Def. a tearjerker - as advertized. I liked the character of Mia. She seemed like a pretty normal unassuming girl and I liked the fact that she had a f...moreDef. a tearjerker - as advertized. I liked the character of Mia. She seemed like a pretty normal unassuming girl and I liked the fact that she had a family she got along with ( so many YA families are dysfunctional). My only criticism was that her boyfriend Adam seemed like he could have been filled out a little more.(less)
I finished this boo about a week ago and have been trying to decide how to best do this book justice. I cannot articulate how much I loved this book ot...moreI finished this boo about a week ago and have been trying to decide how to best do this book justice. I cannot articulate how much I loved this book other than to say I became absolutely invested in the characters. It is a rare day when a recorded book makes me shriek as I'm driving down the highway but every time Thomas was tested I'd clutch the steering wheel, yell at the top of my lungs and worry horribly that something would happen to Delphine, Thomas or Matthieu. The book is about loyalty, faith, goodness and the possibility of redemption. The images are both beautiful and horrific and the plot is certainly action filled without sacrificing character development. I loved this book but be warned - if foul language bothers you this book is not for you. Thomas is a disgraced knight and his language is not for those of a more delicate nature. Also a word about the narrator Steve West - His narration adds so much to the story. He knows how to maintain the tension and most of his vocies are spot on. I felt he was a little weak with Delphine's voice but this is a minor quibble for an excellent narration and story(less)
Annabel is an isolated type of character - she lives alone with her cat, doesn't socialize with her coworkers and is a dutiful daughter to an ailing m...moreAnnabel is an isolated type of character - she lives alone with her cat, doesn't socialize with her coworkers and is a dutiful daughter to an ailing mother. She has no real social outlets or group of friends. She finds all her satisfaction in her job as a police analyst and, after stumbling on the decomposing remains of her neighbor, uses her skills to investigate what appears to be an alarming number of people who've died in their homes due to natural causes. The story is told form the point of view of Annabel, Colin the man who know many of the deceased as well as the deceased themselves. Some readers might be put off by the multiple viewpoints but I felt it added to the story. The book brings up interesting points about assisting, and what types of assistance should be given, to those individuals in extreme emotional pain. Do they have the right to cease to exist if that is what they wish? I think this is Ms. Haynes best book to date.(less)
While I find the beginning and the very end of the story to be somewhat awkward, I ended up really enjoying the story. Tripp doesn't just have scene af...moreWhile I find the beginning and the very end of the story to be somewhat awkward, I ended up really enjoying the story. Tripp doesn't just have scene after scene of carnage, rather his main character Danny undergoes a great deal of personal development and I grew to care about her and some of the other supporting characters. A coherent storyline flows throughout most of the book and I enjoyed the variations of slow versus hunter zombie that he brings to the table. A great HAlloween read.(less)
**spoiler alert** As always the opinion listed here is simply that of a reader. Other readers may have a vastly different experience reaidng the book....more**spoiler alert** As always the opinion listed here is simply that of a reader. Other readers may have a vastly different experience reaidng the book. If you’ve not yet read the book Goodreads give a nice synopsis of the basic plot. I will be discussing plot points so read no further if you haven’t already read the book. I had some very real problems with this book. Let’s start with two of our main characters, Sally and Zoe. They’re both are pretty flawed and irritated the heck out of me. The first, Sally is incredibly annoying in her naiveté and hangdogness. She has no common sense and evidently is so unworldly that at times I just wanted to shake her. I never feel sorry for her so I felt little sympathy for her actions. Early on in the book she discovers that her daughter has gone to a drug dealer/loan shark. Her boyfriend offers her the loan of the money in order to pay this man back. She refuses as a point of pride. Evidently she has no idea that loan sharks continue to tack on interest and that it would have been far better for her to have taken the money and repaid it to the person not threatening to harm her daughter, but no ….she decides to work extra shifts alone for the creepy man her boyfriend, an industrial espionage specialist, has warned her about. She decides that earning the extra 480 pounds a week is worth the humiliation this man puts her though. Just as an aside here, even if her