From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.
After the ravages of global warming, this is place of deep jungles, strange animals, and new taxonomies. Social inequality has ravaged society, now divided into surface dwellers and people who live in the Upper Settlement, a ring perched at the edge of the planet’s atmosphere. Within the surface dwellers, further divisions occur: the techies are old families, connected to the engineer tradition, builders of the Barrier, a huge wall that keeps the plastic-polluted Ocean away. They possess a much higher status than the beanies, their servants.
The novel opens after the Delivery Act has decreed all surface humans are ‘equal’. Narrated by Pearl, a young techie with a thread of shuvani blood, she navigates the complex social hierarchies and monstrous, ever-changing landscape. But a radical attack close to home forces her to question what she knew about herself and the world around her.
A drifter appears…this town will never be the same. Again…
Not much happens in the small West Texas town of Dinley, and radio DJ Sandy McAllister is fine with that. Following the tragic loss of her husband and son, she’s carved out a steady, solitary existence. No more deep friendships, no more love, no more loss.
But a loud boom on the outskirts of town followed by the sudden appearance of a drifter is about to upset Sandy’s carefully scripted life. His mysterious arrival on a warm summer evening coincides with the eruption of addictive and powerful feelings she cannot control or deny. And she’s not the only one.
The bond, the connnection, with this stranger threatens to turn her life inside out and polarize her town.
And it’s not the first time this has happened in Dinley.
Time travel has been used to stop the birth of Christ, altering the timeline of human history.
Lukas is the last Qumranian, an ancient sect sworn to secrecy and to protect the prophecies that bind the worlds together. When they develop a powerful technology that can control time, their discovery attracts unwanted attention.
When the Unclean — a militant force powered by dark magic — attack the hidden Qumranian compound under what once was the Dead Sea, Lukas barely escapes. But at what cost? With his life intact, he finds himself a prisoner in an alternate timeline not his own.
Alone in a foreign landscape ravaged by wars, advanced by technology, oppressed by a corporation partnered with a ruthless religious group slaughtering any who oppose them in the streets, sinister supernatural forces, and an artifact that literally can — and has — changed human history, Lukas must not only struggle to stay alive, but locate the only thing that can prevent the Unclean and the powers that control them from destroying the world.
Will Lukas manage to retrieve the artifact before more damage is done to the timeline of history, or will he be too late, forever lost in a nightmarish alternate reality?
It’s the end of the month and it’s also nearly the end of my first week back to book blogging; this wrap up might be slightly odd this month as it is the first one. Even in this short space of time the welcome back I’ve from people in the community has been lovely and it has me very excited to continue! It actually makes me regret taking such a long break away from the book blogging sphere, but I’m pleased to be back.
Books read this month
This month I read a total of 9 books (7 physical books and 2 ebooks):
I really enjoyed pretty much everything I read this month, however there are three books in particular that stand out as my favourites…
Circe by Madeline Miller I’m not totally familiar with the story of Circe in Greek mythology despite reading a lot of it when I was younger, however, I really liked Miller’s take on the character. I loved seeing how Miller weaved her into so many other famous Greek tales. I want to write a full review on this book soon as a couple of lines does not do this justice at all.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee Unlike the other two on this list, this is one that I have managed to review this week! The way Lee seamlessly writes through four generations of a Korean family is incredible. Not only does she gets the pacing spot on to where literal decades in the book fly by, but she also has a great understanding of the people that she is writing about and brings them to life.
The Cat and the City by Nick Bradley This is actually a novel that I read this morning and it blew me away. A full review will be up in the coming days but the tl;dr is that I urge you to pick this up and read it as it is wonderful. It has even made me very nostalgic for my trips to Japan as it truly captures the spirit of Tokyo.
How did you get on this month? Did you read more or less than you expected/wanted? Did we read any of the same books? I’d love to know!
Workaholic TV news producer Nina Scaife is determined to fight for her daughter, Laurie, after her partner Rob walks out on her. She takes Laurie to visit Rob’s parents on the beautiful but remote Hope Island, to prove to her that they are still a family. But Rob’s parents are wary of Nina, and the islanders are acting strangely. And as Nina struggles to reconnect with Laurie, the silent island children begin to lure her daughter away.Meanwhile, Nina tries to resist the scoop as she is drawn to a local artists’ commune, the recently unearthed archaeological site on their land, and the dead body on the beach…