I've been so busy the last two weeks that an anthology short stories is exactly what I needed. No story was too long, and while some were very short,...moreI've been so busy the last two weeks that an anthology short stories is exactly what I needed. No story was too long, and while some were very short, I wouldn't say any of them were too short. My one complaint is that I'd have preferred closing with one of the less depressing selections in the anthology, but too bad, so sad. I'll just have to think about the less depressing stories more.(less)
Overall, I found the books in this collection engaging and entertaining. My biggest complaint is that the beginning of each book feels like I'm coming...moreOverall, I found the books in this collection engaging and entertaining. My biggest complaint is that the beginning of each book feels like I'm coming into the middle of something. The first book starts after 400 years of Pernese history and, at first, I kept feeling like I needed to know more of that history. The second book begins seven years after the first book ends, and I again felt that I was missing something. I'm not sure how much of this was because of skipping bits and how much of this was just McCaffrey's writing style. Now that I've finished the final book, I've discovered the "Terms of Interest" at the back and I wish I'd known it was there when I started. It took me about a book and a half to be totally certain that a Turn was a year. I thought it would be a year, but then someone would say something, and I'd feel confused all over again. This edition has a number of printing errors and typos, but nothing was so significant that I was thrown for a loop. Just mildly irritated. While I look forward to reading more of the series eventually, I'm more excited about taking a break from this and reading something else for a change.(less)
I picked this up because I recognized Hicks's style in the art. I read it because it looked interesting. I liked it because it was. However, I wasn't...moreI picked this up because I recognized Hicks's style in the art. I read it because it looked interesting. I liked it because it was. However, I wasn't convinced on the romance aspect of it. I believe that it could happen. I see that it was necessary. I don't disagree with it. I'm just not convinced it would've happened here without Writer On Board. I just wanted a little more transition from "Freak/Thug" to "Smoochies!" But it's a fast-paced graphic novel with only 165-ish pages, so I can see where timing may have been a difficulty. Brain Camp wasn't a waste of time to read, especially considering that it only took me about an hour. I will continue to look for work Hicks has created/collaborated on, but it will continue to be the absent-minded, unintentional, "This look familiar…" kind of looking I've been doing up to this point.(less)
As the jacket says, "Lise Haines's novel, a dark satire for our time, is a mesmerizing look at a modern world addicted to violence, fame and greed – a...moreAs the jacket says, "Lise Haines's novel, a dark satire for our time, is a mesmerizing look at a modern world addicted to violence, fame and greed – a world eerily close to our own."
I will point out that she doesn't spend all that much time literally in the arena, does her best to avoid it, and sets things up so she'll never have to go in again when so does go in. But I get the sense that the arena referred to in the title is more of an "arena," like a broad, sweeping metaphor for other difficult and complicated situations. Dealing with the press could be interpreted as a type of arena, and dealing with the entertainment company that does the whole gladiator thing, Caesar's Inc., could definitely be an arena in that sense. (Buttwipes.) Or maybe Caesar's is the half-starved tiger/lion/bear thrown by the universe into the arena of life.
Woah, self, easy on the metaphorical deepness. You'll give yourself a headache.
I was going to give this one four stars, but decided not to. Why? Mostly because I'm not convinced this sequel was necessary. I like that the author p...moreI was going to give this one four stars, but decided not to. Why? Mostly because I'm not convinced this sequel was necessary. I like that the author picked up where The Adoration of Jenna Fox left off. "But where else is there to go?" you ask. I've experienced plenty of unplanned sequels that messed with the history of the original. They're usually bad. The Fox Inheritance isn't bad, and it's true to the first story (I was right; Kara and Locke come from backups of the backups) without getting weird (for example, there was no strange electrical charge in the water of the pond that kept the batteries running), but I felt so satisfied when I finished the first book. It was a good ending, full of closure while still leaving plenty to the imagination. When I found out there were sequels, I was upset. And while I liked book two, I didn't like it so much that I'm sold on the need for it. I still wonder if the publisher talked the author into it, or if she felt a taste of success and kept trying. Maybe she really did realize there was more story waiting to be told. Perhaps some experience with finding an old backup of something on her computer spawned this idea that there was more than one Kara and one Locke floating about in a little black box, that Jenna only got to one set. But I'm just not sure, and the alternative reeks of commercialism to me.(less)
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,...moreSo 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.(less)
Probably more of a 3.5, but I rounded up because I find the apocalypse described in this book so much more likely, and therefore so much more disturbi...moreProbably more of a 3.5, but I rounded up because I find the apocalypse described in this book so much more likely, and therefore so much more disturbing, than your typical devastating-war-apocalypse. Jenna's identity crisis sounds surprisingly like the identity crisis of a normal person.
Typical person: "What makes me me? If I take away this one thing I do all the time, am I still me?"
Jenna: "What makes me me? If I take away this one thing I've had my entire life, am I still me?"
When I started this book, I didn't know it was the first in a trilogy. I kind of suspect that it wasn't originally meant to be. But then the author realized she had more to say, or the publisher thought it sold so well, or it was so well-received that Pearson was persuaded to write more. I'm interested in seeing how she addresses the bit where Kara and Locke are at the bottom of a lake with no batteries in the next book. Backups of the backups?(less)
It's been a long time since I've read the Uglies series, and as such, I was kind of confused about a lot of what what going on in the graphic novel. I...moreIt's been a long time since I've read the Uglies series, and as such, I was kind of confused about a lot of what what going on in the graphic novel. I knew I would understand it if I'd read Uglies recently(-ish), but because it had been so long, I didn't understand, and it frustrated me. I recommend reading right after Uglies, if not the whole series. I thought I'd like it more because the whole back-story/alternate perspective thing has always been something I enjoy, but without the understanding granted by the novels, I mostly felt lost. Perhaps I'll reread the series and visit the graphic novels afterward.(less)