I bought this version mostly for the Riddell illustrations, which I enjoyed, but I was a little disappointed that I'd seen them all online before, and there weren't any ones I hadn't seen. But that's really not the books fault at all.
As I said in my original review, each chapter is a snippet of Bod's life, and is almost like reading a series of short stories. That said, it did feel a bit more... complete to me this time than it did the first, I think.
I like Liza a bit more this time around, but was a little more annoyed with Silas, too. (view spoiler)[It's hard to describe why. Maybe because I felt bad for Bod and wished Silas was a bit more... available. But, then, I think that's just a raw bone that hits close to home, so... (view spoiler)[
I usually try to give it longer - the unofficial rule I set was 35% - but I opened it to read today and was just like:
OtherCalling it quits at 11%.
I usually try to give it longer - the unofficial rule I set was 35% - but I opened it to read today and was just like:
Other reviews have detailed what they found wrong with the story. There's a lot of research into the time period, and info-dumpy paragraphs about said details, but the story - the characters - had no heart. No soul.
There was no *life* to the story. Just detail.
I've read too many reviews from people who finished which suggest that if this is an issue, it doesn't get better... so I'm just calling it quits, 'cause I give zero fucks about what's going on.
The first time I read this book I only gave it a 3. I liked it much better this second time around. I've developed a better appreciation for Vimes andThe first time I read this book I only gave it a 3. I liked it much better this second time around. I've developed a better appreciation for Vimes and his trials and travails than I had when I was a bit younger...
I'd also forgotten how early Lady Ramkin was introduced into the guard books. For some reason I didn't think she came into the story until later - but I think that may be because I may have read them out of order.
And of course the Patrician is always a pleasure. The scenes with him and the rats was great fun. Thanks to the mini-series of Going Postal, the Patrician is forever Charles Dance in my mind. :>
And this was the first book, I think, where the Librarian really had a substantial role.
Granted, this didn't have as many noteworthy quotes as some of his other books - there were a few, of course, because there always are - but the story and characters, overall, is definitely up there on the list....more
Reread of Coraline, mostly to partake of Riddell's wonderful illustrations. (I have a quibble about the illustrations, though - namely the placement.Reread of Coraline, mostly to partake of Riddell's wonderful illustrations. (I have a quibble about the illustrations, though - namely the placement. They would put an illustration from each chapter at the start of the chapter, but their placement ended up being a bit spoilery. Wasn't a huge issue for me, being as I've read it before, but I definitely think they didn't think the choice through very well.)
This will never be one of my faves of Gaiman's. I like the story well enough, especially the last few chapters, but it's written in a straightforward style and doesn't have much of his signature 'voice' which I love in his story telling.
I think this might be one where the movie actually expands on the story a bit, to be honest. Probably more a 2.5 than pure 3....more
Entering the reread of this one, I didn't really remember a single thing about the story. The only thing I knew was that this was never one of my favoEntering the reread of this one, I didn't really remember a single thing about the story. The only thing I knew was that this was never one of my favorites.
I think I enjoyed it more on the reread than I did on my first go around, though it probably still won't be one of my faves. It won't be in the bottom tier, either.
This is pretty much a standalone in the series. I don't believe we ever encounter Teppic again - or, if we do, I don't recall it just now - but it's also a companion piece with Small Gods (which is one of my faves) because both deal with life outside of the usual places and also, more importantly, deal with the realities of faith and gods and religion - not all of which go well together.
There were some really nice quotes from this book, and I did find it an enjoyable and interesting read.
(As a side note, I'm note sure I got the sound-joke of Djelibeybi the first time, and now I'm wondering how in the hell I would've missed it!)
Definitely the best in the series, for me, so far, it was also the most intense, as this entry follows a serial killer. Not just follows, but we get cDefinitely the best in the series, for me, so far, it was also the most intense, as this entry follows a serial killer. Not just follows, but we get chapters from the killers perspective, reminding me almost of a Stephen King level of dwelling on the grotesque and gore.
Of course, as with all of Rowling/Galbraith's books, the focus is on the characters as much as the crime. It is my enjoyment of reading about Strike and Robin and their partnership which brings me back to this series more so than the plot elements - but this felt, to me, to be the first book which more readily balanced those two aspects of the story.
Of course, the fact that this case is so personal to Strike, and to Robin, helped blend those two spheres more readily than the other stories.
Here we get more about Robin's backstory - which she dropped out of college and took an aggressive driving course. Herein lies, perhaps, my main quibble about the story - I'm a bit tired of the (view spoiler)[(hide spoiler)] trope. On the other hand, I felt Rowling handled it very well. It wasn't a throw away like it often is in the trope. It was realistically explored, and it was not used, thankfully, as a means for motivating Strike.
