‘Into the Drowning Deep’ Book Review

The Atargatis set sail in 2015 in search of mermaids. The crew was made up for a mockumentary for the Imagine TV Network. The channel had been known of making these kind of shows on different cryptids but none had ever gone as dark as the voyage of the Atargatis, the whole crew vanished, killed by these mermaids of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. Seven years later, a new crew has set out to find out what happened to the previous ship.

The cure for anything is saltwater… tears, sweat, or the sea.

Isak Dinesen

Some wanted fame, others revenge, proof that they were always right, or simply just to follow their studies or career. Everyone on this ship had a mission. The characters in this book were so real. They all had their flaws and might I add that they were all morally grey, in my opinion. I was constantly thinking someone would turn on the other. This was a really diverse cast be it, disability, race, or sexual orientation. There was lots of representation here. All these characters had a purpose, Tory was probably the main character but the others did not feel like they were pushed to the side either. The characters in this book are going to get a five out of five from me.

Mankind’s exploration of the oceans had been going on for centuries, yet barely scratched the surface, leaving much of the depths uncharted.

Chapter Nine

The atmosphere was so creepy and that is just what a horror novel needs. In general, boats being in the middle of the ocean freak me out anyway and then the author adds in killer mermaids. Just the thought of being in the middle of the Pacific, in a very desolate part of the ocean might I add, knowing that there are things that want to harm all the humans around you.. that is horrifying. Mira Grant hit the atmosphere nail right on the head. Once again a five out of five.

When I first started this book, the writing was so great. Probably the best I had read in months. However, that rating started to drop when we got into the science bits. Yes, this book is about a lot of scientist on a vessel but sometimes it was like reading another language and I found myself skimming. The writing just got heavy at the science bits but at the other parts it was great! Four our of five stars.

I had only read one book before this that was set on a boat and it was a thriller, not a horror. Boat books are just so unique. I really liked how this voyage was to solve a mystery of the past ship and then the mystery that humans have had for centuries, are mermaids real? Add in the fact, that all these characters had different motives. They were all seeking something different rather it be closure of a family member who was on the Atargatis or it be to bring a new creature into the realm of biology. Sometimes their motives changed throughout the voyage. Grant very much so did her research for this book, it just felt so real. I could totally see this happening in real life. You really feel like that you are put into this story, the plot gets a five star.

Intrigue is something that I find so important in horror, mystery, or thriller novels. You are trying to find out what is behind all of this or what is going to happen next. I was always making theories with this one but a lot of the time my theories came out to be wrong! That just shows that Mira Grant is so intelligent with her writing, she had ideas that I was not even thinking of. I do not know how I felt about the ending though. I wanted to know more about how the characters felt after everything on the ship wrapped up. I am not sure if there will be a sequel, at this time. Four out of five stars.

If this book was one thing it was logical. Often times in the CAWPILE system, I never know what to say about the ‘L’ part of the acronym. ‘Into the Drowning Deep’, does not leave me skipping over this category, though. Everything was so well thought out. The paragraph structure and everything was just so logical. It is a heavy read but you learn so much about different kinds of study that fall into the marine category. 5/5.

I did enjoy this book, I think all of you who have read this blog post can see that. I enjoyed that all the characters were so different and even though there was a large cast, I was never getting them confused. The atmosphere was so creepy and fit perfect with the black and red cover of the book. The writing was great but it was heavy at times which was the main downfall for me but I think if you have a career path in the science or field of if it is just something you are interested in then you would not have the same problem that I did. The plot was unique and this would make the perfect movie, someone really needs to pick this up. I was constantly trying to find out what would happen next and it never felt like a drag to pick up but I am lightly disappointed in the ending. This book was smart, too smart at times but it just made it all the more realistic. I will be picking up more books from this author.

The final rating for this book is a 4.5 star out of 5.

Be sure to check out my Youtube channel here: Izzy Rain – YouTube

My Most Anticipated January 2021 Releases!

