Instead of being a character driven zombie novel, it is a series of i...moreIf I could give this more than 5 stars, I would.
This book is freaking brilliant.
Instead of being a character driven zombie novel, it is a series of interviews done after the zombie war. Some people wanted more of an action packed story from start to finish and rated this book lower. But haven’t we had more than enough of that?
This is such a refreshing take on zombies. It is well done, well researched, almost real in some places. Some scenes were so action packed and terrifying, I read with my eyes wide open and my jaw dropped. On the front of my book, it says, “Probably the most topical and literate scare since Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds radio broadcast.” from the Dallas Morning News. I can say that I definitely agree. While I never heard that radio broadcast, I’ve heard the horror stories of people thinking this was actually happening.
World War Z is so creative, so haunting, so f***ing well done, I could just hug Max Brooks.
Now, I’m a zombie fan. I joke about the zombie apocalypse, I own rifles and occasionally shoot at funny zombie looking targets at the range. I watch The Walking Dead and I ponder what the apocalypse might be like. I’m not quite as INTO it as some people, but I am still a fan of zombies. And when my husband and I talk about the what-ifs of a zombie apocalypse, we talk about the government and what people would do and if zombies could walk around or swim underwater. So what makes this book so brilliant is that Brooks did the same thing, researched aspects of the world’s governments and brought us a clear what-if picture. It’s believable and smart. It covers just about every base, every question we may have as what-if thinkers. Even the human aspect. How would we react to our fellow neighbors?
There’s this one part, where this woman in Topeka, Kansas recalls her experiences. I wish I had the energy to type the whole thing out, but it was so chilling. “[Sharon mimics the moan of a zombie. It is undoubtedly the most realistic I have ever heard. Clearly, by their discomfort, Sommers and Kelner agree.] They were coming. They came bigger. [Again, she moans. Then follows up by pounding her right fist on the table.] They wanted to come in. [Her blows are powerful, mechanical.] People screamed. Mommy hugged me tight…” I mean, wow. It’s so creepy. The whole scene just builds and builds.
I know the zombie thing and even Brooks himself has kind of a cult following. I’m not really a part of that, but I do think Brooks is genius and I’ve never seen such believable zombie literature. Sure, the survival guide was a little believable. I kept reading some of the training stuff thinking, “I should totally be doing that,” but more in a joking way. This book, however, is definitely believable. I’d love to hear this one read on air. The movie should be awesome, though.
I could go on and gush even more about how much I loved this book. But I suppose I’ll stop. I would definitely recommend it to people, even those that aren’t all that into the whole zombie joke. It’s still good, it’s still interesting and well written and well thought out.
I will say that because this whole war isn’t real and it’s written by one man, I think it’s wrong to place it in comparison to real war survival accounts and tragic stories. The human voices in those accounts will be much more powerful that anything Brooks can do. But if you remember that this book is written by one man with quite the imagination, you can appreciate it.
I couldn’t read this book objectively. The movie Children of Men is one of my favorites, but I never realized it was a based off of a book. When I saw...moreI couldn’t read this book objectively. The movie Children of Men is one of my favorites, but I never realized it was a based off of a book. When I saw this at the used bookstore and took a look at the synopsis, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to read this book! Unfortunately, the movie ruined this book for me. It’s not often that I prefer a movie to a book, but this is one of those rare cases. Don’t get me wrong, the book is great. A lot of things are changed, but the basic meat and concept of the story is still there and it’s elegantly written. P.D. James is a wonderful writer, but this poetic account just didn’t do it for me. I preferred the action and fast pace of the movie.
The story is a mixture of Theo’s journal entries and events that happen from Theo’s point of view, but in third person narration. As a historian, Theo is very well worded and perceptive in his accounts. I appreciated this, but as I said before, I preferred the faster pace of the movie. I don’t want to say that the book was slow or boring because I could appreciate the descriptions and Theo’s outlook on the entire situation, but I suppose the movie was much more dramatic and in your face. I could compare it to watching someone walk down a sidewalk next to a busy road with honking cars versus listening to a narration of the same person walking down the same sidewalk, but occasionally looks up at the sky and the trees. It’s the same situation, but the second one isn’t quite so heart racing, if that comparison makes any sense. Watching someone in a somewhat dangerous situation is pretty scary, but having them tell you about it slowly and eloquently isn’t quite so suspenseful.
