“That’s how the madness of the world tries to colonize you: from the outside in, forcing you to live in its reality.”

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Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .   This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below. This week’s theme:

You know your A, B, Cs – a cover made up only of letters/words

I had a few covers in mind for this but I’ve gone for Annihilation (Southern Reach #1) by Jeff VanderMeer (Borne would have been another good choice by the same author).  I don’t think I’ve ever had such a varied selection of strange and wonderful covers:

I’m torn with this one – I like the first three on the last row but my favourite is going to be:

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There’s just a sense of something really coming alive on this cover.

Which is your favourite?

Next week – a cover that features grass

Future themes:

26th January – “The grass is always greener on the other side of personal extinction” – a cover featuring grass

2nd February – Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – a Psychedelic cover

9th February – ‘My what big teeth you have’ – a cover featuring a cloaked figure 

16th February – ‘Groovy baby’ – a cover that is: Retro

23rd February – “There are too many steps in this castle, and it seems to me they add a few every night, just to vex me”  – a cover featuring a staircase

2nd March – ‘The only true wisdom is to know that you know nothing’ – a cover featuring something from Greek mythology

9th March – ‘…but Icarus flew too close’ – a cover featuring the Sun

16th March – ‘I got no strings to hold me down’ – a cover featuring a doll or puppet

23rd March – “When she was a child, the witch locked her away in a tower that had neither doors nor stairs.” – a cover featuring a Tower

30th March – ‘A little soil to make it grow’ – a cover featuring seeds/spores

6th April –  “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” – a cover featuring a family

13th April – ‘lawns and rocks and heather and different sorts of trees, lay spread out below them, the river winding through it’ –  a cover featuring a panorama

20th April – Where there’s fire there’s… – a cover featuring smoke

27th April – ‘Those darling byegone times… with their delicious fortresses, and their dear old dungeons, and their delightful places of torture’ – a cover that is positively mediaeval 

4th May-  ‘A Hand without a hand? A bad jape, sister.’ – a cover featuring a hand/hands

11th May – ‘Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth’ – a cover featuring a dinosaur/s

18th May – ‘Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;’ – a cover featuring a gravestone

25th May – Trip trap, trip trap, trip trap – a cover featuring footsteps

1st June – clinging and invasive – a cover featuring creeping vines

8th June – Raining Cats and Dogs – a cover featuring a stormy sky

Weekly Wrap Up : 11/6/17

So, my reading this week has not been brilliant!  I did complete the Prey of Gods which is absolutely awesome.  And, I’ve also read Borne by Jeff VanderMeer – which is a crazy read – review to follow.

  1. The Court of Broken Knives (Empires of Dust #1)
  2. The Bones of the Earth (Bound Gods #2) by Rachel Dunne

My cover compare this week is The Court of Broken Knives:

Which is your favourite?

How was your week?  What you currently reading?

Friday Firsts : Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

FridayFirsts
Friday Firsts
 is a new meme that runs every Friday over on Tenacious Reader. The idea is to feature the first few sentences/paragraph of your current book and try and outline your first impressions as a result. This is a quick and easy way to share a snippet of information about your current read and to perhaps tempt others.  Stop on by and link up with Tenacious Reader.    This Friday I’m reading :  Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

 

I found Borne on a sunny gunmetal day when the giant Mord came roving near our home.  To me, Borne was just salvage at first.  I didn’t know that he would change everything.

 

Borne was not much to look at that first time: dark purple and about the size of my fist, clinging to Mord’s fur like a half-closed stranded sea anemone.  I found him only because, beacon-like, he strobed emerald green across the purple every half minute or so.

Come close, I could smell the brine, rising in a wave, and for a moment there was no ruined city around me, no search for food and water, no roving gangs and escaped, altered creatures of unknown origin or intent.  No mutilated, burned bodies dangling from broken streetlamps.

Instead, for a dangerous moment, this thing I’d found was from the tidal pools of my youth, before I’d come to the city.  I could smell the pressed-flower twist of the salt and feel the wind, knew the chill of the water rippling over my feet.  The long hunt for seashells, the gruff sound of my father’s voice, the upward lilt of my mother’s.  The honey warmth of the sand engulfing my feet as I looked toward the horizon and the white sails of ships that told of visitors from beyond our island.  If I had ever lived on an island. If that had ever been true.

The sun above the carious yellow of one of Mord’s eyes.

My First Impressions

Wow, what a start.  I’m fascinated already and that’s just from a few scant sentences cast into paragraphs.  Ruined cities, salvage – and escaped altered creatures.  I’m excited to read this.

What you reading this Friday??  What are your first impressions??

*The above excerpt was taken from an advanced reader copy and it is possible that the final version may have further changes.

Waiting on Wednesday: Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was created by Breaking the Spine.  Every Wednesday we get to highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  My book this week is : Borne by Jeff VanderMeer.  This book sounds crazy good and check out the two covers – no idea what is going on with these – they’re so unusual.

