Thanks to goodreads First Reads for the free copy of this book.
The Burn is set in a dystopian world where a select number live in strictly controlledThanks to goodreads First Reads for the free copy of this book.
The Burn is set in a dystopian world where a select number live in strictly controlled, "perfect" bottom-of-the-ocean colonies, and the survivors of WWIII eek out a living on the surface ("the burn"). Terra, a fourth-generation colonist, seems to be the only one bothered by her underwater prison, and finally finds a way to the surface.
Up to this point, I was totally into the book. Oldham's vision of the underwater colonies was thorough and detailed, and it was easy to picture. Also easy to understand Terra's frustration while we're getting to know her.
And then, Terra gets to the burn. And there's a boy. And yeah, maybe the burn sucks, but mostly Terra's focused on the boy, and she cries a lot, and there's the boy.
Life on the surface isn't crafted nearly as well as colonial life, and I found it harder to get into. Also Terra seemed to suffer from what I call 'Twilight syndrome' - lots of boy-filled emotion, and not enough story to back it up. I felt like the author got about halfway through her story and wasn't sure where to take it. What's Terra going to do, now that she's on the surface? Will she ever be able to connect with people there, while lying about where she comes from? The reader's not sure, and it doesn't seem like the author was either.
Lots of great potential here, but I wish the second half had been more thought out.
P.S. On a side note, I'm curious why the coffee in the underwater colony is strictly caffeine-free, but they keep energy bars in the submarine. Hm. ...more
Thanks to goodreads First Reads for my free copy of The Rules of the Tunnel.
Others here have already reviewed the plot pretty extensively - in a nutsThanks to goodreads First Reads for my free copy of The Rules of the Tunnel.
Others here have already reviewed the plot pretty extensively - in a nutshell, writer and reporter suffers from depression, medications fail to provide continued help, and after resorting to ECT, finds that he's lost two years of memories.
With that in mind, I think Zeman does an excellent job of portraying how scattered and disorientating his life was during this time. As the reader you're never 100% certain of what he's telling you or how it all fits together, and it really puts you in his shoes. The style is effective, but occasionally frustrating for those of us going, "yes, but what really happened?" That's not the point though, and looking back after finishing his story, I respect that more than did 50 pages in.
Honestly my biggest complaint is the number of typos in this book. This was not an uncorrected ARC, but the actual first edition, and the number of errors really surprised me.
Thanks to goodreads FirstReads and the author for my copy of Autumn.
Autumn is the third in a series dedicated to the lives of talented Canadian musicThanks to goodreads FirstReads and the author for my copy of Autumn.
Autumn is the third in a series dedicated to the lives of talented Canadian musicians. This installment introduces our previous protagonists, Melanie and Hope, to Martha, a self-taught pianist from an isolated area of the far north. Like her good friends, she faces many obstacles - including the mysterious - on the road to musical and personal success.
First I wanted to thank the author for this introduction to Canadian literature and culture. It isn't a subject that I'm particularly familiar with, and I really enjoyed the peak into the diversities of Canadian life. (If the author has any further reading recommendations, I'm happy to hear them!) I've also never been much for classical music, but after the wonderful descriptions (and explanations of what I should be hearing!) it's also something that I will investigate.
Having read Spring and Summer in preparation for Autumn, I was really pleased to see Hills Orford's development as a writer. The stories that envelop our musicians get progressively deeper, as do their relationships. The strong continuity from book to book - keeping the protagonists together - is great. I also appreciated the unexpected mystery that follows all three musicians and their instruments.
One thing that I'd still like to see a little work on is the dialog. There are still instances where a character breaks out into essentially a monologue or narration, and in that way that strikes me as unnatural or not in tune with the rest of the conversation. Also, thinking of the three books in conjunction, I'm a little surprised that there aren't more personality differences between Melanie, Hope and Martha; they come from different backgrounds, have different stories, but after reading each of their volumes, I'm hard pressed to define or distinguish one from the others.
That said, once I got into Autumn, I had a hard time putting it down, which is why I gave it four stars. I look forward to the final installment of this series.
Thanks to goodreads First Reads for this copy of Love Will Follow.
Things I Liked: - A historical setting that doesn't hit you on the head with hard hThanks to goodreads First Reads for this copy of Love Will Follow.
Things I Liked: - A historical setting that doesn't hit you on the head with hard historical facts (names, dates, etc) - An interesting and varied cast of characters, most of them likeable - Believable dialog! - The right amount of fictional convenience and coincidence - Easy, quick readability
Things I Didn't Like: - The lack of depth to the "bad guy" - A couple of plot inconsistencies: Kittie finds out about X's death during the snow storm, and then appears shocked by it again several chapters later; Amos in the jail would have heard her referred to as Kate when she went missing, then later identifies her as Kittie when Henry goes after her - The lack of the "orphan train": from the blurbs about the book, I was expecting it to play a more prominent role in the setup - The mystical dream scenes: the paranormal bits seemed out of place and overdone...more
Summer is a continuation of Spring, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the level of inclusion afforded to Melanie, Jane, and other characters fromSummer is a continuation of Spring, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the level of inclusion afforded to Melanie, Jane, and other characters from the first novel. Actually some of the questions I had had at the end of Spring were addressed, and I really liked the continuity.
I also like the content - the feel-good aspects of the story, the success of the young musicians, the sense of community and family support, and a little mystery thrown in. It works.
My one complaint is the dialog; some sections are better than others, but there were parts that were shockingly unrealistic, contrived, or just plain unsayable. It's most obvious when a character speaks like a narrator, giving a lengthy overview of events to another character. These instances struck me as insensitive to the characters, and unrealistic as true conversations. Just get a good editor and clean things up a bit....more