I swear I originally heard of Wool through a fantastic review that it got on GoodReads. Or maybe someone had mentioned it briefly in another revie...moreHuh.
I swear I originally heard of Wool through a fantastic review that it got on GoodReads. Or maybe someone had mentioned it briefly in another review? Either way, it looked interesting and the concept intrigued me. The comparison to The Passage truly drew me in, as that book is one of my all-time favorites and certainly one of the best books I've ever read. I didn't happen to see much of a comparison there once I did read it, aside from the superficial likenesses that could be drawn from the social arrangement in the silo and the social arrangement in Justin Cronin's last holdouts for civilization. Both authors seemed to have done a decent amount of historical research there, though perhaps Hugh Howey's class distinctions and analyses come from a more personal place due to his maritime history.
As a book, I found Wool to be incredibly entertaining. I didn't form any terribly close attachments to the characters themselves, but I was interested in what was going to happen to them. The bigger interest for me came in the world that Hugh Howey created and the way that it worked. I wanted to learn more about the silo, the world beyond, and what choices were made there and why. The revolutionary plot didn't hold my interest as much as past choices did. I wanted to sink into more of the history, more of the technology, more of the structure of things than what was happening in it.
The actual plot, characters, and other such features struck me as something a bit hurried. The pacing was good, and reminded me a great deal of the Mystery Shows such as Battlestar Galactica and Lost. At times it was as dry as the failed FlashForward, but at least it didn't halt right when it got interesting.
What drew me in more, made me finish the book and will see me reading the other two collections in the series was the way the book was written. A serialized novel is an interesting beast, and shouldn't be as harshly judged as other works. Looking at it through that lens you could see where the author responded to criticism, how the writing changed and the focus was altered. It's fascinating watching an author transform in that way, and Wool was all the more interesting for it. I'll probably see the inevitable film or mini-series, will read the other books and watch where the story goes.
So for me? It was nothing worth comparing to The Passage but something interesting, quick, and worth a bit of a dig into. It just very much isn't for everyone, and is very much a product of the way it was written.(less)
Dogsbody was first laid before me by my first librarian in elementary school. She offered me the book, what with the c...moreAh, well, we meet again my love.
Dogsbody was first laid before me by my first librarian in elementary school. She offered me the book, what with the chilling rendition of the cold dog on the cover. Fur as white as snow, ears as red as blood, in mid leap towards the front of the cover. I devoured the book more quickly than anything, and left with a part of me stolen by the story. I could relate to Leo, to Sirius, to whatever you choose to call him. I had my rages, had my temper. Rereading it all these years later, yes, I've had my ill-chosen love. I felt I understood him, and understood the love that Kathleen had for him and the emptiness she felt towards the end.
Rereading it now, I understand the subplot of the Irish Troubles, the prejudice that I missed completely when I first read it innumerable times. I understood the mythology of the Hunt, and better the desire to chase and destroy and mourn and love that was all wrapped up within it. I understood the difference between the wild and the tame, the intelligence and the cruelty. There is so much in this book that just... it's almost like we were given only a brief snapshot of what could have continued on for ages. The world built was beautiful, cruel, confused and haunting. We were given so much in this book to explore, and so much was just viewed through inadequate eyes.
I think I'll always love this book, and I know it will always have stolen a large part of who I am. It's my favorite for a reason, and I spent years trying to find it for a bigger reason still. This book is an under-appreciated classic, and one I'll always hurriedly recommend to anyone who asks me. (less)
Roald Dahl is one of those authors omnipresent during childhood, but slowly fading into obscurity as the years go by. We all know the books he's writt...moreRoald Dahl is one of those authors omnipresent during childhood, but slowly fading into obscurity as the years go by. We all know the books he's written, the films and plays made of them. We all know the basis of the stories, but have we actually read the books? I hadn't, unfortunately, but I've been slowly amending that over the years and trying to understand what exactly I missed during my childhood. Unfortunately, what I missed seemed to be rather a lot. Fortunately, I'm making up for it now and able to more greatly appreciate what would have flown a bit over my head had I read them all during childhood.
Matilda I mostly remember as the film that came out when I was younger and constantly playing on television. I had a distinct image of a child being thrown through a window by her pigtails, and sure enough that did end up happening a bit later on during the book.
The writing in the book is good, wry and told with a bit of a smirk. While the classic idea of children versus adults is at the heart of the story, so is the notion that good adults can and do exist. The nurturing of Matilda's teacher, and the constant seeking of knowledge on her part were refreshing themes that resonated for me at least, as I'd been a child reading at a rather higher level than the rest of my classmates for some time. I also was rather touched by the fact that the children never resented Matilda her knowledge, but rather liked her. She was humble about it, quiet about it, helpful and sweet.
