Deragon Hex: The Vipdile Key – Carlie Martece

The Vipdile Key

I’ve been looking forward to Carlie Martece’s second novel since reading the wonderful Toxic Nursery a few months ago, and I’m pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed.

The Vipdile Key is written in the same fast paced, brutally honest style, and while it isn’t exactly a sequel, some of the themes from Toxic Nursery are expanded upon here. I certainly wouldn’t say it’s a pre-requisite that you read the books in order of publication, but knowing the background of some of the characters and their relationship to one another added dimension for me.

Deragon Hex is a dystopian future world where people are sealed in an underground network by a secret key code. Technology, social media and reality TV have all taken a step up in their influence, and now everything is under surveillance; the public may decide the fate of criminals and their victims using voting buttons, raping the unconscious is considered entertainment, and popularity is everything. Even research into medicine has taken an irrational turn:

“All thoughts create energy,” an oncologist is explaining to the narrator. “This new device harnesses the energy radiated when a so called ‘troll’ sends anonymous abuse over the com network to someone with severe depression. We’re investigating whether the frequency of this particular energy wave can slow the growth of cancer cells.”

In a world where justice is in the hands of the popular, how will Ash save and avenge their comatose best friend?

Continue reading “Deragon Hex: The Vipdile Key – Carlie Martece”

Going Sane – Adam Phillips


The subject of this book excites me. I am interested in the terms ‘sanity’ and ‘insanity’ because they always seem to be very subjective and yet they hold such importance in social status. What does it mean to be sane? Is it simply the absence of a medically defined psychosis, or is it more to do with the willingness to succumb to societal norms and rules without causing major disruption to oneself or others? Perhaps to be sane is to have the ability to think rationally: to use what we have come to understand as the left side of the brain, or at least never use the right side to the exclusion of the left. Which brings me to another aspect that interests me – how does sanity relate to creativity? There are many well known cases of ‘crazy artists’ and even ‘crazy scientists’, and these are often the ones making big breakthroughs due to having unbridled imagination. Can an entirely sane person ‘think outside the box’ enough to become one of the greats in these fields? Continue reading “Going Sane – Adam Phillips”

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