This is a new kind of post for me to write. Today we are going to be looking at new releases in the historical fiction and historical romance genres! I never used to pay attention to new releases as I would get to them when I got to them but now I think that I will purchase one every month with my monthly Barnes and Noble trip, which has been done online since April. There are so many new and diverse books coming out this month and later in the year as well. I am glad that authors of different faces and those in the LGBT+ community are being heard. I can only hope that reading from people with these experiences can help bring us as people together and realize that we all walk different paths in life and that we all need to treat each other with kindness.

Historical Fiction

Isaiah and Samuel were slaves on a planation in the Deep South. The barn that the two boys worked in together was a sort of escape from the harsh world around them, there it was just the two of them and the animals that they tended to. One of their fellow slaves begins to preach to the other slaves, leading them to turn against one another. Isaiah and Samuel are no longer safe as their love for one another is now seen as a sin. This novel shows the pain that was so prevalent during this time in history, but yet the hope that the people had as well, and what the power of love can do. This book was released on January 5, 2021.

Ada is seventeen years old in the year of 1894. She lives a happy life, she loves her husband and enjoys the job she has, helping the midwife. Things start to go downhill though when it has been over a year of marriage and Ada has not given her husband a child of their own. The act of being barren in their town often leads to women being executed in thoughts that they are witches. Ada joins a gang of outcast women as a source of safety in this patriarchal society. Ada has to decide if she really wants to live the life of an outlaw. Outlawed is one of the five choices this month over at Book of the Month if you guys would like to check it out there but at other locations it was put on the shelves on January 5, 2021.

Find Me in Havana is based on the true story of Cuban singer, Estelita Rodriguez. She started her career out at the young age of just nine years old by singing in the smoky bars of Cuba in the mid 1930s. Her voice and talent takes her to places like New York and Los Angeles, it is the one thing that belongs to Estelita, no one could take it from her when the revolution happened in 1933, and all the other tragic events that happened throughout her life. Thirty years later, Nina Rodriguez is left with the mystery of her mother. Nina has to go through mazes and mazes to seek out the truth about her mother’s path. This book will be published on January 12, 2021.

Pheby Brown is born on a planation in Virginia, into slavery. She has been promised she will be freed once she becomes an adult. Things do not go as planned, she is sent against her will to work as a slave at a prison that is known for its brutatlity and torture to its slaves. Pheby is forced to become the mistress to the owner of the jail. This story is powerful and shows her fight to freedom once and for all. You can pick it up on January 12, 2021.

The Walters are seen as the picture perfect, good Christian and Texan family. Victor is the main man, the leader, of the family. He is a preacher and now for his conservative values, that seem to be falling away in the 1970s. His daughter starts telling stories of having a baby that somehow died but the story keeps changing and no one knows what is true. However, the granddaughter, Lily, has as secret that could bring her whole family and its charade down. This book with be available for purchase on January 19, 2021.

Historical Romance

Sarani Rao is an Indian princess, she has everything that a girl could want; wealth, jewels, and beauty. However, her mother is English and that makes Sarani seem less than perfect to her peers. Her father is then killed which makes her life turn upside down, she is no longer safe without him. Then, there is Captain Rhystan Huntley, a duke rather he like its or not. He is with an English fleet in India and the one girl he has ever loved needs to escape that country. She must leave with him on his ship. This one will be released on January 26, 2021.

Sir Henry March is out on a cold London night and stumbles upon a girl who has appeared to be beaten. Eliza Broad escaped the abuse of her evil stepfather. Henry has agreed to take care of her until she has recovered. During her time of recovery Eliza is shown the world of culture that she had no idea existed in the same place that she lived. A romance soon sparks between the two of them. Throughout their romance dark and sadistic secrets of the elite are revealed. You will be able to find out for yourself on January 12, 2021.

My Highland Warrior is the start to a new historical romance series. Magdalene is one of the most beautiful women in all of Scotland the younger sister of a lord. She is known for her madness. One man feels as though he has to marry her for his peoples’ sake. She comes from a powerful family and he has to keep his people alive. Gabriel MacLachlan agrees to marry her but is scaredof how the curse on his family name might impact her. This title will be published on January 19, 2021.