The book was touching, illustrations grand, and the story funny without being too harsh or too vulgar, as some children's books can be. Roald Dahl well reserves his status as a classic children's author.(less)
I think this book would serve far better as a standalone than as a proper part of the Wrinkle in Time movement. Aside from Sandy and Denny, the other...moreI think this book would serve far better as a standalone than as a proper part of the Wrinkle in Time movement. Aside from Sandy and Denny, the other characters are pretty much only mentioned. It isn't as involved with Meg and the family as A Swiftly Tilting Planet managed to be, and really only tangentially dealt with the science aspects that dominated the other three books. The idea of something only existing when it is observed, however, is one that's fascinating and worth a bit of a think.
So, Many Waters basically has Sandy and Denny travel back in time to hang out with Noah and his family in antedivulian times and deal with Seraphim and Nephilim. Yeah, it is overtly Biblical fiction, and although the author butchers Neanderthals a bit in her depictions of them all in all the ideas of how people survived in that time aren't terrible. It would do to interest people in prehistoric times, perhaps?
I didn't like it as much as I enjoyed the other books. I did enjoy the fact that as a coming of age story it dealt more directly with ideas of budding sexuality and how sometimes what you want isn't necessarily what you should have. The importance of family is emphasized, as well as the importance of following one's instincts and in general doing the right thing even if it isn't the easy thing to do. The ending felt a bit rushed, and I think the book would have done better to not be written for a YA audience, but that might just be the fact that I'm older now.
This used to be my favorite installation in the Wrinkle in Time series. I adored Charles Wallace, enjoyed the trip through history and seeing differen...moreThis used to be my favorite installation in the Wrinkle in Time series. I adored Charles Wallace, enjoyed the trip through history and seeing different time periods... Rereading it, some of the twists were rather obvious and a bit insulting. The repetition of the rune got trying. Realizing when it was written, what was happening... well, it gave the book a context that made its message rather clear. It would have been interesting to see what kids thought of it at the time it was released with the very real threat of nuclear annihilation looming.
Good to see some Welsh mythology creeping in, as it doesn't tend to get looked at nearly often enough. The witch hunt was a bit annoying, but so it goes.(less)
Out of what I read of the Time Quintet originally this was the book I had the scantiest recollection of. I reread A Wrinkle in Time and A Swiftly Tilt...moreOut of what I read of the Time Quintet originally this was the book I had the scantiest recollection of. I reread A Wrinkle in Time and A Swiftly Tilting Planet many many times, but this one? Not so much. My memory of it was very shaky and I think it got mixed somewhere over the years with some Magic School Bus episodes.
Nevertheless, rereading the book I found a lot of charming parts of it. I don't feel that it was nearly as strong as A Wrinkle in Time, but poking around I discovered that for a great many people this book was really their favorite. The author's speculative biology was both misinformed and predictive, interesting and thematic. It's a bit heavy, but all of her books are. I think my main problem was that the book came off as more rushed than the others for me.
Progonoskies is a fantastic character, but Blajeny and Sporos both didn't seem fully developed. Calvin could have been emphasized a bit more, too, considering what part he and his family play in A Wrinkle in Time and A Swiftly Tilting Planet but that might just be my own bias speaking.
Man, I wish this universe had been more fully fleshed out.(less)
This short story came up as free on my phone the other day and I of course jumped at the opportunity to get some more Neil Gaiman. I think this sto...moreAw.
This short story came up as free on my phone the other day and I of course jumped at the opportunity to get some more Neil Gaiman. I think this story might have been collected in Fragile Things, but either way it had been a while and I was up for a reread. Gosh, I love this man's writing.
It's amazing how much of a character you can grasp through a few simple sentences, how amusing a response to a bizarre situation can be. I adore Neil Gaiman's ability to take an ordinary man, set him into extraordinary situations, and have him react in a believable way. Neverwhere achieved this brilliantly, and this short story really highlights his capability as well.
Funny story, brilliant reread, I don't think I'll ever grow tired of this author.(less)
I picked this book up at the used bookstore for my boyfriend, knowing that he was a fan of Kurt Vonnegut and science fiction. Why not mix the two and give him the only overtly sci-fi novel that the author wrote? Well. I did. And he enjoyed it. Well, I think he enjoyed it. I probably should talk to him about it a bit. He did pass it on to me when he was done and said I'd probably like to read it, so, there's that.
