As an adult reader, I was disappointed. It was a rehash of all the global warming information that's been around for a while now, but couched in a tee...moreAs an adult reader, I was disappointed. It was a rehash of all the global warming information that's been around for a while now, but couched in a teen story. There wasn't a lot of new information...and the story wasn't strong enough to hold all the science Patterson was trying to bring to the fore. The idea that Max doesn't believe in global warming was a bit too much of a plot device that allowed the author to bring the obvious questions into discussion. The whole book was too heavy handed to be enjoyable.
As a teacher, I am hopeful that readers will be seeing much of this information for the first time (or at least that it's relatively new) and it might make more of a favorable impression on young minds than it did on my old one. The plot was really thin...get attacked, except, capture, freedom, speak to Congress...global warming is bad.
Overall: It's the weakest book in the series because the author has build the story around a soapbox.(less)
When I was young and naive...in my 20's...I swore I didn't like sci-fi or fantasy. A friend handed me a copy of Ender's Game and I have been hooked ev...moreWhen I was young and naive...in my 20's...I swore I didn't like sci-fi or fantasy. A friend handed me a copy of Ender's Game and I have been hooked ever since. Having learned nothing, I said something similar about graphic novels a while later and this same friend sat me down with a copy of The Sandman Vol. 01: Preludes and Nocturnes. Again, I was hooked and now I am the one who preaches the virtues of graphic novels to both friends and students. Neil Gaiman taught me one thing that day...graphic novels are wonderful! I've read much of his other writing since then and he's taught me other things, but I have to admit, even though I've seen many photos of the author, whenever I think of Neil Gaiman the image in my head is Dream.
I read the Sandman collection in the late 90's, but never owned my own copy. I worked at a library and would check them out over and over again. When I saw the Absolute collection, I had to have it! But then it sat on my shelf...I was too afraid of damaging it to open it. But then I read the The Graveyard Book and remembered how much I loved the The Sandman Vol. 01: Preludes and Nocturnes series, so I broke it open and am re-reading it...again!
Sometimes you go back to old favorites and they pale in comparison to memory...not this! I am in love with it all over again and am rationing it - one story a night.
I just finished A Midsummers Night Dream...wow! Again, wow!
I just love - love - love this series. The re-issue of the artwork is spectacular and I could just sit and stare at some of the pages for hours...but I don't...it's always about the stories to me. Mr. Gaiman, you're bloody brilliant! (less)
When I read a good book I am often left wanting to know what happened next, even when it's obvious that there is not going to be a sequel. I feel like...moreWhen I read a good book I am often left wanting to know what happened next, even when it's obvious that there is not going to be a sequel. I feel like the characters are real people, I want to know how they lived out their lives, what happened after the 'story' ends. I know that I will never be able to know, because that's the way fiction is made.
I got that same feeling from this book, but it was so much better more intense because it was real. These are people who actually exist...and so their drama is something I can connect with on a level not able to be achieved by fiction.
As a 'story' I was completely engrossed. There was beginning, middle, and end...there was action, adventure, plot twists, tragedy, comedy...everything an epic novel needs. And then there was truth. Not just truth, but TRUTH. This book lives and breathes because the author lives and breathes.
Greg Mortenson is a real life hero. He has shown what one person can do to make the world a better place. He isn't able to build the schools on his own, he's not even able to over see the construction of each building, but without his example, others would not have had the blueprint to continue his work. One man showed the world what was possible and then the world (or parts of it) has stepped forward to show him that his dream was worth doing.
The ending of this book sums up the purpose of the CAI project. TO steal a Chinese Proverb, it boils down to..."Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Greg and his staff have taught at least two countries and a portion of the US military to fish.
I would give this book 4 and a half stars if it were possible.
I really enjoyed the story, the characters and the setting. The writing was wonderful....moreI would give this book 4 and a half stars if it were possible.
I really enjoyed the story, the characters and the setting. The writing was wonderful. I could tell that the author had thought about each word as he set it down. There were allusions to the sea and piracy throughout the book, even when he was describing something completely unrelated to either. The book was expertly blended into one whole unit, each line building on the story as a whole, making the book cohesive in storyline and imagery.
The characterization was the best part of the book. I loved each character, I wanted the best possible things for them. I mourned when they mourned and I laughed when they laughed. With one exception: Peter. He seemed too good to be true. (See the bottom of the review for an in depth look at why I felt this way if you're willing to read spoilers.) The crew of pirates was great fun to experience, and I reviled the villains. Wonderful characters make for a wonderful book and they are able to hid a few simple flaws.
The setting was gritty and real, the war was distant at first then got closer and closer - much as we experience in real life. The pace of events felt just right, although we don't really get to the blurb on the back cover until page 100 or so.
