Reviews

The Moskowitz Code

* * * * * * * * * 9/10

Joel Bresler

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When your doctor makes a typo, it’s supposed to be no big deal. Everyone makes mistakes, obvious mistakes are easily corrected and life goes on without any fuss and nothing even worth remembering. Except if you happen to be Myron ‘Mike’ Moskowitz.

A simple typo during a doctors visit leads to a series of events that happen to lead to Mike ceasing to exist in all respects but the unimportant being-alive-and-breathing one. Without an identity, Mike finds life rather difficult and he becomes more and more desperate to get himself back on the grid. How fortunate he has help…

There’s a lot of humour in these pages, alongside a gentle dig at how much of our lives depend on other people admitting we are alive, and being a part of a system that we’re born into but can do little to change. There’s some sort of lesson in here about common sense, too, and how devoid of it government can be.

 

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Reviews

The Papyrus Empire

***All the Stars***

Niels Saunders

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This one is not like the author’s other two books. While it’s as well written and hard to put down, it’s far darker and without the fluffiness, leaving me feeling the same as when my cute little kitty comes for a cuddle with her claws out. While the writing remains the same, the depth isn’t hidden behind humour.

On a night out, Tommy finds ‘perks’ instead of cash at the cashpoint. While he’s sure it’s a joke, he has a go at spending them anyway… and the story flies away from there. It gets more and more extreme, darker with each page, and while any single event, to describe on its own might sound ludicrous, within the story and seeing how events unfold, everything works. It all makes perfect sense.

Of course, there is more to the story than the story being told. The way the characters see each other, how they interact with each other and the way they choose their sides, follow their leaders sometimes rabidly, showed not just a conspiracy-nut dream but a society within society, functioning the same way, and showing the maggot-rotten side of us we don’t like to admit exists.

It’s set in the same universe as Grand Theft Octo, and leaves me wondering/hoping we’ll see more of those characters in the future.

 

Reviews

An Alien’s Guide to the Human Species

* * * 3/10

Deb McEwan

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While the idea behind the book is a good one, the writing itself is very matter-of-fact and flat.
There’s a subtle but important difference in being told a story and being told of a series of events. The characters may as well be cardboard cut-outs they are so 2-dimensional and the plot is lost in a tedious list of things these characters do. They don’t do much.
The plot itself is an interesting idea, it is well-edited with no errors, but the writing needs a lot of work and perhaps some rethinking.

Reviews

Pencil Lead

* * * * * * * * 8/10

Fran Heath

pencil-lead-book-cover-largeLyle was a character I found surprisingly easy to sympathise with. He’s uncertain of what he wants, in life or anything, with no hope or prospects coming his way. This is of course mostly due to lack of effort to make anything of himself, but then, what do you work toward if you don’t know what you want? He’s a character so uncertain of himself that he comments on how he is a different person for certain people, because that’s who they think he is. He makes a show of his life and makes a show of being… himself.

A good deal of the book is getting to know Lyle before he meets Holly, and from there focusses on their destructive relationship which doesn’t really get any oomph until they involve escorts. While anyone else might look at that as being the beginning of the end and unhealthy while it lasts, neither of these two are able to see beyond their own confusion and certainly in Lyle’s case, selfishness.

I wasn’t very fond of the ending. It went quite quickly and suddenly from a couple hell-bent on ruining their lives as fast as they can, to a rather heavy moral lesson on the dark side of ‘escorts’. I wouldn’t describe it as a happy ending in particular, though I suppose that would depend on how you see happiness coming out of a relationship like that. I’m not too sure the choice Lyle and Holly made in the end was to the benefit of either of them.