Friday 56 – Vox

voxThe Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.

This week’s quote is from Vox by Christina Dalcher, a dystopia in which women in the US have been forced to wear bracelets that count the number of words spoken. If a woman goes over 100 words each day, it starts shocking her with increasing intensity for each word until she stops. Women also aren’t allowed to read or write. The book is terrifying and enraging.

He trained the counter to my voice, set it to zero, and sent me home.

Naturally, I didn’t believe a word of it. Not the sketches they showed me in their book of pictures, not the warnings Patrick read aloud to me over tea at our kitchen table. When Steven and his brothers burst in from school, full with news of soccer practice and exam results, while Sonia ignored her dolls, mesmerized by her new shiny red wristband, I opened the dam. My words flew out, unbridled, automatic. The room filled with hundreds of them, all colors and shapes. Mostly blue and sharp.

The pain knocked me flat.

Our bodies have a mechanism, a way to forget physical trauma. As with my non-memories of the pain of birth, I’ve blocked everything associated with that afternoon, everything except the tears in Patrick’s eyes, the shock – what an appropriate term – on my sons’ faces, and Sonia’s delighted squeals as she played with the red device. There’s another thing I remember, the way my little girl raised that cherry red monster to her lips.

It was as if she were kissing it.

Friday 56 – Black Wings Beating

black wings beatingThe Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.

This week’s quote is from Black Wings Beating, by Alex London.

Now that she was close to the one thing she wanted for herself, her brother was being reckless. Well, she could be reckless, too. Frustration parted her lips, and the burning breath inside rushed from her in one searing word, as angry now as it had been desperate before.

Shyehnaah,” she said, and in an instant, Shara unmantled her wings, scooped up the dead rabbit, and flew straight to Kylee. As she swooped to Kylee’s fist, she dropper her kill at Kylee’s feet and opened her wings to slow her landing. Her bright white under-feathers practically blinded the twins. The bird hooked her bloodied talons around Kylee’s bare knuckles and then stood, proud, eyes fixed on the rabbit she had killed and, for reasons she probably didn’t understand herself, dropped at the feet of her master’s sister.

The full review will be live tomorrow!

Friday 56 – The Dreaming Stars

the dreaming starsThe Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.

This week’s quote is from The Dreaming Stars by Tim Pratt, the sequel to The Wrong Stars that I read earlier this year. Both books are sci-fi with fantastic minority representation. The following is an exchange between the ship’s AI and the ship’s captain:

“This is a spaceship, not a sailboat. Squishy organic brains can’t be trusted in such circumstances.”

“Squishy organic bodies have more fun, though.”

“Pfft,” Shall said. “Have fun crudely manipulating your nervous system and brain chemistry through tactile physical inputs. If you’re lucky you might vaguely approximate the kind of transcendent pleasure I can experience at will just by altering my own sensorium.”

“Oh, Shall. There’s nothing wrong with masturbation, but I’ve always had more fun collaborating.”

“You have no idea what goes on in the machine-intelligence-only parts of the Tangle, do you?”

Friday 56 – The Weight of Feathers

the weight of feathersThe Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.

Today’s quote is from The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore. The character here has been caught out in some kind of acid rain.

But she couldn’t even move enough to crawl. All she could do was pull herself under the nearest tree, gritting her teeth against the feeling that her dress was soaked and heavy with poison. She squeezed her eyes shut, hoping to keep out what was falling from the sky. If she blinked enough of it in, it might leave her blind.

The rain burned into her. She curled up tighter, cheek against her sleeve. She shut her eyes tight enough to see comet trails of light. She tried to keep out the feeling that the rain was a million lit matches. And the strange smell in the air that was a little like apple cider if apple cider was the venom of some night creature, the rain and stars its teeth.

Friday 56 – The Good Demon

the good demonThe Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.

Today’s quote is from The Good Demon, by Jimmy Cajoleas.

A white wooden vanity stood on the back wall, with a giant cabaret mirror hanging above it, big white bulbs and all, just like in the movies. A feather boa was draped over one corner, and little snapshots were tucked into the sides of the mirror; yellowing photos of a handsome man in a sailor’s uniform and a beautiful woman with long black hair, her dress whipping in the wind.

I guessed the man was Uncle Mike and the lady was his wife. It was hard to imagine. They looked so gorgeous back then, a Hollywood couple, exotic and untouchable. I was suddenly afraid of aging, of growing frail and dotty, of wasting way on my feet, alone. If the years did all that to Uncle Mike, what would they one day do to me? The next picture showed Uncle Mike holding a little black-haired girl’s hands while she tried to walk. I guessed that was his daughter, Cléa. Another one with all three of them posing in front of a lighthouse, the girl no more than five or so. They seemed so happy, the kind of family you always wished you had. And one more photo tucked into the vanity mirror, one that would burn itself in my brain, one I would never forget. It was Cléa – older now, maybe my age – walking on some kind of cliff’s edge, the ocean smashing underneath her. It must have been taken shortly before she disappeared. She smiles mysteriously, lovely and aloof, like there was some secret she was hiding. I liked that about her.

The writing in this book is gorgeous, and I can’t wait to post my full review!

Friday 56 – Krampus, The Yule Lord

krampus yule lordThe Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.

Today’s quote is from Krampus, the Yule Lord. Thought I’d do some holiday reading!

Santa remembered why he hated teenagers – they worked so hard not to believe in anything. Did their very best to spoil the magic for everyone else. “Go home.”

The teenager blinked. “Hey, this here’s a free country. You can’t go telling us what to do.”

“Is that a new bike?”

“Sure is,” the kid said with obvious pride. “Got it for Christmas. Fucking rad.”

“Would you please get off of it?”

“What . . . huh? What for?”

“So you will not be upon it when I toss it down the hillside.” Santa nodded to the steep incline on one side of the trail that bottomed into a ravine of broken rocks.

As you can see, this is not your normal jolly Santa Claus! This book is awesome and creepy, and the full review will be up soon!