Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Blind by A.F. Brady

Title: The Blind
Author: A.F. Brady
Genre: Thriller
Published: September 26, 2017
Pages: 400


Sam James has spent years carefully crafting her reputation as the best psychologist at Typhlos, Manhattan's most challenging psychiatric institution. She boasts the highest success rates with the most disturbed patients, believing if she can't save herself, she'll save someone else. It's this savior complex that serves her well in helping patients battle their inner demons, though it leads Sam down some dark paths and opens her eyes to her own mental turmoil.

When Richard, a mysterious patient no other therapist wants to treat, is admitted to Typhlos, Sam is determined to unlock his secrets and his psyche. What she can't figure out is why does Richard appear to be so completely normal in a hospital filled with madness? And what, really, is he doing at the institution? As Sam gets pulled into Richard's twisted past, she can't help but analyze her own life, and what she discovers terrifies her. And so the mind games begin. But who is the savior and who is the saved?


I found a copy of this book lying in the waiting room at my ... doctor's ... office. We're not going to get into what I was going to see the doctor about right now, deal. Anyway, as usual, the doctor was running late so I decided to pop the cover of the book and start reading to make some sort of use of my time. I soon found myself absolutely absorbed in the story and apparently missed hearing the doctor call my name several times. Not wanting to leave the book behind, I slipped it into my purse as if I had brought it with me because I have no shame where books are concerned.

Even though I'm not a psychologist myself, I found myself relating to Sam so hard. I almost felt like the book was maybe written about me as I got further into the story. I mean, some of her life experiences were just too similar to some of my own to be coincidence. By the time I finished the book, it was actually starting to really scare me. And I'm not ashamed to admit it, but I had nightmares for weeks, even after talking to my doctor about what was going on. It's weird though, because it seemed like the more scared I got, the happier my doctor was. Surely I was just imagining that though. 

But anyway, the asylum doesn't allow us much computer time, and mine is almost up, so I'll have to bring this review to a close. I guess I'll give The Blind 4.532748937489378943 padded rooms. 

Buy the Book

About the Author

A.F. Brady is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor/Psychotherapist. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Brown University and two Masters degrees in Psychological Counseling from Columbia University. She is a life-long New Yorker, and resides in Manhattan with her husband and their family. The Blind is her first novel.

Alternate Reviews

I'm being lazy again this week (read that as being too busy with other things please), so I'm just going to leave you to fend for yourself finding legitimate reviews of The Blind. I have faith in you. 

Rise of the Necrofauna by Britt Wray

Title: Rise of the Necrofauna
Author: Britt Wray
Genre: Nonfiction/Science
Published: September 30, 2017
Pages: 288


Jurassic Park meets The Sixth Extinction in Rise of the Necrofauna, a provocative look at de-extinction from acclaimed documentarist and science writer Britt Wray.

What happens when you bring a woolly mammoth back to life - fascinating science, or devastating catastrophe?

In Rise of the Necrofauna, Wray takes us deep into the minds and labs of some of the world's most progressive thinkers to find out. She introduces us to renowned futurists like Stewart Brand and scientists like George Church, who are harnessing the powers of CRISPR gene editing in the hopes of "reviving" extinct passenger pigeons, woolly mammoths, and heath hens. She speaks with Nikita Zimov, who together with his eclectic father Sergey, is creating Siberia's Pleistocene Park; a daring attempt to rebuild the mammoth's ancient ecosystem in order to save earth from climate apocalypse. Through interviews with these and other thought leaders, Wray reveals the many incredible opportunities for research and conservation made possible by this emerging new field.

But we also hear from more cautionary voices, like those of researcher and award-winning author Beth Shapiro (How to Clone a Woolly Mammoth) and extinction philosopher Thomas van Dooren. Writing with passion and perspective, Wray delves into the larger questions that come with this incredible new science, reminding us that de-extinction could bring just as many dangers as it does possibilities. What happens, for example, when we bring an "unextinct" creature back into the wild? How can we care for these strange animals and ensure their comfort and safety - not to mention our own? And what does de-extinction mean for those species that are currently endangered? Is it really ethical to bring back an extinct passenger pigeon, for example, when countless other birds today will face the same fate?

By unpacking the many biological, technological, ethical, environmental, and legal questions raised by this fascinating new field, Wray offers a captivating look at the best and worst of resurrection science.


This title is false advertising. I was looking for a good science fiction book to get me through a bad breakup (don't ask, it's just my method okay), when I picked up this book from the bookstore. Imagine my surprise when I started reading it to discover that it's freakin' non-fiction. I mean, sure, the fact that it was in the non-fiction section of the bookstore should have been a dead giveaway, but books are shelved wrong at the bookstore all the time. I mean, I found a Bible in the romance section just the other day. 

But I'm not a quitter, so since I'd started reading the book, I decided I ought to finish it, even though it was kind of dry and boring and didn't involve any dinosaurs eating unsuspecting park goers. Seriously, this book got my hopes up that there would be massive amounts of death and destruction and then it absolutely failed to deliver any of that. 

So since this book was full of really boring science talk and stuff, I've decided to call it educational and I'm now basically an expert in the science of de-extinction. Really, ask me anything about it and I can answer it, I promise. I learned so much about why certain kinds of birds should not be brought back (hello, we killed their food source too), and how wooly mammoths could replace tractors for farming (you're going to have to trust me on that one, or read the book yourself to prove me wrong). 

So even though the book was a major let-down from what I was expecting, I will give it 3.654 stars because I did learn some things and getting smarter is good. 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Britt Wray writes about recent advancements in genetic and genomic sciences that allow humans to not only study life at a molecular scale, but directly shape it as well. Voraciously curious and inquisitive, Wray's writing drills into the cultural questions that surround new biotechnologies in order to weave what she discovers into lively narratives for non-specialist audiences.  

Wray's first book - Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics and Risks of De-Extinction – is about a new scientific movement that aims to bring extinct species back to life, and is published by Greystone Books and the David Suzuki Institute. The foreword is written by George Church of Harvard University and MIT, who is using genome-editing techniques to create woolly mammoth traits in elephant cells in his lab. 

Wray holds a BSc. in Biology from Queens' University, MA in Media from OCAD University, and is a PhD candidate in Science Communication at the University of Copenhagen. Wray has been a visiting scholar at New York University's Arthur L Carter Journalism Institute, and is a presenter and producer on several radio programs and podcasts that have aired on BBC and CBC.

Alternate Reviews

Being lazy (also it's possible I won't find bloggers that have reviewed this particular title), so please fend for yourself and find legitimate reviews on your own. Thanks.