The first half of the book is really a fun and intriguing read that both young and old will like. A 5 all the way. Two kids make an alliance to figure...moreThe first half of the book is really a fun and intriguing read that both young and old will like. A 5 all the way. Two kids make an alliance to figure out what Zack's crazy (in-genius) inventive grandfather is up to. It results in some great adventures ending up on a space ship his "crazy" grandfather has created and going to the moon and beyond. It holds a promise of really a great adventure into space.
Suddenly after landing on the moon the story changes and an evil man with an evil plot pops on the scene out of the clear blue and the story changes from an adventure in space to espionage and killing and deception. The fun and exciting part of space travel slips away and it becomes more a battle of survival. In fact the rest of the book is really trying to survive against the evil who has tried to destroy them and in turn plans to destroy the world. Sort of a batman type story.
There are interesting science fiction aspects from unlimited power cubes to giant robots and 15 second learning files but they are grounded on the moon now and so the promise of space travel and all that never comes to fruition. The last half of the book revolves around now three kids, one being a true part of the crew, and a great friendship ensues. And the bond between Zack and Angelina grows into something very precious. These three take on the evil one practically on their own with virtually no help from his grandfather or the rest of the crew who seem to want to ignore the evil and work on establishing a base on the moon. This whole separation issue seems very unreal and when the three actually save the ship and the crew from what would have been sure destruction they get punished by his grandfather and the rest of the crew.
This second half of the book has some challenging issues and great adventures but now it is not against space as much as fighting a crazy evil person bent on destroying the world. The direction of the story changing in the middle of the book changed the enjoyment of the read and the plausibility of the story. It is still good but seems to loose the great writing of the first half and becomes more of just another good/evil story and not all that much of plot anymore.
I was disappointed in the ending which of course is not a real ending but set up for the next book. But I felt like I was torn away from what the whole book had been building up to. Adults really come away as pretty stupid and uncompromising which takes a little away from the reality of the whole book. But There are some good science items of interest and I think most young readers will enjoy the adventure.(less)
I struggled with this book from the very beginning. I look at all the 5 star reviews and wonder what is wrong with me but the book was boring and neve...moreI struggled with this book from the very beginning. I look at all the 5 star reviews and wonder what is wrong with me but the book was boring and never went anywhere. I found myself wading through a lot of unnecessary verbiage that only made it all go that much slower. And the story itself didn't grab me as being worth the read. Maybe I'm too impatient and want the writer to get to the point and have a little excitement, but I didn't find it as one of Lewis' better books even though it is touted as that. I'm not a great fan of Greek mythology and often struggle with Lewis' writing so the combination of these two did me in from the beginning. His writing didn't help me "see" what was happening, nor why. I guess I don't appreciate what the world calls "great" writing. (less)
I've been slow doing this review because this book is special and is not one to be rushed nor fully appreciated in one reading. I could tell that when...moreI've been slow doing this review because this book is special and is not one to be rushed nor fully appreciated in one reading. I could tell that when I first started it. This truly is a love affair between two women and a certain land. That land is not just a place but a feeling; a culture; a people of past countless souls; yet all blended into the present moment. I have always been intrigued with Turkey and have it on my list for this year. I was on a ship headed there ten years ago but the war rerouted me. This book is well written with a depth that goes beyond memoirs of travel. These two women have traveled into the soul of the land and that is something you don't find in the normal book on a particular land. For instance, "Her eyes seek mine, as if to say "Let's leave the men here. Let's talk about our lives as women." With a glance over her shoulder, she gives us a fleeting smile." Now that is getting into the heart of a people not just a political entity and a lot of historical ruins. It is touching lives in a way you and I will probably never see.
Or after climbing into a deserted place they see "a girl standing in a grove of olive trees" gathering "olives that have fallen to the ground and studies us, two women in sun glasses, tank tops, shorts and hiking boots. Gravely, she places a handful of the bitter, green fruit on a stone ledge, an offering. And darts away."
