[Roxie Reviews] | ‘The Trouble with Being God’ by William F. Aicher

‘The Trouble With Being God’ by William F. Aicher

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5

Finished on March 29, 2019

FREE on Kindle Unlimited | $4.99 on Kindle | $13.99 in Paperback

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A priest is found naked and crucified in an abandoned building, and it starts a horrifying chain of murders. Investigative journalist, Steven Carvelle, is tasked with writing about them. The story isn’t the only thing on his mind, though. He’s plagued with violent nightmares.

As the murders pile up and the investigation intensifies, Steven realizes there is a horrible parallel between the killings and his dreams.

MY REVIEW:

This was a solid 3.5-star review for me. 

Everyone, except for Miles, in this book are jerks. They’re selfish, bitter, and mean. Even those who claim to love each other don’t step outside of themselves to be tender to anyone else’s needs. A perfect example being that when a little boy loses both parents, those charged with helping him ruminate on how much of an imposition he is. I have a hard time enjoying stories with unlikeable characters. 

Aicher’s writing style saved the story for me, though. His pacing is on point, and the mystery is suspenseful enough to have kept me turning pages late into the night. 

The ending is definitely not for everyone, but I prefer stories that aren’t wrapped up with tiny, perfect bows. 

This is the first thing I’ve read from Aicher, and I will read more in the future. 

[Roxie Reviews] | ‘Dreams, Inc.’ by T.E. Mark

‘Dreams, Inc.: The Novelettes of T.E. Mark — Vol. II’ by T.E. Mark

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5

GIVEN A FREE COPY

Finished on March 25, 2019

FREE on Kindle Unlimited | $3.99 on Kindle | $12.99 in Paperback

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

In a world where dreams are administered artificially by Dreams Inc, and no one sleeps, people are losing interest in reality – opting instead for their manufactured dream worlds. 

A woman unleashes a demon when she follows the recommendation of her sentient machine companion by installing a revolutionary AI programming language. A profound story with a dark and refined grittiness to it. 

Bobby Bright is 17. He’s remote, a gifted design student and a puzzle to everyone. When Annabeth Bachman, a passionate young therapist, uncovers what Bobby’s been working on, her world, his and ours will change forever. A neuronthologist is tasked with extracting the memories of a 17-year-old resistance fighter who can hyper-accelerate – move through solid matter, when he’s caught inside a Pentagon general’s house stealing a top-secret war plan. 

Pinnacle is the future. A future where art and music are unlawful. An austere future where people only see in black and white. And in this tragic future, Douglas and Oulette Fischer have gone on the run to protect their daughter who sings, draws and sees colours.

MY REVIEW:

I was given a free copy of this book.

This collection of novelettes from T.E. Mark is a delightful and provocative read. It contains four stand-alone stories that depict a world where technology has progressed so far that it’s to humanity’s detriment.

None of these stories are duds. They are all thought-provoking, frightening, and profound. Mark’s writing is concise and perfectly-paced. Despite technology taking over society, there is still deep humanity in these tales.

I think my favorite was about Pinnacle, a society that has outlawed all art and forms of self-expression. It’s a world in which no one sees color anymore, and those who do are seen as a threat to Pinnacle’s happiness and conformity. 

It’s a story about a dad who loves and believes in his daughter so much that he’s willing to sacrifice everything for her. It’s a beautiful story.

This book is absolutely worth the price tag, and I look forward to reading more of Mark’s work.

[Roxie Reviews] | ‘The Father’ by Andres Cruciani

‘The Father’ by Andres Cruciani

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5

GIVEN A FREE COPY FOR REVIEW

Finished on March 15, 2019

$2.99 on Kindle | $11.95 in Paperback

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

When Savage comes home one day to find his girlfriend, Sarah, holding their new baby daughter over a bath of scalding water, he makes a decision that will change all of their lives forever. 

He empties their account of money, takes the baby, and runs. But is a life of hiding the meaningful life Savage always believed he’d have?

MY REVIEW:

I was given a free copy of this book.

Savage is a man who believed he was destined for greatness, but his life turns out nothing like he thought it would. He tried to do what he felt was right, but after living with the decision and its consequences, he no longer sure it was the right choice.

‘The Father’ is told through a series of narrations from Savage to a writer he meets in a bar. It’s a confession, one he has needed to release for two decades. It’s obvious it’s weighed on him, molded him, and turned him into the man he became.

Through his monumental decision, he’s forced to change his definition of greatness, and I think that was my favorite — the most compelling — aspect of this story.

Overall, I enjoyed this. The plot is rich and full and flows smoothly. But I was not a fan of the dialog. No one talks the way Savage does. As a character, he has illusions of grandeur, but the dialog reads as pretentious. It was honestly hard to get through sometimes, not because it was over my head, but because it felt cringey.

That being said, this is still a story worth reading. It’s touching and a tale of humanity at its core.