That's a pet peeve of mine - blurbs that tell you about the end of the story. This book was indeed about a female pirate, but she doesn't even leave home until almost a third of the book has passed. I spent all that time trying to figure out how she got to sea instead of concentrating on exactly what was happening in the words I was reading. Not that I missed anything, just that my attention was drawn to the pages further on rather than being completely immersed in what I was reading. The same is true of Peter. Was he waiting or not? It was a question raised in the blurb, but the book didn't support the anxiety. We hear about Peter now and then, but he is rarely her overriding concern.
So, other than one weak relationship (which the plot unfortunately seems to hinge upon) I loved this book.
Now, a note about how I feel about the world outside the book: I picked this up as an adventure story. I am not specifically into pirates, the revolutionary war, or any one element of this book. I enjoy good books with good writing. I'll read any genre except erotica, any theme, any subject...but I expect to know a bit about what I'm reading before I open the cover. I get annoyed by books that sell themselves as 'womens fiction' and turn out to be erotica. I am frustrated by books that are marketed to young adults then turn out to be little more than ads for clothing and makeup or have explicit scenes of drug use and sex. If a book is adult, then tell me. If a book is erotica, then tell me. That way I can avoid reading what I have no interest reading.
This book is Christian Fiction, yet nowhere on the cover, in the blurb, in the reviews it chose did it even allude to this fact. The text wasn't preachy, the message was subtle, but it was there and I felt as though I had been tricked. I am a Christian and I have a faith that seems similar to that in the book. It wasn't that I disagreed with the author or the message. I would probably have read the book anyway, especially after having read the beauty that was the prologue. I just felt that the Christian message was a cheap ploy to convert me - never mind that I'm already a believer. I kept being dragged out of the story. That is the worst thing I can say about a book, and yet it's true of this one over and over again. I was unable to remain in the setting because I was forced to think about religion and how other readers might feel if they were unaware of the Christian message when they too picked up this wonderfully written book.
SPOILER WARNING: The relationship between Fin and Peter was touched upon in the beginning, then expanded a bit later, but never really built into anything strong enough to build the novel around. And yet that's exactly what the author was trying to do. The 'love' that they had for each other seemed vague and tenuous. I had the feeling that their friendship at the orphanage was strong, but that their love was an illusion. Peter wanted to protect Fin and Fin had no idea what love was. When Peter moved out his promises seemed weak. One kiss. No words of devotion. No professions of undying love. It seemed that he was doing what he was expected to do, not doing what his heart truly believed.
There were two moments I really disliked in this book. One - Fin learns about her fame in the paper and the sailors talk about how the British will harm anyone who they need to to get to her and yet she leaves with the Rattlesnake and doesn't look back. If she loved him she would need to find a way to protect him. This was the moment that I knew their love was an illusion. She doesn't know what love is. Two - She writes letters to him, but we never hear what is in them. As a reader I felt like I'd been shouldered out of the story. I might have been convinced that she was really in love if she had been allowed to speak her heart at some point. Instead I get the feeling that she scribbled a couple quick lines of no importance and then went on about her life. Her relationship to Peter seemed distant, false and thin.
I picked this up as a FirstRead, and was under the impression that it was a graphic novel. It was not, there were black and white drawings thrown in t...moreI picked this up as a FirstRead, and was under the impression that it was a graphic novel. It was not, there were black and white drawings thrown in throughout the book, but it was a novel with some illustrations - not a graphic novel.
It takes place in a futuristic New York with a lot of technology embedded into humans, much of it illegally. There is also a 'race' of people created in laboratories. The Pleasure Model is allowed extremely limited intelligence, but more than normal sex appeal and physical attributes. One of these is some of the evidence found at a crime scene.
A human dominatrix with personality modifications was also a witness, but she has fled the scene and doesn't really get involved until late in the book.
Plot - Interesting, but it could have been equally successful without the sexual aspects.
Setting - The best part of this novel. There was great descriptions of the city, the history and the tech/mech aspects.
Characters - Thin. Sometimes they were a bit silly, even. I liked Julia, the dominatrix side of the human woman. I thought a lot more could have been done with Rook. He seemed a really caring sort of guy, but he was in a world in which he seemed just ridiculously 'nice' compared to the overwhelmingly evil masses.
Pros: Fast read, entertaining, I do think the art adds to the story, but it was a turn-off for me as much of it was cheesecake and I'm a heterosexual female. I'm not the target audience.
Cons: I understand it wasn't meant to be high literature, but some of the writing was just...too simple. If the audience is young boys, then the writing is okay, but the subject matter is too mature. IF the audience is mature, then the writing is too juvenile...
Overall: I'm not the target audience, but I was able to get through the book without throwing it across the room. I almost didn't make it past the first scene with Plesur, but I liked the opening scene well enough to give it a chance. I will not be reading the second book in the series; although, The ending of this book makes it clear that Plesur has a very interesting future ahead of her...(less)
The original books were a good read, although the first novel was better than the second, which was a lot better than the third. I enjoyed the series...moreThe original books were a good read, although the first novel was better than the second, which was a lot better than the third. I enjoyed the series as a whole and found the character of Hatter Madigan simply wonderful. I am a fan of the medium of graphic novels, and looked forward to these with great anticipation because they were written by the original author, not another person's imagining of someone else character.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed with both the story and, even more so, the art. A lot of the story was an exact retelling of how Hatter got to this world. I understand it's needed for anyone who hadn't read the novels, but I had been hoping for a bit more...I don't know, additional information or maybe a little more drama. Instead we are told exactly what was said in the novel, now with pictures.
That leads me to the art...it's wispy, blurry, unfocused. That's the way Redd was described...and I find it annoying that the image they created of Hatter is not the focused, dark, rules-following cut and dried image that he was build up to be in the book. I was expecting something more realistic, dark and brooding, a real world feel, where the character of Hatter was thrown into the unexpected. I wanted to see how he reacted in 'our world'. Instead we got a glimpse of a fantastical world with little to tie its pieces together.
The characters Hatter meets are mostly tied to the story of Alyss, but what are the chances in a world this size they would end up meeting exactly the same set of bad guys? This graphic novel seemed disconnected, the bits fo story had little to tie them together and the story - right...what story. Hatter wonders into our world, then searches for Alyss. I guess he figures out how to navigate the portals, but that's not discussed, how else would he have been able to get from Europe to China in one page? From the story I had the image of a nomadic sort of search that took years at a time to complete. Instead we have a few moments of adventure barely tied together by the main character. He seems to have no specific plan, no real direction.
Anyhow - I ramble. The art does not suit the character. The story does not live up to its original medium. (less)
I've tried to read this book three times. I started fresh each time and tried to get a running start. I only got a handful of pages further each time...moreI've tried to read this book three times. I started fresh each time and tried to get a running start. I only got a handful of pages further each time before something about the main character made me set the book down before I threw it across the room. No, really. I had the urge to throw it against a wall. It actually made me angry.
Why? I guess it all comes from me having children. That kid is just not right. Even at two my kids would have known to follow an adult rather than a dog. Want food?...'Mom' was a person who fed me...so I'm going to find another 'mom-like' being to feed me. Simple two year old logic. And yet this four year old decides to ignore the people he sees and go live with a dog? he breaks every rule his mom set for him, but chooses 'Don't talk to strangers' to follow.
I guess it comes down to this...when the kid is supposed to be smart, he's slow witted. When he's supposed to be ignorant he somehow has insight beyond his years. He's just not realistic and so I was yanked out of the story before I even got into it.
Also, I kept trying to get a grip on what had caused the people to leave, but the point-of-view was no help at all. We just don't know. Perhaps there is some event in the history of Moscow that is so well-known that most readers just tie this event to the events in the book, but I am not at all familiar with the history of the USSR. Perhaps it's explained later int eh book, but I just can't bring myself to read anymore. (less)
It was interesting, but really seemed disjointed and...simple. I'm pretty sure the author didn't start out trying to rewrite His Dark Materials series...moreIt was interesting, but really seemed disjointed and...simple. I'm pretty sure the author didn't start out trying to rewrite His Dark Materials series, but there were a lot of similarities. As with that series, this book ended with a simper instead of a bang. Good build up - then...nothing. Bleh. Frustrating.(less)
What a strange book. I didn't read about the author before picking up the book, so I missed that it was taking place in Australia. I figured it was En...moreWhat a strange book. I didn't read about the author before picking up the book, so I missed that it was taking place in Australia. I figured it was England just from some of the slang, but the accent got so think I finally realized it was Australia, then double checked with the book jacket.
The main character is strong, the secondary characters interesting, but the story was a bit of a stretch. At the end I was frustrated with the whole thing, but kept reading because I had to know what happened to the characters. I really disliked the ending. It wrapped up neatly, but without really explaining anything.
SPOILER: When the strange man said, something like 'I killed your father' in his list of all the things he had a hand in I totally lost all respect for the book. It's at that point a normal person would have stopped listening to the neat little plot wrap-up and reacted with his gut. But the line was passed over and the story finished with a fizzle. Bummer, it had marvelous potential.(less)