Category Archives: Book Windup

Book Windup: These Broken Stars

*Chances this will contain (minor) spoilers*

I wanted to read this book because of the mix reviews it was getting and I wanted to get a clear satisfactory opinion of it on my own. This novel was co-written by an Aussie and an American. The american writer is from Washington, DC so I imagine when they were writing up the draft for this novel she provided the backdrop information on the multi-planetary corporation LaRoux Industries. Their business is terra-forming uninhabited planets for colonization and scientific exploration… but is operated by what feels like a business-sociopath. The Aussie, Amie Kaufman, providing the sci-fy aspects.

Overall I really liked this book, some topics of the book were only vaguely detailed which I took liberties of filling in the gap. The story just drops you off in this particular time frame with no real history or origin story to provide better understanding of their kooky society. I’ll try explain why, however! Some information is backed-up with reading a short story called This Night So Dark by the authors released for free to be read, book #1.5 you could say, that tells how Tarver Meredsen received his medal of honor. That’s not a spoiler, it’s all apart of the pre-text as to why his character is on the Icarus mingling among the “elite social” class to begin with.

Hello Space
Hello Space

How I herd this book being summarize was “like titanic, but in space…. then survival.” The only real comparison between the two is just the ship “sinking.” Otherwise Tarver and Lilac both prove to have the necessary survival skills to get off Icarus in the only escape pod able to deploy. I guess to create some sort of fun dialogue between the two initially they used their division of “society classes” since it’s their only familiarity on a planet that’s not so much familiar. Apart of the reason as to why I felt extremely freaked out at certain moments along their journey to the crashed ship was because I read it after a couple glasses of wine around 2 a.m., so I felt extra paranoid, in the dark. Regardless of the wine, these moments T&L had with these “whisperers” really had me feeling vulnerable and scared for what could happen to them. It’s not until closer to the end of the book that the whisperers were able to acknowledge them and assure them they meant no harm, even though they had many opportunities to do otherwise. I was along the mind frame they were being “killed with kindness.”

Space hyper-speed: While the characters in the book try to attempt explaining the ships ability to travel hyper-speed I’ve translated into terms I think better clarify whats being attempted. SO! Imagine time is a straight line, however hyper-speed requires the manipulation of folding the fabric of space (they call it rifts I believe) to cut down travel time between colonized planets that are millions or billions of light years away.  How they created this technology isn’t explained fully is so were bypassing this origin story for the time being.

rough sketch
rough sketch/ Sorry it’s crap- made it on Paint

The planet which Tarver and Lilac  crash onto was a terra-formed planet in the final stages of colonization yet left alone because of the scientific experiment it had been running commissioned by LaRoux Industry. The concept that this planet had an alternative energy source (life-related) which they were able to contain between the outpost station and the mirror moon creating this great energy, very unstable clearly, that can influences the atmosphere’s gravity and its strength. I believe they initially thought they could use this energy in conjunction with the mirrored moon as a way to improve hyper-space travel. Ever played Mario go-cart? when you drive your avatar over the arrows on the road it speeds up the cart significantly? So i imagine this is the type of concept/theory they were grasping for.  The amount of energy a ship holding over 50,000 people to travel hyper-speed to planets millions of light-years away must be insurmountable, which is why LaRoux Industry attempted this research. In the ships case, it clips a little too close to the atmosphere (and gravity) of the planet because time is “folded” at this point this “friction” rips the ship apart. Like tectonic plates.

However from the information given in book #1.5 questions were being raised in terms of the safety of such a creation happening by the head scientist conduction the research.  It’s insane to think a corporation has so much power that it has the ability to hide a planet! That’s why I think there’s more than one of these types of planets existing, hence the question marks scattered on the rough sketch.

Another really unspoken matter was just how much Lilac was able to hear and understand the whisperers were saying towards the end. Why she was targeted so heavily in comparison to Tarver? Might be because of how little emotional attachment she felt towards returning to her planet and father? The universe’s wealthiest and most powerful man. It’s the only way I can justify her actions and doing what she did, or else how would they have been able to destroy the blue energy source from behind the door in the communication building’s basement floor. Taking the whisperers out of limbo, didn’t they? confused.

I haven’t completed the series, so many of the incomplete answers to questions I have may still be answered in book #2 or #3 which are from alternative duo characters. Not from the ship, but the universe itself so most of my questions are more related to their universe and society. Overall I’d give this book an 8.5/10.

Last Note: This series might be converted into a television series. Not sure how that’ll work out.

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Book Windup: The Intern’s Handbook

Now I found this book in my local Chapters tucked away in the business section and thought the title intriguing enough to buy it despite the $30 price tag on it. I like to stay below 20 if I can help it, hence a lot of YA books. Alas, I looked at purchasing and reading this book as an investment towards bettering my education in the business academia world. I was wrong. Let’s call it a blond moment because I’m fully aware now of all the signs that point it else wise of it being a nonfictional book. (warning: potential spoilers)

Book Cover
Book Cover

I have almost too much faith in the bookstore to have scattered books sorted, and I should have read the inside sleeve and maybe a few pages into the novel as well. This book had nothing to do about business or developing skills to become the desired intern a company may decide to take on as a full time employee. It’s a fictional story about a young man in his mid-twenties who grew up in the foster care system and done time in juvie only to be taken in by an organization whose business is assassinations. These young, vulnerable, no family to miss foster kids are trained and then placed into large corporate businesses staging as interns. This book follows the story of the main character’s final job/year in the organization. Because the only way this organization’s is able to place their assassins in intern roles is because of their youthful appearance.

