Melting Shlemiel — Jason Werbeloff

An interesting allegorical novella that has as a good metaphorical dig at those who build walls of exclusion around themselves.

Set in a very pious Jewish area of Jerusalem, during 2054, it’s pretty obvious who the author is pointing at and why.   The Jewish state first build walls to separate and defend their country, then it’s walls to separate and defend each town, then each district, then each house, until each person has their very own impregnable, permanent second skin.

Can also be read as a fun little dystopian/cyberpunk thing if you don’t want to think too much.

Currently only available in the anthology, ‘2054’.

Jason’s Page

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Wolf Country — Tunde Farrand

I’m surprised that this book has got so many good reviews, it really doesn’t deserve them.

The whole world is changed overnight into a dystopian caste system that virtually everyone seems to accept without much question simply because they get a free house and a job.   Even though they all know that as soon as they can’t do their job they’re either euthanised or thrown into the walled off lawless slums to be at the mercy of cruel and evil, gangs.

It basically takes a bunch of dystopian themes and throws them together for the sake of a story, but it doesn’t really hold together as a story.   There just seems to be this acceptance that everyone in the whole world just accepted this system and goes along with it because they all clamour to be high spenders.   Like everyone would just give up social care, social security, pensions, etc., just so they can have a free house, be a slave and strive to be a high spender.

The book spends most of its time telling us how horrible and cruel the new system is with our protagonist and her husband not doing very well, only for the last small part of the book to find a bizarre way to allow them and their few friends to live happily ever after — The End!

Basically, it’s just about passable, and it’s just about readable, but not much else can be said.   If you’re looking for a good dystopian story then your time and money will be better spent on something else.

Tunde’s Page

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The Last Town — Blake Crouch

‘Pines’ and ‘Wayward’ were brilliant, and so i dove straight into this finale to the trilogy without pausing for air.

It’s been a while since i’ve been treated to such unputdownable books, and to have 3 of them in a trilogy is wonderful.

As with the other two books, great writing, great characters and great all-around story telling.

And what a great ending.   Although, for me, i feel it would have been a tiny bit slightly better without the Epilogue — it wouldn’t be a good review without some negative criticism, now would it?

I am most certainly going to be reading more from Blake in the future.

I’m now a fanboy.

Blake’s Page

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Wayward — Blake Crouch

‘Pines’ was a really good read, and ‘Wayward’ did not disappoint in any way either.

I found both books totally unputdownable, any spare moment my head would be glued to my Kindle reading.

The story keeps on having more layers and twists added to it as more information from the time before suspension is revealed — all to be played out in Wayward Pines.   And the characters just get better the more we learn about them as Blake artfully drip feeds the occasional back story snippet from their previous lives.

Full on story telling from a full on story teller.

And now it’s straight into ‘The Last Town’ for the finale.

Blake’s Page

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Pines — Blake Crouch

I started to watch the TV series a couple of years ago, just because Juliette Lewis was in it.   And then they had the utter gall to kill her off in the third episode.   WTF!!!   So i binned watching the TV version and decided to read the books instead.

So how was the book?   Awesome!

I was very surprised to see this listed as ‘horror’ in Amazon.   I would definitely put this in dystopian sci-fi, i didn’t notice any horror, just the normal dystopian sci-fi kind of stuff.

I’ve previously read Blake’s book, ‘Dark Matter’, which was exceptionally well written and Pines is just as good.   Blake does a fantastic job of putting his protagonists into some really mind bending, disturbing situations and putting the reader well and truly into the protagonist’s mind.

All in all, a great start to this trilogy and i’m diving straight into book 2, ‘Wayward’, very optimistic for more of Blake’s style of writing — i’m becoming a big fan.

Blake’s Page

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