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All Systems Red and Artificial Condition by Martha Wells | Thoughts

      Published on : 2017 & 2018   ||    Format : ebook   ||    Location : Space One line review : When a planetary mission goes wrong, it is up to an android to come up with a way to rescue its clients, even it rescue appears very difficult. ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   I am not a combat murderbot, I’m Security. I keep things from attacking the clients and try to gently discourage the clients from attacking each other. Thoughts : I had been hearing a lot of good things about the Murderbot series by Martha Wells, and when I tried to look up these books in my library website, the waiting lists were at least one month long, so by the time I had a copy available to read, my expectations were sky-high. Currently, the Murderbot series contains 5 novels (with the sixth coming later this month) and 2 novellas. Of these, the fifth book, Network Effect starts a new storyline while the first four novels are part of the same story arc. As of right now, I have read the first novella ( Compulsory ) and the fir

Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice | Thoughts

Published in: 2018   ||   Format: ebook   ||   Location: Canada



One line review: When the world comes crashing, some people shutdown while others elevate their community. Which one will you be?

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

Yes, apocalypse. We've had that over and over. But we always survived. We're still here. And we'll still be here, even if the power and the radios don't come back on and we never see any white people again.


Thoughts:

Evan Whitesky returns home after a whole day of hunting to realize that his mobile phone had lost network sometime during the day. He doesn't think a lot about it then but over the next few days, his community loses electricity and their landline connection as well. To make matters worse, they are unable to contact anyone from the city to inquire when services can be restored. With the never-ending blizzard, it was not feasible for someone to simply drive to the nearest city and find out what's going on. Soon, they have to start conserving what little electric power they had thanks to their generator and food also needs to be rationed. 

In the middle of all this, two of their young community members return from college in fear, bearing news of absolute terror in the cities. Not long after that, visitors start showing up at their doorstep - claiming to be from the cities and looking for refuge. Except they don't always follow the community guidelines and seem to have ulterior motives.

Moon of the Crusted Snow was a harrowing take on what apocalypse could look like in a small Anishinaabe community - how different members of the community respond to the unknowns, the reality of the dwindling resources, and the visitors who come looking for help (do we help them and thus further divide the meager food among us or do we refuse to take them in?). As with any community, there is a wide variety of reactions, and different members step up while others only look out for themselves. 

I liked the intimate focus on many of the characters. Many of them stepped up in various ways while others shut down. While some started to turn towards the land and their traditions as a way to cope and get stronger, others didn't show the same amount of respect or interest in those ways. That said, the bad guys were mostly bad, and the good guys were mostly good. I would have liked a little more multi-dimensionality to their characters. Apocalypse, collapse, end of the times, call it whatever you wish but these are tragic times. Living through this pandemic has shown it. If grocery stores and supply chain had actually collapsed, would we be as thankful for the increased family time that the pandemic has provided? To be fair, this isn't something that bothered me during reading the book at all. It wasn't intended to be as much of a character study as it was about community study. But thinking back to the book days later, I felt that perspective missing.

I read this book right in the middle of the biggest snow storm that my area has seen this decade. It was white outside, dreary looking, and temperatures were dropping. So I didn't have any trouble trying to envision what could happen should society collapse around us. That only made my reading experience richer but you do not need to be in a snowstorm to read this book. In fact, I actually suggest you read this during a more optimistic time because this book is VERY atmospheric and reads very well. 

If I had any issue, it was that I thought this book could have gone through a tighter editing - there was too much repetition and also too much focus on the mundane. I did appreciate some of the mundaneness - it gave a kind of predictability, relief, and calm to the story and it didn't take away any of the fast pacing. But it could have been just as good without it as well. 


Are you ready to read apocalyptic fiction yet?

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