Throwback Thursday [#10]: The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

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GOODREADS SUMMARY | Chatham River Press | Hardcover, 192 pages | 1989 | Adult Fiction | Science Fiction | Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


Back in 2012, I decided to do something about the glaring shortage of classics on my shelves. I own several of them, but I’ve never really read most of them. They’ve always been a terrifying undertaking, and I’m always worried that I’ll come off sounding a little pretentious. So I started picking classics that I thought would be relatively easy to read. I must admit that this H.G. Wells collection is a little way over my head, since his genre is something that I don’t normally seek out. However, there are six short stories to choose from; most of which are relatively known. So I chose the one that I know a bit about.

The War of the Worlds is a short novel that I thought would be a fun one to read since I’ve seen the movie years ago. I actually dragged my husband to see it, even though neither of us are a fan of Tom Cruise. We despise the poor sod, to be honest. I knew that the movie will be worlds different from the Victorian novel, which, to be honest is its major draw.

It was interesting to see how different things were at the time. For one, there were no phones or internet to spread the news of the world’s impending doom. All you have are people clamouring to save their own hides as they flee London. News of the invasion was passed on via rumours and hearsays. There was a telling absence of a ruling government directing its people; amongst of which, was the complete lack of organization from the military. In fact, every one was left to fend for themselves. Horses and carriages were the means of transport, a combination that seemed like a feeble match to the aliens.

The invaders were from Mars, but the notion that they’ve been here all along was alluded to. Some came in a fireball that embedded themselves in the ground. And when they rose from the pits from where they landed, people felt complacent enough to think that they’ll be slowed down by the gravitational difference between two planets. They were wrong, of course. In addition, with the seemingly archaic choice of weaponry, it had me thinking about how easily the human race would be wiped out. They were powerless.

In the end though, nature saved the day. If you’ve not seen the movie, the aliens got sick, and eventually died from consuming human blood. Humans had antibodies, viruses that the genetic make up of aliens couldn’t handle. It was what led to their demise.

What I loved about the movie adaptation was the realistic portrayal of how humans behave in time of great strife. We have the tendency to defeat our own selves. We succumb to madness – both real and imagined. That was a prevailing observation in this novel as well. I think it was even more so, because the lack of information at the time wreaked havoc in everyone’s minds.

The underlying lesson in this book is, simply put, dominance; hierarchy, and the man’s perch on top of the food chain. That regardless of how important, and how further ahead we are from other species, there will always be something/someone who will have to power to overcome us. Existentially, we were compared to animals that we hunt (for game or for sustenance). Humans turn on their basest of instincts when faced with grave danger. Unfortunately, we more often go back to our selfish nature.

In conclusion, this book was a fast read. Though the narrative is painfully dry, the suspense and the action makes the readers forget the lack of dialogues.

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Archetype by M.D. Waters

GOODREADS SUMMARY18079523
Dutton Adults | Hardcover, 372 pages
Science Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


“Roughly a hundred years ago,
a civil war broke out and split the
United States right down the middle.
Women in the west live free, while the east
forces women at a young age into society as they see fit.
It’s slavery masked as a training center.”
– Chapter 41, page 325


This version of reality is somewhat comparable to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood; but while Atwood’s world was clinical and sterile, Archetype relied heavily on computer technology. A lot of holograms and manipulation of the human biological structure; though, it virtually has the same concept: fertile women are scarce and portrayed as subservient species in the mercy of powerful, rich men. Young girls were raised in a training camp as good housewives if they were viable to give birth; or learn a trade if they were barren. Regardless, women were used, abused, and in most cases, [spoiler] cloned [end of spoiler]. This book could’ve easily been a source of much indignation from readers who have had it with this portrayal of misogynistic arches. Luckily, I am not one of those readers.

Archetype utilizes varied virtual reality scenarios, which puts the readers’ imagination into full calisthenics mode. And while the world described in a simulation was easy to conjure, it made for an interesting contrast to the present world the characters inhabit. As much as I’d love to say this didn’t present any problem for me at all, I would be lying. The truth is, some of these simulations confused me. Suffice it to say, this is the only flaw I could fault this novel. Otherwise, it’s by far, one of the best books I’ve read this year!