boss weren’t a total creep it would take her 8 months to repay the loan shark, and as we all know from other fictional accounts loan sharks are just so, so patient. Our second protagonist, Zoe, is about as irritating as her sister. She goes into an actual snit and walks out of a police briefing when her colleagues don’t immediately applaud what she considers a brilliant insight. I’m fairly certain that this would be tolerated nowhere. She also displays an incredible lack of professionalism in exhibiting quite a bit of jealousy toward a female profiler. There is also a scene late in the book in which her niece and a teenage boy are believed to be held by the man who allegedly murdered another teenage girl. She refuses to phone the police because the alleged murderer can identify her as a former pole dancer and she doesn’t want her colleagues to know this. I was flabbergasted – this woman is actually willing to risk the potential death of two young people just so she won’t suffer some humiliation. This point stretched the last of my credibility and I’m not quite sure why I stuck with the book. In addition to the problems I had with the two main characters I also had difficulty with some of the plot points. The drug dealer/loan shark character is introduced quite early on as a menacing character and then is dropped only to be reintroduced later in the book as more of a buffoonish character. Sally is almost killed by her boss but then accidently kills him defending herself. She refuses to call the police for fear that they wouldn’t believe her. This was another head scratcher for me. The man has not ten minutes before shot a crossbow at someone else. This action is caught on the man’s own cameras. He isn’t a nice man at the best of times and it is absurd that the police wouldn’t at least consider that Sally had acted in self-defense. Instead Sally decides the best course of action is to dispose of the body with the help of her boyfriend. They hack the body up in a particularly grizzly matter and disperse the pieces throughout the city. While Sally professes some angst over this act she seems to get over it fairly quickly. By the end of the book she seems positively okay with it, she seemed almost sociopathic in her acceptance of events. Other improbable plot points also occur that I won’t go into, but for me, this was not one Hayder’s better works. (less)
Loved it - fun read - enjoyed the fact that the heroine has no powers (that we know of) but rather uses her training in law to try and solve problems....moreLoved it - fun read - enjoyed the fact that the heroine has no powers (that we know of) but rather uses her training in law to try and solve problems. The fey hero is also a little different than we find in most UF. Immediately went out and got the second one. Hope to get to it soon.(less)
Full disclosure – I read a lot of romantic suspense and serial killer mystery novels so I can be a little jaded. However, having stated that I still...more Full disclosure – I read a lot of romantic suspense and serial killer mystery novels so I can be a little jaded. However, having stated that I still cannot recommend this book. In order for a fem in jep book to work for me I have to feel something for the character and ultimately the author does nothing to make me like the narrator Sarah. She did make a good start at the beginning, describing the relationship between Sarah (our narrator) and her best friend but as soon as the two are separated early on the book goes downhill. Sarah is as bland and pristine as her white apartment and comes with a whole litany of psychological issues that she seems to be able to conquer simply by thinking that “she must do it for Jennifer” Sorry folks, if you have been confined to your apartment for ten years you don’t simply get over your agoraphobia by willing it to be so. Not only does she seem to quickly get over her fear of leaving her apartment but she is able to go into a dark, confined S&M club and while she tells us that she is frightened I never believed that she really was. Heck, I don’t have nearly the problems that this poor girl does but my heart rate would have been accelerated, palms sweating, stomach roiling etc. just at the thought of going into dark, weird bar yet our girl seems to cope for quite a while before she has to bolt for the door. This whole scenario was just too unrealistic for me to swallow. There is another scene later on in the book as well that I won't say too much about, and once again, Sarah isn't nearly as scared as any rational person should be. When I read this type of novel I want to be scared for the character and not be thinking ...well only 20 more pages until the end.... Then the author also introduces a variety of supposedly sinister characters only to veer off in another direction. We never spend enough time with any of them make the story more interesting or to add that little extra frisson of tension. Finally, without being too spoilerish I knew immediately that one of the characters was not who she said she was and I guessed fairly quickly who she really was.
