this is a pretty good book and a pretty short read. if you pick it up, let the story wash over you. the main characters, Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Asthis is a pretty good book and a pretty short read. if you pick it up, let the story wash over you. the main characters, Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley, may not be typical heroes to root for but put them in a graduate school setting, and you have a Brett Easton Ellis novel sans all the coke....more
what an amazing book. the historical figures move in and out like ghosts called upon by some 21st century necromancer. threads of history, philosophy,what an amazing book. the historical figures move in and out like ghosts called upon by some 21st century necromancer. threads of history, philosophy, beauty, and culture are weaved together to create a work that leaves little to no doubt of what the life & times of gilded age Chicago was like....more
I don't know what to say. I didn't know much about North Korea, and now I do. the author explained his past thus lending his thoughts credibility, incI don't know what to say. I didn't know much about North Korea, and now I do. the author explained his past thus lending his thoughts credibility, including an entire section devoted to the research used. It's written as though a friend is talking to over a beer: equal parts sass and thoughtful explanation.
note: this is based off of the latest revised edition, which I believe is the second that includes data on Kim Sung Il....more
This is a really good concept for a novel. A really good science-fiction work. But, unfortunately, the publishI'm going to be real abrasive right now.
This is a really good concept for a novel. A really good science-fiction work. But, unfortunately, the publishing industry has made it so any idea, good or bad, has to stretch over the course of at least three novels. And that bleeds into the expectations of a creative mind who wants to break into the industry. The idea of looking at a human being and defining what makes a moral citizen in a dystopian world is really interesting. It's a setting where science doesn't need to play a realistic role because it's just metaphor.
I would like to have read this as just one novel, and not a war epic. As I'm sure books 2 & 3 will be. There are moments of astonishing brilliance but a lot of it is sloppy. It tries to play with a foot in both pool of profound and pool of The CW romance.
I liked it, but I'm disappointed at such a loss of potential. ...more
This is a pretty strange book. From the distance it's another trashy fantasy novel with a main character who has a really silly name, surrounded by otThis is a pretty strange book. From the distance it's another trashy fantasy novel with a main character who has a really silly name, surrounded by other characters with silly names. (I mean, how do you really pronounce Raed? Reed? Raid? Radee? Ray-ed?) The cover of the novel doesn't quite explain what's within the pages either. Is the main character in her twenties? A teenager? And why is Aslan in it?
I had to re-start this book three times because of its beginning chapter. It's not boring, per se, just bizarre. I don't read much fantasy (and little Steampunk) but even I know this world is unique from the other worlds that dot the bookstores shelf, and it would have been nice to not be thrown into some cataclysmic mystery with characters, and a mythology, I don't care for. Yet.
The word Yet will be a recurring theme.
Right from the gate, there are three things missing from this text that are needed and whomever edited this book should be canned:
1: A map. Usually I don't need maps in the realm of fantasy literature, but this is world is begging for a map. Either of the City of Vermillion or the continent as a whole. Or both.
2: A glossary. There are a lot of names, types of ghosts (geists), and terms involving the legends and mythology that dot the landscape. During battle sequences and stratagems, I can't keep flipping back to that one passage that explains what rune does what. This is a missed opportunity for the cover/back cover/inside pages. What artist wouldn't jump at designing crazy gauntlets with rune powers?
3: Parts. The book isn't divided into parts. And this is where the structure fails. There are two endings in the book. Rather, two instances where you feel the story has ended because the mystery isn't that intriguing: The first is around page 190 and the second is on page 294. There should be 2 parts called Ulrich and Vermillion. Because chapters lead to new chapters, there's no (physical) representation of time passing OR a change in mood and theme. Because after page 190, characters fold in on themselves and become three different people. Albeit it works within the story however shakily, the text misses out on some great opportunities to really nail down this exciting world.
I can't stop trying to imagine what it must be like to live in a world where ghosts (geists) are apart of the anatomy of my world. Goblins, wizards, and dragons? Sure. There's a show on HBO that lets out live out that fantasy, not to mention Middle-Earth. But ghosts. In a nutshell, there are various types of ghosts that can be expelled by one of ten runes. I actually don't know if the tenth rune counts, as it's essentially Goku's Spirit Bomb that, if used, severely wounds the user, but I digress.
