A struggle While for the majority of the book I was willing to stretch my suspension of disbelief, I was eventually forced to give up and accept that tA struggle While for the majority of the book I was willing to stretch my suspension of disbelief, I was eventually forced to give up and accept that the author had lost her way in the story. The basic premise of the book, a man uses his experimental cybernetic and nano enhancements to take on the secret society that betrayed him, is a bit weak to begin with, and requires an excellent writer to pull it off. Manney is unfortunately not up to the task. The hero is one dimensional until it suits the narrative for him to have any complexity, but the depth doesn't last. Despite being written by a woman, the female characters are all either simmering sexpots or have little presence outside some minor descriptive text, despite the authors assertions that the awkward OCD scientist is somehow a love interest of the hero's. The secret society is something out of Dan Brown's imagination, only even less believable. And the elements of science fiction (the Cybernetics and Nano-technology) while all theoretically sound in their basis, become absurd parodies with the authors description of their effect. The point at which I gave up trying to like the book was when the hero overcame a psychosis inducing overstimulation resulting from an injection of nano-bots to successfully defeat one of his foes later that afternoon. Essentially implying that the "LSD-like" trip he was experiencing was either not as bad as her overly extensive description made it sound... or he's a completely un-relatable superman. The finale was so absolute and took the whole story so far over the edge of reason, that I find the thought of reading the subsequent books unappealing at best...more
Please allow me to preface my review with a digression on the controversy surrounding this book. The story is obviously written from a pro-Israel stanPlease allow me to preface my review with a digression on the controversy surrounding this book. The story is obviously written from a pro-Israel stance, and the author has said himself that he is "...unapologetically zionist." As such, many of the darker parts of the formation of Israel are a bit sugar coated or justified, and the leadership of the Arab countries is thoroughly demonized. In an effort at fairness, the Arab Palestinians are considered unwitting dupes of the evil megalomaniacs who lead them. I STRONGLY recommend that the reader remember the perspective of the story when reading it, while it is based in truth, the author deliberately wrote from only one angle of the argument. Additionally, the rumors that the book was commissioned by the Israeli government via an American PR department are provably false, lets not get into that. Now, on to a review of the actual story.
The beginning of the book is painfully difficult to get through, and thoroughly introduces a character who has absolutely no place in the rest of the story. From there however, it gets better. The important characters are introduced with engaging backstories that include unique perspectives of the many ways that the Jews came to Palestine, these flashbacks are well placed and manage to inform the reader without stalling or breaking the narrative. The arc of the story is exciting, and engaging, and builds upon itself to an exciting crescendo... then falters as the author struggles to include to many parts of the First Arab-Israeli war in the narrative, when a more focused approach would have been more satisfying. The end is a bit disappointing, once again the author tries to include to many historical events in the narrative dragging the end out past it's natural point. The actual ending is rather good, and manages to end on a bitter-sweet note that resonates with the reality of Israel's place in the world following the war.
I'm glad I read it, but I probably won't read it again.
I got this free as a Kindle First Look. A very interesting story, well written, and engaging. The story moves quickly and is reminiscent of Grimm styleI got this free as a Kindle First Look. A very interesting story, well written, and engaging. The story moves quickly and is reminiscent of Grimm style fairy tales, without being a heavy read. The author takes care to make the story of a girl being gradually turned into a mermaid, and her adopted sister's quest to take her to the safety of the ocean, believable and sympathetic. I enjoyed it, and am well satisfied that I chose it....more
This book is an easily readable accounting of a very exciting time in the history of the western world. Snow provides a narrative on the careers of maThis book is an easily readable accounting of a very exciting time in the history of the western world. Snow provides a narrative on the careers of many of the most infamous pirates to ever sail the Atlantic; and links many of their stories togethers in a satisfying and engaging manner. I especially liked his treatment of the tragic life and death of Captain Kidd.
This book features a large and wide ranging selection of essays written by the giants in the industry of Role Playing Game design. I have already putThis book features a large and wide ranging selection of essays written by the giants in the industry of Role Playing Game design. I have already put several of the tools to use in my own Homebrew RPG setting, and look forward to returning to this book for reference in the future.
Many people recommend this book for aspiring fantasy authors as well. I can see many of the tools, techniques, and recommendations working in literature though the book is clearly written for game design first and foremost....more
Easily a great cultural work, that covers a grand scope of human suffering and triumph. The rich plot is well rounded and encompases a wonderful arrayEasily a great cultural work, that covers a grand scope of human suffering and triumph. The rich plot is well rounded and encompases a wonderful array of rich and well developed characters... all of whom seem inexplicably tied to a simpering one-dimensional simple little girl named Cosette.
I love the story, but if I choose to read the book again I will most likely read it abridged. The digressions on every topic ranging from the battle of Waterloo to the use of slang in literature, while I enjoyed reading some of them, were often placed in the middle of a plot turn and disrupted my reading. I would still recommend reading the unabridged version at least once in your life....more
A Decent start to a series, I look forward to the rest of the books. It's certainly more of a casual read than a grand literary work; but the emotionaA Decent start to a series, I look forward to the rest of the books. It's certainly more of a casual read than a grand literary work; but the emotional tone of the book is easy to get into, and helps guide the plot. The first two portions of the book hint at Cherryh's later style of dramatic writing but lack the finesse of experience. The bulk of the book though, focusses more on the emotional state of her main character, who is struggling with his entire life being turned upside down without warning, and the isolation of being the only human in a deceptively human in appearance and manner, alien society. It does end decently, but leaves quite a few threads hanging in the wind to be picked up in the next book....more
The Legendary Detective at the World's End is a good concept, that has been done a serious disservice by the author and publisher.
The writing is mostlThe Legendary Detective at the World's End is a good concept, that has been done a serious disservice by the author and publisher.
The writing is mostly cheap dialog; and the narrative portions are somehow both overly descriptive, and under developed. While the broad strokes of the characters, setting, and plot show promise, the execution here is amature at best.
The elements of Sci-Fi are there, a dystopian future of oppressed masses and undefinable advanced technology; but they are never really fleshed out, leaving the characters floating in a vague and unsatisfying setting, without much basis. The author seems to deliberately challenge the reader's suspension of disbelief.
As far as Mystery, the author appears to be attempting to emulate Doyle's famous detective and his methods of observation and deduction. Unfortunately, this is done so poorly that instead the reader is lead around by the nose, and the main character's "deductions" are more like magical deus-ex-machina that force the plot where the author wants it to go.
Technically, it's a mess, with misspellings, severe errors in grammar and language, and random fallacies in logic. By the third story, I had to focus to keep from being distracted by every wrong word and badly phrased sentence.
I understand that this is an "Indie" work; but that doesn't mean it needs to be bad. This is a good example of a story that could have benefited greatly from a competent editor and an author that respected his audience. ...more
We probably all read Hiroshima in Grade School or Junior High; and while that is definitely a good book, having to read him for school may have turnedWe probably all read Hiroshima in Grade School or Junior High; and while that is definitely a good book, having to read him for school may have turned you off of John Hersey. If that's the case, I urge you to reconsider, and pick up The Wall.
This fictional account of the Warsaw Ghetto covers the implementation, construction, governing, and revolt; all from the perspective of journals written by a member of the central group of characters. The characters are wonderfully crafted, engaging, and beautifully crafted.
I strongly recommend this book to everyone I know.