Gilded Age America, Arizona to be precise. Evan Rounsevell is on the run from the responsibilities back home. He has always been fascinated with the American West and the cowboys that come with it. He would rather be a cowboy than and English lord. Daniella is left with her ranch after her fiancé fled from a draught a few years prior. Evan has no money left to his name so picks up work at Daniella’s ranch even though she is convinced that she does not need a man in her, especially this snotty English one. The adjustment is hard for Evan but he is desperate to win Daniella’s affection and her seeing his work on the land that she loves so much might cause her to have a change of heart. You can download this book on the Kindle app starting on January 30, 2021.

Which of these books would you choose? You can check out my Youtube channel, I will have a video with my selection at the end of the month! Izzy Rain

‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ Book Review

In January 2021, the world has long since had a nuclear war and dust falls over the plant. Most have immigrated to Mars but those brave enough or unfit to travel stay on the planet Earth. If you are an immigrant to the red planet you receive an android, they look human so much so most of the time you cannot tell that they are not one. The main difference is that androids lack empathy. The government on Earth has banned these creations but some have escaped from Mars to try to live lives as normal humans. Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter his mission is to kill eight of the androids that have escaped from Mars. It’s a difficult task as the androids or “andys” know that they are being hunted and go a sophisticated route to stay hidden. This story goes through the minds of the androids, a man who might help them along the way, and the man who is hunting them.

I picked this book up as it is actually January 2021. Now, you might be thinking that plot sounds crazy, 2021 is nothing like how it is described in the novel. That’s because this is a science fiction novel published in 1968. It was so surreal to be reading something that takes place when we are living but was written over fifty years ago. Obviously, life is nothing like how it is in this book. It just fascinates me to see what people in the past thought the future would be like.

“Everything I’ve done has been wrong from the start.”

Chapter 20.

The main point of views in this book are the bounty hunter, Rick Deckard, and a ‘chickenhead’- someone who the nuclear dust has impacted, J.R. Isidore. The read gets to see how both of these men survive in this dystopian San Francisco and how they both feel about androids plus how they deal with those beings. The character’s were not really likeable or unlikeable, I did not really care what would happen to them. However, even though this book only takes place in a few days, I feel like their was great character growth in these men. Their thoughts on society really change throughout the story and they often have to question why they do what they do, if what they are doing is right or wrong. The characters get a four out of five rating.

The electric things have their lives, too. Paltry as those lives are.”

Chapter 22.

The early chapters do a good job at worldbuilding in the sense by explaining the war that wiped out most of the population of animals. It does not go into detail why there was a war or what countries were involved, as the characters do not seem to remember. The religion is something that I thought needed a little more building though. Every time ‘mercerism’ was mentioned the plot just went crazy like it was some kind of drug trip. I honestly do not know what was happening in those paragraphs. I am still very much confused as what the meaning of those points were, maybe the next books explains better. I also do not understand why animals are so important in this world even to the point where there are electric animals. It seems the wealthy have real animals while those who are less fortunate have artificial ones that like androids look just like real ones. Atmosphere gets a three out of five.

The writing was not anything special. It was not the best writing that I have ever read and it was not the worst either. It was not too lengthy which is really nice. My pet peeve was thought that it would randomly change perspectives in a chapter without a break or anything. Just an average writing style, it got the job done. Three out of five rating.

I really liked this plot. The idea of androids escaping slavery on Mars and trying to live and hide among humans is super interesting and then you add in the idea of them being hunted. I wish there could have been a POV from one of the androids but we did not see that in this installment. The plot gets a four out five.

I was wanting to know what would happen next and who would survive but repeating myself, from the character section, I did not feel emotionally connected to the characters so whatever would happen would not really have a big impact on me. This book was not predictable but it was not shocking either, I won’t go into that any more as I am scared that I might give too much away. Intrigue gets a three out of five rating.