This book was pretty darn hilarious. I didn't feel terribly kindly about the final arc of the novel, but I greatly enjoyed the rest of it and found it more amusing than I should have. Laughter was had, grins were grinned, and the book was eagerly devoured in a relatively short period. It was an entertaining read, a very fun one. The philosophy wasn't terribly deep, the message wasn't anything stunning or remarkable as one might perhaps expect and hope from the author... but the book was fun. It was fun, it was good, and what more do you want from some fine fiction?(less)
"I got you a present." My boyfriend said. "It's The Walking Dead game."
Yeah, he never was too great at surprises. Well, I thought to myself, I guess i...more"I got you a present." My boyfriend said. "It's The Walking Dead game."
Yeah, he never was too great at surprises. Well, I thought to myself, I guess it's time to whip out the old Zombie Survival Guide for tips. When is a better time to look over the advantages of rural fighting to urban, of machetes to semiautomatic (or fully automatic) weapons, or the ever present knowledge of just how many undead may be forzen in the tundra?
Correct answer: Now is the best time. If a Class 3 or Class 4 attack is happening and you're only just picking up this book... it is already too late.(less)
You know when a book tries to tackle big philosophical/sociological questions and just falls flat?
I picked this book up hoping it would be a funn...moreYou know when a book tries to tackle big philosophical/sociological questions and just falls flat?
I picked this book up hoping it would be a funny short read and instead was greeted with a mix between Technopoly and Questionable Content. It was awkward, to say the least.
A man falls in love with Siri, but then realizes that perhaps he needs human connection in his life. Funny premise, indeed. He also has a smart-talking robot dog as his sidekick and every page was pretty much a different 'blog post'.
I was given this book by the author, Russell Mardell, when he had an extra left from the Goodreads First-reads giveaway. So, I suppose I won this one...moreI was given this book by the author, Russell Mardell, when he had an extra left from the Goodreads First-reads giveaway. So, I suppose I won this one through the give-away. Once more, I am extremely happy that I had a chance to read this book.
The comment on the back reads "Long live misanthropy!" and the book is comprised of twelve short-stories that take place in a "town a bit to the left of reality." Mewlish Lull, said town, is indeed just a bit to the left of reality. The stories occupy the same sort of space that the more realistic Jonathan Carroll stories do... everything makes sense, and then it doesn't. You think this is realism, but it still feels slightly off... by the time I was on the third story, "Farringdon" I was madly in love with this book and the strange feeling reading it gave me. This is very British, very odd, and not a little sad. It left me feeling a bit chafed, a bit off, and yet grinning like a fool. The book is not without is humor, though its humor tends towards the morbid.
For the record, the title story is also one of the creepiest stories I've had the joy of reading.(less)
I feel as if I need to read this over again. This is the sort of book, like most Grand Morrison works, that needs to be read slowly and digested. It w...moreI feel as if I need to read this over again. This is the sort of book, like most Grand Morrison works, that needs to be read slowly and digested. It would significantly help, having someone to talk to about it, but as that is currently lacking I fear that I shall forever remain wrapped up in confusion as to what I just read.
The transitions were a bit jarring, and at times I struggled to figure out what was flashback and what was present action. I realize that context clues reveal these things for the most part, but I still feel that it could have been a bit more fluid or clearly defined. I felt a few pieces of plot were never adequately explored, and thus.. well.. it was terribly confusing.
Anyone care to discuss this with me and help me out a little? I feel as if I missed some things I shouldn't have...(less)
I really love short stories. I especially love collections of short stories that all follow around a b...moreI won this book through the first-reads program.
I really love short stories. I especially love collections of short stories that all follow around a basic theme. The Memory Eater is a truly great collection of short stories based around the central premise that a machine exists that can delete selected memories. This Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind like principle is then taken to varying extremes by the contributing authors. It's just fantastic.
Some write from the perspective of those who have had the procedure, some from the technicians who perform it. Some examine the myth of what would allow memories to be stolen, and some implant false memories in others. The play on memory and how malleable it can be is strong, but none of the stories come off as redundant or boring. The book makes you think, and that's the most you can ask of any book.
Also worth noting is that each story begins with a piece of original artwork, also contributed to the book. The art is great, and some of the pictures are really chilling.
