So this was probably one of my first sci-fi books, which is perhaps why I still like it. I was ready to be too old for it and add it to the sale box,So this was probably one of my first sci-fi books, which is perhaps why I still like it. I was ready to be too old for it and add it to the sale box, but find that maybe I still like it enough to keep. I blame this on having read and enjoyed it as a kid. We always like things better when we enjoyed them as children first.
One thing that frustrates me, though, is that I never had a moment like Puck, where I realized that Job X was the coolest job ever and that's what I want to be when I grow up, no question. I did the usual childhood waffle (Author! No, astronaut!! No, librarian!!! No, musician!!!! No, president!!!!! No, owner of a private island!!!!!! No, veterinarian!!!!!!!), but that's as far as I ever got. I'm still kind of in the midst of that waffle (though I've at least eliminated astro-naught (ha!) and politician from the list), and find myself getting no closer to an answer. Woe. But I fear I've lost you, random review-reader. My point is that seeing someone else have this moment of clarity makes me feel frustrated at my lack of clarity. And perhaps a wee bit jealous. But mostly frustrated. Pretty much a personal issue that has nothing to do with the book's plot, characters, or writing.
Conclusion: Engaging enough that I'm not ready to sell it off just yet, though goodness knows I could use the space and the cash. But perhaps not appropriate for the average adult reader. Unless you need a break from all that depressing grown-up cra– I mean, driv– I mean, um… stuff....more
I've read this at least three other times, and then never managed to read the rest of the series. Eventually, I lost the book, so I couldn't even rereI've read this at least three other times, and then never managed to read the rest of the series. Eventually, I lost the book, so I couldn't even reread it and look for the sequels. Then I got a job in a library! Two, actually. Shelving books. Where I see all the books. Including this one and its sequels. yay! So I finally have my grubby little paws on the whole series and will start the next posthaste.
Had this been the first time I read the book, I probably wouldn't have been so enamored of it. But since I first read it when I was, like, seven, I'm pretty pleased with it. Cara always had elements that reminded me of me. Thinking the library was the best place ever, for one. Also, being paralyzed by fear. I like characters that don't always know what to do. I like characters that think quickly on their feet, but sometimes, knowing what to do is hard. And a character that isn't perfect is both realistic and reassuring.
One thing books like this always make me wonder: What happened when Cara first had to pee? I mean, she's grown up with indoor plumbing. Surely someone had to instruct her in not peeing too close to water to prevent tainting it, and burying her poop, and… Come to think of it, is she old enough to menstruate? 'Cause that would suck.
From p.90: "There's lots of kinds of chains[…]. You can't see most of them, the ones that bind folks together. But people build them, link by link." From p.158: "Chains. […] They bind us, whether we want them to or not. But a heart without chains would have nothing to hold it, might simply blow away."
The chapters are still reliably twenty-five pages; Wells finally lets some chapters be longer or shorter, but I continue to wait until I have time toThe chapters are still reliably twenty-five pages; Wells finally lets some chapters be longer or shorter, but I continue to wait until I have time to read 25 pages before picking it up....more
This is a slow read. The chapters are all 25 pages, give or take a page. That's a really long chapter, and when you know that's how long the next chapThis is a slow read. The chapters are all 25 pages, give or take a page. That's a really long chapter, and when you know that's how long the next chapter is going to be, you wait until you have time to read the whole thing before opening the book up again. On top of that, Wells did this weird thing where he screwed up grammar in an effort to sound old-fashioned and fantastical, especially in the beginning of the book. In a list, he'd remove the "and" before the final item, whether it was a list of actions, pack supplies, or descriptors of a character. He still does it (I'm reading the second book now), but he does so less often, and I'm more used to it.
Worse, though, is when he'd use "-ing" words as verbs. I wish I could quote you a specific example with page number, but it's been nearly a month, and there are potentially 472 pages to hunt through. (The instance I seem to remember best, it was like he changed how he wrote the sentence partway through, then forgot to make the beginning match the ending.) I just know it was driving me nuts. This, too, occurred less often as Wells wrote more, like he stopped trying to prove he could write in a fantastical style.
