So, we read this as a group read because we didn't realize, at the start, that it was the end of a trilogy. Now, I have actually read Threshold on mySo, we read this as a group read because we didn't realize, at the start, that it was the end of a trilogy. Now, I have actually read Threshold on my own a few years back, but I've ever read Low Red Moon and some reviews say this is a more direct sequel to LRM.
I say that by way of explaining that I felt like I was missing some things. That there was information about the Children of the Cuckoo and the Hounds and the Bailiff that I was meant to already know which I didn't.
That said, I felt like I was able to follow the story well enough, but I did wonder if maybe it'd have some more depth, for me, if I had read the prior story.
Now that that's out of the way - to the story itself...
Mostly it just didn't work for me. Now, as I said, I'm not sure how much of that is because of the above, but I think some of it was just the story itself. We spend a lot of time with two different stories - that of Emmie and Soldier - and we know that they're going to come together, and they do piece by piece, but by the time they finally do come together there's only about 100 pages left to go, and it just felt like they spent far too long to get where we were going.
And then, when we finally got there, I can't say I was at all happy with the resolution - if you can even call it that, because if felt unresolved.
I wanted more from it. I wanted (view spoiler)[Bailiff to get some comeuppance (but I also sort of (view spoiler)[knew he wouldn't because I'm fairly certain the short story collection I read had Dancy take him out. And the vampires. And the ghuls. But I'd have to reread it to be sure. (hide spoiler)]) <- Spoiler for another book
I also really wanted Soldier to end up back with Deacon, and for the three of them to have some sort of dysfunctional unit.
I was sort of glad she got her childhood back - but considering she's still with the Hounds and Bailiff is still out there and all, it didn't really feel like any kind of real resolution, let alone happy ending. (Not that it has to have a *happy* ending, but with her staying there I feel like nothing's going to change.)
After all that time with the set-up, and then it feels sort of unresolved at the end - especially for the finale of a trilogy.
The only other comment I really had is that both Emmie and Soldier both have a really annoying habit of not letting other people talk - especially when other people are trying to explain something or tell them something. "Shut up, I don't want to hear it" or "this isn't even real" or whatever.
They did that thing where they're looking for answers and want to know "the truth", but then never want to let people fucking talk and actually tell them anything.
It was really fucking annoying.
I did think it was interesting, in a way, the way they were sort of similar, personality wise.
And I get that Emmie is (view spoiler)[part ghul, and that's meant to explain some of her weirdness (hide spoiler)], but I've never heard an 8-year-old curse so damn much.
I'm no slacker when it comes to cussing, but I did get tired of "fuck this, fuck that, and fuck every other fucking thing" every other fucking sentence.
A sort of fable about being careful what you wish for along with not wishing away your life. I thought it was a bit heavy-handed, and Harvey a bit tooA sort of fable about being careful what you wish for along with not wishing away your life. I thought it was a bit heavy-handed, and Harvey a bit too perfect and the ending wrapped up a bit too neatly, but the idea of the house and its servants was interesting.
I think I may have read this before, in my pre-goodreads days, because it seemed very familiar.
Not a bad short story to add to the Johannes Cabal series, but a bit thinner on the ground that many of the other stories - even the other short storiNot a bad short story to add to the Johannes Cabal series, but a bit thinner on the ground that many of the other stories - even the other short stories.
Most of my knowledge of Deadpool comes from the plethora of internet memes. He certainly is popular 'round the webz.
With the upcoming movie - which3.5
Most of my knowledge of Deadpool comes from the plethora of internet memes. He certainly is popular 'round the webz.
With the upcoming movie - which I'm quite looking forward to - and the recommendation of a friend, I decided to get to know the character a bit more, and this seemed like a likely place to start.
It was an interesting couple of stories. The character is great. I love the song and movie references, and some of the one-liners made me chuckle out loud. Some of the humor is puerile and not quite my cuppa, but, overall, I enjoyed the humor a lot.
The stories themselves were pretty good. I think I liked the story (and ensuing bromance) with Bullseye the best. The writing was a bit herky-jerky, and there were times where I wondered if my library-copy was missing pages - but most of it got filled in by the end.
I'm gonna try to read more of the Way stories, and we'll see how it goes. Definitely looking forward to the upcoming movie. ...more
First let me say that, despite my rating, this wasn't a bad book. And I'm gonna be upfront that the book I'd wanted to read at the time wasn't avai2.5
First let me say that, despite my rating, this wasn't a bad book. And I'm gonna be upfront that the book I'd wanted to read at the time wasn't available and I picked this as a back-up, so it's possible that it just didn't quite fill the gap.
