Mene Moonplanet

Biography

I've illustrated a few published books and also published a book containing Dutch recipes in Dutch and Japanese (all paper books).
At the moment I don't have any e-books available, so I'm only using this account for reviewing.
Check my website (Librarything) for more information about my own books and my weblog for my book reviews.

My profile image is a drawing I have made.

Where to find Mene Moonplanet online


Books

This member has not published any books.

Smashwords book reviews by Mene Moonplanet

  • Keiko-san's Story: An Account of the Minamata Tragedy on Oct. 30, 2012
    (no rating)
    This review also appeared on my weblog here on January 22nd, 2012. (I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story) Title: Keiko-san's Story: An Account of the Minamata Tragedy (free to read on Smashwords) Author: Eustacia Tan Format: e-book Pages: 7 Year published: 2012 Language: English Reason for reading: I saw it linked on Librarything and it was really short, so I didn't mind reading it on the computer screen. I read the HTML version on Smashwords. Ebook Description: In 2008, I had the opportunity to listen to the story of a victim of the Minamata tragedy. Here is her story. First alinea: In 2008, I was 15 and on my first trip to Japan. As it was a school trip, we were brought around to all sort of places, including the Minamata Disease Municipal Museum. As we looked at the exhibits, our studied nonchalance quickly turned into outrage at what happened. One of the most touching events was the opportunity to listen to Keiko-san’s story. Here is the story as it was told, without any amendments by me: Review: Story: I didn't know anything about the Minamata disease, so I was a bit curious about it. The story itself only gives minimal information about the disease, but on page 6 there's a list of symptoms. I decided to look up the Wikipedia page afterwards (here, warning: photo of a 'deformed' hand, but nothing bloody or anything) and it says (for the people who don't want to click): "Minamata disease (水俣病 Minamata-byō), sometimes referred to as Chisso-Minamata disease (チッソ水俣病 Chisso-Minamata-byō), is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. [...] Minamata disease was first discovered in Minamata city in Kumamoto prefecture, Japan, in 1956. It was caused by the release of methylmercury in the industrial wastewater from the Chisso Corporation's chemical factory, which continued from 1932 to 1968. This highly toxic chemical bioaccumulated in shellfish and fish in Minamata Bay and the Shiranui Sea, which when eaten by the local populace resulted in mercury poisoning. While cat, dog, pig, and human deaths continued over more than 30 years, the government and company did little to prevent the pollution." Eustacia re-tells the story of Keiko Ueno, whose family members died of the disease and her account of what happened when her husband first fell ill and the events afterwards. Though it does make me wonder what will now happen to all the people who get cancer from the nuclear accident in Fukushima last year (and there was also on the (Japanese and Dutch) news that polluted food and building materials from Fukushima was sold in other parts of Japan, as well as pollution in the tap water). Writing style: It reads easily, but the numbers were all written as numbers, which I think looked a bit odd in cases like "3 days later, in the evening, her husband died." It looked like the English was not written by a native speaker, but it was really clear to read. It's so short that even if you happen not to like the writing style, you can read it very quickly. Rereadability: Maybe. Comment from Eustacia: Thanks for reading and reviewing my short ebook. And thanks for pointing out the numbers thing, it's something that I can and will change(: The non-native style is intentional, because I thought that if I made the English perfect, it might lose something in (further) translation.
  • The Princess Of Egypt Must Die on Dec. 06, 2012
    (no rating)
    I also posted this review at my book weblog: moonplanet.dreamwidth.org/103212.html (I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story) Title: The princess of Egypt must die Author: Stephanie Dray Language: English (= original language) Reviews for other books by this author (up till now): Lily of the Nile (moonplanet.dreamwidth.org/54895.html) Format: E-book, downloadable for free from the author's Smashwords page. Pages: 25 (PDF has 36 pages, because it includes two chapters from "Lily of the Nile") Year published: original 2012, my edition 2012 ISBN number: 9781301647637 Topic of the book: Ancient Egypt, Queen Arsinoë II, court intrigue Reason for reading: I really liked the author's two books about Egypt, "Lily of the Nile" and "Song of the Nile". And it was a free and short story (I don't like reading long stories on my computer). Recommended: Yes! Description from the Smashwords page: Princess Arsinoe came of age in the glittering court of Ptolemaic Egypt. Abused by her ruthless sister, a pawn in the dynastic ambitions of her father, and dismissed by the king who claimed her for a bride, young Arsinoe finds herself falling