this was an unexpected pleasure. in a genre rife with people saying, "for the love of chronos, don't eff with time!" we have a book that says sometime...morethis was an unexpected pleasure. in a genre rife with people saying, "for the love of chronos, don't eff with time!" we have a book that says sometimes you probably should eff with time, whether it's to save a priceless artifact from being destroyed (remember cleopatra's library? thousands of scrolls were destroyed, and therefore lost forever), or keeping someone from drowning a bag of kittens.
tsnotd is a light-hearted fantasy novel reminiscent of kage baker's stories. ned belongs to a secret group devoted to making sure the space-time continuum does what it's supposed to, while simultaneously trying to "improve" upon the tapestry of time. but catastrophe strikes when another agent named verity saves a cat from drowning, which threatens to cause britain to lose wwii!!
and why does this happen, you ask? because the saving of the cat resulted in ned causing a fellow passenger to miss his train which causes him to miss meeting his future fiance which causes him to end up falling for another woman who should have fallen for someone else entirely - and so on, and so on.
honestly, this was a fantastic read. i liked how ms. willis managed to sneak a bit of mannerpunk in here. remember that tv show from the 90s, 'you can't say that on television'? well it's like that, except 'you can't say that in victorian times!" - and with a much, much longer list.
highly recommended for fans of (i) doctor who; (ii) mannerpunk; (iii) parallel dimensions; (iv) butterfly-effect-type stories; (v) unusually good and plausible science-fiction.
3.5-4 stars, because i'm afraid that going back and changing my rating may cause some catastrophe to befall another goodreads author who might have deserved that extra star. ;)(less)
Hmm...well. On the one side, I liked this a lot more than The Watchmen (I mean, seriously? Blue penis? WTF). It was fun seeing characters from my favo...moreHmm...well. On the one side, I liked this a lot more than The Watchmen (I mean, seriously? Blue penis? WTF). It was fun seeing characters from my favorite 19th century books popping up like whack-a-moles throughout the pages - and I love steampunk. On the other side, this was incredibly violent and, to be frank, rather racist and sexist as well. Or, as Mina would probably say, It offended my delicate sensibilities.
Yes, I know, the authors are "staying true to the times." But seriously - the villains were all Chinese or Middle Eastern and looked like those fascist cartoon portrayals from the 1940s. Captain Nemo, who was Indian, was forced to play the servant in one of The Gentlemen's reconnaissance missions, and was referred to as "darky" by either Griffen or Hyde. I can't remember which. The word Chinaman was used several times and all of the foreigners were drawn as being both ugly and evil.
Mina Murray (previously Mina Harker) was treated no better. Many of the jokes revolved around her divorce (e.g. "no wonder Johnathon divorced her, poor bastard"), her temper, and her prudish good manners. She was forced to play a whore, a mistress, and a wife at several times in the story; she was nearly raped twice; she was called a lesbian and numerous other things; and - oh it just made me so mad. Especially since this seems to be a common theme in Moore's comics. For example, Sally Jupiter and the Silk Spectre were treated incredibly badly in Watchmen. Their costumes were a subject of much discussion amongst the men (being revealing skin-tight catsuits and short skirts and what not), and Sally was raped. And no, the old 19th century excuse doesn't apply there.
I really enjoyed the plot but the execution left much to be desired. Even though I may appear like I'm foaming at the mouth, I'm only a little annoyed - the artwork was really cool and so was the world building. Every time something offensive popped up, I just pictured a pie splatting the insulter in the face. What kind of filling is in these punishing pastries you ask? Why, the same sort of thing that these people are filled with, of course! Hint: It begins with a 'B' and it's not "blueberry." I have the second volume ready to go so I'm hoping that the series will improve. Otherwise, I may have to up the ante in my mental bakery.
As it is, I'm torn between giving this a 2.5 or a 3.5. So I'll be nice and settle for a 3. :)
P.S. What was with all the Arabic and Chinese ideograms? There were random segments where the characters spoke to one another in different languages, sometimes for several pages. The French made enough sense but I wondered about the other two. Since they're composed of an entirely different alphabet, it would only be too easy (and probably too tempting) to fake it - and there was no translation. Do the Arabic and Chinese make any sense in the panels, or is it just gibberish? I'm curious. Does anyone know?(less)
Stop right there! Yeah, you. I'm talking to you. You can't go into a horror movie without BACKGROUND MUSIC- I mean, hello? Mood-kill, much? Luckily fo...moreStop right there! Yeah, you. I'm talking to you. You can't go into a horror movie without BACKGROUND MUSIC- I mean, hello? Mood-kill, much? Luckily for you, I came prepared- in fact, I have just the song for this occasion.
You can thank me later (if you're still alive, that is).
KILL IT! KILL IT (UN)DEAD!
I feel like the only person in the world who didn't like this book. I'm not quite sure why this book has so many five-stars- because it's good, or because the hype dictates that the book must be given five stars at the cost of becoming zombie bait a social pariah? Who knows. But I didn't like it. Which makes me sad, because it's very well-written and obviously well-researched. And oh my God, yesterday I was totally fangirling over this book. I legit squeed out loud when I saw this on the used bookstore shelf, in perfect condition, just waiting for me.
Alas, our love was not to be.
World War Z is basically District 9 (meets Interview with the Vampire) in book form except replace aliens with zombies, replace quarantine with massive plague, and don't have a main character (narrator excluded, obviously). The result is an interesting look into the socio-political, economical, and psychological ramifications of a zombie outbreak on earth.
So what was the problem? Basically, that every chapter went something like this: 1. Interview some random person in some random country. 2. Person talks about how much their life sucked before zombies. 3. Person talks about how much harder their life sucks after zombies. 4. Person talks about how useless their government is in dealing with zombies. 5. Person ends story in tears/wanting to die/angry/maudlin/psychotic. 6. Return to step 1. Repeat steps 1-6 until the end of the book. 7. You're fucked, bro.
I was just really bored; I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over again. Yes, it was a really cool literary experiment and obviously it's become super popular, but I never was a zombie fan, so that might be part of the problem. If you are a zombie fan and enjoy reading about zombies and believe that the zombie apocalypse might actually happen (no, really, there are people who do- I know some, and they are, quite sadly, serious) then you will like this book. A lot.
If you are on the fence about the zombie hype, maybe check this book out from the library or get it used instead. Hey, it's not like the author's going to suffer because of that. I mean, his book's become a movie and he's already sold, like, what? Several million copies of his books?
Reader's dramatization of the author, upon receiving this month's royalties:
You, on the other hand, are most likely an average-Joe-kinda-schmuck-like-me struggling to save his or her money. How to start? Not buying this book. It was a pretty major disappointment. :/
Oh dear... I'd heard good things about these two authors but this book was a definite miss. I read to page 50 or so, but I couldn't really get into th...moreOh dear... I'd heard good things about these two authors but this book was a definite miss. I read to page 50 or so, but I couldn't really get into the story. The pacing seemed off to me, and the fact that the prose is slightly purple just bogs down the plot even more.
"What is going on here?" was the question that reigned first and foremost in my mind, quickly followed by, "Okay...and I care why?"
Don't get me wrong! I'm all for showing and not telling, but when you're just showing a series of what could easily be disconnected snapshots, you've gone too far into the other direction. Balance is key.
It's a shame, because a book with SPACE PIRATES!!@! ought to be awesome.
However, I hear the Dragonlance series is supposed to be amazing. And given the discrepancy in the number of reviews between this series and that, I think I'll follow the masses on this one.