**spoiler alert** It's hard to believe that I only started this one a couple of days ago and I'm already finished, but I did have that nice 9 hour rid**spoiler alert** It's hard to believe that I only started this one a couple of days ago and I'm already finished, but I did have that nice 9 hour ride back to Virginia in which to read it.
This one was definitely more fast-paced than 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' and more involving, at least for me. It just kinds of pushes you right into the center of things, as opposed to wading into them, which was the first book's approach.
I'll be honest, there were a couple of points that did raise some flags for me. Not anger or squick, but more like annoyance because they came up so often, more so than the first book.
The first being the misogyny, which was a repeated theme. Lisbeth is the survivor of an abusive childhood and something of a crusader against crimes against women. But it's counter-balanced by the amount of men in this story who commit crimes against women, or even who merely think of women as inferior to themselves. Lawyers, police officers, journalists, private investigators... and then the criminals involved in the crimes themselves. While this wasn't a huge factor in 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo', there were places in this one where it felt like I was choking on it.
The second 'annoyance' was that for an outsider and a loner, Lisbeth seemed to have a lot of people willing to go to bat for her, including a famous boxer who comes out of nowhere to save her kidnapped friend. Blomkvist and Armansky I can understand, but a famous retired boxer who just happens to have taught her everything she knows about real fighting? The fanfic writer in me was screaming "Mary Sue! Mary Sue!" before I could stifle the reaction. It seemed... improbable at best.
Regardless of these two issues of mine, it really was an entertaining and enjoyable read. I was glad to see that Bjurman got what was coming to him and more than glad Lisbeth hadn't done it. And it was interesting learning more about her back story. ...more
**spoiler alert** Well, I have finally finished reading the last of the Millenium trilogy.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest started off almost exa**spoiler alert** Well, I have finally finished reading the last of the Millenium trilogy.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest started off almost exactly where The Girl Who Played with Fire left off, with Lisbeth in the hospital and Blomkvist working his butt off to right the wrongs done to her all of her life. The resolution of his efforts took all of the book to come to fruition (well, duh), and at times, it was a slow and arduous read. I’ve come to realize this must have been typical of Larsson’s writing style -- bits of quickly paced action interspersed with slower interesting stuff and even slower factual stuff. And that’s purely okay, even if it bog down my reading in a few places. It wouldn’t have stopped me from snagging another book had this series continued.
What I enjoyed the most about this book was that Lisbeth’s wrongs were righted in the end. This, perhaps, lends more than a bit to the Mary-Sueism I mentioned in my last review, but it satisfied my need for closure. I would have been extremely let down if the book had ended without it and I was left hanging because Larsson is dead and unable to finish telling us what comes next. (On the other hand, oh, the fanfic!) But the closure was there, and the baddies from Section, Faste, and Teleborian all got what truly coming to them and in spectacular fashion.
The only ‘loose end’ that I felt needed tying up was the issue of Lisbeth’s sister, Camille, whose existence was often used as the stick by which Lisbeth’s was measured and compared. We are led to believe that Camille supressed all of their childhood horrors, testified that their father never abused them or their mother, and then slipped away to lead a supposed normal life, having nothing to do with her mother or sister. But in Girl Who Played with Fire, Zalachenko asks Lisbeth where her sister is. The sister comes up again during the trial and afterwards, when their father’s estate is being liquidated. And yet, we never see her. We never get to hear what became of her.
It brings up several questions for a curious mind with lots of “what ifs.” What if... Camille Salander saw her sister’s trial and was flooded with all the memories she had repressed? What if... she snapped sometime prior to this, due to the repression or due to her father’s “bad blood”, and turned out to be worse of a monster than the one the Section was trying to make Lisbeth into? What if she committed suicide? Was she even alive to see or hear about the trial? Did she care that her sister had won her freedom at a last or that their father was dead? What if the real reason no one knew her whereabouts was because the Section had already gotten to her? What if they murdered her to keep her out of the way?
Again, a lot of “what ifs” there. I can’t help but wonder what might have happened, had Larsson lived to write another book. I guess I will never know.
