October Reading Log.

Four books this month. I’m behind on my reading goals by 2 books as of today, so I need to read a lot more soon.

Feed – M.T. Anderson

“We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.”
How can you not be drawn in by that opening line? Titus and his friends are going to the moon for spring break. There, he meets Violet, who’s also on the moon for Spring break. There, they hang out, until an incident changes their lives.

I picked this book up thanks to a page on tvtropes. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but I enjoyed it. The future world Titus and his friends inhabit is much like ours, but obviously more downtrodden. Everyone has access to the Feed, which beams information directly to everyone’s brain. They see advertisements, are able to order things over it, it builds a profile for them, suggesting things they’ll like, they can talk to each other over it, can transfer their memories to each other, and pull up any information that the Feed contains, so there’s no need to learn anything. Everyone is so wrapped up in the Feed that they don’t see most of the crapsack world they live in. They don’t notice the world deteriorating around them, or the countries threatening to launch nukes.

Titus is kind of a boring character. He wants to rebel with Violet, but in the end, it’s too hard for him, so he just gives up. The only thing he tends to excel at is letting people down. Violet ends up being a more interesting character, but we don’t get all that much from her point of view.

The way the world works takes a little getting used to, since there’s a future slang built up, and it operates differently than you’d expect: meat is grown on farms, like plants, for example. The book also has an ambiguous ending, but in the end, it’s worth checking out.

 

The Slave – Kate Aaron

I read this one for a Carpe Librum swap. I also read it because I picked it up on BookBub for free. Ultimately, it was good enough for me to buy the remaining part of the series, so I guess I liked it well enough.

Set on another planet, Tam has been sent to a slave auction to purchase another pleasure slave. He ends up choosing Kai, a warrior that’s been forced into slavery. Kai adapts to being a slave slowly, while Tam feels torn between his interest in Kai and his love for his Master.

Just when things seem to be evening out, the plot shows up, and things go south. It reminds me kind of Twilight, in that the plot doesn’t show up until nearly the end. Unlike Twilight though, there’s no ending. There’s a cliffhanger that annoyed the hell out of me. Like I said though, I bought the rest of the series, so I guess I can get over the the cliffhanger.

 

The Change – Angela White

Another Bookbub pickup, I decided one day to read it. It’s five hundred year in the future, and thanks to war, poisons, and diseases, 95% of the people born are female. These women are also affected by something that makes them into Changelings, where they essentially Hulk out and go crazy. The only thing that keeps them sane is the touch of a male, and in some cases, will break them. As a result, males are carefully guarded by their families, or sold into servitude to The Network.

The Network is a the shadowy government that managed to get a city going where New York city used to be. No one know who runs The Network, but they own all the television stations, all the radio, and essentially all communication. To keep people occupied, they run gameshows. Some are kind of like the Running Man, where people sentenced to death compete against nearly impossible odds to win freedom, but the most popular is the Bachelor Battles. Women compete against each other in a fight to the death. The last one standing wins her pick of a bachelor from a specific lot.

Candice Pruett has entered the Bachelor Battles with one thing on her mind: win, and take home Daniel, her former childhood playmate, and first love. Winning the games is the easy part. What comes after is much harder than Candice figured. Daniel’s been mistreated, and lost most of his memories, so he doesn’t remember her. All he sees is the woman who’s violent in the cage, the woman with the scary grin, and history of being a bounty hunter.

Once Candice gets Daniel home, he begins to recover his memories. At the same time, The Network is trying keep control of its citizens, and restore order. They use Candice, and her family, to try and do both things, while also getting rid of the Pruetts, as The Network can’t control them.

The worst past of this book was the first third. It starts with history lesson on how the world ended up where it did, with a 95% population of females, many bloodthirsty she Hulks. Then it shifts to the Bachelor Battles, which is a terrible name for a gameshow, by the way. Candice is ruthless, and cuts through most of the women pretty quickly, while also dodging assassination attempts, and baiting interviewers. She then claims Daniel, and they move to the winner’s quarters for 3 days, while Daniel’s paperwork is put in order, and transportation arrangements set up. Candice isn’t really a likable character through this. She’s single minded, and counting on one thing, and it makes her really one sided.

Once she gets home, she turns into a more interesting character, and after a bit, so does Daniel. The rest of the family is introduced better, and then the plot moves on. I enjoyed the book quite a bit more after that (enough to buy the next one), but it’s not a book I’d put on my “to re-read” shelf.

 

Changling Winds – Angela White

Angelica Pruett is the younger cousin to Candice. After seeing her cousin win and take a mate from the Bachelor Battles, she’s determined to be the next winner. Like her cousin, she’s a changeling, and having a harder time of it than her cousin did. A mate, a man with a real spark, is the only thing that can possibly give her what she desires: remission from The Change.

This one is a better book than the previous one. I’m familiar with most of the characters, and there’s less time spent on the back story of the world, and the Bachelor Battles. Angelica shows up and wins without the problems Candice faced. She chooses her mate and finds out he may not be the answer to all her problems. In addition to being mostly interested in joining with the rebellion, he’s also been a plaything of the head of security since he was brought there. She hasn’t allowed him to be a breeder, or be with another woman, and now that he’s nearly 25, he’ll be put up for auction, and she’ll buy him. He’s desperate to escape. And sadly, I can’t remember his name, and I don’t have the book handy.

Angelica and her bachelor make an agreement: she’ll get him to the rebels. However, Ranking, head of security, isn’t willing to give the bachelor up, and follows them. That’s where the book gets more interesting, as Angelica and her crew meet more interesting people. We also meet Sam, Angelica’s sister, and you can see she’s going to be in the next book.

This book certainly had a lot more going for it than the first book, as more time was spent with the rebels than on the battles. A few places are hard to suspend disbelief for though, like what’s keeping a leper colony underground and away from everyone else, and the giant snakes. I started to phase out for those bits, because it was just a little too far fetched. The rest was entertaining enough.

There isn’t a third book, which bums me out, as I’d really like to know what happens next.