Saturday, January 20, 2018

Room - Audiobook Review

Room (Goodreads | Amazon)
4/5 stars

So I’m a few years behind the curve on reading this book. When it was popular and then when the movie came out, it never spoke to me. Sometimes I’m in the moods for trendy books. A lot of the time I read them when I get around to them. Room happened to be available on my library’s digital audiobook collection so I downloaded it. (And to be honest that’s probably the only reason I read it).

For those who miss the trends as often as I do, Room is the story of a young woman who was kidnapped, locked in a soundproof room and eventually had a child with her abductor. The story is told through the eyes of her five-year-old son Jack.

The narration was excellent, the young child narrator worked well on audio. I can see how that would be a struggle in the paper version of the book. The narrator, Jack, knows so little of the world and understands so little. The way he talks is strange, he often confuses what is real and what isn’t because as far as he’s concerned, their little room is the only world he has ever known.

It’s amazing how much can happen in the mind of a child, especially when the book mostly takes place in a single room. Because of his captivity (which he doesn’t know about), Jack is an unreliable narrator who doesn’t realize what he’s missing. To him the room and his ma are real, the world he sees on TV is only make-believe. Yet somehow, the novel is captivating and I couldn’t stop listening.

Using Jack as the narrator for the story was a bold move, and at least for my experience it paid off.
Based on other reviews I’ve read, I recommend reading/listening to this book an audio. The acting was great, and it made Jack’s sometimes confused worldview easier to understand.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A look at my (failed) 2017 goals and ahead to 2018

I don't believe in New Year resolutions. I'm not one of those grumpy people who is going I to hate on your resolution. If for you, “new year new me” works then GREAT! For me, it’s always new year, same me. I’m goal oriented, but my goals work on their own timeline (and sometimes not as all).

For my goals, 2017 was a bit of a mess. I accomplished none of them. Sure, I took up fishing and bought a fishing kayak which was great. But it wasn’t anything I planned to do. (Sometimes I look at the two kayaks in our bedroom and wonder what happened). Life was grand - still going strong with the boyfriend, got a hilarious new cat, spent a lot of time outside, etc etc.
But when it came to goals, it was a mess.

2017 Goals

  1. Get back into blogging - FAILED. It felt like there was so much going on last year between politics and other news, it never felt right. And my old blogging circle seems to have disappeared from Twitter. Then I lost my old domain name and spent days going through the nine circles of Google hell before just buying a different one.
  2. Climb 5.12 - FAILED. Between my boyfriend (and main climbing partner) getting hurt, then suffering a finger injury, that goal went nowhere. But hey I learned to climb trad better and succeeded in my goal of leading a pitch of a multipitch. 
  3. Goodreads challenge - FAILED. First time I haven't met my goodreads goal. *shrugs* Should I be more bothered?
  4. NanoWriMo - I didn't even participate. I tried to come up with a list-minute Nano idea but I had nothing. Broke my streak.

2018 Goals

  1. Less screen time (and by screen time I mean TV/Netflix).
  2. Get back on track with fitness - seriously last year was a lot of FAIL in that as well.
  3. Read more but remember that the numbers aren't what matters. Enjoy reading.
  4. Climb 5.12...this will be my third season with that goal. So we’ll see.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Into the Drowning Deep: The mermaid book I was waiting for

Into the Drowning Deep (Goodreads | Amazon)

5/5 stars

For years, I have been on a quest for a good mermaid book. Mermaid mythology fascinates me, especially how it popped up all over the world simultaneously with some different aspects, but so much similar that it feels nearly true.

Most books delving into the subject disappoint me. Maybe that’s because I want so much from the book that it’s nearly impossible to live up to my expectations. Sometimes I just don’t bother with mermaid books because I’ve been burnt too many times. But Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire), knows how to write a good story.

And this, my friends, is more than just good.

This genre-blending book combines fantasy and science as only Grant can. In her writing, the science of the impossible feels not only possible, but likely. She does her research, from zombie viruses to mythological creatures, and it makes a huge difference. But she doesn't get bogged down in being scientifically-sound. Grant builds a world, characters and a story that work hand-in-hand with the science.

Into the Drowning Deep is the terrifying mermaid horror story you need to read. After spending most of last year in a reading slump, it felt wonderful to start 2018 with such a great book. I didn’t watch Netflix, didn’t go to sleep and found myself reading every chance I got. I needed to know what happened next.

Into the Drowning Deep follows a group of scientists, funded by a reality TV network, on an expedition to unravel the mysteries of mermaid folklore. It’s not the TV networks first voyage to the legendary Mariana Trench, where mermaids are said to live. Seven years prior to the story in this book, a different crew set out. That ship was found adrift, with no one on board, without even bodies to tell their story.

The scientists on the second journey have different reasons for coming - some are looking for answers, some want to find mermaids and some believe it’s a hoax but want a payday. None are looking for a massacre, but when monsters lurk beneath the waves nobody’s safety is guaranteed.

Here there be monsters...and it’s worth every heart-stopping, terrifying page to find them.