Book Review: Walk the Vanished Earth by Erin Swan

Walk the Vanished Earth
Author:
Erin Swan

Published: May 31, 2022
384 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

The year is 1873, and a bison hunter named Samson travels the Kansas plains, full of hope for his new country. The year is 1975, and an adolescent girl named Bea walks those very same plains; pregnant, mute, and raised in extreme seclusion, she lands in an institution, where a well-meaning psychiatrist struggles to decipher the pictures she draws of her past. The year is 2027 and, after a series of devastating storms, a tenacious engineer named Paul has left behind his banal suburban existence to build a floating city above the drowned streets that were once New Orleans. There with his poet daughter he rules over a society of dreamers and vagabonds who salvage vintage dresses, ferment rotgut wine out of fruit, paint murals on the ceiling of the Superdome, and try to write the story of their existence. The year is 2073, and Moon has heard only stories of the blue planet–Earth, as they once called it, now succumbed entirely to water. Now that Moon has come of age, she could become a mother if she wanted to-if only she understood what a mother is. Alone on Mars with her two alien uncles, she must decide whether to continue her family line and repopulate humanity on a new planet.

A sweeping family epic, told over seven generations, as America changes and so does its dream, Walk the Vanished Earth explores ancestry, legacy, motherhood, the trauma we inherit, and the power of connection in the face of our planet’s imminent collapse.

This is a story about the end of the world–but it is also about the beginning of something entirely new. Thoughtful, warm, and wildly prescient, this work of bright imagination promises that, no matter what the future looks like, there is always room for hope.

Kim’s Review:

I’m starting to see differences within the sci-fi genre. And unfortunately, this book is in the group that I’m not a super huge fan of. I’m glad I read it; it’s an overall good story, I just feel like it wasn’t for me. It’s a multi timeline, multi POV story that covers a lot! The story line I liked most was that of Moon, an odd child in the care of a pair of odd robotic beings on an odd quest to save the human race and discover her own origins. She falls under the more traditional title of sci-fi and I wish I could have a book just about her. The rest of it was just necessary context for me. I didn’t really have any emotional attachment to most of the characters and the overplayed apocalyptic climate change trope just bored me. It’s definitely not a loss because it kept me entertained while reading and I am glad I did … I just don’t feel much for it now that I’m done with it. But … that cover!!!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Stoker’s Manuscript by Royce Prouty

Stoker’s Manuscript
Author:
Royce Prouty

Published: June 13, 2013
352 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 2.5 stars

Book Description:

When rare-manuscript expert Joseph Barkeley is hired to authenticate and purchase the original draft and notes for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, little does he know that the reclusive buyer is a member of the oldest family in Transylvania.

After delivering the manuscript to the legendary Bran Castle in Romania, Barkeley—a Romanian orphan himself—realizes to his horror that he’s become a prisoner to the son of Vlad Dracul. To earn his freedom, Barkeley must decipher cryptic messages hidden in the text of the original Dracula that reveal the burial sites of certain Dracul family members. Barkeley’s only hope is to ensure that he does not exhaust his usefulness to his captor until he’s able to escape. Soon he discovers secrets about his own lineage that suggest his selection for the task was more than coincidence. In this knowledge may lie Barkeley’s salvation—or his doom. For now he must choose between a coward’s flight and a mortal conflict against an ancient foe.

Building on actual international events surrounding the publication of Bram Stoker’s original novel, Royce Prouty has written a spellbinding debut novel that ranges from 1890s Chicago, London, and Transylvania to the perilous present.

Kim’s Review:

The poor man’s Historian is the best I can say. The first half had some major potential band I was really excited … but then the second half was such a let down! There was no real mystery, there wasn’t a quest, it just all felt so silly and inconsequential! And you’d think that having more vampires, some weird rituals, and a global conspiracy would make the story better! They didn’t. By the time I got 2/3s of the way through, I just didn’t care anymore and turned the pages in order to finish quickly.

Maybe if I hadn’t read The Historian, I would have liked it better. But I kept comparing them, and Stoker’s Manuscript didn’t even come close! Honestly, I can’t even say I’m glad I read it or recommend it to anyone. Just go read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and you’ll have everything and much more than what this book could give you.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Audio ARC Review: The Prisoner by B.A. Paris

The Prisoner
Author: B.A. Paris

Narrator: Georgia Maguire
To Be Published: November 1, 2022
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: September 12-16, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 2.5 stars

Book Description:

Amelie has always been a survivor, from losing her parents as a child in Paris to making it on her own in London. As she builds a life for herself, she is swept up into a glamorous lifestyle where she married the handsome billionaire Ned Hawthorne.

But then, Amelie wakes up in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is. Why has she been taken? Who are her mysterious captors? And why does she soon feel safer here, imprisoned, than she had begun to feel with her husband Ned?

Jessica’s Review:

I have enjoyed most of B.A. Paris’ novels, but last year’s The Therapist didn’t work for me and now The Prisoner failed me.  And she started so strong with her debut of Behind Closed Doors.

We have Amelie who is our narrator for both past and present. And we get to know her and what has happened in her past to make her who she is today. The premise was intriguing for me: Amelie locked in a dark room alone, what’s she to do?  Why is she being held there?  Just what is going on?

The novel just became a muddled mess and I thought it was going in one direction, but it wasn’t. As it progressed and we started figuring things out at the end I found myself just not caring anymore. I felt this is a novel that had a lot of potential that just wasn’t for me.  I did like that it shows how knowing some basic math and doing some quick figures can be important! I also liked how the chapters were short and that made the novel go by quicker. If the chapters had been longer, I don’t know if I would have completed it.

I listened to the audiobook and Georgia Maguire is the narrator. She is a new narrator for me and she portrayed Amelie very well. I felt the tension and fear that Amelie had when she was first in that room.  I would be interested in listening to more from her. 

Many thanks to the publisher Macmillian Audio for granting me an audio arc to listen to and review. I just wish my review had been favorable. 

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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