Hell, Heaven, and everything in-between exists in a realm known as the Otherside and there, beings known as Geistlords dwell. Beings of immense power. So naturally they're the big bad guys. To counter their plots and harmful antics, there is what's known as The Order: a collection of exorcists divided into two groups: those that can see and identify ghosts known as Sensitives, and those that actually fight them known as Actives. Both are needed for successful missions and thus partnerships are formed. To add to this formula there are three other terms worth knowing:
1: Actives and Sensitives form Bonds, which means they can feel each others thoughts. When a Sensitive see's a ghost s/he sends it through the Bond so that the Active can see it. The stronger the Bond, the more communication can happen.
2: Actives used Gauntlets to casts one of ten different runes. They range from fireballs,shields and wind storms, to summoning an actual gateway to the Otherside. I'm not sure how that's not sacrilegious in a world where fraternizing with geists in any form can get you killed, but hey. Sensitives use what's known as a Strop. I was never quite sure what it looks like beyond just a leather strap or cloth around the eyes. But this is also decorated with different runes of which, no one is certain what they do. But the Strop allows the Sensitive to enter the Otherside. I think. I'm also not too sure. Which is either a brilliant meta-mystery played by the author, or just described elsewhere in the series.
3: Geistlords. Geistlords are denizens of the Otherside that are incredibly powerful. I imagine they're manifestations of adjectives that aid in humanities creation; things created from emotions tend to be lower level Geists. Geistlords also have their own hierarchy and at the very top are a race of god-beings that are no doubt apart of the trilogies main plot.
To add to the confusion and why a glossary would be great, is adding the above three ideas into a world of politics is exhausting. If it wasn't bad enough that we have to defend our mortal coil from shit bags from beyond the Veil, we have to also try to understand how the human politic machine works. In this case, the Empire. The Empire is from the old continent of Delmaire. A company of princes elected the Empire, which now makes its home in newly conquered territory of the continent the story takes place in. It also makes the City of Vermillion it's home. I don't quite follow that logic, but hey, this is a world where ghosts are a thing.
The book is flawed. It's deeply flawed. A lot of it doesn't make any sense, the logic of the world doesn't really make any sense, and the world building doesn't connect to our world in any way. It's an example of an incredibly creative writer with a large imagination, loosing focus on what they want to accomplish: building a world or telling a ghost story. Because both suffer at its 294 page mark. The world is too big, too strange. The myth cycle is too complex. The characters are too complicated. And, I'll wager, it's too obvious a trilogy. It's a victim of the modern age of sci-fi/fantasy publishing, where only trilogies can dwell and not just 1 big book of a complete thought. I found myself actively yelling as I was reading, wondering why someone would so shoddily put together this mystery. That wasn't a mystery at all. Any one who has watched an episode of Law & Order could have made a pretty decent guess as to how it would all end, and who the people were responsible.
Damn, if only the book stopped at Ulrich. If it had stopped there, it would have been a really interesting novella series. Novellas are great. I love Novellas. The Green Mile is a novella series. And that series is neat. But, no, instead of airing on the side of caution, we get treated to uncomfortable scenes of sexual pleasure and innuendo. Uncomfortable not because their sexy, but because of the awkward moment when you realize that Sorcha Faris may just be the author, and Raed Risson may just be her fantasy heart throb. Because after the events in Ulrich, the world loses its logic. And when that happens, a story that is just a delightful tale to escape into, becomes The Desolation of Smaug: Un-needed, confusing, and pisses all over what came before.
And yet. Why the 4-stars?
Because I fucking love this book. Even with the flaws. Sorcha Faris is a bad ass. She's a bad ass who smokes cigars and challenges authority. She's a bad ass whose married, cheats on her husband with someone she deeply loves, and deeply cares for those around her. And I fucking love Raed Rossin. He's a CURSED pirate who turns into a giant cat. I fucking love that. And I fucking love Merrick Chambers, Sorcha Faris' new partner. He's young and brilliant and naive and lovely. And I fucking love Nynnia, the weird girl who just appears out of nowhere but seems to know everything. And I fucking love Garil, the weird, old, and blind Diviner of the Order. And I fucking love Aachon, Raed's first mate and initiate of the Old Order.
I have no real interest in reading the series because of the story line. I don't care about the world they live in. I love the characters. I really, really love the characters. They all seem so fresh in the landscape of trilogies, quartets, and quintets--where heroines are bad ass because they drink tea and make witty comebacks and heroes are dark and brooding, or charming and guile. It's refreshing to have the hero be a married older woman who questions the world around her: herself, her husband, her friends, her dogma. It's refreshing. What I took away from this book wasn't just a simple journey to save a fictional world, but to know that in the landscape of cliche-genre fantasy, science fiction, and steam punk that live on our bookstore shelves, there is a new series of books with a married woman in her thirties still questioning the purpose of her life. And as a quasi-married gay dude who just hit his thirties, I find great comfort in that.
This book isn't as bad as so many of these reviews would lead you to believe. Is it the greatest text ever written? No. Is it trying to be? No. Are thThis book isn't as bad as so many of these reviews would lead you to believe. Is it the greatest text ever written? No. Is it trying to be? No. Are the haunted halls of Alexandria begging to know its secrets? No. But, is it an action movie told on pages between a front cover and back cover? Yes. Is the main character hilarious? Yes. Is the plot of mammals rising up and killing humanity well researched? No, Patterson and his partner seem to have forgotten about the Great Emu War of Australia. Does James Pattersons' trademark 1-2 page chapters work? Yes, when humanity isn't involved. Would I read it again? No. Would I see the movie? Yes. Should you read it? Yes. Why? So we can all learn why we should never jump 5 years ahead in the middle of the book.
Where the book really goes down hill is why in the world does jumping 5 years into the future a good thing? Using the science in the context of the book, if what happened in Africa was true, than the problem would already have been widespread in every major city. And how horrendous for Chloe to be a really interesting character only to have her become a maiden in the tower waiting to be saved. Literally.
But it's not a bad book. It's just not literature. There's no real metaphor or allegory going on. But is it a good romp? Yes....more
Peter Pan is interesting, and I enjoyed much of it. I suppose I gave it four stars because it's twenty pages too long and the world of London and thePeter Pan is interesting, and I enjoyed much of it. I suppose I gave it four stars because it's twenty pages too long and the world of London and the world of the Neverland seem to coexist in the same whacky reality--which is great in thimble sized doses. But, the conversation about immortality and Wendy's obsession with growing up to be a mother is really interesting.
I have been blocked for about a year, creatively. This book has done many great things in helping me fight this monster that I never thought would hapI have been blocked for about a year, creatively. This book has done many great things in helping me fight this monster that I never thought would happen to me. There are great quotes and very wise advice. I recommend a read. ...more
I feel like this graphic novel was trying to be the next Sophies World; however it is plagued with James Cameron-esque cut-ins and the phenomenal egosI feel like this graphic novel was trying to be the next Sophies World; however it is plagued with James Cameron-esque cut-ins and the phenomenal egos of the authors and artists. I like my non-fiction to be on point, not as a vessel for the author to tell me how smart they are. Give this a read if you're interested in learning about modern philosophy, but skip all of the modern-day crap.
Or you can just read Sophies World and get a better story, with a better point, and with better instruction....more
I was pleasantly surprised when I read this book. I buckled up for the typical formulaic trashy fantasy novel after reading a lot of really heady mateI was pleasantly surprised when I read this book. I buckled up for the typical formulaic trashy fantasy novel after reading a lot of really heady material, and the books world fit my own visual aesthetic enough for even a snob like me to purchase it at my local bookstore. I hadn't known that I was signing up for such an interesting adventure!
All five of the main characters are love able and I found myself actually not wanting to get to the last page for fear of never being able to fight alongside them again, or sip cardamom tea with Adoulla or listen to the father-like wit of Dawoud. What I list most about this is that it used the sword and sorcery aesthetic to disguise a thoughtful tale of the power of the soul, the danger of power, and the passing of history from one generation to the next.
I do hope here were be more books in this series, whether or not they involve already established characters. Wen that book is announced, I shall book passage to Abesesen one more time,...more