I liked this book. I found it a little hard to re-read when I was impatient, though. Things do happen, but if you're waiting for the main event, it se...moreI liked this book. I found it a little hard to re-read when I was impatient, though. Things do happen, but if you're waiting for the main event, it seems to drag on forever... Only worth taking away a half-star, though, as this wasn't actually torture :)
Um. Okay. I found this book odd, and, when I skipped to the back, both parallel universes seemed to end in Irina's unhappiness. And why all the sweari...moreUm. Okay. I found this book odd, and, when I skipped to the back, both parallel universes seemed to end in Irina's unhappiness. And why all the swearing?(less)
Wow. This book is definitely an unputdownable. Basically after a terrorist attack in San Francisco(sp?) the US government goes overboard monitering an...moreWow. This book is definitely an unputdownable. Basically after a terrorist attack in San Francisco(sp?) the US government goes overboard monitering and controlling its citizens in an attempt to find the terrorist. Seventeen-year-old Marcus, who knows computers and security systems inside out, decides to bring down the system after personally being jailed and tortured by said government.
Like I said, Little Brother makes you want to keep reading The writing in most places is really good, especially the torture scenes and the emotional scenes from the middle onwards. Doctorow can really catch a vibe of a scene and send it on.
Computer tricks and cryptography and everything that goes on in here is fascinating.
Kids beating the government is actually made believeable.
Stuff happens at every turn that makes you want to keep reading. I read way too late last night, trying to finish this.
Cory Doctorow also doesn't describe his sex scenes in detail: I appreciate this for two reasons. Firstly, I really don't want to read about it, and secondly, I've had the misfortune to come across a sex scene in a Cory Doctorow novel before, and man, that is not a place you wanna be.
It sucks you in. I started to get really outraged over the scene in the school with the teacher spouting propaganda--then remembered it wasn't real.
Marcus as a character was likeable: compassionate, smart, and not big-headed at all.
One part was really unemotional: where Marcus decides that he's going to bring the DHS down felt really meh to me--like after everything they've done to him, he suddenly makes this decision over a minor thing that happens because of them. Tamora Pierce did it a lot better in Trickster's Choice.
I liked Ange, but she was all over Marcus straight away from the time she met him. It's like this guy fantasy: get with the cute chick straight away, and then find out she's smart and funny and has a good personality. Oh, and horny. Extremely so. So I didn't find the beginning of the romance too realistic, but I did enjoy the book as a whole.
I felt like things didn't get bad enough for Marcus. He should've had a few more things happening to him, like betrayal. Especially betrayal. The consequences of the DHS's trap survey and infiltration of the Xnet never hit the main characters, and in some cases never affected anything at all. It didn't bug me at the time, though.
I never knew whether this was only happening in San Fransisco or in the whole of the US; it was never discussed.
There was also no closure for the terrorist attacks; we never find out who did it. I guess in one way, it wasn't important, because the original incident was only there to spark the rest of the novel. Still, it's a book, it would've been nice for Doctorow to tie up a loose end.
Overall rating: 4/5 stars. Little Brother wasn't perfect, but in no way did I have the sense that it should've been so much more. It's enough of a mouthful as it is, and a book you'll really enjoy reading.(less)
Intricate plot that was simply amazing; romance that was there but never hit you over the head (plus it ended not-so-positively. Still, it's the first...moreIntricate plot that was simply amazing; romance that was there but never hit you over the head (plus it ended not-so-positively. Still, it's the first book in a trilogy, so we have hope.); and strong female characters without being hit over the head by feminist ideals. Added to which, the character interactions were handled wonderfully well. This isn't my favourite of books, but it's a solid 3 and a half stars. Am marking it up to four because it should go up roather than down.(less)
Great book. Don't be fooled by the title, though. This book doesn't focus too much on science, though it has a couple of sections on it, but instead i...moreGreat book. Don't be fooled by the title, though. This book doesn't focus too much on science, though it has a couple of sections on it, but instead is mainly devoted to exploring the atrocities that a reliance on evolution has produced such as abortion, racism, etc, and the worldview that evolution provides. The ideas and thoughts in it are very clearly linked. It makes a lot of sense, considering that some of my friends have specifically told me that they think this way and they believe in evolution.
Also, the classic 'eye' argument is revisited. Another funny part was where this guy asked all these experts from Geological History Museums and stuff if they could tell him one thing about evolution that they knew to be true, and all of them came up blank.
My smirkiness just had to put that in there :)(less)
Spoilers and massive rant with slight concessions ahoy. It was... entertaining, I'll give it that.
But these comparisons to Douglas Adams are just not...moreSpoilers and massive rant with slight concessions ahoy. It was... entertaining, I'll give it that.
But these comparisons to Douglas Adams are just not right. For example, in its satire, this book is so obvious and not funny. The happiness cults and Iphigenia are rife with plot holes (due to their random nature), such as how they got their cult up and running in the first place... which I suppose would be okay, but they aren't FUNNY! Definitely not in the league of Douglas Adams' B-class spaceship and its eternally bathing captain.