That said - while I enjoyed the first book well enough, this one just didn't quite hit the same spot. Now, granted, I only gave the first book, like, 3.5, so it's not like I was blown away by it or anything, but I liked the mystery and there was some suspense and stuff. I never really felt the same suspense in this book, and it felt like it sort of just moved from one plot point to the next.
I also didn't feel like there was really any character growth, with the possible exception of Constance (thankfully). Stewart tried to give all the characters a foible/failing or two in the book - a time when they didn't make the right call or do the right thing - but these seemed to be mostly glossed over and nothing of any long-term consequence ever came of it.
It was an ok enough book, just didn't seem to have the charm of the first one. I'll most likely continue with the series, though....more
This first came to my attention because of all the Hugo stuff, and I was curious to read a story with an untraditional hero.
It was an okay intro storThis first came to my attention because of all the Hugo stuff, and I was curious to read a story with an untraditional hero.
It was an okay intro story, and Kamala is a fun and relatable character, but I found the story, overall, to be too samey, despite all the nods to diversity. All the typical origin "I developed these powers and now have to figure out how to use them while hiding my identity and the truth from my friends and family" schtick didn't seem all that changed with the change-up of the particulars of her family - except that her family seems a bit more over-protective than most.
I'll give the next in the series a shot, and see if it develops into a stronger story now that the set-up is out of the way, because the characters do seem promising... but I'm glad I got this from the library and didn't buy it.
A Dirty Job was one of my first Moore books, and also my favorite, so I was excited to find out there was a sequel in the works, and when I saw my libA Dirty Job was one of my first Moore books, and also my favorite, so I was excited to find out there was a sequel in the works, and when I saw my library had it, I just had to get it.
So it's with some level of disappointment that I must report that I didn't really like it all that much.
One of the big disappointments was that Sophie, who you would expect to be a pretty main character in this story, is pretty much relegated to second-tier player, again, and doesn't really do all that much - because reasons.
As to the story itself, there is both too much going on, and not enough. There are several subplots which all tie in together, but none of which felt actually developed or all that interesting.
I mean, the first half of the book barely even had the bad guys. It's mostly just Charlie and Co sitting around and talking about stuff going to happen, and waiting for things to happen. (And I didn't like Lily. Lily is no substitution for Abby. I barely even remembered Lily from before. I did, however, enjoy Wriggly Charlie.)
Oh, speaking of before, this books reminds us of what happened in the last book - which is good, because it's been awhile and I'd forgotten some details - but the problem is it keeps reminding us. It's almost like a bunch of old friends sitting around, drinking a beer, and remembering their glory days... because they know that these days? These days are not the glory days.
Lastly, the humor. Moore has always been a mixture of wry one-liners and potty-humor. I tend to prefer the former, but Fool had a good deal of the latter, and I still enjoyed that, a bit, in its context.
But this book just didn't have any laugh-out-loud moments, and only a handful of chuckle-worthy moments. I mean, the highlight of the humor seemed to be that (view spoiler)[the alligator body Charlie was stuck in had a giant schlong that was too big for his body, and he would pass out if he got erect. (hide spoiler)]
Overall - just not impressed and ultimately disappointed that this was to follow up to 'Dirty Jobs'. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Very early into the book I knew I was gonna have problems, when Clary is introduced and described as being a klutz. This has become such a red flag1.5
Very early into the book I knew I was gonna have problems, when Clary is introduced and described as being a klutz. This has become such a red flag for Mary Sue-ish characters - because if they must have flaws, let's make them charmingly endearing! (She's also beautiful, but even moreso because she doesn't know she's beautiful!)
"Luckily", though, this "trait" is quickly forgotten and isn't brought up much after the first foray. No worries, though, as our 'heroine' has flaws enough, what with the bitchiness and just generally being TSTL.
In fairness, Clary isn't the only thick one of the bunch. They all basically need to have villain-monologuing sized anvils for these people to buy a clue. Holy fuckballs, these are some slow ass people.
Aside from being slow, everyone is also pretty much a dick.
Let's start with Jace. Now, I have been known to fall for a bad boy or two, and I know all about the wounded boy and how much a girl might want to help fix him. Trust me, I know. I married mine... except the big, huge, monumental difference is that my boy doesn't use his tortured past as an excuse to be a giant douchenozzle to all things at pretty much all times.
Aside from being hot, I don't really get why Clary's all into Jace. They don't seem to have much in common, and Jace isn't particularly likable. And this is before the whole (view spoiler)[he's your brother (except not really) (hide spoiler)].
