REALLY enjoyed it. fast paced, fun, doesn't try to be overly dramatic or suspenseful, yet succeeds in being exciting. the ending picks up in an unexpeREALLY enjoyed it. fast paced, fun, doesn't try to be overly dramatic or suspenseful, yet succeeds in being exciting. the ending picks up in an unexpected way and I'm looking forward to getting the next book....more
happily surprised by how well Sanderson steps in to the story line. since crossroads of twilight I've been reading WoT more out of a sense of duty thahappily surprised by how well Sanderson steps in to the story line. since crossroads of twilight I've been reading WoT more out of a sense of duty than out of excitement; I very much wanted closure, but the story has been dragging on with almost no feeling of meaningful development.
enter Sanderson, who manages to not only get writing style down almost perfectly, but ties up some loose ends and gets the story really moving again.
very excited to see how this epic is brought to an end....more
I didn't actually finish the book, which is unusual for me. the portrait of privileged life in the 19th century was interesting, but the almost maniacI didn't actually finish the book, which is unusual for me. the portrait of privileged life in the 19th century was interesting, but the almost maniacal distrust of science was incredibly off putting.
as at least one other reviewer noted, the monster's only initial crime was being grotesque, which was a direct consequence of Victor doing a crap job of putting him together.
Victor, however, is basically a sci fi deadbeat dad. he creates this incredible life, then abdicates his responsibility for it simply because it's ugly. if Victor had stuck around we could have had a story exploring various facets of our humanity. instead, we get a xenophobic rant about the supposed lack of morality in science.
sadly underwhelmed by this genre "classic"....more
A light and entertaining read about a somewhat ditsy blonde who finds that she is the fabled "Queen of the Vampires", yet really just wants to be leftA light and entertaining read about a somewhat ditsy blonde who finds that she is the fabled "Queen of the Vampires", yet really just wants to be left alone with her designer shoe collection. The heroine is entirely ridiculous, vampire & horror clichés abound, and sarcasm is rampant throughout.
There were more than a few parts that had me laughing out loud — I'd recommend it for anyone who needs to take a break from studies or more intense reading, even if you're not generally a fan of the genre (I'm certainly not, but was pleasantly surprised)....more
A solid continuation of Clan of the Cave Bear, Valley of Horses follows Ayla's plight after her exile from the Clan and her introduction to the existeA solid continuation of Clan of the Cave Bear, Valley of Horses follows Ayla's plight after her exile from the Clan and her introduction to the existence of "The Others".
As in the first novel, Auel spends a great deal of time describing the properties of the land and vegetation, and the tangled existences of animals from ages past. She goes into much greater depths, however, in spinning her tale of the perceived categorical differences between the Clan and the Others. This is very much a story about the adaptability and improvisation inherent in the Homo Sapiens mind. There is also a very sweet, if somewhat belabored, romance between Ayla and the Other she meets; yet another differentiating characteristic between the two peoples (love was understood by the Clan; Romance was not).
While almost half the book is consumed with Ayla's solitary discoveries, we're also introduced to Jondalar and Thonolan, two Other males who've set out on a pilgrimage of sorts, crossing the continent for no other reason than to see what's on the other side. They meet different tribes of their own kind, have a few run-ins with Clan-folk (setting the stage for hostilities betwixt the two races) and spend the better part of a year learning the hunting, fishing and building techniques of different tribes they meet along the way.
Sex; good Lord, the sex. While males "relieving their needs" was mostly a minor topic in Book 1, sex takes on a much more definitive role in Book 2. Sex is depicted quite literally as the primary means of worshiping the Mother spirit, and while marriages do occur, general hedonistic tendencies are most obviously not frowned upon. Though somewhat graphic in nature, I felt those peculiar scenes were done tastefully enough not to offend. Your mileage, of course, may vary.
Over all, I found the book entertaining, and a much smoother and quicker read than Clan of the Cave Bear, but it seemed less "groundbreaking look at developmental man" and more celebratory of the "intrinsic inventiveness of Homo Sapiens". ...more
Clan of the Cave Bear is the story of Ayla, a 5 year old Homo Sapien who is stranded in the wild after an earthquake killed her family. She is adoptedClan of the Cave Bear is the story of Ayla, a 5 year old Homo Sapien who is stranded in the wild after an earthquake killed her family. She is adopted by the Clan (i assume, considering the time period, that this is Homo Erectus. i don't believe it's mentioned in the book) who take her in and teach her their ways.
i was a bit put off when first opening this book. Ms Auel uses very clinical language in her narratorial descriptions, which i found distracting. once i realized that this was on purpose however, i got used to the language and actually found it extremely interesting.
