The EMP of the Beginning

by Rowan A Scott
Kindle EditionRead October 6, 2014

Original Release Date: April 30, 2012

Length: 107 pages

Official Description:

High altitude nuclear explosions generate an Electro Magnetic Pulse over the majority of the world. Electricity transmission lines are taken out, taking with them their transformers and generators. Nothing works any more, no appliances, so no perishable food. No trucks or airplanes to transport anything, no automobiles, no water supply, no heating or cooling, no lighting. No Fire trucks or Ambulances. No battery chargers no radio or TV, no movies etc. etc. Agent Craig Mason has to get to the only country to have mostly escaped the blackout, where he knows of a newly developmed way to generate power, without requiring distrbution, so that he can plan a renewal of civilization before chaos sets in.

My Take: 

I had some hope for this book, I mean I admire someone who goes out and self publishes, because that’s a lot of work, and it takes a lot of courage. Why? Because not everyone will like your work. Unfortunately this is not one of my favorite books. It is short, but it feels really long. It just has no real character, it reads like a report, not a story. The characters have no real depth, there is no real attachment to the story, therefore the reader is apathetic and looses interest quickly. Don’t get me wrong, the story has potential, the concept is wonderful, it just wasn’t carried through well. Could I have done a better job? Probably not, I have no real interest in writing. There are a lot of typos (See above description that was a direct quote from the actual description) and editing errors. This comes with self publishing, so I tend to not let it bother me. It is really difficult to edit your own work. You read it like it’s supposed to be not necessarily as it is.  There are pictures that correlate with parts of the story….let me paste a picture of this plane that I’m talking about. Those pictures seem like filler, and don’t lend to the imagination or knowledge of the reader. Overall the concept is there, the story is just flat.

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The Truth is in a Cave in the Black Mountains

by Neil Gaiman, Eddie Campbell (Illustrations)
Hardcover EditionRead October 4, 2014

Original Release Date: June 2010, Re-Released June 17, 2014

Length: 74 pages

Official Description:

You ask me if I can forgive myself?
I can forgive myself…

And so begins The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains, a haunting story of family, the otherworld, and a search for hidden treasure. This gorgeous full-color illustrated book version was born of a unique collaboration between New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman and renowned artist Eddie Campbell, who brought to vivid life the characters and landscape of Gaiman’s award-winning story. In this volume, the talents and vision of two great creative geniuses come together in a glorious explosion of color and shadow, memory and regret, vengeance and, ultimately, love.

…for many things. For where I left him.
For what I did.

My Take:

This story is a hauntingly, beautiful, and dark tale. This tale is set in Scotland or  on the island of Skye…or it was inspired by the island and it’s mysticism. I think Scotland in general is known for a lot of druidism or mysticism that makes tales likes this a little bit more haunting or eerie. What should you expect from the story? Well, it is written by a masterful story teller, who went on tour reading this novel with live music and projections of the paintings. It has some pretty epic art by Eddie Campbell, however not all of it was spectacular. It has some great folklore, a great little karma ending. It is short, there were parts that didn’t grab me, but over all I loved it. I am glad that I happened to stumble upon this gem of a book.

Quote:

“The truth is a cave in the black mountains. There is one way there, and one way only, and that way is treacherous and hard. And if you choose the wrong path you will die alone, on the mountainside.”

Other Books by Neil Gaiman

 

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Neverwhere

by Neil Gaiman
Hardcover EditionRead March 23, 2011

Original Release Date: January 1, 1996

Length: 370 pages

Official Description:

Richard Mayhew is a plain man with a good heart – and an ordinary life that is changed forever on a day he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. From that moment forward he is propelled into a world he never dreamed existed – a dark subculture flourishing in abandoned subway stations and sewer tunnels below the city – a world far stranger and more dangerous than the only one he has ever known…

My Take: (Written in 2011)

