An Uncertain Grace

Title: An Uncertain Grace

Author: Krissy Kneen

Genres: Erotica | Science Fiction | Speculative Fiction

Length: 238 pages | 2337 Kindle locations

Source: Netgalley

Publisher: Text Publishing

Publishing Date: January 31st, 2017

Rating: 4.5/5

Premise:

Five erotic short stories taking place in a near future.

Review:

It’s been quite a while since I so thoroughly enjoyed a collection of short stories. Considering they are classified as erotic, the detail put to speculative fiction was outstanding. These make the reader completely reconsider sexuality as a whole while taking him on her on enthralling experiences. They are all connected by a common denominator and are chronologically order, taking the reader on a trip where we see the world changing, along with the characters.

The first story introduces us to a uni English literature teacher who is presented with a work by a former student. This is not just any work though, it’s an interactive narrative where the reader not only does what the author wants but also feels exactly what the author wants him or her to feel. I absolutely loved the way the author transcribed this idea to her story and we get to watch a fairly normal guy coming to terms with the fact that he might just be despicable.
I have a feeling woman and men will have different reactions to this story. Some of the scenes were so raw and yet I felt emotional. This was quite brilliant.

The second story comes from a different place. It is actually a sci-fi experiment.
What if you could merge with other beings?
The way the concept was introduced was quite astounding. You cannot help to relate to this guy, even though he must have done something really bad to have gone to prison for that long. Still, his childhood memories as well as his longing for them make him a person, and one with feelings, and you cannot help to relate.

The third story is about a robot who looks and feels human and was created for a unique purpose – to study hebephiles, people who are attracted to adolescents. Some scenes are difficult to take in as they are quite disturbing – even though you are seeing things through the eyes of Cameron, the robot. You can feel his own struggle to try and understand how a normal 13-year-old would react, so that the data collected during the experiments is as accurate as possible. And yet he cannot help but think of his place in the grand scheme of things.

The fourth story is less about sex and more about gender. It’s getting easier and easier to transition between both sexes, and even staying somewhere in the middle. These are the sexual experiences of one such person who wants to transition to centre – neither man or woman -, while trying to deal with her feelings towards her sexuality, her partner, and her mother.

The final story is about a woman who lived well into her one hundreds and still remembers a time when fish weren’t practically extinct. This one explores life after that and what you could experience in such a state.

Reading what I wrote above, I cannot help but feel my descriptions of the stories are very diminishing. The fact is I felt enraptured by them. At times disgusted, others excited and always curious to know what came next. I am not too sure about the Liv character, it did not struck me as believable that she is described as a teller of stories and yet we see her in scientific roles. But I do know I enjoyed this immensely and highly recommend it.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Aug 29th to Sep 8th, 2017
GR Review

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August 2017 Wrap-Up

August is one of the busiest months at work so I didn’t manage to read much. Sims Freeplay took up most of my time, to be honest,
I did manage to go through a trilogy I grabbed from Netgalley. It was interesting food for thought.
I also managed to watch a couple of movies so overall it was a good month.


Summary:

Total Books Read: 3

Longest Read: The Final Correction (Condition #3) (288 pages)

Shortest Read: A Medical Miracle? (Condition #1) (210 pages)

Book of the Month: A Medical Miracle? (Condition #1)

Favourite Cover:

Challenges Progress:

GoodReads: 50/52

British Books Challenge: 22/12

2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss: 43/35


August Books:

 

I began August with the first book of the Condition trilogy, A Medical Miracle? by Alec Birri.

The book had a bumpy start but it developed into quite an imaginative work of speculative fiction and I was intrigued enough to continue on with the other two books.

I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

 

The Curing Begins… (Condition #2) by Alec Birri is the sequel to the previous book. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the previous one but then again it was quite different. The fact that the first half of the book took place in the 70s brought a new dimension to the narrative and I slowly warmed up to it, though gah insta-love.

I rated it 3.5/5 stars.

 

I finished the month with the last book in the trilogy,, The Final Correction by Alec Birri.

I am not quite sure what to make of it, to be honest. I mean, I enjoyed it, but I was quite confused.

I rated it 3/5 stars.

 

 


Where I got the books:

 

Netgalley

  • A Medical Miracle?
  • The Curing Begins…
  • The Final Correction

 

Movie Reviews:

  • The Dark Tower
  • Annabelle: Creation
  •  

    Features:

     

    Other Posts in August:


    How was August for you?
    Do you have a Wrap-up post? Please link it below!

