I liked this a lot. An asteroid enters our solar system, headed for Earth. And starts to break on approach. More of a Big Dumb Object, seemingly a bit like Independence Day at first. The space program is history and the last remaining NASA astronaut is sent up with a pretty mixed crew to check things out. And racing a commercial competitor to make it there first… not. All of a sudden it is a rescue mission and… Horror in Space.
It didn’t fit her preconceived notions of what an alien was, and that was the lesson it wanted to teach her. Out there, out in the deeps of space—things aren’t the way they are on Earth. It’s dark, and cold, and you do what you must to survive. That’s all—there’s no room for higher aspirations. No self-actualization out in the nebulae. No sharing of ideas, no warm friendship. Nothing to say.
I did not really connect emotionally with the characters in the beginning. None of them were really likable or grew on me much. They did go through a lot though, especially our intrepid NASA astronaut Sally. I did cheered on the last ones standing… Good job!
I loved the alien „spaceship“. Such a great and imaginative setting. And parts of it were very, very creepy. I got an idea pretty early on about what was really going on, but it was still fun to follow the characters figuring it out, even if the author worked hard on not sharing with me as a reader what the characters thought.
The Alien thing reminded me of the movie Life. Eep. The rest of the plot felt a bit like a cave exploration trip gone wrong. Fabulous ending. I would love to see that on a big screen. The movie is practically in post production in my head. 🚀 🚀 🚀 🚀 🚀
Creature feature. Modern day, with an inept guy trying to be a treasure hunters, tying to find loot in the ocean. Officially he is on his honeymoon, which he uses as an excuse to travel to Madgascar for his treasure hunting scheme. There are pirates as well. Something lurks in the depths. Has potential for a fun romp with monster fish and a high body count, right? Unfortunately the writing is pretty bad and the plot is ridiculous. I can‘t finish this thing. DNF after 140 pages and about 46%.
The mouth of the monster makes a brief appearance after 50+ pages and the head of the monster shows up again at 120+ pages. Sadly, the description of the fish is so vague that it is nonexistent. Hello, creature feature, the characters of the book get to see the monster, shouldn’t the reader?
And don‘t get me started on the writing in general…
“A long piece of driftwood rocked atop the ocean a few hundred kilometers away. Underneath the blazing sun, Mosi could only see a silhouette lift up onto its forearms and wave a hand around. “Please!” The voice was male. Possibly American. His hand reached out, stretching toward Mosi.“ (page 23) A few hundred kilometers? Wow, that‘s some eye sight and a really loud voice.
And then on page 51: “Zane balanced himself on the rail and dropped toward the water. The moonlight reached down a few kilometers so dark blue became a gradient of deeper blacks. Soon he was paddling through impenetrable onyx.“
Someone needs to explain to the author what a kilometer is and tell him to drop the „kilo“.
And the descriptions and word choices…
“His eyes were like fried eggs.“ Round? White and yellow?
“She would’ve shot this down with the quickness, because who believed in buried treasure anymore?“ With the quickness, huh? Well, ok then.
“They ran toward it with raised knees, Sara getting out in front of Blake who was bogged down by their luggage, …“ Running with raised knees… Why am I thinking of Monty Python and the Holy Grail all of a sudden?
“She moved with molasses and…“ I‘m picturing her creeping along next to a blob of molasses…
“I’ll gladly take might after all this.” Huh?
And what‘s with the thin passageways and thin corridors? Is that really a thing?
“The blonde slipped inside the standup shower where the curves of her outline were perfectly amplified by patterned glass.“ As opposed to a sitdown shower? And I wish he would stop describing her as „the blonde“.
The research into scuba diving didn‘t go terribly smoothly either.
“Flippered feet wobbled against the edge and Zane took a deep pull on his valve, swallowing a burst of bottled air before dropping through the gloom like a brick.“ Nope, that is not how it works. More air in the body, more buoyancy. No chance of „dropping like a brick“ that way.
“His body bounced around, scuba tank scraping the cavern’s ceiling as panic bubbles erupted around his breather.“ I have never heard anybody call the regulator a breather.
“His mind ran to a dozen defeated corners, projecting possible fatalities. How he’d rip his wet suit and drown.“ Wetsuits are wet inside, hence the name. They are for thermal insulation. It is unlikely to rip neoprene, but even if you did, it would make absolutely no difference. Well, ok, a part of you would be colder than the rest. Has the author done no research whatsoever before writing this book?
Another gem: “Imani was a former despot, ousted from Zimbabwe during a revolt where the citizens tired of election rigging and forced the prime minister’s resignation.“ Hm, unlikely scenario. Zimbabwe has had all of 2 prime minsters since its independence. Probably should have picked a different country, not one that was run by the same guy for 30 years.
I don‘t know how I managed to read 140 pages of this. On top of the lack of any meaningful descriptions, any character development whatsoever or a logical succession of events, this whole thing just makes no sense and is utterly ridiculous. I don‘t understand how reviewers can give this 4 and 5 stars?