I couldn’t give this book more than 3 stars because it was incredibly disappointing, but I couldn’t give it any less because it was wonderfully written and I probably would have enjoyed it much more had I not been spoiled by the movie. I would recommend this book to others and I hope people read it before watching the movie so they can provide much better feedback than I can! http://meganm922.blogspot.com/2012/08...(less)
I absolutely loved Sharp Objects. Murder, suspense, thrillers, and mysteries are typically books I don’t read and am very picky about. The authors peo...moreI absolutely loved Sharp Objects. Murder, suspense, thrillers, and mysteries are typically books I don’t read and am very picky about. The authors people rave about are typically my least favorite. I loved Gone Girl and a few people have recommended Gillian Flynn’s other books to me, so I grabbed this on a sale table at Barnes and Noble.
Sharp Objects was so twisted. I love the tone and the voice of the narrator, Camille. Gillian Flynn has the ability to make her characters come alive on paper with all of their bitterness, complexity, complexes, issues, and personality. Camille was not just the bitter reporter cookie cutter character, but a real character with problems. When she was advised to head back to her hometown to cover a gruesome story, she reluctantly packed her bags and headed back to place she was happy to be away from.
The story sounds like your average murder thriller movie or book at first glance, but that’s what makes Gillian Flynn so talented. She takes an otherwise basic plot and turns it on its head, adding dashes of horror, darkness, insanity, and psychosis. Camille was in town to figure out if the two missing girls were linked, but she also dealt with her own childhood and parental issues while she was in town. The town itself felt suffocating and dull as Camille ran into childhood friends, acquaintances, and their children. Ideas of right and wrong, normal and abnormal, and what sorts of things women should and shouldn’t do were tossed around in the novel, which piqued my interest.
The town, the people of the town, the cops, and Camille herself had layers upon layers peeled back in Sharp Objects. For example, at first, the murder looked like two innocent and beautiful girls murdered in cold blood by what the police would assume was a sick man. But as the story progressed, the girls were less and less innocent and sweet, but more troublesome girls who danced to their own beats. And the profile of the killer didn’t fit the elegant woman a child last saw one of the girls talking to. Suddenly, a clear cut case with a clear profile of a killer wasn’t quite so clear. Nothing really made sense, which brought about questions from Camille about what women might be capable of.
I loved all of the layers and elements of Sharp Objects. Everything was complex. I highly recommend the novel. I thought the overall mystery was fairly easy to unravel later on the in the book, but I think most of that was due to be reading Gone Girl and knowing what sort of twists and directions the author is capable of. Had I not been aware, perhaps the mystery would have been less easy for me to solve. Still, though, it’s an awesome and thrilling novel that is truly dark and haunting. (less)
When I first started my eclectic reading challenge, I had no idea what I would read for Crime/Mystery fiction. I’m not a mystery reader, it’s one of m...moreWhen I first started my eclectic reading challenge, I had no idea what I would read for Crime/Mystery fiction. I’m not a mystery reader, it’s one of my least favorite genres. Perhaps there is too much crime drama on TV. I don’t know. It’s rare that I read these books. This one was recommended by a friend as one of the best crime novels he’s ever read. So I bought it. I have to say, I’m glad I did, because it was amazing.
This novel was well written and I enjoyed reading from Rusty’s point of view. Throughout the book, I had no idea who actually committed the murder and who (if anyone) set him up. There was so much dirty business going on, it was difficult to say. I didn’t know how it would turn out, but I kept flipping the pages so I could find out. I had all these different ideas and I was surprised when none of them turned out to be right. I like books that surprise me and keep me guessing, as this one surely did.
This book was incredibly surprising to me. I have heard of this series, but never checked it out until I saw it available through my local library for...moreThis book was incredibly surprising to me. I have heard of this series, but never checked it out until I saw it available through my local library for my kindle. I’m glad I picked it up. It was a fast read for me and I couldn’t put it down.
