I liked the first Harry Dresden book, but didn't love it. It was fine! This second one was way better, I thought. I was initially pretty meh about th
I liked the first Harry Dresden book, but didn't love it. It was fine! This second one was way better, I thought. I was initially pretty meh about the werewolves idea but ended up thoroughly enjoying the book, enough so that my natural meh feelings were overridden! ...more
***Spoilers in here, so be careful if you haven't read it yet.***
There are moments of such transcendent beauty in Justin Cronin's books that it makes***Spoilers in here, so be careful if you haven't read it yet.***
There are moments of such transcendent beauty in Justin Cronin's books that it makes the thin characters feel EXTRA thin. They're like paper dolls, where you know the shape and what they look like, but they don't feel real and their emotional processes are almost entirely opaque, to me. I don't GET any of the characters. Or, I understand what he tells us but he doesn't give us enough to really fill in the spaces. That is my biggest and most sustained criticism of these books.
I liked this book, but I didn't love it. Dipping back to tell stories about what was happening in other places as the outbreak happened was interesting, and even having a new world Evil Empire was kind of cool, but it all felt so...flat. Just kind of there.
I feel like squandering all the Twelve, without spending any time getting to know them, was kind of a waste. Maybe because the Big Bad in the first book was a single member of the Twelve, to then have them ALL dispatched at once, when we never get a chance to invest in them as bad guys, seemed like a missed opportunity for more books. He touches on the different types of virals - how the dopeys are all Carter's - and that was such a cool idea, but it never gets expanded. Exploring how the group mind link works would've been so cool! But no. He just plops that down and never comes back to it.
I think possibly my biggest criticism is the credulity straining reunions. I don't know why that bothered me so much but it really, really did. To establish a world where human life is so fragile and worth so little, but then have all the loved ones of the main characters magically be alive? Silly, and, to me, shows an over sentimentality in Justin Cronin, that he can't stomach having really bad things happen to his main characters. He's fine killing off the vast majority of faceless Americans, but can't stomach having HIS characters really suffer. (I know, there's plenty of rape and life in Homeland sucks the worst for Sara. But the reunions. THE REUNIONS.) I guess I feel like if you're going to create a terrible post-apocalyptic world, you need to be ready to follow that through to it being awful and soul-deadening for everyone, even the characters you love so much. You can't slip A BUNCH of characters we thought were dead out of your back pocket. That undercuts my investment in the stakes of your world.
Amy's transformation made zero sense to me. I fully admit I am a literal person so I don't pick up on subtleties all the time, so maybe it was super obvious to other people, but I, personally, didn't get it. Her hooking up with Carter was nice, and Amy's relationship with Wolgast, and the longing that the virals feel for thier lost lives, is by far the most meaningful part of the stories to me. That is beautiful. Cronin is at his best when he is tackling that anguished longing, and even the peace of Greer's spiritual awakening. Those parts were beautiful enough to bring tears to me eyes.
I guess I have a lot of negative stuff to say about the book and not a ton of positive stuff. I'll definitely read the last book because I want to know what happens with Fanning, but I've adjusted my expectations. ...more
I had incredibly low expectations of this book (fantasy plus detective noir? WE SHALL SEE) but it was really fun. It was entertaining, surprisingly f
I had incredibly low expectations of this book (fantasy plus detective noir? WE SHALL SEE) but it was really fun. It was entertaining, surprisingly funny, and snuck up on you with the depth of emotion and creep out elements.
I have no doubt that a committed reader could completely decimate this book. It's not Shakespeare. It's not even George R. R. Martin. But it's FUN. Okay? Sometimes you want to read a book that's fun and isn't so terrible it makes you embarrassed to be reading it.
One of the most difficult things about fantasy series is creating a world that feels real enough to buy into. I kind of admire Alex Bledsoe for not really trying to plumb the depths to blow our minds with his world. The town and country names are half-assed, he's not trying to be super consistent with technology or the development of society in his world, his characters are all named hilariously banal normal names (King Phil! And his sister, Janet! Hahaha! Yes!).
He doesn't give a care about those fantasy series fripperies, which was strangely refreshing. Who cares? Just tell me a fun story. Sure, mash together to weird genres and see if that works! Rad. It works! It's fun. Is it gonna win a Pulitzer? No. But is it silly and funny and weird and surprising? It decidedly is. And I will absolutely be reading the other books in the series now....more