Book Review: The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley (Hannah Tinti, 2017) – After years spent on the run, Hawley moves into his late wife’s hometown with his daughter Loo, who has begun to question the cause of her mother’s passing.

Verdict

On love and loss, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is rich with poignancy, evoked by perfect cadence and thoroughly beautiful prose.

5/5

Review

Every scar tells a story. The twelve on Sam Hawley’s body reveal his dark past, where his reckless crimes have left him trapped in a cycle of endless retribution. What is his to bear, afflicts his family just the same. A constant shadow looms over his indisputable yet tainted love for his child Loo.

In unravelling the reasons for Sam’s broken self, author Hannah Tinti adeptly weaves the complicated lives of father and daughter in The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley. Tinti captivates with her beautiful prose, making astute observations of selfless familial love that is not always visible.

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Book Review: Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

Sandman Slim (Richard Kadrey, 2009) – After eleven years in Hell, James Stark plans his return to Earth for revenge and absolution.

Verdict

Ever wish Hellblazer‘s run went on a little longer? You may want to add Sandman Slim to your reading list.

4/5

Review

Beware the monster who kills monsters, be wary of Sandman Slim. After eleven years of torture in Hell, James Stark has hardened his heart for vengeance. Now, the magician is reborn out of hell fire, almost bullet-proof with a knack for snarky comebacks.

Imagine John Constantine and his flair for the dark arts. Leave his usual British quips aside, and thrown in some American colloquialisms. Make sure his cigarettes, black humour, and massive ego stay intact. There, you have yourself a picture of Stark, a familiar but worthy anti-hero ready to unleash his rage back on Earth.

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Book Review: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven (Emily St. John Mandel, 2014) – Intertwining fates are uncovered as The Travelling Symphony roams Earth after a devastating epidemic.

Verdict

Station Eleven sifts through forgotten memories, examining what it means to be human.

5/5

Review

Of intertwining fates and post-apocalyptic longings, Station Eleven shares the elegance of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas and emotional complexity of Stephen King’s The Stand. These similarities do not draw away from its brilliant originality. An elegiac storyteller, Emily St. John Mandel has painted a beautiful picture of the world as we know it, and a hopeful vision of the future.

Her large band of characters begins their journeys at different points. But they are united in that common struggle to find purpose in life that we all seek. Take Arthur Leander, who has committed his whole life to showbiz, only to find that success in fame is not the answer.

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The Candy Book Tag

I don’t do tags often, since there hasn’t been much free time of late. But this one seems fun. Besides, it’s a holiday as I am drafting this. (Confession: All my posts are scheduled and I’m not really here.)

So thank you to the lovely sisters at Twin Bookmarks for the tag! Do check out their wonderful list here. Now, let’s get going.

Apples – Ah. Healthy food. It is deep, meaningful, and probably won a lot of awards but, um, it really isn’t your thing.

Dear David Foster Wallace, you are an enigma. A genius, but a puzzle all the same. No matter how daunting a book gets, I try to finish them all. Sadly, Infinite Jest turns out a challenge that I just cannot accomplish.

It is admittedly brilliant. I have had lines highlighted and re-written, for I truly fell in love with his poetic observations. Yet my focus meandered as the story did. For a year, this book has sat at 26% on my Kindle. Someday, I intend to get back to my personal Everest.

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Book Review: Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown

Red Rising Trilogy (Pierce Brown, 2014 – 2016) – Lowborn miner Darrow infiltrates the ranks of the elite Golds to bring down a class system that thrives on oppression.

Verdict

An intergalactic war of epic proportions marks the birth of a compelling young hero on terraformed Mars.

4/5

Review

Darrow is a Red, the lowest caste in a colour-coded society. The young Helldiver mines the surface of Mars, content in building a better world for future generations. Then, the truth hits. Humanity has long terraformed the planets. Reds like him are but slaves to the decadent ruling class of Gold.

Only with tragedy is he bestowed a fighting chance. The Sons of Ares, a resistance group, conscripts Darrow into their mission – to impersonate a Gold in the Elite institute and bring down the system from within.

Science fiction at its best, Pierce Brown has built a deeply immersive world of scale, spanning across the galaxy. Diversity is not just in the human race but in distinct aberrant beings, built to their varying upbringing. Even the planets are endowed with individuality. Each caste takes up their own slang, bound to slip into the daily vernacular of Howlers like us.

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