Blog, Reviews

Blog Entry No. 11 – Genex of Halcyon

Dear Readers,

the review of this week will be rather short. For one part that’s because currently I have much work to do and for the other part it’s because I got this book from the online book club (OnlineBookClub.org) to read and review it. I’m not allowed to repost the review anywhere, so I will write a short and slightly different one for my blog and a longer, more detailed one for the online book club, where you can read it too soon.

“Genex of Halcyon” is a science-fiction novel describing a near-future utopia written by Joshua Stelling. The book was firstly published on 24th of September in 2019 by Arch Gravity Publishing. You find it under the ISBN 9780692184271.

The cover is quite dark and oppressive, the flowerlike plants in the front spend the only warm colour. As the title and author are written in a very simple style it builds an interesting contrast to the in some ways chaotic background. Though there is a light shining from far away, it seems like the cover of a dystopia. My interpretation of the cover supports the thesis that there is a little good in every bad situation, which would fit some philosophical statements explained by some characters in the book. Overall it’s maybe not the most welcoming start of a book, but it portrays the content pretty well I think.

Portraying a possible version of our future in about thirty years, Stelling created a complex social story around two to three main characters. Reading the first chapters I was mostly confused about the plot because he switched between perspectives very often. It makes it hard to understand all connections at the beginning but makes it interesting for rereading. The fiction covers a large number of interesting topics like love, death, the sense of life, betrayal, the way how minorities get treated and how to deal with no privacy for more security. Climate change and astronomy have been relevant as well, which increased the motivation to read it for me even more. Joshua Stelling presents in “Genex of Halcyon” a version of our future that is a warning in many ways. At the same time, it fascinates as a fantasy adventure about a lot of our opportunities. He closes with a collection of his own poetry that builds a calm feeling after a thrilling end.

Stylistically it’s incredible. There are parts that I just couldn’t stop reading because they were so catching, most of them have been about philosophical theories and the meaning of stars and the universe, so I guess that’s a topic one needs to be interested in advance, but if you are, it feels like reading a masterpiece. Sadly some elements didn’t take me in, confused and bored me at some points, but to expect a book to be brilliant at every word wouldn’t be fair, it wouldn’t be real anymore in no way.

After all “Genex of Halcyon” is a copacetic Sci-Fi – utopia (or dystopia depending on the point of view) – philosophy novel-poetry mixture. I will definitely read at least a second time. By doing so, I hope to get the plot a bit better and more rooted than so far. Of course, I’m looking forward to enjoying the philosophical, astronomical and poetic parts again as well.

Hope you’re having a good time,
Aly

PS: I got “new” books on rebuy (a great way to buy second hand), so I’m gonna read them next and review them soon. Both are written or translated in German so I’ll probably do two entrys for each book again.

Blog, Poetry, Reviews

Blog Entry No. 8 – Lost Girls Go Everywhere

Dear Readers,

today I’m gonna write about broken hearts, love and affection as well as about a travel to find oneself and a home, where one belongs and feels safe. I’m gonna write about poetry and short stories.
Personally, I really love poetry. It’s that kind of literature, which hasn’t the focus on telling a long story but on what the reader feels while reading it. So let’s get right into “Lost Girls Go Everywhere” by Azzurra Nox, a book full of feelings and emotions, a book of poetry and prose.

The book was published on 6th of October 2020 and written by the author and blogger Azzurra Nox. She was born in Catania, Sicily, lived in some European cities, Cuba and currently in Southern California. In the last years, she wrote several other books, like “Strange Girls: Women in Horror Anthology”(2020), “Bleed Like Me: Poems for the Broken”(2019) and “Doll Parts: Tales of Twisted Love”(2015).

Looking at the cover, the first impression was made: I was fascinated and interested. Considering the colours, it’s very simple, but at the same time, it radiates some feeling of wildness and independence. Firstly, it doesn’t seem to fit the content but rethinking everything it shows an independent woman, who experienced a lot of bad stuff, who needs horns instead of wings, to survive this world, who smokes, to feel better. All in one I like the style of the cover and what it could or could not mean.

But the important part is not the cover, it’s the content and the style of writing. The writing is separated into two parts: Part I contains the poetry and Part II the short stories written in prose. One page ahead of the Table of contents the author placed three sentences that spend hope. I think they are extremely important because the following poems and stories tend to be sad and hopeless, but these few lines at the beginning tell clearly: “You will find your path […]. Never give up.”
The Poetry in “Lost Girls Go Everywhere” was varied: The poems appealed to every emotion I carry with me: I fell in love, I burst of hate, I got disappointed and surprised, I melt with the words and I even cried at one poem. Some poems are short, just a statement and some are filling pages. There were barely rhimes, but for me, good poetry doesn’t have to rhyme as long as the feeling is still transported.
The prose texts are written in a similar emotional style as the poems and carry on the love stories of a life full of wandering. Reading them was like getting more background information to the poems. Neither the poems nor the stories seemed to be chronological, which effected a perception of the texts as a collage of experiences from different lives, which makes it easier for the reader to identify with the persona.

Considering the whole work it’s to say that I recognised many references to music, to other famous literature, such as Moby Dick, Wuthering Heights and The Picture of Dorian Gray, and namings of other kinds of celebrities, such as Marilyn Manson and Marilyn Monroe. But all in one it is a rather melancholic book, with hope at the beginning, but not at the end. I enjoyed reading it and I’ll read it again, but not to upper my mood.

To judge poetry is always difficult, nearly impossible. How should one critic the most subjective thing in this world, as everyone made different experiences and feels just different? But I think the feeling that most of us have in common is heartbreake and that’s what the book is about, so grab an extract if possible and enjoy reading feelings put on paper.

Yours,
Aly