[ARC REVIEW] Ubo by Steve Rasnic Tem


Genre: Sci-fi, Dystopian, Horror

Series: None

Rating: 3 STARS

Release Date: February 14, 2017


A blend of science fiction and horror, award-winning author Steve Rasnic Tem’s new novel is a chilling story exploring the roots of violence and its effect on a possible future.

Daniel is trapped in Ubo. He has no idea how long he has been imprisoned there by the roaches.

Every resident has a similar memory of the journey to Ubo: a dream of dry, chitinous wings crossing the moon, the gigantic insects dropping swiftly over the houses of the neighborhood, passing through walls and windows as if by magic, or science.  The creatures, like a deck of baroquely ornamented cards, fanning themselves from one hidden world into the next.

And now each day they force Daniel to play a different figure from humanity’s violent history, from a frenzied Jack the Ripper to a stumbling and confused Stalin to a self-proclaimed god executing survivors atop the ruins of the world. The scenarios mutate day after day in this camp somewhere beyond the rules of time. As skies burn and prisoners go mad, identities dissolve as the experiments evolve, and no one can foretell their mysterious end.

My Thoughts:

So, this book is basically the definition of “WTF?” Seriously, all you have to do is read the description, and you’ll probably be saying, “Wait, what?” It’s the main reason why I requested it in the first place, and I was so excited when I got the e-mail that I was approved.

 First, a bit of a warning: this book is slow. SO SLOW. Like, it literally took almost half a month for me to read this. It’s just one of those books where I had to read it in spurts, because it doesn’t have that binge-able quality. It’s not a bad thing, but for those who like faster-paced books, this will probably be the ultimate torture.

 There’s a cast of characters, but, really, we only focus on the main character, Daniel, who has a rough sort of past. He has a son who suffers from a heart disease, and he feels as if his marriage is quickly falling apart, and before he knows it, he’s been dragged off to this torture chamber/science lab where he has to relive history’s worst moments. He’s one of those main characters that’s so easy to cheer for, because you want him to get out of this unimaginably awful situation, but he might not be someone who you’ll relate to, just for the fact that I’m a teenage girl who doesn’t even want kids, and I know most of you guys reading this probably won’t relate either, but he’s definitely someone you’ll sympathize with.

 Of course, the plot is interesting. A weird world where all these people are dragged out of their homes to play the worst men in history? What? And, my God, did it take the weirdest turn. Not like I minded, since I’m a huge fan of super weird sci-fi stories (have you seen Black Mirror? If you haven’t, you need to). I thought it was definitely carried out well, and this actually ties into the world-building of the book. We’re only stuck with Daniel in the limited world of Ubo, and it’s not until we’re in the point of view of the God of Mayhem (“Wait, what?” you’re probably saying, and that’s a 100% accurate feeling) and in the final chapter that we get to see more of the world, so for those who are huge on world-building in sci-fi, you’ll probably hate how this one is very light on it.

 Honestly, it’s so hard to talk about this book without spoiling it, but it’s definitely interesting and I thought it was okay. Not the best sci-fi book I’ve ever read, but it certainly makes me want to see if there’s more sci-fi/horror out there! And, also, a real warning: if you’re not into/sensitive to reading descriptions of graphic violence from the POV of Jack the Ripper or shooters or horrible men in history, or don’t want to read descriptions of horrific events such as the Holocaust, then this book is definitely not for you.

 Overall, a solid sci-fi/horror story, and if you’re pretty curious to read it, feel free to check it out once it comes out on Valentine’s Day!


Does this book interest you? 

(Also, I finished Caraval today! So good! Hopefully, my review should be up tomorrow!)


I was provided with a free e-ARC of this book through Netgalley. Thank you so much Steve Resnic Tem and Rebellion Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this early.


8 thoughts on “[ARC REVIEW] Ubo by Steve Rasnic Tem

  1. Great review for this book Mikaela. I love the sci-fi genre but I am not a fan of the horror genre so I may have to give this one a miss (I’m glad you included the warning at the end of your review, despite how good this book sounds I think it would be a little too graphic for my tastes).
    I’ve read sci-fi books where the start was really slow. I think in a way it takes a slow start to fully develop the world and the situation. It’s good you didn’t DNF it because it sounds like despite the slow start this was one you quite enjoyed.
    I hope you manage to find more in this genre to get started on if that’s what you’re interested in now! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, yes, I love sci-fi as well! I really want to read more of it because I haven’t read too much of it, but I’m hoping to expand that soon enough! And, yes, I feel like horror is an acquired taste. 😂 I started reading it last year and fell in love, but scary movies really do scare me to death (even though I love watching them lol).

      And, yes, I’m glad I didn’t DNF! It took probably the longest amount of time to read, but I think it was worth it because it’s so interesting! And no problem for the warning, I know I was horrified reading some of it even though graphic descriptions don’t really bother me. Graphic movies make me cover my eyes though! 🙈

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sci-fi is definitely a genre I need to read more of as well. Some of the books I have picked up have become fast favourites of mine but horror is a taste I haven’t acquired, and I doubt I ever will if I’m being honest. Either way it’s great you’ve got another genre you can jump to when you want to try something new. 🙂
        There are books like that, they take a while to get into but when you do it’s always more than worth it!
        If I’ve ever read a book that’s graphic I try and put a warning in, not that there’s been many. I’m one of the squeamish people who can’t deal with anything too graphic.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That cover is seriously creepy. But nice review! I am not sure that I’d like it, just because of how slow you said it is… but I do enjoy awesome horror stories with explicit scenes. So I don’t know… I may have to give it a go anyway!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s