Monthly Archives: August 2018

This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us

I guess you could say I’ve been on a little big of a weirdness binge. But what can I say, I like weird movies, shows and books. Edgar Cantero’s new book was definitely weird, and certainly not for everyone, but on the whole, I enjoyed it.

After reading Meddling Kids, and seeing the cover for This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us, I expected this book to be a Jekyll and Hyde type of story, but it was something else entirely.

Private Investigator A.Z. Kimrean in unique within the business–and not just for unconventional methods and a seriously outdated license. A.Z. is two people, a brother and sister, who share one body. Adrian is all analytical and logical, the one who is really good at the P.I. stuff. Zooey, on the other hand, is all impulse and vice, getting distracted by every little thing.

When the San Francisco Police Department calls them in to help out an undercover cop working within a drug cartel, they’ll need help from each other to solve the case, stop an all-out gang war, save what innocents they can, and come out alive themselves.

Cantero has mastered the art of writing spoofy, slapstick novels. Imagine reading a novel of Space Balls, or Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Cantero’s novels are definitely for an older audience, he is a little vulgar, and this book especially has a lot of references to various vices. But, if you can get past the rough edges of Cantero’s characters, his books are enjoyable.

So if you’re looking for something different to read, and you don’t mind weird with a heavy dose of the dark side of human nature, This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us is a good place to start.

My Husband’s Wife

I loved Jane Corry’s second book, Blood Sisters, so I naturally jumped at the chance to read her debut novel, My Husband’s Wife.

Lily and her new husband Ed should be enjoying the blissful times after the honeymoon, but the strain of Ed’s floundering artist career and Lily’s law career are proving to be challenged. Lily is putting all her time into the big case that could make or break her career–the appeal of a man convicted of murder.

Their next door neighbor, a young girl named Carla, becomes their buffer, a distraction from their failing marriage. Years later, Ed and Lily are still muddling through marriage when Carla enters their lives again, but this time, everyone’s got secrets, and no one is going to get out unscathed.

I didn’t like this book as much as Blood Sisters, but it’s still an excellent book with twists and turns. I will say, I feel like I wanted a lot of time trying to understand the title, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense until the end. And while Lily’s marriage was a central theme in the present, there were so many other things going on in the book that were teased so much more, it just added a layer of confusion, trying to connect all the sub elements to the title.

Corry’s characters all have a mixture of good and bad in them, maybe more bad than good, to be honest. But it keeps them interesting, and keeps you intrigued, wondering what they will do next.

All in all, it was a good read, and certainly very well done for a debut novel. I’m excited to see what Corry will write next.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Since Margaret Atwood’s book got popular again, thanks to the Hulu show, I’ve figured I ought to read the book, and now I finally got a chance to.

Set in a dystopian future, Gilead (formerly the U.S.) is running short on babies, which makes women who are able to bear children a commodity. The rich and powerful are able to afford a handmaid, a young woman to bear a child when the wife cannot.

Offred is one such handmaid, who is able to, at some point, document her story– daily life as a handmaid, snippets of the indoctrination, and memories from life before. And while Offred, like most, wants to live, she also craves more, haunted by the memory of her lost love.

Atwood creates a compelling dystopian society filled with characters with depth. Not a single character is cut and dry, and Atwood’s story shows how circumstances can change people more than they ever thought possible.

I can see why the creators of the show decided to continue on, despite the first season covering the entirety of the book. And while the ambiguous ending can be exasperating, I think Atwood uses it as a challenge, not only to think about society and where it might be heading, but also of how narratives are shaped, and how they are shared.

I enjoy the style of the two books I’ve read by Atwood, very much reading as though you are there, in the mind of the character, seeing through her eyes, understanding and processing as she does. It makes for a quick and engaging read.

So if you’re like me, and don’t always like jumping on the bandwagon, still give The Handmaid’s Tale a chance. It’s a different kind of story, to say the least.

The Other Woman

It’s not often that I read a book that makes me angry to read, but Sandie Jones’ debut novel was a challenge for me to get through.

Emily and Adam are entangled in the perfect relationship. Everything is going well, with the exception of Adam’s mother, Pammie, who seems to hate Emily. Pammie won’t stop at anything until Emily is out of the picture and she is once again the only woman in Adam’s life.

The problem is, Adam can’t see how his mother is behaving, and yet seems like their relationship may not be strong enough, or perfect enough, to stand the strain.

On the whole, The Other Woman wasn’t bad. It was fast paced and chock full of drama that keeps you wondering about everyone’s motives.

What frustrated me about the book–and it is a completely personal opinion and not actually the author’s fault–was how Emily is so in love with Adam that she’s willing to overlook the fact that he will not put her first, which seems like a pretty big sign to me that it’s not the right person. And Emily spent nearly the whole book justifying her fiancé’s behavior and convincing herself that she’s overreacting. That made it hard for me to read.

All in all, I’m sorry to say The Other Woman probably isn’t one I’ll be recommending when it hits shelves in August, not unless someone is looking for a book to get them nice and angry.

Earth Strike

Always on the prowl for a good science fiction story that fills the void in my life, I’ve wanted to give Ian Douglas a try for a while. Since no one ever bought it for me for Christmas, I decided to buy it myself a while back.

Earth Strike is the first book in the Star Carrier series. Humanity is a space-faring species, advancing quickly in technology. But that seems to be making an enigmatic alien species uncomfortable, and a cold war between species is heating up. Now, Earth and humanity are fighting for their lives, trying to keep ahead of a species they know nothing about.

Full of identity crises and space battles, Earth Strike is action-packed from the very beginning and keeps going until the last pages.

The first thing I noticed was that, though it’s its own series, I would have been better off starting with the series he wrote first. I believe it would have given me context on the way this reality is set up. There were a few typos that bugged me too, but that’s neither here nor there.

When I started in, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. I was expecting a little more of space odyssey, but it was more of a military novel set in space. It wasn’t bad, just not quite what I expected. I’ll probably continue the series, at some point. I did enjoy it, and I’m interested to get deeper inside the minds of some of the characters. But, at the end of the day, it’s not a series that is all consuming, and that’s the kind of science fiction I was looking for. So the search will continue, at some point.