These stories were not amazing, but they were extremely fun. The artwork is fast and loose, and the humor is extremely tongue in cheek. These reminded...moreThese stories were not amazing, but they were extremely fun. The artwork is fast and loose, and the humor is extremely tongue in cheek. These reminded me of earlier comics, and adhere to a lot of the Golden and Silver age conventions.
Also, can I just say I quite enjoy the idea of a super hero team made up of all the characters the other teams wouldn't accept?(less)
This novella - vignette? - cunningly mixed sci-fi and fantasy fiction. It melded some general tropes in...moreWalker is available to read free on GoodReads.
This novella - vignette? - cunningly mixed sci-fi and fantasy fiction. It melded some general tropes in interesting ways that reminded me a bit of Dead Space and the prologue of Spin the Sky. Just a bit, though. Not too much. While some of the tropes are common, I'm not entirely certain that this hasn't been done before. I'm not well enough read in scifi to say such.
While the concepts were interesting, I wasn't too fond of the execution. The piece read a bit too much like an outline or a rough draft for my taste. While the expansion potential was very high - there's a novel, or even a series hiding in there - I had trouble getting into the style and understanding what was going on from scene to scene. The piece would benefit from a rewrite expanding the ideas and focusing more on each character.
I wanted to feel in the piece rather than an outside observer. I wanted to be more attached to each of the characters and truly understand the system that the Watchers, Walkers, and Hybrids were forced into and make sense of the social structure. There's enough to be drawn upon to make this something much bigger, and I hope that Chad Schimke realizes that and works with it.
If GoodReads allowed for half stars, I believe this book would be around a 3.5 for me. As it is, four...moreI won this book through the first-reads program.
If GoodReads allowed for half stars, I believe this book would be around a 3.5 for me. As it is, four stars will have to do - I've not the heart to round down, and really, some of my gripes with this book may be solved by reading something other than a proof copy of it.
I really liked this book, but I didn't love it, and a large part of that comes from my intense dislike of the main character. Lev Grossman's The Magicians was able to get into my favorites list in spite of my hate of Quentin Coldwater because of my love of his writing, the world, and the intrigue that other characters offered. I couldn't find that in A Working Theory of Love. I found Livorno, Erin, Jenn, Rachel, and Laham about as despicable as I found Neill Jr. to be. At times I thought that maybe, just maybe, Neill would begin to change. Then he didn't.
The AI aspect of the book I greatly enjoyed. I found Neill's talks with his father fascinating, and the more it developed, the more interesting that it got. The ultimate reveal of 1976, however, I felt was a bit of a cop-out. The fact that Libby responded as she did to it also seemed a bit hollow to me. I wanted there to be more, but there just... wasn't. This was almost salvaged by Trevor, but then it didn't happen.
All of this, once more, could have been saved. The writing was solid, and the premise a great one. The setting worked, the plot worked, and the sci-fi aspect of it was brilliant. I had no complaints about that. The new age stuff, however, was troubling. Further troubling was the way that Neill just sacrificed some of his own beliefs for it. I question how and why he did this, and I wonder why Neill didn't a) change to believe more in it, or b) at least like the girl enough to sacrifice some of his own integrity to participate in it all.
Maybe someone wiser than me can explain some of these aspects of the books in a way that would help me understand it. Maybe I just need more coffee and will rewrite my review later. As it is, I would certainly read another book by Scott Hutchins and as far as a debut novel goes, this one is well worth the four stars. I think this author is going to have quite the successful career.(less)
Well, this book made me even more of an Alan Moore fangirl.
The title story was simply fantastic. I'm generally not a huge fan of Supes, but Alan Moor...moreWell, this book made me even more of an Alan Moore fangirl.
The title story was simply fantastic. I'm generally not a huge fan of Supes, but Alan Moore captured what it was to be Superman as a person, rather than simply a hero. All of the old villains returned, and one by one, the loose threads were tied up. The introduction nicely covered the point of the story... to end the golden age of Superman, essentially. This story did just that, and not wanting to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't yet read it, it did it splendidly.
In some ways, it seemed like Superman's equivalent to The Dark Knight Rises film...
The second story was another Superman-near-death tale. In this one, Superman was saved by the Swamp Thing. The writing of this story was beautiful, and the artwork (showing both Krypton and Earth) was predictably great. It was interesting to see how Superman dealt with the idea of dying, and it was certainly a fascinating introduction to Swamp Thing which I've not yet read.
The final story (Superman's birthday... and Mogul bringing a rather sinister gift) brought Wonder Woman, Batman, and Robin into the mix. The question of whether contentment is something one wishes to live with, was an interesting philosophical one. What is your true heart's desire? Would you be happy if you got it?
