The Sudden Appearance of Hope – Claire North

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Claire keeps one-upping herself with each new book and its unique plot. This time around we find our story revolves around a young woman named Hope. Hope is unique in the sense that when she was 16 people started to forget her. Now stay with me, for this does sound strange but for some reason, people that meet Hope are unable to make long term memories of her, so pretty much as soon as they look away they forget all about her. It really serves the story that Claire doesn’t try to explain how or why this occurs. The downside to this unique ability is the loneliness, Hope can’t have friends as they just forget about you and her family has no clue who she is, Fortunately, the story doesn’t harp on this too much but it does focus a lot on her loneliness but it isn’t an overly emotional book thankfully.

From this unique concept, a story is born. Imagine what you could get away with if people forgot who you were as soon as they can’t see you. Walk out of a restaurant without paying, go on a massive shopping spree, Rob a bank. Fortunately, Hope chooses a more interesting choice and becomes a Jewel Thief. It is in the process of stealing some jewels that the plot thickens when a woman in the same hotel commits suicide which brings to Hopes attention a social media app called Perfection.

Perfection is control, that pretty much sums it up. The app “suggests” to you what to eat, who to be friends with, what to wear, locations for holidays and then rewards you for doing them. It’s an advertisers dream, not to mention that it’s also linked to your planner, bank accounts and every aspect of your life. It’s truly a creepy big brother for the 21st century.

This app becomes the focus of Hopes anger and where our story really heats up. I really liked this story, even though I found it difficult to relate to Hope it didn’t detract me from the story. It also serves as a great warning on how much of our personal data we should let social media have access too. I can’t wait to see what Claire delivers next

 

The World Of Ice And Fire by George R.R. Martin

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You can pretty much sum up this book by calling it Martin’s version of The Silmarillion and the Lord of the Rings appendices rolled into one. Beautiful colour pictures bring the story to life, however, this is also its downside as those colour pictures and maps disappear in the last 3rd of the book. Meaning this part of the book offers nothing a search on Wikipedia would find. Because of the books price, this is its biggest downside.

From the beginning of the colonisation of Westeros by the first men right up until the start of the book series, this book covers everything. While it in no way fills the void that is 8 years without a new book in the series, it does with the help of some beautiful artwork try and ease our pain from our absence for so long from this fantastic world.