Ah, logic, this section is always fun for fantasy and sci-fi and one that is always fairly difficult to judge. I think sometimes for the characters things just went too easy, maybe that is why this book was relatively short, less than three hundred pages. Again, I do not know the logic behind the religion and I don’t know a lot about nuclear waste so I do not know if all the science behind that held any truth. Logic will once again get a three from me.

I did enjoy reading a classic science fiction novel, I think this is the first of it’s kind that I have picked up. This book did have an interesting plot and I liked that for a sci-fi the characters actually got to grow and that all the focus was not just on the plot of the novel. This 2021 world is fascinating but I think it could have used a bit more backstory, I will have to do some research on this book. I most likely will be picking up the next book and other books by Philip K. Dick. If you were interested in this story you might want to check out the Amazon series ‘Electric Dreams’, each episode is based on a different story from the author and there are well known actors on the show. It was what brought this author to my attention!

This novel gets the rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2fN0pKnNYQhyA_hRCYm8tg

‘Game Seven’ Review

Game Seven tells us the story of Julio Ramírez Jr., a teenage shortstop from Cuba. His father has already defected the country by playing in an exhibition game in Baltimore and leaving the team to get signed by the Miami Marlins. Julio is given the choice to leave Cuba like his father, to find freedom in the United States or stay in Cuba with his mother and sister. It is the hardest choice that he will ever have to make.

Let’s start out with the characters. At first, Julio really annoyed me and I felt like all he did was complain. I had to remind myself that he is sixteen years old and going through crazy life changes. That really put it into perspective for me. I think the characters in this book are greatly realistic and relatable even though they are not all likeable. I really liked Luis, Julio’s cousin, though! Characters get a four out of five.

The atmosphere was like nothing I had ever read before. It was very fascinating and different. I would give it once again a four out of five.

The writing in this novel was not anything great. First off, I am not a huge fan of first person perspective, please keep it in third person. The next thing, I felt like it was very much, “I did this and then I did that.” Just telling and not showing. The writing gets a three out of five.

A story of baseball in Cuba and how difficult it is to go from there to play in the MLB in America? The perfect plot. So many of the players we love and watch have gone through quite similar situations. I just cannot imagine being in a refugee situation. I think more people need to see how hard it is to come into this country, especially from one like Cuba. The plot makes this very much worth the read. That being said the plot gets a five out of five.

There is a downfall in this book though and that is the logic. I find it unrealistic a player around the age of forty would get a contract in MLB and be one of the great pitchers. There were a few other things but I won’t go into all of them here. The logic gets a two out of five.

Intrigue, definitely important. ‘Game Seven’, had me like most baseball series, wanting to know what was going to happen next. Maybe there was a little too much intrigue though. I was not really satisfied with the ending of the book. I think there should have been maybe another thirty to forty pages. Intrigue gets a four out of five.

I did enjoy Game Seven and I think that most fans of the game will too. However, I think you should at least be a casual fan of the sport so that you have a better understanding of what you are reading and know all the calls and positions on the diamond. What is your favorite sports book?

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Into the Black: The Inside Story of Metallica Review

Metallica became the biggest band in the world in 1991. The band was already ten years into their career but the were just now releasing their self titled album, more commonly known as ‘The Black Album”. This album was produced by more of a mainstream producer, Bob Rock, who had done albums with Bon Jovi and Motley Crue in the past. That sounds like a thrash metalhead’s nightmare.

The band received loads of criticism for this album. Some saying they were selling out to Hollywood and forgetting their metal roots.The band was growing and trying different things. The album did sell well, becoming one of the top selling albums of the decade. The band had to ride off of this high and continue the momentum. That was done by touring with huge acts of the time on giant stadium tours, making music videos for MTV, and a last making more music.

The 1990s was an awkward time for rock music. Glam was getting thrown out the door and the Seattle grunge was coming in. Bubblegum pop and bands that wouldn’t last for five minutes were taking over the scene. Metal prevailed, Metallica prevailed though while all others fell.