In this story Krypton wasn't destroyed... Bruce Wayne's parents weren't killed. Seeing how Bruce and Supes dealt with these situations was enlightening as to their characters, and I loved the way that Moore narrated the fights.
So, all in all? A must read for comic books fans. Alan Moore always cuts to the quick when it comes to important character development. I hope that the new Man of Steel film deals with these questions as well as these comics did. (less)
This book was given to me by the perfectly brilliant Margaret Atwood when it comes to the subject of writing. Then again, where exactly has she gone w...moreThis book was given to me by the perfectly brilliant Margaret Atwood when it comes to the subject of writing. Then again, where exactly has she gone wrong, the woman who gave us The Handmaiden's Tale and Oryx and Crake?
While this book is not for everyone, as some people aren't particularly fond of literary criticism, for those looking for a succinct history of the genre and a consideration of futurology in light of it - this is your book. Margaret Atwood is a wry, accessible author who makes what otherwise may be dry essays both insightful and hilarious to all who wish to read them.
One wishes that all academics had such supreme talent.(less)
Hey, look, I read a superhero comic! Really! A mainstream superhero comic! I think... Yeah...
Anyway, I picked this up for no particular reason. Batman...moreHey, look, I read a superhero comic! Really! A mainstream superhero comic! I think... Yeah...
Anyway, I picked this up for no particular reason. Batman: The Man Who Laughs was all right, but it didn't do all that much for me. I found the writing styles a bit difficult to get into, though I did like "Man of Wood" better than the title story. I found Bruce Wayne/Batman's dialogue.... wooden, and wish that they had either stuck to Gordon's viewpoint or Batman's rather than switching.
I will say that it was refreshing to read something far closer to a detective story than a traditional "beat them up" kind of tale. I would have liked if the dialogue/narration had been consistent with the film noir nature of the second story, but understand that there are certain limitations when one isn't writing a "Question" book.
I liked the ending of "Man of Wood" and the question of whether or not the villain could have been helped... the idea of disillusionment in the face of a superhero-ridden society is an interesting one that I'd like to see explored more in depth. It was a bit Watchmen like in terms of theme, but more from the point of view of the populace. It's probably been done before, but I thought it felt fresh.(less)
We3 is a bit reminiscent of The Plague Dogs. It's also a bit reminiscent of those horribly depressing signs you see now and again posted on telephone poles.
"Have you seen Flopsy?" The sign reads, written in crayon, with a stick figure of an animal attached. "He's friendly and nice and loves people." But then there's no phone number attached. Or there is, but the sign is so vague that any animal could be returned. This comic is like that, only a million times worse. I wanted to hug 1 so very badly.
Three animals, for some reason stolen from families, have been militarized and given these strange suits of armor. The problem is, beyond the fact the animals have been turned into war machines, they're only prototypes. They're going to be decomissioned. So now we have adorable household pets that are in mecha suits and going to be murdered. Did I mention that they talk? And that the dog just wants to be a "gud dog". Yeah, it's soul-crushing.
Aside from the themes of animal cruelty, the pointlessness of war, and political corruption... aside from the obligatory moment where "Run, rabbit, run" is thrown in... aside from all that... well, it's Grant Morrison. The artwork is stunning, the comic traumatic, and the ending enough to bring tears to one's eyes.
Don't read it in front of others, unless you're in an especially dusty environment so you have an excuse for sniffling.(less)
The author was kind enough to offer me a copy of the book even though I didn't win the give-away. I can't claim to have read this all in one sitting,...moreThe author was kind enough to offer me a copy of the book even though I didn't win the give-away. I can't claim to have read this all in one sitting, but I certainly wanted to. The book was engaging, fast-paced, surprising, and altogether a fantastic read.
Recently I read some old-fashioned sort of superhero comics - Batman comics, to be specific, and was a little disillusioned with them. It turns out that those were a perfect warm-up to this superhero novel. Darren Kiel is a bit of a mix between Batman and Iron Man, a self-made genius who can't quite claim the title of a vigilante but still fits the mold. He follows his own brand of justice, trying to stop crimes before they commit, but doesn't actively permanently damage anyone in the process. Is he operating outside of the law? Yes. But the complexities of how he operates lend themselves to a more sympathetic interpretation.