But as lovely and peaceful as they paint the picture of Turkey there are moments. When on a picnic and as "curfew approaches". A tank stops and four soldiers get out with "AK-47's in hand." One "his rifle site levels in our direction." "My back twitches, anticipating the sting of a bullet. Blood beats in my eardrums....." They demand passports and inspect Polaroid photos spread around. "'I told him they are just tourist photographs and the you are not spies,' says Basir." The three soldiers slightly loosen their grips on their rifles." as the girls offer to shoot photos of them they can send home to their girl friends. "Whatever fear Angie might feel, I see none of it in her actions as the soldiers take turns posing for their portraits, straightening their backs and positioning their rifles across their chests....."
Maybe I'll revise this review after I have had time to just find a quiet place and reread this wonderful adventure in real life in a fascinating land buy two girls who love the real heart of a land. Maybe I'll need to read it several times, a people and place most of us will never visit, and even if we do it will never be with such abandonment and depth into a people as they share in this book. You can actually feel the spirit of this place called Turkey.
This really is an unusual book and one everyone can relate to regardless of your travel interests. It is one you must read for yourself since a review will never do it justice. This is truly an insight into a people which seems such a mystery to most of us. And it is a fun adventure of two girls truly in love with life, with people, and with Turkey.(less)
"There is a link ... between literary writers and music...." suggests Rick Moody in his book On Celestial Music and other adventures in listening." Th...more"There is a link ... between literary writers and music...." suggests Rick Moody in his book On Celestial Music and other adventures in listening." This book "is my attempt to compile my music affiliations and to say to other passionate listeners -- Did you hear this? And did you hear it the way I heard it?" And this is pretty much what he did; but putting passions down on paper is not all that easy and sometimes hard for others to understand that passion. This book might be just a little hard to understand at times depending on your musical affiliations.
This is certainly a different type of read; over a dozen essays of the author's passion in music and how he sees music. It is a meandering of thoughts and insights not always collected together in a way that may be easy to understand such thoughts. For instance in the essay on Celestial Music he says "I don't think God is a jukebox in heaven, and you cannot take your iPod with you....nor digital sampler and no mixing board." "...there are persuasive indications that the word soul does indeed manifest itself in music."
In the essay Five Songs" Moody talks about Hell and Satan as he looks at A Ghost is Born and "the infernal latitudes, common to two of the really beautiful ballads on this recording; Hell is Chrome and Wishful Thinking." "Decibels per minute even internally rhymed with hell."
This is a book that will get your thought processes working both for what Moody is trying to convey and also how it all moves you. Do you hear it the way Moody is saying it? Check it out and see.
The Velvet Underground "...were the perfect blend of art and rock..." "..they were like nothing anyone had even seen before," says Rob Jovanovic in "S...moreThe Velvet Underground "...were the perfect blend of art and rock..." "..they were like nothing anyone had even seen before," says Rob Jovanovic in "Seeing the Light inside the Velvet Underground." They were more than music they were an explosion of light on the stage. But what were they really like? John Cale remembers in this book "Paul Morrissey and Danny Williams had different visions of what the light show should be like and one night I looked up to see them fighting, hitting each other in the middle of a song."
So how does a group of very strong willed musicians come together and "be so influential and to see their music endure so long after they originally broke up..." Just who were these "...New York punks of the mid 1970's' who in 2000 on BBC were said to be "more influential on rock music...than the Beatles?"
