Indie Feature Friday: Behind Blue Eyes by Anna Mocikat

I’ve gone and lost track of days again, so let’s just start out by pretending it’s still Friday!

In the last few weeks I’ve been working my way through my collection of Indie Cyberpunk Novels and I have been so pleasantly surprised by all the great work in this genre.

First was Grinders by C.S. Boyack, which is the perfect blend of cyberpunk and detective tropes. I was instantly hooked by the glittery high-tech world and the perfectly balanced dynamic between Jimi Cabot and her partner on the police force. I couldn’t put it down. Although it is different in tone, Grinders is the novel that inspired me to write my own cybernoir detective series, and is directly responsible for the birth of Bubbles in Space. I cannot recommend it enough!

Next I read Into Neon by Matthew A. Goodwin, which is a quick, easy read with great world building and a diverse cast of characters. It’s the kind of book you can pick up and devour in a single sitting when you just want some fun, action packed entertainment. Sci-Fi flavoured candy at its best!

And now we have something a little bit different again.

This one is a serious page-turner…

Behind Blue Eyes by Anna Mocikat

The Plot

In a future world ruled by warring mega-corporations, cyborg Nephilim believed she was fighting a righteous cause.

As a powerful, genetically and cybernetically enhanced elite soldier her brutal and violent life is not truly her own – until one day, a simple glitch separates her from the grid.

For the first time in her young life, she is free…and she has doubts. Doubts that bury deeper into her psyche when she meets Jake, a mysterious, 100% bio-human.

He opens her neon-blue eyes to the lies she had been exposed to all her life. Questioning everything she has ever known, Nephilim resolves to take a stand. To hold on to this freedom, she has miraculously discovered. But can one person, no matter how strong, beat an all-powerful system of oppression? Soon, Nephilim finds herself hunted by her own people in a deadly game of survival…

For fans of Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell and Altered Carbon!

My Review

This book has been on my radar for a while, as I follow Anna Mocikat on Instagram and Twitter. Behind Blue Eyes has been consistently well placed in the Cyberpunk charts and fans literally RAVE about it at every opportunity.

So, I admit, my expectations were pretty high going in.

Mocikat does not disappoint!

Behind Blue Eyes is fantastic. It manages to hit all of the major genre themes, and still to be completely different from the last two indie cyberpunk novels I have reviewed. It is dark, gritty, and violent with a strong sexual undertones. A very different mood than Grinders or Into Neon.

There is quite a bit of world-building at the beginning of the novel and it took me a few chapters to get into the flow of the story, but once I did it was like being caught in a riptide.

Mocikat is a masterful plotter working in an intricate world with complex characters.

One of my favourite things about Behind Blue Eyes is the evolution of Nephilim’s character as the secrets of her world are revealed. She is a seriously badass cyborg warrior, and this could easily have turned into a Mary-Sue type character who just can’t seem to do anything wrong. But Mocikat manages to bring Niphilim’s humanity front and centre, and the plot focusses on her vulnerabilities rather than her physical invincibility, so that even though she’s literally built for world domination, she is constantly coming up against conflicts she isn’t prepared to handle.

I also really appreciate that, although there is a romantic subplot, and there are a lot of sexy themes being explored, Mocikat never delves into “steamy romance” territory. Full disclosure: I am not a romance fan. Really detailed sex scenes always make me cringe, and books with too many of them usually end up in my DNF pile. Mocikat handles it very well, and I think the sexual themes were all the more titillating because they were hinted at rather than being shoved in your face. I mean, sex is everywhere in the book, and the blasé attitudes of the characters toward it was refreshing in itself. But Mocikat leaves the actual squidgy parts up to our imaginations (thank you!)

In Nephilim’s exploration of her humanity (as a genetically engineered cyborg) Mocikat really digs into one of the most interesting themes in cyberpunk literature: where do we draw the link between (wo)man and machine? What makes any of us human? This really added a layer of emotional satisfaction to Nephilim’s character arc, and I will absolutely be diving into the next book, Fallen Angels.

If you love books and don’t have time to read these days, Mocikat has just dropped the audiobook for Behind Blue Eyes on Amazon’s Audible, and it’s been getting awesome reviews as well.

Discussion

Have you read Behind Blue Eyes? What did you think? Is this one you’ll be adding to your TBR list? If you have a favourite cyberpunk novel, please share it in the comments!

182 thoughts on “Indie Feature Friday: Behind Blue Eyes by Anna Mocikat

  1. Frankly, I think you give this book too much praise. It’s not that good, in my opinion. For one thing, Nephilim and Jake’s relationship I feel is under developed, not to mention mushy. You had to have felt that way, too.

    1. Oh! I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like it! I have read a lot of indie books this year and I only review the ones that I feel are worth reading. I’m not in the business of trashing other indie authors, so I simply don’t review the books I don’t think were well done.

      Behind Blue Eyes is a well edited, professional product. It has a solid plot and character development. I felt the pacing was great and the themes were explored consistently.

