Told in a report format, the reader learns the history of the "New War" - the robot uprising against humanity - through the stories of the ones fighti...moreTold in a report format, the reader learns the history of the "New War" - the robot uprising against humanity - through the stories of the ones fighting in various locations - primarily the US, but also the UK, Japan, and Afghanistan. The annotator and storyteller is Cormac, who starts in Boston, and with a ragtag group of survivors makes his way to an Oklahoma reservation where the resistance movement is mounting.
The format is both a blessing and a curse - the reader can jump around and peek in on all of these situations, but not really learn anything about the characters. It depends on what kind of reader you are and what you look for in a book. While I usually prefer some more character development, I liked this one. In fact, I would have liked to see more cases of the uprising in the non-western world... My only real complaint is that the book ended too fast. Just wrapped right up in a few pages. Just felt a bit anti-climatic. I hope this does not mean that there is a sequel in the works. I would prefer this to be stand-alone.
There is no denying that it is a thrilling page-turner and will keep you up late into the night.
...and it all seems so plausible...
This idea of a robot uprising has been explored for decades in literature, and more recently in movies and TV (I am a big Battlerstar Galactica fan...) but this book offers a slightly different perspective. And since the word on the street is that Steven Spielberg bought the rights to this book, another robot movie will be happening soon.
If you are a sci-fi fan, you will eat this one up like candy. I did. (less)
Meh for about 150 pages. The first bit had promise. Kept on waiting for it to get good, and when it didn't, I just gave up. I excepted my 50-page limi...moreMeh for about 150 pages. The first bit had promise. Kept on waiting for it to get good, and when it didn't, I just gave up. I excepted my 50-page limit for this book, in hopes that it would get better... (less)
Not a plot synopsis but a review to say that I enjoyed this one, and I kept on reading late into the night. While the "mystery" subset was a little sl...moreNot a plot synopsis but a review to say that I enjoyed this one, and I kept on reading late into the night. While the "mystery" subset was a little slap-dash, I really liked the sci-fi bits with the ship and the world created. Wish the author would just make this a stand-alone book though - disappointed to see #1 after title... just have a feeling that sequel(s) will kill it.(less)
It's one big game and in your 17th year, you get your "match" - eHarmony-like - matched up with all the components for the best mate. Most of the time...moreIt's one big game and in your 17th year, you get your "match" - eHarmony-like - matched up with all the components for the best mate. Most of the time, your mate is someone on the other side of the world - but for Cassia, her mate is actually her best friend... except... there's a glitch... and then...
The beginning was a little "pat", but it gained steam, and then I liked it. There were some areas of the book that I would have appreciated more development and explanation, but I thought the story moved well. With the popularity of this genre, it is easy to point to Condie's many influences, but she still has her own story to tell. While other books focus on the larger establishment and the structure of the dystopian world, this book delved right into the human relationships (drug-induced and simulated as they were) and that was the focus of the book. Mentions of "The Society" and "The Officials" were common, but it wasn't really clear what those things even meant. And there was little to no explanation of the caste system and how one becomes an "Aberration" or an "Anomaly". Since this book is labeled as #1 of the series, I assume this means that this world is going to be fleshed out more in the following books. I look forward to that.
3 stars on the Good Reads system - "I liked it" is a true statement.
"Where's Lolly?" "No idea... haven't seen her in awhile..."
-- This monster book came along with me to the beach - by the time we drove over, I was abou...more"Where's Lolly?" "No idea... haven't seen her in awhile..."
-- This monster book came along with me to the beach - by the time we drove over, I was about 1/3 of the way through it, but once we arrived, I disappeared with this book (and a bottle of beer). They probably called me "anit-social", but at that point, I didn't really care. I was so in to it. It's been called epic. Yes, it is that. Can't put it down. Yep, that too. And when people ask me what it's about, I can't quite figure out what to say other than "Military experiment gone wrong - viral vampires, post-apocalyptic... The Road... I am Legend..." and because this is similar to many of the other books I have been reading of late, I usually get an eye-roll and a smirk.
