I think I liked this one even less than Cinder. I just find this whole series so juvenile. I think the problem might actually be with the narration ofI think I liked this one even less than Cinder. I just find this whole series so juvenile. I think the problem might actually be with the narration of the audiobook. Rebecca Soler is a good narrator in that she keeps my attention and gives each character a distinct voice and personality. But she's too good at sounding like a teeanger. Her heroines all sound like annoying little twits and I can't decide if the fault is with Meyer's writing or Soler's narration. I will say, though, that Soler's Scarlet has the weirdest accent. I think she's supposed to sound French, except she just sounds like she has a speech impediment that comes and goes.
I'm assured that Cress is far better than the other two, so I'm going to give it a chance (also because I've already bought it). But I'm going to read it instead of listen to it. Maybe the girls won't be as annoying in my head as they are in my ears....more
2.5 stars rounded up to 3 because the audiobook kept me entertained while I cleaned.
I recently admitted to YA romance being a bit of a guilty pleasure2.5 stars rounded up to 3 because the audiobook kept me entertained while I cleaned.
I recently admitted to YA romance being a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. And usually, it is. But there's this thing that some YA authors do where they make their heroine such a Special Snowflake that the hero can't help but fall in love, and flirts with the Special Snowflake, who has absolutely no idea why said hero is paying them attention. These Snowflakes are Special, and they are dense.
Cinder may be the Specialest Snowflakiest of them all. She's a cyborg. But wait! There's more! She's also (view spoiler)[ Lunar (from the moon)! But not just any Lunar, she's the FREAKING PRINCESS HEIRESS SAVIOR OF THE UNIVERSE! Only she can stop the evil Queen Levana from taking over the world! Only she holds the key to curing a worldwide plague! Only she can make the Prince swoon (hide spoiler)]! I marked that as a spoiler even though anyone with half a brain can see it coming from light years away.
I know this book is YA, so my next comment may seem really obvious, but I found this book so juvenile. I've read a lot of YA fiction that didn't seem so childish to me. I actually pictured this in my head as a Saturday Morning Cartoon, like Pokemon or Power Puff Girls. I pictured the android servant as Rosie from the Jetsons and Prince Kai with spiky hair like a dark-haired Link and Peony with big anime eyes and a Sailor Moon hairstyle.
Also, it's set in "New Beijing" but other than one part where they eat dumplings with chopsticks, there is nothing Asian about this. It's very, very Western in feeling and another reviewer hit the nail on the head when she said that Meyer missed an opportunity to delve into the sociopolitical ramifications of all of Asia becoming the Eastern Commonwealth and being ruled by a Chinese emperor. WWIV is alluded to, but no word on what caused it or who exactly the vitors were or how they won.
Still, I give points for the originality of the concept. Cinderella as a cyborg who loses her bionic foot instead of her shoe is actually pretty clever.
I'm told the books get better as the series progresses so I'm willing to stick with it, but this is low on the list of best YA series for me.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
On a mission to Mars, astronaut Mark Watney is injured in an accident. His crewmates, believing him to be dead, leave him alone on Mars when they evacOn a mission to Mars, astronaut Mark Watney is injured in an accident. His crewmates, believing him to be dead, leave him alone on Mars when they evacuate. What follows is the story of Mark's survival, NASA'a discovery via satellite photos that he's alive, and the rescue mission.
This isn't the kind of book I'd normally read. I'm not big on science, or sci-fi, or space travel. It's OK, but it's not my first choice of genre. But it's one of the best books I've read all year. Watney's survival depends upon his smarts - he's a botanist as well as an engineer, so he can fix stuff and build stuff and even grow food on Mars to prolong his life. It depends on some luck - there are, of course, accident after accident after mishap and somehow nothing gets truly FUBAR. And it depends on his spirit and good sense of humor, superbly delivered by R.C. Bray in the audiobook. I don't want to give the whole book away, but here are a couple of gems:
[NASA:] He’s stuck out there. He thinks he’s totally alone and that we all gave up on him. What kind of effect does that have on a man’s psychology?” He turned back to Venkat. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now.”
[WATNEY:] LOG ENTRY: SOL 61 How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.
I broke two ribs during the MAV ascent. They were sore the whole time, but they really started screaming when (view spoiler)[Vogel pulled us into the airlock by the tether (hide spoiler)]. I didn’t want to distract the people who were saving my life, so I muted my mic and screamed like a little girl. It’s true, you know. In space, no one can hear you scream like a little girl.
But it's not all chuckles all the time. There is real drama here. While Mark Watney struggles to survive and NASA struggles to find a way to save him, the world watches. I kept imagining how I would feel if I were watching this play out for real on CNN. And while I don't think that it's realistic that there would be a daily Mark Watney Watch segment on CNN for 18 months (because humans have short attention spans and if nothing exciting happened for a few days, someone somewhere would get shot by a cop or pose naked on Paper Magazine and we'd forget about Watney for awhile), I did feel the excitement and the stress of wondering what would happen. I got a little choked up in the end.
I'll just leave you with this:
The cost for my survival must have been hundreds of millions of dollars. All to save one dorky botanist. Why bother? Well, okay. I know the answer to that. Part of it might be what I represent: progress, science, and the interplanetary future we’ve dreamed of for centuries. But really, they did it because every human being has a basic instinct to help each other out. It might not seem that way sometimes, but it’s true. If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it’s found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don’t care, but they’re massively outnumbered by the people who do. And because of that, I had billions of people on my side. Pretty cool, eh?
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, beWhat 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. ...more
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.
SamFull 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....more
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 whatA 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. ...more
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, iI 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....more
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 whaThe 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 girlI 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....more
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 backCute 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....more
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 interestiI 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....more
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 tThis 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....more
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 aboI 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. ...more