Posted in Discussions, Personal Blogs

Looking Back on “The Sheep Look Up” by John Brunner During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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I know we’re only halfway through 2020, however, with everything that’s been going on in the world lately, I found it hard not to look back on When the Sheep Look Up by John Brunner. I reviewed this realistic post-apocalyptic novel last year, and such aspects that have stuck with me are how everyone in the story is wearing gas masks, the water is polluted, and there is general unrest amongst the civilians.

With the fear of COVID-19 hanging heavy in the air, most people are sheltering in their homes and leaving the house only if they have to. I know gas masks and protective face masks aren’t the same, but I don’t think that matters in the grand scheme of things.

To make a seemingly tense and stressful situation worse, we are again reminded of the gross mishandling of police officers who have a record of valid complaints. If a police officer has a complaint filed, I think it should be investigated through an unbiased third party. No police officer should have excessive allegations that have been swept under the rug. Just because he has “connections” or is a “good ole boy” makes this unfair to the people they’re sworn to protect.

People are upset. With COVID-19 being the biggest pandemic since the Spanish Flu, and witnessing our own government’s and to a certain extent, our society’s lack of trust of the scientists made this more deadly than it needed to be. The economy and unemployment rates are the worst they’ve been, and we’re still witnesses to police brutality. Everyone is on edge. It’s the perfect deadly stew for public unrest.

We need justice, we need peace, and until then, stay safe and don’t do anything stupid. If you want to read my thoughts on The Sheep Look Up Click Here to read my review!

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Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

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*No Major Spoilers*

In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

It has been a bit since I last reviewed a zombie apocalypse novel. I was starting to get burnt out on the genre, but now that’s in the past. I had always been interested in this series, but the Young Adult genre deters me sometimes.

I decided to try it, and I started reading a physical copy but found an audiobook. So I am considering this a hybrid of the two mediums.

This novel really drove home what the differences were between the survivors, monsters (being zombies), and the real monsters (those who prey on the weak and defenseless). Being secluded like Ben had been, I could understand why he believed the only real monsters were the zombies right outside their gated safe haven.

“Often it was the most unlikely people who found within themselves a spark of something greater. It was probably always there, but most people are never tested, and they go through their whole lives without ever knowing that when things are at their worst, they are at their best.” – Jonathan Maberry, Rot & Ruin

Watching Ben grow and learn about the world after “The First Night” was endearing and heartbreaking. I can understand how you believe one thing about how the world works, and when you actually get out in it, things that you thought you knew might be completely different.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. It had a great cast of characters that grew and changed throughout the novel. And I won’t spoil the ending, but you’ll be reaching for the tissues. I would recommend this for lovers of Young Adult FictionPost Apocalyptic novels, and for those who can’t get enough of zombies. I would also recommend this novel who are looking for a good and fulfilling story.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Manga

REVIEW: Giant Spider & Me: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale Vol. 1 by Kikori Morino

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*No Spoilers*

In a world that has flooded, Nagi lives deep in the mountain. When she happens to run across a giant spider, they make an unusual pair. Needing each others company, and enjoying home-cooked meals. Join them in this strange friendship as they spend their days cooking and enjoying life in the wilderness.

I found this manga series on an app called “Manga Rock” where you can read mangas for free. I thought this would make for an interesting and quick read. So I gave it a try!

I am afraid of spiders, especially tarantulas. I’ve had a fear of spiders ever since I can remember. So this manga gave me the major creeps. Somehow, the art style and design choices made me tolerate this spider friend.

I love how each chapter is not only centered on this unusual friendship but on the meals they share together! I love the cozy and homey feel of this story.

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As Nagi waits for her father to return from his latest adventure, it is comforting to have a friend in a world filled with beauty and danger. Nagi can rely on nature to provide her the ingredients she needs for her home-cooked meals, but there are wild dogs in the forests around Nagi’s home. Seeing the spider friend protect her makes the desolate world a better place overall.

I thoroughly enjoyed this simple manga. It has heart, character, and yummy recipes to enjoy for yourself. I would recommend this manga for lovers of “Slice of Life” and home-cooked meals with a story attached to them.