Absolom Bracer remembered those ancient, weather-worn mountains well. A century before he had been born there. Fifteen or twenty standard years had gone by since he had last visited them, and his plans had been to return there at least once more.
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He would go back, he had dreamed, when he returned to Earth when he had been made into a whole man again. One day he would leave the great hospitals, walking away on two legs of flesh, swinging real arms at his sides, looking through eyes of organic fluid and transparent tissue that turned with the pull of tiny muscles, and no one would tell by looking at him that he had once been killed by the Jillies.
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He would take an aircar and leave behind the clean, antiseptic hospital wards and all the memories of why he had been there, and skim across the greenness of Earth, across the mountain tops, along the ancient Indian trails where a few patches of carefully preserved forest still grew, down into the valley cut by the Kanawha River as it made its way westward toward the Ohio, a laughing river echoing the ancient days it had not yet forgotten.
He would go down into the valley where the city of Charleston had once stood, centuries before, where the wild rhododendron now grew in the cold crater that wind and rain had nearly obliterated, where men came to hunt and fish and just be alone with only themselves and the ancient Earth in the preserves of the Kanawha. There he would land his borrowed aircar and step out into a world that was much as it had been when the first white men from the east had come across the mountains to hunt and trap and do battle with the dark-skinned natives of the land.
He would walk away from the aircar into the green forest and find some shaded clearing where he could lie down on the thick-piled leaves and look up into the sky of Earth and forget that there were enemies beyond the sky, enemies that Man did not understand, with whom he could not communicate, and was forced to fight, and to kill, enemies who killed men and would kill mankind if they were allowed to do it.
Yet, Absolom Bracer told himself slowly, that would never be. It was a dream. And now that dream was ended.
He could not go back. That world was forever lost to him, except for the old, old memories of a boy in those mountains, a boy who had never dreamed that he would die in the stars and rise again like Lazarus, and then die again before he ever came home. The memories would have to do. Perhaps others did not have as much. Then he called for status reports of the Iwo Jima and of the Pharsalus and the Rudoph Cragstone, and he looked at the scopes and screens and tanks, and the images of the approaching enemy warships, and he knew that the time for waiting had nearly passed.
Hybeck looked down at the energy pistol in his hand, noted the charge which read at full power, and then checked the two spare charges he had. Then he picked up the other pistol, held it in his hand for a few moments, then gave it to Naha. Maybe that had been inevitable all along.
I figure we can get a few of them when they try to come in through the air lock. Naha nodded, one hand holding the wig that covered her shaven head. I know what they do to living prisoners. I want to look at you. Almost immediately a voice came from the loudspeaker.
Repeat, we request that you identify yourselves at once or we shall be forced to fire on you.
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Hybeck was unable to say a word, but somehow his hands manipulated the tri-D controls and the communications tank came to life. A human face looked out of it. A few hours, maybe. Any word about Mothershed yet? Not yet. We may not have very much time left. Good luck, admiral. And good luck to you. The Strange Life of P.
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At this point I rather they would have stayed friends — there are far too few platonic relationships between gay characters out there anyway. Which is why I am a little disappointed in this book. For me it lacked in emotional depth. He totally earned it. Find more of my books on Instagram View all 17 comments. View all 14 comments. Jan 09, Elise TheBookishActress rated it it was amazing Shelves: marked-as-author-shrines , marked-as-arcs , books-released , favorite-relationships , this-shit-made-me-cry , books-read , genre-odd-specfic-weirdness , 5-star , my-author-meetups , favorite-characters.
Speculative fiction, to me, is meant for emotions, and meant for exploration and discovery. This book is a story of a last chance and a last day for two very different people, but it's a story that's best observed personally - this story asks you to reinvent yourself every single day.
The strength of this book is that somehow, everything here feels so natural and personal. The amount of side point of views here is perhaps the best part of this book - it's hard to ignore how personal this story is when you feel as if you could be dropped into the book at any time. I can't go on being the kid who keeps his head low because all that did was rob and being out there with you- maybe I could have met some of you sooner.
Emotionally, this story is fantastic. The characters are lovely and well-developed. And as an added bonus, the diversity is fantastic - Mateo is Puerto Rican and queer, while Rufus is Cuban-American and bisexual. Mateo is a homebody and a bit of a nervous wreck trying to have one final day. In contrast to Mateo, Rufus has accepted his fate. Oh, and he's also hilarious. What's odd about this is the romance plotline is this book comes sort of out of nowhere, but I loved it anyway? Mateo and Rufus do not have a meet-cute.
They do not have sexual tension for the first eight hours before they kiss. And you know what? I think the lack of slow burn is perfect. It works very well as a desperate, last-ditch relationship, between two characters who aren't in love yet. But they could be. Basically, this book was worth the hype and Adam Silvera can go fuck himself for writing it.
This buddyread with my oncoming depression was an absolute success. Blog Goodreads Twitter Youtube View all 26 comments. Sep 27, Emily Books with Emily Fox rated it really liked it. I should have known from the title that this book would be heartbreaking View all 3 comments. Aug 05, Sana rated it really liked it Shelves: young-adult , contemporary , im-all-kinds-of-shook , romance , daddies , i-have-a-heart.
I wasn't even going to bother with this one. But seeing all the heartbreaking reviews from my friends had me intrigued, as well as that title and synopsis. It's honestly the best decision I've made in a long time?? I was promised tears, heartbreak and all the emotional feels and it's safe to say that, yes, I did get all those things. And I can't be any more happy. It's no surprise I love sad, heartbreaking books and reading this one really really destroyed me in the best way possible.
When a book makes you cry 3 chapters in, write down my words son, it's going to wreck you in the best way possible. I just loved this so much, I want to buy a copy for each and every person then throw the book in their face and scream at them to read this!! Imagine sitting down, reading your favorite book while sipping your coffee or trying to be that perfect grade A student doing nothing but studying all day and not having any fun in your life when suddenly!!!!!
Then, you'll just die. That's what happened to Mateo and Rufus.
Life — after life: Does consciousness continue after our brain dies?
They got called by Death Cast and were told that they only had 24 hours to live that day and they should enjoy their last day on Earth. It's just so cruel and torturous knowing you'll die and not being able to do anything about it except spend the time you have left with the people you love and doing things you would have denied yourself if it were any other ordinary day.
It's especially cruel, knowing you have an exact, certain amount of time left and you have to do this and this and this before you go. It's especially cruel having to tell those you love that you're dying and watching them break down in front of you knowing the loneliness, sadness, but memories of happiness you'll leave with them.
This is what happened to Mateo and Rufus. But they found a friend, something more in each other. They didn't mope around about their deaths, cry about it, sit silently about it. They found each other and wanted to spend their last day together finding friendships, love and trying new things. They spent their last day with all their loved ones doing things that made them happy. Doing things they never had the balls to do. They truly lived life the day they were going to die.
It's impossible not to cry when reading something like this. Like I can't stress how much this book made me realize that I'm pretty much just in this world living, no not living, just existing when I could be doing so much more. Mateo is gay and Rufus is bisexual coming from Cuban and Puerto Rican backgrounds.