There is a war raging between Daimons and Witches. It’s being waged over ruling The City, an alternate world filled with Daimons who have the ability to change into animal form a race that lives in fear of being ruled by their magical counterparts. For years Daimons have maintained control of The City forcing witches to set up camp in the human realm of earth.
The City is not the paradise you’d think it was. It’s a world filled with sex, lies, and murder. A place where one is born into a caste. Your level of social strata deciding the rules with which you’ll live your life. If you’re born as Aya and Bel were, you’ll be expected to mate another of your caste. Women are only valuable as tools for breeding. If you’re born as Kaleb was, a cur of the lowest social standing, you’ll have to fight each day for protection and food. Often times resorting to selling yourself as a dealer of death or offering of sex.
But once in a generation these social rules are thrown aside. A gladiatorial death match ensues where a person of any standing from cur to wealthy may place their life in the ring and fight their way to a new place in society. Each of our characters has an ulterior motive. Each is pulled by love, death, and desire. Their secrets may be their greatest strength or biggest weakness. And only time will tell who gets what their heart most desires; and who will end up dead…
This book is just a start of a series. The whole thing is a well thought out introduction to the story’s world. I finished the book hungry for more; ready for the action and secrets to begin to tangle. What makes a great paranormal series is the careful construction of its world. Marr takes time to lay out the pieces of her foundation. Showing and comparing the social strata of The City vs. the human (witches) realm. The driving force of her characters is the need to create family either though birth or found acquisition. And the desire to improve their standing in life. The rise from ‘cur’ or poverty to ruling or wealthy rank. Even how the wealthy are constrained by the rules of their caste. The strict constraints of being female. Note. This is not a book or a world that allows for the easy flouting or changing of prescribed gender roles. A flick of the ruler’s finger – a sudden change of fancy – ensures that even a female fearless and cunning enough to fight to the death for her values – her revolutionary spirit – will find herself entangled in the very thing she wishes to escape.
This first book has the feel of a preface through and through. The reader gets to experience the background of each character fairly separately before they begin to join up in various fashions. While I’m sure surprises pop-up in future installments this tale provides a good base for the action to come.
We have Mallorythe human who has no idea she isn’t really human – no idea of the true nature of the war raging on about and over her.
Ayathe upper-caste woman with secrets of her own to hide. Secrets she’s willing to risk exposing to change the role of woman in The City.
Kalebthe cur who desires to ‘change his stars’ a la A Night’s Tale (anyone remember that movie?) or a viscous gladiatorial-type death match. Though Mallory herself may just off him when she learns of the romantic pickle he’s gotten them into.
Belis a golden boy who got the shit end of the stick. Interesting to see – as the only character stuck in this situation our of pur love – What his role will be…
I loved hearing Marr speak about the themes and inspirations behind this book. The threads of a “found” or “created” family. Looking at the things we’re willing to die for – the decisions we make out of difficult circumstances. It was cool to hear that Marr writes each characters thread individually then weaves the character’s POVs together to create the whole of the book.
And that the idea for The City came from the Colosseum in Rome and the vision that it’s surrounded by vendors hawking their wares. Such an instant and great visual.
Rating: 3/5 I am soo ready to jump into the meat of this story!
Calla has always thought she was first and foremost a warrior but this war has taught her that she is also a pack leader, a friend, a sister, and a lover. As the final battle approaches she finds herself ever more ensnared in the twisted logic of her mind versus her heart.
She doesn’t want to believe Ansel is the traitor everyone says he is…even if evidence proves otherwise…
She doesn’t want to believe her family’s pack may have known more of the true history…even if they attack her…
She doesn’t want to stay with the man from her past…even if his kisses still ignite passion…
She wants the man who is her future…even if he’s beginning to slip away…
The final battle is upon them all. And not everyone will make it out alive – or in love.