I skimmed to find out what monster we are dealing with. Found it. I‘m not telling, just in case you do want to read this one here after all. My recommendation: Read Steve Alten instead.
Ocean Grave, ebook — started and read 90 pages on Sunday.
Total: 285 pages & 3 hours 37 minutes. Not bad, considering that I met a friend today for coffee and cake and a 6 km walk.
After reading the first few chapters of Ocean Grave by Matt Serafini this morning, I was pretty sure that I would DNF it at some point today, because, to be frank, the writing is not great. I decided to give it until 20% and then decide it I would toss it or not… here are my comments up to that point… 😝
page 23–7.9%“A long piece of driftwood rocked atop the ocean a few hundred kilometers away. Underneath the blazing sun, Mosi could only see a silhouette lift up onto its forearms and wave a hand around. “Please!” The voice was male. Possibly American. His hand reached out, stretching toward Mosi.“ A few hundred kilometers? Wow, that‘s some eye sight and a really loud voice… *eye roll*
page 30—10.31% ““The leader sat atop the corner desk with the gun in one hand and a drink in the other. His eyes were like fried eggs.“ White and yellow? Seriously, what does that mean?
page 48–16.49% ““She had to give it to Blake. He was right. She would’ve shot this down with the quickness, because who believed in buried treasure anymore?“ With the quickness? Is that weird English or is it me?”
page 51–17.53% ““Zane balanced himself on the rail and dropped toward the water. The moonlight reached down a few kilometers so dark blue became a gradient of deeper blacks. Soon he was paddling through impenetrable onyx.“ Someone needs to explain to the author what a kilometer is and tell him to drop the „kilo“.
page 52–17.87% ““Flippered feet wobbled against the edge and Zane took a deep pull on his valve, swallowing a burst of bottled air before dropping through the gloom like a brick.“ Nope, that is not how it works. More air in the body, more buoyancy. No chance of „dropping like a brick“ that way. I am rolling my eyes so hard every few pages. I don‘t know how much longer I can put up with this.
page 54–18.56% “Ok, that kill by the monster fish was fun and a good scene.”
I started Ocean Grave by Matt Serafini this morning. It‘s a creature feature and from Kindle Unlimited. With the purchase of my new Kindle I got a free three month subscription. And this time I really want to make a dent in my KU want-to-read list.
That looks like a giant turtle on that cover, right?
On their honeymoon in Madagascar, a young couple are drawn into the hunt for lost treasure. Their search grabs the attention of a bloodthirsty pirate who intends to seize the riches for himself. The seedy government agents on his trail have their own reasons for wanting it too. And they’re all in the path of a creature long thought extinct. A creature that has turned the world’s third largest ocean into a hunting ground. A creature that is about to turn their dreams of fortune and glory into a nightmare from which there’s no escaping.
I‘ve only read 22 pages so far. I met the bride and the pirate and in the prologue there was a Hollywood actress on a motorboat/yacht, finding her travel companions drifting in bits and pieces in the red water surrounding the boat.
Carly Grayson woke and at once remembered she was on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Her heart drummed so hard the bed sheets did little jumping jacks over her chest.
First paragraph of the prologue
That‘s the Hollywood actress, waking up with an anxiety attack… 🤷♀️ And the pirate:
Maxamed Abir Kaahin stepped off the twin-engine plane in Algeria and had not a moment to reflect on the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea as it lapped against the golden dunes beyond the slim strip of runway.
First line of the first chapter
Starting on chapter 3 now, I hope it starts getting more interesting soon. So far it‘s still set-up.
A group of people is gang-pressed into salvaging data from an old, stranded space ship, before it is destroyed by a supernova. They encounter unexpected problems of a horrific kind. And lots of tunnels and tight spaces and darkness. And various enemies, going for the same prize.
Very short chapters, pushing the reader along, with a mildly funny tone, jumping back and forth between the now and the before. Going in, I was looking forward to the horribleness inside. I expected the underdogs to ride into the sunset at the end. At least those that make it out again.
I liked the flashbacks, it‘s a nice way to give backstory in small packages. It should have made me emotional, but it didn‘t.
Plenty of things kept happening, alas the story never grabbed me. All the episodic bits and pieces did not get the movie running in my head. I skimmed a lot in the middle and thought about DNFing this a few times.
I thought about it, but I still haven’t figured out yet, why this didn‘t work for me. There is lots of action, the characters become more interesting as the story progresses, there is low-key humour, I should have liked this. But I never really connected, the story left me cold. The ending was ok, if rushed and the cliffhanger was just silly. Off we go to the sequel. Not.
This could be a fun movie, with the right amount of mischievous humour on top of the suspense and the horror elements. Less haunted house, more caving horror with mutated beings. SciFi light. Shorter would have been nice. Some plot holes. Still giving it three stars for the potential. 2.75 stars? ☀️☀️☀️
”…a ridiculously fun, fast paced, seat-of-your-pants read full of treasure hunts, traps, deadly enemies, betrayal, secrets, mysterious aliens, adventure and action…”
“Refugee, criminal and linguist Sean Wren is made an offer he knows he can’t refuse: life in prison, “voluntary” military service – or salvaging data in a long-dead language from an abandoned ship filled with traps and monsters, just days before it’s destroyed in a supernova.”
