An angry polemic, a rhetorical rant; no clear conclusions beyond "we're f***ed" (direct quote), no attribution for the quote his book ends on, no reasAn angry polemic, a rhetorical rant; no clear conclusions beyond "we're f***ed" (direct quote), no attribution for the quote his book ends on, no reasoning behind his dismissal of proposed solutions, no examination of how we can change some of the things he rants about, no cohesion. This is at a level of a GCSE student giving a presentation - even then, not a very good GCSE student. For example, he claims that desalination of sea water to produce drinking water is "too expensive" then moves on. Too expensive by what criteria? How much does it cost and how much does it cost to fight over drinking water? He states our aquifers are emptying faster than they can be refilled, then states that desalination is "too expensive" without even trying to compare it to the cost of our aquifers running dry. This isn't a book, it's an angry drunken rant printed with often one or two sentences per page.
Well written but a bad plot. The basic premise is that the human military needs to find a child genius to command its war against an abstract alien thrWell written but a bad plot. The basic premise is that the human military needs to find a child genius to command its war against an abstract alien threat. To that end we follow the title character as he attends "Battle School" and starts to learn the skills necessary to become the war leader that humanity needs. What follows is, as I stated in the first line of this review, well written but the basic premise is absurd. Why doed the military need a child to fight this war for them? Just because Ender happens to be a genius, why does that mean it is necessary to take him to military school at age 6? How incompetent are the top brass of this military that a six year old - even a genius six year old - can in five years be molded into a better commander than any of them ever will be? This one, basic flaw is never addressed satisfactorily - indeed it is only addressed in one minute paragraph almost at the end of the book - and as such it makes the book somewhat hard to take seriously. The idea of a six year old child saviour might work fine for a childern's adventure story but for an adult book that is supposed to be taken seriously by science fiction fans, it's unworkable. There are other plot points that don't work (but this is a spoiler free review so I will not go in to specifics) and the few interesting ideas that are present are glossed over far too quickly for them to be more than "interesting asides". Indeed, for me I found the most interesting part of the book to be the last half dozen pages and the interesting moral and ethical questions the book finally threw up just before it ended.
But, these criticisms aside, the book IS well written and it is easy to read - even non-SF fans should have no problem with the explanations of advanced tech - and the level of prose is enough to stop the book being bad. But the ideas and plot are poor enough to stop the book being good. An average read....more
"[Y]ou can no more read the same book again than you can step into the same river ... " Neil Gaiman, from the afterword of the "SF Masterworks" editio"[Y]ou can no more read the same book again than you can step into the same river ... " Neil Gaiman, from the afterword of the "SF Masterworks" edition I have of The Stars My Destination.
When I first read this book some ten years ago, I found it to be brilliant. I had never read anything like it and turned my understanding of print sci-fi around and opened so many doors for me that previously I never even knew existed. I had previously believed that Science Fiction worked best on the screen rather than the page whereas Fantasy worked best on the page rather than the screen. But I read this book and realised how wrong I was. This was art at its very best. Given its impact on me and its role as a catalyst to a wider world of Science Fiction novels, how could I give it anything other than five stars?
But beyond that, taking out the personal impact it had on me and looking at it obejectively, it would still be a five star book. It tells the story of a wronged man who seeks revenge and the animalistic levels he sinks to in order to get that revenge. Or at least, that is how the books starts. Where it ends up is impossible to say without giving away spoilers. Suffice to say that while the protagonist seeks revenge the reader, in turn, sees something different and the science fiction setting of the story becomes essential and not merely the background. This tale couldn't work in a different genre, it has to be science fiction for the tale to be told and like a lot of the New Wave of science fiction it turned the camera inside rather than let it linger outside. What could easily have turned into a "space opera adventure" story instead becomes a fierce tale of one man strugglling who doesn't even realise that he is struggling at all. This is science fiction at its very best; a human tale in an inhuman setting. The future is coming but can our concept of humanity survive it? Read this book and find out....more
Despite being billed as a Fallen Angel story, it actually focuses far more on Illyria from the TV show Angel. Indeed, the entire story is narrated froDespite being billed as a Fallen Angel story, it actually focuses far more on Illyria from the TV show Angel. Indeed, the entire story is narrated from her point of view and is about her quest to retrieve items of power from her past. The few glimpses we are given into the new status quo in Bette Noire (following Cities Of Light And Dark) are enough to pique the curiousity but not enough to satisfy. If you care more from the Fallen Angel characters than Illyria - as I do - then this story will entertain but ultimately leave you craving what you didn't get. Which is a Fallen Angel story. This story should have been billed as an Illyria story with Fallen Angel guest starring, not the other way round....more
A collection of one and two issues stories. Which are all well written - as is usual for this title - but doesn't leave us with any of the depth thatA collection of one and two issues stories. Which are all well written - as is usual for this title - but doesn't leave us with any of the depth that the TV show was good at. Everything is just surface. Even the resolution to a plot line that's been there since the first issue felt rushed and lacking in dramatic impact.
Not so keen on this story as I am on the previous three. I think I might have enjoyed it more if I had come across any of the guest-starring characterNot so keen on this story as I am on the previous three. I think I might have enjoyed it more if I had come across any of the guest-starring characters before - who apparently have their own continuity, etc. But as I hadn't, it was rather ... well, dull, seeing them resolve various issues that I hadn't known about in the first place.
But having said that it was still well written and the characters whom I do now continue to be written believably and well....more
The Boys wants to have its cake and eat it, too. It wants to condemn certain behaviour but takes great delight in showing it in great detail. It's beeThe Boys wants to have its cake and eat it, too. It wants to condemn certain behaviour but takes great delight in showing it in great detail. It's been the biggest flaw of the series throughout and it all comes crashing into a heap in this collected edition. It's humour is schoolboy level, thinking that a man farting on a woman's head is funny, but at the same time it tries to tackle some serious political issues. But then shows lots of sex and condemns it at the same time. Which it has been doing for all the previous books, too. And now it's just reached critical mass and imploded in onitself. The entire "plot", for want of a better word, could have been done in less than one book. But then we wouldn't have been able to "snigger" at a the description of an invisible woman in a threesome.
For the first time ever I'm giving up on a limited series before it finishes. No more for me, I'm out....more