracles-UKWhat it’s about:

What if our 24-hour day grew longer, first in minutes, then in hours, until day became night and night became day? What effect would this slowing have on the world? On the birds in the sky, the whales in the sea, the astronauts in space, and on a family and a young girl, who is already coping with the normal disasters of everyday life? One seemingly ordinary Saturday morning in a California suburb, Julia and her parents wake to discover that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. No one knows why, no one knows how to deal with it. The enormity of this change is almost beyond comprehension.

Told through Julia’s eyes, this beautiful and original novel shows how easily life can fragment, within a family, within a community, and on a far wider plane, when the rhythm of life as we know it is knocked so unexpectedly out of kilter.

Review:

When I decided to take on the Richard and Judy summer 2013 reading challenge I was absolutely delighted when I saw this book was one of their choices. I read this once last year and finished it cover to cover in a day. This is the authors first novel and when I read it the first time around, it wasn’t very well-known. This book deserves to be read and now thanks to the Richard and Judy challenge it will be and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did. This unique and fascinating story is told through the eyes of Julia, an 11 year old girl who lives a very ordinary life until what they would later call, ‘The Slowing’, occurs. ‘The Slowing’ is what scientists call this phenomenon. The earth’s rotation is gradually getting slower and slower. Crop begin to die, illness starts to occur and society begins to break down and as the minutes bleed into hours and hours into days it slowly but significantly changes everyone’s lives, including Julia’s, forever.

I praise the author for writing such a touching and somehow, realistic novel. It’s one thing to make up entirely new worlds altogether but being able to stray so far from the norm like this book does is extraordinary and a great amount of thought and imagination that must of gone in to successfully changing something we are so familiar with and take so much for granted. It really does send your imagination wild and I think the reason I found this book such a interesting read is because we’re always looking for something new and exciting to happen and this book delivers just that. In a seemingly normal world, full of normal problems, this huge change occurs that changes everything and everyone and it’s so exciting trying to imagine living and adjusting like the characters do in the book. I also like how this book is told from the point of view of someone who has already lived through what she’s telling. The way she refers to things that have yet to happen is intriguing and it gives you a sense of hope for the characters that you grow to love. Julia has all the worries an 11 year-old girl should have. Not fitting in at school, liking a boy for the first time, problems at home and losing friends. Take out ‘The Slowing’ and you’re left with a series of unfortunate but very realistic events but Julia mentions in the book that she doesn’t know if what happened to her family was due to ‘The Slowing’ or not. Which I think is one of the main points of the story. If ‘The Slowing’ had never happened – how would life have panned out?

I love the concept of this story and it’s honestly unlike anything I’ve read before. Many critics have mentioned the fact that the author is inconsistent and lacks scientific knowledge but to me, I really don’t think that matters. The story is written by an 11 year-old girl, the fact that she has no scientific knowledge, other than what she hears on the TV, is what I think makes the book so successful – the element of the unknown. I admire how the author has managed to create this wonderful catastrophe but at the same time capture all the problems of life that will soon feel insignificant compared to the main problem at hand. Although I, as a reader, could not comprehend life as they experience is, I can relate to some of the smaller worries Julia and her family have to deal with. This is not only a story of a dramatic change in the world we live but a story of friendship, family, young love and the incredible strength of humankind.