The description of this book in most retail systems didn't do it justice. It is both more and less grandiose than the synopsis would have you believe.The description of this book in most retail systems didn't do it justice. It is both more and less grandiose than the synopsis would have you believe. I shouldn't be surprised at well...surprises when it comes to Neal Stephenson's writing, yet I always am delightfully so.
It's a disaster story with a solution (that doesn't involve sending oil drillers into space, or drilling to the center of the earth in a ship made of "unobtainium"), and then a logical narrative progression from there. Like most any book I've read by Stephenson, it is full of hardcore science both factual and theoretical. Of course that would all be kind of dull to read, if it wasn't populated by Stephenson's characters. Extremely real and yet so on the outer edges of any bell curve. It's the type of characters Neal Stephenson excels at creating and making feel totally normal. I also have to love any sci-fi writer who includes an analog of Neil deGrasse Tyson as a point of view character. So we have a highly intelligent plot, set in a world that as real as the one we live in, populated by people it feels like I should know, all conveyed to you with prose and structure that just pour right into your mind. That's a Neal Stephenson novel for you.
In summary, it starts out as a disaster story that is treated with much more intelligence and finesse than any disaster story I've ever seen before. It's playing a similar game as the recent hit "The Martian" but on a MUCH grander scale (not belittling "The Martian" cause it is amazing). It ends up exactly where I was hoping it would and in SUCH a fun way. Its smart, thoughtful, and still manages to be fun and not tedious. If you love hardcore sci-fi this is the book and writer for you....more
This book is about zombies. I want to warn you about that from the start. I thought I was dealing with more of a "Firestarter" kind of scenario here aThis book is about zombies. I want to warn you about that from the start. I thought I was dealing with more of a "Firestarter" kind of scenario here and boy was I surprised. So it wasn't what I was expecting, and frankly I'm a bit zombied out. That being said...it was pretty interesting.
It's a take on zombies I personally hadn't run in to before. Its smart and well written, even though it walks over territory many other zombie narratives have already gone over. It also has several very interesting characters including the titular "girl". I didn't see the ending coming, though it go there very organically. All in all it wasn't what I was looking for but it was a good book. If you're looking for something post-apocalypticy and/or with zombies, then give it a read and enjoy.
I bought this book on an e-reader I bought from a brick and mortar bookstore, I hope you also buy it in some form from a brick and mortar bookstore. Brick and mortar bookstores (independent or chain) are awesome so lets keep them in business....more
A friend of mine said it best and I'm going to copy him: its top notch crime fiction. A story of one even leading to another to another ...etc. A fathA friend of mine said it best and I'm going to copy him: its top notch crime fiction. A story of one even leading to another to another ...etc. A father protecting his family but also trying to be the man his father wanted to be. An interesting cast of characters populate these pages, and they get into some very dark business. Joe R. Lansdale is the best kept secret in fiction, and I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. If you like crime fiction and thrillers, you can't go wrong with this book or this author....more
Ok so now THIS is my favorite of the series. Each one gets better and better. Joe knows writing, and it shows. This one had me on the edge of my seatOk so now THIS is my favorite of the series. Each one gets better and better. Joe knows writing, and it shows. This one had me on the edge of my seat and has a climactic ending that is pretty amazing. I can't go in to too many details with out giving some very amazing twists away, but trust me its amazing. If you're reading my review of this one, chances are you've already heard me rant seven other times about this series. It really does just keep getting better and better and Joe R. Lansdale is one of my top 5 writers. Go read this right now, though read the other seven first as it will be more fun that way.
I bought this book on an e-reader that I bought in a brick and mortar bookstore chain. You should buy it from a brick and mortar store (chain or otherwise) cause they are awesome and ordering any book on the internet should be the last resort of the desperately geographically challenged. Bookstores are amazing so lets keep them around and prevalent!...more
What can I say but, WOW! This one will have you on the edge of your seat. Needless to say Hap and Leonard piss of some big bads, of course said big baWhat can I say but, WOW! This one will have you on the edge of your seat. Needless to say Hap and Leonard piss of some big bads, of course said big bads underestimate just how big and bad Hap and Leonard can be. All of it starts because of a favor and two guys doing the right thing. Brilliant writing and much action and tension ensues. Read this one quick, because the next one is even better!...more
Top notch stuff! I fairly certain this is the first time I ever read Matt Fraction and I gotta say it blew me away. Also a a great selection of artistTop notch stuff! I fairly certain this is the first time I ever read Matt Fraction and I gotta say it blew me away. Also a a great selection of artists for this first collection. Its gritty and real, while still playing with story and page structure. I was never one for Hawkeye. When I was a kid he was always just the guy who shot trick arrows and that was about it. This run and the recent movies have given him new life, and I'm loving it. I can't wait to read the next hardcover.
