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 4

Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Chapter 4
More back history for Jaz’s character, (specifically her worst childhood memory – her 10th birthday), and of her family.
During this memory, I learn that Dad was an active soldier serving in the first Desert Storm campaign, her sister Evie cries whenever Jasmine cries and that the young Jasmine had to contend with a particularly vindictive twelve year old neighbour at the Quantico base where they lived.
A lesson is hard-learned at this stage in young Jasmine’s life.

…nothing ever goes according to plan. Nothing. Not ever.

Continue reading

World War Z notes; Goodbyes chapters 4, 5, 6 & 7

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 4, Jesika Hendricks.

This young woman has lost her family, and yet tries not to think bitter thoughts. I’d like to think that makes her a good person, or at the very least, a compassionate person.
No, maybe being compassionate is the better deal.
Being a good person relies too heavily on what other people think of you as a person, defined by society’s rules.
Compassion may be what allows her to continue to help clearing Canada’s lands of dismembered body parts, regardless of her own personal tragedy.

Part 8, Goodbyes; Chapter 5, Mary Jo Miller.

Considering pre-war, Mary was just another typical mother/worker, she’s shown herself to be a smart lassie.
Yeah, she helped build & manage Troy but her views; she accepts her share of the blame, for the mismanagement of those early days. She and her family were one of those that bought into Phalanx, she believed in the fallacy of a cure.
She knows different now and it shows in her final comments.

At least we’re cleaning up our own mess, and maybe that’s the best epitaph to hope for. “Generation Z, they cleaned up their own mess.”

Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Total War chapter 4

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 4, Father Sergei Ryzhkov.

So Russia has turned itself into a Holy religious state.
I have never really understood religion. Faith, yes. Sometimes faith in someone or something is all you have in the dark, be it a loved one or science or God. Religion, for me, has always been confusing. School and parents indoctrinate their children before the poor kids can even write their names, how can they possibly understand God when the concept of death is totally foreign.
It is with this lifelong odd feeling that I read this chapter.
Father Ryzhkov explains the after-effects of Russia’s decimations, how it’s soldiers would perform any task but would never again to be ordered to kill a fellow soldier. Under any circumstances, including infection.
Of how the senior officers took up this grisly task, with drastic effects. Suicides were the most common after-effect, followed by desertion.
I think the worst kind of suicide that the Father mentions, is that of “suicide by combat”. An increasingly desperate soldier, trying to find peace by the hands & teeth of a ghoul. Actively seeking at a macabre death, and a painful one. As if the pain of being ripped apart might atone for the unforgivable act of killing a comrade, regardless of his of her’s infected status.
I can see why the hierarchy decided to let these poor soldiers take their own lives. Sometimes in the company of groups, like some twisted head of a cult group; focused on the idea of a mass suicide.

Father Ryzhkov was a member of the 32nd Motor Rifle division, one with the oldest kind of Russia’s stockpiled, antiquated weaponry. He admits that many rounds of ammunition were duds, that’s why the amount of soldiers who became infected was so high.
Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Around The World And Above chapter 4

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 4, Kondo Tatsumi.

I have to admit that Tatsumi-san’s story is a compelling reason not to become addicted to information-scouring on the internet. Having had to stop myself from doing just such a thing adds a personal touch. I’ve spent hours, or even days trying to search for a solution to whatever-problem. Sometimes forgetting to eat or drink. It’s not quite like being addicted to some on-line game as the facts you find have meaning in “real-life”, a solution found to some problem in everyday reality.
Tatsumi-san, being the extreme variety of this kind of information hound. It both works for & against him, he admits his physical strength is somewhat lacking even if his brain supplies the necessary knowledge to survive.
It’s kind of funny though, this addict suddenly being unceremoniously weaned off both his fact finding treasure hunts & the shared glory he used to get from other like-minded “otaku”.
One thing I can’t understand though, is his complete lack of need, concern & (apparently) love for his parents, at a time when most adolescents acknowledge their presence if only to scorn them. He simply doesn’t know what has become of them. He didn’t even know they were gone until he had to feed himself instead of simply waiting for the tray of prepared food. So closed off from his surroundings he doesn’t even notice the danger closing in on him. Safe in his cyberworld & mentally removed from his surroundings. To not be aware of your own surroundings is a dangerous situation at any time in life, no matter how mundane the situation.
How he manages to escape the zombies, or saifu (to use the Japanese term) is a complete mystery really, despite it being explained to me word for word.

It is his discovery of the army issue sword & his deep, sincere Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Home Front USA chapters 4 & 5

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 4, Roy Elliot.

Roy’s tale is very different from the previous tales.
Unlike some other refugees who are deemed an F-6, a person of no useful skill-set, he manages to find a use for his pre-war vocation. That of a film maker.
He explains about a condition now labelled as ADS.

Asymptomatic Demise Syndrome, or, Apocalyptic Despair Syndrome, depending on who you were talking to.

How this condition had cost the lives of hundreds of people every day, simply because these poor souls had lost the will to try. They were not suicide cases. So many people had finally found a safe area to rest their weary bodies and simply did not wake up again.
Roy found a way to use his old skill-set to do some good for a lot of people who were suffering from ADS.
His landmark movie “Victory at Avalon: The Battle of the Five Colleges”, made quite the difference. It was not an immediate effect on the communities where the movie was shown, but it had the effect of a pebble in a lake. A ripple effect.

As it turns out, the very night after Avalon made its “debut,” ADS cases dropped in LA by a whole 5 percent!

That ripple effect only grew with time.
What is truly amazing about Roy is that he had no funding but his own money, no endorsement from the officials. The government either didn’t see the importance of what Roy was attempting or simply didn’t have the time & resources to plan it all out. They had a monumental task ahead of them and Roy’s proposition would have gotten lost in a sea of requests.
Luckily Roy had his own pool of resources to tap in to, namely his former associates of camera operatives, film editors, sound editors & so on.
With the growing success of his Avalon film, Roy then sought to expand. More films were made & like the first, produced en mass & distributed as far & wide as possible.
Roy and his colleagues had so much success with giving hope to the people that the government had no choice but to pay attention, not only to Roy’s films but to the ADS problem as a whole.
He was allowed access to the military and his film, “Fire Of The Gods”, Continue reading this post