Not nearly as scandalous as the blurb implied. Voigt has a good grasp on character, but her characters speak and act more like twenty-year-olds in the...moreNot nearly as scandalous as the blurb implied. Voigt has a good grasp on character, but her characters speak and act more like twenty-year-olds in the 1950s than twelve-year-olds in the 1990s. Too many side stories meant the story dragged along in some areas. The depth of the relationships would have gone straight over the target audiences heads.(less)
The third novel in The Luxe series fell a little short at the beginning. Transporting the main characters and then some to Florida didn't particularly...moreThe third novel in The Luxe series fell a little short at the beginning. Transporting the main characters and then some to Florida didn't particularly work, and the initial storyline could have worked just as easily back in New York. In saying that, though, it was good to see the characters in a different setting, but once again, it felt a little forced.
Once the Schoonmaker party et al returns back to the confines of the city, the story does pick up. Lina/Carolina does become much more sympathetic in this novel, and in turn, Penelope becomes much more hateful. I enjoyed seeing Carolina face the prospect of being in a much worse position than serving in the Holland household, and, in a way, I am looking forward to seeing her perhaps finally become happy. Also, while I was initially a fan of Penelope, I'm unsure whether I hate her or love-to-hate her. I did laugh at her tantrum at the end of the novel, and some of my liking for her returned.
As for the Holland sisters, my wavering apathy for Elizabeth continues. Her situation at the end of the novel was curious, but I am a fan of the person she ends up with. I also give kudos to Godbersen for a certain part of the novel, and for daring to go there. As for the younger Holland sister, I still like the way Diana continues to be the romantic, typical sixteen-year-old girl, and her romance with Henry still amuses me, but I wish it wasn't depicted in the true love style that I know Godbersen is aiming for.
Overall, I am looking forward to Splendor, despite losing a little bit of interest at the start of the novel. I've never believed Goderbsen to be a fantastic writer, and I think she knows she isn't as well, which is a breath of fresh air. (less)
Although I enjoy the TV series, I've always found the Dexter novels to be somewhat less interesting, despite coming first. Although the plot ideas are...moreAlthough I enjoy the TV series, I've always found the Dexter novels to be somewhat less interesting, despite coming first. Although the plot ideas are fun and thought provoking (much like Jodi Picoult), I've never been able to get drawn into Lindsay's books. There's something off about his writing style that I find difficult to read. There are also frequent passages that are slow, and I find his novels have started to become rather formulaic. Dexter always manages to find the villain, and said villain meets his maker, and all is wrapped up in the last two chapters.
In saying all this, what saved the novel for me was several things. Although Debra/Deborah is one of my favourite characters in the Dexter series, I have often found that she is shoved the sidelines in favour of Dexter's constant obsession with food. However, in this chapter of Dexter's life, it was good to see her start questioning her loyalty and whether she truly enjoys being a police officer or if she's just following in the family footsteps.
The modern art flavour was also good in the book, and I enjoyed the concept of 'Jennifer's Leg'. I did find it a bit of a stretch, though, for Dexter to travel to Havana and Cancun without trouble, and then back to Miami with no question. I suppose, though, that a suspension of disbelief is needed whilst reading these novels. Furthermore, I can only wonder how many people need to start questioning Dexter before any action is taken. Is Dexter's mask as good as he truly makes it out to be? Hopefully the next follow up to the books, Dexter is Delicious, will actually see some legal action taken against him.(less)
A much more enjoyable sequel to Nylon Angel. de Pierres seems to have found her groove here. The narrative flows easier, although there are some passa...moreA much more enjoyable sequel to Nylon Angel. de Pierres seems to have found her groove here. The narrative flows easier, although there are some passages that are difficult to read. Compared to Nylon Angel, however, Code Noir reads at a calmer pace, that works well and doesn't leave the reader so baffled and breathless at the end.
Parrish Plessis grows through this book. While continuing to battle the Eskaalim that is getting more strength inside of her, she ventures into Dis and the Mo-Vay that live there. The language is rich when describing her venture into the unknown area. Although it is repeatedly said that Plessis doesn't care much for her appearance, I did find it very interesting when she struggles to accept an accident that befalls her towards the end of the book.
Although one should definitely read Nylon Angel before starting this one, it is a lot easier to read, particular once the reader gets grasp on the world, the language usage, and an idea on the people who live there. Highly recommended.(less)
**spoiler alert** Despite the fame that Dan Brown has achieved with the success of The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, I have struggled to find h...more**spoiler alert** Despite the fame that Dan Brown has achieved with the success of The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, I have struggled to find his writing to be anything more than average. I'm a believer that reading anything is good, but I also believe that people shouldn't mistake famous pieces of work to be good.
One thing I do find, though, is that The Da Vinci Code is a much better written novel than its prequel, Angels and Demons. Angels and Demons reads little better than poorly executed fanfiction, in which the hero not only saves the day due to good luck and still gets the girl, despite being put in many situations that would love a mere mortal battered. How many death-defying situations is Langdon put through? How many sarcophagi must he be trapped under? How long must he suffocate? How many miles must he fall through the air?
And then there are the secondary characters. Written in 2000, I can try to excuse Brown for using the Arab as the primary villain and all the accusation it would stir up, but even so, it is a rather stereotypical, and dare I saw, racist move. The lovely lady heroine, Vittoria, has few flaws as usual, and her love with the hero succeeds to the end, having only met twenty-fours earlier. The suspect turns out to be the good guy, and no laws are ever followed through with.
I will readily admit I became slightly engrossed three hundred pages in, but this is not a good sign when the book becomes interesting only halfway through. And dare I ask as to why no one from Langdon's hometown called to ask where he was? But I digress. This is a Dan Brown novel, and of course plot holes are to be ignored and read around.
For the most part, I enjoyed the book. I can easily see why it became a best seller and inspired a movie. The language use is good, and the setting is...moreFor the most part, I enjoyed the book. I can easily see why it became a best seller and inspired a movie. The language use is good, and the setting is rich and vivid. I enjoyed the depiction of Grenouille's time at Baldini's perfumery. It was about the time that Grenouille is living in the mountains that my attention started to wane. Everything became rushed towards the end, and I felt little to no pity for Laure. How is the reader meant to feel sympathy when there is no time to get to know the victim?
I will admit that I didn't see the ending coming, and it took me by surprise. I wondered if perhaps Suskind had run out of ideas of where to take the book, with the orgy taking place before Grenouille's supposed execution and the cannibalism. Of course, this is just an observation.
Overall an enjoyable book, but not one I would read again.(less)