A beautiful book for cat lovers and philosophers alike. The artwork is absolutely beautiful and the proverbs that come along with it are excellent. Th...moreA beautiful book for cat lovers and philosophers alike. The artwork is absolutely beautiful and the proverbs that come along with it are excellent. There's real depth here and much to leave you thinking on despite it coming in such a small, cute book. I'll be going back to this book many times if only to remember that sometimes it's best to think like Philosopher Cat. (less)
I could not make myself go any further in that book. The writing was well done as always, but if I'm still not interested by almost three hundred page...moreI could not make myself go any further in that book. The writing was well done as always, but if I'm still not interested by almost three hundred pages in I know it's not going to be for me. It didn't seem like it had the in depth character and world building that so many of his stories, especially his big novels, tend to have. Right away I knew who were the good guys, who were the bad guys, and exactly what was going to happen. I also didn't like how unrealistically the trapped town seemed to plummet. If it's only been a few days, I very much doubt that the situation would begin turning to chaos as it did. Maybe after a week or so I would have found that more reasonable. Humanity is chaos by nature, but fear of reprecussions would have kept law and order in the town for at least a certain amount of time. If you fuck up something after a day or two of being cut off from society, then the Dome somehow goes away, you are suddenly faced with the consequences of your actions. That's why I think it would have taken longer the situation to dissintegrate. Definitely one of my least favorite King books, which is disappointing. �(less)
Midway was an interesting and quick read. I saw it being offered for free during World Book Knight on Amazon and grabbed it up for my kindle. I'm alwa...moreMidway was an interesting and quick read. I saw it being offered for free during World Book Knight on Amazon and grabbed it up for my kindle. I'm always a fan of seeing new indie authors emerge and seeing what they have to offer the reading community. Sometimes you find diamonds and sometimes you find fool's gold.
This was... not quite either. I would compare Midway to an unpolished gemstone. The author has a very elegant writing style and right away I was able to fall into the setting that Francis had painted. I could hear the sounds of people in the distance screaming in joy and terror as they rode rides, flooding out the sounds of the ever beckoning carnies. I could smell the funnel cake and taste the fresh, hot corn dog. Francis did a very good job at painting her scene and the character was someone who could be any of us. However, Mary Beth wasn't simply a self-insert character, she was able to put herself aside from that sort of thing with her own quirks, fears, and worries.
However, while the story was good the ending left me with some questions that I didn't quite feel.. satisified with. I felt it left the story off a cliffhanger of sorts. My instinctive thought was that perhaps this short story could maybe bleed into another story, or maybe even a series of stories. It felt like the ending was a loose thread. That, however, may have been how the author was wanting it so the story could be played around with at another time.
Now time for the key questions:
Why 4 out 5 stars? Actually, I would call it more like 3.5, but there were a couple factors that bumped it up to a 4. The story did what it was meant to: it entertained me and it made me suspensful. The writing style was impeccable and well done for an indie author. I've read quite a few indie author books and short stories and this story trumps quite a few of them. I do not give out ratings easily. I analyze the story hard after I read it and try to be as honest and fair as possible. Writer's do not get better by people constantly praising them, they get better by honesty. And I honestly felt that the author deserved the four stars. The only thing that made me withold the last star was my confusion towards the end, and my feeling that this is not her best work. I have a feeling that Francis has the ability to make much better work, and I'm saving the five stars for when I've got the chance to read it.
Would I have bought it? In retrospect, after I've read it, I would have to say that the price put up is perfectly reasonable! It's an interesting, suspenseful story and worth the .99C that Francis is modestly asking for.
Would I recommend it? Sure! It's good and I urge those who are unsure and sitting on the fence to give it a shot! It won't blow you out of the water, but it will give you you money's worth!
Francis had a way with words that has made me very curious and excited about where she's going as a writer. I may have to read some of her other stuff and give them a read. =) Given some time to sharpen her work, she might be able to give A.R. Wise a run for his money someday! Good luck, Francis, and keep writing!(less)
Blinding Knife is the second novel in Brent Week's Lightbringer Series. Right before reading this I made sure to read the first book to make sure that...moreBlinding Knife is the second novel in Brent Week's Lightbringer Series. Right before reading this I made sure to read the first book to make sure that I was plenty refreshed on what was going on in the storyline. It was a good thing I did because I had forgotten quite a few plotlines that had been introduced.