First and foremost, I should state that Metallica are one of my favorite bands. I knew most of the facts going into this book, therefore, it was easy and fast for me to read and understand. I felt like this book did a good job compiling over twenty years into an almost three hundred page book.

This book is about the music and the industry that it is in. Don’t come to this for a juicy tell all but I really don’t think Metallica fans would be looking for that to begin with. At some points there were little personal paragraphs but only about James. I get that he is the frontman but do I really need to know that his eye sight was getting bad and he needed glasses? Just pure randomness.

As I said, I am a fan of this band, mainly their work in the eighties. I don’t think their later albums are bad, bands need to evolve and grow. I think it is important to try different sub genres. I know that Miley Cyrus gets a lot of hate but one of the awesome things about her is that every album is different, never the same. Metallica are the same and I applaud them for that. I learned a lot about that process in this book. I never realized how much criticism the band got for their more modern albums.

My few complaints are very minimum. The writers did get somethings wrong, example one being “[Lars] had flew from Los Angeles to California to see the band perform at the Woolwich Odeon in south London.” Okay, how do you fly from Los Angeles to California and I don’t think London is in California. Point number two, the paragraph is talking about Ron McGovney driving the band to San Francisco from Los Angeles.. on Interstate 95. I95, is the east coast connector and not the west coast. All these “typos” happen in the last twenty pages, I don’t know if the writers were rushing to finish or what. I thought the writers did at times sound cocky. They acted like Metallica were the only band in the world or better than everyone else. That didn’t leave a good feel with me. If you like heavy metal and want to know more, pick this book up.

4 out of 5 stars.

The Prince of Tides Review

The Prince of Tides is a tale of a family. The Wingo family from South Carolina. Heartache and almost every kind of abuse imaginable, happened to this family over their years on Melrose Island in Colleton County. It’s a tragic and unbelievable story that we go through following these characters.

Tom Wingo is told by his mother, that his twin sister, Savannah, has yet again, tried to commit suicide. The doctor would like a family member to come visit her in New York to see how they can try to help her and understand her better. Tom goes up north to the city that you have to be a special kind of person to love. (Tom isn’t one of those people.)

To help his sister, Tom meets Doctor Lowenstein, who is Savannah’s psychiatrist. Lowenstein wants to get down to the bottom of what is causing all these breakdowns in Tom’s sister. At first Tom is hesitant, in the South, he is taught to be loyal to his family and not expose to much as it will harm the family’s reputation. Eventually, Tom realizes he has to do something to help his sister and it might even help himself. Therefore, Tom tells the tale of the Wingo family. Tom starts by telling his parents’ backstories and then bringing it all to the modern day. All the twists and turns of how they became who they are and how they got into the situations that they are in now. It’s a great tale filled with sorrowful memories.

What Pat Conroy does best is writing characters. The two books, I have read by him, are very character driven. His characters are just so real, they all have their flaws and absolutely done of them are perfect. The reader can find something to relate to themselves in all of the characters. They will also feel very much an emotional bond with these characters.

Another thing that Pat Conroy is great at is making the setting of the book a character in itself. The low country setting is just beautiful and you can almost smell the salt in the air by how descriptive and lyrical the writing is.

The writing. The writing is beautiful, as stated earlier it is lyrical and descriptive. It has a nice flow to it and the reader will never have a hard time picturing the scene that is taking place. There is a catch though, with the book being so descriptive, it does seem to go on forever. I’m sorry, I do not care who you are, an almost fifty page chapter is never a good idea. I will just lose interest.

Once again, The Prince of Tides is a character driven story. There is a plot but it is not the main point. I do like the plot of Tom having to tell the doctor, the life story of the Wingo family for us to get that character development. I did predict some points, I won’t say them here as I do not spoil novels in my reviews. Some things were completely random and so out there, though. Trust me, the reader is in for a wild ride in this book.