Now as per my standard closing message. I bought this book from a brick and mortar bookstore. I encourage you to do the same, or at least order it from one. Support brick and mortar stores!...more
Wow, such a fun read. This is the latest novel of Bob Howard IT tech and sometimes field agent for The Laundry a super secret arm of the British goverWow, such a fun read. This is the latest novel of Bob Howard IT tech and sometimes field agent for The Laundry a super secret arm of the British government that deals with supernatural and/or extra-dimensional phenomenon/threats. Its a little bit classic James Bond novel meets the works of H.P. Lovecraft with a dash of of sardonic office/bureaucracy wit. In short its just about one of the most fun concepts I've ever read. Alternately exciting and terrifying while always funny even while the fate of humanity is on the line.
This installment sees Bob getting some field management experience. It ends in such a way that I cannot wait to read the next book. Big things are in Bob's future, though he may not thank Mahogany Row for the extra excitement in his life. If any of this sounds interesting and you haven't read the previous books go get them, you will not regret it. They are all nice and short, tight well written pieces of fiction with not a moment of filler in them.
I read this on my e-reader that I bought from the bookstore that makes it, so as always please support brick and mortar bookstores!...more
A woman becomes the constable in a small logging community during the depression. Dark secrets are uncovered, everyone is proven to be a bit (or more)A woman becomes the constable in a small logging community during the depression. Dark secrets are uncovered, everyone is proven to be a bit (or more) dirty, and fists and some bullets fly. Its a crime noir story told by a master of the genre. The fact that its got a tough female protagonist in a setting (Texas during the depression) just makes it all the more interesting. Its pays homage to classic tropes of the pulp genre: dangerous woman, dangerous strangers, small town, dark secrets, sex, violence, all that good stuff. Its its a highly nuanced pure bit of thrill. That's the best and worst I can say about it....more
This book was fun, and I'm glad the series got wrapped up. I'm afraid to say I can definitely tell this was written by another writer. Not in a bad waThis book was fun, and I'm glad the series got wrapped up. I'm afraid to say I can definitely tell this was written by another writer. Not in a bad way, but the flavor of the writing shifts in subtle ways. I was satisfied at the end, but knew where we were going to end up from the beginning. Actually I was pretty confident of how it was going to turn out from like 3 or 4 books ago. This book will be fun to read for folks who have already committed a lot of time to the series. Other than that, its not for you. I don't hate this series but a friend of mine on here says it best when she describes the interactions and antics of this cast as "so high school". Its completely true. The series is worst of best, and that's true of this book as it is for the rest. I read it, I'm glad I read it, but I can't recommend it to others really; and when I try to describe what I found fun in it I really look at it and it seems silly.
I got this book from the library, so I only supported a brick and mortar library. But please, buy books from brick and mortar stores when you do....more
Its a light and fun deconstruction of some classic romantic fantasy elements. It's artfully crafted prose and dialogue are its strengths. The plot, chIts a light and fun deconstruction of some classic romantic fantasy elements. It's artfully crafted prose and dialogue are its strengths. The plot, characters, and setting feel like something I've already seen from this author. Of course I've read most everything else by Neil Gaiman and this is an earlier work from him, so reading it after everything else may have something to do with my reception of the book.
Its fun and light, and very well crafted. If you love Neil Gaiman's books for young readers and are looking for a transition from "The Graveyard Book" and "Coraline" into his more adult stuff like "American Gods" or "Neverwhere" then check this out. Liked it, but not over the moon(which is a first for me with Neil Gaiman's writing).
I bought this book as and e-book on an e-reader I bought at a brick and mortar bookstore. So please, support your brick and mortar bookstores be they a chain or independent....more
Ah Christopher Moore. So much fun and so hard to describe to people. Humor fiction with fantastical elements is the best I could do, and a dash of absAh Christopher Moore. So much fun and so hard to describe to people. Humor fiction with fantastical elements is the best I could do, and a dash of absurdism in there. This is fairly true to form, though of all the books I've read by him (and I've read most of his) this is the most unusual in my opinion. It started out a little slow, then picked up steam really quickly. It has his signature humor and realistically strange characters. The twist of this book is what makes it so weird, and I truly can't say more with out giving it away. All I can say is his writing is there, it just took longer to latch on to my funny bone than it normally does and it never went quite where I thought it would. I can't say its his strongest book, but I still have lots of fun reading it and it did make me think about whales in a different way.
