On a colony planet, the original colonists have set themselves up as Hindu gods to rule over this new world of man. But a few amongst them do not beliOn a colony planet, the original colonists have set themselves up as Hindu gods to rule over this new world of man. But a few amongst them do not believe in this artificial supremacy, necessarily maintained by the systematic destruction of all technological advances on the planet, preserving a perpetual Dark Age of man. One of those is Sam, who uses the preaching of Buddhism to create a rift between the people and their Hindu gods. With ever-changing, and often untrustworthy allies, Sam wages war upon war against the gods, in order to free the planet from the repression that allows some few to stand far above the rest.
As evidenced by the summary of this book (which I think sounds amazing), this book is deserving of more than three stars. But I gave it only three because the fact is...I only liked it. I didn't really like it. For me, it lacked some key elements to draw me into the story and endear me to it, including sympathetic characters and a consistent, steady plot line.
Zelazny starts the story off near the end of the story (nearing the final battle) and then jumps back to the very first conflict, to fill us in on Sam's history of conflict with the gods. Each chapter then often jumps significantly forward in time, switching up on characters while giving readers only the barest clues to ground them in the story and help them follow along. This can be challenging reading, if you were expecting to be able to cruise through it. But I thought Zelazny's format did an excellent job of heightening the tension of the climax: you know you're almost there when you're back at the beginning of the story. Plus, you now know so much more about the characters involved.
Lord of Light is chock full of amazing ideas and interwoven characters, and offers up some really excellent dialogue-only scenes. Well worth reading if you're at all into science fiction....more
Not the best written book I've ever read. I found myself editing Meyer's sometimes weak prose in my head through the first 100 pages. But after that,Not the best written book I've ever read. I found myself editing Meyer's sometimes weak prose in my head through the first 100 pages. But after that, the words no longer mattered. I was no longer reading the book, but a part of Meyer's wonderfully developed Twilight world and Bella and Edward's moving and thrilling (and, yes, sometimes melodramatic) romance.
I love an author who can make me fall in love with a character right along with the heroine. Meyer's amazing story-telling delivers on every count. After those first hundred pages, I couldn't put the book down and stayed up into the wee hours of the morning, sighing and laughing and gasping as the story unfolded.
I read this book in a 14 hour time span, with 8 hours of sleep tucked in there too. Once I finished it, I read "Midnight Sun," an unpublished version of "Twilight" from Edward's perspective. Find it at www.stepheniemeyer.com/pdf/midnightsu.... Then I REREAD "Twilight" from front to back--in back to back weekends! There are very few books I can reread more frequently than 12 or 18 months apart. But my second reading here was just as thoroughly satisfying as the first.
Get over your embarassment over falling prey to this latest, Best Selling, teeny bopper sensation--if you like to fall in love, if you like to be entertained, if you like vampires--and READ THIS BOOKS! ...more
This book was not as fast-paced, not as much of a page turner, as the first two. Not boring, not disappointing, just like a necessary connecting storyThis book was not as fast-paced, not as much of a page turner, as the first two. Not boring, not disappointing, just like a necessary connecting story between the second and last books. However, the last 150 were very good. Back to laughing, back to crying, back to swooning. Read on!...more
I didn't burn through the pages of this last book as quickly as the previous four-which is part of why I only scored it four stars rather than five. BI didn't burn through the pages of this last book as quickly as the previous four-which is part of why I only scored it four stars rather than five. But I think this reluctance to read actually had less to do with the quality of the book and more to do with the fact that I knew it was the end. At the same time that I desperately wanted to find out what would happen next, I also didn't want to keep reading because I didn't ever want the series to be over. I imagine it will be more enjoyable the second time around, as I won't feel this same reluctance to turn each page.
