Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Book Description:

Publisher: Logikal Solutions, May 30, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-939732-00-2
Category: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Tour Dates: January, 2014
Available in: Print, ebook & Audio, 272 pages

What if the Mayans got the start of the end correct because they had survived it once before? What if our written history was just as accurate as the old tale about three blind men describing an elephant? What if classic science fiction writing and television shows each got a piece of it correct, would you know which ones? If your eyes can only see a tiny portion of a collage do you know it is a collage?

Many might jump to the knee-jerk assumption that this book is a sequel to “Infinite Exposure” but they would be wrong.  This book does occur after that book and will make reference to the outcome of the prior book, but it is definitely not a sequel.

“John Smith” ties together Atlantis, cell phones, the Mayans, God, the Egyptians, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, and the outcome of the terrorist attack yet to come all in the form of an interview between the last known survivor of the war and a reporter for the largest newspaper of its day, serving 5000 people twice monthly.

During the course of this interview the reporter and reader will learn what did and did not survive, both this time and the previous times.  Throughout the course of this interview both blatant and subtle nods are made to such works as “1984”, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, “Peter Pan”, “Battlestar Galactica” (the new one), “Star Trek TNG”, and “Babylon 5” because one must both acknowledge greatness and build on what the fans already know.

To steal a line from the Rolling Stones, “but what was-in you is the nature of this game.”  When one finishes reading this book they should fall into exactly two categories:  The morally offended and those who sit around for days questioning their beliefs and the true meaning of life.

The book should be incredibly easy for an organization like the SyFy channel to turn into a film or made for TV movie, interspersing clips from old movies and shows, with or without sound, where their topics are being discussed and where they are being directly referenced.

My Thoughts:

As most of my readers know, I tend to gravitate more towards literary fiction, historical, and classics.  I think it is the theme of humanity that is most important to me.  Because of that, I do like to read the occasional dystopian novel, one that I think will deliver on that theme.

John Smith delivered “humanity” in spades.   The format of the book is simple, an interview between reporter Susan Krowley, of the town Fieldspring and John Smith, the last know survivor of the Microsoft Wars.  Susan asked questions but John did not give the answers she wanted to hear.  She thought it would be a simple in/out interview but it was far from that.

She had no concept of what technology was.  John would talk about computers and other technology and she thought he must be made.  However, to understand the Microsoft wars, she would have to know all about it and more.  She didn’t even know what a university was.

John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars was refreshing.  It examines what we know to exist today and smash it all to pieces.  It examines humanity and all of our faults as well as what would happen if all technology and education became a thing of the past.

Some may think that the interview format would get stale fast however, I found it to worked well. I applaud Roland Hughes for his creativity and for questioning humanity and all of the what if’s. I highly recommend this book.


I received the ebook version for my honest review.

Guest Post and Giveaway:

Please see the guest post and giveaway, here.  It’s your chance to win a copy of John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars.

About Roland Hughes:

Roland Hughes is the president ofLogikal Solutions, a business applications consulting firm specializing in VMS platforms. Hughes serves as a lead consultant with over two decades of experience using computers and operating systems originally created by Digital Equipment Corporation (now owned by Hewlett-Packard).

Roland Hughes is the recipient of the 2008 Best Books Award Winner in the category Business: Computers/Technology/Internet for his book, ” The Minimum You Need to Know About Service Oriented Architecture” and a 2009 Finalist Eric Hoffer Awards.

Website: http://www.johnsmith-book.com

Buy John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars:

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Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on May 5, 2011
Posted in Books Read in 2011Dystopian  | 8 Comments

This is the first book in a new young adult series by first time author, Lauren De Stefano.  De Stefano paints a post-apocalyptic story where, thanks to genetic engineering , males only live to be 25 years old and females  only live to be 20 years old.  When the children hit that age, they come down with an incurable virus. 

Girls are a top commodity for the rich and powerful.  They pay top dollar for truck loads of girls to be kidnapped.  The ones that are deemed good for child bearing are married off into polygamous marriages to the sons of the rich, to keep the population going.  The others are sent to brothels or just simply killed.