I’m disappointed in this last book. Not because it wasn’t a good ending to a series. Or because I wasn’t satisfied with the battles or the action; there were a lot of good things happening in this tale. It kept my attention during runs and I was always eager to come back to the story. As far as a tie up for a series is concerned Cremer did well. Satisfying without an open ending or being too pat. An extended epilogue pointing toward the possibility of future books in a companion series without hindering Calla’s final ending was well done.
What lingers in my mind is the conclusion of the love triangle. That oft used cliché in YA. A plot device ensuring character drama and reader devotion. Blah. Cremer seemingly had a new take on this construct. I’ve lavished praise on her previous two books (Nightshade and Wolfsbane) exclaiming how refreshing and intriguing it was to be presented with two men that, not only I both loved – but Calla seemed equally drawn to as well. For the bulk of the series I racked my brain. I searched for clues like a kid hunting Easter Eggs.
Who. Would. Calla. Pick?!?!
I spent a fair amount of idle running time pursuing fantasies in which a YA series would allow for a menage e trois, at least, plural marriage, at best. I may or may not have performed a Google search on the concept of wolves and monogamy. Guess what? They’re more monogamous than humans! Serial Monogamists People. This should have forewarned me. It was not going to end well.
I my review of book two I claimed that I couldn’t bear the idea that Shay or Ren would be rejected. i wanted an alternate ending. I wanted feelings to evolve or change (Think Katniss and Gale). I wanted a new romance or opportunity for one of the boys to pop up (Like, Jake and Renesseme in Twilight). I wanted Calla to strongly feel for one man over the other (Every Love Triangle Ever). In essence I wanted Cremer to continue impressing me in her incarnation of the love triangle. I wanted her to give a valid ending where one man became the better choice. I didn’t want her to take the easy way out.
What I didn’t want to happen was to see Ren needlessly killed. STILL BELIEVING HE WAS IN THE RUNNING FOR CALLA’S HEART! Heck, I especially didn’t want him to die while CALLA STILL LOVED HIM! Because I honestly believe that had Ren not been killed off – Calla couldn’t have made up her mind. Hello King Solomon’s Judgement. Calla totally would have cut the baby in half. Girlfriend couldn’t choose. Even more frustrating: She was never given the chance.
Cremer had emotionally painted herself into a corner and couldn’t get out without drama and major upset. So she killed him. But Ren doesn’t even get to die a hero. Nope. He makes a stupid move fighting his “father” and dear old dad kills him. End. Of. Story. Dad ends up dying at the hands of Calla’s father. Not even badly injured by his son’s attempt. Ren doesn’t even get to do anything to further the fight!
I’m just left feeling…What a waste…A waste of an opportunity for great writing and an opportunity to do something new to the love triangle.
Rating: 3/5 They fought bravely, but loved like cowards…
Thea Moretti is the walking dead. At least she believes she is. She’s trying to be…
Thea drowns out the world around her with ever constant ear buds blasting angry music, the anonymity a crowded city gives, and meaningless sex with Ronan O’Rourke. Thea has been using Ronan for no-strings-attached sex for the better part of a year now. Losing herself in bodily passion with no emotional ties. But as Christmas, and the second anniversary of her husband’s death, approaches feelings Thea had long thought dead and buried are brimming just under the surface…made stronger by a certain sexy fireman.
Ronan O’Rourke is no stranger to grief. A job as a fireman that takes him daily to some of the worst moments in people’s lives, a loss of a close family member on September 11th, and the more recent death of a best friend, Ronan too wandered around New York as a shell of a person. Until the fateful day when Thea chose him to use for her sexual pleasure. That was the day Ronan joined the living again. As Christmas approaches Ronan is no longer content to let Thea drift through life. He’s seen how much she has to offer, knows how much she has to live for. And if it’s a battle between grief and love, Ronan intends to be the last man standing.
Armed with the spirit of the season, the beauty of New York City at Christmas, and a menage e trois. Ronan will show Thea, and all readers, that it’s not just enough to be alive…you need to learn to live…
I found this novella during a mini-reading-slump about a week ago. Usually this close to Christmas I’m chomping at the bit for Christmas Romances. I Eat. Them. Up. But, alas, this year nothing was calling to me. The synopses seemed forced rather than jolly and not too many reviews had me clamoring for an impulse click.
Until Breath of Embers.
Wow. You can purchase this novella as part of a holiday anthology (Red Hot Holiday) or as a single title for 2.99. This novella was just what I needed. Technically categorized as an erotic romance the amount of feeling and emotion in these pages surpasses many a chick-lit or general romance title.
People, I teared up during this read!
No sex scene was gratuitous. Each one gave me deeper insight to the characters. To see Thea fighting so hard to stay emotionally dead with her husband. To see Ronan fighting so hard – not to erase the memory of Thea’s lost love – but to show her that she’s not dead physically or emotionally. Learning how Thea was as responsible for Ronan’s own rebirth after the loss of those close to him. Watching Thea realize that she has something special in her life. Something worth living for. Oh my. The scenes were lovely and enthralling both in and out of the bedroom.
“I’m not trying to fix it for her…There is no fix for this. She has to endure it, and somewhere along the line she has to learn to live again. Surviving isn’t the goal. Living is. This is a battle between me and her grief, and I’m going to be the last man standing.” (Ronan, 196)
Calhoun has managed quite a feat. An erotic romance as delicious for its sex (hello, expensive lingerie store sex!) as its emotional breakthroughs (candles and carols). And I must bow down to the woman who created a threesome that brought a couple closer! rather than distancing them apart. Never was a scene so hot and heavy from both the sexual side and the emotional side. Filled with Christmas scenes that don’t feel forced or fake. this one is a must read during the Holiday Season. Perfect for the erotic romance regular as well as the fist-timers. Well written and beautifully developed characters abound.
Rating: 5/5 An emotional erotic that is a must read for the Holiday Season
Bonus: For those who’ve read this one…or for after you do (because you NEED to read this one!) here’s a link to a Guest Post author Anne Calhoun did on SmexyBooks.com. It’s an interview with Ronan. Very cute!
“Of course, my mom lived in a world where the monsters were greed, ambition, and questionable ethics…My sister Mel and I live in a whole different world and the monsters here are less…metaphorical” (Lily, 1)
Lily and her sister Mel live in a new world. A Vampire Apocalypse world. Science made a mistake. In research devoted to studying genetics, turning on and off genomes in hopes of eradicating things like cancer and autism scientists instead created Vampires. Well, for lack of a better word, vampires. You see what swept the nation in the space of 6 months were humans-turned-Ticks. Ticks are a far better word for these blood sucking creatures. Only humans carrying a specific gene can be turned into a Tick from a Tick’s bite. All others are simply food for the newly turned Ticks.
Teens are the yummiest form of food for Ticks. Their raging hormones enhancing the taste of their blood. For their own protection teens were removed from their families and shipped off to secure locations: Fenced in locations like college campuses where students could live comfortably and safely. But these havens have become Farms. Teens are bled on a daily basis to ‘feed’ the Ticks, under the guise of keeping the Ticks satisfied and at bay it’s beginning to feel more like they’re being harvested until they’ve lost their hormone high.
And Lily and Mel are getting older. Every day coming closer to their blood being deemed bland. Facing the choice between death or breeding babies to stock the future of the farm. Lily has a plan. A plan that will go awry, a plan that will become part of a larger fight, a plan that can only end in death…or rebirth
I didn’t want to put this book down.
And I wanted so much more when it ended!
McKay does an excellent job of penning the first book in a series. THE FARM has a steady build so the reader fully realizes the world Lily and Mel are living in. The story is told from multiple, limited points of view. I know multiple POV’s aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But know that McKay pulls it off. Much like George R R Martin’s A SONG OF FIRE AND ICE series, the different views add to the fullness of this story. Giving the reader far more information than any single character could.
The setting of the tale is so freshly after the Tick takeover that we’re not sure what to expect from the world beyond The Farm. We see from Lily’s memory that before she and Mel were shipped to The Farm there were warnings for people to move away from the Tick infestation. The Farm itself seems reasonably well set up as a stockade for teens. It’s true purpose feels sinister – but on the surface appears to be a well thought out protection for the most vulnerable of Tick victims Heck, as a parent I’d send my child there. Better to see them safe behind a fence than running from blood sucking monsters.
What’s great about these blood sucking monsters in particular is that McKay doesn’t rely on the paranormal to explain her Vampires. Instead her monster is based strictly in science. And this makes it all the more terrifying because you could see how genetic experiments could go wrong…It’s far more realistic. And far more scary. It’s the realistic explanation that really sucked me in. The invasion of the Ticks reminds me of a “zombie” plot. The idea that a “virus” or “DNA” change would spread rapidly – resulting in a blood-thirsty being with no higher-level thought processes. Just smell food = Eat food. The horror!
But it’s really the humans who prove scariest. While the Ticks can kill, fast and easy, it’s the humans and their own higher-level thoughts and plans that promote a more terrifying reality. Because you know The Farm I spoke of above isn’t based in pure intentions.
And when the hot boy from Lily’s past comes into the picture with his own motivations knowing who to trust and which path Lily should take kept the pace of the book moving along swiftly. But don’t expect YA insta-love to hit these two. They’ve got a past of their own, a few years of crushing on each other to back up any feelings plus, romance just isn’t the point of this book. Survival is. Uncovering what’s really happening in the world is. And for once our heroine really doesn’t want to be the savior of the universe.
“If I was an abductura, then that changed everything. Forever. … I would have to give up any hope I still clung to that there might be a normal life for me somewhere.”
It was this line that sealed the deal between Lily and me. I get that. When the world starts crashing down, I think all we really want is to find a normal again. To find a steady and calm place – even if it doesn’t look like it used to. You don’t get to save the world and then fade into the suburbs. It’s not wrong to wish that someone else could save the day. And leave the hope of “normal” to the heroine.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mel’s autism as a very cool addition to the tale. The (short) chapters from her point of view were wonderfully written in a lyrical/riddle mix. They always ended up shedding light on the story and by the end of the book I found myself hoping that Mel chapters would pop up so I could get new/clear information! They were little gems strewn throughout the book.
But that ending! Geeze, I need to know NOW how everything is going to change.
Rating: 4/5 A Fresh and Scientific take on a Vampire Apocalypse.
And if you’d like to enter to win a copy of THE FARM and a Vampire Apocalypse Survival Kit just click the picture below to enter!
Emily McKay loves to read, shop, and geek out about movies. When she’s not writing, she reads on-line gossip and bakes luscious deserts. She pretends that her weekly yoga practice balances out both of those things. She lives in central Texas with her family and her crazy pets. Though she’s never been much of a joiner, she somehow still managed to join multiple group blogs. (A pathological need to be part of any group of that wants her? Best not to analyze this too deeply.) So you can visit her at the Jaunty Quills, Harlequin Desire Authors, or Peanutbutter on the Keyboard. She also co-write young adult rom-coms as Ivy Adams.
Her latest book is the start of a Sci-Fi Dystopian Horror Trilogy:
Today I’ve virtually cornered Emily and gotten a few answers to my burning questions. I’ve kept it spoiler free…but you know I was DYING to learn more about book 2! So skip to the end for an original poem from Emily with teasers for what happens to our band of fighting friends.
Now, Without Further Ado…The Interview
1. What I found interesting about your book was the combination of the mythologies. The Vampire myth mixed with what seemed like zombie, disease outbreak, and science gone awry. The juxtaposition of the traditional vampire and the tick, as well as the horrors of humanity…Where did you find inspiration for all the “monsters” of this series?
When I first had the idea for a book about vampires farming humans for food, I spent a lot of time thinking about the physiology of vampires. I wasn’t satisfied with a strictly magical explanation for them. I wanted to understand why my vampires were immortal, why they were impossible to kill, and how they changed from humans into vampires. For me to believe in the story, the mythology had to make some sort of scientific sense to me. All the vampire/Tick stuff sprang from that.
For each quality that makes a vampire a vampire, I asked myself, is there an animal in nature that has that already. For example, there are giant jellyfish that could potentially be immortal. There are a plethora of other animals that can regrow limbs. In short, there’s all kinds of crazy crap in nature. And the truth is, even though they’ve mapped the human genome, they are only starting to understand what every little twist and turn in our genetics mean.
In the past few years, researchers have started looking into epigenetics, which is the mechanism for turning genes on and off. Once I learned about that, that became my mechanism for turning humans into vampires. Then the development of the Ticks spun out from that, again by my looking for animalistic qualities I could transfer to human. For example, my Ticks have diminish brain capacity, that’s because their jaws are much stronger than a human’s jaws. That’s a quality the big apes have. It was fun playing around with stuff like that.
Unfortunately, the sad thing is, the horrors of humanity also comes from real scientific research. If you want to read a real horror story, look up the Stanford Prison Experiment from 1971. Humans are capable of horrible things. I believe we have to constant be on guard against that. We have to cultivate the great things we’re also capable of.
2. What inspired you to write part of the book from the point of view of a girl with autism? How did you research to successfully get inside Mel’s head?
I made Mel autistic because I wanted a character who depended on Lily, but who also had her own talents and thoughts and brought a lot to the table herself. It wasn’t that I chose to write the book in Mel’s point of view, it was that she had a lot to say and I knew the only way to convey it was to give her a voice. To make Mel’s voice authentic, I read some of the books by Temple Grandin, as well as Daniel Tammet, both of whom are autistic.
3. This book was filled with tension. I loved feeling the terror of being chased, the horror of towns without people, and yet, the very structured survival system that seemed to be in place just out of sight of our characters. I’ll admit it’s the chasing that gets me – a long standing nightmare of being slowly chased by an opponent who I know is going to win. What scares you? Where do you draw inspiration for the horror bits of this book?
Remember what I said about the Stanford Prison Experiment? Yeah, that’s the stuff that terrifies me. The fear of what people will do as resources dwindle.
But, yes, the fear that this battle they’re fighting is ultimately hopeless, that the odds are just too great? That’s pretty stinkin’ scary.
And then, there’s also the fear of the control other people have over us. In the story, there’s a paranormal quality to that control, but there almost doesn’t need to be. If the media tells us to be afraid, if someone we trust tells us we’re in danger, we believe it. Roosevelt understood that.
In some ways, it was easy to find inspiration for the scary bits. There’s a lot to be afraid of in the world of the book, but there’s also a lot to be hopeful about.
As much as I believe humans are capable of horrors, I also know we’re capable of greatest. We can do amazing things to protect the people we love. We just have to constantly be on guard against the bad stuff.
4. Lily has a huge bargaining chip on The Farm due to a scavenged bit of contraband. Looking into your own purse do you find anything that would help you out in Lily’s situation? Or maybe you’re more like Mel? Lucky to have a bits of sentimental necessity that you couldn’t be parted from…
Oh, that’s a great question! I’m probably more like Mel with the sentimental things I can’t give up. I still have many of my stuffed animals from childhood and I’ve told my husband he’ll have to bury me with them. J
But, since writing The Farm, I’ve started thinking more like Lily. I’m always on the look out for things that can be used for alternate purposes. Just tonight, I tried to convince my hubby to burn a bath pouf drenched in hand sanitizer in his Hibachi Now, my eyes light up every time I see the word flammable.
5. Give us a 5 word teaser for book 2, Pretty Please?
Ack! Only five words? How about this: More love, sacrifice, betrayal and … no, wait. Can’t do it. How about this, I’ll write you a haiku!