The only other downsides to this book were that I felt Meyer lost a bit of her strength of characterization once Bella became a vampire. I can't pinpoint exactly what it was, but from that point on I felt an unusual distancing from her that never occurred in the other books. I wasn't really experiencing things along with her. I imagine this distance had something to do with Meyer's efforts to let us experience what it really is to be a vampire-the heightened senses, the yearning for blood, etc. But somehow those efforts caused Bella to lose a lot of what made her her. ...more
The reader, Ilyana Kadushin, is very good as Bella's narrative voice. The only drawback to the audio version of this book is that the gushy, melodramaThe reader, Ilyana Kadushin, is very good as Bella's narrative voice. The only drawback to the audio version of this book is that the gushy, melodramatic love stuff comes across as even more cheesy than in written form....more
As I said with the printed version, this is the boring Twilight book -- especially in audio. Only about three things ever really happen, surrounded byAs I said with the printed version, this is the boring Twilight book -- especially in audio. Only about three things ever really happen, surrounded by a lot of worrying about what might happen. ...more
The back of my edition of this book reads: "In Guilty Pleasures, she [Laurell K. Hamilton:] introduces Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter. Anita's small, darThe back of my edition of this book reads: "In Guilty Pleasures, she [Laurell K. Hamilton:] introduces Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter. Anita's small, dark, and dangerous. But when the city's most powerful vampire comes to her for help, Anita is faced with her greatest fear-a man capable of arousing in her a hunger strong enough to match his own..." For all 266 pages of this novel, I was waiting to find out who this mysterious "hungry" man might be. I've finished the book. I'm still waiting. Another quote, on the front of the cover, describes the novel as "a heady mix of romance and horror." I'm sorry, did I miss something? How can this be a romance if the reader is unable to identify the leading man?
My first thought was that Philip, the confused, abused, and pathetic vampire junky (not a vampire, but a human addicted to being bitten by vampires), was meant to take on this role. Let me just say, I was definitely not interested. With his face "crumpling in confusion" at every turn, and him nearly crying every time Anita mentioned his abused past or screwed up present, no amount of describing his hot physique will make me believe that Anita could fall for this guy. And seriously, whose face "crumples" in confusion or pain except a toddlers?
I must conclude that this mysterious leading man must be Jean-Claude, the sexy, powerful, and tender master vampire we are introduced to near the beginning, who spends the entire rest of the novel chained inside a coffin.
Despite these romantic difficulties, I read on, waiting for the romance to reveal itself, waiting for the action-packed, vampire-slaying story to begin. There were many action scenes, in that the book delivered. However, though the scenes and plot weren't badly executed, I can't say that they were well executed either. The plot was clunky and I often found myself asking, "Why? What is the point of this?" It seems like Hamilton stuck in a few raising the dead scenes less because it drove the plot and more because she felt obligated to show Anita in action at her primary vocation: animating.
And lastly, I figured out "whodunit" about 100 pages before the end of the novel and about 50 pages before the protagonist. That's a little disappointing.
Oh, I do have to mention that the final chapter of the novel almost redeemed it enough for me to give the book two stars. Finally, a little promise of romance! Too bad I didn't enjoy this one enough to read the next. Now I'll never know....more
If you are a fan of Jane Austen's original Pride and Prejudice, you may enjoy reading this version, adorned with a little undead fun. Seth Grahame-SmiIf you are a fan of Jane Austen's original Pride and Prejudice, you may enjoy reading this version, adorned with a little undead fun. Seth Grahame-Smith retains much of Austen's original language and all of her well-recognized style in his rediscovering of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy's measured fall into love. I won't give away the details of added premise, which is most of the fun of this new telling. I first began the novel while riding the bus, standing room only. But despite cramped and uncomfortable quarters, I found myself laughing out loud as I read each additional tidbit that further defined the newly revised premise of Grahame-Smith's reimagining. A read of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is essentially a read of the original, but with much silliness thrown in. (I wasn't able to do a text versus text analysis of PPZ against the original, unfortunately, because my copy is packed away in a box somewhere.) But Grahame-Smith's additions aren't essential enough to the plot to keep the new content fresh and delighting throughout, so he eventually resorts to blatant shock value--which is funny in its own way.
