Last year, I very excitedly reviewed The City Between, an urban fantasy series by Tasmanian author W.R. Gingell. At the time there were only five books available, but as we all know, a LOT can happen in a year. The highly-anticipated tenth and final book was released on December 31st. Want to know if I still love the series as much as I did a year ago? Read on to find out!Continue reading
I just finished reading the 1994 novel The Memory Police by Yoko Ogowa, and I feel things. Not sure if they are positive or negative feels, but they are there nonetheless. Come find out my thoughts and whether you should try this classic dystopian novel.
On an unnamed island, objects are disappearing: first hats, then ribbons, birds, roses. . . . Most of the inhabitants are oblivious to these changes, while those few able to recall the lost objects live in fear of the draconian Memory Police, who are committed to ensuring that what has disappeared remains forgotten. When a young writer discovers that her editor is in danger, she concocts a plan to hide him beneath her floorboards, and together they cling to her writing as the last way of preserving the past.
A warning about Marxist governments? A commentary on aging and our eventual death? The change of our world as new ways make old traditions and objects obsolete? What is this book about, and does it have to really mean anything specific, or can it be whatever the reader takes from it?
Without going into specifics, I will say that all of these thoughts crossed my mind as I read the novel. I know that this is not specifically what it was referring to since a lot of the more modern changes came after it was written, but consider the phone booth. It is something that no longer exists except in the memory of adults. When we die, it will be nothing but a distant item in old photographs or films. No actual phone booths will exist, and eventually, even the idea of a phone booth will be gone from the collective memory.
A more in-your-face theme of the novel is that of being forced into a state where the government controls the people’s minds and memories. Think of Russia and China, which outlawed certain aspects of their history, rewriting history in the ideals that they value and deleting those that don’t follow their political doctrine. The destruction of free speech and religion. The Memory Police is more or less a better and more in-depth description of what occurred in George Orwell’s 1984.
One of the things I liked most about this novel was how many different meanings you can find. It was fun to ponder the book’s events and how my thoughts changed as the events unfolded.
I would recommend this novel if you are looking for something deep. It isn’t going to leave you feeling perky at the end. But if you want something that might challenge your thoughts about life, then this is a good choice. You can find it on Amazon HERE (purchase it using this link to support the blog)!
Til the next novel,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi
Have you ever come across a book that captivates you within the first two paragraphs, and KEEPS you captivated for FIVE MORE BOOKS?
Yeah, that rarely happens to me, too. But W.R. Gingell’s The City Between series managed it, and I have to tell you ALL about it! Read on to see why Between Jobs and the rest of the series is a perfect read for drama lovers.Continue reading
Some of the Fangirls recently discovered a fabulous book series by Annette Marie, and we were delighted to find that she’d written a different series rooted in Japanese mythology. Come see what we thought of Red Winter!Continue reading
Sometimes you need a delightfully clever middle grade fantasy novel to cleanse your palate. Come see if Laurence Yep’s A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans sounds right for you!Continue reading
Are Chinese cultivation dramas your thing? Then you NEED to check out Gage Lee’s Hollow Core! Read on to see why!Continue reading
Sometimes you just need a cute light romance that goes deep enough to really show you what it takes to start understanding another culture. Come see if I Love You So Mochi fits the bill!Continue reading
I absolutely adored F.C. Yee’s first book, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, and I was delighted when the sequel was announced. Come see if The Iron Will of Genie Lo lived up to my expectations!Continue reading
I loved M.H. Boroson’s first book, The Girl with Ghost Eyes, and bought this sequel as soon it came out. Boroson has an amazing writing style, handling rich details and deep characters with finesse, and he brings that talent out with a flourish in The Girl with No Face. Come see what Boroson has in store for Li-lin!Continue reading
One of the trickiest writing obstacles to navigate is writing authentically about a culture that is not your own. Very few authors have managed to do so successfully — Tony Hillerman and his Navajo mysteries are a prime example — but with love and care and research, it CAN be done.
Enter M. H. Boroson. His biography makes it VERY clear just how much time and research he has put into Chinese culture, and it shows in his writing. Come see what I thought of The Girl with Ghost Eyes!Continue reading