There are some great reviews of this book already posted, so I don't need to hyperanalyze and critique. I will just add that I was definitely entertained: the first section of the book was my favorite, taking place in the near future (2012 or 2013). Not really a horror story in the way that I was scared to turn the lights off... and if I recall, there were even a few times I laughed. One such part - towards the end - was not intended to be funny... but every time Roswell, New Mexico is mentioned (this time in a completely non-alien context) I have to laugh because I grew up there and have endured many a-question about my Roswell life...
I have a feeling that this book is just going to gain more steam, so go ahead and get on the train :)
4.5 stars / docked a little because I thought it could have been shortened a bit.(less)
Series gets a resounding 5 stars - loved it. Have recommended it to many people and I will continue to do so.
This last book in the trilogy was really...moreSeries gets a resounding 5 stars - loved it. Have recommended it to many people and I will continue to do so.
This last book in the trilogy was really great, but I can't give it a full 5 stars because I felt that Collins rushed the last 1/3 of the book. She doesn't really get the whole "transition" idea as she sets the reader in one place one minute and then BOOOM (literally) days have passed and things are altered irrevocably. Not even a *** chapter break, simply a new paragraph. I spent 10 minutes trying to figure out what happened and re-reading certain passages. Finally I just accepted it and kept reading, but I don't like being confused like that, as a reader.
That being said, it was a great end to the trilogy. I am very glad that I own this set as the books will definitely be read again (and possibly again) in the future.
More. like 2.5 stars, but I rounded up because it was so engrossing. So, .5 star for keeping me guessing and interested enough to care what happened i...moreMore. like 2.5 stars, but I rounded up because it was so engrossing. So, .5 star for keeping me guessing and interested enough to care what happened in the end.
The story follows a family of four and how they survive through a catastrophic/apocalyptic event - a meteor hits the moon, knocking it off balance and moving it closer to earth, thus shifting all of the tides and the gravitational pull - tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes... just about every disaster ensues. It is told in a diary format, written and narrated by 16-year old Miranda, who lives in small-town Pennsylvania.
In the beginning, I found the book quite annoying - making several jabs that I just thought were unnecessary and in poor taste. The mother of the family is constantly berating the President of the US, it felt like a waste of ink for the author to include these things, and also dated the book squarely in the mid-2000s. Future generations may get the references, but what was the point even including it? I also did not like how the author and the narrator ridiculed another character for turning to religion during the catastrophe. It seemed like the author had a major chip on her shoulder regarding religion (particularly Christianity) and decided to write about it in a YA novel. You want to stand on a platform and talk about how you feel? Use a blog or write an op-ed. Don't write it for an 11-16 year old audience. Poor editing on that part. All of the above should have gotten the red marker... it just takes away from the book.
Those points were my main criticisms of the book. I had to step outside of my "adult" mind a few times and realize that this was a teenager writing, and that the intended audience is younger than myself. Because of the diary format, there is silliness and immaturity in the early days after the catastrophe. A few too many "I hate my mom!" and "Oh my god, he is so cute!" for my taste... It was because of these outbursts in the diary that made me picture Miranda as even younger than her expressed 16 years. She seemed much more like a 12 or 13 year old in her narrative voice.
In the end, the story was one of love, courage, strength, and endurance. The family of four (mother, two sons, and Miranda, the daughter) struggles to live through these terrible events as they watch the world crumble around them. It definitely had a very eerie element about it - so much so that as I was listening on the audiobook, it was almost like these things were actually happening. So, the author definitely set the tone and the landscape for the readers.
I hesitate to fully recommend the book because it can be pretty depressing, sad, and annoying, but in the end, I am glad I read it. It inevitably leaves you with the question of "How would I handle this type of situation? would I make it?"
Profoundly brilliant. Had I not read this directly after reading Oryx and Crake, I would have missed so many things - little nuances, passing comments...moreProfoundly brilliant. Had I not read this directly after reading Oryx and Crake, I would have missed so many things - little nuances, passing comments made by the characters... it just enriched the earlier story and brought so much depth, context, and elegance. Like looking at the Rubin's vase optical illusion and only seeing it one way for so long, and then someone points out the other image right before your eyes. Of course, it was Ms. Atwood herself who constructed the image and slowly sheds light on it with each chapter in her books - alas, I think she has one (possibly two!) more story to tell here.