      There are always aspects of any book that aren’t to my personal taste. Romance is one of mine. I don’t feel I’m a good judge of it, since I really just don’t enjoy romance 😂 But other readers love it. I also tend not to enjoy long, detailed action scenes. But other readers love that stuff, too. So I try to keep personal likes/dislikes out of my reviews in order to help readers find the books that they enjoy.

      Was the romance mushy? Sure. Most of them are. I personally preferred the dark romance theme between Nephilim and Megatron. I know a lot of readers loved the romance subplot in this book, though. Not every book is for every reader. I hope my reviews will help the right readers find the right books ☺️

      1. You spelled “Metatron as “Megatron”, just pointing it out. It does kind of sound like “Megatron” though, just with one different letter. Transformers fan?

        1. Lmao! I didn’t even notice that 😂🤣😂 I have seen a lot of transformers in my day. It actually took me a few chapters reading to realize it wasn’t Megaton. I did consciously try to remember for the blog post, even! Doesn’t help that my autocorrect knows all about Megatron but think Metatron is a made up word 🤣 I’m on the fence about whether I should fix it or not, now.

          1. Probably shouldn’t worry. I mistyped a word in one of my comments also.

          2. Metatron , I think, does sound futuristic, but it is an angelic name, I know, like the other guardian angels.

          3. Yes, I have always found it a funny angel name. Very futuristic!

          4. I am guessing some terms that sound futuristic are pretty old or ancient in origin, Tvtropes says that “cybernetics ” is a greek word that means piloting.

          5. Yes! I along of them are! Or are compound words created from ancient words.

          6. Well, it’s the word “meta,” like it sounds technological, but can be short for “metal,” and “tron,” that sounds futuristic, given the word “tron,” has been used as a title of that movie of the same name, and of course, Megatron, the robot Decepticon villain of Transformers. Not to give anything away, but in the next bbe book, Metatron gets derisively called “tin man” at least twice.

          7. So I’ll be even more confused by the next book? Lol 😂

          8. I think early sci-fi writers used these words because they were not used regularly by the public before, at least I’m guessing.

          9. Metatron/Mattatron is a biblical figure, too, I think?

          10. Maybe, considering the tin man used to be a flesh and blood human wood chopper before becoming a man of tin, in the original oz novel.

          11. Yes. From what I heard, the tim man started as a regular man, but the wicked Witch, of the east I think, repeatedly cursed his axe, and he would repeatedly chop a limb off and having to get it replaced with a tin body part, until eventually, he got a full tin body. His caregiver, however, forgot to replace his heart, and he could no longer love his love interest. So it also goes more into detail of why he wants a heart.

          12. Ever see Return to Oz? They say the tone there is more faithful to the tone of the original Oz Novels. And Dorothy is played by then 11 year old Fairuza Balk, making her closer in age to the 9 year old Dorothy of the books. Return to Oz is from 1985, and is really an adaptation of 2 Oz book sequels, from what I hear.

  2. Sounds like you really enjoyed it. As always, I appreciate the nod and am proud to help you find your muse. These stories usually have a soapbox of some kind. I tried to touch upon mine without beating it into readers’ heads. Sounds like this one did it the same way.

    1. Yes, definitely! I think of them as kind of cautionary tales. We aren’t too far off a lot of these dystopian Sci-Fi themes.

  3. Cool reviews. I’ve only read one of those featured, but have to save that Grinders ranks among one of my favorite in this genre. So inventive and imaginative. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It’s definitely been my favourite so far! I really think more people need to be reading it 😂 So I’m just young to keep shouting until the people hear me! Visibility is tough in this indie publishing gig.

  4. Great review! Sounds like an intriguing read:) Grinders is a favorite of mine in this genre! I hope more people read it.

  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one. I have “Grinders” on my TBR list waiting for me and I look forward to it. This one grabs my attention and I will most likely add it to my list.

    1. Enjoy!! They are very different books, but I really liked both of them for different reasons ☺️

  6. I do not hate it, like I think it’s the worst book I’ve ever read, I just don’t think it’s that great, maybe a 3 star book in my opinion. I just don’t think Nephilim and Jake had a proper buildup, their relationship pretty much happens in 1 night, and the relationship feels forced, not natural. I can’t feel the chemistry between them. The reader has to feel the chemistry between the two, don’t they? I also feel the whole purgatory club subplot was stupid, except for (spoiler), Nephilim saving Finwick from the implant harvesters, which I thought was a cool sequence, but could have benefited more for the gang having tougher fighters for Nephilim to fight, like an Adam Smasher type.(end spoilers). The second book is a little better than the 1st, though.

    1. I haven’t read it yet! But I will.

      I’m always torn with star ratings for indie books because our resources are fewer (or cost prohibitive). I tend to be more flexible than with traditionally published titles, which had teams of editors in addition to the writer to tighten things up.

