Slaughterhouse-Five – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Published in 1969

Pages: 275

Genre: Satire, science fiction, dark comedy

“All this happened, more or less.”

Writers are told that the first sentence of their book should simultaneously catch the reader’s eye and set the tone for the story; Vonnegut has achieved both of these with the infamous opening line of Slaughterhouse-Five. Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist, is a man who has come unstuck in time. This doesn’t happen to him of his own accord but is simply something that does happen, will happen, and has always happened. The story of Slaughterhouse-Five flows in and out of time, can be confusing at parts, but finds its way back on course over the years of Billy’s life.

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The Graveyard Book – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Illustrations by Dave McKean

Published in 2008

Pages: 312

Genre: Fantasy, horror, children’s literature

“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.”

A man stalks up the stairs of an English house, searching for his final victim. Blood drips from the knife in his hand as he nears the finish of his dark deed. Victory, however, is not to be his. So begins The Graveyard Book, the tale of a baby toddling into a graveyard and being taken in by those who walk (0r float) in the twilight. Setting the tone for the book, the opening details a killer known as the man Jack who looks for the remaining child of a family of four who were fated to fall to his blade; or so he thought.

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Cat’s Cradle – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Published in 1963

Pages: 270

Genre: Satire

“Call me Jonah.”

Cat’s Cradle is a story of satirical strangeness and absurd action. A man who calls himself by another name writes in retrospect regarding his research for a book about the end of the world and unwittingly finds himself present at the subject of his novel. Fraught with sarcasm and sardonic criticism of science, religion, technology, war, and many other topics, Cat’s Cradle showcases Kurt Vonnegut’s knack for the nearly nonsensical. (I need to lay off on the alliteration…yeesh)

The book begins with the narrator, John, describing his attempts to write a book about the day that the atom bomb was dropped over Hiroshima; he decides to research Dr. Felix Hoenikker, who was regarded as one of the fathers of the bomb. Through his research, Hoenikker’s strange personality and life story are revealed as John is thrust into…

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Snuff – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

Snuff by Terry Pratchett

Published in 2011

Pages: 470

Genre: Fantasy, satire

“The goblin experience of the world is the cult or perhaps religion of Unggue.”

Commander Samuel Vimes is being pushed out of the very occupation he lives for by the one thing a career criminal catcher fears the most: vacation. In Snuff, this catalyst sends Vimes and his family off to their country estate so he can take a much needed holiday. Well, much needed in the opinion of everyone except Sam Vimes. However, it isn’t long into the trip that trouble rears its ugly head in the shape of a mysterious murder. True to his nature, Vimes jumps at the chance to bring justice to the ne’er-do-wells among the knolls.

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The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

Published in 1979, revised and updated in 2001

Pages: 780

Genre: Nonfiction, biography

“On the late afternoon of 27 October 1858, a flurry of activity disturbed the genteel quietness of East Twentieth Street, New York City.”

Theodore Roosevelt is among the most famous of American presidents for good reason. Social reform, foreign policy expertise, and his famous mustache all come to mind when thinking about the 26th president of the United States. What The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt brings to the table is the tale of his not-so-humble beginnings and how he rose above sickness, the juggernaut of machine politics, and the concerns of naysayers to be one of the most influential men of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt covers the future president’s life beginning with his birth in 1858 and ending with his…

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Void Stalker – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

Void Stalker by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Originally published in 2012, Limited Edition (pictured above) published in 2016

Pages: 462

Genre: Science fiction, military fiction

 “It knew itself only as the Eldest.”

The Exalted is dead and now Talos leads the beleaguered remains of the 10th and 11th companies of the Eighth Legion aboard the reclaimed warship Echo of Damnation. This is where we find First Claw and the cast of characters from the previous books in Void Stalker. After experiencing a frightening prophecy which makes up the prologue, Talos awakens and finds himself facing a world he thought he would never see again. With no memory of directing his subordinates to head to the planet (Tsagualsa), Talos must figure out why he has returned to the place where the Legion separated into its disparate war bands centuries ago.

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Blood Reaver – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

Blood Reaver by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Originally published in 2011, Limited Edition (pictured above) published in 2016

Pages:  407

Genre: Science fiction, military fiction

“The Covenant of Blood tore through the warp, splitting the secret tides like a spear of strained cobalt and flawed gold.”

Blood Reaver takes place a few months after the end of Soul Hunter. Octavia is now the navigator of the Night Lord’s strike cruiser, Covenant of Blood, Talos and First Claw continue to fight and live in the darkness that surrounds them physically and mentally, and Septimus is still a slave; albeit a slave with some sexy facial bionics. Like Soul Hunter, the title refers to an actual character in the book and in this case it is the Tyrant of Badab, Huron Blackheart of the Red Corsairs traitor Space Marines. Years of battle damage have taken their toll on the Covenant of Blood

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