An absolutely fascinating look into the history of the Mongols. I never realized just how much is left out of the general histories, and how much censAn absolutely fascinating look into the history of the Mongols. I never realized just how much is left out of the general histories, and how much censors tried to hide from future generations. I was hooked from the very beginning....more
I was absolutely amazed and enthralled by this biography. Before I only knew the bare bones of Jackson's life (attended West Point, worked at VMI, genI was absolutely amazed and enthralled by this biography. Before I only knew the bare bones of Jackson's life (attended West Point, worked at VMI, general in the war, biggest badass of them all, died after Chancellorsville), but this book was so detailed and researched. Gwynne also writes with an excellent style and keeps the narrative from becoming a dry recitation of battlefield maneuvers and facts.
Possibly my only complaint would be that there was no tiny epilogue mentioning the fate of those closest to him (his second wife, Anna, his baby daughter, Julia, etc), but I suppose it's understandable to not want to add even more to an already enormous book.
A great read, worth every minute of your time....more
A third series. Wow. Rick Riordan really has a lot to say in this 'verse.
When I started this, I admit to being rather weary of the 'verse. I startedA third series. Wow. Rick Riordan really has a lot to say in this 'verse.
When I started this, I admit to being rather weary of the 'verse. I started reading the first series earlier this year, and hadn't stopped. Still, I refused to stop once I'd started, and was determined to get up-to-date. But when I got to this story, I was getting rather bored.
(view spoiler)[For the most part, the story cured that boredom. Apollo is hilarious, and had me laughing out loud more than once. I enjoyed his rapport with Meg McCaffrey, and was rather saddened when all the betrayal cropped up with the arrival of the series new Big Bad, Nero. At the very least, I'm eager to see what comes next, and if Apollo will be able to find Meg, or if he'll next see her standing at Nero's side. (hide spoiler)]...more
Great conclusion to the series! I loved the chapters leading up to the final battles - first with the giants, and then with Gaea. Seeing Octavian getGreat conclusion to the series! I loved the chapters leading up to the final battles - first with the giants, and then with Gaea. Seeing Octavian get his just desserts was also amazing, and I got a chuckle out of his final fate.
I just loved this book. It was great to catch glimpses of the women I was already familiar with, and also to learn about entirely new ladies that I haI just loved this book. It was great to catch glimpses of the women I was already familiar with, and also to learn about entirely new ladies that I had never even heard of before.
I nearly screamed when I got my hands on this book, because I was expecting to have to wait for several weeks for it on the waiting list at the librarI nearly screamed when I got my hands on this book, because I was expecting to have to wait for several weeks for it on the waiting list at the library where I work. Instead, I was able to catch one of a few copies that weren't dedicated to filling the myriad of reserves. W00T!
I inhaled this story... and I'm conflicted. There are things I love about this book, and things I don't love. As others have mentioned in other reviews, the play read like fanfiction, and certainly not the best fanfiction I've ever read. So, when in doubt, make a list:
(view spoiler)[ The Good - Albus and Harry's craptastic relationship slowly being repaired and built into something new and better. I love that the happy ending implied in the Epilogue of DH was given some great and true shadows. Nothing is perfect. Harry continues to struggle - such is life - and he ends up faced with the same challenge that so many parents face: to connect with his son. It's a hard thing, and it was portrayed perfectly here. - Harry's character. Now, let me say that I love Harry, I really do, but he's had many moments over the course of the series where I wanted to smack him upside the head. His decision to unilaterally trust Bane and to blame everything on Scorpius were other such instances. It's nice to see that even as a full-blown adult, Harry is still staying true to his ability to screw up. -- In addition to this, I love that Ginny did have a moment to verbally smack Harry for being a moron and his inability to stop f*cking up with Albus. Just a small exchange near the end of the play, but still, I'll take it. - Draco Malfoy. Everyone's favorite spoiled brat actually managed to grow up. Draco's life has been by no means easy, but I love that he was steadfast in his love for his son, remaining devoted even as things continually sucked around them. - Albus and Scorpius being BFFs. LOVE LOVE LOVE. 'Nuff said. - Minerva McGonagall still going strong. JKR said years ago that McGonagall would have been retired by the time the kids started pouring into Hogwarts due to her getting on in years, but given that Dumbledore had to die to get him out of the headmaster's chair, that idea never flew with me. But here she is, still the headmistress, still watching over her charges, and still reaming out the younger crowd for their still-frequent bouts of stupidity. GO PROFESSOR MCG!