In a ruined, nameless city of the future, a woman named Rachel, who makes her living as a scavenger, finds a creature she names “Borne” entangled in the fur of Mord, a gigantic, despotic bear. Mord once prowled the corridors of the biotech organization known as the Company, which lies at the outskirts of the city, until he was experimented on, grew large, learned to fly and broke free. Driven insane by his torture at the Company, Mord terrorizes the city even as he provides sustenance for scavengers like Rachel.

At first, Borne looks like nothing at all—just a green lump that might be a Company discard. The Company, although severely damaged, is rumoured to still make creatures and send them to distant places that have not yet suffered Collapse.

Borne somehow reminds Rachel of the island nation of her birth, now long lost to rising seas. She feels an attachment she resents; attachments are traps, and in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet when she takes Borne to her subterranean sanctuary, the Balcony Cliffs, Rachel convinces her lover, Wick, not to render Borne down to raw genetic material for the drugs he sells—she cannot break that bond.

Wick is a special kind of supplier, because the drug dealers in the city don’t sell the usual things. They sell tiny creatures that can be swallowed or stuck in the ear, and that release powerful memories of other people’s happier times or pull out forgotten memories from the user’s own mind—or just produce beautiful visions that provide escape from the barren, craterous landscapes of the city.

Against his better judgment, out of affection for Rachel or perhaps some other impulse, Wick respects her decision. Rachel, meanwhile, despite her loyalty to Wick, knows he has kept secrets from her. Searching his apartment, she finds a burnt, unreadable journal titled “Mord,” a cryptic reference to the Magician (a rival drug dealer) and evidence that Wick has planned the layout of the Balcony Cliffs to match the blueprint of the Company building. What is he hiding? Why won’t he tell her about what happened when he worked for the Company?

Release date: June 15th 2017

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Woah, just finished reading Annihilation and, seeing as how I’m having a week of confessions I’ll continue in the same vein.  What the hell just really happened!  Yes, I own up that I’m a little bit puzzled – but, this isn’t in a bad way and frankly it’s clearly the intention of the author to leave a lot of things unspoken – whether that’s for this particular book or for future instalments – who knows.  What I do know is that this is a dark, creepy, spooky, threatening and intensely psychological read.  Strangely compelling and a bit surreal.

At the start of the story four women cross over the boundary into Area X.  We learn very little about what the actual boundary ‘constitutes’ or Area X for that matter – is it some strange experiment zone that has gone horribly wrong, is it a different realm somehow?  It’s all a bit vague and to be honest more creepy because of the lack of explanation.  All we know is that four women have set up camp with the objective of taking back samples and observations – and more expressly being told not to be contaminated.  This isn’t the first expedition and I dare say it won’t be the last but as the story goes forward we learn that not only are there unknown quantities to be found in Area X but also amongst these latest visitors.  There are secrets that will be revealed not to mention that the authorities who organised this little foray into the unknown may have been a little less than honest with what they already know.  Secrets and lies all around, on top of which I wouldn’t say the four members of this particular crew are chummy!  There feels like an animosity between them – a little bit more of the why eventually being revealed.

This is only a short story and it gets off to a fairly immediate start.  The narrative is related through one of the expedition members – the biologist – and the story stops here and there to give a bit more background about her.  We don’t find out names – which all adds to the creepy feel – you almost feel like you can’t become attached and there’s a terrible sense of foreboding that something horrible is going to happen to each one of them.  Then the author throws in background and past experiences from the biologist which makes you latch onto her with a profound sense of relief.  It’s like the author has somehow made you flounder around and then thrown a lifeline.  And, so you follow the story of the biologist, jumping back and forward on occasion as she casts her mind back in some form or revelation or self recrimination – and yet, rather than diluting the suspense of the novel this only serves to increase it.

I can’t really give a lot more away to be honest because it would be so easy to be all spoilery!  This is a scary little number, I’d class it as horror although a true horror reader may think that it’s light on that aspect.  I’m also not going to deny that it probably wouldn’t be for everyone.  Not because it’s particularly horrific but more a rating of ‘hide behind a cushion’.  It’s the whole creepiness of Area X really.  Anything seems to go here – it’s like a Nightmare on Event Horizon.  In fact it’s nothing like that – it’s just messed up!  I will certainly be reading the next in the series.  Yes, it’s not the kind of book that you come away saying ‘I enjoyed that’ – that statement would just be wrong!  It scared me a little bit, in fact I was near the ending but didn’t finish as I was up alone so saved the remainder until the light of day!  It intrigued me a lot!  And, it gripped me.  It was surreal in parts and I’m not really sure what is going on in this zone – I certainly hope it doesn’t spread any further and let’s say it’s safe to say I won’t be volunteering for a trip any time soon!