What a fun, fun book. If you love video games and '80s pop culture, then this is the book for you, my friend. I recommend listening to it on audio, be...moreWhat a fun, fun book. If you love video games and '80s pop culture, then this is the book for you, my friend. I recommend listening to it on audio, because it's read by Wil Wheaton, and he does an amazing job. It's also fun hearing him reference himself. (less)
Full disclosure: I did not finish this book. But I listened to about 40% of it on audio, and that was enough for me to tell it was time to move on.
Sam...moreFull disclosure: I did not finish this book. But I listened to about 40% of it on audio, and that was enough for me to tell it was time to move on.
Samantha Shannon has been touted as The Next JK Rowling, and I do not think that comparison is fair. True, both women created new, fantastical worlds and my understanding is that The Bone Season will be a 7-book series, but that is where the similarities end. One of the things that worked so well with the wizarding world Rowling created is that it is seen through the eyes of a Muggle-born. So everything new and unfamiliar is explained to the reader, and exposition feels natural and necessary and not forced. In the world of The Bone Season, however, no explanaitons are given to the reader to set up this strange alternate Earth where clairvoyance is common, oxygen is the only legal drug, and spirits are used and seen by half the population. Where there are flashbacks and exposition, it seems to explain the wrong things. We learn about when Paige discovered her powers, for example, but not how she received them or why anyone has powers at all.
I'm also bored to tears with the Byronic-bad-guy-who's-so-mean-but-so-good-looking-and-his-little-woman-that-he-must-protect-and-so-now-he-isn't-so-bad-after-all-and-we-all-fall-in-love-with-him trope. Another reviewer referred to Paige as the "Special Snowflake" and that was spot on.
Obviously, since I couldn't finish this one, I won't be continuing with the series. I'll be returning it to Amazon immediately.(less)
A friend told me that this book reads like a little boy's nightmare, and I can't think of any better way to describe it. Gaiman rarely tells you what...moreA friend told me that this book reads like a little boy's nightmare, and I can't think of any better way to describe it. Gaiman rarely tells you what things are. He just alludes and hints and lets you draw your own conclusion. It was the same thing in The Graveyard Book. And that's fine, except I know my imagination isn't as whacked as Gaiman's, so I can't always understand what he's alluding to. That's frustrating. I rated this three stars because that is in the middle, and I can't decide if I loved this book or hated it. (less)
I was so hoping to like this. I thought it might be a better-written kind of a Twilight story. Because really, how could the writing be worse? Well, i...moreI was so hoping to like this. I thought it might be a better-written kind of a Twilight story. Because really, how could the writing be worse? Well, it can. This story has more holes than Bella Swan's chest.
A little girl is attacked by a pack of wolves. One of the pack, a wolf with yellow eyes, saves her. For the next six years, she and the wolf sort of watch each other from afar until one day, the wolf with yellow eyes is shot and turns into a naked boy. The girl and boy are immediately a couple because they have been in love with each other ever since he saved her. (That's right, for six years, she was in love with a WOLF. Not knowing he was human. Just dog. Bestiality much?) But they know their time is limited with each other because if the boy turns back into a wolf he may never be human again. Oh, and what turns the infected into wolves? Not the full moon. The cold. And they live in Minnesota.
First of all, all of the stuff at the beginning where the girl obsesses over "her" wolf is disgusting. I know it's supposed to be all romantic and love at first sight but HE WAS NOT HUMAN.
Second, if the cold is what turns them into wolves why in the world do they live in Minnesota? I kept wondering that. Finally, 70% of the way into the book, the author addresses that with some flimsy story about how one guy went to Florida and became so sensitive to changes in temperature, he turned into a wolf when he walked by an open door of an air conditioned building. Um, okay? That seemed really weak to me.
Third, according to Sam (the wolf-boy), being a wolf doesn't make you a monster. It just takes away your inhibitions so you're whatever you are as a human, only more. He also talks about how they don't attack unless they are provoked. So why did the wolves attack Grace when she was a little girl? That is never explained.
