Category: Science Fiction

Book Review: JoinWith.Me by Mike Meier

“JoinWith.Me” is a fascinating book….part near-future realistic dystopia, part cautionary tale, and part plain old great storytelling. It explores themes like humanity’s increasing dependence on technology, how technology can evolve and learn, and the resilience (or lack thereof) of the human spirit. In case that makes it sound like you’re being asked to read a philosophy textbook, let me reassure you: these themes are woven into the plot so seamlessly they’ll take a backseat to the action of the story. The reader will follow Sam, a disconnected and discontented young man, as he navigates his society, his personal issues, and interactions with an increasingly worrisome AI. I enjoyed following Sam’s progress, and witnessing his emotional and personal growth as he responded to the challenges he faced. Sam is an intriguing character, as he is simultaneously becoming aware of his flaws, and moving deeper into a scenario that makes it harder for him to change things for the better.

For me, the main take-away was a lot to think about in terms of the future possibilities for some of the technology that is common in today’s world. For anyone who has read “The Arc of a Scythe”…..plenty to ponder in terms of this book’s AI vs. The Thunderhead.

I highly recommend this book for those looking for a unique, fast-paced dystopian read, as well as for book discussion groups. Trust me: there will PLENTY to talk about after you read this one!

As an added bonus, QR codes (both on the cover and in the text) link to videos from a short film based on the novel.

Five out of five chunks of colby jack!


Book Review: The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni

This book sounded amazing when I first heard about it, and I was thrilled to win a copy through the Goodreads giveaway. If definitely didn’t disappoint!

The highlights:

1. The story: From the beginning, this book felt like an homage to the classic gothic tales I love so much! It has all the elements: the gloomy, creepy, castle, the mysterious family rumors, and that eerie sense that something is going on that neither the reader nor the heroine knows about. Plus, it’s just a fabulous story. I was instantly immersed in Bert’s world, and couldn’t wait to read more to see what happened next.

2. The way it differed from classic gothic fiction: No big romance, no hero riding to the rescue. Main character Bert (short for Alberta) is also the heroine, trying to save the day (for herself and others).

3. The setting: I enjoyed reading about the Alps, as well as Bert’s time in Italy. The Montebianco castle was almost a character by itself…it was so well described that I felt like I was walking the halls along with Bert, and the descriptions of the Alps and the local area were also very detailed and interesting.

4. The science: I won’t add any more to avoid spoilers. Suffice it to say that Bert learns some truly interesting things before the story ends!

5. The REALLY unexpected bits: Again, to avoid spoilers, I obviously can’t say what they are. Where one character ends up, plus the last few chapters, are very surprising. I always appreciate it when an author manages to include things that I truly wasn’t expecting, so KUDOS to Danielle Trussoni!

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book, and am very happy to add the author to my list of “must reads”!

Five out of five chunks of extra-sharp cheddar!