I didn’t read the synopsis before checking this book out, so I was delightfully surprised by this book. I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but any series with the word vampire in it usually leads me to believe there are vampires and somehow the main character will get involved with them. While that’s partly true, I guess I wasn’t expecting vampires to be portrayed as the bad guys. It was refreshing! While the events and structure of this book are pretty far fetched, it was actually believable to a degree. The author created a very in depth vampire town where it all (sort of) made sense. It was definitely intriguing.
I loved Claire. I loved that she was intelligent (which is always a plus) and she was determined and brave in a place where most of the inhabitants just sort of go with the flow. She wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself and proved to be a very loyal friend. I wish I would have known more about her before coming to Morganville as she was sort of a blank slate upon arriving, but it worked for me. While she constantly berated herself for being “weird” which I totally disagreed with, I don’t think it is a stretch of the imagination to believe that a really smart girl that is in college early would have some social problems. She was obviously bullied when arriving in Morganville and the only people who ever seemed to praise her were her parents. I felt like even though I know it’s not uncool to be smart, I could believe that Claire hadn’t stumbled upon that particular revelation, yet.
When Claire decides to move out of the college dorm and find a place, she encounters Michael, Eve, and Shane living in a big house off campus. I loved all three of these characters. Each of them were funny and interesting and I think they all needed Claire in different ways. While they weren’t exactly fine with the way the town of Morganville ran, they weren’t challenging it, either, until they met Claire. Shane was definitely my favorite character because he was funny, easygoing, and terribly sarcastic.
I can’t recall ever reading a YA vampire series with a plot anything like this one, so it was highly unpredictable to me. It was full of twists and turns that took me by surprise at every corner. Looking back, I see a few coincidences and plot issues, but they honestly didn’t bother me at all while reading. I thought the author weaved a great story that captivated me.
As soon as I finished reading, I was ready to pick up the next book in the series. It will have to wait, since my library doesn’t have the next book, but I definitely plan on continuing. http://meganm922.blogspot.com/2012/08...(less)
I absolutely love Shana Abé’s YA historical paranormal romance set in the 1900s involving dragons, The Sweetest Dark. The series is one of the most be...moreI absolutely love Shana Abé’s YA historical paranormal romance set in the 1900s involving dragons, The Sweetest Dark. The series is one of the most beautifully written and enchanting books. I wanted more of it/like it and I noticed she had an adult paranormal dragon series set a few centuries earlier than The Sweetest Dark. I don’t typically read adult paranormal romances, but I fell in love with the author’s writing and I knew I had to at least try it out.
The Smoke Thief was set in the late 1700s. The tribe of drákon lived away from the city of London and were ruled by a leader who was also the Alpha. Women could not shift or Turn for some reason. The drákon could shift from person to smoke to a dragon. In London, a thief was running rampant, stealing important jewels, and the drákon immediately realized that the thief had to be one of their own. What they didn’t expect was for that thief to be a woman who could turn.
I loved the premise of the novel and I absolutely enjoyed the way it began, with a legend and backstory to set the scene. Shana Abé is a superb author who has this magical way of writing and drawing the reader into the story. I am NOT the biggest fan of historical novels that are set before the 1900s. For some reason, the 1900s are incredibly intriguing and everything before that just makes me yawn. I don’t care about gowns and balls and counts and jewels and drama, which is typically what romance novels set in that time period are all about. Some sort of shallow drama. However, The Smoke Thief still grabbed me and held my interest throughout, proving to be more complex and intriguing than I would have originally thought.
The Alpha leader of the drákon knew that the woman thief, Rue, as the only woman to Turn, would be his Alpha mate. It was the way of the tribe. Rue, however, left the tribe as kid because as soon as she Turned, she knew she’d be mated and it was her worst nightmare to be mated to someone who didn’t care about her in any other fashion. I loved the layers of the conflict and the way that the two Alphas were forced to work together to find the true thief of the stolen diamond important to the tribe. Kit, the leader, was trying to woo Rue, while Rue was just trying to find a way out of her predicament.
