Didn’t Realize It Was So Late

Howdy, howdy! It’s pretty late in the day for me to be writing a blog post. My new laptop arrived this afternoon, so I’ve been adjusting settings and signing into things and transferring files and not paying attention to the time. It’s one of the cheaper ASUS ROG STRIX G17s, but it’s supposed to be more powerful than anything I’ve ever had. Also, it’s super rainbow-y and I love it. I bought it from XOTIC PC and will post a proper review after I’ve had some time with it. Anyway, instead of writing a proper blog post, I’m going to keep fiddling with my new toy. I still need to hook it up to the printer and download some things and decide what I’m going to do about Word and that kind of stuff. I’ll be back next week with my monthly book review and probably a brief update on my second Pfizer dose (which I get tomorrow). Toodles!

Stock photo, but you get the idea.

How Not To Write A Blog Post

Howdy, howdy! How is everyone doing? I’m beyond tired and I have no idea why. I haven’t been sleeping any worse than usual, but even my Tuesday Pepsi isn’t perking me up today (because it’s yesterday as I’m writing this). Other than that and researching new computers, things are pretty normal here. I have nothing to ramble about, so I thought I would give you some advice on how not to write a blog post. Be aware that this is exactly how I write my posts. Don’t be like me.

It’s oddly difficult to find funny “don’t be like me” memes.

1. Don’t wait until the last minute. Procrastination is not your friend! You’ll never get anything done if you put it off until the day before it’s due and you have to induce productivity with large amounts of caffeine. I mean, unless you were the type to put off homework assignments and finish them in a panic stricken burst of energy at three in the morning the day they were due. Then by all means, go ahead and wait. But I do try to get my posts done by 10pm on Tuesdays at the latest, preferably before 8pm.

2. Don’t try to come up with topics on the fly. Keep a running list of potential topics for posts, just in case your chosen topic doesn’t work out. It will make life so much easier. And it will help prevent you from randomly missing a week. I wonder what it’s like to be that organized. I usually just Google potential topics the day I write my post if I don’t have anything in mind already. I don’t think I’ve missed a day for a lack of topics yet. But you should probably try to do better than me.

3. Don’t forget to edit before posting. You’re using your blog to sell your persona to the world. It has to be perfect and insightful and witty and there can’t be any typos. But really, you’re lucky if I do a quick read-through to make sure it makes sense and to catch any blatant errors. I don’t take my blog that seriously. Not like my writing. I’ve learned that I can go through things with a fine-toothed comb and still miss things, so I’m not going to put that much effort into these posts. But it’s good to at least do a quick check.

4. Don’t make the posts too long or too short. This one I actually try to follow. People’s attention spans are crap nowadays, so overly long posts tend to bore. I aim for 500ish words, but each post requires its own space, so if one only makes it to a couple of hundred words and another creeps close to 1,000 words, it’s fine for me. Find your sweet spot. A number that won’t make readers run away. But also let the topic take up the space it needs. You can always break things up into smaller posts if you want.

Basically.

I’m sure I could come up with other stuff, but the truth is that there’s no wrong way to write a blog post. Like everything else in the world, you just have to figure out what works for you. Procrastinate or do it weeks in advance. Plan it out or wing it. Seriously revise it or give it quick once over. Long or short. None of that really matters as long as you’re comfortable with your process. Hell, it’s even fun to play with different styles. Do a post that’s all pictures. Record yourself reading the post. I’ve even seen people hand write their posts and just scan it. Have fun with it.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts or comments or whatever here or on my social media pages!

One Shot Down

Hello, hello! How’s everyone doing? Things are pretty much the same here. I’ve started crocheting again. I swear I will eventually finish this shawl and take pictures to prove it. I’m just annoyingly slow even when I work on it regularly. But it will get done. Writing is still fighting me, which is why I decided to crochet instead. At least I’m doing something. Reading and submissions are still happening regularly, so at least there’s that. Anyway, I mentioned last week that I was getting my first shot. I did! Dad takes our 92-year-old neighbor to get her second shot today and we’re scheduled for ours in a couple of weeks. So, I thought I’d ramble about vaccines today, since I have nothing else to talk about.