Auel goes into incredible depth regarding everything from landscape & character descriptions to the flora & fauna characteristic of the time period. some of the most interesting tidbits i thought were her explanations of the Clan-folk themselves; her reasoning behind the extended occipital lobes, memory and extrapolation, the differences between the minds of H. Sapiens and H. Erectus. as (not even) a layman of human evolution, i found it very compelling.
the story itself is a bit dry at times, riveting at others; i found myself struggling in the middle of chapters, waiting for a good place to break and go to bed, only to be sucked back in by the end and continuing right on into the next. while i'm not sure i would rave about it, Clan of the Cave Bear is quite good, and i look forward to continuing the series....more
I was very much looking forward to this sequel of Her Majesty's Dragon and a continuation development of the relationship between Temeraire and LaurenI was very much looking forward to this sequel of Her Majesty's Dragon and a continuation development of the relationship between Temeraire and Laurence.
What I got instead was an uneventful and uninspiring "slow boat to China" that consumed approximately half the book, a poorly articulated assassination plot to remove Laurence from consideration, and a somewhat interesting yet ultimately lackluster portrayal of the stark differences between the roles of dragons in Eastern and Western cultures.
The novel's two saving graces are the very entertaining siege battle that takes place while Laurence and his men are ensconced within the Imperial Palace grounds, and the questions that are broached (however briefly) regarding the morality of harnessing a powerful and sentient being effectively as little more than a flying warhorse. I take comfort in the hope that the next novel will expound upon the topics of individuality and self-determination that were added, almost as an afterthought, to the final few chapters of Throne of Jade....more
I have come to the solid realization that I can not stand anything about the way this man writes. The story itself would be tolerable, even passably eI have come to the solid realization that I can not stand anything about the way this man writes. The story itself would be tolerable, even passably enjoyable at times, if it weren't for the fact that Salvatore is, in fact, one of the worst writers on the face of the planet.
Aside from completely redefining the term "infrared", having random, previously unmentioned possessions materialize out of nowhere, and apparently allowing the main characters to "listen in" on the narration (several characters don't know anything about a species at the first encounter, yet call them by name at the second, with no introduction other than the narrator's description to the reader), half the story doesn't even make sense.
Drizzt nearly falls off a cliff to his death when Drizzt is capable of magical levitation. A reanimated corpse, supposedly both without emotion AND retaining the warrior instincts of its previous life, hacks up a bunch of stuff (which didn't exist before being hacked up) belonging to its prey when it finds the camp unattended...The list of ridiculous inconsistencies present in Exile (even more than Homeland, first in the series) leads one to believe that Salvatore's copy editor was stoned out of his mind or dead.
How this drivel got published is beyond me, and its popularity is a distinct testament to the deplorable tastes (not to mention comprehension skills) of the American populace....more
A very cute children's book with a decent start, I was ultimately underwhelmed and disappointed by its lack of "Wonderlandish-ness". Though fantasticA very cute children's book with a decent start, I was ultimately underwhelmed and disappointed by its lack of "Wonderlandish-ness". Though fantastic in nature, this could easily have been a story about a girl from any fantasy land. Nothing about the things that happen in, or the inhabitants of, this Wonderland are very reminiscent of the beautiful and whimsical oddities from Carroll's books.
As a fanciful children's book about a princess robbed of her Queendom, a solid 3-star rating would be applicable. As an attempt to add a twist on a master piece of children's literature, however, I felt Beddor's shoulders didn't quite fill the mantle he so valiantly tried to take up.....more
Dialogues taken from around the time of Socrates' death. I picked up this book wanting to understand more about the thinking of Socrates and the progrDialogues taken from around the time of Socrates' death. I picked up this book wanting to understand more about the thinking of Socrates and the progressions of logical thought. My only previous introduction to "the Socratic Method" was from pop culture references and its abysmal application in public education.
Apology, Crito and Phaedo all center upon Socrates' trial, personal philosophy and final conversation (respectively) and, while interesting from an academic point of view, I did not find them very helpful with regard to understanding the manner in which Socrates' plied his trade.
Euthyphro and Meno, on the other hand, were remarkable for my understanding.
In Euthyphro, Socrates attacks the question of the meaning of virtue when a young man decides to sue his father for the (supposedly) wrongful death of one slave that had killed another. In Meno, Socrates again tries to grasp an underlying meaning to the word, this time with a focus as to the nature of virtue, and whether or not it is a kind of knowledge that can be taught or it is ingrained in the "soul" of a man. While, in Meno, the conversation detours into a discussion of the soul and Socrates' personal belief that knowledge is eternal and "recollected" by the individual rather than learned or discovered, the characterization of knowledge, education and definition were extremely interesting.
G. M. A. Grube's translations are at once simple and elegant prose which made for both enjoyable reading and clear understanding of the text. While the particular dialogues were not necessarily the best ones to cut my teeth on for my particular learning project, I would definitely recommend this collection for any one wanting more of the Man behind the Method.