For anyone who enjoyed reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is worth reading once. For anyone who's not much of a classics reader or Jane Austen fan, there's probably not enough zombie to keep modern readers interested....more
I made the mistake of trying to read another series companion book, with little success. (My first attempt was another by Lois Gresh, about Philip PulI made the mistake of trying to read another series companion book, with little success. (My first attempt was another by Lois Gresh, about Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.) This time, I made it through about thirty-five pages of Gresh's Twilight Companion and felt like I had actually grown dumber through my reading of it--probably because it seems to have been written for a second grade reading level. I pick these "unauthorized guides" up, expecting to learn something new and interesting about the series itself, expecting them to carry an analytical slant. Instead, I learned that Gresh has relatives with similar names to the relatives of the Twilight heroine Bella Swan. And that Gresh lives in a town comparable in size and podunkery to Forks, WA, where Twilight et al. take place. And that, because of these similarities to Bella, Gresh is highly indignant that she, too, didn't meet a paranormal, vampire dreamboat ready to sweep her off her feet. Gee, thanks for sharing! Incredibly silly but also incredibly condescending to her readers, or...just dumbed down to the extreme. I also gleaned, from the first thirty-five pages, that every girl should hold out for a boy with a "nice personality" like Edward's. Nice personality? And what exactly does that mean, Lois Gresh? As far as I can recall, all Stephenie Meyer's leading men (and Edward in particular) tend to be overbearing control-freaks who sometimes engage in emotional blackmail to get their way. I'm not knocking these guys; I just wish Gresh would get real. Even Edward isn't perfect--and no, it's not just because he drinks blood. ...more
The second installment in Harris's Sookie Stackhouse mysteries series, Living Dead in Dallas follows Sookie on her travels to assist the Dallas vampirThe second installment in Harris's Sookie Stackhouse mysteries series, Living Dead in Dallas follows Sookie on her travels to assist the Dallas vampires in locating a missing one of their own. Harris’s prose style could be described as gritty or just crude. She has no qualms against using words like butt and boobs. I find that her tendency to not pull punches on crude words and thoughts used frequently in reality, but not usually in literature, helps to illustrate the unsophisticated southern town and Sookie’s intelligent but unrefined perspective.
The TV series, True Blood, succeeded in every instance where Harris, in her novel, fails. For instance, take the scene where Sookie Stackhouse meets Barry the hotel bellhop and discovers that he, too, is a telepath. In True Blood (Season 2, Episode 4: Shake and Fingerpop, I believe), Sookie discovers Barry’s ability through an amusing conversation where they both read each other’s thoughts and respond in kind with thoughts of their own, resulting in an inadvertent telepathic exchange. In contrast, here is how Harris does it in the book: “To my startled delight, I realized (after a quick rummage in Barry’s head) that he was a telepath, like me!” Wow, ever heard of show don’t tell?
Despite my tendency to not hold Harris’s crude prose style against her, I must say that she relies far too much on the word ‘to be’ – as in WAS. She doesn’t care much for making her verbs exciting or active. Take this paragraph, for example: “The light over the door was on, so I could tell the house was of beige brick with white trim. The light, too, was for my benefit; any vampire could see far better than the sharpest-eyed human. Isabel led the way to the front door, which was framed in graduating arches of brick. There was a tasteful wreath of grapevines and dried flowers on the door, which almost disguised the peephole. This was clever mainstreaming. I realized there was nothing apparent in this house’s appearance to indicate that it was any different from any of the other oversized houses we’d passed, no outward indication that within lived vampires.”
On the whole, I found this second Sookie Stackhouse novel pretty disappointing, and don't much look forward to reading the next. (Which I won't do, anyway, until some time next year after season three of True Blood has aired.)...more
About twins who inherit their aunt Elspeth's flat in England after her death, and come to realize that her spirit still lives on in ghost form, NiffenAbout twins who inherit their aunt Elspeth's flat in England after her death, and come to realize that her spirit still lives on in ghost form, Niffenegger's second novel starts out strong, sags a bit in the middle, and ends a bit more predictably than I had hoped. Symmetry is engrossing, enjoyable, and a good romp for the imagination.
As a side note, the whole mysterious history between Aunt Elspeth and her sister, the twins' mother, could have been entirely cut from the novel with absolutely no loss. The reveal on that storyline felt convoluted and absolutely pointless....more
In the coastal city of Symir, overshadowed by a volcano kept at bay by magery, the necromancer and spy Isyllt Iskaldur arrives to stir up open rebelliIn the coastal city of Symir, overshadowed by a volcano kept at bay by magery, the necromancer and spy Isyllt Iskaldur arrives to stir up open rebellion against the Empire of Assar within the already growing murmurs of political unrest.
Despite demons, necromancers, and a wonderfully actualized setting, I had to give The Drowning City a lot of leeway before the plot picked up. I think the first exciting scene didn't take place until almost halfway through the book. The weak characterization also failed to draw me in, and I can honestly say that the only character-driven plot I ever came to care about was that between Isyllt and the Emperial mage Asheris.
For those dredging through it, have hope. The end of the book is decently satisfying. I almost considered actually reading the next in the Necromancer Chronicles series, after finishing Drowning City. But after reading the first chapter of book 2, at the end of book 1, I decided against it. Just not quite good enough to be worth the time....more