I wasn’t actually planning on getting vaccinated yet. The vaccines weren’t tested on people with any of the Muscular Dystrophies, so I admit that I was concerned about the lack of everything regarding people with disabilities. I don’t know if people with disabilities are prone to worse reactions. Don’t know the effects down the line. We know nothing. At least people without disabilities had some information about how it affects them in the short term. I had nothing to go on and zero desire to be a guinea pig. But at the same time, I wasn’t adamantly against it. I mostly just didn’t want to have to go to Fair Park (Dallas drivers and roads are horrible) to get something I didn’t really want in the first place. So, when I was able to get Dad scheduled close to home, I looked for one for myself.

Sadly, our Walgreens didn’t have any (our pharmacist probably would’ve brought it out to the van so I wouldn’t have had to risk being around people, because he’s cool like that), so we had to go to CVS. Dad’s was right down the street and mine was a few miles up the road. In case you missed it in my last post, if you’re trying to schedule an appointment via the CVS website, all I can tell you is to ignore their lists of availabilities and actually go through the process of trying to schedule an appointment, then try at least three or four nearby zip codes/cities (for some reason our closest pharmacy only showed up when I searched for Forney, a neighboring city, instead of our own zip code and the pharmacy I’m scheduled at only showed up under our zip code when it’s actually in Sunnyvale). Do this multiple times a day. And be prepared to be told that you can’t make the first appointment without making the second one too, which is sometimes available and sometimes not. That’s the most annoying part of the process, so far.

On the day of the appointment, CVS sent a text message with a link to check in. This was mostly annoying because they want you there early, but you can’t check in until 15 minutes before your appointment at the earliest. At that point, I already had my mask on, so I couldn’t see my phone in my lap to do it myself, which meant Dad had to check me in and he has a strangely hard time operating my phone for some reason. Otherwise, the whole thing was over within half an hour. Dude took my temperature and chatted with us until the guy came to get me for the shot, then we had to wait for 15 minutes to make sure I didn’t immediately die. Everyone was nice and friendly. People wore masks, including the customers that I noticed. They covered their noses and everything. I was actually a little impressed.

As I mentioned on my personal Facebook, I wore one of my Cthulhu shirts, my Yggdrasil bracelet, and my sparkly rainbow Cons. If an elder god, the world tree, and spiffy happy vibes couldn’t protect me against a bad reaction, I figure nothing could. It must’ve worked because my only reaction was the one I get with every shot: soreness around the injection point. But seriously, I just wanted an excuse to wear the bracelet and shoes. The shirt was just next in line. I’m aware the second shot is usually the one to cause problems. We’ll see how that one goes.

Anyway, all this post is really meant for is to help give people an idea of what to expect from CVS if they’re trying to get an appointment there. If you’re having doubts about the shots, you’re not alone. For all we know, they could be mass sterilizing us (I kid… kind of), but if it helps us not die from Covid, I guess that’s okay. I’m not going to judge anyone for not getting it until there’s more evidence as to its effectiveness and how long it actually lasts. But I will definitely judge you for not wearing masks. That is all.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts or comments here or on my social media pages!

Thoughts on DOWN WORLD

Howdy, howdy! How’s everyone doing? Dad got his first shot of the Pfizer vaccine yesterday. I’m going to get mine today (wish me luck). If you’re trying to schedule one via the CVS website, all I can tell you is to ignore their lists of availabilities and actually go through the process of trying to schedule an appointment, then try at least three or four nearby zip codes/cities (for some reason our closest pharmacy only showed up when I searched for Forney, a neighboring city, instead of our own zip code and the pharmacy I’m scheduled at only showed up under our zip when it’s apparently in Sunnyvale). Do this multiple times a day. And be prepared to be told that you can’t make the first appointment without making the second one too, which is sometimes available and sometimes not. It’s a ridiculous process. Good luck.

Anyway, I’m way off topic. It’s the last Wednesday of the month, so it’s review time! I honestly only requested this month’s book because the cover was kind of thriller-esque. It turned out to be more soft sci-fi, which was a nice change. Down World by Rebecca Phelps was released yesterday (March 30th) from Wattpad Books. As usual, I must thank them and NetGalley for access to an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. So, let’s get to it.

Nice cover.