      As I work my way through more indie books, I really appreciate the authors who have made an obvious effort to learn and apply story structure and character development to their work.

      It’s great to see growth in a writer, too! I look forward to reading the next one.

    2. I’m sure the purgatory club serves it’s purpose, showing the guardian angels are popular and desirable to some people, but I also think it partially negates them being objects of fear and intimidation, like the sequence serves as a self-parody of the main story. I guess I wanted the angels to be more like the boogeyman in the story, given their earlier scenes, like the opening of the book, with the attack on the rebel compound, and the horrible death of Missy the dog and one of the rebels by an angel drone. I thought that was also a cool, but also creepy, sadistic scene, especially if you don’t like animal cruelty, death scenes. What do you think?

      1. Yeah, it was an interesting balance because the opening scene really does set them up as bogey men. But I empathized with the Angels and their belief that they were doing the alright thing. Metatron was a pretty good bad guy, his ability to manipulate. The purgatory club didn’t undermine the effect of the Angel’s, I don’t think. It demonstrated the way, for the average person, the Angels were more of an urban myth than anything. They didn’t even realize they were being oppressed, which is actually a scarier idea to me. The Taboo, the subversion of fear, seemed plausible to me. There are lots of people who find fear titillating. If they were more of a horror style villain, I agree that it wouldn’t have worked. But the way it was didn’t bother me.

        1. Ok. Interesting. Never thought of it like that. I don’t remember too much about the novel, but I see what you mean.

          1. I think I remember that the book mentions some people think the Angels are a myth. However, there seem to be others who aren’t surprised they’re real, like the velvet bartender and the punks who try to attack Nephilim. Or maybe they thought they were fiction before coming across them? Anyway, maybe I’ll read the book again to be sure. I have paperbacks of both bbe books. I don’t use kindle, although I never tried it. Since I’ve messaged you a couple of times, I decided to download your free Bubbles novella, and see how it is.

          2. Oh thanks! I hope you enjoy it! Sorry I don’t have a paperback for that one yet. I plan to release three novellas as e-books and then combine them into a paperback eventually. The novels in the main series will all have paperbacks, though 🙂

          3. I’ll read it bit by bit probably, but I’ll let you know how I like it when I finish.

        2. I also do believe the society made Metatron the way he is, at least I think in this book.

        3. Maybe Mocikat, or some author could do a novel with characters similar to the Angels and make it darker. Not me, I’m not a writer, so I don’t want to preach to writers on what to write.

          1. I could totally do a sci-fi horror series like that. I’ll add it to my future projects list ☺️

          2. Thank you. Glad to give you the idea. But you don’t have rush to it.

          3. My TBR pile is soooooo ridiculous, who knows when I’ll get to it. I try to read in order that I download things but usually a whim will catch me and I’ll be off reading something else 😂

  7. I will go so far as to say Jake was my least favorite character in book 1.

    1. Yes, he’s a little too perfect for my tastes. Finwick was my favourite!

      1. To be honest, I’d think a love story between Finwick and Nephilim could have been possible, if given the right buildup, Jake literally falls right into the story halfway in, and presto, he’s the love interst. At least that’s my opinion. I don’t know. Maybe I’m missing something. I’m not usually this nitpicky. I just feel this is the most jarring part of the book, and other parts, the non-romantic parts, are pretty good. It’s like this book had two writers, although I’m sure it didn’t.

        1. I would have been more into that. I like a good flawed character and relationship.

          But Jake and Nephilim’s relationship doesn’t follow the standard “romance” pattern. That’s one of the reasons I don’t enjoy romance. It often feels a bit shallow and unrealistic.

          I know the author actually prefers not to write romance, too. So this might be a reflection of her not feeling comfortable.

          1. What would you consider the standard romance pattern? I mean, I have a trilogy of Harem books, and the relationships there were better structured in my opinion. Besides Jake obviously being hotter than Finwick, there is nothing that convinces me that he is a good romantic interest for Nephilim. All they do is have sex nearly every time they are together. (Spoiler) Jake also pisses me off as a character in this book; for 1 thing, he asks Nephilim who would be so important for you to risk your life to save after she saves Finwick. I thought ” a%%hole! She went to save her friend, who she knew before you decided to enter this story and drag it down, and she’s a cyborg!” Then when he gets wounded, Nephilim tears a piece of clothing off him to stop the bleeding, and he says something about how he thought sex would be for the next time she tore at his clothes. I thought “shut up!”

    2. Scratch that. He was not my favorite. Period. I actually liked when (spoiler) metatron referred to him as a little prick and gigolo. I did not like the threaten to rape him though.(End spoiler). I know it’s not nice, but that is how I felt.

