Book review: Containment by Christian Cantrell

Containment by Christian CantrellThis a rather short book, but none the less quite entertaining. It is a classic science-fiction story, perhaps a bit too classic.

Earth is polluted, overcrowded and generally considered inhospitable, and the solution is of course to colonize a planet. Venus rather than the sci-fi fav’ Mars is chosen in this book. And rather than a mass exodus from earth there is only a small colony. The main character is introduced in a soap-opera like waking-up-in-hospital-with-memory-loss scene; however this is not just a cheap ploy and a lazy start. It actually works its way in to the story and helps develop the reluctant hero. So do not be deterred by this in the beginning, it plays out well in the story to come. So stick with it.

The story takes us through the average life of the colony and in doing so introduces the rest of the character gallery.

After a while, our guide through this tour finds out his wife is pregnant, normally a happy occasion for a sound happy family. But this is where the story begins to take a more solid form; oxygen has always been a scarce resource on the colony. The story up till this point in the book has been a prelude; the colony is not able to sustain itself with an added person. And the father-to-be our guide/hero/scientist is now trying to solve this problem. Not only for the sake of his own child, but so that the colony can expand beyond it’s current 100-ish person capacity.

All characters other than our man, while not flat nor completely filled out lack any development in the story, but as it is quite a short one not to mention that the focus in this story is the problem at hand (oxygen) and our man. This works and is not something that you will be annoyed or even notice as the story progresses.

It is the story I ultimately have a problem with; this book is a good read, an easy read. But if like me you have read a few sci-fi books and/or seen your share of sci-fi movies then this book becomes predictable. It is original but had it been a boxing match between you and the author… you would have won simply because you would be able to see the next punch coming before the author knew he was going to throw it.

I would still recommend reading it, but save it for a day when you’re travelling and need a book that doesn’t mind a few interruptions. Or give it as a gift to a sci-fi novice, it makes a good non-scary introduction into the sci-fi genre.

Book review: The C-Word by Lisa Lynch

The C-Word by Lisa Lync (Kindle edition)To quote Stephen Fry:

“I don’t think she’d mind me calling her the web’s top cancer bitch”

This is not a fictional story, it is a real story containing real people, those of an intelligent nature might have guessed this already. So why then should anyone read a story about a person they do not know, and her experience with breast cancer. Surely there is enough misery on the news and life in general. So why spend money and time on reading a book that can’t do anything but foul up your mood ? Well I could possibly mention that it is an important issue, and making people aware of it makes this book a worthwhile effort.

And I would not be wrong (in my own opinion) however this suggest that you should read the book much in the same manner that teachers told you that reading.. well anything educational at age 12, as a chore to be done rather than enjoyed. That would be wrong.

This book tells a serious story, what makes it a good read (and trust me it is) is the people in it; and in how they and the transpiring events are described, detailed and obsessed about. This is as much or even more a story about people rather than breast cancer; it merely being the reason for this story to be told. Well not quite. But it is as accurate a description as I can manage.

So get yourself a cup of tea (or Gin & Tonic) and some biscuits and read about Lisa and how she felt as nervous as Pete Doherty in a customs bust when visiting the hairdresser(one of the many passages that made me snort/laugh/spurt-liquid-through-my-nose), and her chase to get herself a pair of louboutins and join her in the epic stuggle choosing between wig or headscarf.

Or the fantastic Mr. P. concocted what I only can imagine to be an epic pot of chili when faced with dull taste buds, and many many others.

In conclusion, read this book.. it will be well worth it. If you somehow still are on the fence head over to alrighttit.com and read up on some of the story there.

Taken out of context I must seem so strange -Ani