Rue was a wonderful character who was multifaceted and genuine. I liked her as a person and I rooted for her the entire time. I even liked Kit, though he was definitely one of those “alpha male” characters at some times. He wasn’t as bad as I thought and I saw him genuinely falling for Rue because of who she was, so I started to really like him as a person as the story continued. I was skeptical about their romance because the alpha male persona is the most commonly used one I see in romance novels and I was so afraid this would be another book filled with unrealistic sex meant to dominate the weaker female lead and ends up the same as every other romance novel with little in the way of actual plot. Fortunately, I was wrong. There was plenty of plot, actual exploration of connections rather than swift falling into romance and bedrooms, and tons of conflict.
I liked The Smoke Thief enough to purchase the sequel and I intend to continue the series. I do not like it as much as The Sweetest Dark, but there are two reasons why. One, I truly do prefer the 1900s to any previous time period. Two, I prefer the way the romantic connections unfold in YA novels. There’s a certain beauty in the way the characters come of age, shed their innocence, explore, and learn to trust and love one another that is rarely captured as well in adult romance. However, if you did enjoy The Sweetest Dark, you’ll love The Smoke Thief, even if YA is your preferred age category and even if historical novels aren’t your thing. And if you’re not picky about either of those, then perhaps you’ll love The Smoke Thief even more. It was certainly written elegantly.
On a side note, I am VERY glad I read the book on Kindle. I was surprised by how beautiful the language was. The author used so much archaic English that flowed perfectly with her style. I had to highlight many words to grab a quick definition to ensure I was correct in what the meaning was based on context, so it was really handy to have that option instead of assuming or wasting time grabbing a dictionary.
I enjoyed the entire concept and world in the novel a lot. I thought it was a little different and fun. Zoey was a relate-able character and the autho...moreI enjoyed the entire concept and world in the novel a lot. I thought it was a little different and fun. Zoey was a relate-able character and the author(s) did a good job of narrating through her eyes. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series because I can't wait to find out what happens next. The only reason I didn't give this a higher rating was because of how well it was narrated. Let me explain.... The author(s) couldn't have done a better job writing from the perspective of a teenager. But it was almost too teenager for me. A few places seemed to lack maturity, but I do think it was done on purpose. It reads like Zoey is really telling you the story, but along with that comes the "she was like... and I was like... and totally... she looked like a ho..." and I didn't really like that aspect. Maybe I'm just used to more mature narrating, despite the YA title. I guess even though I enjoyed this book, if all YA were written in this manner, I wouldn't read so much of the YA genre. It was a fun and light read, but that's why it only got 3 stars in my opinion. http://meganm922.blogspot.com/2012/02...(less)
Magic Bites was pretty awesome. I was in the mood for a well written paranormal series/urban fantasy to get me through the tough times after finishing...moreMagic Bites was pretty awesome. I was in the mood for a well written paranormal series/urban fantasy to get me through the tough times after finishing the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning and feeling a book hangover coming on. I hear some awesome things about the series and the author, so I snatched up a few books as part of a Kindle daily deal. It didn’t disappoint and it certainly turned what could have been a rough book hangover into a new obsession and binge read.
I loved how the book threw me right into the story. I had no idea how the world was set up, but it was slowly revealed in pieces. Obviously, this is a world where magic exists and we all know about it. Which was kind of cool. And it messed with technology. And that’s all I knew. I love great world building, but I also like it when the author throws me into a story with tons of mystery and intrigue. As far as first books go, it wasn’t the most convincing novel to get me to read the rest of the series, but I see a ton of potential, I got to know Kate and understand her world, and I have a feeling it can only get better from here.
Magic Bites was incredibly violent. The descriptions were amazing and conjured up some pretty gruesome images. For me, that’s a huge plus in any story that involves a kick ass heroine who gets tangled in the paranormal. But if you prefer your stories a bit fluffier, then it may not be for you. I definitely recommend the novel. I’m moving on the rest of the series, which only gets better as it goes on from what I’ve been hearing.