Another complaint: Two girls have sex with Cameron for no reason! Dulcie, who is the one real constant in this thing, has sex with Cameron in the end. Staci Johnston: who the hell knows why? Actually, ditto for Dulcie. Cameron just cheated on her with Staci, and now she's gagging for it too! And let's face it, he isn't exactly the sort of guy girls will be lining up to shag. He's likeable, sure, but not... it. You know? I admit that this whole thing was a dream, and guys dream about sex, but first and foremost this is a story, and Libba Bray is a writer, dammit! She should give a satisfying read! As it is, this reads disturbingly like a girl writing the sort of fantasy a guy would write.
While that makes it realistic, it's also disturbing because Libba Bray is a girl.
The end, for me, was where this all fell apart. I was expecting everything to loop in on itself and be not what it seems and give me this wonderfully mad 'Oh you did not just do that.' moment. And it kinda... well, didn't. It was totally straightforward.
The Copenhagen Interpretation subplot, while funny (love that band. I wish they were real now) was very predictable.
Chet was an obnoxious portrayal of Christianity. Like, he never even got his comeuppance. And there are all these little digs at religion through most of the first half, which was why I took it back to the library at first. I eventually had to get it out again and keep reading because the back copy of the cover intrigued me.
Maybe I'll learn from this.
The save the universe stuff right at the end had no grab factor. No Crowning Moments of Awesome. Partly because we know it's a dream, thus robbing it of all suspense, and partly because there just weren't any.
Okay slightly bigger spoilers. Love?! This is what Gonzo finds for himself? Love? Excuse me, but lame! Why not something inside himself, inner reserves of strength, something that has nothing to do with depending on another person to fulfil yourself! Instead it's a case of Suddenly Sexuality!
The overall message of the book was what really ticked me off. "We make our own reality." Read between the lines here, people! Libba Bray is telling us that it's okay to live inside our own heads, we don't need the outside world! Go curl up and become anti-social! She's saying that we should really 'live' while we've got the time, but she's also telling us that we can do this in our heads.
I appreciate that she's trying to sell this 'who cares', 'life's what you make it', 'fufill your dreams' theme/mood/inspiration but honestly? Going Bovine just wasn't awesome enough to pull it off.
Added to which, Libba Bray goes, 'stuff all organised religion, I have my own thing'. Well, could you show us what that thing is? I'm not buying this, man. If you want to take away our perception of the afterlife, you better have something damn good to replace it with. Instead of which, we get the typical 'river death boat' scene and a light and an angel (duh, Dulcie) and vague hints and concrete 'I don't knows' and 'let's find out's. What part of this is original?
Finally, Dulcie. Dulcie, Dulcie, Dulcie. She was... truly a character who needs her own book instead of being stuck as the auxilary love interest and mysterious wizard by turns, all the while being typecast as the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She was almost forgettable, but something about her just...wasn't.
And we never get to find out anything about her. Anything!
For me, the entertainment value of this book, while it had many good ideas and some great moments and a wonderful writing style, just couldn't eclipse the major problems I had with the book. And ultimately, despite its quirkiness, it was amazingly forgettable.
I feel so bad for not liking this book, but I really didn't. I also feel so lame for typing out a petulant rant this long on a book I don't even care about. Oh well. You've gotta love the net for being able to get stuff out of your system.(less)
A fantastic book. I didn't find it funny, but that's probably because I'm young and self-aware in all the wrong ways. I'm going to re-read it next yea...moreA fantastic book. I didn't find it funny, but that's probably because I'm young and self-aware in all the wrong ways. I'm going to re-read it next year or something and see what I think then.(less)
1. Is Roiben supposed to be a faery? He acts like a human. It wasn't that believeable. It's like, he's brought up...moreOkay, this is my judgement of Tithe.
1. Is Roiben supposed to be a faery? He acts like a human. It wasn't that believeable. It's like, he's brought up around faeries, he IS a faery, and yet he acts and thinks human. Shouldn't he be just as interested in violence, etc as the others? But no.
2. I really admire Holly Black for taking the time to introduce 'CENSORED' before she killed them off. That sounds so cold-hearted, I know, but it becomes more of a story if the characters are fleshed out before they die. And stories are what we're really after, right?
3. I could ignore the homosexuality thing because those parts were minor, and *shock horror!* Corny was A WELL-DEVELOPED GAY CHARACTER! Like, in a way, I'm happy, but annoyed. I suppose Black made him gay so that he wouldn't fall in love with Kaye and potentially ruin the plot of the story. Or not. That's just my conjecture, and I could be wrong. But my point is, the whole story wasn't about him being gay. It was a character trait, not his defining role. The things he causes to happen are because he wants 'everything that's not for me', not because of this one trait. After so many books with gay protagonists whose focus is on a romance alone, this was refreshing. At the same time, I do tolerate, but do not condone the gay lifestyle. So this point is both a positive and a negative.
4. Swearing, sexual references, etc, abound.
5. It's never explained why Kaye could work magic on Kenny when she didn't even want to.
6. What, is the love between Kaye and Roiben a race? I read someone's opinion that it was like Edward and Bella on 100X speed, and, while I snickered (they're all as bad as each other), I have to agree.
7. Description. Is. Awesome. Not too much, and not too little. You get the essence of a place or character without an infodump.
8. Holly seems a little out of touch with current styles-- after all, I'm pretty sure glitter makeup hasn't been in since the 80s, and this book was written in 2001.
9. I didn't even realise that the plot twist was MEANT to be a plot twist.
10. The writing is very, very good. And faeries make it that much better.
All in all, I can't in good conscience mark it good or bad. I'll go neutral.(less)