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After manmade natural disasters wiped out most humans and life around the world, war breaks out among the remaining humans. The faction called the Developers want to take the resources from Earth and leave the dying planet behind to join the stars. The Harmonizers want to stay and restore Earth’s resources. Both factions race to stop the other, using deadly, even sadistic measures. After all, the fate of the planet and the human race lies in the balance.
I had my ups and downs with this book to be sure. Aside from the book badly needing a proofreader, the writing itself is well done, only dipping into preachiness about human’s greed a couple of times. The brain curdling torture scenes were deliciously awful and made me stop reading a couple times to look up pictures of pet pigs until I calmed down enough to continue.
I thought I had a stomach for violence. I read Stephen King books and have watched plenty of horror movies. In middle school I reveled in shocking my classmates with presentations of General Sherman’s March to the Sea and torture practices from the Spanish Inquisition. In high school I was the only one who could watch the video of a shark eating a turtle without looking away ( but I ended up crying about shark fin soup later that year).
The point is, violence in books usually doesn’t bother me. But Canterbury takes it to a whole new level in a few of the torture scenes. It wasn’t just the twisted sadism in the scenes that bothered me, however. It was the fact that both sides are tooth achingly aware of the finite resources left and yet they both spend resources making inefficient weapons. The Developers do it in the name of sadism and the Harmonizers end up with weapons that are less effective than gun powder guns. I guess it shows that humans don’t make sense.
There are a lot of characters in this book, but Jasmine is the main character. I didn’t like her at first. I found her too cold-hearted and hot-headed. Granted, she’s in deeper and darker shit than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, but despite her parents dying, she isn’t a sympathetic character for most of the book. Her relationship with Thomas feels as forced as a cheap jigsaw puzzle. Mostly she is indifferent to him or pushing him away. For awhile the only reason she was still with him was out of fear of being alone. And then suddenly she loves him? I never really bought it. Cynthia’s relationship with an alien artificial intelligence robot feels more real and she thought she was hallucinating it.
But I ended up really liking Jasmine in the end, and even Thomas. The plot was fascinating, even a couple of parts I was skeptical about at first and this book turned out to be entertaining, even though I guessed two of the biggest plot “twists” (if you can even call them that) as soon as the foreshadowing again. But one plot twist I didn’t see coming at all, which was great.
I do wish the sides were not so black and white. The Developers were clearly evil with practically no human sides in any main characters while the Harmonizers were clearly peaceful with no dark streaks to be found. It ended up making what could have been a great story about needless conflict and saving the world sound a little like anti space exploration propaganda. That being said, it is still entertaining.
While Canterbury’s writing skills are rough, he has the potential to be a great science fiction/horror writer.
I gave Donald Canterbury an honest review in exchange for a donation to the Borgen Project, a nonprofit that fights extreme poverty. Learn how you can do the same.
In the near future, mankind has exhausted the last of their fossil fuels and a new energy crisis holds the world in its terrifying grip. In a desperate gamble, it turns to geothermal energy and taps the Yellowstone caldera. It’s a success and the entirety of humanity benefits…for a time. Following the devastating eruption that ensues, mankind is forced to pick up the pieces of their shattered world and forms two factions. The Developers, those of humanity set on stripping the Earth of it’s remaining resources and leaving it behind to colonize first the moon, then the stars beyond. The Harmonizers, stalwart defenders of what they believe to be humanity’s one true home, dedicated to being more self-sufficient and eco-minded. As it’s been from the dawn of time when two groups can’t agree, there is strife, chaos, and eventually war. From the ashes of the conflict later to be known as the Great Division, a new species shall rise to see the world that was not of their making. It all begins here, in the first installment of the Of Mice Not Men universe
Of Mice not Men got a spotlight because Donald L. Canterbury was generous enough to donate to the Borgen Project, a nonprofit fighting global poverty. Look out for my book review and author interview with Donald L. Canterbury in the coming weeks.
Doctor Who is a show I’ve been binge-watching recently, not only for the plot and the antics, but also for the amazing love stories in the show. While most people probably don’t consider Doctor Who a romance, that is basically what it is. There are the main love stories, like the Doctor’s love with Rose Tyler, a woman he can never be with, and his marriage with River Song, a time-traveling femme fatale brain-washed to kill the Doctor but falling in love with him anyway. And who can forget Rory and Amy, who have to have the most ideal marriage ever? There are also the single-episode stories, like John Smith and Joan Redfern in “Human Nature” and the Doctor and Astrid in “Voyage of the Damned”. So here are ten books for Doctor Who fans who can’t get enough of these fantastic love stories.
“We should feel nothing toward her, yet I’m drawn to her– as powerfully as I’m drawn to you.”
If you’ve been reading Lover’s Quarrel reviews, then you know how much I love plot and character with my sex scenes. I mean, look at how much I hate The Doctor’s Slave compared to Mine for Tonight when they (very) roughly have the same concept. The scarcity of plot in erotica can be particularly vexing when I’m in the mood for a MMF threesome. (Doesn’t happen often, but even then I want some plot and good characters.)