The second book picks up where the first left off. Liv Danavis has joined the Color Prince's army of wights; Kip is now at the Chromeria, trying to prove himself amongst his peers; "Gavin" (Dazen) is trying to figure out what to do with refugees he manage to save from the Battle of Garriston, while also coping with the fact that his is losing his colors and with that his lifespan, all the while fighting to keep the truth of his idenity from the love of his life--Karris White Oak; and "Dazen" (Gavin) is still trying to fight his way to freedom.
All in all I would have to give the book a 3 to 3.5. Depending on the way the next book plays out, I may bump up that rating to a 4 or even lower it to a 2. While I was ultimately entertained while I read, I found myself glancing at the page number much more than I should have and it was like pulling my teeth to pay attention for the last hundred pages. I'm not sure if it was because I was just exhausted of the story because of having read this book immediately after rereading the first, or maybe because the story didn't have much of a set... climax that the story was building to. It made the story laggy in places and at times I was confused on where the story was going.
Some characters were introduced and then seemed to drop off, while other characters were just plain dropped off. (view spoiler)[I was very interested in seeing where Teia's story was going to, but was very disappointed when she seemd to disappear and take the back seat all of the sudden when her ownership was transferred to Kip. She did appear later in the fight scenes, but her presence seemed minimal and hardly noticable.
Also the death of "Dazen" (Gavin) was shocking and extremely confusing, as well as offputting. We've seen introduced to this character and his struggle for freedom had seemed to be very essential to the story going on. Of course "Gavin" (Dazen) would obviously have to respond, in some drastic manner, to his brother's near escape but killing him... It's not that it didn't seem reasonable, but it was a complete drop off of storyline. I was so convinced that his story was going to go somewhere, and the idea of his escape would be such a great plot point for the main characters to struggle against. Nope. He was just shot, boom, end of that story line. It was way too sudden and very disappointing.
I am very, very hopeful that perhaps, somehow, "Dazen" (Gavin) isn't really dead but I'm not holding my breath. (hide spoiler)]
Other characters seemed to act... unrealistically. (view spoiler)[ If I was Karris and "Gavin" (Dazen) revealed/I found out that the man I loved was masquerading as his brother whom he was hiding in a cell underneath the Chromeria, but it's okay now because he's been shot... I would have been holding out more for just an apology. Karris is described as the type of woman to hold grudges than I would have treated that information like a bomb. I'd be pissed and my wrath would be cold. There would not be such a quick make-up and I would make him work hard to regain my love, annd trust. (hide spoiler)]
However, there were some good qualities about the story. I loved seeing Kip's progress, though he did seem to almost be a completely different person at times. I'm taking that as character development though. I loved his story line and the introduction of Andross Guile into the story. (view spoiler)[ And the fact he was a red wight?! I should have seen that coming but I didn't! Very cool! I'm still struggling to figure out how Kip found it out himself. (hide spoiler)] I also enjoyed reading about Liv and her struggle to not only find herself a place amongst the Color Prince's army, but her struggle with her loss of faith in the system and religion that she had known her whole life. (view spoiler)[She started using her Superviolet like a drug to keep herself distant from her own turbulent emotions and tried to use it to cope with the sadness, despair and horror at the exposure to war. (hide spoiler)] In my opinion her struggle was the most realistic in the whole book and I loved reading it.
Oh! Also! (view spoiler)[ Zymun being Kip's half-brother via Karris and "Dazen" (Gavin)! Did not see it coming! I'm very curious to see where that goes! (hide spoiler)] The mention of Nine Kings made me think strongly of Magic: The Gathering and, I was not surprised, to read in the acknowledgements that Weeks WAS actually inspired by MTG when inventing Nine Kings. I also didn't like the ocassional... slip into first persons on those sporadic chapters. It would start with normal third person and all of a sudden first person. Maybe Weeks was testing the waters with a different water style, but I found it very confusing and off putting.
Overall, it was a good book. Not a great one, but a good one that left me scratching my head in confusion several times. I'm not sure if I like where the series is heading, but I won't know for sure until I read the next book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)