Down World follows Marina as she enters a new school and struggles to leave her past and the death of her brother behind her. When she realizes her new crush, Brady, and her brother’s old friend, Kieren, are hiding something, she finds herself in the middle of a weird new reality: doorways to different planes of existence, the potential of her brother actually being alive, and somehow it all connects back to her mother. As Marina delves deeper into these secrets, she has to face the past and make some difficult decisions that might completely change her present.

I called this soft sci-fi because even though the science is discussed, it feels shaky at best. The characters are unsure of what’s going on and just guessing themselves, so the science feels like guesswork to the reader. I’m okay with that. I don’t mind letting the fiction drive the story. But I do know people who prefer hard sci-fi where the science drives everything and is possible. I don’t think this book is for them. But for my fiction-with-a-dab-of-science folks, this book had some definite Coraline (but for an older audience) vibes to it that were fun.

Yes, let’s go through the weird door.

The plot was okay. It had some nice twists and turns along the way. It wasn’t exactly surprising, but it wasn’t super predictable either. I figured out a lot early on, but there were a couple of things I didn’t catch until closer to their reveals. It was enough to keep the story interesting for me. At least moreso than the characters. They were all pretty flat and could’ve used some fleshing out. I just never really felt they were people as much as stereotypes. So yeah, the plot carries this story more than the characters.

My biggest issue with this book was the pacing. The first third was beyond slow despite the lack of description (the whole book could’ve used more descriptions to help us picture the places and people). The second third felt really rushed, though I admit the description was better. Things didn’t seem to find a good rhythm until the last third. That’s always kind of annoying to me even though I know I’ve been guilty of it too.

Are we going fast or slow or what?

The writing itself was fine. It wasn’t exactly memorable. I finished the story a few days ago and am already having trouble remembering the finer details. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. No lines stuck out for quotes or anything. However, it was a fairly smooth read.

Ultimately, Down World just wasn’t my cup of tea. It’s a standalone, so I don’t have to worry about reading another one. It does have the potential for other books set around the same premise, like a series of otherwise unconnected stories, but I won’t be looking for them if that happens.

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Overall, I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. If I’m being super honest, it’s 2 and a half stars. If you like YA sci-fi, you might enjoy this. I just happen to like books that are more fleshed out.

Questions for My Readers

Hello, hello! How’s everyone doing? I’m okay, just a bit sad still. Lady (the doggo) died on Friday. She’d been sick for a couple of weeks. We found out she had congestive heart failure, but with meds, she seemed to be getting better for a week or so, then she got worse again and we couldn’t really do anything. We had an appointment with the vet that afternoon (originally it was to check her progress, but we had decided she would probably need to be put down), but she didn’t make it. So, yeah. I haven’t exactly been brimming with motivation since then (not that I had any before then either). I don’t even feel like writing a long blog post today, so I thought I would just ask for y’alls opinion regarding social media platforms.

R.I.P. to the happiest and lovingest doggo ever.

As you probably know, I post once a day, six days a week on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Between that and maintaining a website with up-to-date publications and being at least a little active on GoodReads, I can’t really think of anything else a writer needs. So, my main question for you is, as a reader (or a writer), what social media platforms do you feel are most important? Do I have a decent selection or should I include something like Pinterest or TikTok or any others you can think of? And lastly, if you prefer other platforms (or even if you have suggestions for my current pages), what kind of content would you like to see from me?

I’ll be back next week with our regularly scheduled book review. Until then, feel free to share your answers and thoughts here or on my social media pages!

What Should I Read Next?

Howdy, howdy! How is everyone doing today? I hope your plans for St. Paddy’s day include sitting around and reading or something equally fun/relaxing/socially distanced. I’ve been slowly rereading the Harry Potter series. After I finished book five a couple of days ago, I had this weird urge to binge read the last two books. I haven’t had this desire towards books in a long time, so I’m giving into it despite the other 20+ unread books judging me from my Kindle app (not to mention the hundreds of books in the other room that I haven’t read yet). It’ll take me a while to finish these two (a month and a half or two), but I want some help deciding what to read afterward. So, I’m going to list all of my currently downloaded ebooks and whatever hardcopies I can think of that I’m interested in right now, and let you all tell me what I should read next.

