**spoiler alert** I would put this one under the "nice try" category. This time we have Eoin Colfer, creator of the Artemis Fowl series and one of m...more**spoiler alert** I would put this one under the "nice try" category. This time we have Eoin Colfer, creator of the Artemis Fowl series and one of my all time favorites, The Supernaturalist, taking up the helm. And while it reads pretty similarly to Mr. Adam's first five books, it's just not up to par.
He writes a decent plot, but in reading it the most recent of all six books, i find it the most forgettable. I also felt like the characters acted differently than they did in Adam's books. Trillian ends up with Wowbagger, REALLY? Really, Mr. Colfer? We're supposed to believe that this alien who has dedicated his whole life to insulting EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the known and unknown Universes, just up and quits to live a quiet life with a human woman he just met. I can't be the only one who assumed Trillian and Arthur would end up together, right?
Oh and what about Fenchurch, what the hell ever happened to her? I know Adams wrote her out of the story merely as an easier way to move the plot along, but I want answers, man. I was really hoping that would be resolved here. Marvin isn't mentioned either, although i can barely remember the last story he was involved in, so that isn't necessarily Colfer's fault.
Oh, and on the subject of the "Guide Notes." They suck. It's almost the exact same problem I had with The Red Pyramid 's recording interruptions, but times ten. These annoying buggers pop up almost every 2-3 pages to let you know interesting tid bits of planets the characters are on, technology they're using, or anything the Hitchiker's Guide knows. It's gimmicky. Whereas Adams would simply devote every couple of chapters to a Guide monologue, Colfer does both. It just becomes an overload of information that i could really care less about, and distracts from what is supposed to be important, a.k.a the story. Colfer isn't nearly as witty and sly in these instances, either. His naming of planets and aliens are uninspired and really fall flat in the joke department.
Okay, I know a lot of people did not like how Mostly Harmless ended, me included, and Colfer was trying to undo that (he sort of had to if he wanted ANY main characters alive). But to unwrite a dissatisfying ending, and to write one even more so? And it's not even sad or anything, just depressing. Like hitting the nail in the coffin of this once great series.(less)
This is a hard one to review. It starts off like a typical YA novel: two friends who don't fit in with anyone besides each other. The guy (Tane) has t...moreThis is a hard one to review. It starts off like a typical YA novel: two friends who don't fit in with anyone besides each other. The guy (Tane) has the hots for the girl (Rebecca) but is to afraid to admit it, and they lie in the middle of a makeshift lake pondering the possibility of time travel. Okay, maybe not exactly like your typical YA novel. But it becomes a really engaging and frightening, almost Stephen King and Michael Chrichton-esque, vision of the apocalypse.
Falkner really researched and thought this one out, there is no falling back on the simple and cliche apocalypses everyone has seen (zombies, earthquakes, volcanoes, aliens, etc) but a truly original vision of the Earth's demise. While in the beginning, the physics talk of "quantum foam" and gamma rays that transmit messages from the future back to the present, really left me baffled, i never felt talked down to.
Then there is the actual "creatures," for there are creatures that bring upon the destruction of our world, and its really disturbing in its implications. At first i was nervous that the book was becoming preachy about global warming and pollution and all that stuff, but it really walks a fine line between conveying a message and using that message to thrill readers.
I feel like i need to mention the New Zealand religion that is really important in the last half of the book. I'm not in any way shooting down these particular religious ideas, or any of that, (Faulkner himself is from New Zealand) but i found any time a character discussed anything to do with it, i was totally left in the dark. Partly due to the words that i had NO idea how to pronounce. Like: Kenehi Tuarua , Waewaetoroa , oh and Kaitiakitanga . I know what they are is described, if haphazardly, in the book itself, i just felt completely lost when it was brought up. And it just got worse in the end when, as I mentioned, it becomes an important part of the story. I found myself simply skipping over these words, and in turn being confused as to certain character's actions and motivations.
But i still give it a recommendation to anyone looking for a refreshing vision of the end of the world.(less)
First of all, this review contains no spoilers, because i wold kill someone a violent death if i had been told of the crazy twists towards the end of...moreFirst of all, this review contains no spoilers, because i wold kill someone a violent death if i had been told of the crazy twists towards the end of the book.
Okay, so i was pretty sure i'd like this book, i've only read 2 of King's other novels (Cell and The Mist) and i liked them enough, Cell especially, but i never thought i would love this book so much. The characters are so well developed, with individual back stories, relationships, families, dilemmas and problems. But it never becomes tiresome and overwhelming, it really works in the book's favor to draw you into the story.