Other things that I noticed:
Homoerotic undertones (and sometimes overtones) early on had me wondering if I'd managed to pick up '80s gay fiction. If two guys like each other that way, they may do what they please together; but I don't need to read about it. A certain encounter in Aldarin and the arrival of Katya, however, proved my suspicions ridiculous. (At least with regard to Bracht; nothing yet has convinced me of Calandryll's straightness. I suspect that will be addressed in the book I'm reading now.)
"The Kern." Wells refers to Bracht as "the Kern" more often than he refers to him as "Bracht." What is up with that? Once I noticed it, it started to bug me. It isn't that he never used "Bracht" or "the freesword" or personal pronouns; just that he seemed to alternate "the Kern" with one of those every time he referred to the guy. Really, now.
That said, I enjoyed the book. I'm reading the next one. There are good things. Calandryll puts in hard work to become a strong, independent type of guy. Katya is a strong, free-willed woman who remains independent of the men she interacts with. Calandryll isn't perfect, knows it, and beats himself up over it; he feels bad when he fails, then does his best to correct the error(s). Lots of good things in the book; I'm just better at complaining. I may not wander around recommending this book to everyone (definitely not for Dad – he could spend three hours on one chapter and still not make it), but I wouldn't discourage anyone if they came across it and decided to read it....more
So, I read this once years ago and liked it, but I forgot what it was called. I happened upon this copy in my local used book shop for $1, so I pounceSo, I read this once years ago and liked it, but I forgot what it was called. I happened upon this copy in my local used book shop for $1, so I pounced all over that, though I didn't remember that this was the book. The part that stuck with me most was the little bit where Rob's mom says that Lenny could take the hum of an airplane's engine and make a whole little ditty out of it, with the engine as the drone. I thought that was so cool. But I remembered all the radio stuff, too. I'd get to talking about it with someone or it'd come up in some class or another, and I'd be all, "Oh, yea, that happens with radios and radiowaves and stuff."
Anyway, that's kind of besides the point, which is that this book is kind of awesome. It's more like a script than a novel, which, for me, makes the voices more unique. But because it's more of a radio script, it's easier to get through than a real script, where the stage directions and descriptions can get it the way as much as help you imagine the setting. And I can hear different people in my head saying these things. And, yea, that happens anyway, but while reading Seek, it was more like hearing different people than like hearing different versions of me, which is kind of how it can be reading a regular novel. Or hearing me-colored versions of different people.
Also a bonus: I started it on the train to school in the morning and finished it by the time I got home. It's the perfect book for me to go back to as a quick reprieve from stress without feeling guilty for spending too much time reading and not enough time working or studying or practicing. Win....more
My sister got me this book for Christmas one year. I can't remember which year, though I know it was less than three years ago. Which just goes to shoMy sister got me this book for Christmas one year. I can't remember which year, though I know it was less than three years ago. Which just goes to show that I waited too long to read it. But that doesn't mean it was a bad book or that I didn't want to read it. I tend to give precedence to books I don't own because I have to give them back and usually, that means a fine if I don't give it back by a certain time. But I've developed a new system for reading books that rotates through three categories of book, one of which is books I own. So now, I've read the book Jennie got me for Christmas that one year. And it was good. And anything else I say will sound juvenile and ridiculous, so I'll just stop here....more
I want to write a smart, insightful review of Lavinia, but all I can think to say is that I really liked it. I don't know much about the cultural aspeI want to write a smart, insightful review of Lavinia, but all I can think to say is that I really liked it. I don't know much about the cultural aspects of the time, but I couldn't remove myself from the story enough to care if things were accurate or not. (And since my sister, classicist that she is, didn't have any historical inaccuracies to complain about, I suspect that if there were any, they weren't significant.) While I know of The Aeneid and its general story outline, I've not studied it like Jennie did, so I never had a chance to get mad about the female degradation. But the idea that Le Guin finds this character that is, as my sister once thought of her, "a breed sow with pretty hair" and creates a life for her where she is intelligent, even influential, is really what convinced me to stop avoiding this book and read it. Having finished it, I'm kind of sad that I avoided it in the first place. There was an impending stupidity psych-out, and possibly a little bit of "I should read The Aeneid first" thinking, both of which were lots of wrong. Lavinia receives the honor of staying among my book collection without doubt of its worthiness, a feat not often easily achieved by books I was given....more