Rhine is living alone with her brother after their parents died.  They took turns staying awake at night watching out for burglars and kidnappers.  One day, when her brother is at work, Rhine goes  to answer an advertisement  for a job.  However, it was a scam to kidnap a truckload of girls.  She is picked to be one of three brides for Linden, the son of a wealthy doctor in Florida.
Linden falls in love with Rhine because she reminds him so much of his first wife who dies soon after Rhine is brought to live with him.  She quickly earns his trust and becomes “first wife”, which gives her extra privileges.   The entire time however, she is trying to plan her escape.  She dreams of being reunited with her brother.

This is a dark story.  Linden is pretty clueless as to what is really going on in his household.  His father has a laboratory in the basement where he keeps  dark secrets and performs experiments, trying to come up with a cure for the virus.  Linden has no idea that the women he married were kidnapped.  He thinks they somehow chose to be married off.

Wither is an engaging and fast reading story.  This story has been described as romantic but I saw very little of that.  Yes, Linden had sex with his wives and he romanced Rhine but it was all one sided.  I don’t call that romance.  

This would make a great book club book as there are a lot of issues to discuss.  Teenage pregnancy, polygamy, poverty would all make for good discussion, perhaps with an adult present, for guidance.  I really liked this story.  The end leaves the reader hanging and I would like to read the next book, in what I believe is to be a trilogy.

I am trying out a new rating system, please tell me what you think.  I shamelessly took this idea from Caribousmom.
Quality of Writing: 4/5
Character development: 4/5
Plot:  4/5
Overall: 4/5

Thanks to Simon and Schuster Galley Grab for this eBook.

Also reviewed by:

Did I miss your review?  Please include it in the comments and I will link it here.


Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on August 17, 2009
Posted in DystopianNinni Holmqvist  | 8 Comments

This book takes place in Sweden, sometime in the near future. Dorret just turned 50 and must give up her home and dog and be taken to the Reserve Bank Unit for Biological Material. All women at the age of 50 and men at the age of 60, who are deemed not needed by society much go to the Unit. You are considered dispensable if you don’t have children and / or don’t contribute greatly to economic growth.

Dorret is picked up in front of her home and brought along, with other dispensables , to the Unit. They are warmly greeted by staff and others that live there and shown to their apartments. Everyone on the Unit have their very own apartment complete with kitchenette. Later that day there is a welcome party, where Dorret and the other new people meet more of the other dispensables.

The new people get to have 4 days to get use to the Unit and take advantage of all of the luxury amenities before they must go to the lab to be given full physicals and orientation to what is expected of them. Soon they will become human lab animals and be enrolled in different studies and lab experiments. Eventually they with have to donate their organs to those deemed needed.

Dorret is lucky that she like physical exercise so much. In her first study all she has to do is exercise for 4 hours per day. She doesn’t have to take drugs or be exposed to chemicals etcetera. She also meets a fellow writer, Johnnas who she knew from the outside. They start dating and fall in love. She soon is resigned to her fate. However, as time passes and occurrences happen, she no longer feels content.

The night before Dorret’s first donation, a kidney she is quite scarred. Johnnas tries to comfort her and tells her that he is getting along fine with one kidney. She recovers from the surgery and then goes on to the next experiment. She had to take a pill three times per day. Luckily she was given a placebo because all the others who were given the real thing were permanently brain damaged and sent for their final donations.

I enjoyed this book. The translation to English is smooth and the writing is quite flood yet simple. I have two complaints however. The first is a small one. IMO, Holmqvist used to many similes. They felt quite contrived to me.

The other problem I have with the book is that , Holmqvist doesn’t describe what is happening around the rest of the world. Do all countries have this policy that makes people at a certain age and status become dispensable and therefore, get turned into biological material. Could Dorret flee to another country before her 50th birthday and be allowed to live out her natural life?

Despite my problems with the book, I am glad I read it. It would make a great book club book and great for an ethics debate. It is an enjoyable, yet horrifying dystopian story.


Thanks to Tony Viardo of Blue Dot Literary for a copy of this book.
Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.