Forever Fifteen is the novel with which I attribute my new found joy of reading. It is also the only novel I have so far read which I have wanted to rForever Fifteen is the novel with which I attribute my new found joy of reading. It is also the only novel I have so far read which I have wanted to read a second time.
The book is about a 600+ year old vampire called Lucy (Lucia to be precise) who was abducted and turned during the 14th century, at the age of 15. Forever frozen with the face & body of a fifteen year old, Forever Fifteen. The book is primarily set during the 1980's, but has frequent flash backs into Lucy's past as a human and then a new vampire.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this, besides Kimberly Steele's writing style, is the attention to detail of how a vampire would actually survive in the modern world. This was the first book I came across where vampires can go out in daylight, thus removing the biggest difficulty.
There is of course a love story here too, two in fact. In the flash backs, we see the tempestuous and eventually abusive relationship between Lucy and Sebaastianus, the vampire who turned her. In the 1980's era, we find Lucy finding possibly the love of her life with school boy John.
There will be inevitable comparisons of this book with the the Twilight books, given the latter's mainstream success. If I were to draw any comparison between the two, it would be that while the Twilight series is clearly aimed at teenage girls, Forever Fifteen is by no means a book for adolescents. I said above that this book concerns itself with the practicalities a vampire would face, this has to include sex and death, which Forever Fifteen tackles, while Twilight self-censors itself around those topics.
The book does have a satisfying ending, but it is an incomplete story as there are two more books planned. They are as of yet unfinished.
I not only recommend this to fans of the vampire genre, but I would also (and frequently do), recommend this as a first vampire book for anyone interested in the genre....more
The book does finally come together in what I can only describe (without spoiling) as a heartfelt concluThe Idiot is a book you can loose yourself in.
The book does finally come together in what I can only describe (without spoiling) as a heartfelt conclusion. However, the bulk of the book follows a loose pattern of plot movements, almost meaningless meandering, and profound philosophical observations about life and the human condition. It was the latter, even more than the plot, that kept me reading this book. It was so striking to me how these observations (which I understand to have contributed to the creation of the existentialist movement) are as valid today as they presumably were when they were written at the end of the 19th century.
The main character, The Prince, is the subject of the book's title. People refer to him as an idiot because of his epilepsy. Although, it is evident that he is far from an idiot, and many characters in the book realise this too. However, he is perhaps still worthy of the title as, he is pure in spirit to the point of naivety, for which I had a great deal of sympathy. Kudos to Dostoevsky for making such a straight laced good guy someone who you want to keep reading about!....more
While not a total stranger to the cyberpunk genre thanks to film, Neuromancer was the first cyberpunk book I have read.
Having only just read it in 200While not a total stranger to the cyberpunk genre thanks to film, Neuromancer was the first cyberpunk book I have read.
Having only just read it in 2009, the abstract notion of jacking in to the matrix (i.e. internet) does not seem as far fetched to me as it must have done when the book was originally written.
Through many parts of the book I felt as if I was loosing track of what was going on. Although, I think this is partly intentional, as Gibson expertly crafts his words so that you feel as if you are in a dream like state. It is no coincidence seeing as how the main character, Chase, often takes drugs, and is the cowboy who jacks his mind into the matrix throughout the book. The descriptions of Chase's experiences while jacked in to the matrix are well described, which is helped by the use of primitive shapes and colours. The most trippy parts of the book are when Chase's time on the matrix are interrupted by a powerful artificial intelligence called Wintermute. These are very much like dream scenes, and they are not always explicitly announced in the text. Therefore, as the reader, you will find yourself trying to discern reality from virtual reality.
Most of the way through the book, besides the futuristic setting, the book looks like it will be about a criminal plot, which is in contrast to the book's esoteric undertones of virtual and altered realities. However, you'll find later in the book that something equally abstract is orchestrating all of the real world events. Which in itself I think blurs the conceptual lines between the real world and the on-line world.
Twenty five years after it was written, this is still a relevant and engaging book....more