This is a completely historically accurate telling of H. H. Holmes, a mass murderer in the 1890's in Chicago during the worlds fair. The story of HolmThis is a completely historically accurate telling of H. H. Holmes, a mass murderer in the 1890's in Chicago during the worlds fair. The story of Holmes is intermingled with the story of the making of the worlds fair which is, in and of itself, an amazing story.
Larson does an amazing job of telling a story through documented evidence of actual events without it feeling like a history lesson. I would have given it 5 stars except that some details about the fair I felt dragged a little bit. For the most part it is fabulous and I even found myself surprised when I discovered the build up was to the Farris Wheel! ...more
This book was an amazingly fast read. The characters were fairly well developed for a young adult novel but what really pulled me in was the writing sThis book was an amazingly fast read. The characters were fairly well developed for a young adult novel but what really pulled me in was the writing style. The author does an excellent job of keeping you on the edge of your seat without artificially extending the plot. While it's difficult to identify with loving a vampire you can identify with the awkwardness of being a teenager and having to face major life decisions. While I might pick this one up again, it's highly doubtful. The fun is in not knowing how it's going to end. ...more
This book is about a family in a country home in England and the events that occur on one summer day in 1935. The book is split into four parts. The fThis book is about a family in a country home in England and the events that occur on one summer day in 1935. The book is split into four parts. The first part is about the one day that changes the rest of there lives. This part moves very slow, focusing on character development. The perspective changes from character to character through the chapters and builds to the climax a the end of the day.
Part two is the story of Robbie, years later during the war. It follows how his life turned out as a consequence of the events of that one fateful day.
Part three follows Briony five years later. She is working as a nurse during the war. She is haunted by the events of that day and cannot find the strength inside herself to undo her wrongs. We follow her as she comes to terms with what she did and struggles to make the right choices now.
The forth part I cannot say much about. These pages change the entire scope of the story and make you feel all the more connected to the characters. This portion of the book is only a few pages but it is the part that you will think about as you lie in bed trying to sleep.
If this review seems vague it is only because every twist and turn of this plot should only be taken by reading the book itself and seeing it all unfold from a complete mystery. ...more
Ohhh Brandon Sanderson! Ok, so I loved the Mistborn series and was worried I might be getting my hopes up that this could be just as good… well it is.Ohhh Brandon Sanderson! Ok, so I loved the Mistborn series and was worried I might be getting my hopes up that this could be just as good… well it is. At least I think it’s as good as the first Mistborn book.
The complex societies in this book are immersing. I find myself having trouble raising my eyes up and rejoining “the real world”. The characters, lands, religions, and history are so full of depth in these books that I can dream of them. Some nights, I would start to doze off while reading and my mind would just run away with the characters. I would wake up to find I had no idea where the book had ended and my dream had begun. I can honestly say that has never happened to me before.
You must pay attention to the detail in this book. Time frames move, as does the perspective. There are thin threads woven which are sure to lay a massive Persian carpet over the next 9 books. I love the way that magic, science, and religion come together in these books. Also, to contrast our own world women are the only people who can read (as a general rule) and tend to be the scientists and engineers, and people are segregated based on the color of their eyes (instead of skin color).
The characters are redeeming, flawed, smart, witty, and interesting. I never know exactly how to feel about any one of them (ohh, but I do love Kaladin) and that keeps me wanting more of all of them. ...more
A good, quick read. I thought the writing style was a little rough. The story moves too quickly at times. Just cuts of emails and strings of conversatA good, quick read. I thought the writing style was a little rough. The story moves too quickly at times. Just cuts of emails and strings of conversation with little context. It is probably a good reflection of how the situation felt but it did not come across seamlessly on paper. It made me feel disconnected from what was happening instead of the climactic energy I believe it was trying to achieve. ...more
The book was very interesting but I felt it was written like it wanted to be "My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding". Everything sounded like a punchline. I thouThe book was very interesting but I felt it was written like it wanted to be "My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding". Everything sounded like a punchline. I thought the characters were well described and endearing. I did not like that there was no chronology though. It was difficult to understand the motivations in the stories because the time line jumped around so much. ...more
This is the first book in the am-a-zing Dark Tower series. This first book is very slow and is really just for character development. This book explaiThis is the first book in the am-a-zing Dark Tower series. This first book is very slow and is really just for character development. This book explains many things that are relevant to the overall story.
It’s really difficult to rate these books individually so I won’t. They really are one story where the author happened to find convenient places to brIt’s really difficult to rate these books individually so I won’t. They really are one story where the author happened to find convenient places to break between publications. When I first started this series I wasn’t sure. First off, I’m a little over the series thing. Everything is book #1 of some series; even if there is only one book. When I started this book it felt very similar to the Gentlemen Bastard series; another in the long list of series that I did not continue. Slowly but surely, the crew in these book started to differentiate themselves from the characters in those other books. Yes they were thieves, and yes they were the enemies of the oppressive nobles, and yes they were somehow more clever and well spoken than they should have been; but they more as well. They weren’t just simple Robin Hoods. See there’s this evil “lord ruler” who is oppressing and killing the Skaa, if they could only overcome him. Even as I write this it seems too simple a plot.
