Well, the third book in this series and really it had a major lag effect. The story itself was interesting enough, though I don't find Ender as engagi...moreWell, the third book in this series and really it had a major lag effect. The story itself was interesting enough, though I don't find Ender as engaging as he has been in the previous two books. And this one just seemed to drag...I got the feeling this story could have been told in about 100 pages less...
But I like looking at the idea of where do we come from, what come "before" and how does religion play a role in our beliefs. And when science shows us answers how do people reconcile this information with beliefs.
This one was a bit tougher to get into, as it takes you 3000 years into the future, after Ender has destroyed the Buggers. But once you got the flow,...moreThis one was a bit tougher to get into, as it takes you 3000 years into the future, after Ender has destroyed the Buggers. But once you got the flow, it was a really engaging. As Ender has traveled the universe, looking for his place and a place for the Hive Queen, we see exactly the toll of what he was asked to do as a child has taken on him. And now he finds himself in a position to right the wrongs of the past and hopefully avoid a repeat event.
This book does have a much stronger "religious" vibe than the previous book, as the colony that Ender goes to has a "Catholic Charter" but I found the religion to not be preachy more theoretical...and I don't mind religious theory, in fact I rather enjoy it.
This was one of those books I picked up at the library as a "outside my normal reading patterns" and I loved...moreActually, I would say closer to 4.5 stars.
This was one of those books I picked up at the library as a "outside my normal reading patterns" and I loved it! Mark Watney finds himself stranded on Mars, after surviving what should have killed him in a massive dust storm, which resulted in his crew abandoning their mission (and him, though he was believed dead) on Mars. One of the first people to ever walk on Mars, he now finds himself stranded, without any immediate way to contact his crew or Earth to let them know he is still alive. Mark must find ways to adapt his equipment, extend his food supply, and of course, find a way to contact Earth so that he can in fact be rescued, hopefully when the next Mars mission lands.
But Mars is not the friendliest of planets, the equipment is asked to work longer and in ways never thought of before, and Mark must work to improvise, adapt, and pray for the best. If he does not suffer to many human errors, he may just make it...
This book starts out with Mark writing in a blog/journal about his survival, his thoughts of being alone on Mars, and his plans to survive long enough to get home. Then once Earth/Mission Control realize he is in fact, alive, the story alternates between Mark's journal and what is happening on Earth to get him home.
The book is told in a present day setting, with the one leap that we have in fact found out how to reach Mars with manned shuttles. There are no little green men, or other fantasy/sci fi elements. This is just Mary Watney's story, of his days on Mars and his ultimate quest to make it home.
There is math and science, but not so much it makes your head hurt, and Mark has such a dry humor to his situation, that you find yourself laughing. And the math and science are told in such a way that it stops the story or you get lost in it. Someone may some day do all the math and say "no way" but this a work of fiction and it at least all seemed reasonable and rational to me.
You may think this would be a dry "science" story but I really found myself rooting for Mark, those back on Earth doing everything they could think of to bring him home, and his crew who really does risk it all to try and rescue him. It is not a dry, boring science read, but rather a story of what it means to be human, and the idea of how much is one life worth? What should/could/would we spend and do to save just one life?
This may actually be closer to 3.5 stars. I did enjoy the book, though I found the writing to be a little on the light side and I found some holes in...moreThis may actually be closer to 3.5 stars. I did enjoy the book, though I found the writing to be a little on the light side and I found some holes in the story telling that I hope may be answered in the coming books.
This book kept my interest, though I can't say it was a book I couldn't put down. The characters while slightly flat/2 dimensional, were interesting enough to keep the story moving along and the reader engaged. The concept is interesting, if not fully developed. But I hope that the future books in this series (a proposed trilogy) will provide more depth as we explore who the returned are, why they have returned, what it all means, and why they simply leave again. I am intrigued enough to continue reading as future books are completed. I may or may not watch the TV series.(less)
This was not the easiest book to read. I already had some knowledge and ideas about Scientology, but this book showed a real human side to it. And it...moreThis was not the easiest book to read. I already had some knowledge and ideas about Scientology, but this book showed a real human side to it. And it is not all the pretty lights that Tom Cruise wants you to look at! I also get that people like Tom Cruise, John Travolata, and other celebrities have a very different experience in this organization. I can't really even say religion because at its core, religion is about a belief system, but when most of your members don't even really know the basis of your "religion" how can they really have a belief in it?
I don't often read memoirs. They are often in need of a really good editor and maybe even ghost writer, but this doesn't usually happen as what you want is the raw emotion of the story teller to come out. But this one really could have used a little help. At times it was really challenging to figure out where in time the events where happening, or how much time had passed between events being described. It was hard to get the flow of time and how she had grown/changed over time.
But overall, a really interesting look into the inner workings of this organization. I am sure there are some very good people and that some people find what ever it is they are looking for in this group. BUT it really goes to show that you can't just look at the surface, dig deep to find out what is really going on. Mostly you will just find a desire for power and money.(less)