I am so done with Ted Dekker. Goodness, I've said that for the last few books, but this time I mean it!
Why, you might ask? Because I'm sick of these mI am so done with Ted Dekker. Goodness, I've said that for the last few books, but this time I mean it!
Why, you might ask? Because I'm sick of these mediocre books he's been putting out. It seems like Dekker is pushing out books like a bunny pushes out babies. Everywhere I turn, I hear of a new book coming out authored by him and some lukewarm, relatively unknown coauthor that probably wrote most of the book. The books no longer seem to be about telling stories and relying powerful morals; they seem to be about making money.
So while this book was fully written by Dekker, this had that cheap quality about it, that feeling that this was done just to be done. There was really no point. But let's get to the review.
I'm about to make a forbidden comparison. Immanuel's Veins reeked of Twilight.
Everything about this book screamed Twilight Wannabe that Wants to Jump on the Vampire Bandwagon.
In fact, if you combine Twilight with Dekker's Lost Book series, you will get Immanuel's Veins. There was nothing extraordinary unique about it. In fact, even the ending was pretty trite in that several of Dekker's other books have ended in a similar manner.
It was the huge unoriginal-ness that truly killed the book for me. I hate Twilight, and I despite books that try to emulate it. I've liked some of Dekker's older books with similar endings, but that doesn't mean I want to read them again. So, overall, this novel was a huge letdown. A huge letdown with nothing surprising besides the fact that it was a huge letdown.
But, goodness, I need to highlight specifics.
1. The plot It was very predictable. A Twilight/Circle Trilogy spawn, nothing was original. Most of the book had no particular plot, and then the end smacks the reader like a bat. Nothing happens, and then everything happens at once.
2. Some of the characters Toma was like a girl, a girl with no personality outside of her love life. (Do I hear a Bella Swan?) Apparently he is tall, muscular, tough man with long, dark, wavy hair and beautiful, manly scruff and a dark, heroic past and a kind, courageous, caring persona. In short, he was a Gary Stu. What was his weakness? He fell in love with a girl, which apparently made him lose his reason. Sorry, that doesn't count as weakness. Alek was a woman eater. He meets a girl, he immediately woos her to challenge himself, and he sleeps with her. That's about the extent of his personality. Apparently he has "wit and charm" that are "always good friends on a long journey," but that was never seen in the book. Looking at the bad guys, I don't really see them as evil. I know I'm supposed to think them evil, but there's no much to support this. Plus, I think it's funny how Dekker tried to make the bad guy's identity suspenseful. It was so painfully obvious what they were. I mean, come on- the guy's name is "Vlad!" As soon as he sauntered into the book, I had his persona pegged. The other characters were extremely forgettable. In fact, I've already forgotten most of their names. That's how memorable they were.
3. The quick, undeveloped, cliche romance There was no romance between Toma and Lucine. It was all physical. Any time they were together and had time to fall in love with each other's personalities, the author would generously switch to synopsis mode. Therefore, there was no development. We had the Bella Swan symptom where each character would constantly describe, in detail, the physical perfection of the other. Yes, we get that they are the most beautiful person to walk the earth. Yes, we get that he has a seventeen-pack. Yes, we are aware she has the sexiest stare evah. WE GET IT! Stop spending so much time on it. In the end, this is the only description that supported the romance:
"A contest over what? It could only be Lucine! Perhaps this explained my nearly inexplicable and immediate attraction to her!"
OF COURSE! BECAUSE THIS MAKES AS MUCH SENSE AS THIS:
4. The writing Modern slang was used. Nothing was shown, only described. A few select words were painfully repeated in attempts to create "mood." In fact, the repetition of information became so bad, so frequent, and so mind-numbing that I forgot to care about the characters! Some of the descriptions were ridiculous. For example:
"I didn't know who he was, because he wore a hood that kept his face deep in shadows. I could only see those red eyes, staring at me like twin cherries."
You know what I saw as soon as I read that?