Another quibble is that there were some slow parts to the story, which felt very repetitive. This was during the 'lull' part every case is required to have, which they are staking out various targets without any real clues to lead them in one direction or another. They're also short of funds - because a PI can't not have money troubles. Of course.
But, anyway, during the lull of the story, we spend more time in Strike's and Robin's personal minds, and it just started to get way too repetitive and circular for a while...
Anyway - we also get more Strike backstory, as each of his three suspects for the crimes are people who have personal grudges with him from the past. Rowling weaves the story of Strike and Robin's investigations through the chapters from the killer's perspective, leaving clues and red herrings along the way, as we get sucked up into theories and counter theories, and never seeing quite enough of the killer to guess out of hand who it might be.
And we see a bit more of Robin and Matthew together in this story, as Robin is preparing for her wedding, and also dealing with the case and being a target in it. All I can say without getting too spoilery is that I never liked Matthew - and now I out and out hate him - and I sort of hate Galbraith a little for that cliffhanger of an ending! (The cliffhanger relates to the personal side of the story, not the killer side of it.)
I liked the chapters dealing with Strike and Robin's relationship as partners. (view spoiler)[I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of Strike and Robin getting together. While I really, really *hate* that she seemed to marry Matthew at the end, I also agree with Strike that I think a S/R relationship would be doomed. I don't know, though. At first I was annoyed. I mean, why can't a man and woman work together without it ever being platonic in stories? But the more it seemed like it was going to happen, the more I ended up rooting for it... So I'm not opposed to it, but I do hope the will they/won't they doesn't start dominating the story. (hide spoiler)]
A bit of a warning, though.
I mentioned before that the chapters from the killer's perspective border on King levels of grue and sadism. They are also potentially very disturbing and triggery, because this story is about misogyny in its worst forms. There are issues of rape, child abuse, domestic violence, prostitution, and a whole sort of ways that women are treated badly, and it's sometimes described in more detail than people will be comfortable with.
I did not think this devolved into the gratuitous or lascivious - at least not on the part of the readership. I never felt like Rowling used any of the abuse to be secretly titillating, the way I felt about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but I know some reviewers did, and I'm giving fair warning to people who think that they may not be able to handle somewhat graphic descriptions of violence towards women.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Some people I've seen have compared this book to something written by China Miéville. I'm inclined to agree. The difference is that they say it as a cSome people I've seen have compared this book to something written by China Miéville. I'm inclined to agree. The difference is that they say it as a compliment...
Of the few Mieville books I've read, I've had a similar reaction - he is more enamoured with weirdness for weirdnesses sake, to show how much cool shit he can think of, than to worry about putting that weirdness into a coherent, well-plotted or charactered book. So, in that way, I would say this has much in common with Mieville.
Of course, that also means there are moments of coolness. Of near brilliance, even, when an idea, or a poetical turn of phrase gets a light shined onto it. The climax of this story was definitely interesting, and kept me reading, and I was quite glad to see (view spoiler)[David (hide spoiler)] get some comeuppance... but, overall, the disparate puzzle pieces never quite seemed to gel.
And I do mean puzzle pieces. The group with which I read this book had a Q&A session with the author, and someone asked him about the changes in perspectives, and one particular choice - (view spoiler)[to have a bit from the perspective of a lion. (hide spoiler)]
The Dresden and Naga scenes came about as a side effect of the fact that I don't usually write stuff in the order it will be read. For instance, the Steve-goes-for-a-jog scene appears in the middle, but it was about the first thing I wrote. I wrote it up to the point where he was getting swarmed by the dogs, then moved on to something else. Later, when I circled back around to finish it, I had to figure out how to save him...
I read this Q&A after I'd finished the book and had a sort of "Ah-ha!" moment. Suddenly my feelings of why there were some cool parts in the book but it never felt like it came together as a coherent whole made sense to me.
Because it wasn't.
Which is why some of the plotting and character choices, to me, didn't make sense. I often found myself question characters reactions and motivations... and I was left with the answer with, "Well, that's what Hawkins needed them to do to get to the next piece he had constructed."
I dislike when stories have characters act in seemingly strange ways for the sake of moving the plot forward. I prefer where the plot comes organically from the characters acting in ways which seemed organic for those 'people' to act.
As for characters, I liked Steve and the lions.
Erwin seemed like a character you were meant to like, because he's all badass and devil-may-care and whatnot, but he seemed, to me, to be more someone with a perpetual chip on their shoulders full of posturing and gestures, and that's annoying in the long term.
Carolyn was interesting enough, though not particularly compelling.
I hated David, as I'm sure we're meant to.
