Uncubicled starts out with one of the best beginnings of any book I've read. It's hilarious, totally predictable in places, and completely UNpredictab...moreUncubicled starts out with one of the best beginnings of any book I've read. It's hilarious, totally predictable in places, and completely UNpredictable in others, and the mystery starts from the very beginning.
The book is thoroughly gripping, and usually hard to put down. Plot twists and turns abound, and a fair number of jarring revelations occur. There is humor, too, especially in the first third of the book.
The book has a nonlinear timeline. At times, this is made somewhat explicit: "Monday 5PM" might occur earlier in the book than "Monday 2:13PM". At times, it is less explicit. It's an interesting device, but overused. I found myself almost wanting to take notes sometimes: I'd pick up the book, see a chapter number and a random time staring at me, and have to flip back to prior chapters to compare timestamps to see where this fit in to the chronology.
As the book progresses, these jumps in place and time are often used to introduce the backstory of a character. At first, that was interesting and sometimes even heightened the suspense. But by the time we shifted from a gripping scene to suddenly a farm in Indiana some hours earlier, it has passed from interesting, through annoying, all the way to downright frustrating. I usually took my cue to stop reading Uncubicled at those points, instead of staying up later into the night to find out what happens as I would have otherwise. It was too annoying to be ripped out of an engaging plot for awhile, frustrating at having to keep the chronology straight in my mind. Though I can't deny it was an effective and interesting device at times, it was just overused.
I found the ending a real letdown. I'm not one of those people that tends to enjoy a book where you think everything has been resolved, and then on the last page or two suddenly realize that it hasn't. I would have been happier if it ended before the epilogue. As it is, I feel like I'm being suckered into reading the sequel. Which I will probably do anyway, though with less enthusiasm than if I hadn't been suckered into it. And I say that even though a sequel doesn't exist yet. It feels THAT strongly.
In all, it feels like one of the recent James Bond movies: so action-packed, time- and place-shifting, that it holds your attention, but never lets you really figure out what the story even is until later. I'm not sure I really like that.
But, I've got to say this: the author strikes me as a really interesting guy. Josh has some novel ways of promoting the book and making his entrance into the world of publishing. I hope he continues writing, continues working in unconventional ways. Although I'm not giving this an entirely glowing review, I think it *is* a promising first novel for Josh. I hope he keeps at it, and I look forward to reading his future work.
As to the rating: at the beginning of the book, I thought I'd be giving it 5 stars. By the time I got to the end, it was a debate between three or four.
One other comment: the Kindle version had somewhat odd formatting. There was no indication of a new paragraph: no indentation, no line breaks. It made it hard to read at first, though I adjusted by the end. Still, that ought to be fixed.
Highly recommended to anyone. I'm glad I read it. (less)
This is one of those books you can read two ways. You can read it for fun as a great story, or you can get all English Major on it and beat every last...moreThis is one of those books you can read two ways. You can read it for fun as a great story, or you can get all English Major on it and beat every last drop of fun out of it analyzing the hidden meanings, subtexts, and philosophy of the thing.
I read it mostly as a a fun story, and it is that. It had my attention throughout the whole of it. Here's something about Wells: he writes the best pandemonium scenes. Ever. There's one in here that makes you feel for the people that don't know what to do, and at the same time you can't help laughing at the whole thing.
If you want to get a little deeper, the main character comes off as rather endearing at first -- and maybe not so much later on. I think we all might wonder what we'd do in his shoes, and hope not the same things.
I read through the series once before. Been waiting for the chance to do it again and spotted this book for $6 at the local nonprofit used bookstore....moreI read through the series once before. Been waiting for the chance to do it again and spotted this book for $6 at the local nonprofit used bookstore. PERFECT!