So, typically I’m a pretty quick reader, I had finished a book this size previously in about a day and a half. I must also add I’ve never read a book by Gaiman previously. I did enjoy this book, I really did, but it just took forever to really get into. People say it’s because of the TV program (which I’ve never seen) or because it’s his first solo novel, but over all it was pretty good.
I liked the character’s (eventually) and the whole London Below world it is defiantly more interesting than London Above. I enjoyed the story but did find a few grammar errors in the text (yes I am one of THOSE people when reading, not really with writing myself). I liked how Richard Mayhew was developed, and he was the one that was far more developed. I don’t know, but there was just something missing from this, I will read another of Gaimans’ books of course maybe I was just in the wrong mindset.

(On a side note, here in present day 2014, I actually plan on rereading this story, plus I REALLY want to listen to the BBC radio drama that was done not too long ago.)

Quote:

“You’ve a good heart. Sometimes that’s enough to see you safe wherever you go. But mostly, it’s not.”

Other Books by Neil Gaiman

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The Dangerous Alphabet

by Neil Gaiman, Gris Grimly
Hardcover EditionRead May 11, 2009

Original Release Date:April 29, 2008

Length: 32 pages

Official Description:

A is for Always, that’s where we embark . . .

Two children, treasure map in hand, and their pet gazelle sneak past their father, out of their house, and into a world beneath the city, where monsters and pirates roam.

Will they find the treasure? Will they make it out alive?

The Dangerous Alphabet is a tale of adventure, piracy, danger, and heroism told in twenty-six alphabetical lines—although even the alphabet is not to be relied upon here. A delightfully dangerous journey from national bestselling author Neil Gaiman and the monstrously talented Gris Grimly, The Dangerous Alphabet is sure to captivate and chillyoung readers.

 

My Take: (Written in 2009)

This book was really cute and entertaining for myself and my husband. However it was my son who picked this book out at the library in the young reader’s section. It was marked for his age so I said why not. It was a bit scary for even 5 year olds. The story isn’t too scary but the illustrations are a bit creepy for younger kids. Though the illustrations are really well done, again the younger, sheltered, reader might get a little scared.

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Etiquette and Espionage

by Gail Carriger, Moira Quirk (Narrator)
Audio EditionRead September 29, 2014

Original Release Date: February 5, 2013

Length: 307 pages

Official Description: This is book #1 of the Finishing School series

 Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother’s existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea–and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right–but it’s a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine’s certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

My Take:

I haven’t read a steampunk in a while, this was less dystopian than I like but it was entertaining and cute. Apparently this is in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate series, but 25 year before. Well, I haven’t read that series,  I own one of the books that I got at a library sale, but I haven’t read the series yet. This one was one of my commuter books. I really enjoyed the narrator, she did a fantastic job. I love the slight speech impediment of Dimity. Honestly the entire book was fun, it was young less young adult more middle grade. I say this because my child enjoyed the story and this was at a younger level that he could really get into. Yes there are a lot of silly moments, I mean how much eyelash fluttering do you need to learn? Plus you have to remember that this was set in a time where women used their eyelash fluttering and coy shyness to woo their men. They had seasons, were the lesser sex, there fore they logically would not be considered as spies or assassins, because women were not capable of such things. You can tell we are kind of sticking with that period because climbing was a boy thing and pants *gasp* would never be seen on a lady of quality. Also we have some werewolves and vampires, flyaway men who are pretty much air pirates. Crazy dirigibles that are way impractical, and massive. Also apparently boys ‘of color’ are a novelty in this book, which was odd. It was odd that Sophronia had apparently only been around white people, honestly that whole exchange felt awkward. Sophronia is a little too curious for her own good, which is good if you’re in a finishing school made for spies. She learns to make friends, learns to get away with things no one else can. She’s a smart, sometimes, cookie. Overall the book was really cute and enjoyable, I will definitely read the rest of the series and The Parasol Protectorate series.

Quote:

“It’s no good choosing your first husband from a school for evil geniuses. Much too difficult to kill.”

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