You know, I love a good book that can be sweet and charming without actually being written that way. Books that when you get right down to it are actuYou know, I love a good book that can be sweet and charming without actually being written that way. Books that when you get right down to it are actually really dark and depressing yet still make you go "aww" and connect to the characters in such a way that gives you that fuzzy feeling inside. This is one of those books.
Mal is such a sad and depressing character. He's been hurt so many times and feels like a huge outsider. High school isn't an easy place for him and the fact that no one believes he's been abducted by aliens just makes things worse. He can't talk about it to anyone and I could just tell how lonely he was. When Mal finds a support group for abductees it was just a huge hooray moment for me. Then he discovers a lot of those people are probably just faking it to have a little fun or watch the freaks. So watching his newfound friendship with Hooper who believes he actually is an alien was even more satisfying.
It was a short book but in this case it made an impact. I wish I could have more of Mal and Hooper and just wish the whole thing was a series so I could see what happens next. My only concern was that the ending seemed a bit rushed. It was the only part of the story that I wish was more developed. Other than that I really liked it and think it would make a great read for anyone who likes light science fiction stories.
Since the close of 2012, there have been a number of books published that deal with the end of times, mainly that prophecy based off the Mayan calendaSince the close of 2012, there have been a number of books published that deal with the end of times, mainly that prophecy based off the Mayan calendar. This is one of them.
I have read three books in the past year whose plots are based off this prophecy. T. Anderson's version dealing with a conspiracy and the reincarnation of Stella Steinar, is so far the smartest, most down to earth approach. You wont find any shape-shifters or crazy disaster scenarios. There are no blow-em up, shoot em down scenes. If you're looking for that I'm sure there are plenty of books out there. This one however, deals with a group of people and the clandestine efforts they put into sorting out a conspiracy that puts all their lives on the table. Perhaps there are also a few crazy scientists. But, that's besides the point.
I enjoyed The Awakening of Stella Steinar and there were a few things that really stood out for me. For one, is the relationship between Stella and Aron, two twins who until they begin college and are roomed together have never met and didn't know about each other's existence. This relationship is really what grabbed me at the start of the book and made me keep reading. I connected with both of them and enjoyed watching them work together and figure out what was going on all while simultaneously trying to "throw off" the bad guy. It did bother me a little that they both got along almost immediately. I don't know how I'd react if I suddenly found out I had an identical twin. I do think though that their relationship was fun to watch and that was more important to me while reading the book.
The second aspect of the book that really worked for me was the reincarnation aspect and how that played into Stella's "awakening". What the group finds out at the end of the book was a twist I didn't see coming. Either the author really knew how to divert my attention from what was really going on or I am not as an ostute observer as I believed to be. Either way I thought it was pretty cool.
This book was really interesting and had a lot of things that might pull a reader in - the 2012 Mayan prophecy, religion and reincarnation, conspiracies, relationships. It's all there. This is the first book by T. Anderson and although I felt the author still has room for improvement with regards to writing style it was a good start and very well thought out plot with some interesting characters to throw in the mix.
This is my first Canadian small press book. At least, one that I know is from Canada and is also set in a Canadian city. It's a period piece, tak2.5/5
This is my first Canadian small press book. At least, one that I know is from Canada and is also set in a Canadian city. It's a period piece, taking place in the 1940s and focuses on memories and events from citizens of St. John's, Newfoundland who were involved in World War II. The book is part of a mystery series involving Inspector Eric Stride.
I ended up having a very hard time reading through this one and have been trying to come up with reasons why this should be since I can't find any one really pressing to fault the story or the writing with. Instead, I think it may have been a bunch of little things that just didn't work for me as a reader. The one thing I can say first is that it was very difficult for me to connect with the characters in the first 2/3 of the story. Having not read any other Inspector Stride Mystery's before may have been a factor here. There was just not enough in the story for me to grab on to and learn who Eric Stride is, nor his police team mates for that matter. Instead, much of the first 2/3 of the story focuses on Harrison Rose and the mystery behind who he was as a person. As such, we get little bits and pieces of story from some of the men who went to war with him. I got to know some of these men a little bit better, and of course I got to know Harrison Rose the best. These are the people and story-lines that stuck with me the most while reading.
The focus on Harrison Rose's back story wasn't so much of an issue to me though as the fact that the characters and the narrator periodically switch from using people's last names to identify then to suddenly using first names. Since the story involves multiple perspectives this made it very difficult for me to follow along with who was who and what they were up to.