I am wondering if this had been written in third person, multiple perspective if the story could have been more interesting.
This book has been touted as terrifying, gripping, riveting. Sadly I found it to be none of those things. However, another reader with a different sensibility might find the story to be quite fascinating. Every reader to their own cup of tea.(less)
I don’t read much literary fiction so I am less comfortable in describing my reactions to a novel. I don’t know why this is as a reaction is a reactio...moreI don’t read much literary fiction so I am less comfortable in describing my reactions to a novel. I don’t know why this is as a reaction is a reaction regardless of the source. So I’ll just describe what I liked about the novel and what I found less intriguing. I’ll start with what I did like. I loved the subtle way that the author filled out the characters via use of flashback. As their stories unfolded I became more and more intrigued by them as people. Their home lives were absolutely fascinating and I could have read an entire novel involving just Edward and his parents. I also appreciated that instead of baldly stating why Florence was so uptight about sex. i.e. due to being sexually abused that there were instead muted hints to that effect. Where the story lost me was at the scene in which the consummation has gone terribly wrong and Florence runs out onto the beach. Florence reacts very violently to having this warm, viscous fluid poured upon her body and McEwan makes the reader very vividly feel this revulsion as well and yet…most individuals would seek to immediately get this stuff off of their person. Yet McEwan does not have Florence rush initially into the bathroom, or use an ewer, or even try and scrub it off in the ocean. Instead he has her run out and walk on the beach with this hated fluid drying on her body. The scene in which the two finally confront one another seemed too overwrought to me. I understood Edward’s rage and shame and Florence’s guilt but I just simply didn’t buy how two people who were so in love, and we’d been told repeatedly how in love they were, could then profess not to love one another and so abruptly and irrevocably end the relationship. So while I appreciated what McEwan was trying to do this scene just had too much melodrama for me. So while I did not love this book I am intrigued enough to try another of his books and a friend has recommended the Cement garden. PS this was beautifully read by McEwan.(less)
Woo hoo, finally, an urban fantasy that isn’t dependent on werewolves, shapeshifters, demons etc. to tell a story. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy these a...moreWoo hoo, finally, an urban fantasy that isn’t dependent on werewolves, shapeshifters, demons etc. to tell a story. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy these as much as anyone but it’s also nice to read something new. I definitely enjoyed quite a few things about Tarnished. First of all I really liked the concept of a London split in two, the upper class basically raised above the stinks and pollution of the working class via platforms. I found how the individuals in each environment coped to be quite interesting. It also was a good way to introduce steampunk devices such as Cherry’s glasses and the ships that float from below to the upper echelons. I was also fascinated by the Menagerie and would love to learn more about that particular world in miniature. It was mysterious, intriguing and, for me, had an air of unreality. It doesn’t hurt that the “ringmaster” just happens to be a smoking hot guy and that Cherry spent some of her formative years there. Then there is Cherry herself, a complicated character, trying to care for herself as best as she is able and oh so very flawed. She doesn’t really fit in anywhere, polite society tolerates her but only just as her parents died in a mysterious accident and she is referred to as mad St. Croix’s daughter (not a description that bodes well in terms of beaus flocking to one’s door). She also doesn’t really fit in with the world below in spite of the fact that she worked for the Menagerie for a period of time. She also just happens to be an opium addict and her need for the stuff drives a lot of her actions including taking a bounty to locate a Jack the ripper type character killing Sweets within the menagerie. Finally, if it isn’t enough to have the ripperish type character we also have, be still my beating heart, a bona fide live mad scientist and echoes of Frankenstein which emerge in the latter part of the book as well as a mysterious benefactor….love those gothic elements! (less)
Meh, characters were a little flat, didn't buy the "spark" between the two characters and felt there were too many mysteries and things got a little m...moreMeh, characters were a little flat, didn't buy the "spark" between the two characters and felt there were too many mysteries and things got a little muddled. Excellent narrator though(less)
