Monday, March 31, 2014

Feed by Mira Grant

Title: Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy #1)
Author: Mira Grant
Publisher: Orbit
Original Publication Date: April 10, 2010
Pages: 571

When I was looking for the a book to get back at my roots, that is fantasy and science fiction, and under science fiction the proliferating post-apocalypse, dystopia and zombie genres, I happened to stumble on the Newsflesh trilogy. I however was not transported back to my beloved roots in my reading experience of Feed.  To put it bluntly, this is a conspiracy story with zombies as plot devices rather than being the plot. And still, I was able to appreciate iyt, reading it was a breath of fresh air a person needs a looks for once in a while.

The incremental world building process and origin story was well thought out. It is convincing enough by reason of its possibility and complexity. The effort at research and study for the backbone of the story is apparent and conspicuous and it is enjoyable to know the lengths the author has gone to bring this story to life.

I've said it before regarding book in this genre, the zombie genre has suffered the inevitable saturation that proliferating genres are so susceptible of. In this case, zombie literature has been chucked out the linear narratives, stream of consciousness school and the theme of plain old survival perspectives inter alia as the standard works. This is no surprise as these mediums are traditional, accessible and appealing to the market the genre is supposedly targeting. Included in these modes is what one could call dumbing down. What is perhaps more disturbing and perhaps worrying is that this dumbing down thematics are carried out in the YA fashion. Mira Grant is guilty to some extent of this. On some instances, she rubs down and shove in certain aspects of the story, like for example the repetitive checkpoints. But then again, credit is given to Mira Grant because shed did not saturate this book with the YA dumbing down, especially with the relationship/romance story in the book that is so out of context and blatantly disjointed in some zombie books where the insertion is conspicuously forced for marketability if not acquiescence to the bandwagons.

The book had minimal zombie encounters, but it was exciting all throughout. It was good how Mira paced the story itself. I'm looking forward to reading the second part in this series.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Title: The History of Love
Author: Nicole Krauss
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Original Publication Date: April 1, 2005
Pages: 260

This is now one of the greatest novels I have read.

I would have settled with that, except that the History of Love is just too pleasing, that my terseness was rather forcibly rooted out by the book. I seldom review (if one could call them that) books that I rate with 4 to 5 stars.

I remember reading once, where I did I have long forgotten, a witty reason that justifies speechlessness. I have once tried to verify this and failed to substantiate the claim (perhaps I looked at the wrong place), though I have held on to it because of its appeal and the propensity for people to believe it, much like common myths we choose to believe in (like how taking vitamin c supposedly cures common colds).

I'm telling you this because I was literary left speechless, reeling, contemplating and pondering numerous times in the book. The fact that I am writing to you now tells you of the triumph this book has precipitated upon my centuries evolved amigdula. What it doesn't tell you however is how it won that battle.

Everything about this book is pleasing from the typesetting, the form, the plot, the characters, the message.

I mean how could have Krauss presented such depressing lives in a riveting manner? She has presented the book in such a way that I have felt that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. And that kept me going.

I think the message that the book wanted to impart, or what at least it was able to impart to me in this convoluted setting is that moving on and letting go cannot be done (or is next to impossible) in solitude, that we can only move on with the help of somebody else, whether that be another love interest, a friend, or most especially, a family member. It was a simple message carried out in a convoluted manner perhaps the aspect that could have founded of diminished the beauty of this book.