Another thing I absolutely hated about this book was the way Sam went around composing song lyrics about everything. And they're awful, awful song lyrics. Really horrid. The only time the writing was any good was when she was quoting Rilke.(less)
The easiest way to write what I thought about this book would be to quote from the book itself:
Over the years, people I've met have often asked me wha...moreThe easiest way to write what I thought about this book would be to quote from the book itself:
Over the years, people I've met have often asked me what I'm working on, and I've usually replied that the main thing was a book about Dresden. I said that to Harrison Starr, the movie-maker, one time, and he raised his eyebrows and inquired, "Is it an anti-war book?" "Yes," I said. "I guess." "You know what I say to people when I hear they're writing anti-war books?" "No. What do you say, Harrison Starr?" "I say, 'Why don't you write an anti-glacier book instead?'" What he meant, of course, was that there would always be wars, that they were as easy to stop as glaciers. I believe that, too. And even if wars didn't keep coming like glaciers, there would still be plain old death.
I am finding more and more that I love dystopian books. This one was easy to read and difficult to put down. I also think I turned into a teenage girl...moreI am finding more and more that I love dystopian books. This one was easy to read and difficult to put down. I also think I turned into a teenage girl because the romance part of the plot had me just as eager to turn the pages as the outcome of the Games themselves.(less)
Cute fantasy about a man who chases a falling star and finds out it's a woman. He must protect her from those who would do her harm and take her back...moreCute fantasy about a man who chases a falling star and finds out it's a woman. He must protect her from those who would do her harm and take her back to the girl he thinks he loves. I wish I would've seen the movie before I read the book, because picturing Robert DeNiro as the cross-dressing pirate would've made the book that much more enjoyable.(less)
I really love Gaiman's writing style, and the way the chapters read like individual episodes but then are tied together at the end is really interesti...moreI really love Gaiman's writing style, and the way the chapters read like individual episodes but then are tied together at the end is really interesting. But I don't think the story of this book is quite as "inventive" as the blurbs on the back cover claim. The story begins with the murder of a family, but the toddler boy, who was the main intended victim, escapes unharmed. Sound familiar? Yeah. An awful lot like Harry Potter, right? The story is literally as old as Moses.
The baby boy escapes into a nearby ancient and nearly forgotten graveyard, and the inhabitants (ghosts and an undead Guardian) decide to raise and protect the boy. The rest of the story chronicles the boy's adventures in the graveyard and the murderer's quest to finish the job.
The adventures the boy has are interesting, imaginative, and important to the climax of the story. But the overall plot of the attempted murder is, IMO, weak and resolved too quickly, which is unfortunate since it was the reason the book appealed to me in the first place. Another weakness is in the character of Silas, who is mysterious to the point where we as the readers never really find out what and who he is. Perhaps Gaiman did this on purpose, to impart a sense of mystery, but it left me feeling dissatisfied.
But the strength of Gaiman's writing and the adventures the boy has were very enjoyable. If this had been a series of short stories or vignettes, and not tied together with the weak murder plot, I would have liked it even more.(less)
This was okay, but I thought that Shelley was too obvious about the plot. I think by trying to build suspense she instead telegraphed what was going t...moreThis was okay, but I thought that Shelley was too obvious about the plot. I think by trying to build suspense she instead telegraphed what was going to happen.(less)
I actually felt this book was a little repetitive. And since it took place in a completely different version of Earth, I didn't understand or care abo...moreI actually felt this book was a little repetitive. And since it took place in a completely different version of Earth, I didn't understand or care about the political structure so all of the stuff with Demosthenes and Locke were lost on me. (less)
**spoiler alert** So here's the thing: If you're going to write fantasy or magical realism, you have to at least know the rules of the world you've cr...more**spoiler alert** So here's the thing: If you're going to write fantasy or magical realism, you have to at least know the rules of the world you've created and stick to them. Otherwise the fantastic is that much harder to believe. But Meyer doesn't adhere to the rules she set out. For example, how does a vampire get an erection with no blood in his veins? How does a vampire, whose body never goes through any changes, produce sperm? Or was it 100-year-old sperm that made Renesmee? And in a much smaller vein (no pun intended), what about the cars the Cullens drive? In the first book Edward tells Bella that Rosalie doesn't usually take her red convertible to school because they try to be unassuming, inconspicuous, not ostentatious, or whatever. But then he buys Alice a yellow Porsche and Bella a Ferrari? Really?