    Tackling the TBR [9]: September 2017

    Note: The covers link to GR book page.

    Click the image to go to The Obsessive Bookseller

    Click to go to The Obsessive Bookseller


    However you put together your TBR for the next month, the goal is to reduce the amount of obligation in reading and increase the fun.

    Here’s a look at how the system works:

    1. Identify the titles that take top priority in your TBR.
    2. Combine them all in your own Tackling the TBR post.
    3. Throughout the month pick from that pile as the mood strikes you.


    August flew by and I didn’t manage to reduce my TBR by much.
    On the upside I don’t have that many additions for September so, step by slow step, I will manage to reduce it!


    September 2017 TBR Tackler Shelf:

    The Blind
    by A.F. Brady

    Hanna Who Fell from the Sky
    by Christopher Meades


    Tackler Carry-overs:

    Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin

    Girl Last Seen
    by Nina Laurin

    The Ghost of Robert Brown: A Mystery Novel by P. Wish

    The Ghost of Robert Brown: A Mystery Novel
    by P. Wish

    Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (

    Little Fires Everywhere
    by Celeste Ng

    Red Ribbons (Dr. Kate Pearson #1) by Louise Phillips

    Red Ribbons (Dr. Kate Pearson #1)
    by Louise Phillips

     The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

    The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
    by Claire North

    Seven Suspects by Renee James

    Seven Suspects
    by Renee James

    Elle by Philippe Djian

    Elle
    by Philippe Djians

    The Fear by Rae Louise

    The Fear
    by Rae Louise

    When I Wake Up by Jessica Jarlvi

    When I Wake Up
    by Jessica Jarlvi

    Don't Wake Up by Liz Lawler

    Don’t Wake Up
    by Liz Lawler

    The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

    The Light Between Oceans
    by M.L. Stedman

    Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs

    Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2)
    by Ransom Riggs

    Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3)

    Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3)
    by Ransom Riggs

    The Things We Thought We Knew by Mahsuda Snaith

    The Things We Thought We Knew
    by Mahsuda Snaith

    Lying to Children by Alex Shahla

    Lying to Children
    by Alex Shahla

    Narcissism for Beginners - A Novel by Martine McDonagh

    Narcissism for Beginners – A Novel
    by Martine McDonagh

    Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault (Glass Vault #1) by Candace Robinson

    Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault (Glass Vault #1)
    by Candace Robinson

    Blood and Stars (Legend of Rhyme, #5)
    by Jaime Lee Mann

    Stillhouse Lake (Gwen Proctor #1)
    by Rachel Caine

    The Final Correction (Condition #3)

    Title: The Final Correction (Condition #3)

    Author: Alec Birri

    Genres: Science Fiction | Speculative Fiction

    Length: 288 pages | 3054 Kindle locations

    Source: Netgalley

    Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd

    Publishing Date: July 28th, 2017

    Rating: 3/5

    Premise:

    Professor Savage has been arrested but the corrections go on.
    Who is controlling them, though?
    What does this entail for mankind?

    Review:

    I finished this last night and I am still not quite sure what I read.

    I enjoyed it as the previous ones but I cannot say I understood everything. That Professor Savage character was just too mysterious, I guess I needed it dumbed down more so that I could fully grasp what the author was trying to say. It’s not that there was that much scientific mumbo-jumbo to sift through, I just felt a lot of important information lacked in favour of suspense.

    Overall I enjoyed the trilogy. I particularly loved the two first books’ prologues and how, when I finished each book, I would see them in a completely different light. It is food for thought, if nothing else.

    Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

    Read from Aug 20th to Aug 28th, 2017
    GR Review

    The Curing Begins… (Condition #2)

    Title: The Curing Begins… (Condition #2)

    Author: Alec Birri

    Genres: Science Fiction | Speculative Fiction

    Length: 217 pages | 3093 Kindle locations

    Source: Netgalley

    Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd

    Publishing Date: January 31st, 2017

    Rating: 3.5/5

    Premise:

    As Professor Savage’s plans become clearer, we are left wondering what exactly the next stage in this process will entail.
    In the meantime, how do the actions of a dubious character 50 years back relate to Savage?

    Review:

    The clock goes back on book #2 of this trilogy, more precisely to the 70s.
    The narrative takes place on a different country too, more specifically in Argentina.