1. The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

2. Death in a Budapest Butterfly by Julia Buckley. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

3. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

4. A Crafter Hooks a Killer by Holly Quinn. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

5. Geisha, A Life by Mineko Iwasaki. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

6. Fantastic Creatures: A Fellowship of Fantasy Anthology by multiple authors. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

7. Death in Neverland by Isadora Brown. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

8. Arterial Bloom edited by Mercedes M. Yardley. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

9. Killer Cruise by A.R. Winters. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

10. Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing by Heather Day Gilbert. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

11. Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

12. The Best of the Best Horror of the Year: 10 Years of Essential Short Horror Fiction edited by Ellen Datlow. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

13. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

14. Dead Man in a Ditch by Luke Arnold. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

15. Storm the Earth by Rebecca Kim Wells. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

16. Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

17. Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

18. Bound for Murder by Victoria Gilbert. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it. I also have the next book in this series if you think I should read it too.

19. Watch Her by Edwin Hill. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

20. Swift for the Sun by Karen Bovenmyer. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

21. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

22. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

23. Fatal Fried Rice by Vivien Chien. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

24. The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it.

25. Dark Power by Danielle Rose. You can go to it’s GoodReads page for the description if you don’t know anything about it. Technically I don’t have this one yet, but it’s pre-ordered and will be out before I finish Harry Potter.

So, what should I read after I finish HP6 and 7? I certainly have my preferences, but nothing strong enough for me to make up my mind. Leave your votes here or on my social media pages. Also, feel free to recommend books you think I might like (I’m not too picky about trying new things), but I should probably get through some of the books I already have.

Things I Should Be Doing

Howdy, howdy! It’s a blah day. Quite gloomy. And I have nothing to ramble or rant about. I’ve avoided the news for the most part, but I’ve already seen reports of anti-maskers threatening to call ICE at a Mexican restaurant that requires masks. It doesn’t matter that the mandate wasn’t even officially lifted until 10th. This is just how people behave. I, for one, think Biden chose the perfect word: Neanderthals. But I don’t want to be angry, so back to the subject at hand. What should I blog about? No idea. If there’s something you want me to ramble about next week, drop me a line. This week, I’m just going to make a quick list of the things I should be doing right now, then I’m going to do some of those things.

1. Writing. I haven’t written much besides blog posts and a couple of beginnings (nowhere near full stories) this year. I’m just lazy. I have no excuses. Everyone seems to be struggling with something or other right now, so it’s not really fair for me to blame the pandemic or the seasons changing or depression or anything. I’m just clinging to my laziness. I need to suck it up and write.

2. Recording myself reading a story out loud. My story “Poisoned Honey and Pickled Pigs’ Feet” is coming out in the May issue of Love Letters to Poe. On top of the magazine, they also have a podcast of the authors reading their work. I’ve been assured my phone should be fine for recording (it sounds better than my computer in the tests I did), but I hate my voice and dread having to listen to the recording for errors. I’ve been practicing and just have to bite the bullet and do the recording in the next day or two when I can find a quiet moment (it’s due the 18th). But yeah. Go subscribe to the newsletter and podcast so you can read/hear my story when it comes out!

3. Reading. I need to read at least one chapter a day in the book I’m going to review this month to be done on time, plus I got the ebook of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix from the library, so I have to read three chapters of that a day in order to finish before I have to return it. Yes, I can make Dad pull out my old hardcopy of HP5 if I don’t finish on time, but we’ve already established that I’m lazy. It doesn’t sound like a lot of reading, but it is when you read super slow. I miss the days when I was able to read a 1,000+ page book in a week. Getting old sucks.

I’m sure there are other things I should be doing, like writing letters and answering texts. I’ll do that stuff later. For now, I’m going to practice my story one more time, then read for a while. As always, feel free to share your thoughts or suggestions for blog post topics here or on my social media pages!

Abbott is an Idiot: A Rant

Hello, hello! It’s Tuesday (March 2nd) as I’m writing this and I have to say that governor Abbott is a fucking idiot who has no idea what he’s doing or he just doesn’t care what he’s doing as long as he’s doing it for the highest bidder. Personally, I think it’s both of those things, but what do I know? Sane people wouldn’t reelect corrupt imbeciles over and over again. Oh, wait. My bad. They do it all the time. Anyway, in case you haven’t figured it out, I’m feeling a little ranty at the moment. I try not to blog when I’m in this mood because there are enough angry people on the Interwebz, but I don’t currently have anything else to talk about. So, feel free to come back next week when I’m in a better mood. Or read on. Your choice.