Father was... interesting, moreso because (view spoiler)[we're lead to believe that despite how horrible he was, anything to replace him would be worse. Still, I felt like Carolyn forgave him too easily. The ending seems to suggest Father's cruelty was a necessary caldera, but I'm not sure I'm really buying it, all told. (hide spoiler)]
The others are somewhat interchangeable or forgettable. They only exist insofar as is relevant to the story. Several of the children and catalogues didn't seem to be mentioned at all after the initial introduction - because there was no point to them.
Again, from the author:
For the most part I didn't plan the catalogs out beforehand in any major way, just sort of let them evolve as the book took shape. It ended up being a real mess--when I was doing revisions I ended up with way more catalogs that had a least a brief mention than I had librarians.
(As I said earlier - it's all piecemeal, and it shows. That said, I'm not one who tends to be easily dazzled by shiny things, and so I may have honed in on the holes more than most people are likely to.)
Long story short, it was interesting and cool in parts (thus 2 stars instead of 1), but the whole is lesser than the sum of its parts.
I also didn't like the way that the climax happened and there were 100 pages left, and then we get a big long bit of exposition, and a set-up for a possible next installment. I think I'll pass, thanks.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I'm not really sure what to say about this story. It's cute and fairly enjoyable, but the writing style was both simplistic and sort of herky-jerky2.5
I'm not really sure what to say about this story. It's cute and fairly enjoyable, but the writing style was both simplistic and sort of herky-jerky.
It read almost more like a TV treatment, giving a sketch outline of scenes and characters, instead of ever really delving into anything. It jumped from character to character, and a lot of times the action would happen off-page and be related from one character to another later.
It's also fairly forgettable. I mean, it's been a little over a week since I finished it, but I had to read other reviews to jog my memory about what the story was even about. The two main fairies annoyed me with their constant bickering, I found the love story unbelievable, and the names kind of confusingly interchangeable.
But, I mean, like I said, it was cute. (It was also kind of refreshing to see a story where sexuality is treated as healthy and normal and not fetishized.)
I'm not sorry I read it or anything, but I'm not really fussed about picking up anything else by this author, either. ...more
This was the first ever Discworld book I read, back in the day. At the time I gave it 5-stars because it was unlike anything I'd ever read.
Still, I waThis was the first ever Discworld book I read, back in the day. At the time I gave it 5-stars because it was unlike anything I'd ever read.
Still, I was a bit hesitant to enter into this reread, because the Discworld marathon(ish) hasn't been going great. Most of the books thus far have been 3, or even 2, stars.
But I was pleased, once I'd bitten the bullet, that I was almost as amused this time around as I was the first time. And I think I'm a little more critical of some of Granny's faults, this time around, than I was before. (I told my hubs I'm some sort of weird middle ground between Magrat and Granny... weird as that may seem.)
There was a stretch in the middle which seemed a bit on the slow side... but, overall, this remains one of my favorite Discworld novels....more
I've come to realize that at least 3 or the first 5 Discworld books seem very similar to me, what witDefinitely not one of my favorites of the series.
I've come to realize that at least 3 or the first 5 Discworld books seem very similar to me, what with them revolving around the wizards and all about a person or persons with special magic and inviting in the Dungeon Dimensions and whatnot.
It was interesting to see Rincewind become an actual hero, and of course the Luggage is always fun.
Other than that, though, this is kind of a forgettable installment....more
Let me preface my review by saying I read this because it was picked for a group read by someone who loves Andre Norton, and I'd neSo... this thing...
Let me preface my review by saying I read this because it was picked for a group read by someone who loves Andre Norton, and I'd never read any Norton so I decided to give it a shot. I mean, I do like the occasional S&S romp, but I probably wouldn't have picked up this book if it hadn't been under group-circumstances.
Let's just say that, based on this, I have not become a fan.
It started well. The juxtaposition of the gamers and the world, the way the two were linked, was interesting. It was an idea which I think could've been done really well, but which I felt was kind of squandered in this book, since, aside from the set-up and the resolution, the only real bearing it had was the bracelet of dice all the characters wore (and couldn't get off).
Speaking of the characters - none of them felt particularly developed, and I didn't care overly for Milo. I especially didn't like that we were so married to Milo's perspective since a lot of stuff happened to or around other people. I'm not generally a fan of a million perspectives, but I felt this book definitely could've benefited from some perspective jumping. (It also couldn't been a way to actually develop some of the other characters who were clearly only there for their abilities to be useful at some point.)
As for the plot - well, it's based on D&D and the plot was a them heading towards a goal, finding out around the 65% point that they were going to have to go to a place the reader knew they would have to go to around page 5, and lots of random encounters. (In short - D&D is much more fun to play than to read about other people playing, which is what reading this was like.)
Honestly, I only pushed through because of the aforementioned group-read thing, and I wanted to be able to say I gave it a decent shot.
But I posted this gif in the group, because this is pretty much how I felt after the umpteenth random encounter following a bunch of people I cared diddly squat about: