I freaking LOVE this series!! Believe the hype -- it's epically awesome. A heady mad mix of adventure, space opera, humour and a love story. You willI freaking LOVE this series!! Believe the hype -- it's epically awesome. A heady mad mix of adventure, space opera, humour and a love story. You will be shown things you have never seen before to defy your imagination. The characterization is phenomenal -- I love these creatures who have wings and horns and TV faces and giant lie detector cats. This has instantly become a favorite. Cannot wait to read more.
Sigh. This almost got two stars. Almost. I mean, I liked it. There are things to like, but it's so far underachieving for King, so sub-par of his tale Sigh. This almost got two stars. Almost. I mean, I liked it. There are things to like, but it's so far underachieving for King, so sub-par of his talent and storytelling capabilities that it made me cringe in parts and left me embarrassed for the guy. The last third of the book with Hodges and Holly and Jerome running around trying to solve a mystery like an after-school special mixed with an episode of Scooby-Doo was just paaainful. Nothing about any of that was worthy of King for me.
I know Mr. Mercedes had it's many problems and weaknesses: I present to you Exhibit A and Exhibit B. But I really liked it. A LOT. Mainly because the villain -- Brady Hartfield -- is some nasty piece of psychotic work. One of the better, more convincing villains King has written about in a long time. Brady isn't just a one-dimensional evil dude with sick tendencies and impulses -- King managed to flesh him out some and gave him an appropriately damaging childhood replete with a disturbed and abusive mother. There was some context there. Some texture and layering.
Unfortunately I do not feel the same about the villain presented to us in this book -- Morris Bellamy. Bellamy is a petulant, spoiled asshat -- entitled and vicious. I HATED him. He did not interest me in the least and the only satisfaction I was able to take from his legacy of brutal violent impulses was (view spoiler)[to see him die a burning fiery death (hide spoiler)].
For me, the most terrifying villain King has ever written is Annie Wilkes. On cold, dark winter nights I can still have feverish nightmares about her. Annie is the consummate fangirl gone wrong. She is a study in complexity and contradiction, a woman suffering from real mental illness and a menacing determinism and world view that bears no bargaining with. You're either one of the good guys (a "do-bee") or one of the bad guys (a "dirty bird"). And god help you if you turn out to be a "cockadoodie brat".
Morris Bellamy is just a selfish, shallow, ignorant prick who loves to blame the world for all his problems. He blames his mother for the first time he ends up in juvenile detention. He blames author John Rothstein for "selling out" and destroying his favorite literary creation thus setting in motion a terrible series of events. And most pathetic of all, he blames his "friend" -- future rare book proprietor -- of making him so mad that he goes out and (view spoiler)[gets blind drunk and brutally rapes a woman, a crime which lands Bellamy in prison with a life sentence rather than the home invasion and execution of the recluse author of his precious Johnny Gold. (hide spoiler)]
Whenever King writes about writing and the synergy that happens between reader and author I'm there. He captures some of that magic in these pages but I feel like it all gets poisoned with the less than inspiring creation that is Bellamy.
Since King is determined to get to the end of this foray into crime fiction, I am hopeful that the final book in the trilogy (if there has to be one) will return its focus to Brady Hartfield who may have developed some unusual skills. ::cue ominous music:: ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Carol! I am so glad I didn't make you suffer through this with me. I took one for the team!
Oh my bleeding eyeballs, but I am very disheartened to repoCarol! I am so glad I didn't make you suffer through this with me. I took one for the team!
Oh my bleeding eyeballs, but I am very disheartened to report that very little in this book's almost 500 pages did anything for me. Despite the zombies, despite the post-apocalyptic landscape, despite the grappling, unending confrontations with human depravity and the silver threads of uncovering and recovering pieces of our humanity --- ALLLLL of my favorite things -- David Wellington's Positive still managed to bore the pants off me. Over and over again.
The prose is just too plodding, too clumsy, too eager to tell -- tell everything about everything! -- rather than ever get out of the damn way and show. The unending, unforgivable descriptions of what characters think and feel are wearying and unsatisfying. Show me dammit!! Let actions speak louder than words. Then perhaps a plodding 500 page novel can be edited into a leaner, meaner 350 pages.
Sigh. Characters are very cardboard cutout and as the hero -- Finn is just too goody-goody unbelievable to the point of being grating. As the first-person narrator his voice fails miserably doing no justice to himself, supporting characters or the novel's action. His unflagging "do the right thing never give up" attitude is sanctimonious and unrealistic as Wellington fails to balance it with anything deeper or nuanced. And then he just becomes so insufferable in his "my people" way of speaking and thinking. YOU'RE NOT MOSES, FINN, AND THIS AIN'T THE EFFING DESERT. I kept longing for the uber-dysfunctional assholery of Rick Grimes to give the story some texture and believability.
Anyway, this was supposed to be my great summer zombie read. No. Not. Negative.
What a lovable, enjoyable, adrenalized hoot this was! I still would have preferred to see all the action sequences (of which there were many -- many I What a lovable, enjoyable, adrenalized hoot this was! I still would have preferred to see all the action sequences (of which there were many -- many I tell you) play out on the big screen (sometimes the prose falls a little short of adequately capturing the epic scale and magnificence of the fighting, running, space racing, exploding drama) but overall, for a novelization of two notoriously preeminent comic/cinematic heroes this was a thrill.
Rocket Raccoon and Groot utterly ambushed me in last summer's Marvel blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy completely stealing my heart. I was not expecting to have such a reaction. I had never heard of them, had never read the comics and have been late wading into MCU waters. As I mentioned in another review, my geek sci-fi cred is almost nil, embarrassingly so. But I am committed to making up for past sins and lost time. With Marvel anyway. Doctor Who and Star Wars are gonna have to wait.
But back to my two favorite guys: Rocket and Groot (and by guys you know I mean a talking raccoon and a talking giant tree, right?). They are rogues, badasses, heroes, and sometimes, Guardians of the Galaxy. This is their story, though Gamora has a notable kick-assing role to play. She's a lot fiercer and meaner and scarier in these pages (win!) than the "softer side" we get in the movie. I love her.
But back to Rocket and Groot. By coincidence and accident they cross paths with a Rigellian Recorder (#127) who needs rescuing. It seems everyone in the Galaxy - Multiverse wants their version of hands on this guy. He has "recorded" some very vital information, data that could lead to absolute power over reality itself. I loved 127. In my limited comparison capabilities he reminded me of what little I know of C-3PO. He's SUPER smart containing a trillion Wikipedias, but he's an emotional being, with humor and even desires, developing a crush on Gamora herself and forging a lovely bond with his unlikely allies Rocket and Groot.
So much of this story follows the intrepid heroes (soon joined by Gamora) as they race from planet to planet, escaping the clutches of very many species of races from the Kree to the Nova Corps and Badoons not to mention from the Timely Inc megacorp itself (the ones who stand to gain ALL the power if they should successfully recover 127). Oh yeah, and there's a hired SpaceKnight mercenary in the mix too ready to capture and hand over 127 to Timely Inc.
But Rocket and Groot have decided that's not going to happen. Not on their watch. But it will test every bit of ingenuity and tactical skills that they have to avoid failure and/or a horrible death. It's thrilling, let me tell you, and a ridiculous amount of fun, but it's only made me long even more for the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel (that for the record is still TWO YEARS away). ::sad face::
If it was even possible, I'm fangirling even harder for these two now more than ever. This story is a nice treat, a little gift to help ease the pain of the long wait ahead for the next movie. Abnett needs to write another one stat!!!