Review of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

SciFi fans and devotees of the movie Blade Runner will be interested in this unique novel by Philip K. Dick. I had been wanting to read this novel for many years, but finding a reasonably priced copy proved difficult. As a fan of Blade Runner I wanted to experience the original source material for the movie–this novel.

Quite a surprise.

The story finds Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter for the San Francisco Police Dept., living in a post-apocalyptic Earth after World War Terminal. Most everyone of means and ability have departed the forsaken Earth for colonies elsewhere in the solar system.

A group of eight rebel androids have escaped one of the colonies and have come to Earth illegally. Rick’s job is to hunt them down and kill (retire) them. Actually, a superior bounty hunter within the department had been assigned the task, but was horribly wounded by the third android he’d tracked down. Thus, the job falls to Deckard.

The key delineation between humans and the current sophisticated Nexus-6 androids lies in the body’s unconscious responses of empathy, which are elicited through a battery of questions-the Voight-Kampff test.

Deckard must first go to Rosen Associates, the maker of the androids, and make certain the Voight-Kampff test will work on the Nexus-6. At company headquarters he meets Rachael Rosen, the supposed niece of the founder, and Deckard shows that she is an android, much to the discomfort of Rachael and the elder Rosen.

Then, the hunt begins.

Empathy, especially for animals, plays a strong underlying theme within the story, which is much more philosophical, and perhaps spiritual, than Blade Runner. Also, in the novel, it is Deckard, not Roy Baty (android leader), who undergoes a significant transformation in his character.

There are many more differences between the movie and the novel, some nuanced, others quite huge.

Not wanting to provide any spoilers, I must admit that I was baffled by the ending chapters. I guess I’m not smart enough to comprehend what Mr. Dick was trying to convey.

Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. 4 Stars.

Review of Rules of Deception

Thriller fans and readers may be disappointed by Christopher Reich’s first book in the Jonathan Ransom series, Rules of Deception. The premise of the story is that Ransom’s wife dies in a mountaineering accident with Jonathan, but he soon finds that she is not who she seemed to be when alive. His decision to investigate this oddity, though only a medical doctor, thrusts him into the dark world world of espionage, terrorism, counter terrorism, and fanatical religious zealots.

It all appears to be a good recipe for a great thriller, except for several points. First, there are way too many implausible plot points. Second, at least for me, none of the main characters are very appealing or likeable, except for a Swiss policeman named von Daniken.

Decide for yourself. I give it 2 stars and that’s being generous.

#Review of A Feast for Crows (GOT4)

#Readers of #fantasy adventure, especially #GOT, may differ with me on this fourth book by George R.R. Martin in the saga A Song of Ice and Fire. For me, this book was more tedious. Maybe that was due to the lack of characters that I care about. It offered a good continuation of the ongoing story narrative within the Seven Kingdoms and beyond, but told from the point of view of previously minor characters. Wherever a chapter arose with Sansa or Arya or Jon Snow I was delighted.

Nevertheless, all the fine word craft and storytelling skills that readers have come to expect from Martin are in this book, so that is not lacking. I am eager to move on to the fifth book. Overall, this one I give 3.5 Stars.

#Review of A Storm of Swords (GOT3)

#Readers of #fantasy adventure, especially #GOT, will certainly delight in George R.R. Martin’s third novel in the saga, A Song of Ice and Fire. Once again, Martin weaves a masterful tale with ingenious plot twists, tragic characters, and incredible suspense. While a blow-by-blow of the story is impossible with a novel this long and entwined, suffice it to say it is brilliant. Numerous characters meet a pointed end, and others, few to be sure, gain some slight cessation in their suffering.

Martin’s writing craft continues to sparkle as the narrative carries through various points of view of key characters. Fans of the HBO GOT series will find some divergence from the story shown on screen. I’ve enjoyed the TV series, an avid fan for sure, but found Martin’s to be clarifying in many places, as well as satisfying. One the whole, the two are pretty similar, with Martin’s being the original. Overall, a spectacular series. 5 stars. (Only 6 typo errors in over 1100 pages.)

Pre-Holiday Rush Thriller Giveaway

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