CeeCee and/or Tim could have been black or Hispanic. This would at least touch on one of the reasons peopThings that would have made this book better:
CeeCee and/or Tim could have been black or Hispanic. This would at least touch on one of the reasons people object to the death penalty.
It could have been an "issue" novel. It's kind of like this book wants to be an "issue" novel, revolving around the death penalty... maybe drawing on the themes of nature vs. nurture. But it isn't because the research here was obviously scant.
It could have been set 100+ years ago. At any number of points in the far past, some of the difficulties the characters had with obtaining facts, and the ease of erasing identity... would have made more sense. (Wild West, Middle Ages, Post-War Japan-- you name it. Just not 1980s USA.)
Goodreads, I feel mislead by your rating. I take it to mean this book was well-marketed to a demographic very different from me. ...more
The book starts off painting with a broad brush-- the kind of scene set up you expect from a short story or a novella. I was left wondering where theThe book starts off painting with a broad brush-- the kind of scene set up you expect from a short story or a novella. I was left wondering where the story could possibly go from the initial setup. And 3/4ths of the way in, I'm still wondering.
It's about 100 pages worth of story stretched out into 430 pages.
You get the backstory of every minor bit player-- who still remain cardboard cutouts. So much fat that could be trimmed. The dialog is stilted and unbelievable and-- overacted.
Rowan's character is initially intriguing, but then he becomes a slapdash everything-and-the-kitchen-sink array of semi-desirable traits.
Worst is the M.C., Maggie, who does not realize that she is the exact same character as "Caren"-- the utterly obnoxious comic relief bit player likened to a yappy dog. I have no idea why Rowan, or anyone, would be interested in her. She is not interested in herself, and has an absolute tin ear for the people she's around.
I guess I thought I knew a few musicals, but despite going to the theater every year growing up, I'd never heard of "Brigadoon" and only saw Carousel once. This is clearly meant to be read by a specific audience, of whom I am not one.
This whole thing seemed like a really unnecessary prologue/backstory for the third book. Nothing happens in terms of mystery solving until about 3/4thThis whole thing seemed like a really unnecessary prologue/backstory for the third book. Nothing happens in terms of mystery solving until about 3/4ths of the way through. And the most interesting thing going on-- the oncoming asteroid-- has nothing to do with the story arc and that's a hell of a red herring to be waving around. I wouldn't have been able to read this without skipping to the series end to see how things turn out.
The MC is... not especially likable. I'd like him better if he were out and out Aspergian and that was why he was so compulsive about his job.
The setting/premise of this world is spectacular, but not very convincingly drawn. Everyone in the world seems to be at the "depression" phase of grief and loss, and, while there are some mentions of riots and wars and religious fanaticism-- none of that is really part of the story...
Others have mentioned the lack of character and plot, and how the setting, however interesting as a premise, is not well-developed enough to carry the novel.
Where is she getting this stat that 4% of all people are sociopaths (and note, she says ALL PEOPLE, not a particular demographic from a particular socWhere is she getting this stat that 4% of all people are sociopaths (and note, she says ALL PEOPLE, not a particular demographic from a particular society)?
How would you know such a thing? Sure, I've met at least one and been scarred for life, but I don't see these figures as lining up with observation...
Clearly a book meant for people who HAVE been effected by sociopaths. And as such it is an absolutely spectacular read.
I really appreciate her descriptions of the wide range of sociopathy... from the sadist to the corporate backstabber to the homeless welfare leech. I do love that she sees the common thread.
ETA: Okay, I think I get why her 4% number is so high. Although this really isn't clear until the end, she is lumping together basically everyone who fails at being a human being. The final "sociopath" is really more someone I would categorize as "personality disorder" type, rather than someone who gets their jollies by hurting other people.
Using this as the standard, I would say I've met a great many more sociopaths-- from relatives to co-workers to neighbors who would fit this description. But I don't think of them as "devoid of conscience and empathy," more as "people who just flat out don't get it.
Overall, it's a minor beef I have with this book, and it's a book I would recommend to pretty much anyone. You have to know that there are people out there who will use the finest aspects of humanity against you. And you have to know how to recognize them when they target you. Because there ARE such people, and while I don't know about labeling them as an entirely separate race within our species, as she seems to, the reality of human evil is a tragic, commonplace reality. And is, as yet, incurable....more
I'm enjoying this a lot more than I thought I would... the description makes it sounds like Zelazny's madcap nonsense, but it's actually working veryI'm enjoying this a lot more than I thought I would... the description makes it sounds like Zelazny's madcap nonsense, but it's actually working very well for me. I think a lesser author would have made this a lot of name dropping, but you get to recognize the various characters through the descriptions. It's the story of a game... played only under the rarest of circumstances.
I should note, this is not the most lovingly crafted dog narrator I've come across. The various familiars don't seem distinctly like the animals they're supposed to be enough for my taste.
If you liked "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," though, this one is not to be missed....more
So, I should preface this by saying that I am no longer an evangelical Christian, the way I was when I bought this book.
It's kind of a nostalgia thingSo, I should preface this by saying that I am no longer an evangelical Christian, the way I was when I bought this book.
It's kind of a nostalgia thing for me. I do find the answers given here to be trite and simplistic, and it never ceases to amaze me that "Bible Believers" never seem to realize that they are serving their own, cultural interpretation of the scriptures, rather than the scriptures themselves.
I can't help but think it would be more honest, and better, to view the Bible as a tool toward a spiritual relationship, rather than point to a handful of context-free verses and demand that they be authoritative.
I think of the homosexuals and the people in hideous marriages, the rape victims who are told 'if you have sex you're married in God's eyes' ... and I think there really are a lot of ways that your life can go that give the lie to the "truth of scripture." Which is really the truth of focusing your life on a handful of verses and the Christian subculture.
Having lived the evangelical life, the swarming horde of examples listed strike me as extremely, even dishonestly, selective. I know this is supposed to be uplifting and so only catalogs the wondrous successes of his ministry... but that's really not how it works. There's a lot of fail and meh in the average ministry, and the children (or child-like people) who completely believe this stuff are wont to look a bit foolish.
On the other hand, the overall message of standing up for what you believe in, "faith in a higher power," honesty and forgiveness... those are all good things....more