The book treads the ground between morality and madness and the author explains both sides of the argument well. The book isn't wanting for explosions and punch 'em up scenes, but at the same time tends to keep them to a level that doesn't make the book come across as gratuitous or some odd brand of original fanfiction.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would place it on a tier above, say, The Avengers film. It doesn't quite reach the level of Nolan inspired Batman, but in some ways I like it better for that because it didn't drag out the shoot-em-up scenes in a way that Nolan did. So, all in all a great book and I look forward to the sequel!(less)
I received this book through the First-Reads program, and unfortunately, it wasn't quite my cup of tea.
The story is that of a group of five sisters wh...moreI received this book through the First-Reads program, and unfortunately, it wasn't quite my cup of tea.
The story is that of a group of five sisters who, through otherworldly encounters, come to discover their Star Powers to fulfill the Starlight Prophecy by becoming Mystic Star Warriors. The description of the book makes it clear that this is a superheroine novel - which it certainly is. I can't help but feel that it might have been a bit better in graphic novel form.
I felt that Linden Morningstar came into his own when describing the alternate worlds. The descriptions of Garlic and Aagaatar were disturbing and refreshingly gross. Garlig's insanity and torture methods were delivered to the point that he made a compelling villain, and the reveal near the end with Aagaatar came out of left field in a refreshing way. The space sequences, all in all, tended to be good. The initiation, on the other hand, I felt was a bit lacking. Similarly, I wish more time had been spent on Garlig's Gauntlet.
I think my main problem with this book was that I never felt the Stargirls were going up against anything they couldn't handle. Even with the OT poisoning and the like, the threat of danger never seemed fully in place. I'd like to see the girl's turned more effectively against one another - which nearly happened, but didn't quite - and a bit more surprised by their sudden introduction into an alien world. While it's clear from the start that they believe in the Ancient Alien Theory, I still think there would have been a certain lack of acclimation to their otherworldly circumstances. I wanted more conflict... that way the stark Love vs. Hate message would have rung more true.(less)
Here's a horrible confession: I liked Year Zero more than Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. There, I said it. I enjoyed it more, and I felt that it resonated far better with my generation. The book was hilarious, truly inspired, and had enough geeky references that I'm certain it'll cause even the most cynical Farker or Redditor to laugh out loud.
The book was fast-paced, intricately woven, and irreverent as hell. It had me laughing, and thinking about it even when it wasn't in my hands. Seriously, get this book as soon as possible and read it. You will enjoy it. I guarantee it. I can't think of a single person who wouldn't laugh at this book.(less)
I'm not entirely certain as to where to start when it comes to this book. The basic plot is that a new compound...moreI received this book as a first-reads.
I'm not entirely certain as to where to start when it comes to this book. The basic plot is that a new compound is discovered that can allow one to expand their consciousness. It's implied that the drug can form a sort of hive-mind unity that allows one to occupy other's consciousness and similar telepathic events. The drug is known as 5,6,7 and like the numbers in LOST those numbers just keep popping up all over the place.
Also like LOST (I'm a LOST fan, can you tell?) the different characters in the book run into each other, or happen to know someone who knows someone, and as the book goes on this relationships get more explicit and detailed until the final end-sequence where it all comes to a head. This is a perfect science fiction plot, right? It has all the intrigue and potential that one would hope to find in other books of a similar nature such as A Scanner Darkly or even The Thief Lord where a similar question is asked about whether or not one wishes to partake in a life-altering experience.
The book is heavy on philosophy, which is normally something I quite like. Being interested in anthropology, though, certain factoids that were presented grated on me in a way similar to Chuck Palahniuk's inaccurate description of Jainism in Diary. The problems here came in relation to Easter Island, where in fact Rongorongo has been found not only etched into wood native to the island but also in petroglyphic form. Nonetheless, Josh Grenier's newsletters did raise some interesting points and the drug questions raised by the book were interesting ones. In particular, I liked the point that certain drugs only enhance chemicals that are already present within our brain - yet they're illegal. All in all, the philosophy reminded me a bit of Grant Morrison though with a lesser spiritual leaning.
I couldn't help but feel that the book itself would be better suited for a graphic novel medium or even a sort of HBO mini-series treatment. What would be fascinating in a graphic novel or a television series can sometimes feel a bit lacking on the written page. The characters were a bit difficult to follow prior to the final third of book, and there were a few typos that took me out of the moment and rhythm of the pace. I feel that a switch in medium, or perhaps a final redrafting of the book itself would have served it well and made it into a more gripping book.
The plot of the book, however, was certainly engaging. The pace from the second act on to the end was quick, and I liked the framing of the book overall. The best science fiction is meant to raise questions in regards to morality and society in general, and this book certainly did that in force.(less)