Isabelle could be interesting. She should be interesting. I love the dichotomy of having someone being a kick-ass demon killer, and also kind of a girly-girl. But the way she's written she mostly comes across as a psychotic cheerleader, and her main purpose appears to be to be bitchy and to show how bitchy Clary can be - because clearly girls must be jealous of each other.
Alec is another undeveloped character, and is mostly an excuse for Jace to be angsty - as if he needs an excuse...
Then there's Simon. Probably one of the more likable of the lot, and I kinda feel bad for the way that Shadowhunters treat him - but his main purpose seems to be as love-triangle fodder, and I really got tired of the friendzone schtick. No one owes you love, and you can't force someone to see you as more than a friend if they're not into it. Of course, our girl Clary doesn't know what she wants, so there are mixed messages, and I'll give you that - but she's clearly not that into you.
Luke seems like a decent sort - except when he's being an ass. I really didn't get the middle part. (view spoiler)[I guess he told Clary not to call him because he was trying to keep her safe and out of it, but he was also having her followed and knew she'd hooked up with the Shadowhunters and was putting herself in danger, and maybe that would've been a good time to come forward. (hide spoiler)] Also, in continuing with the 'awesome' names - a certain writer is certainly a fan of Underworld, isn't she? Not that I blame her.
And, lastly, our vaudeville villain. Vaudevillain? Valentine Morgenstern. And he really loves the whole Lucifer comparison, right down to quoting the Bible. I guess he does have the whole Silver Tongue thing going for him, which might explain why he seems to like to talk. So much.
The writing is pretty terrible in this book. Other reviews have pointed out some of the tortured metaphors, but I tend to gloss over those, to be honest. For me, the worst part was the dialogue, and Valentine's was the worst!
"You always wanted her," he hissed. "And now the two of you have plotted my betrayal together. You will regret what you have done, all the rest of your lives."
I mean, damn man. You can just see him wringing his hands together and throwing back his head in an evil laugh. Muwahahahaha!
Of course, that brings me back to Jace, and what the fuck was up with that final confrontation? (view spoiler)[Sure, we'll ignore every horrible thing Valentine has ever done because, OMG, he's your father and he's gonna take you home and you'll magically be happy, because you're a fucking moron!
And the whole "No, don't kill him" thing from Clary. I hate when stories keep the villain alive just so he can continue to be a nuisance in future books. Come the fuck on. (hide spoiler)]
Oh, but back to the generally bad writing - one of the tricks Clary likes to employ is to not have anyone talk to each other, and to keep relevant information away from other people - including, and perhaps especially, your friends and allies. Because drama.
Or when people *are* going to talk or tell someone something, they must be interrupted before they get to finish. Or just be incoherent, like Clary seems to be most of the damn time.
So. Much. Melodrama.
And it's hard to get into the melodrama when you don't really care about anyone because everyone's either an asshole, or an idiot, or both.
I mean, the Shadowhunters and the Clave are just kinda dicks in general. We're meant to root for them over Valentine, and, yeah, Valentine's definitely evil, but the Clave are a bunch of speciest jerkwads. They're meant to protect humans from demons and rogue "Downworlders", but they look down on the "mundanes" and Downworlders with scorn, derision and contempt. I mean, hell, even when Simon is helping them - even after (view spoiler)[he saves their fucking lives (hide spoiler)] - it's like, "Drive, mundane". Yeah, yeah, stress, but FFS.
We don't want Valentine to win, but I'm not sure I'd want these guys to be in charge of keeping the magical community in line, either...
So why 2-stars (well, 1.5) instead of just 1? Mostly for the idea of the thing - and I do reserve the right to drop it down to 1-star at a future point.
The story's not all bad. The world is interesting enough, and some of the action bits were good, and it wasn't quite as egregiously bad with the romance stuff as I was expecting. And the pacing was good. It moves along at a good clip, so while it's annoying and painful at times, at least it wasn't boring.
But I'm not sure that's enough to keep me in the series. From what I read of the reviews for the next book, all the things that bugged me about this story are still there, if not worse... so, yeah.
A friend of mine who hated this book more than me said she still enjoyed the movie, in a mindless, teenage film kinda way, so maybe I'll give it a shot. *shrugs*["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"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
So, here I was, expecting this big show down from the events that have been building over the last few installments, culminating in the gauntlet be2.5
So, here I was, expecting this big show down from the events that have been building over the last few installments, culminating in the gauntlet being downright thrown in the last book... and then fizzle. Total, complete and utter fizzle!
