Title: Tomorrow’s World: Darkly Humorous Tales from the Future
Author: Guy Portman
Genre: Science Fiction, Satire
Date of Publication: November 22, 2018
Set in the not-too-distant future, Tomorrow’s World is filled with little snippets of what reality could look like. This novel is a clever satire that projects current socio-political trends into a future where technology plays an even more critical role in societal function.
Tomorrow’s World features many time jumps throughout the narrative. Sometimes there’s just a paragraph for one year, and then there’s a leap to the subsequent year. This makes for an entertaining read. We get to follow one potential future and see how culture, politics, and everything else could evolve (or maybe devolve) over time. This novel is quite clearly a satire, making sardonic statements about the world we live in.
While one of the book’s strengths is that it spans over the course of a long period of time, it still follows two main characters. However, the characters are not the focus. This book is heavily setting-driven. That said, its strength is also its weakness. We spend so little time in one year before jumping to the next that we don’t really get to follow Terrence or Walter as closely as I would have liked. The reader is disconnected from these main characters. While I understand who they are on a superficial level, we don’t get to delve deeper. However, with a satire, maybe this is the author’s point. With an increase in superficiality and religions like “rampant consumerism” emerging (LOL), maybe having protagonists that don’t have much going on beneath the surface is the author’s intent. Nevertheless, I didn’t mind the two-dimensional characters as much as I do with other books, because, as I clearly stated before, the strength of this book lies in the writing and the elaborate tomorrow’s world that Portman has painstakingly crafted.
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Title: Delivering Virtue
Author: Brian Kindall
Genre: Fantasy, Literary
Date of Publication: November 7, 2015
Publisher: Diving Boy Books
When Didier Rain, a broke scoundrel, is approached to fulfill a prophecy foretold by the The Church of the Restructured Truth, the offer is too good to pass up. He must transport the baby Virtue, the church’s prophet’s child bride, over a thousand miles across the western pioneer trail. During his journey, he meets many peculiar and interesting characters, and he just so happens to learn something about himself along the way.
Delivering Virtue is an 1854 Western historical fiction, a fantasy, an adventure, an allegory. It’s definitely a genre-bender. Readers need to approach this book with an open mind. I have to admit there were a few times I was taken aback, because I thought I’d known where the story was going (and I’d clearly had no idea). This is a book that you can’t read too literally. There are quite a few WTF moments, but you just have to remember it’s allegory and try not to be too traumatized by what Didier does.
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Title: Ashes of Retribution
Author: L. J. Andrews
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Date of Publication: June 28, 2018
Publisher: 4 Arrows
Adira lives in a dystopian world where people have been divided in two groups: the “Pure” and the “Impure”. The pure have no deformities, no marks on their bodies, no scars. The “Impure” could be anyone–from someone who has eyes that are two different colours to someone with a little scar on their left hand. When Adira was a child, her maid was an “Impure”, and Adira ridiculed her for it. But when her maid was killed while protecting her, Adira realized that the impure are not that different after all. Now that she knows this, what is she willing to do about it?
It took me a bit of time to get into this book. I didn’t fall in love with Adira immediately, and I wasn’t entirely sure where the story was going. About fifty pages in, things got interesting, and I started to understand why Adira was the way she was. Then, once she’s kidnapped by the Shadow Assassins, the book becomes unputdownable.
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