Year of the Flood has two narrators - both survivors of an apocalyptic event (a "waterless flood"), and both linked from their associations with "God's Gardeners", a religious sect. The two women are of different generations but share the foundations of the Gardeners' beliefs long after they have left the group's compound. The story moves back and forth in time (before and after "The Flood"), describing the lives of the women as they move about, and how they eventually come back together after "The Flood" mentioned in the title of the book.
Atwood's creation of the "Gardeners" is so fascinating - she has gathered the cult's doctrine and principles from 19th-century transcendentalism, Jain and Hindu philosophies, post-modern environmental thought, the zeal of 1970's "born-again" Christianity with a tad of Hare Krishna devotion, the apocalyptic asceticism of the Essenes, as well as the homesteading, return-to-the-land movement of post-Industrial North America. The hierarchy is based around a group of senior leaders, called the Adams and Eves. "Adam One" is the group's leader and "pastor" of sorts, because he teaches the group and is featured in several chapters in the book with some of his sermons, followed by songs that are sung by the Gardeners. (The audiobook version had all of the composed songs with accompaniment, and the songs are also available on Atwood's website.) The group canonizes scientists like Dian Fossey and Jacques Cousteau, and has feast days for St. Rachel Carson and so many other well-known luminaries in the fields of ecology, zoology, and life sciences. They also celebrate days like "Mole Day" and "Predator Day", noting the importance of food chain, the smallest creatures and their contributions, etc.
I will admit, there were a few times that I just had to take a pause, Atwood "blew my mind" more than once.
**spoiler alert** Wow - what amazing storytelling. I *can't wait* for BOOK 3 to come out this summer...especially with the incredible cliffhanger the...more**spoiler alert** Wow - what amazing storytelling. I *can't wait* for BOOK 3 to come out this summer...especially with the incredible cliffhanger the author throws at the end with Peeta being captured by the government while Katniss is with the resistance.
When I first read the jacket cover, I was thinking, "seriously, she is going back into the Game?" and I was wondering how the author would craft that... but it was a great element with the whole brimming rebel movement in the districts. I found it slightly unbelievable that the victors from the other districts would sacrifice themselves for Katniss and Peeta. It didn't appear to be because of Katniss's "pregnancy" either. (wow, how smart is Peeta, eh?)
I read this in less than a day because I couldn't put it down. My excitement about these books prevents me from writing an intelligent review :P(less)
What a page-turner. I can't wait to get home and read Book 2 - it's sitting on my dresser. I brought this one on vacation with me and couldn't put it...moreWhat a page-turner. I can't wait to get home and read Book 2 - it's sitting on my dresser. I brought this one on vacation with me and couldn't put it down. (less)
This is one of those books that I read when I was young - in middle or high school - and I wonder what I would think of it if I were to re-read now. I...moreThis is one of those books that I read when I was young - in middle or high school - and I wonder what I would think of it if I were to re-read now. It was interesting at the time, but looking at the synopsis makes me wonder what "current" me would think of it... (less)
THis was my first "horror" genre book - I tend to shy away because I don't like horror movies, but the books seem a little more palatabale... of cours...moreTHis was my first "horror" genre book - I tend to shy away because I don't like horror movies, but the books seem a little more palatabale... of course, this book will undoubtedly BE a movie, considering that the author is an award-winning director. The book was written like a movie, and perhaps that is why it was so engrossing. It just cut right to the chase and the action, and it never really died down.
Good character development - loved Eph Goodweather and his struggles as a caring father/dedicated doctor, and Satrakian was a little trite but still interesting. Nora wasn't really developed at all... but the cover does say "Book One", so there is still time for that!
I knew going in that these were not going to be sexy and alluring vampires - but yikes, they were gross! More like zombies than vamps.
Cliffhanger at the end, but hey, I knew that was coming. (less)