This book had so much promise, but then fell short in so many ways. I couldn't relate to the main character at all, and disagreed with so many of hisThis book had so much promise, but then fell short in so many ways. I couldn't relate to the main character at all, and disagreed with so many of his thoughts and actions. There was virtually no character development. In a book where there are really only 5 characters with names, and no development, I really have to understand and empathize with the main character. I felt like Thomas' character was extremely lacking. Throughout the series.
For as commonplace that it would be to call this similar to Hunger Games, there was 0 excitement in the story. Whenever the situation is dangerous, there is no excitement because you are only introduced to a few different people, and you know that they aren't going to get injured. Poorly written in my opinion.
That being said, it was a page turner, and I read all three in a little more than a week.
The second book was by far the best, because it added a new dimension to the character, and added genuine fear and excitement in the story. This was the only book where I can say that I was engrossed in the story....more
Not quite as good as the first one, but still very engrossing. This author has a way of keeping me entertained through a 1,000 page book while being bNot quite as good as the first one, but still very engrossing. This author has a way of keeping me entertained through a 1,000 page book while being both predictable and poorly written. It is quite the achievement...more
This book was fantastic. Like most fantasy, this book is designed as simple guilty pleasure, and does not fail in the slightest. Unending actin and exThis book was fantastic. Like most fantasy, this book is designed as simple guilty pleasure, and does not fail in the slightest. Unending actin and excitement on every page. The ambitious 820 pages is not to be overlooked. This book was a captivating read from start to finish. I absolutely loved it. A must read for fantasy lovers.
More captivating and actin packed than either Jordan or Martin, and more enjoyable and accessible than Abercrombie. Not better, per se, but more fun. Think Brown or Collins, but in a world of magic and adventure....more
I read the intro to "Rama II" last week, and Clark said something along the lines of "I heard a very interesting idea, and I thought 'that's not possiI read the intro to "Rama II" last week, and Clark said something along the lines of "I heard a very interesting idea, and I thought 'that's not possible; because I didn't already think of it'". Despite the fact that this statement makes Arthur C Clark a pompous ass, I have thoroughly enjoyed several of his novels. Both for his writing, and the ingenuity of his ideas.
That being said, I'm still trying to figure out what Clark was trying to accomplish with this novella. A brief introduction:
This story is set in the far far distant future of Earth. Oceans have given way to deserts, and all of humanity has gathered at one location; Diaspar. This city enjoys many luxuries including 'people movers' (I forget what they are called) that can move them all across the city; as well as immortality The city contains many technologically advanced things, but the people themselves are not as savvy. The population has grown dumb and content in their little world. Everyone is fearful of learning and/or exploring new ideas. This is explained by a legend that long ago; humanity once explored the stars. However, they were beaten back by 'intruders' who claim that if earthlings ever attempt to leave their planet again, they will come back and destroy them all. Once ever hundred thousand years or so, someone comes along with a spirit for adventure, and challenges the whole system.
Not to spoil or spoiler this novel, that is most of the first 2/3's of the book. What follows is a hasty climax and falling action that attempts to challenge everything that has been set up and explained in the beginning of the story. The Deus Ex Machina then explains the entire history of earth's society in about 2-3 pages, with more holes than Swiss Cheese.
On of my major complaints is the protagonist. Alvin is born in Diaspar, and is the only child born in the city in something like that last thousand years or so (no explanation or justification). The prologue feels out of place and does not coincide with the remainder of the story. The reader is removed from Alvin's character throughout the entire story, sometimes feeling sympathy for him, other times contempt. At one time, he is described as malevolent and a bully. However, we are offered no character development nor explanation of his actions. It's as if we are entreated to watch a wholly inconsistent and uninteresting character fumble his way through a situation that is not adequately explained, only to be given a conclusion that contradicts the purpose of the entirety of the plot progression thus far.
At best, Clark had a novel theory of the progression of human society. I was reminded frequently of Card's "Homecomming" series; only this was way worse and way shorter. Thank god. It was about 150 pages; it could have been 40.
The cover of the book says it sells for 75 cents. I paid about 1.50. In my opinion, I was robbed about 75 cents, and I want my 2 hours back.
Sorry...I haven't ranted in a while. The book wasn't that bad, but again, I fail to see the point. Read it if you have nothing else to read, as Clark is a good enough author. However, it's the worst book of his that I have read to date......more