Goddamn, talk about anti-climactic.
And, yeah, I'm sure in time I could come around to the way of thinking that this was actually a better ending... Discretion is the better part of valor and whatnot... and how it showed maturity or something... but, I dunno, man. I was all into the set-up and then *poof*.
This series seems to have had this issue for awhile, really. Episodes of set-up and then a really weak resolution. And with the fizzle comes a lot of "well, what was the point of all the stuff that came before". I mean, they were killing off some big players left and right, and now it's all for nought.
And don't even get me started on how mad I still am at Red. I mean (view spoiler)[they never address any sort of commeuppance for the fact that Snow was totally right about Brandt, and Red is directly responsible for his killing of Weyland (again). Or how she used Bigby and was going to send him after the cubs! (hide spoiler)] This is not okay!
So the main story is a complete disappointment.
The wrap-up stories were nice enough, in their way. At least it wrapped up some loose endings, though I'm not entirely sure it does because all the "last story of X" things didn't really resolve anything, it was more just a final glimpse of a lot of characters, but in such a way to let us know the "story continues" off the pages... which is fine, in it's way, but it's weird to do an epilogue sort-of-thing in which some instances are more just a snippet of a continuing story.
Some day I'll reread this series back-to-back, and maybe, forearmed with the knowledge of how it ends, I can more happily reconcile myself to it (much like I did with Dark Tower). But, for the time being, I can't help in being disappointed with this finale.
The premise of this story is interesting - reality is a computer program, and carefully editing the program alters realty. (Sort of. Because if you2.5
The premise of this story is interesting - reality is a computer program, and carefully editing the program alters realty. (Sort of. Because if you're altering reality, then if you change a bank balance, wouldn't it have always been that balance?)
But, anyway, it's Matrixy, but much lighter in tone.
And it starts off well enough, as Martin finds the program and starts mucking about with it. He's very annoying and short-sighted, though, with zero impulse-control, so things quickly turn south and he needs to escape... to Medieval England to become a wizard.
The biggest issue I had with the story is just that it's kind of boring. Martin hooks up with Philip, another "wizard", and becomes his apprentice. And the next 65% of the book or so is watching Martin learn how to... change programming code.
I will never again mock training montages in movies, I swear. (Well, unless they're done really badly - but I'm all on board for the concept of the montage.)
Martin isn't very likable, though, and never gets much better. All of the other wizards - the boys - are all some strata of geek-boy stereotype. The only female character of note in the book is Gwen, and she's ok enough, but she's mostly there to be a foil for the guys who just have to hit on her. (She seems friendly with Philip, mostly because he doesn't hit on her, but we don't see much other basis for friendship, though we're left to assume they have history offstage.)
I really didn't like the bit at the end with her where (view spoiler)[Martin goes for a kiss and she's like, "Yeah, ok" after showing no real interest in his advances at all, but now that's he's saved the day it's snog time? Ugh. I'm glad that she accidentally magicked him arsehole over teakettle instead. (hide spoiler)]
Around 70% in or something resembling a plot finally happens - though there were bits and pieces strewn throughout before hand (and can I just say how slow on the uptake these lads are?). So, the villain is painfully obvious and cliche, and the showdown is kinda hokey.
By the end I just wanted to be finished, really.
Not a bad book, but doesn't live up to the premise. (It doesn't help that Martin, especially, doesn't seem to think through things, like, ever. He gets a a bit better under Philip's tutelage, but not much. They really don't play up the time travel thing to their benefit much at all. And why, (view spoiler)[if they can pull burritos and things out of their hats, do they need to hop to the future for pizza? (hide spoiler)] It just doesn't seem all that well thought-out in general, and, yeah, this is meant to be light and humorous and not serious... but I wasn't all that amused/entertained, so I couldn't help thinking about the holes.)
So, anyway - where was I?
Yeah - not a bad book. Entertaining enough, for the most part, but you really have to turn your brain off for this one. Some reviews said your enjoyment might depend on your kind of humor. Apparently some people found it 'hilarious'. I found it mildly entertaining, except when it was boring. *shrugs*["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
This was a cute, quirky little mystery-type story. I'm glad I ended up picking it up after months of going back and forth on whether or not I was bothThis was a cute, quirky little mystery-type story. I'm glad I ended up picking it up after months of going back and forth on whether or not I was bothered. Finally I got so tired of blurbs comparing other books to this book, and not knowing what that meant!
An ad in the paper is looking for gifted children for a position of some sort, and so we meet Reynie, Stickie, Kate and Constance, with Reynie as the main protagonist, as they take the series of tests to qualify for the mission.
