It‘s the bioapocalypse…

Behemoth (Rifters, #3)
by Peter Watts

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Prelude: ´lawbreaker

We meet Achilles Desjardins again. And…

“The past receded; the unforgiven present advanced. The world fell apart in time-lapse increments: an apocalyptic microbe rose from the deep sea, hitching a ride in the brackish flesh of some deep-sea diver from N’AmPac. Floundering in its wake, the Powers That Weren’t dubbed it ßehemoth, burned people and property in their frantic, futile attempts to stave off the coming change of regime. North America fell.“

ß-Max

We are at the bottom of the Atlantic. Hiding away, in conjunction with our former enemy.

Very readable, mostly. There are sequences where I don‘t understand a thing… Lenie is a bystander a lot of the time, shunned not only by the other side, but also by her own people. We as readers often do not take part in the action, but look at what‘s happening from the outside, from her POV. I am not a fan of that way of story telling. But it‘s what it is, when reading from limited POVs, I guess.

I am not certain that I really understood what went on in this book. Yes, hiding away, conflict with the opposing inmates, revolution, mutation, a new infestation… Got that. Much head scratching. I also missed a stronger sense of being underwater. It almost did not feel as if they were spending time in the deep sea.

Seppuku

Emerging from the sea… This one more linear and with more traditional story telling at first. I really liked the new character, Taka.

Trigger warning: <spoiler>Torture, mutilation, rape</spoiler>

I could have done without that part. It added nothing to the plot and made me uncomfortable. Was it just for the shock effect? Because as a plot point it was pretty pointless or at the most served as a tool for a info dump. It actually turned me off so much, that I lost my motivation to keep going. 

Consequently I really struggled with the last 100 pages. I literally lost the plot. I couldn‘t grasp what was going on or why Ken and Lenie did what they were doing.

The big reveal at the end left me rather cold, I was glad to be finished and disappointed with the resolution of this trilogy. Did the final conflict really have to happen in the off? Clarke as a mere bystander did not make me happy either. She devolved into the chick on the side. She really did not gell for me in Seppuku. I understand that characters can change and develop, but I could not relate to Lenie’s progression. 

I really liked the first book, it had a good plot and setting and a strong, convincing main character in Lenie Clarke. Maelstrom and Behemoth (ß-Max & Seppuku) were confusing over long stretches and hard to understand. I admit to skimming quite a bit of the techno babble. I think stopping after the first book would have been best.

How to rate this? Considering that I struggled to finish, had problems to follow the plot, disliked the character inconsistency of Lenie Clake and the gratuitous violence/torture, I can‘t really give this more than two stars.


In my headspace Noomi Rapace took over the role of Lenie Clarke.

A free version of this book(s) can be found here.

Playlist:

  • Georg Friedrich Händel, Water Music
  • Tchaikovsky, Iolanta
  • Sergei Prokofiev
  • Igor Strawinsky

Dystopia, utopia, we still haven‘t learned…

Bannerless (The Bannerless Saga)Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was ok. I was really curious to find out where post-apocalyptic, dystopian fiction by Carrie Vaughn of „Kitty and the Midnight Hour“-fame would take me. And it was ok, nothing more, nothing less. Nice world building, nice character development, nice enough.

I liked the society she invented along that Coast Road and the idea of earning banners. Intriguing, even. I liked Enid‘s backstory and watching her becoming the person she is in the story‘s present. But that was about it. The mystery held little interest for me and the solution was meh. I could have put this book down pretty much at any point in the story and wouldn‘t have missed it.

The ending felt a little rushed. I will very likely not continue this series.

Part of this were reminiscent of the Book of the Unnamed Midwife.

View all my reviews

Low below the sea

Low, Vol. 1: The Delirium of HopeLow, Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope by Rick Remender
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I did not like this. Set in a really interesting world, but without the foreword I would not have had a clue what was going on.

Diffuse, undefined artwork that was sometimes almost impossible to decipher. I kept looking at some frames, unable to figure what I was supposed to be seeing. The only part I truly liked was Stel and her son swimming underwater in their suits, looking at water creatures.

The story was not uninteresting, but felt disjointed. A lot of deep-sounding thoughts and and pop philosophy, that made me feel as if someone had robbed the self-help section of a bookstore and had regurgitated it all onto these pages. I found it very tedious to read.

Plus I didn‘t like any of the characters. One-dimensional. And some of them were difficult to tell apart. Old-fashioned depiction of scantily clad women—as another review put it, why must the women always be half-naked, while the men get clothes? And why do Stel and her daughter look alike in their three tiny triangles of fabric, with one of them presumably being twice the age of the other?

So, not going to continue this series. 2 low points…

View all my reviews

Short, not necesarily sweet

The New MotherThe New Mother by Eugene Fischer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The girls were spayed. That is the only word for it. Four sisters, the oldest five and the youngest barely two, with dirt-crusted fingers and baggy t-shirts, huddled next to a police van. They are identical in the way of twins; different sizes but, excepting perhaps some scars and birthmarks, their bodies are the same. The picture of them standing together next to the van is like a textbook illustration of early human development. And hidden under their shirts, carved low across the belly, the one scar they all share.”

I have read dystopian fanfiction, where all women on Earth died and what the repercussions of that could be. This is a different take, similar scenario — women can procreate asexually and essentially bear clones of themselves, without any male contribution.

Interessting idea and the author poses some fascinating questions to his set-up.

Winner of the Tiptree Award.

Story is available for free at https://medium.com/@glorioushubris/th…

View all my reviews