Corporate America

Standard
Contrary to what you might believe, this book is (mostly) not about terrorism.

Contrary to what you might believe, this book is (mostly) not about terrorism.

This week we break from tolling the Doomsday bell for something a bit more comical.  Jack Dougherty’s Corporate America is a novel reminiscent of Douglas Coupland’s Jpod or Christopher Buckley’s Thank You For Smoking.  Somewhat ironically, it is also the first book I’ve reviewed so far that I can picture as a traditionally published book: ironic because Dougherty both lambastes and lampoons the publishing industry and its constituents.  (Have I used that alliteration before?  I feel like I’ve used that alliteration before…)  In any case, the novel follows protagonist Francis Scanlon, a would-be author turned corporate shill who discovers that selling his soul to corporate America is nowhere near as painful as the “ruthlessly competitive, insecure, Schadenfreudian” postgraduates back home might have him believe.

Continue reading

Sleepers

Standard
Not to be confused with Lorenzo Carcaterra's 1995 novel of the same name.

Not to be confused with Lorenzo Carcaterra’s 1995 novel of the same name.

I enjoyed this novel far more than I expected to.  Perhaps what endears me to this story is its blatant disregard for genres.  Zombie horror and apocalyptic sci-fi are common bedfellows, but Jaqueline Druga’s Sleepers also dabbles in Christian fiction, family drama, and more traditional sci-fi elements, though these are introduced later on in the book.  Despite claiming one of the most inept narrator-protagonists I’ve come across so far, the ideas behind this story make it a fairly enjoyable read.

As usual, prepare for spoilers after the break. Continue reading

Music of Sacred Lakes

Standard

"Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings In the ruins of her ice water mansion". -Gordon Lightfoot, Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

“Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the ruins of her ice water mansion,
Old Michigan steams like a young man’s dreams,
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.”
-Gordon Lightfoot, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”

While Laura K. Cowan’s Music of Sacred Lakes doesn’t actually make mention of Lightfoot’s iconic song, I think that it is a fitting introduction to her novel, not only because it is literally music of the lake, but because like Music of Sacred Lakes, the song is lyrical with just a touch of the Gothic. Continue reading

YA, Take Two: Or, Feminist Griping

Standard
Apocalypse

This cover makes me want to scale buildings and jump into hay bales…

Undeterred by last week’s foray into YA fiction, I chose to review Apocalypse, the first novel in Kyle West’s Wasteland Chronicles.  Set in the Nevada Desert in 2060, this series follows a premise similar to that of the Fallout franchise, with the last remnants of humanity pocketed away into underground vaults bunkers or living as scavengers in small towns.  Lest you think that the Wasteland Chronicles are a rip off of Fallout, I will remind you that Fallout is inspired by the earlier Wasteland games.  Whether West chose this title in homage or not, I can not say, but rest assured this book is not some half-hearted attempt at copyright infringement, and the dangers Alex faces are far more brutal than radiation. Continue reading

Less Romance, More Sci-Fi, Please.

Standard
As you might have guessed by the cover, things haven't been going particularly well for Kaitlyn lately...

As you might have guessed by the cover, things haven’t been going particularly well for Kaitlyn lately…

This week’s self-pub novel is a YA sci-fi romance, featuring a young android with “feelings”.  Written by globe-trotting author Julia Crane, Freak of Nature is a bit light on the sci-fi elements for my tastes, but should appeal to teens looking to read a romance rather than a piece of hardcore science fiction. Continue reading