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GR3T3L-1 (Good Tales For Bad Dreams Book 3) Kindle Edition
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- From dhaller's official OnlineBookClub.org review of "GR3T3L-1" by V.M. Sawh.
"GR3T3L-1: Good Tales for Bad Dreams by V.M. Sawh provides an imaginative retelling of the Hansel and Gretel fairytale with a futuristic twist...V.M. Sawh's greatest accomplishment lies in his masterful juxtaposition of clichéd roles. What survives and remains implanted within the satisfied reader is the noble human spirit at its best."
- Joel R. Dennstedt, Readers' Favorite
"These. Stories. Are. So. Damn. Good. They're brutal, cutting, graceful, and haunting, but most importantly, they are stunning. They shimmer with mastery and reflect reality. THIS is how to write novellas. Take notes, people. These stories demand to be read and recognized... I am thrilled to have these novellas... and will forever treasure them."- Red Raven Reads
- Publisher : V.M. Sawh (October 1, 2015)
- File size : 4254 KB
- Publication date : October 1, 2015
- Print length : 123 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B0162QA2B2
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,121,680 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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V. M. Sawh takes a childhood tale of a boy and girl, Hansel and Gretel, abandoned in a forest by parents who couldn't care for them - the children find their way back home following bread crumbs - and retells it with contemporary and futuristic variations that lend excitement, anticipation, and adventure. He transforms a rather frightening fairy tale into interesting science fiction.
The storytelling within is seamless despite numerous flashbacks. Robots are the protagonists, and they fit gender-identifiable roles. The plot is reminiscent of the age-old balance between creation and destruction, communication and conflict, though it isn't a balance as much as a death struggle in GR3T3L-1. The author is adept in his explorations of consciousness and sentience.
Nevertheless, I thought the work somewhat ambitious in the number of aspects it captured...for instance, robotic sentience explored within included emotions and desires of motherhood. Alien consciousness reflected very human quests. A credible synthesis of such aspects is missing. But that takes little away from a reader's enjoyment of the story.
I sought an emotional connection as I read the story. The author makes commendable efforts toward such resonance, but I thought it fell a bit short of such an experience.
All in all, an excellent work of science fiction recommended to all who enjoy the genre.
This is an excellent book, filled with character development, interesting scenarios and environment, and intriguing plot. I give it a 4.75/5. Here is my breakdown:
Characters: 5/5. I really enjoyed both the main and supporting characters of this story. Both robots played their parts well, and watching their interactions and their development over the course of the book made me happy and made me care about them. The supporting human characters, met chiefly through flashback and recorded programming input, felt realistic and understandable, viewed as they were through the lenses of robotic understanding.
Plot/Storyline: 5/5. Engaging from start to finish. Sawh drops us in the middle of the action and pulls off the slow reveal with aplomb. Like the breadcrumbs from the titular characters’ original story, I was hooked from the beginning, wondering where we were going from here. I won’t spoil the ending, but I was reading it to work, and it made me tear up. It was good.
Flow: 4.75/5. Every reveal is timed well, keeping the reader interested the whole time. The language used is clean and effective, telling the story and maintaining the sense of immersion. My only stuttering point was at the beginning, when Sawh used the word “metal” like ten times. In the first page or two. It just made me shake my head and laugh a little.
Spelling/Grammar: 4/5. There were some typos in this book. Overall very good, but I did note a few missing words and misspellings.
Overall: 4.75/5. I knew going in that this was a solid piece of work, but as it went on it pulled me deeper and deeper. It’s not long, but it’s amazing and unique. I’ve never seen a book take on this perspective before, and not since R. Daneel Olivaw have I been as interested in what is going on in a robotic mind. Well done!
And did she ever. It's funny. I tend to read the reviews of books after the fact. Mainly this is to get an idea of what others have said and admittedly, it's somewhat to validate my own feelings by seeing if others agreed with my assessment. In this instance, I'm finding that what I liked most was that which others panned. GR3T3L deviates quite a bit from the original fairytale. To me, it hit enough points without becoming just another gritty reboot (though this might be the grittiest of these tales to date). And like the source material (and the greater sci-fi genre), it has a poignant message of caution.
About that message. Without spoilers, I should note that in my familiarity with the author's previous works, I was worried about the bleak direction a story of two robots stranded on an alien world might take. My worries were baseless. The landscape is bleak, and humanity is pretty awful, but Sawh's hand-delivered gut punches do not come without reward. I can't wait for the next bad dream.
Top reviews from other countries
The main characters are based on the story of ‘Hansel & Gretel.' As such the book forms part of the authors series, which features old stories and tales rewritten and retold with a new spin. Though, for me, this particular tale does not seem very close to the original.
The book opens with GR3T3L-1, a survey robot, and its ‘companion’ H4NS3L, a military droid. Both crash-land in crates on an unknown planet, with no clear record or instructions as to their purpose. Shortly, they encounter a ‘Salem,’ and as the plot unfolds, their history is backfilled each time they recall some memory file or find information.
GR3T3L, who has the more advanced ‘learning’ software, seems self aware and her self exploration forms a major part of the plot. The conflicts centre around their interaction with the Salem and differences in the agenda of H4NS3L and GR3T3L-1.
The book is well written and it is an easy, pleasant read with a few gripping scenes. Sawh describes the characters and scenes descriptively and colourfully and holds the reader’s attention with a mixture of action, conflict and self reflection.
Like all good robot stories, there is more than a little ‘humanity’ evident in GR3T3L and even in the brutish companion H4NS3L. This is what makes the reader care.
If you are into robot stories, or sci-fi in general, I recommend you add this book to your TBR pile (near the top).