    Although I was a bit thrown back since book 1 took place in 2026, I soon got in step with it, though it again felt bumpy. I just could not seem to connect to the characters. And in this book this difficulty was augmented due to the insta-love. Goodness, how I hate insta-love.

    Our main character meets a young girl who just happens to be the only good looking person in the entire village he is assigned to, and soon enough he is thinking of marrying her. The first time they kiss felt awkward and inappropriate – he is a sergeant, after all – and I felt it completely came out of the blue.
    Oh and it seems it is reciprocate, though for the life of me I could not tell why, because, get this: She hesitated after a few steps and turned back to her new love interest. Who says that? And why? I get instant attraction, but love? Sorry if I sound too harsh but this kind of thing truly bums me out.

    Anyway… As the story advances we get the picture that something incredibly wrong is going on. There is police corruption, poverty, naivety and a lot more. Granted, I don’t know much about Argentina, let alone in the 70’s, but I found it safe to assume that the author’s depiction was probably a fair one. I could see that stuff happening. And going on and on because, really, what are you going to do? I enjoy reading about characters who are not openly good or bad.

    Then a bit before halfway through the book the narrative advances to 2026 and we are left wondering how the two timelines relate. I have to admit I was impressed, especially towards the end, when all the mind-blowing stuff is thrown at us, much as in the first book.
    I did feel I did not have enough time to process or digest all the revelations. I mean, everything that they would entail is just beyond comprehension.

    Even if I am not 100% fan of the books’ execution, I will definitely handle it to the author, he has an amazing imagination, and I am again left quite scared that this is actually based on his personal experiences.

    Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

    Read from Aug 9th to Aug 20th, 2017
    GR Review

    Annabelle: Creation

    Annabelle: Creation

    Rating: 1.5/5

    From IMDB:

    Twelve years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

    Review:

    Goodness this movie was bad. I cannot believe the high ratings it has been getting. I am wondering if we watched the same film.
    I don’t even know where to begin.

    First of all, little things like gorgeous, obviously made up nuns annoy me.

    Secondly, what a disjointed, cliché-riddled movie. It didn’t take me long to just wish it would end.

    The plot is a joke. There really isn’t one, surely not a proper one.
    It’s the arrival of the girls, exploration of the house, scary scenes, more scary scenes, then the owners of the house reveal everything, and then more scary scenes. Throughout the film, incredibly bad, unbelieving acting. Anthony LaPaglia was the only upside for me. He managed to portray a character that was obviously grief-stricken but who would seem quite scary to young kids.

    There is so much that didn’t make sense. One minute there is electricity and the next it’s back to match-lit lamps and darkness. There is no reason presented to why the wife can’t walk. And what the heck kind of a reaction was that to Samuel pointing out to Sister Charlotte a fourth nun in the picture, that she had never noticed before?

    And finally the pace was SO slow that I was soon yawning and even the scary scenes had absolutely no effect on me. By that point I was simply numb.

    I cannot recommend this movie. Watch it if there is no alternative and if you don’t have to pay money for it.

    The Dark Tower

    The Dark Tower

    Rating: 4.5/5

    From IMDB:

    The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

    Review:

    I was really nervous about this one because I am a hardcore Stephen King fan and I had read a couple of nasty reviews about it. But you know what? I really enjoyed myself!

    I mean, let’s face it, there is no way thousands of pages could be squeezed into 1h35m. The movie is based on the Dark Tower series, it is not supposed to portray it step by step. And I think the two main characters are as fairly portrayed as possible. Sure, Roland is a lot more talkative, there are some scenes clearly just for FX show and/or comedy, Jake learned to control his power much too quickly/easily and the gunslinger creed is a bit abused, but overall this was an exciting movie and I found myself enthralled.

    I was particularly blown away by Matthew McConaughey. How the hell did he manage to create a character that is both so evil AND sexy? I have to admit I had some nasty thoughts watching him. My goodness, how can he just arrive into a room and with one look terrify me? I can’t even properly explain it. He’s all business. He owns his power and has this innate arrogance to him. Really, I can’t explain it, just know this is an incredibly built villain.

    Gangly Jake was also a pleasant surprise but next to McConaughey and Elba it was difficult for the boy to shine.

    I actually enjoyed the whole gunslinger’s purpose vs revenge. I cannot remember if that was present in the books, I read them quite a while ago, but I felt that was a good theme to serve as the film’s motto.

    All in all, I am really happy with this adaptation and was thoroughly entertained. I definitely recommend it.