I know Dan Brown gets a lot of criticism, and takes a lot of heat for being a bad writer, but I admit to having enjoyed his previous books in the RobeI know Dan Brown gets a lot of criticism, and takes a lot of heat for being a bad writer, but I admit to having enjoyed his previous books in the Robert Langdon series. The books are usually right up my alley and being a big fan of Dante's Inferno I was really looking forward to reading this one, but I have to admit to being disappointing in the book. It did not grip my attention the way the previous books of his I have read have done. I struggled reading this one and getting it finished.
It felt to me as if this book was rushed and that Dan Brown just wanted to get another book out there as quickly as he could because of the popularity of the previous books. I think the book could have used more editing. The story did not seem very well flushed out, and there was a complete lack of character development.
Brown uses a lot of obnoxious and unnecessary repetition in this book as if his target audience is people with short attention spans, short term memory loss, and ADD. For some reason he seemed obsessed with women's hair. Most the female characters in the book were described in terms of their hair, and every time he mentioned them he would make some reference to the style and appearance of their hair.
The character of Sienna Brooks came off as being annoying and not entirely believable. She was supposed to be this prodigy super genius but a lot of the time it seemed she would act baffled and confused by things in which the answer should have been obvious. I know part of this was done to give Langdon the opportunity to show off his own expertise and knowledge because if Sienna already knew everything than his character would be kind of unnecessary. But I think they could have done it better, as it is if there were not other characters constantly reminding the audience that Sienna was supposed to be so intelligent, based upon her conduct in the book you never would have really known. Occasionally they have her do something kind of clever to try and be like "see she really is super smart."
The other thing which bothered me about this book is the fact that it seemed to me that it did not have as much of the actual code breaking, symbolism, puzzles and such as the other books which make them kind of fun. This book was mostly just running away from being chased with occasional side references to Dante. But I didn't feel that the Dante aspect really played a significant enough role within the book. ...more
I do not normally read books of this type. Crime/Detective fiction, but I had this one on the shelf for a while, apparently something about it struckI do not normally read books of this type. Crime/Detective fiction, but I had this one on the shelf for a while, apparently something about it struck my interest at one point, so I figured I might as well read it.
The writing was about what one would expect for such books. It was mediocre. Not the worse thing I had ever read, but nor was it all that impressive. Though there where some things of which I think the author did well with the book. I thought her character development was pretty good. I did find her characters to be interesting and multidimensional. I also really enjoyed the way in which she told the story from multiple different points of views. There where all these different little things going on with these different characters and you had to wait and see how they would all come together.
It did make for a good quick summer read, though there where parts of the story in the middle that I started to feel where dragging on a bit too long and I wished it would start to hurry up to the end. Also I did feel there was one major hole within the story, and important part of the plot which did not seem was really fully explained. ...more
When I first heard about this book when Del Toro was being interviewed on the Daily Show, I was very excited about it and could not wait to read it. FWhen I first heard about this book when Del Toro was being interviewed on the Daily Show, I was very excited about it and could not wait to read it. Finally a new vampire book which takes vampires back to their true roots (by that I means restores them into being blood sucking, terrifying, predatory monsters).
One of the things which I really loved about this book and thought was quite unique was the way in which Del Toro takes a very old world fear (that being vampires of course) and merges it into a very new world fear (that being pandemics/viruses) in this day in age there seems to be spreading paranoia about the possibility of a catastrophic epidemic, and I think this in parts contributes to the widespread popularity of zombies these days.
So the basic concept for The Strain is the idea of vampireism operating like a parasitic virus in which (much like zombies though with a few more cognitive abilities) the vampires are then driven to consonantly feed and keep spreading the virus.
Del Toro weaves in a lot of classical/traditional vampire folk lore within his more modernized vision of the vampire, and pays a homage to Bran Stoker within this book. For those who are familiar with Stoker's Dracula there are some scenes within this book which are a direct reference to Dracula. I think it is interesting the way in which he tries to provide a more rational explanation for some of the old vampire folk lore. And I appreciate that nod he gives to the classics.
One thing I have noticed in a lot of the reviews of this book is that it seems many people seemed to say that they thought the book started out interested but became disappointment towards the end. I have to say that I did not find this to be true for myself. I found the book to be thoroughly engaging and compelling from beginning to end. It kept me wanting to keep reading (and I am eager for the next book in the series) I found it read rather quickly and was non-stop fast paced.
I recommend this book for any one who thinks that the primary objective of a vampire should not be trying to woo you, but rather simply looking for the best way to rip your throat out. ...more
I remember when I read The List of Seven in high school, and I found the book to be completely fascinating. I kept me on the edge of my seat and onceI remember when I read The List of Seven in high school, and I found the book to be completely fascinating. I kept me on the edge of my seat and once I picked it up I did not want to put it down. I absolutely loved Jack Sparks. So when I happened upon this book I was quite excited about it. Needless to say I was left somewhat disappointed. There was something about this book that I found not quite as engaging as the first book. It took me a bit longer to really get into it, and I thought it started out slow, and had some lulling moments for me.
But with that being said, it did start to pick more as I went a long and had some of the same elements that I remember loving so much in the first book. The characters were fascinating, and the story intriguing, and it did leave me wondering what was going to happen next.
So not a bad read, but there was just something the first book had that was lacking here. ...more
A sweeping epic which details on the early days of the Mafia and their roots in Sicily prior to their growth and popularity in America, and the struggA sweeping epic which details on the early days of the Mafia and their roots in Sicily prior to their growth and popularity in America, and the struggles of one family to combat against their corruption and save the common people from the clutches of fear and violence which grips them. It is a wonderfully details book that gives the reader an insight on all of the characters, and what drives them, and motivates them, how their mind works, as well as the ways in which their lives come to cross paths.
I thought this book acts as a nice contrast to The Godfather for instead of displaying the mafia in a glorified and romantic vision, Basile exposes a more realistic and harsher reality displaying their cruelty, brutality, violence, and the way in which the common Sicilian people suffered in their hands, and were kept beneath their tyrannical rule.
Though I did think that the suggestion of the role of destiny and how some of the characters may have been moved by unseen forces at times was interesting I feel as if perhaps the author hit the reader of the head a bit too strongly with the point. It did feel at times as if the reader was underestimating the intelligence of the reader, and I think the role of destiny could have been more effectively shown if more subtly was used instead of having everything spelled out.
There were also a few other scenes in which I felt in the authors effort to make a point she pushed the boundaries of believability and went overboard so that it crossed into absurdity.
But these are only minor points of which did not hamper my overall enjoyment of the book and in spite of a lack of finesse at certain moments, I still think that over all it was skillfully written, and worth reading. ...more