5. The unoriginal ending My mom loved this book, and she was kind of annoyed when she found out I didn't. One of the main reasons I gave for me disliking it was the ending, as I reminded her that it was practically recycled from other books. To which she impatiently replied, "Well yeah. That's perfectly fine! He trying to connect all his books to one theme." What? Since when is is okay to recycle an ending from another book just because it has the same theme?
6. How Toma experienced none of the ramifications of his actions in the end (view spoiler)[ Toma got into all this trouble in the end. He got accused of witchcraft and thrown into prison. Strike 1. He escaped from prison. Strike 2. He broke into Cantemir Mansion, breaking numerous elements of property. Strike 3. He kidnapped Mother Cantemir (or whatever her name was) at knife and gun point. Strike 4. He burns down a mansion, which no one knows is the fortress of the devil. Strike 5. Yet, in the end, he escapes without any involvement of law enforcement. He just waltzes off into a happy ending, no questions asked. (hide spoiler)]
7. The undeveloped morals The Christian morals, which are usually so good in these books, seemed like an afterthought. They were not properly described; they were not properly developed. What good is morals if they aren't really enforced by your story as a whole?
There were some suspenseful parts, parts that I wanted to find out how things would go done. Despite my issues with it, the book had really great tones in places. These gothic-esque castles were magnificently described. I could easily imagine them, and it gave the story a real sense of setting.
No, I didn't like it. I haven't liked several of Dekker's last few books. I doubt that they are going to get any better, so I'm just cutting myself off. The next time I see a book by him (and one of these unknown coauthors), I'll force myself to keep walking.
But I can see why people like this. There were just too many issues for me to like it. I encourage you guys to read it yourself and form your own opinion. Just because I dislike it doesn't mean you will.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Very simplistic, but it does establish some very interesting connections.
I would have liked to see more detailed illustrations of the connection betweVery simplistic, but it does establish some very interesting connections.
I would have liked to see more detailed illustrations of the connection between Middle Earth and Tolkien's Christian faith, as I initially expected this to be a somewhat in-depth analysis of major connections. A thesis, if you will.
This, in reality, was a devotion. The chapters were extremely, extremely short with very little analysis/descriptions. Each chapter did reveal a certain truth, which I did enjoy, but it was just not what I was expecting....more
A short, entertaining read that had me laughing my head off. I really enjoyed this one. It had great writing, great characters, and a great premise. IA short, entertaining read that had me laughing my head off. I really enjoyed this one. It had great writing, great characters, and a great premise. I definitely recommend this....more
I would probably give this 2.5 stars. But let me start out this review by saying this book is not for children.
It's just not. There are numerous confliI would probably give this 2.5 stars. But let me start out this review by saying this book is not for children.
It's just not. There are numerous conflicts in the book that require a more mature grasp of reality. Torture, abuse, imprisonment, lobotomy, religion, death, drugs, and lies. Not to mention that there were certain sexual innuendos as well as moderate curse words. All of it was heavily present, and the final result was a book whose audience has been incorrectly marketed.
Of course, the premise seems innocent enough. A little girl develops the ability to fly, and she is sent away to X-men's school for gifted youngsters. Innocent premise with pretty morbid details.
What I hated about this book was the author's obvious bias towards certain subjects. Now, I am aware that she kinda-sorta attempted to reverse these biases in the end, but it just didn't work. What I'm majorly talking about is the negative attitude toward religion, with an emphasis on Christianity. Piper's parents were portrayed as idiots, quite frankly. Stereotypical, southern idiots that blindly cling to tradition and continuously swear on the Bible. The author painted them in a very negative light. They wouldn't let Piper fly because it wasn't natural, because God didn't make people to fly. Betty would constantly claim that the good Lord would protect them, and once the author went so far as to say that Betty was incorrect in her belief that God would save them. Betty was described as ignoring Piper because she was "too busy praying." Piper's southern home town is described as wholly Christian and conservative, not to mention gossipy and judgmental. In fact, after Piper was rejected by the town, the author literally wrote "... not a single Christian soil among them was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt." The list could go on and on, but the thing is that all of these influences were very subtle for the most part. The author's use of negatively connotative diction patronized Christianity and its seemingly absurd beliefs. This is ridiculous! This would be true of any other religion or lack of as well. Everyone who proclaimed their religious faith were portrayed as idiots, and I highly, highly doubt this was done without intent. I would be able to accept Forester's development if it wasn't so darn stereotypical, and I would be more forgiving if the flaws would have been used to show that everyone, no matter their religion, is human. That everyone makes mistakes, but everyone has the ability to remedy this past actions. Of course, this is not how it goes down.