    3. Sounds good. Read a few pages of your novella last night. Interesting so far. Will read some more.

  8. I don’t like romance as a whole genre, but I don’t mind it as a subplot if the characters have believable chemistry, and it’s not too in your face. If Anna Mocikat doesn’t like romance, she could have easily not put any romance in the book at all, if anything, her making the romance too in your face with no buildup made it worse. But we could argue about this all day, and I won’t. If I may say, I sometimes got the feeling that the guardian angels came off like vampires, in a way. Maybe it was the dark clothing they wore, I’m not sure. What do you think?

    1. The cover does have a bit of the Underworld vibe! (Speaking of poorly developed romance subplots 😂)

      1. I at least think Metatron gives off a vampire like vibe, given how Mocikat describes him in his first scene. I also think he comes off like Mr. Sinister, the X-Men villain, given his creepy goth look.

        1. I found out the cover of the book has Metatron on the cover, being the one on the right. I did not think it was him at first, because he didn’t quite look the way he was described in the novel. The way he was described, I thought he would look more like eddie redmayne, or peter murphy. I at least think he comes across like Mr. Sinister, the X-men villain. Do you think so?

          1. I didn’t realize that was supposed to be Metatron. I pictured him bigger and eviller, too (that’s not a word but I’m going to use it anyway 😂) I can totally see him like Mr Sinister! The one on the left was her friend, I think. I can’t remember his name. Started with an A…

          2. Adriel. That’s his name. I thought the third person might have been Zephaniel, but I saw one of the book’s trailers profiling metatron, and they used the illustration of the one on the right.

          3. I was kind of disappointed that I never saw Zephaniel in action, or do much of anything, considering he was described as being one of the most sadistic of Metatron’s archangels. I emailed Anna Mocikat a while ago about it, and she said Zephaniel will play a part in future books. Who knows? Maybe it was Zephaniel’s drone who killed poor Missy. At least that’s what I would reveal.

          4. The metatron on the cover is shorter than the one described in the book. Nephilim looks taller than him on the cover, of course she’s front and center since she’s the main hero/protagonist.

    2. I happen to think the romance here is superficial, given how abrupt I think it is, without building up any chemistry. Again, Mocikat could have simply not put a love story in here if she does not like romance, but given how she put a love story here, and 2 romantic sub plots in the Shadow City books, I just don’t buy that she hates the romance genre as much as she says she does, and I’m not calling her a liar, but it seems to me her writing says 1 thing, while she says another. And both books have that forbidden romance theme, that I hated in both.

      1. No, I don’t think it’s too harsh. If it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing. Don’t try to force yourself to like it!

    3. Now I don’t know if the romance is her idea, or if she gets it from one of the people helping her with her books.

      1. There’s a lot of pressure from readers to add romance subplots in some genres, and there tends to be a lot more readers who want it than don’t. Having romance elements opens up readership and can make books more profitable.

        I can’t speak to Mocikat’s reasons, myself, and I haven’t read any of her other work. But I’ve struggled against the grain to keep romance out of my books, and it does make them harder to market.

        That said, as writers we often have to experiment with something a few times before we get the hang of it or decide we don’t like it, so I can appreciate why she would want to try. I might try it some day, too. A writing career is full of successful and failed experiments, like most creative jobs!

        1. Good insight. Thank you. I really should not let a work of fiction get to me. I try to forget this book sometimes, but it’s a little hard. Still, I will try to read it again, only because I want to. At least I think I will.

          1. I’m surprised it’s stayed with you for so long! When I don’t like a book it just evaporates from my consciousness 😂 pretty soon I forget I even read it. Unless it’s wildly popular and everyone is always reminding me how awesome they think it is, I guess. But I didn’t think there’s been a ton of hype about BBE. I’m new to the genre though.

          2. Well it hasn’t stayed with me completely, I don’t think about it 24/7.

          3. Since you have not read the 2nd bbe book yet, I will not spoil anything for you.

          4. Thanks! I will review it when I do, though ☺️

          5. Discussing the book with you has actually lightened my feelings on the whole thing. Thank you.

  9. I wouldn’t know, I never watched underworld, but the cyberpunk meets gothic scenery , which I think is described in the book, is interesting.

    1. Yes I like the gothic stylings she brought to the world. I cyberpunk vampire story would be really cool!

  10. On deviantart.com, there are some drawings of what, are pretty much, cyborg vampires.

  11. Plus some other drawings of cool, intimidating looking, cyborg characters. Just in case you’re interested. I don’t know if you visit deviantart.com or not.

    1. Thank you! I will check it out! I have a Pinterest image saved that is a cyborg vampire but I wasn’t able to find a source link. I bet it’s on deviant art, though! I haven’t visited there in a while.

  12. Sorry if my first comment on your review seemed harsh. I was just expressing my opinion, and sorry if I came off too opinionated. Who knows? Maybe when I first got it, I thought I would like it as much as other books I liked, only for the second half of the book to be something I wasn’t expecting, or what I wanted. Maybe the book is great, and I’m just not seeing it, or maybe we all just have strong, differing opinions and points of view. I am just disappointed because there are parts of the book I do like, I just wish I could like all of it, and the problem is in Mocikat’s Shadow City books, too. All in all, I have 4 of her books, or 5 if you count the Neo-Cyberpunk anthology. If the 4, I liked the first shadow city book and the second behind blue eyes book the most, and the first behind blue eyes book, and the second shadow city book the least. I pretty much skipped to the end of the second shadow city book, Dark City. Anyway, again, sorry if I came on too strong.