What unfolds over the three books is magical. This is one of the few series I’ve read where the books got better as they went. See it wasn’t just about the lord ruler (is it ever that simple?). As our hero’s learn more about the world they live in, we do as well and it is a stunning story. Well thought out with very little in the way of loose ends. I love it when the simplest of things from the first book ends up making the difference in the end. Did the author really know how it would end from the beginning or was he really able to make it all fit together? The fantasy in this book is also some of the most imaginative yet reasonable that I’ve read. I love the concept of the Kanda, who can turn themselves into others by eating their bones after death. It’s a new spin on the shape shifter concept made believable by the science around it (their science anyway).
Also the characters in these books are very well done. At first they seemed a little trite, contrived, and predictable but I think that was the point. The invested reader gets to learn how none of them are as simple as they appear and the depth is what keeps you interested. Some characters introduced in the second book become my favorites.
Now the things I didn’t like (I mean it is an average of 4-starts). Vin and Elend’s relationship is trying at times. Sanderson tightens it up by the end of the second book but the beginning of the second was a little difficult for me. Especially when Vin curls, cuddles, and snuggles. It just doesn’t seem “Vin” to do any of these things with anybody. Finally, Elend’s overall character development is a little strange. He makes some huge changes rather quickly and at times that’s also a little difficult to “snap” to. In the end, it’s perfect but you have to have some faith that it will get there.
One warning, there are no happy endings. Really, it can be said that there are no endings. While this book isn’t a real tear jerker, I did find myself tearing a little at the end. The book couldn’t have ended any better but I still felt a slight loss. ...more
This barely made a 3-star rating. Let me start by saying that I read the kindle version and I have never read a book with so many typos, and missing pThis barely made a 3-star rating. Let me start by saying that I read the kindle version and I have never read a book with so many typos, and missing punctuation. I think it must have been done by some program that still has bugs. It made the book very difficult to follow because the author, Perez-Reverte, is quite verbose at times and loves commas. I will try to ignore this for the purposes of this review and hope the print version is better.
The story surrounds an underground gun-for-hire in the antique book world as he is pulled into two seemingly unrelated jobs. There are constant references to scenes and characters in classic books such as "The Three Musketeers" and "Sherlock Holmes". The story and characters in the book is often juxtaposed to these classic novels as well. Well I think this was an interesting idea, it often distracts from the story.
My biggest gripe is the ending. Like any mystery, the ending is what sets the rating. I did not care for the ending. I felt that it left too many loose ends. Also, there is one character that is never explained. I suppose some will say that the Author meant to leave her mystery for the reader but I thought that her character was not developed enough to make that stick. I didn't care to think about her in the end; to try to figure her out for myself because I didn't feel the author even tried to give me the tools to do so.
I also got the distinct feeling the book was written with a movie script in mind. I may be totally wrong, I have been in the past. I felt like the Author spent too much time on how people looked than how they felt. ...more
The book opens with the death of the president then works its way from deep in the past to well beyond the presidents death (which is actually only aThe book opens with the death of the president then works its way from deep in the past to well beyond the presidents death (which is actually only a small part of the plot, though you never forget it). I loved this book mainly because the story telling was so good. there are multiple characters of interest who lead different plot lines that all intertwine until the end where they all come together at the end. Since the main character is a magician there is no shortage or misdirection. The Author does an excellent job of giving you just enough information to keep you interested while leaving enough out that you can still be surprised. There were so many times that it felt like I could not get to the next page fast enough to see if what I believed was happening was real or just another illusion. ...more
The story of Liesel, a young girl in WW2 Germany. Sent to live with a foster family because her mother cannot keep her (for reasons not completely desThe story of Liesel, a young girl in WW2 Germany. Sent to live with a foster family because her mother cannot keep her (for reasons not completely described). During the trip to the foster family her brother dies. The book that she finds in the snow near her brothers grave site is the only connection she feels she still has to her brother. When her foster father finds the illiterate girls book, it begins a relationship between the two of them; the first connection she has to her new family. Night after night, her father stays up late and teaches her to read.
Three other connections are built up throughout the book as well. Her best friend Rudy who has a mad crush on her, Max who is the jew her foster father hides in the basement, and the Mayors wife who still morns the loss of her only son as a baby and allows Liesel to read in her Library.
The problem for me was that in 600 pages, the most compelling character in the book is the narrator, Death, who follows the girl starting with the loss of her brother. Even in 600 pages, the author could not build build convincing relationships. Every relationship seems forced and over-emphasized. I couldn't make myself feel for any of the characters and at the end of the book realized that I had not even given any of the characters faces.
The next problem was the style of writing. This also seemed overdone. The author tries to describe the emotional aftermath of words spoken by giving the words movement.
"two giant words were struggled with, carried on her shoulder, and dropped as a bungling pair at Ilsa Hermann's feet. They fell off sideways as the girl veered with them and could no longer sustain their weight"
This book was just too much to struggle with. Everything about it seemed clumsy and forced. Not my type of book at all. ...more