I read this as an e-book, but I bought that e-book from a company with a physical storefront presence nation wide! So as always, support brick and mortar bookstores in every way you can (which does not include going in to them and staying for hours and not buying anything!)....more
This is tons of fun. I was worried that it mite be a whole book of The Doctor admonishing the crew for having guns and being too militaristic, but itThis is tons of fun. I was worried that it mite be a whole book of The Doctor admonishing the crew for having guns and being too militaristic, but it ended up being quite balanced. Both parties contributed and ended up balancing each other out nicely. If you're a fan of either property I recommend checking it out. The writing is good and the art is nice.
As always please support brick and mortar bookstores (i.e. real store fronts) or at least order it from someone that actually has a storefront or two somewhere....more
Wow. Short but powerful. I really don't know why I'm continuously surprised but just how great a writers Neil Gaiman is, but I always come out the othWow. Short but powerful. I really don't know why I'm continuously surprised but just how great a writers Neil Gaiman is, but I always come out the other end of one of his books in awe.
A vivid and succinct view of childhood and a strange adventure that one returns to time and time again. Its a beautiful and poignant story of change, the difference between the world of children and the world of adults, of the fantastical nature of the universe and how it is both frightening and reassuring all at the same time, of loss (though I guess that ties in with change) and the comfort of the little things in life.
Beautifual and poignant, while being fun and adventurous. This is what great writing is all about. Thanks for sharing with us Neil. You're an amazing writer and this is an amazing book.
As always folks, please support brick and mortal (the ones in actual buildings you can go inside and pick stuff out in) bookstores!...more
Portents, exposition, and back story. Those are what this volume is all about. The writing and the art are fantastic as ever. The art is especially vaPortents, exposition, and back story. Those are what this volume is all about. The writing and the art are fantastic as ever. The art is especially varied in this collection with some very interesting styles being used. I loved this just almost as much as all the others, the only problem is that I'm now on the edge of my seat for the next collection. This has some big things possibly on the horizon for Fabletown and its residents (as well as humanity in general). This series is no stranger to tragedy so I'm kind of worried for what the future could bring. My favorite piece of the story is actually a Christmas story about Santa (who of course is a fable). I pretty fun explanation of how Santa can deliver all the presents, and ends with some shadowy portents for the future and a little glimmer of hope. If you're reading this you're probably not a stranger to the series so all I can say is you'll probably like this one as well as you liked the rest, if for no other reason than you get to see Snow and Bigsby and the cubs together at Wolf manor as a happy family (which is all I ever wanted for those guys). So go get this book, hopefully from a brick and mortar bookstore (independent or chain, I don't care just get it from a real place staffed by people not a warehouse staffed by robots) and read and enjoy it!
Support brick and mortar bookstores independent or chain!...more
Neal Stephenson is a delight to read as always. There is something about the way he directs me through his worlds that just syncs perfectly for me. HeNeal Stephenson is a delight to read as always. There is something about the way he directs me through his worlds that just syncs perfectly for me. He emphasizes things I would find interesting, he looks at details (even mundane ones) I would find intriguing and important. I can't put that certain something he has in to better words than that really. His books just seem to fit perfectly into my mind.
We are treated to a sprawling story of international intrigue, crime, and violence. We are also treated sprawling story of globalization, interconnectedness, systems (mostly economic and political, but a few others), and one massive multi-player online game. I can't really describe it better than this with out A) giving away details it will be more fun for you to suss out for yourself and, B) making this review two pages long. Suffice it to say there are amazingly real characters cast on a global stage and while at first many seem to have only peripheral connections, they are all interconnected. There is a nice re-occurring motif of interconnection/globalization as well as the cyclical nature of life and beginnings and endings.
That being said, this book is also full of hilarious and action packed scenes. Its a well written and lengthy page turner and I dare you to find a section that is ACTUALLY boring. Go on and try. If you like what would be called techno-thrillers but crave something with a little more going on under the hood than you run of the mill Tom Clancy, then check this out. Neal Stephenson has yet to disappoint me as a writers.
As always support your brick and mortar (i.e. physical, not amorphously digital) bookstores!...more