True Enough is a quick and accessible read that never drags or becomes uninteresting. It's all very well-researched and very interesting, but I just w...moreTrue Enough is a quick and accessible read that never drags or becomes uninteresting. It's all very well-researched and very interesting, but I just wish that, having explained how and why we've come to live in a post-fact society, Farhad Manjoo had spent at least a few pages talking about how we can dig ourselves out of a world where Truthiness has taken over.
Huston brings his signature noir style to a dark, urban fantasy Manhattan where the protagonist is a vampire.
I liked the first half of the book better...moreHuston brings his signature noir style to a dark, urban fantasy Manhattan where the protagonist is a vampire.
I liked the first half of the book better than the second, mostly because I found one of the characters (a teenage girl) speaking in a voice that didn't sound as authentic as the rest of Huston's characters. Everything else in the book is so well-crafted and so interesting, it was very jarring to me.
I wasn't surprised very often, maybe because I read so much Huston I can sense when things are being set up. This didn't bother me at all, though, because I found Joe Pitt such an incredibly compelling character, even if he's no Henry Thompson (an unfair comparison, but since I'm such a fan of Huston's other works, it's one I can't help but make.)
It's imperfect, but I still felt it was time well-spent, and a welcome reintroduction (for me) not only to vampire novels, but to dark urban fantasy, as well.(less)
Without getting into any spoilers: this is a fictionalized account of the doomed Franklin expedition to find the Northwest Passage in 1845. It is abou...moreWithout getting into any spoilers: this is a fictionalized account of the doomed Franklin expedition to find the Northwest Passage in 1845. It is about hubris, greed, strength during unspeakable adversity, and possibly redemption.
Oh, there's also a terrifying monster that they call The Thing on The Ice which is slowly killing everyone aboard the two ships.
It's Dan Simmons, so he takes his time getting into the meat of the story (my dad said that he was telling three stories when he could have told one) but I consider that to be a feature of his writing, rather than a bug.
I absolutely loved this novel. In fact, I loved it so much, I read most of it during JoCoCruiseCrazy in the beginning of 2011, because I just couldn't put it down, even though I was in the middle of the Caribbean on an amazing cruise.(less)
More polemic than novel, Little Brother is the kind of book I would have devoured when I was a teenager. I gave it to my teenage son, and he went nuts...moreMore polemic than novel, Little Brother is the kind of book I would have devoured when I was a teenager. I gave it to my teenage son, and he went nuts for it (he isn't a reader) and was inspired by the various suggestions in the text to learn more about RFID, surveillance, privacy, EFF, Linux, and other technologies Doctorow explores or mentions in the text.
The story and characters aren't as complex as they could have been, but I didn't mind. Cory wrote this for teenagers, and he was clearly more interested in getting them worked up than doing a character study.
I enjoyed it. I wanted to see what happened when a bunch of kids did in fiction what a lot of us adults wanted to do in real life during the Bush years, and I wasn't disappointed. (less)
**spoiler alert** The updates I posted while reading this book pretty much capture how I felt the entire way, so rather than just rewrite them, I'll f...more**spoiler alert** The updates I posted while reading this book pretty much capture how I felt the entire way, so rather than just rewrite them, I'll focus on my overall impression upon finishing Hyperion.
It's about the journey, it's not about the destination.
I was deeply disappointed that there was no resolution, once the pilgrims arrived at the Time Tombs, but I don't see how there could have been a satisfying resolution without adding at least another 100 pages to the book. So I just reminded myself that this book was about the journey, and not the destination.
I almost wish they'd left the entire Ouster/Spy/Galaxy-is-on-the-edge-of-Armageddon story out, and simply focused on the pilgrims and their story, letting their individual tales hint at the wider galaxy and its various conflicts. I guess the Consul's story wouldn't have been as meaningful without the greater understanding we got about the Hegemony and the Ousters, but if not knowing that meant not having this disappointing unresolved feeling that I have right now (I just finished the book a few minutes ago), I think it would have been a fair trade. If the whole thing is telling us about these people going to see The Shrike, fading out just before they do is like dropping Luke into the trench on the Death Star, and never letting us know what happens next.
I understand that much of the resolution I currently find lacking is provided in [Book: Fall of Hyperion], but every book, even those that are part of a series, should provide an entirely satisfying experience to someone who reads them in isolation of the other volumes. To that end, Hyperion succeeds, I think, even if it doesn't tell us what happens when they finally get to the Shrike (or if they even do) as long as we accept that it is about the journey, and not the destination.
I still loved it. I still thought it was a wonderfully-written novel that absolutely deserved the Hugo. I wish I could give it 3.5 stars, but thinking back on how much I enjoyed it while I was reading it (instead of how unresolved I feel at this moment) I'm bumping it up to 4.(less)