“In the bowels of the derelict ship, surrounded by horrors and dead men, Sean slowly uncovers the truth of what happened on the ship, in its final days… and the terrible secret it’s hiding.”
And although this was not a winner for me, I am tipping my hat to Rebellion Publishing, they are doing some nice stuff.
Wow. I wish people opposed to vaccinating their children or vaccinating in general would read this. Bodily autonomy is discussed in an enlightening fashion. Published before Covid-19 broke out, which makes this an even more interesting read.
This is very good and scary. It sounds plausible and has an excellent ending. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and listened to this 3-hour audiobook in more or less one sitting.
This is the safe part of the book blurb, I recommend to avoid the rest:
“It begins with a fever. By the time the spots appear, it’s too late: Morris’s disease is loose on the world, and the bodies of the dead begin to pile high in the streets. When its terrible side consequences for the survivors become clear, something must be done, or the dying will never stop.“
I am now going to scour Audible for any more free audibooks by Mira Grant or her alter ego Seanan McGuire. Yes, I really need to get to those five books/novellas of Wayward Children on my ebook shelf.
Another fun fact: I keep saying that I don‘t want to read too dark and depressing things. Guess what I have been reading a lot this year? Mostly adventurous/mysterious stories, but also a surprising amount of darker things:
A haunted house story, that has an unexpected source and resolution. I was surprised how much build-up there was for this relatively short audio. A very fluffy, meandering start, focusing on the relationships between the four main characters. And a very Lovecraftian ending, pretty dark and not quite in synch with the beginning.
I kept wondering if there are more stories with these four characters as teen detectives of the unusual and bizarre, because previous cases kept being referenced. That could be fun.
Aaand after finding Spindrift House for free with my Audible subscription, I had another search and downloaded another Mira Grant freebie: Kingdom of Needle and Bone
„It begins with a fever. By the time the spots appear, it’s too late: Morris’s disease is loose on the world, and the bodies of the dead begin to pile high in the streets. When its terrible side consequences for the survivors become clear, something must be done, or the dying will never stop.“
I did read quite a bit since last Saturday, I just didn‘t have much to post about. I am still reading Empire in Black and Gold (Shadows of the Apt, #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky, but it‘s pretty long and printed with a pretty small font. Reading for a prolonged time is just not possible, my eyes just give up and I can‘t focus anymore. That‘s what I love about ebooks—I can increase the font… I wasn‘t in the mood to read short stories or comics in between to mix it up, so I picked a SF novel in ebook format instead…
First Line Friday is a weekly linkup hosted at Reading is My Superpower. … share the first line of a book of your choice, add the link on the host’s page…
The Immortality Thief is a ridiculously fun, fast paced, seat-of-your-pants read full of treasure hunts, traps, deadly enemies, betrayal, secrets, mysterious aliens, adventure and action as the story races to the find the secret to immortality.
Far off the edge of human existence, beside a dying star lies a nameless ship abandoned and hidden, lost for a millennium. But there are secrets there, terrible secrets that would change the fate of humanity, and eventually someone will come looking.
That‘s a pretty exciting book blurb, right? I slowly made it through the first quarter of the book and so far I am a little underwhelmed. One reason might be that I am simply reading it too slowly, due to alternating it with my other read. However, something has just come to light that might change my mind. By the way, this is classed not only as SF, but also as horror. The horror element is pretty weak so far. Anyway, first sentence!
The nothing-place between leaving and arriving during faster-than-light travel isn‘t really Hell.
Right? Yeah, clear as mud. But the sentences following this one give it more sense. We get some aliens that I find hard to visualize. Little grey men? So far I am not buying the relationship between our salvage crew and the aliens. If the author was trying to sell me supposedly bad guys as being decent in a way, it was a weak effort. But I am not sure yet, if that was the intention. Still, about 350 pages to go, there might be horror and good characterization just around the next corner… oh yes, the mystery / big secret is not giving me sleepless nights yet either.
I read the first volume of the entire series and it was not bad. This one here was included in my Prime Reading, so I got it. DNF at 50%. The artwork changed and I think it‘s pretty ugly. Plus I am missing too much context in between the first volume and beginning of the series and this.
Refugee, criminal and linguist Sean Wren is made an offer he knows he can’t refuse: life in prison, “voluntary” military service – or salvaging data in a long-dead language from an abandoned ship filled with traps and monsters, just days before it’s destroyed in a supernova.
I read the first 5 chapters. Short, with a mildly funny tone, jumping back and forth between the now and the before—explaining why Sean and some other went to that ship. Definitely „voluntary“, hyphenated. Looking forward to the horribleness inside. I am expecting the underdogs to ride into the sunset at the end. If they all make it out again.