Apologies for the lack of a post in November, but the book I started at the tail end of October took me until the beginning of December to finish off. What took me nearly two months to wade through was Pax of Wildly Women, by V.C. Bestor. It was part of my old mass free e-book download, and in all honesty, it wasn’t good. The story’s general premise is that a group of women have come together under the moniker ‘Fanged Wilds and Women Program’ to protect the world’s predators in a bid to repair its ecosystem. The overarching premise itself is believable: more predators means fewer grazers (and those that survive are healthier), leading to the equalisation of habitats. It was the way the story was written that made it hard going.
First off were the play-on names of some of the more ‘famous’ characters. Politician Hillary Clintown, billionaire Richard Brimstone, media mogul Murdrech, celebrity Lady Gagg, fashion designer Stella McPaul…you get the idea. I found this very distracting, and personally, I would have been okay with entirely fictitious names with no bearing in today’s news, after all, this story is set in the future (climate change has caused the sea levels to rise, and there are Dick-Chainey clones!).
Secondly, the sheer wealth of side characters became a problem. It ended up getting more confusing than a Game of Thrones novel, and as the narrative jumped from India to Texas to England to Oregon to a dozen other places, I completely lost who was who, and when one guy sacrificed himself to a tiger, I had absolutely no idea why, as I couldn’t remember what, if anything, he’d done.
Then there was the author’s habit of having the characters try and say something insightful about the state of womanhood and the environment. Unfortunately, it often was out of place with the characters and scenes and ended up sounding disjointed, and truth be told, it wasn’t often clear what the point was the writer was trying to make. They tended to be just clipped abstract sentences that no person would really say in a conversation.
The story ended with the women doing stuff with Chernobyl radiation. What they did and why was again lost on me, as the narrative tended to go off on a tangent. Plus there were several story lines that seemed to go unfinished. What happened to Vimvole? What happened regarding the juicy information the journalist just happened to find lying on the ground? Too many questions left unanswered, or if they had been, it wasn’t entirely clear. In the end, I found this story chaotic, and at time nonsensical, which is a shame, as like I said, the premise itself sounded good.
Anyway, that finally done, I got to catch up with a couple of outstanding comics before starting another novel in December (and which I’m still reading as I write this). This was another freebie, but of a different kind, and of a considerably different quality.
Over a year ago I stayed at a Holiday Inn, to attend yet another interview that bore no fruit. But because of that, I was enrolled in the company’s IHG Rewards club, who began offering two free kindle books per year back in November. Of course, this here bookworm couldn’t say no to such an offer. Unsurprisingly, given that it was a free offer, the book choices were slim, but in the fantasy genre Crimes Against Magic (Hellequin Chronicles, #1) by Steve McHugh had good reviews, so I picked that. Thankfully, I haven’t been disappointed by this one, and I’ll give it a review in the New Year (jeez it’s nearly 2018!)
These last two months have been the months of the freebie books, as I got myself a further freebie in December, but this one was a ‘coffee table’ book, which I came into possession of in a different way to the two novels. Basically, I filled out a survey for the job website Countryside Careers, mainly as my name would go into a draw for this book. Amazingly, my name got picked, thanks to a random number generator, and a copy of British Wildlife Photography Awards: Collection 7 winged its way to me. They’re great pictures, and the book is cool to have around for the occasional flip-through.
So that’s it for 2017. However, I’ve got plenty to read in the New Year thanks to a backlog of comics, manga, and some Xmas presents. So see you all the other side in 2018. Hope you had a great festive holiday, and have a Happy New Year!