    1. Well, not to give anything away in book 2, but there is a new character who I also felt Nephilim had some good connections with, which could have become something more if given the chance, or under different circumstances, although I guess he is kind of like Finwick, being attracted to Nephilim because of the idea of her, probably, I guess.

  13. Maybe, MAYBE, I might read behind blue eyes books 1 and 2 again. Maybe my opinion will soften, but I do not think it will. Let’s hope.👍

    1. You definitely don’t have to apologize for your opinion on a book! Each person can have a completely different reading experience based what else they’ve read and what their expectations are going into it.

      The reviews of indie books on my blog I come at knowing that they are independently published (and the various struggles that this entails, because I’ve been there 😅) So I tend to be a lot more forgiving of things that might turn me off of a traditionally published book. And I like to discuss the things I liked without critiquing the way I might a trad book, or if I was given something to beta read by an author looking for feedback.

      So while readers are always welcome to their opinions, I prefer to stay neutral -> positive. If I can’t do that, I simply don’t review the book ☺️

      I think if you’re familiar with Mocikat’s work, and you didn’t enjoy it that’s totally valid! I know I have 1-2 star ratings on my books, too, lol. Sometimes books and readers just don’t jive. That’s okay. Patrick Rosthfuss’s writing makes my skin crawl, and he is one of the most beloved fantasy writers of all time 😂 To each their own!

      1. Well, I’ve never heard of him. Don’t tell me. I will look him up.

      2. Ok, I looked him up. He wrote these books in a series called “the kingkiller”, right? Has a beard? Well, I wouldn’t know if I would like his writing, because fantasy is not usually my favorite genre, although I like the movie Highlander, which I have on dvd.

        1. Yes, he’s very popular! Although a bit infamous now for how long it’s taken him to write book 3 in his trilogy.

          1. Not to pry, but what part of his writing makes your skin crawl?

          2. It’s been a while, but there’s a lot of purple prose and what seemed to me to be self-indulgent world building. Pointless tangents that existed for no reason but that the author thought they sounded cool. And the fact that every female character in the book seems to want to sleep with the MC 🤣 It came across as a really extensive wish fulfillment project to me. But other people loved it so I can only assume it struck a chord for them that was a miss for me 🤷🏻‍♀️

          3. Well, I know of some books and authors that are controversial, the Gor novels have sparked controversy over the years, and I hear Piers Anthony is somewhat controversial, though I’ve never read either works. And there is the matter of H.P. Lovecraft being a bigot, I hear. And of course, L. Ron Hubbard.

          4. There’s always controversy. I’ve read a lot of HP Lovecraft and a lot of the more recent works that attempt to come to terms with both his influence on the horror genre and also the rampant racism in his work. That’s one of the great things about literature, and art, though. The classics can always be revisited, subverted, extrapolated on. That’s half the fun of being a writer!

          5. Though I have a few men’s adventure pulp books from the early to mid 80s, particularly the men of action line from warner books, particularly the dirty harry novels and the ninja master novels. I don’t know if you’ve heard of those.

          6. Heard of but never read. I do love pulp novels, but I usually go for the old detective novels from the 30s and 40s. Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, etc.

          7. Well the men’s adventure books I have have that exploitation angle to them, like the cannon films of the 80s, especially Charles Bronson’s films he made for them around that time.

          8. Yes! Most pulp novels do. It’s fun enough as long as you know what you’re getting when you go into it and not expected high art conceptual stuff 😅

  14. I don’t know if the romance is mushy, but Jake, in my opinion, said a few romantic lines to Nephilim that I felt were too overly dramatic, like he was a character in a romance novel, and that was the part I could not stand. The sequence where Nephilim thinks about him was also something I did not like, like she went from being this badass character to a princess in a fairy tale pining for her prince. At least that is how I feel. I was also annoyed by them having sex in every other scene they were together in. It wasn’t explicit, I know, but it was too much for me at least, and I don’t mind any sex scenes in books. Jake, to me, at least in most of the book, seemed like a bland boy toy. Thought I should clear that up. But whatever you think of it is fine. Although I’m not sure if I myself will buy any more of Mocikat’s novels. Others are free to buy them of course, but I don’t know if I will put myself through the annoying parts, even if the other parts are good.

    1. I think that’s totally fair ☺️ This is the only one of hers I’ve read yet, but I do have book 2 on my kindle! I have to get through all the others on my original post before I can start tackling new ones, though.