Here is their story from beginning to end as Jovanovic saw it and as others added their comments also. Including some photos of the group in the 60's. Here is your chance to find out.(less)
This one will keep you riveted to the book. Dirk Pitt is in this one and one of best characters of Clive Cussler. Sunken chemicals in Alaska and the t...moreThis one will keep you riveted to the book. Dirk Pitt is in this one and one of best characters of Clive Cussler. Sunken chemicals in Alaska and the threat of destroying ocean life only sets the stage for a deeper plot, an international plot to kidnap the president. A Ghost ship and a burning luxury liner all adding to the many layers of this fascinating tale. This book has all the excitement and thrilling adventure of the other prior 6 books with a fascinating ending.(less)
Koontz always has good writing which is worth the read. This book has excitement and thrills you expect from Koontz and for most you will probably enj...moreKoontz always has good writing which is worth the read. This book has excitement and thrills you expect from Koontz and for most you will probably enjoy the read. But Koontz doesn't always have the characters and the connections between characters and plot that I feel fit; for me at least. Nor does his endings always reach me. This is one that fell into that category. I struggled with the characters not particularly feeling endeared to them or even caring what happened to them. And the ending didn't leave me with the well feelings most of Koontz writings do, even one's I'm not particularly excited about. And most of all it is not one I would want to pick up again to read and to me that is key to determining a really great book. But it is Koontz and so it is worth a quick read.(less)
This was my first exposure to Dean Koontz and one I still like best of all his writings, as I read it a second time. Maybe it is the idea that someone...moreThis was my first exposure to Dean Koontz and one I still like best of all his writings, as I read it a second time. Maybe it is the idea that someone is watching over us and suddenly shows up to help us in a tough situation that makes it so appealing. It you want to feel a warm fuzzy feeling even if during a suspenseful read, this I think is the one that will give you that (maybe the second read of Lightning is even better than the first). Granted it is not clear if this strange appearance of someone coming from nowhere and going back to nowhere is warm or chilling at first; still it grows on you. And the suspense of why this is happening also adds to the thriller. And most of all it's a good read long after your have finished the book. The story and characters stay with you long after the book has been put back on the shelf; comes back at strange times like when the lightening is flashing and the lights go out. To me that is the sign of a great piece of writing when it lasts long after the read in a nice warm comforting way.(less)
If you are familiar with Koontz then most of his writings are pretty much taken for granted. Still some books are better than others. I see a lot of r...moreIf you are familiar with Koontz then most of his writings are pretty much taken for granted. Still some books are better than others. I see a lot of reviewers struggled with this one but it touched me maybe because it had more realism with my life than it did with others. Sometimes Koontz offers more depth than many of his readers can understand because it is in realm they have never experienced (that s not a fault of of the reviewer). Maybe they have not had the experiences that relate to a particular story or struggled with something similar to what the characters have had to struggle with. I find his writings touch a depth even beyond the plot. for instance here are a couple quotes from this book that might help you feel where Koontz is coming from. "...if there's any ultimate redemption, it will be because I passed through your life without scarring you, and did not diminish who you are." Or "...she wept...for the condition of all things and for the way the world could be but is not." This is only a hint of great writing in this book This one will give you chills just reading the synopsis of the book. A person gets a heart transplant and suddenly a woman shows up claiming "Your Heart Belongs to Me." And the ending of this book is certainly worth the tense suspense as your read this riveting thriller.(less)
Well if you like the TV series of Monk you will love this book, the first in an all-new series of original mysteries. I think there is a little bit of...moreWell if you like the TV series of Monk you will love this book, the first in an all-new series of original mysteries. I think there is a little bit of Monk in all of us "obsessive, compulsive and need for everything in its place. But he carries it to an extreme which lets us laugh at ourselves. Monk is a very different type of detective story and in this book he plays a "dog" detective and ends up with much more than he expected.(less)
Is someone playing a trick on Jodie and Mark? They know scarecrows can't walk and come alive right? Well as they visit their grandparents farm for a m...moreIs someone playing a trick on Jodie and Mark? They know scarecrows can't walk and come alive right? Well as they visit their grandparents farm for a month in the summer, something they have done for many summers, things are not normal. Everyone seems scared, even their grandparents. Jodie seems to be continually bumping into scarecrows, even in her dreams. But it isn't the one's in her dreams that has her worried.
This is a real scary story. This book really delivers what it promises without excuses or cute ways to get around scary things that go bump in the night. Written for the younger reader it will do a job on older readers too. It is a quick read and an exciting one. It's a good one to read out loud too. Just be sure to have a lot of lights on when you read it.