But after the strange tests, they find out the position is actually a serious undercover mission which only they can hope to accomplish - and only together.
Some reviewers have described the story of Roald Dahl-esque, but with a much lighter tone, and I agree with this. It has that quirky, over-the-top feel to it, but with moral lessons about friendship and courage and working together and whatnot all melded into the story.
I liked how the kids all had very different types of giftedness, though I will say I found Constance rather grating at times. (At other times, I liked her sort of non-nonsense, cutting through the b.s. approach - though these times were sort of outnumbered by the more annoying times.) The reveal at the end gave this an interesting little twist, though.
I liked that this was a mixture of adventure and puzzle-solving - though I admit I found the puzzles very easy, and got frustrated at how long it often took our gifted kids to cop onto the solutions. (That said, I made allowance for it being a kids book, so I sort of just waved it off as an issue.)
The ending wrapped up a bit too neatly, and it was a bit twee - but, again, I sort of made allowances for the type of book it was - meaning not just a kids book, but also the quirky kind of book which is never really meant to be taken overly realistically (thus the Dahl comparison).
I'll probably definitely continue with the series, though it's not one I feel compelled to run immediately out and get to. 3.25ish....more
Well, it's pretty much what it says on the tin - a compilation of the wit and wisdom scattered throughout the Discworld from the inestimable Sir PterrWell, it's pretty much what it says on the tin - a compilation of the wit and wisdom scattered throughout the Discworld from the inestimable Sir Pterry...
But, as it says in the forward/intro/thingie, it's as selected by Stephen Briggs - so there are some bits that I agreed with, some which didn't wow me, and some which I felt were missing. (The entry on Small Gods was depressingly small.)
Not a bad romp through the Discworld for someone who's already been and might just want a refresher of some of the best bits, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it for a novice because some bits just aren't as funny out of contect. (In fairness, Briggs tried to give as much context as necessary, but I don't think he always hit the mark.)...more
I almost bumped this up the 3-stars on the strength of the first story, which I quite liked, even though it doesn't - as of yet - seem to tie into2.5
I almost bumped this up the 3-stars on the strength of the first story, which I quite liked, even though it doesn't - as of yet - seem to tie into the larger story. I liked the couple that was introduced, and I'm curious about the kid and wonder what will become of him. (view spoiler)[I was bummed that the couple died at the end, though, as I was hoping they'd become part of the larger story. (hide spoiler)]
The other stories were kinda meh, though. Some were interesting enough, but were pretty thin, overall, and I really didn't like the watercolor art of the one or two Western stories.
One thing I said to my husband was that one thing I'll have to do, once the series is over, is reread it all back-to-back so I can get a firmer grasp on where things fall in the timeline. I'm not good at remembering all the details from book to book, and all the time-jumping doesn't really help in that regard.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
So, I finished this last night. I was sort of starting to doze off, but I had 30 pages left and I was determined for it to be over to finish it...
I liSo, I finished this last night. I was sort of starting to doze off, but I had 30 pages left and I was determined for it to be over to finish it...
I liked the first almost-half - the bit that meshed with the movie. I thought the did a fairly decent adaptation, despite the changes to Atreyu's physical appearance. I actually think the movie maybe brought the story and characters a bit more to life than the writing/book manages.
I like the sort of duality of the world, and the way the Childlike Empress accepts all of her subjects, the dark and the light, and I do agree that some of this might have been a bit simplified for the movie. I also like the overall theme that people need their hopes and dreams and wishes, and that our world is a less rich place if those things get lost.
I can't say I was into the second part of the story much - in the same way I couldn't tell you what the sequel movie was about, though I'm sure I saw it at some point.
Some of the places were interesting, like the Night Forest, but Bastion was just so insufferable and the pace was painful.
I do get that his being insufferable is on purpose, and there's a bunch of moral lessons and whatnot - (view spoiler)[which I think were pretty much along the lines of not trying to change yourself to like yourself better, but to find acceptance and love from within... i.e. you're not gonna like yourself better if you're more attractive, wiser, braver, etc, if you're a giant prat about it... and you need to learn to be able to love (hide spoiler)]... but I think the same lessons could've been taught with about half as many pages.
I will concede two things:
1) I am biased towards the movie 'cause I saw it and loved it first 2) Some of the writing issues might've been "lost in translation" type problems
I haven't had all that much luck with reading books of movies that I loved as a child. This wasn't the worst of them, but I did find it a bit of a chore to read, especially when we got to the point in the story that comes after the movie. (Also, Bastion is *really* unlikable.)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more