Mel, without music,
Lil, and Carter must unite
The vamps against Bob
Thanks so much for having me here today!
Emily and her publisher Penguin are being very generous and giving away a prize package including: a copy of THE FARM with a “Vampire Apocalypse Survival Kit” to one lucky reader (US). a Rafflecopter giveaway
I did this whole series via Audio Book. It was my running soundtrack for the bulk of this past year. I saved Beautiful Redemption to finish out my last 1/2 marathon training. I knew Ethan and Lena could keep all those running aches and pains at bay!
This was recommended to me by a fellow librarian. And as I just so happened to be standing near the shelf it was located I checked it out on a whim. Such a lovely whim! Pure contained a beautifully written and uniquely designed dystopian world. Very excited for February and the release of Fuse.
Talk about a unique point of view! Grant presents characters that come from different backgrounds than just the wealthy Ton. Characters whose motivations are unique, complicated, and not easily solved. Characters whose love is strong and worthy, but not necessarily magically perfect. They’re great, hot reads that’ll have you thinking and caring for their characters.
7. George R. R. Martin
A Song of Fire and Ice
I made it as far as book 4 and stalled out. I’m waiting for a cold snowy day to pick it back up because “Winter is Coming”
8. Marcus Zusak
The Book Thief
I finished this one on an airplane. Crying so hard the stewardess needed to bring me extra napkins. I can only be thankful that I was alone in my row! And that she ended up being bookish as well. She just had to read the book that made me that emotional!
Ok, so this one isn’t so much about the actual book or author – but more about my new love of audio books. Fey’s was my first (great) experience listening to one while running. Since her funny debut I’ve been HOOKED so I’ll thank Ms. Fey for getting me into reading while running. It’s been huge for my training!
“When Minerva lost herself in a book, her late father had once remarked, a man needed hounds and a search party to pull her back out.” (29)
Minerva Highwood is a bluestocking of the first order. Her nose is always either in a book or inches from a rock. Geology is her passion and also a field closed to women. But Minerva has found a breakthrough fossil in Spindle Cove and she’s bound and determined to share her findings with the Royal Geological Society come hell, high water, or a ruined reputation. In fact Minerva plans to do it with a ruined reputation. That’s where Colin Sandhurst comes into the picture.
Colin is a rogue among rogues. He’s always got a woman in his bed, even as he opens his door one rainy night to the bespectacled Miss Highwood dripping on his doorstep. What Colin finds when he lets her into his home is a passionate, confident woman hiding behind the bindings of all those books. A woman who intrigues him. A woman he wouldn’t mind teaching passion to himself. But Colin isn’t what he appears either. He’s a man who is unwilling to even fake ravish Minerva – who is a very willing virgin indeed! Which puts Minerva in a bit of a pickle, because she’s got to get to Scotland and the Geological Society within the week. And an unwilling rouge isn’t going to stand in her way…
This book was by far my favorite book of the series. I don’t know if it was the unmarried traveler’s plot (always works for me) or the scientific mind/sexual exploration combo, but I found A Week to be Wicked a sexy and witty read – Something I’m coming to expect from a Tessa Dare book. I’ll admit that pre-read I wasn’t sure I was going to like Colin as my hero. Form the outside view of A Night to Surrender he came across as immature and slightly annoying. Inside this tale know that instead, he appears charming, sexy, and emotional scared. Also, the man is constantly encouraging Minerva to be herself! Confident and sexy; who doesn’t love a man who does that.
“He gave her a searching look, and Minerva marshaled the strength to hold it. Level, confident, unblinking. After a moment, his eyes warmed with an unfamiliar glimmer. Here was an emotion she’d never seen from him before. She thought it might be…respect. “Well,” he said “certainty becomes you.” ” (13)
It’s the interplay between Minerva’s scientific nature and Colin’s excess of irreverence and charm that keeps the dialogue sharp and moments funny and endearing. They both have confidence issues. Hiding it at opposite ends of the spectrum. He shields himself with a devil-may-care attitude. She keeps her nose in a book. Both are lonely souls who desperately need someone to knock them out of their shells and expose their true selves to the world.