There is a whole series of Goosebumps books and R.L. Stine does a great job making a story that will really give you goosebumps.(less)
This book has a great start and one can really feel the magic coming together and being used in away that makes sense. Unfortunately the writing doesn...moreThis book has a great start and one can really feel the magic coming together and being used in away that makes sense. Unfortunately the writing doesn't hold that strong through the story but it starts strong enough to carry the story through to the end. This was probably the better of the books I have read in the series and one I enjoyed more than any of the others.
But Cam seems less real in this story and the sisters more separated. And I struggle some with Sersee and reality of her character. There seems to be an issue also of poor continuity between characters in this book and prior ones. There personality's don't seem to be consistent. But still I liked this one.
Although there is a lot of threats and fire breathing at the end I found it a little weak and the characters unreal. Still the writing was much stronger in this book than in the others. (less)
I worked harder to get into this book than in some of the others. But I stumbled over the writing and style of the authors. Page one has one sentence...moreI worked harder to get into this book than in some of the others. But I stumbled over the writing and style of the authors. Page one has one sentence 42 words long with four or five different ideas in it. Then a response of "Excuse Me?" includes a lot of description about clothing, issues of identical twins, etc which again disrupts the flow of the dialogue and story at least for me. And so it goes all through the story which for me never settles down to a nice flow I could follow. It is not the issue of long sentences or misplaced descriptions it is that the read is disrupted and the story lost in a rambling writing style. If that sort of writing/style doesn't bother you than you might find this book more interesting than I did.
I found this story a little slower and boring compared to other's in the series. And the non-regular characters seemed superficial. The attempt of the step father going after guardianship of Alex is obvious poorly disguised extortion. And so most of the story is pretty superficial with not much depth. The location of the story in Montana offered a chance to lift the interest but the authors failed to take advantage of Montana to help build more interest.
It is still worth reading if you are into the series. Once hooked on the "Twitches" series one can put up with less than exciting writing and story lines to still enjoy the read and what happens to Alex and Cam next.(less)
This is a small book every young girl or boy should read. Facing a terminal illness at 13 is a reality and for Dawn it happened. One ages fast but in...moreThis is a small book every young girl or boy should read. Facing a terminal illness at 13 is a reality and for Dawn it happened. One ages fast but in a good way when one goes through chemo and the reality of death being close. Friends become more important and so does life. The little things of life so important to a 13 year old is not so important to one facing death as an ongoing companion, yet it is true for all of us even if we don't have cancer. This is about a 13 year old girl who wants to live but is scared of what it takes to fight cancer. Even if she beats the cancer will she ever be "normal?" But the book is not about cancer but about living with cancer and fighting it and going on with life enjoying ever moment we have here. She meets others with cancer at a summer camp and has the greatest time of her life. She finds the best friend ever and share the same challenges. But Dawn is on the road to reality not fantasy and must face it all. She will never be the same or the girl she was before she came down with cancer, but she can be a much better person if she has the courage to push on.
I found this a fascinating read and the author did a really great job in putting it together. There are gems in this book that will stay with you for a very long time. And the two main characters will be close to you.(less)
Wow! At last a really good book on a ghost and ghost hunting. It seems either the writing in such books are not very good or the story is so wacko it...moreWow! At last a really good book on a ghost and ghost hunting. It seems either the writing in such books are not very good or the story is so wacko it is not worth reading. This is not your normal run of mill ghost story. Maddy Clare (The ghost) has an attitude and this is intended to go far beyond scaring people. She is after blood. The four major characters all have their own issues (including the ghost) and the book really is a resolution of all these issues. The author Simone St. James does a good job in bring this all together with introspection, fear, love and fulfillment. He lets the characters develop themselves and you the reader become a part of that development. You will care what happens and will be sucked into this story in the very first couple pages. It is all here; sit back, turn up all the lights in the house and enjoy a really good ghost story.(less)