in love with a young man forbidden to her. She dreams of a destiny as Egypt's queen, but first she must survive the nest of vipers otherwise known as her family. Comments on the description text: I didn't really read this text beforehand, I just started reading... The elements from the description can be found in the story, but they're all prominent at different times. Not really all at once... First paragraph: "Remember always that you’re a royal princess of Egypt," my mother says, wiping tears from my cheeks. "But I'm not the only one.” There is also Lysandra, my half-sister. The source of my tears. My mother uses clean linen strips to bandage my bleeding knees, both of which were scraped raw when Lysandra nearly trampled me beneath the hooves of her horse. "You mustn't let Lysandra bully you." "She's never punished for it," I complain. "She knows she can do as she pleases just because she is the daughter of the king's chief wife." "Not for long," my mother vows. "Soon, I will be first wife here." Review: Story: The story is about a historical character, Arsinoë, who becomes Queen of Egypt. However, this story takes place way before that happens; it starts in her childhood and does not describe her whole life, only a possible reason for why she could have become the way she was. At the end, the author puts in a note about what Arsinoë did in her life "after the story". It was a short story, but I think this would have worked as a longer story as well. Some details and events are skipped over I'd like to have read more about. The characters are interesting, but the characterizations do remind me of the author's other two books. Writing style: This story is also written in first person, like the author's other two books. Art: There's a cover art on the first page of the PDF, but personally I don't really like it. It is a very pretty cover, but for me it might have worked better if the girl's face was not visible on the cover image, because this one image does not really depict Arsinoë's entire personality. Conclusion: I liked the story, even though I wanted to read more detailed descriptions in some cases. I do think it's a good introduction to the author's writing style. Rereadability: Yes, it's a story worth re-reading!
  • The United States of Air: a Satire on Feb. 26, 2013
    (no rating)
    Also on my weblog here: http://moonplanet.dreamwidth.org/114277.html (I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story) Title: The United States of Air: A satire that mocks the war on terror (on Librarything: http://www.librarything.nl/work/6012) Author: J.M. Porup Language: English Series: no Format: e-book Pages: 141 Publisher: Smashwords-published Year published: original 2012, my edition 2012 ISBN number: 9780988006959 Topic of the book: Reason for reading: I got it from the Librarything Member Giveaway programme. Recommended: Not really. Summary from the Smashwords site: Food Enforcement Agent Jason Frolick believes in America. He believes in eating air. He struggles to get the food monkey off his back. As part of the Global War on Fat, his job is to put food terrorists in Fat Camp. When a pizza dealer gets whacked in the park across the street from the Thin House, the Prophet Jones himself asks Frolick to investigate. For the first time ever, Frolick solves a murder -- but what he finds out shakes his faith. Will he ever be able to eat air again? First paragraph: Look at how fat I am. Isn’t it disgusting? Here. Let me pull up my shirt. See? Zoom in that camera. Can all of you see? How much fat I can pinch? And don’t you go telling me that’s loose skin. Just because I have an eighteen-inch waist doesn’t mean I’m not fat. I know what fat looks like. It’s my job. Or used to be. Before I became ambassador to France, I was plain old Jason Frolick, Special Agent for the ATFF. That’s the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Food, for all you ferrners out there watching. It was my job to put food terrists in Fat Camp. And the kinds of fat I saw! A reminder every day why the Global War on Fat is so important. Thank the Prophet for the Amendment. No, not that Prophet. I mean President Jones. We all call him the Prophet. If it weren’t for him, our country would still be enslaved to addictive caloric substances, otherwise known in ghetto street lingo as “food.” Comments on the first paragraph: 18 inch = 45.72 cm Review: Story: Maybe it's because I'm not American, but I thought it wasn't so much a "satire on the war on terror", but more a satire on dieting and views on obesity and anorexia. Of course that's much more literal, as the idea of the story is that there's a Prophet who came to leading the country, saying everyone should eat air, that everyone was addicted to food and that you could only be free when you ate air. The main character, who narrates the story, is a police officer who firmly believes in what the Prophet says - as a result, he hasn't really been eating anything for three years. And then he is surprised that people who do eat food, the "food terrists", have "enhanced abilities" because of that "food-drug". He does drink water, though. It was a weird story. As a reader, you know that