I really loved Ship Breaker, the first book in this loosely connected series and I really wanted to love The Drowned Cities. I didn't.
I was excited toI really loved Ship Breaker, the first book in this loosely connected series and I really wanted to love The Drowned Cities. I didn't.
I was excited to see Tool mentioned in the description of this book, he was one of my favorite characters from Ship Breaker and was hoping to explore his story more. Although he plays a big role in the story I didn't feel like we learned any more about him in this book.
I loved the world and the conflict that Bacigalupi created in The Drowned Cities and I appreciated the hopefully dark outlook in the book, but I really had trouble with the characters. Of the four major characters there was one that I liked and was rooting for - Mouse. Mahliah and Ocho were both irritatingly immature and I couldn't have cared less about them getting out of their issues.
Overall - quite disappointed in this book. :(...more
I picked up Metatropolis as a freebie from Audible. Who can say no to free? The collection contains 5 short stories all based in a shared universe thaI picked up Metatropolis as a freebie from Audible. Who can say no to free? The collection contains 5 short stories all based in a shared universe that was a collaboration of the authors.
The world itself was interesting. The world takes on a city-state like appearance and is a bit more low-tech in the sense that the technology and power that exists isn't as readily available as it is today. There are also some environmentalist undertones with vertical farming taking a front row spot in the worlds agriculture.
The first story is "In the Forests of the Night" by Jay Lake and I have to admit I was a little lost. In a general overview the story is about a man coming into Cascadiopolis (a shared metropolis based in the Cascaida bioregion of Washington, Oregon and British Columbia). It didn't seem to really have a story and was probably my least favorite of the bunch.
"Stochasti-City" by Tobias Buckell and "The Red in the Sky is Our Blood" by Elizabeth Bear are a pair of stories both taking place in Detroit and take place within different organizations that are on the fringe of society in Detroit. "Stocasta City" focuses on a rebel group trying to have cars banned in favor of the more environmental friendly bicycle and "The Red in the Sky..." focuses on a quasi-utopian society that quietly exists within the confines of Detroit. "The Red in the Sky" was one of my favorites.
"Utere Nihil Non Extra Quiritationem Suis" by John Scalzi was next. The story was typical Scalzi in humor and tone and though I have a love/hate relationship with most of his works, I really enjoyed this one.
"To Hie from Far Cilenia" by Karl Schroeder closed out the collection. The story is about a virtual reality within a virtual reality that overlays the real world. It was wayyy out there and a little much to wrap your head around, IMO.
There is a second collection with six stories focusing on the Cascadia area and I'm slightly interested in it, but in no huge rush. ...more
I was stuck about 1/3 of the way through the book for the longest time. I finally decided to pick it up last night to plod through and ended up finishI was stuck about 1/3 of the way through the book for the longest time. I finally decided to pick it up last night to plod through and ended up finishing it at 5am this morning.
It's a bit on the unrealistic side - a group of 16 year-old kids staging the covert missions and breakouts that occur in the book just doesn't seem feasible. Sure a few of them are militarily trained, but it a highly militaristic post-apocalyptic town ... c'mon.
The book, it seemed to me, was a lot of build up for the next book where things are really going to get good. There is clearly some larger conspiracy afoot that I want to get to the bottom of - so I'll definitely be picking up Fragments when it comes out, and looking to get my hands on the series' prequel, Isolation....more
Son was a mostly well-done conclusion to The Giver quartet.
Claire is a great addition to the cast of Giver characters, she's well-developed and you rSon was a mostly well-done conclusion to The Giver quartet.
Claire is a great addition to the cast of Giver characters, she's well-developed and you really feel for her throughout her journey.
The novel is divided into three parts: Before, Between and Beyond. Before and Between are both strong sections focusing on Claire in the community from The Giver and her journey to remember her past and learn the things the community lacked (colors, emotions, etc), but Beyond leaves something to be desired. I thought the ending was rather abrupt and a bit perplexing. The Giver and Gathering Blue were about these oppressive societies that the characters were trying to break away from and change, yet suddenly there's this big bad embodiment of evil that we have to fight and it seemed really out of place. ...more
This review contains notes on the Audiobook Version of Cloud Atlas
I've been wanting to read Cloud Atlas for some time and the upcoming movie (and a nuThis review contains notes on the Audiobook Version of Cloud Atlas
I've been wanting to read Cloud Atlas for some time and the upcoming movie (and a nudge from Sword and Laser) gave me the push to read it. I'm going to go story by story and then wrap it up at the end.
The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing is set in the 1850s and written in the form of Adam Ewing's diary. This story was the most difficult for me due to the archaic language used. I appreciated the themes and moral ideas in this section of the book, but I found the overall story a bit... meh. Scott Brick (one of my favorite narrators) narrated this section. I think the audio version made the language a bit easier to understand, but I often missed the dates of diary entries and had a tough time working out a timeline for this section.
Letters from Zedelghem is set in 1931 and written in the form of letters. Frobisher is a composer and this section has a lot of musical imagery that I found really enjoyable. The letters often included shorthand and abbreviations which made for an awkward audio experience, though I did enjoy the overall narration by Richard Matthews.
Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery was a pretty average section in both the story and audiobook narration by Cassandra Campbell.
The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish was one of my favorite stories in the novel. It had a great sick sense of humor and John Lee was an excellent narrator - I'll be adding him to my favorite narrator list.
An Orison of Sonmi~451 was another of my favorites. It is set in a convincing and well thought out dystopian Korea and focuses on a genetically-engineered clone who rebels against society. It has many of the same themes that are popular in books that delve into the morality of robots and AIs, but Mitchell made it his own story. I was nervous about the audiobook version as the story is told in the form of an interview, but Kim Mai Guest was amazing and I was blown away by her ability to provide characters with distinct voices - another narrator for my list!
Sloosha's Crossin' an' Ev'rything' After is a fun post-apocalyptic story set in a tribal future. Told orally (possibly around a campfire), this story is written in a thick and broken dialect of English. I was glad to have the audiobook for this story as I imagine it would make for a difficult read.
Although I did enjoy several of the stories on their own merit, Cloud Atlas really excels as a whole. Not only does each character experience the story of the character before them, there are common threads in locations and experiences of these characters that are masterfully weaved to create the novel. Each story has a distinct style and dialect and I was constantly impressed with Mitchell's versatility. This is definitely a book that merits a re-read as I'm sure there are subtleties that you will only pick up on the second time - though I don't plan to listen to the audiobook a second time....more
I first watched the V for Vendetta movie several years ago, I love the idea behind the story and thought it was about time I read it from the source.I first watched the V for Vendetta movie several years ago, I love the idea behind the story and thought it was about time I read it from the source.
The narrative line seemed more confusing to me in the novel - maybe this was meant to be a bit of anarchist charm, but it didn't really do it for me. ...more