Voll the Tiny Giant by David Lacey
As promised, my five-year-old and I sat down together and enjoyed this book about a little giant trying to prove his worth to his countrymen. But how do you make them listen when you are so tiny and they are so big? Let me tell you about the bits that my boy enjoyed without giving too much away. The pictures are lovely. Most children are obsessed with growing bigger, becoming stronger, running faster and basically keeping up and impressing their peers. I think my son could identify with that aspect. The language is easy with not too many complicated words. The story flows nicely with no jarring stops. My son especially enjoyed the ending (we all like a happily ever after, don’t we?). I think the book does touch briefly on bullying, which is a nice touch. He did say there are not too many funny bits if you can call that a criticism. Overall, a very nice book that we shall read again.
The city below the clouds by T S Galindo
The city below the clouds gives us a look into a world where everything is in shades of grey. There is a general feeling of hopelessness and a hand-to-mouth existence. This is magnified by the fungi that overgrow the buildings, the regimented life and the general feeling of people slaving in the mines. The air is poisonous as is the rain. The heroine, Kalan wakes up from a dreamless sleep to the sensation that something is different. Strange things start to happen. The task for a place that she never knew existed. The ‘creep’ who keeps following her around. Changes in her body that she couldn’t explain. Without giving the story away, the story leads her to learn the truth about herself and her true purpose.
Let me tell you about the things I liked about the story. You definitely feel the atmosphere. The author paints a colourful(or rather colourless) picture of the struggle that life has become and how humans have adapted to what is their normal. I liked the new form of currency that the author has thought up. I was curious to know how it all ends. And the ending was unexpected.
Now, the negatives. I would have liked for Kalan’s sister to have more of an active role. She seems to be the centre of Kalan’s existence. There are some words in the chapter, ‘the Tower’, that were new and had no explanation. There was a portion in the same chapter where I was not sure about how many characters were in the room(‘they’ instead of ‘he’ confused things) but things got clearer as I kept going.
Overall, it was an entertaining read and I would definitely read the sequel if it comes out.
Captive of the Hode King by Zoey Draven
Story of A Stolen Girl by Pat Spencer
How far would you go if your child goes missing? ‘Story of a Stolen Girl’ is basically a mother’s account of searching for her missing child. One day, Nina receives the call that all parents hope never to get. Darby has been missing overnight and no one knows what happened to her. The constant stress of not knowing what is happening to her daughter finally leads Nina to take matters into her own hands. I will not spoil the ending. The book gives us insight into the sinister world of human trafficking. The plot was interesting and there is no way to predict the final outcome. It was a well-researched story which I highly recommend.
Protocell 3 : Dormancy by Jessica Kuzmier
I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. What happens when a certain species dominates the planet? In its greed, it leaves behind a planet ravaged by climatic change. Because it reproduces unimpeded, the cost is that every other species is driven to the brink of extinction. Except those that are too small to be seen. And every move of this doomed species is being watched. Will there be a tipping point? How will it end? Will humanity redeem itself?
These are the questions that the reader faces in ‘Protocell 3’. The storytelling style is through letters and interviews and there is always the shadow of impending doom. It is an interesting read, especially in the wake of COVID. And if you know why Watson, Crick and Wilkins(but not Franklin)won the Nobel prize without googling it, you will enjoy the book. The read is quite heavy, for want of a better word. There is a lot of scientific facts incorporated into the narrative. The action starts at approximately page 82 and continues under a cloud of impending ‘horrifying massacre of the human species. It makes you wonder if all it would take is one mad scientist to end it all for the human race.
Hard to come by!
Happy with the mixed reviews. Some hated it and some loved it. At least that’s better than indifference. This book has characters you won’t like and situations that are difficult to read. Trust me, it has been a tough book to write. But I did not want to write a sappy story. The language is something I had to work on. I hoped it would add some texture to the book. It is only in a couple of pages where the language is used consistently while Arwen’s translator learns the language. Ideally, I would have liked to do a proofread on the book but it was way beyond what a self-publishing author could afford to shell out. I also found I did not want to read the book after I had written it. Anyone had a problem with this? Anyway, everything is a learning experience.
An AI thriller that I couldn’t put down!
This isn’t my typical read, but like most well-written books, it kept me reading and speculating until the very end. The book begins with an assassination attempt, which our hacker hero, Derek Taylor, manages to avoid owing to the rogue AI SLVIA. He is subsequently thrust into a deadly plot to track down and eliminate a malicious AI virus, as well as deal with the complexities of assisting in the defeat of an AI weapon system. The language does not get too technical and the author is talented. He does not over-explain. A very interesting read.