Another issue: the negative view towards homeschooling. Homeschooling is not only portrayed as a purely Christian activity, it is also portrayed as an isolating institution that pumps out shoddy education. I mean, the story is literally about a homeschooler (as evident in the short, non-revealing description) wishing nothing more than to go to traditional school, and her passion drives her to desperate matters. Plus, Piper can't speak any type of proper English, and her parents are again portrayed as brainless, so the fact that they partake in homeschooling has obvious negative biases. Piper spends the first third of the book whining about how she doesn't have any friends-- hinting that homeschoolers are not allowed to have any sort of social life. This is more of a personal issue, as I'm homeschooled right now. I've been to almost every type of school, and you know what? I will always prefer homeschooling. It's not because I'm lazy; it's not because I can't handle "real" school. No, I prefer the in-depth education that I can only receive outside of the bureaucratic-eqsue, time-wasting classroom. You have a social life, and you are prepared, if not better prepared, for adult life. Whew, sorry-- mini-rant. But I hate how popular culture portrays this perfectly legitimate form of schooling in a negative way. Now, before you say "But it wasn't like that in the end!" It pretty much is. (view spoiler)[Piper doesn't feel like going to a brick 'n mortar school any longer. Huzzah. No, that's not right. She says she doesn't want to go to school anymore, and this hints that she just doesn't want to learn anymore. She just wants to fly. Forget about education, so let's home school. I don't think this was the author's intent, but it came off that way. (hide spoiler)] Ah, I need to move. Otherwise I'll be a-rantin' all night. ;)
Of course, with the discussion of the biases behind me, let's talk about the mass amounts of adult content. Mass amounts. My little, 10-year-old sister read this before me. As she was reading it, she repeatedly mentioned how "confused" she was and how "sad" she felt. I wondered as to why this was the case, so I decided to pick it up myself. Man, was I surprised. There is an entire dedicated to the torture of our main character, in which (view spoiler)[her body and spirit are literally broken (hide spoiler)]. There are discussions of lobotomy as well as other forms of mental treatment. Animal abuse is present. Sexually-charged actions do occur like (view spoiler)[that one kid repeatedly using his x-ray vision to peer under girls and underage girls' clothes (hide spoiler)]. Curse words are more often suggested, but there are a few instances of it actually being typed out. Etc., etc., etc. This book just had a lot of content that I have never experienced in a book marketed to children. It's almost worse that all of these serious subjects were watered down. So, while their terribleness was hinted at, the reader could not experience the true, serious weight of the subject. This in itself is a crime, as the young readers are left with a feel-good, airy-fairy version of hardships and evils, which of course leads to ignorance while destroying a part of their innocence. All and all, a lot of the violent content in the books could have been left out. Or, it could have been more described and more in-depth, but it should have been marketed to an older audience.
As for the story, writing, characterization, etc., it was all average. Nothing special. The story was extremely stereotypical, as I have hinted before. There was nothing original; it was basically X-toddlers. The ending was typical. Writing was extremely confusing and run-on at times. I had trouble understanding what Forester was trying to describe; I can only imagine the frustration of younger readers. Again, the writing itself isn't even geared toward the book's intended audience. Characters were average. No one was really memorable. I liked Piper a bit. She was very strong-willed and pretty mature. However, I really enjoyed Dr. Hellion by the end.
With this being said, there were some redeeming qualities. There were some important lessons about staying true to your self, seeking truth, and acknowledging the importance of family. So, a star for some of the great themes that the book put out.
