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[personal profile] bookgazing
white book cover shows Zoo City in black letters. on closer examination the letters are made out of joined images showing animals - parts of cities - screaming faces and cars


Like much science fiction, Lauren Beukes' "Zoo City" is built on a tantalizing 'What If?'. What if, after you took someone's life, a physical manifestation of that crime appeared and attached itself to you forever? This premise throws up all sorts of questions. What intellectual theories would people create to explain this manifestation? Would they turn to God or science to try and find some understanding? What would it feel like to be a murderer if everybody could see what you'd done at a glance? And how would people react to you when they saw your mark? Then there's the big question, the one that drives novels: How would these manifestations affect society?

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renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
the cover of The Shining Girls


The girl who wouldn't die hunts the killer who shouldn't exist.

The future is not as loud as war, but it is relentless. It has a terrible fury all its own.

Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future.

Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times.

At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of the shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He's the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable-until one of his victims survives.

Determined to bring her would-be killer to justice, Kirby joins the Chicago Sun-Times to work with the ex-homicide reporter, Dan Velasquez, who covered her case. Soon Kirby finds herself closing in on the impossible truth... (source)


This is a story about the murder of women, viciously gendered violence, and the brutal nature of time.

I cannot stress enough: this book is about the serial stalking of young girls followed by their horrific deaths as adults by a sexualized male predator. It is, especially for those sensitive to malicious violence aimed at girls and women, something to be handled with care, and possibly not attempted at all. Read more... )

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renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
cover of Zoo City by Lauren Beukes


Zinzi has a Sloth on her back, a dirty online 419 scam habit — and a talent for finding lost things. But when her latest client, a little old lady, turns up dead and the cops confiscate her lastpaycheck, she’s forced to take on her least favourite kind of job: missing persons. [source]


Zoo City is the second novel by Lauren Beukes, and tells the story of a world that's been touched with magic, where people who have committed violence against others find themselves with animal familiars. This novel had the potential to be a mess given its premise. After all, we've already had a genre-defining narrative about animals and people and I have yet to hear of another author that does what Philip Pullman does with his humans and dæmons with such grace. I was fascinated to find that Beukes not only takes on the challenge of living up to this narrative and succeeds, but also wins at paying homage to Pullman as well as making the animals and the humans they're attached to her own distinct creation. Read more... )

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renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
Two men and two women etched in gray-scale with a box containing a red X where their faces should be


Moxyland is a near-future science fiction story, set in South Africa. It follows the lives of four people: Kendra, a newly minted corporate sponsor; Toby, a narcissistic, privileged kid playing at independence who records his adventures on his BabyStrange coat; Tendaka, a small time, play-acting terrorist with big dreams and but small-time mentality; and Lerato, an AIDS baby who has climbed the corporate ladder with no qualms about stepping on people as she does but spends her free time hacking, undermining and sneaking around with Toby for thrills. Moxyland is the story of how their lives collide, intertwine, and eventually spin out of control. Read more... )

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