      1. I’m thinking if they did an adaptation of BBE, I think it would be better if they give it a different title, so no one would mistake it for a WHO film. And maybe make it a faithful enough, but not too faithful adaptation. It could benefit from taking out the romance, at least that’s how I feel. It could be called, “Blue Death”, or something. But it is all up to the author, of course. I keep imagining Andrew Koji playing Nephilim, if they theoretically turn Nephilim into a male character in a theoretical adaptation. Though I don’t personally agree with changing, at least the gender of a character, for an adaptation. Andrew Koji is the actor who plays Ah Sahm in warrior, just letting you know, in case you’ve heard of it or not. I never fully watched the series, just 1 or 2 whole episodes. Maybe he come to mind because he’s half British, half Japanese, and Nephilim is half caucasian, half asian. I guess he seems like he could pull off that dark, brooding goth look.

        1. Yes, it’s the first Mocikat I’ve read!

          I’m not familiar with Warrior, but I looked up Andrew Koji. I can see where you’re coming from… interesting idea! It would make a great film adaptation. I can’t think of any actresses that would suit the role.

          1. Well, I have a couple of books I haven’t read all of so far, because I’m not exactly a speed reader. Reading for me, is both interesting, but also a chore to go through, since you’re technically looking at texts with no pictures, but becomes interesting if you try to picture it in your head. Maybe I find it slightly more interesting to read a book that describes something, and you try to picture it exactly in your head, then to see it presented in a comic or movie, or anything visual.

          2. I’m a slow reader, too. And I have a bit of aphantasia, where you can’t literally visualize. So my preference is for imagery that uses a lot of metaphor and simile, which I can understand better that complex detailed physical descriptions of things like settings or action scenes. But that’s what different people like different things. We process information differently, we have different experiences and educations to draw from. I have a lot of respect for highly technical hard Sci-fi writers, but it’s not the kind of thing I can read for enjoyment. It’s work.

    2. Speaking of Chandler, I read The Big Sleep in college for an English class, and we saw the film adaptation in class also. I learned that they did another adaptation of The Big Sleep in 1977, but set it in the UK instead of Los Angeles. Ever see either or both versions?

      1. I haven’t seen any of the film adaptations, weirdly! But I’ve read most of the books.

        1. Well, I got interested in the film Manhunter, because the remake was being released in 2002, and I saw Manhunter on video the next year, and red dragon on cable. 2 years ago, just about, I got Manhunter on blu-ray, and after that, I finally got the original Red Dragon novel. Familiar with any of those? I know it was the first Hannibal Lecter story.

          1. I have read Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs, but not the other two in that series. I’ve seen those two movies, too. But all of them a very long time ago!

        2. Manhunter, seems to me, the least graphic of the other films, and has that Miami Vice look, because it was made in the 80s, and was made by Michael Mann. I kind of found myself leaning more toward Manhunter, even though it was a less faithful adaptation.

  15. I like sci-fi as a genre, but I do find some of it hard to understand, like Neuromancer. I haven’t finished it yet, but what I’ve read of it so far is interesting, even though I’m not an expert on the scientific terms.

    1. Neuromancer is a challenging read! It took me a long time, especially when trying to concentrate on it and the constant interruptions of children, lol. But I’m glad I read it. I think I’ll need to reread it in order to “get” everything, though.

      1. Ok. I plan on finishing it. I plan on reading it again from beginning to end, though, to get a better feel before I reach the ending. Especially that I also got the follow up book, Count Zero, and I think I should read all of that after I’ve read all if the first book. I did read the first chapter of Count Zero though.

        1. I haven’t read it or Mona Lisa Overdrive yet, but they are on my list!

  16. I do not have Burning Chrome, the book of Gibson’s early short stories, that has the short story “Johnny Mnemonic”, which I think first introduced the character of Molly Millions from Neuromancer. I know it was adapted for the Keanu Reeves movie of the same name in 1995.

      1. Molly Millons and Case do seem similar to Nephilim and Finwick, with Millons being the assassin dressed in black, with built in sharp objects, and Case being the computer, or in his case, cyberspace guy.

  17. There is also the matter of Molly having mirrors for eyes, and Nephilim’s eyes being neon blue. It all involves non-normal eyes also.

  18. Maybe it’s just me, but I think Nephilim and Finwick are similar to Molly Millions and Case from Neuromancer, in that, like Millions, Nephilim is a cybernetically enhanced assassin with a built in blade in her arm, similar to Millions’s built in finger blades, not to mention their abnormal eyes, Nephilim having neon blue eyes that glow in the dark, and Millons having mirrors for eyes. Case is similar to Finwick in that they are both computer guys, Case specifically using cyberspace, and Finwick occasionally using vr for fun, though Case uses it for missions, but loves it also. What do you think?

    1. Yes, I can see the similarities. Molly and Nephilim are a stronger parallel to me than Finwick and Case, I think, though.

      1. Sure. I heard Millons was the inspiration behind the look of Adam Jensen in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Jensen also has the arm blades.

