ARC Review: Dead Fish And What the Blue Jays Know by Debbie Ann Ice

Author: Debbie Ann Ice 
Release Date: 22nd April 2021
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Satire
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 272 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publisher, LLC
Blurb:
It’s the year 20-something—a changed yet still complacent America—and Lorraine Mulderon is mad. She’s mad that dying fish litter the shores of her small Connecticut coastal town. She’s mad birds seem to be dying, possibly indirectly related to fish deaths. She’s still mad about a wave of crow deaths over a decade ago. But, mostly, Lorraine is mad at the lack of madness.

She makes speeches. She phones lazy, and now corrupt, legislators. She is ignored. What has happened to passion? What has happened to our country? And now, what has happened to Lorraine? Lorraine disappears during a protest march. Her daughter, Haley, writes a letter to the world explaining her mother—someone who confronts grief and tragedy the only way she knows how and has depended upon those who tenderly watch over her—her daughter, certain friends, and a flock of blue jays.
However, as the blue jays reveal, Lorraine is not so tenderly watched over by the forces working against her.
It’s a dark future and our nation has normalized tragedy; however, DEAD FISH touches upon these intense themes with hope and humor. 

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dead Fish And What the Blue Jays Know by Debbie Ann Ice is a beautiful book about passion, love and loyalty. When I started reading this book, I wasn’t really sure what it was about and if I was going to like it much, but only a couple of pages into the story and I knew that it was going to be a great read. And to my utter satisfaction, it turned out to be that and so much more.

This book not only has a well-written plot but the concept itself is really good and necessary in its own right. I loved the characters and was able to connect and relate to them. The pacing and tension are apt and compliment the story beautifully.

I really enjoyed reading this emotional, at times funny and beautiful read and would definitely recommend it to readers of literary and women’s fiction.

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Book Review: How the Ə Got Producted by N.K. von Stade

Author: N.K. von Stade
Release Date: 
Genre: Humour, Sci-fi
Series:
Format: E-book 
Pages: 256 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:
A childhood trauma leaves N. yearning for connection and vulnerable to the seductive but damaged Jeremy Sakhdvar, a young product liability attorney with a technology vendetta. Their one-sided relationship ends abruptly when Jeremy marries another woman and runs for elective office. Adrift but resilient, N. mines a series of seemingly random hookups for the raw materials she uses to reinvent herself. N. becomes a prominent lobbyist for the biomedicaltechnology industry and, years later, a top official with the Bureau of

Biomedicaltechnology. Throwing herself into her new position, N. meddles in a plot by a group of antitechnology dissidents to suppress the Ə, a technology that purports to improve human connectedness. The dissidents blow the whistle, provoking an investigation by a U.S. senator and crusading presidential candidate named Jeremy Sakhdvar. Their confrontation pits the regulatory deep state against big tech in a battle to a draw, settles an old romantic score, and clears the way for the Ə to change the world forever.

Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

How the Ə Got Producted by N.K. Von Stade is a fun satire read about an independent and passionate female protagonist and is unique in its own right.

This book is very unconventional and for that, I did enjoy reading it. It is the story of a protagonist who is trying to navigate through the difficulties of her one-sided love life while at the same time trying to fight for what she truly believes in, in her professional life. The introduction of Ə makes the story very interesting and the book then takes a turn that is both fun to read and interesting to learn about.

I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to sci-fi reads who don’t mind a romance sub-plot underlined with satire with a streak of feminism.

Audiobook Review: The Optimist by Roy E. Schreiber

Author: Roy Schreiber
Narrator: Gary Alexander, Sharyon Culberson, Joe Dempsey, Linda Gilllum, Dillon Kelleher, Patrick Zielinski

Release Date: 16th August 2019
Genre: Satire, Shortie, Play, Radio Show
Series: 
Format: Audiobook (Dramatic Reading)
Length: 1 hour
Publisher: Author’s Republic
Blurb:

This satirical view of college professors features a philosophy professor who believes logic will solve all problems from bringing justice to everyone to personal relationships. His problems include convincing his colleagues to unionize and dealing with a history professor who believes he is the 21st-century version of Henry VIII and an English Lit professor who believes she can become Ann Boleyn.

REVIEW

★★★

The Optimist by Roy E. Schreiber is basically a recording of a play released as an audiobook as I learned from the author himself during one of our emails. I was really excited to listen to it as I have never before listened to anything like this before, though being a fan of audiobooks, I simply couldn’t have passed on this opportunity anyway.

The audiobook is narrated by a number of narrators, which was obvious, but what really took me by surprise was how amazing it all came together. I’ve read a number of dramatic readings, and this one, right from the start itself felt like a very engaging read. I loved listening to this book almost as I loved listening to Narnia audiobooks!

Coming to the story itself, I felt that the plot was a bit complex for such a short narrative. Had it been longer, I think, it wouldn’t have been an issue as many aspects would fit nicely, but at it was a little over an hour, in my honest opinion, it felt a little crammed together. I did like the story, though I cannot say, unfortunately, that I loved it. Though it was pretty evident that the story and the book itself had a lot of potentials, I guess it just lacked in a couple of places in terms of clarity and plotting. Though, given the length of the book, I think it was worth reading.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes satirical works and doesn’t mind experimental stories.

You can also read this review on Goodreads