The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy -A Book Review

I might have been the last person on earth who didn’t read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I know if that was true, then there would be no purpose for this book review, but, I am sure there are some of you who still haven’t given it a try and for those of you I say: “if you want a good laugh then go read it”. I am now starting to wonder what took me so long to pick it up.

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Well, I have just finished listening to the audio book “Just One Damned Thing After Another” by Jodi Taylor (which I reviewed on this blog) and was looking for my next audio book when I stumbled, somehow, onto this one.

This book was not what I expected, at all. The story is something you would never imagine, talks about a space journey of Arthur Dent and his alien friend Ford Prefect after the earth is demolished by another alien race to build a galactic freeway. I know it sounds silly, but it’s filled with moments that would make you forget the silliness and just enjoy the ride, and it even has a depressed robot named Marvin, who is perhaps my favorite character in the book.

Even though there was no deep plot to it, it was funny and enjoyable with lines like these:

The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”

For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.

The book was narrated by Stephen Fry and it was awesome. Great voice acting. You’ll get the shouts, the sighs, the tiredness, all of it. I don’t think I have laughed this much out loud listening to a book like this before.

It turns out that this book is part of a series. I look forward to picking up the next one although it’s unfortunate that Stephen Fry is not narrating it. The next book is narrated by Martin Freeman (the same actor who played the lead role in the movie adaptation of this book, and Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit movies) but I think he would also be a good narrator. We’ll see.

The Fold – A Book Review

The Fold by Peter Clines is the follow up book to “14” (though it’s not published as a sequel. It has new characters and story line but some aspects of “14” appear in this one). I recommend this book but only after reading the previous one.

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This story follows a guy named Leland Erikson “Mike” who has photographic memory where he can remember every single detail of anything he sees. So his friend hires him to find out what is going on with a top-secret research team who invented a device called the Albuquerque Door. This door creates a fold in reality dimensions that allows a person to travel miles with just one step. Similarly to “14”, mysterious and strange occurrences happen and Mike tries to find out what’s really going on.

I listened to this book in audio. My thoughts are very similar to “14” (you can read my review of “14” here). The things I liked and disliked about the book are mainly the same. You might ask which one I liked better? Well I’m not sure, each one had a different setting and characters so I’d say both were good. But I do believe that there should be another follow-up to these two. There are still many unanswered questions in both books and the ending of The Fold seems to set up a path for another. I look forward to that, if it happens.

14 by Peter Clines – A Book Review

“14” by Peter Clines is a book categorized as sci-fi, paranormal, mystery and fantasy. After finishing Ready Player One, I started looking for books similar to it and I found this one (it came up but it’s not actually very similar). It had very high reviews and was chosen the best sci-fi novel of 2012 by Audible. So I picked it up (in audio format).

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The story follows a guy named Nate Tucker who rents a cheap apartment in the Kavach building. After moving in, he starts to notice that there are many secrets and mysteries surrounding this building and strange things happen like green cockroaches roaming around, a door to an apartment that is always padlocked and a room that doesn’t go beyond or lower than a certain temperature. He and his neighbors try to unravel the secrets and find out what is really going on (some reviews mentioned it has the same style as Lost, I can somewhat agree).

What I liked about it:

  • The narration by Ray Porter was awesome, he did every single character with a different tone and accent so without knowing who is speaking you could immediately know which character it is (at some point I went back to check if it is one narrator or several).
  • Fast paced, you get hooked up in the story from the start.
  • The characters were well defined and likable.
  • Intriguing, keeps you on the edge of your seat.
  • The adventure like story and the unraveling of secrets.

What I didn’t like about it:

  • I felt that there are some things that remained unanswered. I read that the author’s next book “The Fold” covers some answers in this book.
  • What I disliked the most about this book was towards the end when the mysteries were starting to unfold [Spoilers] and the characters met the squid-like-god. I hate aliens and weird creatures. I really do. So this was a huge disappointment for me. [End of Spoilers] But none the less I finished the book and plan to read the next.
  • Also towards the end, the story lost the excitement it had throughout the book.

Will let you know what I thought of the next book once I’m done. I do hope it has a better ending than this one but still I highly recommend it.

Ready Player One – A Book Review

Ready Player One by Clive Ernest is one of those fun books that grabs your attention until the very end. I listened to it in audio based on the high reviews on Audible. I don’t read many books from this genre very often but reading this one made me realize that there are so many books that I am missing out on and should start to check out.

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Ready Player One is set in the near future 2045 and follows the story of a guy named Wade Watts and his Avatar Parzival in the hunt to find the Easter egg in the online virtual reality called the Oasis.

What I liked about the book:

  • The references to the 80’s decade especially the music (my favorite decade in music so it was fun to see some songs mentioned). The 80’s decade in video games is something I am not familiar with, but I was able to imagine them better after googling and seeing what they look like.
  • I like when technology is used in the future to do things we still can’t do nowadays.
  • Story is fast paced and easy to follow. (I think even non-tech savvy people can follow easily).
  • The story has a lot of action and video gaming (even though I’m not a gamer, I found it fun).
  • Wil Wheaton’s narration was excellent and made listening to it a lot of fun.

If you are into video games, computer software and the 80’s then I think you’ll love this book.

The Martian – A Book Review

This book is fun. Period.

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I’ve read this book a couple of months back and since then I’ve been recommending it to everyone I know who reads and even the ones who don’t read I had to talk about it. Yea it’s that kind of book.

I don’t read sci-fi very often but The Martian by Andy Weir is one of the very few that caught my attention and when I heard it’s going to be a movie that comes out by the end of this year I thought I’d read it before it did.

The story line was much better than I expected when I first started reading. I read somewhere that this book is like a mix between Cast Away and Gravity so I assumed there’s going to be a guy stranded on Mars and that’s it. I am glad I was wrong. You do get a guy stranded on Mars, but you also get a lot of science terminologies and things you learned in high school (don’t worry you don’t have to remember anything), obstacles and a lot of action and humor where you’ll find passages like this one: “Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped  working. 0/10.

Nexus – A Review

I don’t read many sci-fi or cyberpunk thriller books very often but I wanted to read something different for a change. As I mentioned in my previous post, this book had high reviews and the blurb was interesting so I gave it a try.

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I liked the main concept of the story which follows the life of a scientist called Kaden Lane or Kade and his experimental nano-drug called Nexus that allows a person to control thoughts and applications inside his own mind and link to the minds of other people. The main characters in the story are well defined, the concept is quite intriguing and believable and there is a lot of action. However, the book had more of a political story line and too many action sequences than I would have liked it to have. I’m not sure I’ll continue reading the series, I might come back to it later but I still recommend reading it.

Nexus – What I’m Currently Reading

From my previous post you’ve probably noticed that I couldn’t decide on which book to read next. Well, I finally decided and so far read about a third of the book Nexus by Ramez Naam. It’s a Sci-Fi book and the first book in the Nexus trilogy. So far it’s pretty intriguing and I think anyone into biotechnology, computer programming and nano-technology would enjoy. Here’s what it’s about:

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In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link human together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.

When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage – for there is far more at stake than anyone realizes.

From the halls of academe to the halls of power, from the headquarters of an elite US agency in Washington DC to a secret lab beneath a top university in Shanghai, from the underground parties of San Francisco to the illegal biotech markets of Bangkok, from an international neuroscience conference to a remote monastery in the mountains of Thailand – Nexus is a thrill ride through a future on the brink of explosion.