Me reading the executive order.

In case you haven’t been following things down here in Texas, after the atrocity that was Snowvidpocalypse a couple of weeks ago and the horrible handling of that by everyone involved, governor Abbott has hit a new low. Just because we’ve been in a slight downward trend of new Covid cases (which I believe has at least stalled if it hasn’t already turned upward again), he issued an executive order lifting all of the restrictions on businesses and getting rid of the mask mandate. If you don’t believe me, you can read about it for yourself here. There’s a link to the actual order at the bottom of that page. But anyway… His reasoning? Covid numbers have dropped, the vaccine rollout is going so well, and so many Texans have been adhering to the protocols for social distancing/mask wearing/etc. And that’s just a few of the ridiculous things he says. I don’t know what the guy’s been smoking, but he should probably share it with the rest of us.

Sure, let’s say the numbers are dropping. I’m too lazy to look it up, so I’ll ignore the fact that the US has surpassed half a million deaths due to Covid and I’ll take his word for it. But the vaccine rollout going well? That’s a joke. There were 29 million people in Texas as of 2019. Apparently there have been 5.7 million shots administered in Texas. Each vaccine requires two shots (at least until J&J’s vaccine comes out). We’re no where close to vaccinating everyone. I haven’t even tried to get the vaccine myself yet, but judging by the fact that I can’t even get my 92-year-old neighbor an appointment, I don’t have high hopes for me and Dad. Is Texas doing better than some other places? Yes, but it’s not doing well enough to brag about it. And it certainly isn’t doing well enough to tell people that the worst is behind us and that we can all burn our masks (I’m being dramatic, but you know that’s exactly what a lot of people are thinking now).

Feels like a good place for a dramatic sigh.

Also, I want to know where Abbott has been going in Texas that makes him think so many people are adhering to social distancing and wearing masks properly and all that jazz. I haven’t left the house much in a year, but videos and pictures and the rare occasion I watched people from parking lots while waiting for curbside deliveries have proven that to be a lie. Most people try, but they don’t seem to realize masks go over the nose. And lately, fewer people are even trying it seems. Of course, Abbott strongly suggests keeping masks and social distancing and all that, but without repercussions, most people aren’t going to do anything that slightly inconveniences them. I feel bad for the stores who keep mask policies, because a ton more asshats are going to throw fits when they run into those kinds of places. If Abbott really encourages masks, why is he ending the mandate? Who are these expert medical people he’s supposedly listening to that say everything is fine? I don’t get it. Show me proof that this crap is a good idea?

Basically

I think I’ll stop ranting and go eat. If you made it this far, you must really like me. As always, feel free to leave your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages.

Thoughts on VASILISA

Howdy, howdy! It’s the last Wednesday of February and we’ve pretty much thawed out here in Dallas (was around 80 yesterday). Anyway, it’s time for my last book review until the end of March. This time, I wanted something a little fantasy meets folklore, but something I’m not very familiar with (Russian folklore seemed like a good choice), so I decided to request Julie Mathison’s Vasilisa. It was released yesterday (February 23rd) from Mathison’s own imprint, Starr Creek Press. As usual, I must thank her and NetGalley for access to an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Let’s get to it!

Cute cover.

Vasilisa begins in 1919 in Edenfall, PA and follows our heroine (Vasilisa) as she struggles to come to terms with her father going missing in Flanders, a creepy suitor sniffing around her mother, her babka’s waning health, and learning who she can trust. Unfortunately, the answers to all of her troubles lie in Old Rus with the witch Baba Yaga. But Vasilisa doesn’t have to go alone when young Ivan appears by her side. Together, they set off on the adventure of a lifetime.

Plotwise, this one is a standard fairytale. There’s a maiden, a prince, some witches, a fairy godmother type character who happens to be Vasilisa’s grandmother, an ogre, a forest sprite, and even a dragon thrown in there for good measure. And that’s not even all of the fairytale stuff, just what I remember off the top of my head. Despite all of this, the story doesn’t feel cluttered or convoluted. It’s actually pretty impressive how much is crammed into this fairly short book (less than 250 pages) without making it a slog.