And oh boy what a story it is, starting off predictably slower, but picking up pace around the 200-300 page mark, when the town's "Second Selectman" Big Jim Rennie (the main villain, along with his son Junior) really puts some vile plans into motion. And while the feud between Rennie and the protagonists Dale Barbara (Barbie) and Rusty Everett is the main focus throughout the book, things really start cookin' when glimpses are shown as to where the Dome came from.
While you do get hints to the finale around the 500-600 page mark, its never outright in bold font, "THIS IS IT, THIS IS WHERE IT CAME FROM," it is a bit more open-ended. Which usually just annoys me, but there's enough of a conclusion with all the different characters and their plots to really satisfy a reader's hunger for answers.
So, if you have any likeness of stories with science-fiction, horror, action adventure, romance, and disasters woven into them seamlessly, Under The Dome will no doubt fill your cup, more likely to overflow it.
Oh, and on the 1,074 page topic, while it did take me a month to read the first 500 pages (school), it literally took me only 4 days to read the last 600 or so. There are no really boring parts or slow points in the plot, its all pushed along by the foretelling of a giant massacre on Halloween, and boy, does it deliver.(less)
I could write so much about this book. About how this series is still awesome, the characters still engaging, the bad guys still terrifying, and the s...moreI could write so much about this book. About how this series is still awesome, the characters still engaging, the bad guys still terrifying, and the story still completely enthralling and compulsively readable, but you guys already know all that. Just add an extra dose of backstabbing and treachery and you have LIES , the newest, and possibly most satisfying of the series to come along yet.
And while it doesn't completely outright say "Hey this is the answer to all the weird shit that's going on, you don't need to read the next 3 books, now, kthnxbai!" It feels the most satisfying in giving little hints and glimpses to where the adults went, how they got there, and who sent them. Which is a great testament to Mr. Grant's writing, because it's the shortest of the series so far (about 150 pages short of Hunger ).
Loved, loved, loved. Three years is waaaaaay to long to wait to see how this thing plays out.(less)
A perfect mix of the adventure/puzzle aspect of City of Ember coupled with the deep and often highly disturbing morale choices from Unwind. You learn...moreA perfect mix of the adventure/puzzle aspect of City of Ember coupled with the deep and often highly disturbing morale choices from Unwind. You learn slowly what The Compound was built for, and the book has a way to pull you into keep reading. It's told at a breakneck pace, and has a truly surprising twist, that while it may have been revealed a little to early, still made complete sense in the plot. Highly, highly recommended.(less)
What a weird little book. It has a great concept, that every 100 years mankind is tested by some as yet to be named force, and four kids must decide t...moreWhat a weird little book. It has a great concept, that every 100 years mankind is tested by some as yet to be named force, and four kids must decide the fate of mankind. It sounds epic and all, but, really you learn NOTHING in this first part of a planned four book series. Couple that with not much action and pretty cookie cutter characters, and you get a pretty amateurish attempt at a Da Vinci Code plot. (NOT that i like The Da Vinci Code).
I'm still gonna keep watch for the next ones, I'm intriqued enough in the story to find out what happens next.(less)
My favorite ongoing series of the past couple of years continues with Plague, and proves that the first three books were no fluke. This is just as ac...moreMy favorite ongoing series of the past couple of years continues with Plague, and proves that the first three books were no fluke. This is just as action-packed, jaw-dropping and lightning-paced as the first books. And a TON bloodier.
So it's been eight months since every adult disappeared and the impenetrable dome descended on the sleepy town of Perdido Beach. Throughout fires, horrid blood-baths, mutating monsters, and freak evolutions in the kids, the town has survived. The very unstable societal structure built up in the first books continues here, but the council is loosing its grip, Sam is gone for the majority of this book, and Caine is eying the town from his safety nest on the island.
So, the major "problem" in this one is, well, a plague. There are two possible guesses as to what it is: a deathly whooping cough that reaches such extremities it cracks your neck; or a series of bugs that hatch in your intestines and numb your pain sensors to eat your way out without you feeling anything. They go hand-in-hand in making Plague the most brutal and unsympathetic of the series, which is why it's my favorite. These are kids. The oldest are 15. They are being ripped in half by giant cockroaches, thrown out of windows, decapitated, disemboweled and eaten. Their young age makes the proceedings feel as if you're watching a train-wreck you can't look away from.
A glorious, beautiful, exciting train-wreck.
With tons of gore. The previous books were, well, mature in their descriptions of violence, but Plague is on a whole different level. The previously mentioned bugs eating out of your pores; giant roaches chewing on kids lying helpless in hospital beds; someone being cut into three separate pieces by barbed wire; Drake talking about microwaving a puppy. This shit is legit. And I loved it for its brutal, simple and honest portrayal of these horrors.