John Lago is the main character of the novel. He’s HR, Inc. (his organization’s name and fronts as a “placement agency”) best hitman. He’s placed on his last assignment, during his time there he’ll address you the reader on various tricks he’s pick-up during his time as a hitman (i.e. making the perfect cup of coffee), but also the style will switch back so your just the reader instead of participating. During this period at this law firm he’s interning at he develops a relationship with a co-worker, Alice, that will help him gain better access to one of the Law firms partner who’s his target (there’s 3, but only 1 is targeted). Turns out Alice isn’t who John thought she was, HR, Inc. and his boss aren’t who he thought they were, and during all this chaos he finds out who his parents were (they’re alive?). Is John really who he thinks he is?? John takes everything thrown at him with calculated, sarcastic, predatory style attitude which was fun for me to read.

Under 300 pages and an easy language to follow if you have nothing going on for a couple days, it can done on a weekend. I’d give it 7/10 mainly cause it cost $30, I know I shouldn’t punish the book for the price tag it was given and I consequentially agreed to pay for but its my review. So Ha! Anyways, its a good book for all ages depending on how critical one is of their particular choice of literature.

Who wants to be killed by Franco?!?
Who wants to be killed by Franco?!?

Fun Fact: Sony bought the movie rights to this book and Dave Franco is to take on the lead role. I think he’s a good choice, we’ll see how that pans out.

Book Windup: The Children of Men

Finished!!! (warning: may contain spoilers)

Novel Cover
Novel Cover

So happy to have finished this book! I’ve felt like I’ve been slacking in the reading department the past couple months, final papers and exams happening, so this felt so nice to be back in a rhythm of reading. This book I’d give a 6/10 which may seem severe but it’s not because I didn’t like it, but because the climatic scenes didn’t feel climatic enough. Let me explain, because this novel it written in narrator form, first person. Theo’s character himself, the novel’s pov, has a very skewed perception of life at this point because it’s been 25 years since the last born child and his cousin has taken up the dictator role of “Warden of Great Britain” enforcing vary degrees of inhumane treatments of Britain’s citizens and incoming “Omegas.” This picture of a cynical, isolated, defeatist mannerism of a man is with which the author chose to create this novel’s pov and in turn the energy level throughout the entire novel with. So even when Theo joins up with the renegade group “The Five Fishes” there is some sense of self-containment in his thoughts, he even admonished himself on many occasions for having a natural emotional reaction any average person would have but because it’s not in tune with his own nature of feelings it must be stomped out.

On the back of the book along with a synopsis are a few review clips from various news publications The New Yorker says, “As scary and suspenseful as anything in Hitchcock,” which I’ll kind of agree with. I mean, nothing will ever replace Hitchcock, but combining scary and suspenseful will give you a thriller which I feel is closer to the mark. I’ll just round up this book review as simply describing it as an adult dystopian worth reading!

Now I feel the need to be kind of picky and point out some major differences between the novel and it’s adaptation into film.

Movie Poster
Movie Poster

#1: 2021 vs 2027

Why? Too soon? I don’t get it unless it has something to do with 7 sounding nicer than 1.

#2: Jasper Novel vs Jasper Movie

In the novel he’s quite an irrelevant character otherwise known to the reader as Theo’s former professor and now a major paranoid senior with an vegetative state wife whose only purpose in the end was having a secluded home with a large store unit for himself to be self-sufficient. Before the second time Theo visit’s him he committed suicide. Movie Jasper on the other hand seems like fun character that has made best of a sorry situation.

#3: Julian N vs Julian M

Julian in the movie is presented as Theo’s ex-wife and is killed early into the movie. Julian in the novel is a complete stranger who Theo falls in love with (and vice versa) and has him try to help the Five Fishes initial cause by approaching the Warden.  Julian is also the pregnant character instead of Clare from the movie, who doesn’t exist in the novel. The baby’s father is Luke not the leader Rolf’s aka her husband.

#4: Xan vs Nigel

In the movie Theo’s cousin is just a high ranking government official whose power extents to recovering art work. In the novel Xan is the leader of the country and his power is omnipresence in a sense. It almost feels like a game of chess the way Theo helps the group evade Xan, and Xan trying to find Theo. Xan even has the Royal Family become obsolete and wears the coronation ring himself as a symbol in his words “familiarity.”

#5: Revolution vs Peace

In the novel for the most part, there is very little room for any revolution or acts of crime to occur without any immediate action against the persecutors being shipped off to the Isle of Man, a self-governed prison where death, starvation, and abuse is a common occurrence with no intervention from the Warden’s council. The Warden’s slogan being; freedom from fear, want, or boredom. Xan’s council member’s follow up with; protection, security, comfort, and pleasure. With the general population accepting those in turn for obedience there isn’t any sort of revolution that occurs in the book. The novel ends with the baby’s birth and Theo taking on the leadership role of Warden. Hence the Hitchcock reference because of the lack of conclusion or epilogue.

Movie Poster
Movie Poster