In regards to the series as a whole, I would definitely recommend them to other people. Yes, it did start out slow and have odd places where the factual trivia seemed to weigh it down, but the series is really very good despite those flaws. And if you can look past the at-times very thick misogyny to see the true point of it all, then it’s well worth reading them. I probably would not have, had it not been for the recommendation of them by a friend and the encouragement that The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo did, in fact, pick up in pacing after a fashion. You could say it was challenge to read them, but one I am glad for.
Stephen King has long been one of my favorite horror writers and I have endeavored to read everything of his I could get my hands on. With few exceptiStephen King has long been one of my favorite horror writers and I have endeavored to read everything of his I could get my hands on. With few exceptions, I have not been disappointed.
This, however, was one of the exceptions. While not a bad story, UR was also not a very, very good story. It was short enough that I breezed through it at the pass I usually read a paperback romance novel from Harlequin and possible could have finished it in one day had I nothing better to do. Further, the initial plot was intriguing enough... experiment new technology with mysterious functions and alternate time lines... however the pay-off was somewhat lacking and kind of a disappointment.
Maybe I expect more from Stephen King... okay no, I know I expect more from him. I have worn the covers clean off some of his books and STILL get scared when I re-read them. This one does not measure up.
On it's own, if it were written by anyone else... say... a college writing student... I would say it was good. From a 'master' like Stephen King, it was mediocre. ...more
**spoiler alert** 'Happily Ever After' was quick read and a pleasant little romance, despite the sometimes 'preachy' tone it takes. I realize this is**spoiler alert** 'Happily Ever After' was quick read and a pleasant little romance, despite the sometimes 'preachy' tone it takes. I realize this is because it is a Christian romance, but it's still a minor turn off in an otherwise good romance. I've read other Christian romances that didn't insist upon hitting readers over the head with scripture every chapter. Just an observation, Ms. Warren.
That, however, is not what earns this story a lowly 3-star rating in my book. What did was the utter predictability of the plot.
In the first few pages, we're introduced to whom we assume are the main characters... Reese Clark, a skittish best-selling author on a book tour and Mona, a random woman whom he helps when her car won't start in a parking garage. They have instant chemistry, but are kept apart because he must go back to his book signing and because he doesn't want her to know who he is.
In the next chapter, readers are introduced to "Joe," a drifter looking for a job and a place to crash. He gets a job at Mona's soon-to-be bookstore as a handyman. Joe, however, is a man with a lot of secrets... one of being that he's really our skittish author, Reese Clark, who's gone into hiding from everyone while he prepares to write his next novel.
Normally, I like plot twists, and this would have been a good one had I not figured it out two paragraphs into meeting wayward Joe Michaels. It was too blatantly obvious, given the hints which were dropped prior to his arrival in the story.
Also, the "villian" of the story was too easily identifiable. I had him pegged within moments of meeting him, too.
The only ones who didn't have him pegged were Mona and her friend Lisa, which leads me to my other complaint... Mona's constant readiness to accuse and blame Joe, and yet they both still fall into each others' arms. It was unrealistic, even with the theme of forgiveness the book was pushing. I can't imagine someone like Joe, who had such a hard time forgiving his father for abandoning him, could forgive being accused not once, but twice by someone he barely knows and almost arrested. Again, unrealistic.
All in all, it was amusing enough diversion, but I'm not jumping to re-read it.
I really like mysteries. I love reading them. I love watching them on television. My husband and I often watch movies or crime drama just for the funI really like mysteries. I love reading them. I love watching them on television. My husband and I often watch movies or crime drama just for the fun of solving the mystery before the heroes do.
This book book was slow starting, but it wove together the solving of several mysteries at the hands of the Vidocq Society over several decades. It was enjoyable to watch Walter, Frank and the others use their considerable talents to solve the unsolvable cold cases they tackled.