The Not So Good - Delphi the daughter of Voldemort and Bellatrix. Yeah, no. Just no. This is one of the most common plotbombs in fanfiction, and it's been seen. It's been done. I think it would have been more interesting if it turned out she actually wasn't Voldemort's daughter, but had been raised to believe she was (maybe even had some obscure spell cast on her so she could speak and understand parseltongue). But this? No. I facepalmed the moment I read it. Because why would Voldemort want an heir, or an equal? He went after Harry in the first place to prevent such a thing. I think that he would have offed her the moment she revealed who and what she was. Voldemort tolerates not rivals, and he does not share the spotlight. My thought is that if Voldemort was boffing Bellatrix, then Bella messed up the birth control in order to have a child with her precious lord. This would not be something he'd want, but Bella in her psychosis? I could definitely see it. - Ron spending most of the story as comic relief. Though, granted, he did get that tender moment with Hermione and volunteered to be Fake!Voldemort so Harry wouldn't have to relive that, which I did like. But still, I'd have been happier with Ron being more like that throughout more of the story. Ron has never been a favorite character of mine, but I still prefer noble!awesome!Ron to comic!relief!Ron, hands down. - Rose Granger-Weasley. Yeah, I was not impressed with this girl. Dumping the cousin she's been best friends with since she was six because he was sorted into Slytherin, but maintaining a facade for the adults? And then crawling back Albus a couple of years later expecting things to be cool again? Again, not impressed. I also didn't care for Scorpius' unending crush, though I do get that it's probably supposed to be a throwback to how James Potter adored Lily Evans for years before she'd give him the time of day. But the thing of it is, Scorpius Malfoy at this age is ten times a better kid than James Potter was at the same age. So, yeah, didn't care for this subplot. (hide spoiler)]
In the end, the story had some serious flaws, many of which could have been avoided. That said, I still enjoyed the brief return to the world of Harry Potter. It's great to see that the gang are living their lives and proving themselves human, that things aren't perfect. Because life isn't perfect. The story reflected that, and despite the plot points I didn't like, I still enjoyed myself. ...more
Wow. That was a loooong ride. A very well-written and thoroughly well-researched one, but then I'd expect nothing less from this author.
Weir brings KWow. That was a loooong ride. A very well-written and thoroughly well-researched one, but then I'd expect nothing less from this author.
Weir brings Katherine of Aragon to life in all her righteous glory, from her early, harrowing years in Henry VII's England, to the height of her political power as Henry VIII's Queen, to her slow, steady downfall as the Reformation spreads its influence over Europe and collides with her husband's desperation for a son. It's obvious that Weir is very much attached to her subject and went into incredible depth.
My problem is that it's a story we've heard before. Good Saint-Queen Katherine who is tragically and unjustly deprived of her place because none of her sons survived. I didn't feel like there was any attempt to put any kind of unique spin on the story to make it stand out from the dozens of versions of the story that we've heard in the centuries since Katherine's death. Say what you will about Philippa Gregory, at least she gave the story a new and different perspective.
Nonetheless, I'm still hopeful for the rest of the series because each book is exclusively from the point of view of its subject. I remind myself that the book was strictly from Katherine's point of view, and thus we're limited to her view and the resources she had to learn what was going on in the outside world - namely Chapuys and what few friends she had remaining to her, like Maria Willoughby. Anne Boleyn's book is next, and given that she was in the heart of everything that was going on, I'm hoping for a more complete picture. ...more
When I saw this book at the library where I work, I immediately snatched it up. I always enjoy reading about one of the U.S.'s most famous families, aWhen I saw this book at the library where I work, I immediately snatched it up. I always enjoy reading about one of the U.S.'s most famous families, and here was one that I didn't know very much about. I was immediately enthralled, and could not put it down until I finished it. Worth every minute of your time. ...more