Posts Tagged ‘Book Review’

thebooksmugglers.com

Summary (courtesy of Goodreads)

Welcome to Urban Monad 116. Reaching nearly two miles into the sky, the one thousand stories of this building are home to over eight hundred thousand people living in peace and harmony. In the year 2381 with a world population of over seventy-five billion souls, the massive Urbmon system is humanity’s salvation.

Life in Urbmon 116 is highly regulated, life is cherished, and the culture of procreation is seen as the highest pinnacle of god’s plan. Conflict is abhorred, and any who disturb the peace face harsh punishment—even being sent “down the chute” to be recycled as fertilizer.

Jason Quevedo, a historian, searches records of the twentieth century hoping to find the root of his discontent with the perfection of Urbmon life.

Siegmund Kluver, a young and ambitious administrator, strives to reach the top levels of the Urbmon’s government and discovers the civilization’s dark truths.

Michael Statler, a computer engineer, harbors a forbidden desire. He dreams of leaving the building—of walking in the open air and visiting the far-off sea. This is a dream he must keep secret. If anyone were to find out, he’d face the worst punishment imaginable.

The World Inside is a fascinating exploration of society and what makes us human, told by a master of speculative fiction.

Favorite Parts of the Book:

One thing I really liked about the book was how the author went about telling the story.  Each chapter focused on a major character telling his/her life in Urbmon 116.  It could have been a short story on its own, while maintaining the book’s continuity by the interweaving of characters throughout the chapters.  Silverberg took care in developing each of his characters, creating an instant connection with all of them, including the  hippie like musician Dillon Chrimes (who plays instruments I have never heard of).

The concept of the book was phenomenal!  That’s what drew me to the book in the first place.  I wanted to know how a bizzillion people could live in one building, with each floor named after a present day city, where everything down to bodily waste is recycled, and sleeping with every and anyone is not only okay, but encouraged!  Man’s sole purpose in this book to have plenty of babies, by any means necessary. Yeah, I really wanted to know how this works! (and if you want to know too, you’ll have to read it! :))

Favorite Characters:

One of my favorite characters was Michael Statler, the computer engineer who dreams of going outside.  In the book he called himself a “throwback”, which refers to humans that live like I do, free to live wherever I want rather than confined to a building.  So naturally I was able to relate to him the most.  Through his thoughts of swimming in the sea, frolicking in the sand, and having the sun tan his skin made me want to leave the confines of my two story Urbmon and take a vacay!  I’m not going to give away what happens to him in this chapter, but I will tell you that you do root for him the whole way and the ending was very surprising.

Speaking of surprise endings, my second favorite character, Siegmund Kluver, whose story doesn’t come into play until the last chapter.  Throughout the book, Siegmund is seen as the Urbmon’s golden child.  He’s young and his climb to the top of the career ladder (and the top of the building!) to be an Administrator was an ambitious one, and he is admired by all.  Throughout the whole book he is seen as the perfect Urbmon dweller, however when you finally get to his story, you see it’s quite the opposite.  Instead of a confident young man, you find a very insecure one, which was a nice, little surprise.  After all, perfect characters can be a little boring!  He finds that what he dream at the top wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be and he has a pretty hard time dealing with it.

Overall Review:

This is an awesome read and I highly recommend it!

Photo courtesy of: fantasticfiction.co.uk

Summary Courtesy of Goodreads:

Italy 1252. Inquisition. Accusation. Fear.  Torture. The guilty and the innocent dying for sins real  and imagined in the flames of the burning stake.  Neilsville, 1978. Peter Balsam has come to this  sleepy desert town to teach its youth, and finds a  mystery of mounting horror. Something is happening  to the young girls of St. Francis Xavier High  School — something evil. In bloodlet and terror a suicide contagion has swept the two… while a dark  order of its holy men enacts a secret medieval  ritual. Is hysteria manipulating these innocent children  into violent self-destruction? Or has supernatural  force, a thirteenth-century madness, returned  to… Punish The Sinners.

Favorite Parts of the Book:

The prologue was definitely one of my favorite parts of the book.  The pacing of the scene was like that of a really good horror movie, leaving you on the edge of your seat.  And then right when the “ax falls”, the first words out of your mouth are “Holy ****”.  I was definitely left a little scared, especially reading this part at night while home alone!

My second favorite part of the book was the ending.  The novel finished just as strong as the beginning, with such a feeling of disbelief. It was a finish I didn’t see coming and when I put it down it left me wanting to know more about what happens next, which could make a very good sequel!

Favorite Character:

I must say I had a love/hate relationship with Peter Balsam.  There were times I was rooting for him when he stood up to the “man” aka the Monsignor.  There were other times I wish I could go into the book and knock him upside his head for making stupid choices.  Either way, I felt connected to him and the author did a great job with his character development.

Now for the bad news:

My only complaint with the novel was the very middle.  It started to get sluggish with the storyline making it a little difficult to get through.  I understand that a story has to have it slowdowns but it should keep me interested all the same.  I wanted to get to the climax already and by the time I got to the last section of the book, the action picked up and slammed me with a great ending.  I think if it wasn’t for the middle of the book, I would’ve finished the novel a whole lot sooner.

Overall Review:

It’s a great thriller book with a storyline that isn’t for the squeamish.  I’m not talking about blood and guts, but rather very controversial topics like suicide and taboo sex that may leave the faint of heart just a little uncomfortable, especially when the whole book relies on the concept of the Catholic religion.  If you can handle that, then this is a good read for you!