Lastly, I'd say the lack of women throughout the book was a factor as well. This was very much a man's world considering the nature of the story, the fact that it focused on 1940s police officers interviewing men involved in the World Wars. A little more interaction with some women could have made me connect to the characters a little better as a female reader though. In fact, it's when Stride does talk to his girl friend, Harrison Rose's mistress, and when his daughter showed up that my attention was peaked.
Despite the fact that I had a difficult time reading through most of the book, the story itself did interest me as well as the actual mystery. This is why I think that once most of the mystery behind who Harrison Rose's personal history settled a little the book really picked up for me. I liked hearing about the discrepancy in how many shots were fired vs. how many bullet wounds there were and seeing how the police officers brain stormed the reasons behind this. I also loved reading about the post-death break in to Harrison Roses house and the suspicions Eric Stride had about some of the characters the readers were already introduced to.
On top of the mystery and story was the fact that I learned so much about Canadian soldiers that I didn't know before. I had previously never learned about the soldiers of Newfoundland. And many of the stories the men shared with the inspector centered around a battle called "Battle of Ville Ste-Lucille" and is based off of the actual battle Monchy-Le-Preux which took place in April 1917. It is a remarkable tale and worth reading about even if you don't find yourself picking up this book.
In conclusion, I could tell this was a very well researched book and it was very well written in the sense that the stories seemed true to life and the complexity of the situation showed through brilliantly. There wasn't any reason why the things that seemed to have made this book difficult for me to read to have done so and I can tell from the enthusiam of previous reviewers for the book that it certainly didn't for others. I certainly hope that in the future I will be able to pick up the first two Inspector Stride Mystery books and find that I enjoy them much more.
This book is about many things. It's sewing kit list includes: a taxidermist, successful attempts at writing, Beatrice, pain, the reality of fiction,This book is about many things. It's sewing kit list includes: a taxidermist, successful attempts at writing, Beatrice, pain, the reality of fiction, the Holocaust, Virgil, the Holocaust (of animals), failed attempts at creative writing, a play, pears, pets, the fact of murder, putting things into words, lists, 68 Nowolipski Street, games, and some stuffed animals. Knowing all this, I am still inclined to turn my head and state to our good friend, "Yes, Mr. Martel...but what is your book about?" Clever? Perhaps. But also, perhaps not....more
This is one of those books I read in middle school I decided to revisit again. I was completely fascinated by the War of 1812 in middle school so I loThis is one of those books I read in middle school I decided to revisit again. I was completely fascinated by the War of 1812 in middle school so I loved that there was actually a book about it for my age bracket. Reading it now, I think there is something lacking. Perhaps an even stronger moral lesson about war in general was needed. I enjoyed reading about General Brock, of course. He seems something of a legend reading history books and it was nice to see him from this point of view. Overall a good book....more
I thought this book was great. It's less of a "dictionary" of names and more of a "guidebook". There's lots of do's and don'ts and fun facts. There'sI thought this book was great. It's less of a "dictionary" of names and more of a "guidebook". There's lots of do's and don'ts and fun facts. There's a specific chapter I thought was really helpful on things to think about when choosing a name like first impressions when people hear a name, children's peers and names, etc....more
Okay, so a few years ago I was seeing this book everywhere. But I never actually bothered to find out what it was about. Judging it by its cover and tOkay, so a few years ago I was seeing this book everywhere. But I never actually bothered to find out what it was about. Judging it by its cover and title I figured it would be kind of funny and knowing Coupland was supposed this great writer about pop culture things I thought the humour would go over my head, hence giving me no reason to read it.
Then last week I saw it in the library and figured, "hey, why not?". This book turned out to be very serious to me. How could one take high school shooting massacres lightly anyway? This book is from four different people's perspectives and they all have an interesting tale to tell about their own lives but each one also tells the heartbreaking story of Jason. There is humour, there are funny observations, and there is cleverness in this story. But I found it hard to laugh and only be amused a little when I so depressed by the tales surrounding it.
Overall a great book. In the end I'm very glad I picked it up and would try some of Coupland's other books in the future. But I found this was the first time I disagreed completely with some of the review snippets the publisher put in the cover. I would not say that "hilariously funny" describes this book at all...but it was still a tale worth reading for it's observations about humanity and what can happen to people after something so tragic happens in a person's life....more
This book was a pleasure to read, as I had been to Hecla Island many times as a child. I can't remember too much about it now, as it's been a long timThis book was a pleasure to read, as I had been to Hecla Island many times as a child. I can't remember too much about it now, as it's been a long time since I read it. But I remember loving the fact that I could picture these places as I knew them. And the story as well as the main character, Thora, were both charming....more