I did struggle with the intrigue. I dreaded picking up the book at times knowing that it would be dense with the long chapters. I was even following along with the audiobook, so you would think that it would go by faster but it didn’t.

Overall, this was a good book. It did take me over a week to get through but I think it was worth it. The Prince of Tides will stick with me because of all the endurances that these characters had to go through. This was a beautiful book and it paints a picture in your head of life and the beauty of it even though we go through all sorts of times, dark and pleasant. I do recommend picking this one up.

However, do look around for trigger warnings that this book does have. There are quite a few of them.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

My Paper on Frankenstein from High School

I just finished rereading Frankenstein and gosh, my thoughts are different. When I first read the book during my senior year of high school, I felt pity for the creature but now, I HATE the creature. I feel so terrible for Victor even though it does seem like he put himself in this situation. A last, I wanted to showed a paper that I wrote in high school. I got an A+ on this paper but we will see what I think of it now. Let’s take it back to March 06, 2018.

The creature in the novel of, “Frankenstein” comes across many people who are prejudiced towards him just because of the way he looks. This leads the so called monster into becoming insecure. In today’s society, many fall insecure as well because of many things such as a beauty standard or what celebrities or other people may look like. Today most do not react as violently as the creature does but it can cause an impact on their self esteem like the creature.

“Why Did I like? Why, in the instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so want only bestowed? I know not; despair had not yet taken possession of me; my feelings were those of rage and revenge. I could with pleasure have destroyed the cottage and its inhabitants and have glutted myself with their shrieks and misery.” In this quote by the creature in the novel, he wonders why Frankenstein had to create him, or why he had to make him the certain way he looks. The creature reflecting on what the villagers reaction of him was. He wanted revenge on the villagers for how they acted towards him. Stated in the quote he was filled with so much rage and anger he could destroy their homes and them and feel happy about it. This is all a result of the people of the village having shown prejudice towards the creature’s outside appearance.

In  chapter twelve, the monster speaks of how he is different from the ordinary people; “I had admired the perfect forms of my cottagers, their grace, beauty, and delicate complexions; but how was I terrified when I viewed myself in a transparent pool! At fire I started back, unable to believe that it was indeed I who was reflected in the mirror; and when I became fully convinced that I was in reality the monster that I am, I was filled with the bitterest sensations of despondence and mortification.” This is similar to what we call a beauty standard, or the ideal look, the creature did not fall under what he thought was the perfect and ideal look, like the cottagers had. He was in shock when he saw his own appearance for the first time, he was sad, bitter, and insecure. Many people feel this way and people have probably felt those same feelings at some point in their lives since the start of time. The creature seeing himself made him realize why the villagers were so scared of him and acted the way that they did.

The creature wanted his creator, Victor Frankenstein, to make him a companion so he would not feel so alone in this world. In chapter seventeen, it states; “You must create a female for me with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being.” He wants someone who can understand him and know how he feels and what it is like to be a “monster”.  This request later leads to the downfall of both Frankenstein and his creature, Victor begins to create a companion for the creature but then feels as though this creature could harm others like the first one. The creature is enraged by this and begins to destroy Victor’s life by killing those who is close to and later killing Victor himself.

The creature faces many prejudices in his life. The old saying says to never judge a book by it’s cover, maybe if Victor would have kept the creature under his wing instead of judging it by its looks it would have not turned out violent. Throughout the novel, it shows the creature has many feelings just like humans do, he goes from feeling despair and insecure to wanting to find lover and then becoming evil because what could have been love was destroyed by his own creator. We should never judge somebody by how they look on the outside but give them a chance as they are probably like us and share the same kind of feelings.

 

Hey Everyone!

It’s Izzy here! Welcome to my brand new blog. I am still getting into the hang of things on here but I wanted to have a place where I could put my book reviews, including pictures and links because I have yet to find out how to do that on Good Reads.

Here I will keep you up with all things reading, such as my monthly TBR (to be read), hauls of what books I have purchased, and then of course my reviews!

 

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