My LibriVox recordings & my reading journal (solo Litblog).

1st To Die notes; Chapters 3 & 4

cover for 1st To Die

Chapter 3

This author drops his bombshells early in the game.
Lindsay has a rare condition – Negli’s aplastic anaemia. Which her G.P., Dr. Roy Orenthaler assures his patient, can be fatal if not treated successfully and perhaps this may be the real reason for her behaviour during the prologue. Difficult to say, since I’ve only just met Lindsay.
Dr Roy, is being as honest as possible, without the sugar coating. Continue reading

The Gates notes; chapters 3 to 5

The Gates

Chapter 3; In Which We Learn About Particle Accelerators, and the Playing of “Battleships”
I’m introduced to two scientists who, when slightly bored, aren’t very scientific and play battleships when things get a little dull (how anything can be dull at the Large Hadron Collider is anyone’s guess), while unbeknownst to them, evil things are afoot in the LHC. Lurking and waiting.

The LHC was a particle accelerator, the largest ever constructed: a device for smashing protons together in a vacuum, consisting of 1,600 electromagnets chilled to -271 degrees Celsius (or, to you and me, “Crumbs, that’s really cold! Anybody got a sweater I can borrow?”), producing a powerful electromagnetic field.

There’s quite a decent overall of what happens in a particle accelerator and why anyone would want to use one, should the reader be interested. Written in the same layman’s manner injected with humour, as before.

Once Bitten Twice Shy notes; chapter 3

Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Chapter 3
Letting Cole escape the bodyguards hasn’t blown her cover as Lucille Robinson, to which Vayl must be mildly pleased about. She makes her way around the dining table with a confidence & grace which belies her previous cock-up.
She makes a comparison of her hostess Amanda Assan to that of the forced blooms decorating the table. Being the immaculate hostess with the catalogue-model smile & excellent but polite conversation. Will the real Amanda please stand up. Crying, unhappy spouse or diplomatic, entrancing partner(-in-crime).
Continue reading

World War Z notes; Goodbyes chapters 1, 2 & 3

World War Z
Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

Part 8, Goodbyes; Chapter 1, “the Whacko”.

Whatever the Whacko’s real name may be (or whomever he is based upon) he isn’t a Whacko as you might think.
This goodbye is merely a case in point.
For America the war is over, at least on paper, and Whacko believes that people have a right to try and reclaim their lives. It’s just the American way, he reckons, but I think it’s more than that. In order to rebuild a way of life you have to start in the home. In the same way that charity starts in the home, lives need to be rebuilt. Children need to be taught & loved. All the while, maintaining constant vigilance over the ever-present threat.

Of course volunteers came forward, they had a choice.
If America hadn’t declared the war over, perhaps more people would have been disgruntled & reluctant to help or join the UN multinational force.
Choice is powerful thing, take it away & people lose hope, worse, they lose their humanity & compassion.
Yep, methinks the Whacko knew what he was doing, knew it was time to celebrate a victory.
It was a long time coming. Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Total War chapter 3

World War Z

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

Part 7, Total War; Chapter 3, Darnell Hackworth.

Todd Wainio only mentioned the army’s K-9 Corps. in a roundabout sort of way and obviously the Israeli’s had a great deal of success using sniffer dogs but their use was rather limited. I think the Israeli’s didn’t really think about other uses, other types of training.

Darnell, and all dog handlers, trained side-by-side with their canine partners. That much is fairly usual, but the training itself; well, considering the new breed of enemy, the training could be nothing else but unusual, even unorthodox.
Sorting out the puppies certainly seems rather odd, but at least they weren’t in any danger at such a young age.
Those that made the “A” grade were in considerable danger after their training was completed, although it isn’t clear what the fate of the “B” grade puppies were.
These “A” grade mutts were trained thoroughly. Each pairing of dog & human being put through their paces. The road ahead was a treacherous one for these units, as their main goal was to lure the zombies towards the army. A ploy which made the battle at Hero City a success.
If a human had been used as bait to draw the ghouls to their final doom, it might have been a very different outcome. I can’t think of any person who might volunteer for such a duty. Not willingly & completely of their own free will.
The K-9 Corps filled that gap, but the humans who have benefited from the loyalty & training of these dogs, seem to have overlooked their canine counterparts. Only the handlers, like Darnell, remember.
Sniffing out the infected was a useful task, but luring the zombies out of buildings, towns & cities would of been of paramount importance if you wanted to clear a place without casualties. Human casualties Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Around The World And Above chapter 3

World War Z

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

Part 6, Around The World And Above; Chapter 3, Hyungchol Choi.

With the current unrest in North Korea, this chapter is somewhat scary. I’ve done a little history project or two over the years on Korea’s war, the 38th parallel & the differences between the people living on either side of it.
Coupled with a movie & tv programme like M*A*S*H* to amuse & silently educate me.

Hyungchol is, I suppose, a typical example of a South Korean. Modern enough to know his country’s history but not afraid of “the enemy”. He seems to pity his Northern countrymen more than anything else, comparing his freedom in an open society that is not only prosperous but educated in ways the North can never hope to be.
What is worrying, is that the Southern government seems to have entirely misread the North’s mass retreat into areas unknown. Guards, whole units of soldiers leaving their posts completely unattended. Villages of people suddenly disappearing.
From Hyunchol describes, North Korea must have looked like a complete “ghost-town”. The only possible explanation he puts forward, is that they must have misjudged the size & scale of the North’s underground dwellings. How can an entire country make it’s population of twenty-three million (or close enough to) simply and abruptly disappear.

He continues about the signs, surveillance, spies, and so all vanishing as if these people had simply ceased to be.

Before we knew it, there wasn’t a living soul left from the Yalu to the DMZ.

An extraordinary feat. But Hungchol mentions that this is the way the Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Home Front USA chapter 3

World War Z

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

Part 5, Home Front USA; Chapter 3, Joe Muhammad.

Joe is a “stand up for your rights” kinda guy and I like him all the more for it.
He’s in a wheelchair but still feels he has the right and is capable of patrolling his neighbourhood. Good for him, unfortunately he mentions yet more lingering social bigotry but he does his job as part of the Neighbourhood Security Teams & seems to do it well.
As part of this volunteer service, he willingly goes to all the training courses & lectures, he mentions some of the sensible rules and the lack of the Lobos that obviously hadn’t filtered down to them yet through the DeStRes programme. It hasn’t stopped Joe, he has a weapon, training and follows the rules laid down. Including calling for backup should he need it. All in all, he & his fellow NST’s help keep the neighbourhood, ergo his neighbours safe from harm. Zombies and hardened criminals aside, there isn’t too much trouble. The constant flow of refugees proved difficult but only for the first year, then things settled down.
That’s when he mentions the Quislings.

Yeah, you know, the people that went nutballs and started acting like zombies.

I guess the will to live, to survive isn’t very strong in some people. I can not imagine feeling the need to be like a zombie in this context. It’s not like getting a job as a movie extra. The real zombies don’t care if you’re a wannabe, you’re just food to them. The psychological damage to a living human being must be intense in the extremes.
Joe puts forward that quislings were the reason people thought wonder drugs like Phalanx worked, or the idea of zombies attacking each other. It makes sense, but how do you treat a quisling. He goes on, saying he’s heard the stories about Walla Walla, the prison.
If all the “Q’s” are incarcerated there, then it’s little wonder anyone could find the resources to deal with real criminals in the pre-war fashion.

I think the saddest thing about them is that they gave up so much and in the end lost anyway.

I agree.