I generally depend on Patrick Ness for my dystopic punches to the heart but with The 5th wave Rick Yancey has proven he is no slacker in dishing out...more I generally depend on Patrick Ness for my dystopic punches to the heart but with The 5th wave Rick Yancey has proven he is no slacker in dishing out an emotional pummeling. Least those of you who prefer action fear there will be too emotional touchy feely in this tale, have no fear because the 5th wave is also pretty much non-stop action. Still doubtful ? Pg.8-14 “If you can’t trust anyone, then you can trust no one. Better to take the chance that Aunty Tilly is one of them than play the odds that you’ve stumbled across a fellow survivor….He lay sprawled against the back wall twenty feet away, long legs spread out in front of him, clutching his stomach in one hand….he was covered in grime and shimmering in blood. …In his other hand was a gun, and that gun was pointed at my head. I mirrored him. His handgun to my rifle….Drop your weapon. The hand holding his gun twitched. The muzzle dropped toward the floor. …And then he dropped the gun…..Other hand, I said… I can’t he said…. If I move my hand, I’m afraid my stomach will fall out….I adjusted the butt of the rifle against my shoulder….Either/or, Cassie. What are you going to do? Either/or. Grimacing he slowly pulled out his left hand….The stunted light kissed his bloody hand and flicked along the length of something long and then and metallic, and my gingers yanked back on the trigger…and from a great distance I heard someone screaming, it was me screaming, me and everybody else who was left, all of us helpless, hopeless, stupid humans screaming…I went up to him before the last of the light was gone. I wanted to see what he was still holding in his bloody hand. It was a crucifix.” With these scenes we meet our heroine Cassie and as we sit with her out in the woods and we learn exactly what happened to her and her family and how she came to be in the woods. I have to say that by the end of her narration I had a nice case of paranoia myself. Yancy then switches his attention from Cassie to Zombie and at first I found this to be somewhat disconcerting as I had become so invested in Cassie’s story. However, as Zombie continued his narration I then became caught up in his story as well. The story is told from multiple perspectives which some readers might not like but I felt was needed to convey the story. Some readers were also not pleased when the action slows and Cassie meets and falls in love with a young man who may not be named for fear of spoiling a plot point. I personally enjoyed the respite from all the action and it also gives Yancy a chance to explore what it means to be “the other” and what it means to be human. There are fiddly points I could pick at – Yes there are bits and pieces of other tales used here – For some odd reason one particular Star Trek episode kept coming to mind and some points were a little weak. For example one person is disclosed as not being who we think because they have soft palms but, if this person had been living for four years under the guise of a farm worker then they would have developed calloused palms regardless of whether they were/were not human. I also had problems for a while with the “adult aliens” We know where the teen aliens came from but how did older aliens manage to infiltrate the military? There is a bit of an explanation toward the end of the book but it was a touch weak. The overall story is so good though that I’m willing to overlook these problems. There are so many little scenes that stay with me. I need to read the story again to savor all the themes running through it. Highly recommended for dystopian fans who aren’t faint of heart!
Please note that my rating in this case does not indicate that I felt the book was poorly written or uninteresting. I am, in this case, describing my...morePlease note that my rating in this case does not indicate that I felt the book was poorly written or uninteresting. I am, in this case, describing my feeling as I was reading the book and it “was okay”. I’ve read other works by Stross that I’ve really enjoyed but for some reason The Archives just didn’t click with me. I enjoyed the concept of German Nazis attempting to use the many angled ones to win the war as well as petty bureaucrats using a different form of the bizarre to take revenge on their higher ups. However, Stross not infrequently has his main character tell us how terrified either he or his bosses are but never really showed us why therefore I just wasn’t that invested in what happened to the characters. Also, to be quite frank, and this is my fault as the reader, he would throw out some mathematical or computing term to explain what was going on and , I confess, I’d just sort of drift off then pay attention again once the action started up. So, while not my cup of tea, I’m sure many individuals will appreciate the story(ies) contained in the book. (less)