Me after counting all the tropes I could remember.

The pacing is quick. Sometimes a little too quick. Especially in the romantic development. It’s for younger readers, so I understand glancing over boring things, but it’s really weird how Vasilisa goes from not being sure she can trust Ivan to loving him in the span of a couple of pages without any real internal struggle. I think that’s due to the fact that a lot of this story is telling instead of showing. I’m not against that, but while it makes the story flow faster, it also makes it more difficult to express emotional growth within the characters. The POV probably also contributes to that.

As far as the characters go, they were a little flat, but still enjoyable. Vasilisa is basically the personification of kindness, which is a little boring if I’m being honest. She has zero flaws. She never does anything wrong except that one time she skips school to steal something from the bad dude in order to save her babka. It gets old fast. Ivan and Evelyn are better in that department. They at least have motivations that force them to straddle the line between right and wrong. Everyone else is pretty much a cardboard cutout of their fairytale roles.

Me when reading about Vasilisa.

The writing is clean and makes for a quick read. Sometimes I wanted more description, but it’s not bad. There’s nothing really special about it. No lines really jump out at me as quotable or memorable. But it’s smooth and works well for this story.

Ultimately, Vasilisa is not bad, but not great. The epilogue sets us up for book two, which I’m not opposed to reading, but I’ll probably forget this series even exists before it comes out. I’m not upset I read it. I don’t want those hours back or anything. It’s just kind of blah.

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Overall, I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. If you enjoy fairytales and want something quick and cute to read, go for it. If you have a youngster who’s into this type of stuff, I can definitely see kids enjoying it. The story’s fun, it just fell short for me.

Thoughts on THE ECHO WIFE

Hello, hello! I’m currently writing this review between power outages, so if it ends up being late, the power went out again before I could finish. If not, yay! And sorry if it’s a little shorter than usual because I’m rushing. Anyway, Jordan Hanley at Tor Books reached out through NetGalley to see if I’d be interested in reviewing The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey. It seemed like an interesting read, so I said sure. It was released yesterday (February 16th). As usual, I must thank NetGalley and Tor/Forge for access to an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Let’s get to it!

Cute and simple cover.

The Echo Wife follows Evelyn Caldwell as she struggles to pick up the pieces after her marriage fails, all while diving head first into her work. Enter Martine, who just brings more problems. Throw in a betrayal from the closest thing Evelyn has to a friend, a dark past full of secrets, and an experiment gone so right that she can’t even talk about it, and that pretty much sums up Evelyn’s life right now.

Seems like a fun little plot, right? It is, but it’s also super predictable. She works in clone science, which is made clear from the beginning, so all of the major twists are super easy to see coming. Even Evelyn’s backstory is easy enough to figure out when she mentions that her dad’s been missing for years. It’s a fun story, but if you have even a basic understanding of sci-fi, you won’t be very surprised.

Basically.

The characters were a mixed bag. Evelyn realizes she’s selfish and stubborn, but seems oblivious to the fact that she killed her marriage the moment she decided to have an abortion without telling her husband (not really a spoiler as much as something mentioned in passing). She told him she was pregnant, but didn’t bother including him in a decision that affects both of them. She doesn’t communicate and she doesn’t really think of anyone but herself, even her incentives for helping Martine are selfish. For a smart woman, she’s far too stupid a lot of the time. I like Martine a lot more. She’s really sheltered, but wants nothing more than to live and learn. Everyone else is basically just there to explain why Evelyn is such a crappy person.

Otherwise, the writing was lovely and made for a quick read. Things moved at a nice clip and kept me interested. It wasn’t anything new or insightful, but it was fun watching Martine grow and change over the course of the story. I just wish Evelyn would’ve evolved a little more.

Me to Evelyn.

Ultimately, The Echo Wife was just okay. It doesn’t really encourage me to look for other books by Sarah Gailey, but it wasn’t bad by any means.

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Overall, I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. If you don’t mind unlovable main characters and want something sci-fi, check it out. If not, you aren’t missing much.