Overall, yes, I was extremely disappointed with the book. There were some redeeming qualities, but the negatives were just to numerous. Now, a lot of these points are subjective, and I don't expect you to agree with me. I just personally had so many issues with this book that I couldn't enjoy it. Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but it's how I feel. I don't necessarily recommend it, but I encourage you to read it yourself and form your own opinion.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
After giving this Graphic Novel a full 24 hours to digest, I found that I did really enjoy this.
Now, that's not to say there weren't some mSweetie...?
After giving this Graphic Novel a full 24 hours to digest, I found that I did really enjoy this.
Now, that's not to say there weren't some moments where I couldn't help but cringe... *But I don't know if these problems can be fixed, as illustrated below*
But overall, this thing was great.
The characterization was almost perfect. Sokka, Toph, and Zuko maintained their originally personality to a tee. There were their same selves-- which was a relief, as many characters tend to lose their personality when transferred to paper. Aang seemed a little different, which is understandable, as he has really grown up in the last year. He also seems to be going through some hormonal changes (expected). Katara, well, I think her personality was the only one not to really transfer well. See was mainly portrayed as Aang's love interest... not much else, which transferred to not much depth. But there were moments!
There were some absolutely amazing parts that I was laughing my head off. The show's humor was definitely there.
The plot was really interesting. This "Promise" is showing promise. However, many people think that Aang's promise to Zuko is a major characterization fail, that Aang would have never promised to do something like that. While I initially agreed, I think Aang actually would promise to do such in the belief that he would never have to fulfill that promise. Maybe when he agreed to the Promise, he did so to satisfy Zuko but secretly promised himself never to fulfill the promise...? I don't know. All I know is that Aang would never promise to kill someone, so I'm trying to make up excuses as to why he did. XD
Looking at the problems...
Sweetie? Really? I know, I know... It wasn't in there a lot, but I did laugh my head off cringe whenever Katara/Aang said it. Don't get me wrong, I was supporting their get together since Episode 1, but the whole "Sweetie" thing did seem a bit forced.
But I don't know if they could have corrected it. I did some experimentation of my own, as shown below.
What would have been better?
Could you imagine them saying...
Nope, me neither. So "Sweetie," by comparison, was probably the best term of endearment they could come up with. They're young, they're teenagers, they're experiencing young love (which eventually leads to three kids)... let them call each other names reserved for mothers calling their three-year-olds.
Overall, though, this novel was a great one. I can't wait to read the next installments while subsequently indulging in everything Korra....more
I don't even know what to say about this one. It just seemed so pointless and contradicting... Well, I better break it down into its elements.
NegativeI don't even know what to say about this one. It just seemed so pointless and contradicting... Well, I better break it down into its elements.
1. The Main Character Apparently, Chopin wrote her so that the reader would disdain her, but, for some reason, that doesn't make me feel better. I just don't like Edna. I don't even hate her. She was just too uninteresting to be a character that I could either love to love or love to hate. She was just so bland that I couldn't really care what happened to her. I mean, yes, she has all the qualities that many antagonists share. She's selfish, ignorant, unfaithful, shallow, etc. But none of her qualities had any depth! Meh, I didn't like her.
2. The Theme What was the theme of the novel? I've been told time and time again that this is a feminist novel, but I, in no way, see how it could be. We have a main female character that attempts to find equality and love by rebelling against traditional female roles... I guess? But, when we think about it, did she really rebel? She had an affair, which was huge for a woman at that time, but she still seemed to be that fragile weakling in the end that she was in the beginning. No growth, no change. Plus, an affair is anything but being strong. If she was really "strong," she would have stood up to her husband instead of running into the arms of another man. Is the theme that attempting to change your circumstance results in tragedy? Is it that having an affair won't help your marital problems (no duh)? I just didn't get any message coming away from this. Puh, I'll have to research it later.
3. The Romances I never felt anything between Edna and her multiple lovers. I never understood why all these men were falling over her, and I didn't understand how she became attached to any of them. There was no romantic development, but, again, maybe that was Chopin's point...?