But the biggest problem with this series is it's just too long for what actually happens. For every one or two pages of action there are chapters and chapters and chapters of discussion, preparation, and exposition. 4 pages of after-sex arguing was overkill. There are 600 pages of build-up in this book and then at the end, nothing. happens. Where, oh where, was the editor?(less)
**spoiler alert** These books could be half the length they are. There is far too much unnecessary exposition (the stories Rosalie, Jasper, and the ol...more**spoiler alert** These books could be half the length they are. There is far too much unnecessary exposition (the stories Rosalie, Jasper, and the old Quiluets told were way too long and not that necessary to the story). The love triangle is tiresome. Too much back and forth. And Bella is SO ANNOYING - and such a bitch - that it's just not believable that Edward and Jacob would be so desperately in love with her. Okay, I know that believability isn't necessarily what you look for in a vampire/werewolf story, but it seems like with all of the other fantastical elements, the human stuff ought to be more realistic. And how weird and awkward was it to have her snuggled up to a half naked Jacob, who's getting a hard-on from her proximity, while Edward not only looks on, he reads Jacob's aroused thoughts?
And WTF is Bella's problem? Could she be any more of an ungrateful, whiny bitch? She bitches about getting birthday presents and a party. She bitches about having a graduation party. She bitches about having a wedding thrown for her. She bitches about getting jewelry. She's never freaking happy. She bitches and whines that Edward's too chaste and then when he's prepared to give up his chastity she changes her mind. She COMPLETELY flies off the handle with Jacob, and her reaction is so out of proportion to his actions. Not that Jacob's any kind of angel. He's pretty much an asshole and a cad and acts in completely inappropriate ways. I agree with the reviewer who said that Jacob acts like Bella's just a prize to be won, just something with which to best Edward. But he doesn't bug me as much as Bella does. She's the least likeable character in the whole series!(less)
**spoiler alert** Ugh. I hate stupid Bella, who could not be more of an idiot. I hate stupid Jacob, who's a poor man's Edward. And I hate that there w...more**spoiler alert** Ugh. I hate stupid Bella, who could not be more of an idiot. I hate stupid Jacob, who's a poor man's Edward. And I hate that there were over 400 pages with no Edward, and that Meyers completely screwed up the hearing Edward's voice thing, because it would have been so much cooler if he'd been keeping tabs on her and communicating to her somehow. I also hated the constant reminders of the "hole in her chest" and all the typos (where is the editor?). I hate that I could see the "twists" coming from miles away but Bella is too much of a moron to figure it out even when Edward is standing right in front of her explaining it in no uncertain terms! I hate the "I love you!" "No, I love you more!" No, I love YOU more!" "But why do you love me? I'm not good enough for you!" "But why do YOU love ME? I'M not good enough for YOU" back and forth baloney.
Most of all, I hate that I'm still going to read the next two books.(less)
Ugh, I think I spoke too soon. I think I really, really WANTED to like this, and Edward and Bella weren't as annoyi...moreDamn you, Michelle! Now I'm hooked.
Ugh, I think I spoke too soon. I think I really, really WANTED to like this, and Edward and Bella weren't as annoying to me in the first book as they became the more I read the series. But looking back, they both had all the same annoying attributes in this book as they do later, and Meyer's writing and the lack of editing are just as bad. But the book's shorter, so I didn't notice as much.
Sorry, Michelle! I do still want to see the movie though.(less)