Emma Burke struggled to find purchase in the world where her memories dictated the pace of discovering her identity. It led to some disturbing nightmares – both in waking moments or asleep. She struggled to reconcile the reality that was being presented to her with the man who claimed to be her husband, and the man in her dreams. [spoiler] Many would take Declan Burke at face value and would instantly write off Noah Tucker as the evil one in the equation. [end of spoiler] The beauty of this puzzling piece is that the readers would be wholly immersed in its mysteries; heck, the entire novel would take you on a fact-finding mission that was breathtaking as it was engrossing. As a reader who finds no love, rhyme, or reason for love triangles, this book features one that was unconventional. It worked; it wasn’t maddening. It was reasonable due to the fact that Emma didn’t purposely sought out to enter a relationship with such complications. Simply put, she was not aware that she was in one.

Readers would find the submissive Emma a little off-putting at first, but she becomes stronger as she learns more about herself.

To summarize, words cannot express how desperately I want you all to read this book. If there ever is a book that I have wanted to re-read soon after I was finished, Archetype, is it. The layers of mysteries would have you hooked, as would the revelation of the real romance  towards the end. This is a well-crafted novel that successfully combined Science Fiction, Romance, Mystery and Suspense. If this is not a buffet, then it is a feast to the reader’s imagination at the very least.

On a personal note, I broke down and re-activate an Edelweiss account that I haven’t used since perhaps, two years ago. Rachel of Readers’ Den told me the sequel is available for request. There is NOTHING. NOTHING that I wouldn’t do to read that book right away.

 

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Tour Stop: Review of Perfection Unleashed by Jade Kerrion

Perfection Unleashed by Jade Kerrion
Double Helix #1
Publication Date: June 11th, 2012
Format: Paperback, 202 pages
Createspace
Source: From the author
GOODREADS SUMMARY
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Science Fiction. It’s the road less traveled on my quest to devour as many books as I can in this lifetime. Genetics. It’s a topic untouched, unread, unloved. Actually, I shouldn’t say unloved. I’d say, more…undecided. I know nothing of the subject and feel even less inclined to read about them. But this book sure did its best to change my mind. 
The gist of the novel is this: Humans playing god; humans acting less humane and monsters seemingly more humane than humans. Don’t worry, it’s not that complicated. It starts with a group of highly ambitious scientists who thought that since technology had pretty much gone where it needed to go, the next giant step for mankind is to create perfection. Galahad is the product of this daring experiment: a human with the perfect genes. But it’s a process of trial and error and in those experiments come abominations.
In a world where mutants co-exist with humans – telepaths, empath, and mutants with telekinesis abilities – the battle for supremacy is about to come to a head. And amidst the carnage is one Danyael Sabre; an alpha empath who has the power to heal and absorb emotions, dark or otherwise. He’s a reluctant hero whose self-sacrificing tendencies put him in the running for sainthood. His powers to manipulate the emotions of those around him gave him a very troubled childhood. His parents wanted nothing to do with him; so much so that he’d endured constant abuse at a tender age of two, almost three. This man had so much compassion and kindness for someone who’s a mutant. How his story relates to Galahad is something that I will leave for you to discover. Though I wasn’t that clear how the mutants came about, it’s one of those imagined world where you just accept things for how they were. As far as I’m concerned, Kerrion was thoroughly convincing that you would not find yourself looking for the hows and the whys.
The hatred and discrimination against the mutants by regular human beings is reminiscent of the X-men comic series by Stan Lee; where factions try hard to find a common ground so they may exist in peace. But of course there are purists groups who refuse to accept the unnatural order of things. Really, it’s the same old story of unfounded hate for something or someone outside of what they know. Bigotry and violence ran rampant and the world is divided to those who are tolerant and those who are ignorant.
From his sublime friendship with Lucien, his immediate connection with Galahad, and his unrelenting, selfless disregard for his being, Danyael gave this otherwise clinical genre a lot more heart. This novel would have you completely absconded in a world you may not be familiar with but you’d be pleasantly surprised with the ease with which the story would captivate you. 

About the Author

Jade Kerrion, an award-winning author, got her start in fan fiction. She developed a loyal reader base with her fan fiction series based on the MMORPG Guild Wars. She was accused of keeping her readers up at night, distracting them from work, housework, homework, and (far worse), from actually playing Guild Wars.

And then she wondered why just screw up the time management skills of gamers? Why not aspire to screw everyone else up too? So here she is, writing books that aspire to keep you from doing anything else useful with your time.

She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with her wonderfully supportive husband and her two young sons, Saint and Angel, (no, those aren’t their real names, but they are like saints and angels, except when they’re not.)



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