In the Deep Depths of the Ocean: A Review of Aegan and the Sunken City

Aegan and the Sunken City by D.G. Redd book cover. Image on cover shows an anchor falling through the ocean and about to touch the ocean floor. Title: Aegan and the Sunken City

Author: D.G. Redd

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: January 26, 2021

Genres: Science Fiction, Futuristic

Length: 17 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author.

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb:

The Cartographers have announced that the Triton will drift over an old city. Aegan finds himself lucky enough to be ready to drop in his deep-dive submersible, the Argo, and scavenge for riches. If he can collect enough salvage, he can buy his way into the upper-decks, to the levels of peace and quiet. For now though, he’ll need to make do with the solitude of his boat as he slowly descends to the sunken city.

Review:

Content Warning: sea monster. I will discuss it in this review.

The ocean is only as trustworthy as who or what is swimming around in it.

Morally ambiguous characters are so interesting to read about, especially when they’re as personable as Aegan was. Would I trust him with my credit card? No, but I would love to sit down to dinner with him and hear some of the stories he could tell about the slippery and sometimes downright illegal things he’s done in order to survive. There is no doubt in my mind that he’d have a few acts of heroism to throw in there as well. He excelled at bending and even breaking the law, but he never struck me as a cruel man. He was simply someone who was trying to game an unfair system in order to make his own life easier.

I would have liked to see more time spent describing the sea monster and it’s intentions. Yes, Aegan was used to such distractions, but this reader was not! It was hard for me to picture what it looked like or why it was so interested in Aegean’s vessel in the first scene. I was also surprised by how the plot veered away after that moment, so having a more detailed description of why the author went in that direction would have been helpful as well. This is a minor criticism of something I otherwise enjoyed quite a bit.

The world building was nicely handled. While the author didn’t have a great deal of time to go into detail, he shared enough information about how global warming changed the sea levels and human society to keep me interested and eager to find out what else had changed between our present and this nebulous time in the future. This is the sort of thing I’m happy to wait around for so long as I have a basic understanding of how e everything works, and that was definitely provided here.

This is part of a series but works perfectly well as a standalone work.

Aegan and the Sunken City piqued my curiosity for more.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Weirdest Food You Love

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

About a dozen kohlrabi’s sitting on top of each other. They are whole and unwashed. I’m bending the rules this week and giving two answers to the prompt because I know we’ve had at least one vegetarian participate in the past. I don’t want to make them read about something that might bother them.

My Vegetarian Answer: Kohlrabi. Sometimes it’s also known as a German Turnip. The flesh of this vegetable is white and looks and feels like a lot like a radish. The taste is quite mild and delicious, though. My grandmother grows them in her garden and serves them as a snack on their own or sometimes sliced and then put on a piece of buttered bread just like you would with radish slices.

My Non-Vegetarian Answer: Frog legs. I grew up in a rural part of North America where people ate such things at home as well as in local restaurants! It’s definitely an acquired and gamey taste, but I sure liked it when I was a kid.

I do not think my answers are actually that unusual, but we’ll see what the rest of you have to say in your posts!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set in a Place I’d Love to Visit


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A brown suitcase covered in stamps and stickers from various tourist destinations like Hawaii and Los Angeles. Prince Edward Island and Hawaii are two places I’d love to visit. I discussed the former last month, so this post will be dedicated to the latter.

Why did I pick Hawaii? Well, it’s climate is much warmer and sunnier than the places I’ve lived in my life (at least during the winter).

When Ontario is in the depths of January and the clouds haven’t parted in weeks, I dream of going somewhere that has a bright blue sky and is not covered in ice and snow.

I’d also love to learn more about the cultures of the people who originally inhabited the Hawaiian islands. I know so little about them at the moment. Do speak up if you know if any other good books on this topic.

Moloka'i (Moloka'i, #1) by Alan Brennert book cover. Image on cover shows a drawing of a Hawaiian woman’s face covered partially by flowers.

1. Moloka’i (Moloka’i, #1) by Alan Brennert

 

Blu's Hanging by Lois-Ann Yamanaka book cover. Image on cover shows a painting of a black cat sitting underneath laundry drying on a laundry cord outside at dusk.

2. Blu’s Hanging by Lois-Ann Yamanaka

 

ild Meat and the Bully Burgers by Lois-Ann Yamanaka Book oover. Image on cover shows a drawing of a stylized spotted leopard-like creature surrounded by celestial bodies like the sun.

3. Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers by Lois-Ann Yamanaka

 

The Aloha Spirit by Linda Ulleseit book cover. Image on cover shows a drawing of a ship releasing black smoke by an Hawaiian island covered in palm trees and ferns.

4. The Aloha Spirit by Linda Ulleseit

 

nfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell book cover. Image on cover shows painting of Hawaiians sitting underneath tree as white man stands looking down upon them.

5. Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

 

This Is Paradise: Stories by Kristiana Kahakauwila Book cover. Image on cover shows silhoutte of plastic dancing Hawaiian girl on a car’s dashboard as it drives on a glowing red city street at night.

6. This Is Paradise: Stories by Kristiana Kahakauwila

 

he Legends and Myths of Hawai'i by David Kalākaua Book cover. Image on cover shows a painting of a Hawaiian man in English military gear. He looks high ranking?!

7. The Legends and Myths of Hawai’i by David Kalākaua

 

 

No Footprints in the Sand: A Memoir of Kalaupapa by Henry Nalaielua book cover. Image on cover shows photo of young boy in white hospital uniform crossing his arms at a leprosy hospital. Upper photo shows him as a healthy senior citizen.

