Mind of My Mind

by Octavia Butler


Mind of My Mind (Patternmaster, #2)Mind of My Mind by Octavia E. Butler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is number 2 in the Patternmaster series by Octavia Butler, one of the best all time of Speculative Fiction writers. So what do you say about book 2 in a series that would not be a spoiler?

I gave it 4 stars, probably deserves 5. I recommend it.

The first two books has “Doro” as a primary character and a variety of people are co-primary as you progress through these 2 books (Wild Seed & Mind of My Mind). It is relative to who is the focus of Doro at any given time. Oddly, the person who is the focus of Doro is usually the viewpoint character and the events of the plot are in relation to Doro. While I call Doro “the primary character”, he is definitely the antagonist.

Anyanwu was largely the main character in Wild Seed, and without spoilers I can say, she was very interesting to me. I was able to relate to her and feel like I understood how she felt or why she did the things she did.

Anyanwu is in Mind of My Mind as a very minor character, the focus is now on Mary. The book opens as Doro arrives to find one of his favorite projects, “Mary” bruised and beaten, in bed naked at age 3. Her mother Rina, is drunk and with a bum of guy. Doro arranges to move Rina and Mary next door to Emma (One of Doro’s favored from Wild Seed).

Octavia doesn’t spend a lot of time on the miserable life of Mary growing up, but it is easily imagined. Next scene with Mary, she is 17, nearly kills one of Rina’s John’s and leaves, takes a bus to Los Angeles. There she goes on a stealing spree (which Doro has forbidden).

Looking at my notes of the beginning of the book, then at the end, I see a massive transition of “Mary”, but reading it, the changes happen so gradually and naturally I barely noticed. So often protagonist type characters have an epiphany then a sudden change. I didn’t notice this until I started writing the review.

If you’ve not read the Patternmaster series, start with Wild Seed. You start thinking Anyanwu is the main character, and she is, but Doro shows up and from there forward near everything about Anyanwu is relative to Doro. In Mind of My Mind, even when Doro is not “on stage” you can feel his influence with what ever is going on.

I think it is safe to say that Doro is the antagonist and the primary characters, Anyanwu in Wild Seed, and Mary in Mind of My Mind are the protagonist. With great writers like Octavia Butler, her characters are real, and complex enough that saying “good vs bad” is possible but you’d have to add that phrase that is popular today, “It’s complicated”.

To those who have read the whole series. I have a question. Octavia hated Survivor, forbid it being reissued, and obtaining a copy isn’t the easiest thing… but I have it. It is supposed to be the 3rd book in the Patternmaster series, but in newer Omnibus editions of the series, Survivor is “gone”. My question to those who know… should I read Survivor?

These days, a large portion of my reading any book is in audiobook form. Survivor, I do not have an audiobook so it isn’t one I can “listen to” while doing other mindless tasks. Your comment or recommendation is appreciated.

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by E. E. “Doc” Smith

Every speaker in the space cruiser blared out the warning as he evacuated his lungs entirely empty. “Vee-Two Gas! Get tight!” Writhing and twisting in his fierce struggle to keep his lungs from gulping any noxious atmosphere, and with the unconscious girl draped limply over his left arm, Costigan leaped toward the portal to the nearest lifeboat.

Triplanetary (The Lensman Series Book 1)My rating: 3 of 5 starsnodapprove-3
Triplanetary by E.E. “Doc”Smith, Read in 2016 on 6/1 to page 71, on 6/22 to page 110, on 7/7 to page 211, on 7/16 until complete.

Before I begin rambling, I liked it. I recommend it to classic science fiction space opera fans. Triplanetary is the first of the Lensmen series by E.E. “Doc” Smith. A wonderfully successful series.
Triplanetary Rating Chart 3x5Triplanetary is Earth-centric in this galactic adventure. If memory serves (more on that later) the planets of the Triplanetary service are Earth, Venus, and Mars. It’s a shoot-em up space adventure with rather clear good guys and bad guys. There are a number of threats that are also lingering as foretelling.

The hero-saves-damsel-in-distress-and-falls-in-love is 1930’s contrived as are some Doc Savage-like escapes. You don’t know who Doc Savage is? Shame on you! Continue reading “Triplanetary”

First Lensman by E.E. “Doc” Smith

The Arisians know that he is incorruptible, a paragon of bravery and virtue, so they have chosen him to be the first entity to wear the “Lens of Civilization”.


First Lensman (The Lensman Series Book 2)First Lensman by E.E. “Doc” Smith

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First Lensman by Doc E.E. Smith. Read and simultaneously listened to in 2016 on 6/1 to page 71, on 6/22 to page 107, on 7/7 to page 211 and completed it on 7/16. I liked it. I recommend it to classic science fiction fans.First Lensman SM This review includes the Books in Motion audiobook read by Reed McColm, who performed with excellence. I prefer doing both read and listen, old “learning trick” from college. Plus it allows you to do some things without the story stopping while you live life.

“First Lensman” is a story that follows incorruptible heroic space adventurer Virgil Samms as he attempts to establish a military or police force to protect the civilization from those who would rather have chaos. Continue reading “First Lensman by E.E. “Doc” Smith”

Call of the Wild

by Jack London. A book review.

…the rope was off his neck. That had given them an unfair advantage; but now that it was off, he would show them. They would never get another rope around his neck.

The Call of the Wild
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked up the Amazon.com “Free Edition”, and purchased the Audible Whispersync for Voice or Immersion Reading for $2.99 which Audible did not screwed up for once! So this review covers both the ebook and the Audible audiobook. I read it on August 12, 2016.
Call of the Wildsmanimated gif thumbs up
I really liked it and recommend this book to all readers. It is a classic for good reason. My 4 of 5 star rating is probably an insult, but I was comparing the book to White Fang which I really loved. The hard thing with giving any rating is that it is subjective. Whether the reviewer realizes it or not, their rating is almost certainly relative to something else.
Call of the Wild is very similar to White Fang. Rather than the coming of age story of a young wolf, it is instead about “Buck”, a large and powerful St. Bernard-Scotch Shepherd. Unlike White Fang Buck starts in a happy home in Santa Clara Valley, not born into the wild. Buck is dog-napped by one of his owner’s servants in order to cover the shortcoming of his gambling vice. So begins Buck’s life moving ever northward and driving him to his inner Call of the Wild. Continue reading “Call of the Wild”