        1. That could be. It’s become a common trope in cyborg themed sci fi!

          1. And Robocop with his data spike. Or, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but Bubblegum Crisis, the anime, with the one episode with the android, known as a boomer on the series, with the finger claws.

          2. I have heard of Bubblegum Crisis but have never seen it!

      2. Yes. Finwick and Case are far different when it comes to occupation and personality, so far as I’ve read.

        1. I like your mixture of light blue and purple, or is it dark pink, texts. This deliberate?

          1. Yes ☺️ I like them too. I like a kind of 80s colour palette.

      1. The reavers in the X-Men comic seem like cyberpunk villains, if you’ve heard of them. I know some people say Philip K. Dick started the cyberpunk genre, particularly with Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, in 1968.

        1. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? isn’t really cyberpunk, in my opinion. But the Blade Runner adaptation really brought those themes out and played a big role in the aesthetic. I love PKD, though!

          1. Do you know of the Reavers? The cyborg villains from X-Men? I think, at least 3 of them, seem like cyberpunk villains.

          2. Are they in any of the movies? I don’t think I’m familiar with them. I haven’t read any of the comics, though, and only saw the first three movies.

    1. Well, the 80s were a decade where cyberpunk became a popular sub-genre, if not where it was started.

      1. Yes, Exactly! I’m riffing on that a bit with my covers. Going for a synth wave retro feel.

      2. I never really watched the X-Men movies, but Donald Pierce and his mercenary army, I don’t know if they’re the reavers or not, are in the movie Logan. The reavers are a cyborg villain group, led by Donald Pierce, who used to be in the Hellfire Club. He has blond hair. He forms the Reavers to kill mutants, and is a cyborg himself.

  19. One of the reavers has a mohawk, and his lower torso is a mini tank, in place of his legs.

  20. By the way, Behind Blue Eyes was a topic of discussion on reddit. I don’t know if you will like it though, it was one of the books voted by reddit users as a segment of”sci-fi books with the worst cover art. Although some commented the cover wasn’t bad, just generic. There are comments also which seem to show the reddit users haven’t read the book yet. One made, which I believe is a joke, a guess that the book was about Nephilim dating the 2 guys on the cover with her, and something about taking her to the “cyber-prom.”

    1. Oh? I didn’t know that! I quite like the cover art, personally. It’s easy to tell genre at a glance and is eye catching in a thumbnail. Those are the kind of things I look for when having one designed. You can never please everyone though 😅

        1. I think the cover is fine, also. They do capture the eerie feeling the Angels give off well. I did start reading the first 3 pages of bbe book 1 today, to try to start up reading it again, seeing if I will like it a second time, but I am dreading the Jake/Nephilim scenes that I now know are going to come up, and hope I won’t be bothered by them again. I just hope that (spoiler) Metatron or Zephaniel give him the same treatment Francis Dollarhyde gave Will Graham in the original Red Dragon novel ending, for a future bbe book. And I felt sorry for Graham when it happened to him(end spoiler).

    1. Sorry. Does that sound too harsh? I know I’m going overboard, but I really do not like this character. I wish I could, but I don’t. I want to believe Mocikat was intending something important with him, but I just don’t think he is necessary. I just hope I do like him better in future books, if I ever get them.

  21. I still haven’t finished with your novella yet, I’m sorry to say. I have just been busy visiting mostly deviantart, which we’ve talked about.

  22. I will try to pry myself away in order to finish reading your novella and letting you know what I thought about it. It’s just the artwork on deviant art is really good, the art works that I’ve seen could easily be used as covers for cyberpunk/sci-fi books, and the artists could do art for comic/graphic novels. One artist, I believe, did the cover art for a trilogy of books that I have.

    1. There are some wonderful artists out there. Feel free to share links with your favourites!

  23. I think this book actually made me flat out hate romance. I don’t even think I’m as excited about books as I was a few years ago. I don’t know.

    1. I don’t read romance, so I couldn’t tell you what the patterns are other than usually having a happily ever after. A romance novel has a completely different type of arc than an other genre novel with a romantic subplot. Romantic subplots don’t have to follow any particular pattern. Some are just there for steam, some serve a plot point, some are focused on character development. I feel the role of Nephilim and Jake’s relationship as a side story is simply to demonstrate the shift in her perspective and her potential for empathy. She falls for him because she’s been questioning her reality and he happens to challenge her perceptions at the right moment. That’s what I took from it anyway.

  24. And I don’t think a romance was necessary for this story. Finwick’s friendship and Sarah’s plight should have been enough. At least I feel.

  25. If Jake and Nephilim’s arc was a slow burn, with no sex even, that could have been more impactful. But I guess I’m not a writer, and I definitely didn’t write this book.

