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Monday, October 3, 2011

Green Thriller? Yes.

Title: The End of The Computer
Author: Andre Mikhailovich Solonitsyn
Author's Web site link:
Amazon link
Genre: Thriller, Green Thriller
eISBN: 9781618420169 (Kindle)

Reviewed by Catherine C. Gorski "CateArtdotcom" (Portland, OR), originally for Amazon

The synopsis for this book boasts that this story is full of intriguing thoughts. 'Yeah sure,' I thought, 'in an action book?' It also promised whimsical humor, unexpected joy, and deep fulfillment. High marks to achieve!

So, I decided to give it a whirl. Besides, the cover was intriguing. I love me some nukular 'splosions!

Turns out, the claim on the virtual jacket underestimated the impact this story had on me; calling those thoughts intriguing was a very mild way of putting it - and now, that deep thinking stays with me, and has actually had an impact on several conversations. As one of the characters explains: 'it's a little bit like dying, and entirely like being born.' I looked at where these ideas came from, what the dry facts are - though I had to dig - and now I have a sense that if we don't do something soon, drastic measures similar to some in this story might have to take place.

But, I am not a resident of the Valley of Thunder yet, so let me tell you more about the book!

Like precious carvings being placed in niches made specially for them, beautiful bits of speech are laid in here with simple care; they stand out, but are set in their perfect environment. When Berkeley is described, I know without a doubt the author sees it both as it is today, and as it was in times past. When the women are conversing, they talk like actual women. When men talk, even when they express things you don't often hear men verbalize, they sound like real men.

A favorite line of mine is given by a fella who has seen too much and done too much, who is being asked to do it all over again - bigger, and right this time - who has a soul-rendering, very personal revelation (tissue box time, btw). He gives this explanation that should be so obvious, and yet it's ignored all the time: "You can't fight for a noble cause with heinous actions."

I don't want to give away too much of the plot. The truth is, I can't: it's unique in many ways and has a cheeriness to it that belies it's origins and the deeper meaning behind the words. Once the story starts gaining speed, you're treated to chapters so different from each other, there's no way of explaining how they form such a coherent whole. Let's just say... the payload is worth the wait!

Oh, and you must read all the way to the end. Yes, the ~story~ ends about 20 pages before the book does, and it's easy to miss on first run-through, but if you miss what comes after the story, you'll be very sad, and your tummy will stay empty.

Despite everything that happens during the telling of this tale - and there's a bunch of not-good-for-our-protagonists stuff going on there! - when you put it down, you feel fulfilled. Happy, even. Which is totally amazing, given what happens in the later chapters. But it makes you want to read it again. I've already read it twice, and now I'm a little sad that I'll have to put it down for a while for my brain to refresh so I can read it again... for the third time. I want to go back to Vallee de Tonnerre. See you there. ;)

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor. As a courtesy to the author, please tweet and retweet this post using this little green retweet widget :

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