An enjoyable read, if a bit winding in spots. Can't say I read a lot of noir-inspired stuff, but this was fun. Really had that gumshoe vibe throughoutAn enjoyable read, if a bit winding in spots. Can't say I read a lot of noir-inspired stuff, but this was fun. Really had that gumshoe vibe throughout the whole thing. I enjoyed the blend of 'modern' life in the citadel (read: city) versus the old times that the reader would associate with traditional fantasy.
The characters felt well-defined and though a few were fairly 2-dimensional, they don't detract from the rest of the main cast. I noticed a couple spots where the author got a new word or phrase in his head, and would use it far too often. Pixie Farts, as an example.
Found the near ending exposition (which is always so common in noir works) felt very deus ex machina. Lot of things just dumped on the reader to process and accept in a very small window. Probably the weakest point in the whole novel.
**spoiler alert** This one hurt the ol' noggin a bit. It also, up until the last couple of pages, felt very thrown together.
You've got 3 major plots g**spoiler alert** This one hurt the ol' noggin a bit. It also, up until the last couple of pages, felt very thrown together.
You've got 3 major plots going on (or I guess a B plot that's introduced first, and then two contesting major plots that appear later), and there's a lot of hard cuts between them. If you don't keep your head on straight, it's pretty easy to get lost amongst the sea of characters and locations. It's not Game of Thrones hard, but for a Who novel, it's easily one of the harder ones to follow. There were certain sections that felt like they could have been cut (I'm looking at you, people and lionfolk of the Needle), but the pacing didn't suffer tremendously.
All that said, I really enjoyed the story. You don't often get to see into the life of Gallifrey, let alone learn about those that live outside the transduction barriers. Even less do you get to hear about their transcendence to Time Lord-ship. The science floating throughout the book is suspect at best, but it at least feels like Mr. Parkin tried to do his research before hand.
The weirdest thing to observe was The Doctor clearly being in honest-to-goodness love. That is a topic most authors and even show writers won't touch with a ten-foot pole. I applaud Parkin for the attempt, even if certain scenes felt a little ham-fisted, and not overly respectful of the equal rights that male and female Gallifreyans are supposed to share. A product of it's time, I'm sure.
Well that was about as depressing as I expected it to be. That said, it was very eye-opening and refreshing in a way. You hear about North Korea and wWell that was about as depressing as I expected it to be. That said, it was very eye-opening and refreshing in a way. You hear about North Korea and what people think is going on there, but to hear about it from the mouths of defectors is something else entirely.
It's weird to read about a people that are like everyone else, and yet utterly alien at the same time. ...more
It's been awhile since I've read a book as enjoyable as this.
Hell let's be honest, it's been awhile since I've read anything, but that's beside the poIt's been awhile since I've read a book as enjoyable as this.
Hell let's be honest, it's been awhile since I've read anything, but that's beside the point.
The Martian is a solid book. The writing is engaging; the plot is as plausible as any manned mission to mars can be; The pace is well done. It's a great read!
I was hesitant to read this at first, not because I dislike sci-fi (I don't), and not because it's a new author (at least to me). I was worried that The Martian was going to be overly technical. As much as I appreciate science and all it does for me, I cannot stand to read about it when it gets into itself. An entire book about a scientist (okay, a botanist/engineer hybrid, whatever) having to science his way into living on Mars using potatoes and determination... well I assumed it was going to be a pretty dry read.
Thankfully I was wrong.
The Martian is as engaging as it is enjoyable. The main character, Mark Watney, is probably one of the most realistic reads I've ever encountered. His log entries read like what I would actually expect the logs of a stranded person to read like. The humour feels real. The stress feels real. You really do want Mark to survive, because you want to buy him a beer at the end of it all.
I could give a long meandering explanation as to why I wasn't a big fan of this book. I could. I won't though, because I've just finished reading a loI could give a long meandering explanation as to why I wasn't a big fan of this book. I could. I won't though, because I've just finished reading a long, meandering story and I'd start to feel somewhat redundant.
To start: this isn't a bad book. It's not badly written; it's not overly contrived; it doesn't feature sparkly vampires. The story is fine. The characters are fine. It's all fine, which is my main problem. I found it boring. No ups or downs. I didn't find it engaging. Hell, it took me 2 months just to get through it.
The writing style is probably what was hardest for me. I am unsure if it's a result of the translating, if it's just how Swedish writers write, or a conscious stylistic choice. Regardless, It felt rambling, and I found myself skipping chunks of text because there were whole paragraphs of nothing being said. It was painful.
My biggest takeaway from this book is that it was basically Forrest Gump, but in Sweden. Except without the emotional journey, and Gump didnt get those other, terrible books written about him, yet still lived to be 100.
The book was fine. The story was fine. I wanted more than fine. ...more
Somehow I've gone 30 years of my life (or more accurately 18 years since his first publishing) without reading anything by Neil Gaiman. The most I kneSomehow I've gone 30 years of my life (or more accurately 18 years since his first publishing) without reading anything by Neil Gaiman. The most I knew about him was that he wrote sandman, and a doctor who episode.
This book has cemented the fact that it will not be the only work of his I read.
A book of collected short stories really gives credence to his pedigree as a writer. Many different styles, many different feels, and yet all executed near flawlessly.