    1. Maybe, but we’ll never know 😉 it is the way it is. Writers have to make hundreds and sometimes thousands of decisions about what to put into each book. They won’t all make everyone happy. No writer can write everything perfectly for every reader. If you don’t like it, you don’t like it. It is what it is and you are who you are, and the two don’t mesh. That’s okay. That should be the end of it, really. We can’t change books or movies to be exactly what we want them to be, we just have to set aside the ones we don’t enjoy and find the ones we do. Life’s too short!

      1. Ok. That is good advice. And I have tried to not let it get to me. However, I am not going to apologize about how I express my disappointment, considering that the book gets more praise than it does criticism, and the critics also feel the love story was under written. If you don’t want to be critical, that’s ok. I know this is just a book, but it was also a book I got, expecting I would like a lot, only to like it partly, and feel like the romantic subplot dragged it down, becoming the main plot almost toward the end, and it felt like I was conned into reading a romance story pretending to be a cyberpunk story. It also falls me that people compare this to deus ex, but deus ex, at least human revolution, didn’t have a fairy tale romance in it. Let me ask you this: would you be willing to let the romance off the hook if this was twilight? Well, I know nothing about twilight, but I wouldn’t in Twilight, and not in this book. Now I know life is too short, but I also believe in living a life where I can express how I feel about something. Well, as this is my last message to you, I will say that if Ms. Mocikat continues writing her books like this, and she is allowed to, I just won’t buy any more of her work. If she does get better, maybe I will. Maybe I will give her one more chance, but I will only use that 1 chance on the 3rd blue eyes book, I think. Or who knows. I will try not to get negative in this message, if I am coming on too strong, since I have liked some things others have hated. I will say this, I do wish you and Ms. Mocikat a good career, regardless of myself.

        1. I haven’t asked you to apologize. I have no problem with people having other opinions about books than I do. I think I’ve been pretty open here and let you express your opinions without trying to change your mind. It’s okay with me if you didn’t like this book. I’m sure the conversation will be helpful to others who are reading.

          I don’t read romance and I haven’t read twilight. But if I was reading and reviewing a romance book where the romantic relationship was the entire point of the novel, sure, I would expect more from it. In theory. But as romance is literally the least interesting part of any book to me I tend to just gloss over it and never go out of my way to specifically read it. It’s not my thing even when it’s well done and I usually just skip over those scenes. I don’t feel bad about it. It’s just my preference.

          Anyway, thanks for the conversation ☺️ I hope the next book you pick up is more to your liking. Happy reading!

  26. I guess maybe I made a fuss about the book because I felt like I got a book that I did not expect to be the kind of book it turned out to be. And when I see other people enjoyed the book and praised it, I guess I got a little resentful, I’ll be honest. I just wanted to express how much I felt that the book wasn’t that great. I know some other commenters had the same issues as I did; I guess I wanted my disappointment to be just as strong as the praise. I know some did not mind the romance and thought it was ignorable but it was not ignorable to me. I know there is a good part of the book as well. I wish the whole book was like that. The 2nd book is better than the first I believe, but I probably believe that for completely different reasons than others. Speaking of which, are you reading the 2nd book now?

  27. Maybe I just felt bad for Finwick, since he is in love with Nephilim, and Jake seemingly sweeps her off her feet with little effort. I felt sorry for a fictional character😆! Now I know Nephilim is free to choose to be with, but in a fiction story, I just ask for it to be believable, at least to me. Makes me wonder how Jake and Finwick are going to react to each other if they meet.

    1. Yes, I felt sorry for him, too. He’s a well written character. But I also feel like his love for Nephilim is almost as superficial as Nephilim’s feelings for Jake. He loves her because she’s beautiful and strong and is halfways decent to her, before he ever gets to know her. It’s not like they have similar hobbies and interests or compatible senses of humour or whatever else makes people mutually fall in love. He’s in love with the idea of Nephilim and he puts her on a pedestal. There could never be a healthy relationship between them until he saw her in a less idealized way anyway. I do think it would be interesting to see what happens if/when Jake and Finwick meet. But I don’t think that choosing to sleep with someone you are physically attracted to and then developing feelings for them is unrealistic. Especially for someone who has never had “a relationship” before. We often think we’re in love with people who are completely wrong for ya because we can’t see past a pretty face or a fun time in the sack. It would have been more unrealistic to me if Nephilim fell in love with someone she sees as inferior than that she fell for a pretty boy. I’m not saying it’s right. The vast majority of becoming an adult is realizing that what we want is not necessarily what we need. I hope both Nephilim and Finwick find happiness with someone who is right for them, but not necessarily with each other.

      I haven’t started #2 yet. I have a few other books to get through in my TBR. Right now I’m reading a book by Michael Robertson called THE BLIND SPOT.

  28. Would you like me to send you some pictures from deviantart and artstation? If you do, what is your email address?

  29. I emailed some pictures to anna mocikat, and texted 2 to my brother.

    1. You can share links here if you like! Or the contact link from the blog is fine ☺️

  30. Ok, I sent you the websites in the comments, and I think I sent you the artwork on your email, I don’t know if they got through.

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