it's impossible to survive without food. I think the narrator would have died a lot sooner, actually, because he didn't eat all the necessary things to stay alive. It also didn't end like I expected. I... don't think I like the ending. But if it's a satire on the war on terror, the author probably made it "end" in a similar way (as in, it hasn't ended yet...). Also, an important role was played by a certain kind of candy called "Twinkies". I read half of the book before I finally decided to look up what Twinkies actually are XD Wikipedia knows: sponge cakes with creamy (banana-flavoured) filling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twinkies). Writing style: The first half of the book was filled with a lot of candy names I was unfamiliar with, so it took me quite a while to read that. Halfway through, the narrator starts doubting and that's when the story gets interesting. As this was an e-book and I need to read it on my computer, I quite often forgot to continue reading because I didn't see the book with a bookmark on my shelf (that's not really the case with physical books :P) and it wasn't that interesting that I wanted to continue reading (well, until the last 40 pages or something XD). It's written as if it's told. Spelling errors/typos: On page 69 in the sentence "Like the password to my hotmail account.” I think "hotmail" should be capitalized, as it is a name (or is it already present, uncapitalized, in the English dictionary?). On page 79, "bewingèd pastries" could just be "bewinged pastries", without the accent (why is the accent there?). On page 113, Fatso already says "Frolick" but he shouldn't say that until page 117, where he says "Froleek". Conclusion: It did make me think about the nonsense people can believe in and how they get to believe that. And yes, not eating and vomiting out your food because eating is unhealthy, that's nonsense. It was an interesting concept, but the story should have been shorter. The first half was too long and there were way too many American candy names in it (which is not interesting at all for international readers). Rereadability: I'm not going to reread this book. Related links: When I saw the title "satire" I thought of the book "2002: een toekomstbeeld" by Esther Vilar, which is the kind of satire I had expected (the original of "2002" is German, but I can't look up the German title at the moment as I don't have the book nearby and the internet does not know, but I think it's "Die Fünf-Stunden-Gesellschaft. Argumente für eine Utopie" as my Dutch edition says the German publication date was 1981 and it's about a 5-hour working week). I also thought of a book I had read on what can really happen when you don't eat, "Mijn allerliefste vijand" by Milou van der Horst (Dutch book, but I wrote about it in English here: http://moonplanet.dreamwidth.org/55438.html). Both are better books than this one, I think...
  • Freedom, Spiced and Drunk on May 23, 2014
    (no rating)
    (I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story) Title: Freedom, Spiced and Drunk Author: M.C.A. Hogarth Language: English Series: Jokka series #1 Format: free ebook (download from the Smashwords link above) Number of pages: 40 on my phone (only 16 if you read it online) Publisher: Smashwords Year published: original 2010, my edition 2010 ISBN number: 9781452388946 Topic of the book: alien species with three genders (male, female, neuter) Reason for reading: Recommended by a friend. Recommended: Yes. Summary: Kediil wants only to remain neuter and learn the secrets of herbs from its beloved Mardin... but at its second puberty, it turns female, and is forced to decide between accepting its new roles among the family... or something unspeakable. First paragraph: Before her mind died, my mother told me to speak all my memories into a conch shell before my clan gave me to a male. She showed me her own fragile talisman, let me rub my fingers along its slick white surface and smell its sea-salt fragrance. She said, be sure to examine it for holes other than its mouth, lest the words whispered into it leak away. If they do, the memories will be forever lost when pregnancy takes your mind. Comments on the first paragraph: The first paragraphs are a bit confusing to read ("her mind died", "gave me to a male", etc), but those things become clear very quickly, so don't stop reading after the first paragraph :P Review: Story: It's about aliens (who look different from humans as well!) with three genders, and they can change gender during puberty (first and second puberty). All genders have clearly defined roles in their society, and from the way it is described, it doesn't really sound like a happy society (but then, would human society seem happy to an outsider? I think not!). It was a short story, but the author gave a good description of the world. It was a complete story (its length was good), though I'd have liked to read more. Writing style: It's written in first person. It's easy to read :) Conclusion: An interesting short story about an alien species with three genders. Rereadability: Yes, it's a story I could re-read. On my weblog at http://moonplanet.dreamwidth.org/140071.html