4. The telling, not showing On the whole, the writing was average. However, what I hated was how everything was told to the reader inside of being shown. We were never shown how Edna was apparently becoming more confident and less housewife-y. We were constantly told by the narrator and the other characters that she was changing. However, in actuality, there was little to no change in Edna's voice or character. She stayed the same, despite the fact that all the characters repeatably described her as undergoing an extreme transformation. There was just nothing to support those claims.
5. The Ending Gosh, talk about pointless (not to mention impossible). I would have much rather seen her confront the ramifications of her actions and then go do what she really did. This would have definitely better driven in a main point.
Everything else was just mediocre. The writing, the story, etc. was not entirely memorable. The tone of the book was almost nonexistent (I would have love to feel a tense anxiety or a dark foreboding in the tone). It just wasn't enjoyable to me, but this is definitely not my type of book. I generally dislike romance, so you can only imagine my horror as I read this book was about a woman's sexual revelations. I do not recommend it, but feel free to read it and formulate your own opinion on the subject....more
Let me begin by saying that this book was better than Kurth's last novel It Can Always Get Worse. There was better pacing, better plot development, beLet me begin by saying that this book was better than Kurth's last novel It Can Always Get Worse. There was better pacing, better plot development, better characters with more personalities, and overall better writing and use of writing conventions.
With that being said, I still have some issues with it.
The first and foremost issue is the outrageous amount of typos and grammatical errors in the book. This is not the author's fault; it's the editor's. How he could miss so many issues is beyond me. There were misuse of verb tenses, misuse of commas, run-on-sentences (that were obviously not intentional), etc. It drove me crazy! I can understand how a book may have an error or two, but this book definitely had more than that. Overall, it just distracted from the story.
Another issue that I had is the character development as a whole. There are a lot of main characters in the book, so everyone's development suffered just because attention had to be spread out. The characters were seldom together, so they didn't get a lot of interaction with each other. Each chapter focused on a different character, and Kurth had to keep each chapter short to get everything in. So, overall, I didn't feel connected to the characters simply because there wasn't enough time to get to know each one. Their characterizations felt obvious, without much depth or interesting qualities, but I guess this was needed to get everyone at least somewhat familiar. I always got them confused, and, despite the fact that I finished the book just over an hour ago, I probably could not recall everyone's names nor their respective personalities. It's so hard as an author to provide in-depth characterization when you have so many characters that need it. Therefore, I'm glad this is a series, as it means that more development will be in the future.
Finally, the whole patriotic, pro-American themes got a bit annoying at times. Those EVIL (view spoiler)[ CANADIANS
(hide spoiler)] (persons that are the bad guys). I like the bad guys; it was very different than normal. However, with all the main characters (minus one) being American and highlighting the horrors of the other side, the "America Rocks" message was extremely prominent. I get it. I'm an American, and I like this country. But I would have loved to see Kurth better explore the atrocities on our side. I would have loved to see what the US did to push the bad guy's so far. Yeah, we got what happened in the end, but that wasn't near as bad as what the bad guys do.
Overall, yes, I liked this book. I may have had issue with it, but I will read the next. ;)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
A good book with great writing, average characters, a somewhat slow and disjointed plot, and an awesome analysis of the human condition.
Though, the onA good book with great writing, average characters, a somewhat slow and disjointed plot, and an awesome analysis of the human condition.
Though, the one thing I have to mention specifically is the last paragraph. As I was reading it, I didn't really know how to think. My face, for one, was frozen in a "o_O" sort of grimace. After reading it, I laughed nervously, half out of total embarrassment for the girl, half out of total disbelief that a classic would end this way. Then, questions started swarming me. There are a lot of loose ends that this book did not even attempt to tie up.
Overall, I never saw that ending coming, Mr. Steinbeck. Way to go, you hit me from left field.
It's a good book, but I just didn't think it great. However, I can understand its classical-status....more
I don't know what I liked about it, but I just found myself enjoying it. I got so lost in the story that I foI actually really, really liked this one.
I don't know what I liked about it, but I just found myself enjoying it. I got so lost in the story that I forgot that I was reading, I forgot to look for mistakes and other little irksome details. And that-- to get lost in the story-- is what truly makes a good book....more