8. No Footprints in the Sand: A Memoir of Kalaupapa by Henry Nalaielua

 

Story by Hawaii's Queen by Liliuokalani book cover. Image on cover shows photo of Hawaiian queen and the English building where she lived.

9. Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen by Liliuokalani

 

Hawaii by James A. Michener book cover. Image on cover shows six Hawaiians paddling together in the same boat in the ocean at sunset.

10. Hawaii by James A. Michener

Mending Fences: A Review of A Prayer for the Crown-Shy

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers book cover. Image on cover is a close-up painting of a covered wagon travelling through a forest. Title: A Prayer for the Crown-Shy

Author: Becky Chambers

Publisher: Tor Books

Publication Date: July 12, 2022

Genres: Science Fiction, Utopia

Length: 160 pages

Source: I borrowed it from my local library.

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb:

After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home.

They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe.

Becky Chambers’s new series continues to ask: in a world where people have what they want, does having more even matter?

Review:

Content Warning: Theology and religion, but they share little in common with any theologies or religions of our world. I will discuss these topics in my review.

What could be more cozy or wholesome than a Tea Monk and a robot going on a road trip in a utopian world?

I am once again going to need to tread carefully in my review in order to avoid spoilers, but I did want to talk about the theological discussions and religious practices in this universe. Ms. Chambers created such a gentle framework for those beliefs that I was quickly able to relax and follow the characters’ thought processes as they compared beliefs and asked intelligent questions of those who disagreed with them. You should know that Sibling Dex loves and accepts everyone. Their beliefs are sacred to them, but they would never use them against those who have other beliefs or no beliefs at all. Don’t be nervous about reading this if you’re like me and generally avoid stories about religion or theology based on previous negative experiences with those topics in our world. It was important part of the plot for sure, but there wasn’t a single ounce of unkindness in Sibling Dex’s worldview.

My review of A Psalm for the Wild-Built gently criticized the loose plot structure of that book. I’m happy to report that the plot was thicker in this one. Yes, it retained it’s meandering philosophical and religious discussions that are so important to Sibling Dex and Mosscap’s character development, but they faced more conflicts and obstacles to their goals this time around as well. It was fascinating to me to see how they handled abrupt changes to their travelling plans and interactions with other living things that didn’t always go as predicted. This was exactly what they both needed to in order to show the audience how they’d changed as a result as their earlier adventures.

It was exciting to see how the world building was expanded. I finally learned more about how the villages and cities in this world are connected to each other and what their relationships with one another are like. Yes, I wanted to dive even deeper into this topic, but it made sense to stop where we did. I mean, it’s not like I welcome friends to Canada by going on a long monologue about my country’s history, culture, or social customs before asking if they want to try poutine. The important parts are shared as they come up in conversation, so it made total sense for the author to do the same here.

The character development was once again handled beautifully. Sibling Dex and Mosscap changed in all sorts of interesting ways as a result of their journey and their friendship. I chuckled as their assumptions about what humans or robots should be like occasionally bumped up against realities that bore little resemblance to what either of these individuals thought was going to happen. While I did find myself wishing the last scene had been given a little more time to flourish, I’m betting that it was written that way on purpose in order to set up whatever comes next.

This is the second instalment in the Monk & Robot series. I strongly recommend reading it all in order as there were several important scenes in A Psalm for the Wild-Built that are critical to understanding the character development.

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy made me yearn for more.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: My Ideal Bookcase

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

This week’s topic was “show us your bookcases.” While I do technically own one bookcase, it’s filled with clothes, random knickknacks, spare charging cords for our various electronic devices, and tic tacs because my spouse loves that candy.

In order to stick to the spirit of the prompt, I’m going to tweak it just a little so I can share my dream bookcase with you all.

A nook in a house that contains a while bookshelf built into the wall. The doorway has a nice wooden frame with some leaves carved into it. Many bookcases out there are quite tall. I’m a little shorter than average, so it always makes me a tad nervous to stand on my tiptoes and try to grab a book on the top shelf. This is even more true if the book is oddly shaped or heavier than usual as I have scary thoughts of one of them falling onto my face and scratching my cornea or cracking  my glasses. (Yes, my fears are quite specific sometimes. Ha!)

Therefore, my ideal bookcase would be one that I could reach every shelf comfortably.

The thought of it existing in a little nook of a house that might otherwise be hard to make full use of delights me, too.

I love the wooden frame over the doorway of this bookcase. Wood is such a warm and cheerful material. I’d want to have rabbits carved into my frame because they’re my favourite animal.

Ideally, my bookcase and the nook it was placed in would be somewhat larger than this one. I would like to have a soft, comfortable chair in that little room or maybe right outside of it in the hallway or next room as well if I could. It would make such a cozy spot to sit and read.

There you have it. Something like this would be a perfect bookcase to me.

 

Gentle Science Fiction: A Review of A Psalm for the Wild-Built

Note: I’m (finally) reviewing the first book in the Monk & Robot series today and will review the sequel next week. Stay tuned!  Title: A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot #1) Author: Becky Chambers Publisher: Tor Books Publication Date: July 13, 2021 Genres: Science Fiction, Utopia Length: 160 pages Source: I borrowed it… Read More

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Describe a Perfect Weekend Getaway

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews. Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year. This is a trip I’ve been dreaming about ever since I first read the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery.  Maybe someday a version… Read More

The Healer: A Review of Sweet Basil

Title: Sweet Basil – A Firethorn Chronicles Short Story Author: Lea Doué Publisher: Butterwing Publishing (Self-Published) Publication Date: August 30, 2021 Genres: Fantasy, Historical Length: 24 pages Source: I received a free copy from the author Rating: 3 Stars Blurb: Hiding from sorcerer hunters, Marisol travels in search of those she can help with her dangerous gift… Read More