“Perhaps, she thought, people were more like ammonites than one would suppose. Perhaps they too built shells on a consistent unchanging factor – some quality or circumstance established in their youth. Each chamber in the shell just an enlargement of the previous. Growing year after year until they spiraled around and locked themselves in place.” (184)
I would be doing a review of this title an injustice if I failed to mention the amazing sex scenes Dare creates. Just know that my favorites all happened before either character rounds 3rd base. They were unique and sweet and titillating And somewhat more realistic a physical premise than most. Who among us went from naive virgin to a home run with out some exploration of bases 1-3? I’d say the 0 to 60 experience is rare. Yet, it’s what happens in a lot of the historical romances we read. It was fun to see Minerva and Colin explore the sexual landscape slowly (well for a week-long road trip!) and thoughtfully. Gaining confidence and compassion along the way.
Rating: 5/5 Easily my favorite romance of the year!
So I am still reading Cloud Atlas. I could blame the Holiday. Giving Thanks amongst family and friends tends to eat into reading time. But in truth Cloud Atlas is not a book to be rushed. It’s structure and composition demands that you take it slow, pick among its words for deeper meaning. I’m on the downside slope of the novel. Only one last novella to finish.
However, I discovered that during each of the finishes of the novellas the main character attempts a definition or desire for what the book, Cloud Atlas, is attempting to achieve. Three of the men were the most successful I think. Robert Frobisher has the easiest explanation for the construction of the book. Which is eerily similar to the construction of the musical piece he’s working on:
“A sextet for overlapping soloists” “In the 1st set, each solo is interrupted by its successor: In the 2nd, each interruption is recontinued, in order. Revolutionary or gimmicky? Shan’t know until it’s finished, and by then it’ll be too late.” (463)
Previously, Isaac Sachs had described a theory of time. WARNING it’s a bit of a mind f*ck. I think I spent about 5 minutes rereading and trying to fix the idea in my mind. I don’t know if I really “get it” but I at least understand that it must have been one of the genesis for the book:
“One model of time: an infinite matrioshka doll of painted moments, each ‘shell’ (the present) encased inside a nest of ‘shells’ (previous presents) I call the actual past but which weperceiveas the virtual past. The doll of ‘now’ likewise encases a nest of presents yet to be, which I call the actual future but which weperceiveas thevirtual future. (Isaac, 409)
Did you get that? FYI Isaac is differentiating between actual and virtual through this line of thought:
“the workings of theactualpast + thevirtualpast may be illustrated by an event well known to collective history such as the sinking of theTitanic. The disaster as it actually occurred descends into obscurity as its eyewitnesses die off, documents perish + the wreck of the ship dissolves in its Atlantic grave. Yet avirtualsinking of theTitanic, created from reworked memories, papers, hearsay, fiction – in short belief – grows ever ‘truer’. Theactual past is brittle, ever-dimming + ever more problematic to access + reconstruct: in contrast, thevirtualpast is malleable, ever-brightening + ever more difficult to circumvent/expose as fraudulent.”
And for your final decoding a picture of a martioshka doll:
However, as complex as that line of reasoning is. It didn’t send me running for my dictionary. Or at least to dictionary.com. Nope.
It was the character of Timothy Cavendish that stumped me with his word:
“What wouldn’t I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constantineffable? To posses, as it were, an atlas of clouds” (389)
in·ef·fa·ble [in-ef-uh-buh l]
1. incapable of being expressed or described in words; inexpressible: ineffable joy.
2. not to be spoken because of its sacredness; unutterable: the ineffable name of the deity.
AKA: A never-changing map of constantly changing indescribable things.
Yep. Needless to say I’ve been reading this book for over 2 weeks now. And it’s wonderful, if a bit heavy for clouds…