An arguably slower-burn than its concise, incendiary predecessor, Authority still manages to string along the eccentric weirdness of the bonkers worldAn arguably slower-burn than its concise, incendiary predecessor, Authority still manages to string along the eccentric weirdness of the bonkers world VanderMeer set up in part one in intriguing ways. Authority takes place mostly behind the idea of the Souther Reach itself, written as a sort of Cabin in the Woods secret-facility-with-nefarious-purposes-guarding-the-world sort of way that VanderMeer graces us with every bit of minutia we could want - from janitorial supplies to the shifting inter-departmental power dynamics.
The main drawback here is that all of these positives sometimes don't outweigh the big, glaring negative: this book is essentially a guy reading documents. If the guy (Control, a spy handle, another espionage aspect of the book used to fun effect) was a tad more interesting, or if it were presented in a less perfunctory manner, Authority would maybe feel a bit more exciting.
Lack of any genuine answers feels weighty as you near the climax, as well. Especially given the amount of time spent by Control shifting through various folders and video footage (maybe the series' most disturbing, check-the-room-for-someone-watching-you passages) in the novel's somewhat pedantic middle 200-or-so pages. Still wholeheartedly worth your time if you're a fan of this kind of sublime weirdness....more
Building off the success of the previous volumes, Y: The Last Man ends not with a bang, but, well you know. And that's the genius of it, this series dBuilding off the success of the previous volumes, Y: The Last Man ends not with a bang, but, well you know. And that's the genius of it, this series doesn't need a big Parisian showdown between good and evil to cap off its epic tale. Just a villain, some lovelorn heroes, and a gunshot.
When all is said and done, Y: The Last Man wasn't "the best thing I've ever read." Too many of its periphery characters were thin and numerous side-adventures rambled on too far long for that, but with its poetic denouement - and one of the best epilogues I have actually ever read - it sure got a hell of a lot closer in Book Five.
I liked this far more than I thought I would, being the second book this year I read just because of its movie trailer. It's emotional and realistic aI liked this far more than I thought I would, being the second book this year I read just because of its movie trailer. It's emotional and realistic and cataclysmically tragic yet confusingly optimistic. There's no Fault in our Stars level of heart-rending emotion here, in my opinion, (it's a bit too awkwardly written for that) but it is dotted with clever, life-affirming lines and an endlessly root-able protagonist. I think a movie could actually perfect the story Forman has laid out, hopefully fix some of the clunky dialogue and misplaced scenes, and I'm definitely looking forward to it....more
Funny, endearing, and ultimately kinda boring. And so I don't get messages on this review nearly half a decade after I write it (seriously are you peoFunny, endearing, and ultimately kinda boring. And so I don't get messages on this review nearly half a decade after I write it (seriously are you people still commenting on my review of The Red Pyramid? Stop giving it that much thought, Rick Riordan sure as hell didn't), that is all I am going to say about it.
Worth reading, though, for the usual biting Green quotes: "I hated sports. I hated sports, and I hated people who played them, and I hated people who watched them, and I hated people who didn't hate people who watched or played them." ...more
First off: don't read this before Leviathan Wakes. The appreciation of the drastic changes between the protagonist in this book and Leviathan play anFirst off: don't read this before Leviathan Wakes. The appreciation of the drastic changes between the protagonist in this book and Leviathan play an important role in appreciating the novella. Even though it is a prequel, it spends no time acclimating you to the world of the Belt and Mars society and Earth politics and why there are tall, skinny, pale people talking like they forgot how to use vowels properly. This just isn't a proper introduction to this universe, you'll find that in Leviathan Wakes. I like to think of it more as a companion than a prequel.
And as a companion to Leviathan Wakes, The Butcher of Anderson Station succeeds marvelously. It doesn't really add anything to the mythology or provide intriguing new characters, but what it does do is show a new side to an important figure from Leviathan: Frederick Johnson (the eponymous Butcher). Told Aaron Sorkin-style with present day scenes (taking place three years before the opening of Leviathan) showing an interrogation of Fred by mysterious OPA members, and intercut with flashbacks to the actual Station's attack.
Because of this, it's a brisk and light read with near-constant tension and a clear and focused skewering of the military's sometimes impulsive and unreasonable reactions in war time. And due to the novella format, the 48 page story manages to cut faster and deeper, and in turn feel a bit more realistic and involving, than its 500 page brother's view on the same issues....more
What's it about? A group of women - a biologist, surveyor, anthropologist, and psychologist - journey into a large cordoned off land mass described suWhat's it about? A group of women - a biologist, surveyor, anthropologist, and psychologist - journey into a large cordoned off land mass described succinctly as "Area X." They're told little, and prepared even less so. Upon entering they encounter mysterious structures, unexplainable creatures, and the unshakable sense that what befell previous groups - mass hallucinations, disappearances, and even death - will reach them as well. It's brainy but not bratty, stupidly addictive, and has enough WTF moments to fill half a season of Lost.
"Some questions will ruin you if you are denied the answer long enough," the biologist mentions towards the book's end. There's little more I can say without ruining the book's countless surprises. But I can say this: as one of the most continuously mind-bending 195 pages I've ever read in my life, it was an absolute privilege to be ruined by this book....more