I have to say, I liked this one a lot. At first, I was having trouble figuring out why I bought it and then I realized it was an Amazon freebie for myI have to say, I liked this one a lot. At first, I was having trouble figuring out why I bought it and then I realized it was an Amazon freebie for my Kindle. Oops. ;-)
But it was a delightfully different sort of romance where the heroine is the pursuer instead of the man, and I liked that a lot. It made for an interesting change in the usual boy-meets-girl-boy-woos-girls scenario.
What I didn't like so much was the weird "we've been trying to set you up" twist at the end, especially coming from the unlikely sources of David's step-mom and Sophie's sister, who admittedly has never even liked David all that much. I mean, really??? How did they meet, let alone come with the idea... and broached the subject? Did Daphne approach Tessa and say "Hey, this may sound crazy but my little sister has had the hots for your womanizing poor excuse for a man step-son for years now. Even though I hate his guts and think he'd break her heart and he hates yours and thinks you're after his money, let's hook them up!"
Yeah... as far as deus ex machina goes... it's a bad one, although, it didn't stop me from liking the overall story. ...more
**spoiler alert** I finished reading this book two days after I started reading it -- that's how quickly it sucked me in and hooked. Possibly almost a**spoiler alert** I finished reading this book two days after I started reading it -- that's how quickly it sucked me in and hooked. Possibly almost as smoothly as Big Jim himself reeling in someone at his used car lot.
In this story, Under the Dome, Stephen King gives his readers a glimpse at life inside a fish bowl... except that 'fish' weren't always 'fish' and their bowl wasn't always there. Moreover, some of the fish in question are dangerous and very insane sharks.
Said sharks are led by Big Jim Rennie, a used car salesman, town Selectman and closet drug dealer. He fancies himself to be THE LAW in Chester's Mills and therefore above the law. His son, Junior Rennie, is a chip off the old block and they both have with lackeys who do their dirty work for them.
His 'adversary' is a short order cook and drifter named Dale Barbara... or Barbie. When the book opens, Barbie is trying desperately to leave town, but as the Dome come crashing down around Chester's Mills, he's locked inside with his enemies and a town which barely knows him. Later, when he is tapped by the president to be the town's liaison with the military, he must do so at his own peril, with Big Jim opposing him at every turn.
I like the dichotomy between Big Jim and Dale Barbara... one one who wants all the power and authority but would never have had it save for his 'connections' and schemes... and the other man, who wanted none of it even after it was thrust upon him by a higher authority. While time runs out inside the Dome, Big Jim cuts his losses and undermines his friends until he is left alone to die in an ill-equipped bunker. Barbie, on the other hand, rallies as many of the survivors as possible and then undertakes a suicide mission to try and save them all from a certain death. ...more
I've long know that Christianity borrowed or absorbed much of its practices from the pagan religions it also absorbed, so I was curious about what th I've long know that Christianity borrowed or absorbed much of its practices from the pagan religions it also absorbed, so I was curious about what the author had to say. The book starts off, however, with an erroneous assumption of what "pagan" is and the first chapter is littered with easily editable typos and commas in odd places.
Although the premise is interesting, I found the structure of the book - a history lesson followed by a Q&A that repeats the history lessen in confusing terms - to be annoying. This structure appears at the end of each chapter like a summary.
The author, Frank Viola, uses the premise that the contemporary church employs methods of worship that are NOT found in the Bible to totally deconstruct and effectually discredit everything about modern Christian worship... including the way we read and interpret the Bible itself. He finds fault with everything: building church buildings, tithing, having bishops/priests/pastors, sermons, songs, and yes, even how we read the Bible.
Sadly, it's this last one that's the most ironic. Viola states that because of a faulty "chapter and verse" format which was imposed upon the Bible, believers erroneously cut and paste verses to fit their needs instead of looking at the "whole, bigger story" in which they are set.
I agree with the need for seeing/knowing the historical and social context of what we as believers are reading, but no offense, Mr. Viola, you did the same cut and paste job when you wrote this book.
In short, an interesting premise, an interesting history lesson, but a lot of hypocrisy from the author. I will give it kudos for offering an intriguing alternative to the traditional church service. A "house church" meeting sounds like a lot of fun and something I wouldn't mind trying once.