But, otherwise, it's what we expect from this series. A tightly wound narrative told at a breakneck pace, with chapters counting down to a sure-fire epic showdown (this time with GIANT COCKROACHES, oh yeh). We get to know a lot more about the giaphage and its origin. I can't help but feel like I know exactly what it is and why its doing what its doing, but I know Grant has something up his sleeve.
We also get, in some three or four chapters, the perspective of Little Pete, Astrid's autistic brother. The kaleidoscopic and disjointed view he has on the life of the FAYZ is so intriguing, I wished we had gotten these from book one. He knows, and understands, WAY more than I every thought, and I really hope Grant puts these in the next two books.
My only real bash against this series as a whole is the re-caps. Or lack there of. I feel like this series lends itself to a TV show set-up amazingly well. And in that regard I felt like I needed a little "Previously On..." prologue for each book. And even within this novel, there are so many characters, so many plots, that I forgot the death of a major character, to the point that when it was brought up by someone else in the story, I was shocked and horrified a second time. I'm not saying Grant doesn't handle this all well, he does, like a pro; I just feel like maybe this one in particular does definitely jump around perspectives more so than the previous books.
There are now only two left in the series. And I read that the last will fully explain the causes of the FAYZ and detail life after it has ended for the kids. Sad. I don't want this series to end. Ever. And, as always, with the scandalous cliffhanger this one ends with, waiting another year will be utter torture.(less)
If you really really really want to read this book, you may consider some of the following spoilers. But i really dont think anything in this book co...more If you really really really want to read this book, you may consider some of the following spoilers. But i really dont think anything in this book could surprise a 9 year old, just warning.
This is one of those cases where the description of the book really fools you, and not really in a good way. I was expecting a plot about some mad scientist killing MILLIONS of people with his crazy Ebola virus, with some medical terminology maybe and crazy gore descriptions. What i got was some weird attempt at a Hollywood espionage-action-thriller-mystery hybrid that really was trying to be too many things.
It starts off great, a car chase, that, unfortunately within the first 50 pages, is the high point of the action in the plot. Our two main characters are chasing some guys that may be involved with trying to kill another guy that escaped from said Mr. Crazy Mad-Scientist's lab with a memory chip that has all the secrets of the deadly virus. It's a lot to take in so quickly, but it really makes the tension of the car chase more palpable.
What happens after is basically, a road-trip from hell. The now trio head all over the southern US avoiding deadly crazy ninja assassins while trying to find tips and clues as to where the mad scientist is. Eventually they get the aid of another mad scientist who reveals the first mad scientist is really his adopted son who came over with all these super smart kids from Germany. Its at this point that i was like, "Where the fuck does this guy come UP with all this!?"
The conclusion is, well, again i felt like Liparulo was channeling Michael Bay. The whole final scene is in a semi-abandonded military base with bombs going off all over the place, cars flying over our heroes, firefights with bad guys, fistfights with deadly ninja-like assassins, all leading up to an actually pretty satisfying stand-off between the main heroine and the evil mad scientist.
I just felt that it was just too much of different genres jam-packed into one book. You get action-adventure, thriller, mystery, science fiction, romance, and horror. Yeah that might sound good, but it just didn't work for me. I felt overwhelmed and just unsure of where it was all going to go. And besides for a book about a deadly flesh eating virus, where the hell is it the whole book?? Seriously, we get an explanation halfway in, BUT I ALREADY KNEW WHAT IT WAS because of the back of the freaking book. I felt as if maybe how the virus was made or what it did exactly, maybe if it was hidden, then that could have been a nice surprise. But no, you know going in what it is and what it does, and even exactly how its made, thanks to the Prologue.
Really all you need to do is read the back of the book, imagine a car chase, people running from assassins every 20 pages, and that final fight i just described. Its not even a spoiler saying that the bad guy dies and the good guys when, i mean CMON, duh.
Just a predictable and way too sporadically plotted mess.
But i will give Mr. Liparulo this, he isn't scared to kill off main characters. Literally, one doesn't survive the first 100 pages. That takes balls. It just didn't save the book for me. The near 500 pages did not help its case, either.(less)
I feel conflicted. On one hand you have what (I imagine) you get from every Stephanie Meyer book - romance. Bleh. On the other hand, there's this amaz...moreI feel conflicted. On one hand you have what (I imagine) you get from every Stephanie Meyer book - romance. Bleh. On the other hand, there's this amazingly detailed and creepily sinister alien race, known on our planet as "Souls" that hop from world to world and slowly take over. These souls, however, believe themselves to be helping all these species into a happy and non violent existence.
Using giant Spiders from a previously found planet (due to their nimble appendages), they take over Earth by implanting more of their centipede like species into the top of our spinal column. This turns everyone on the face of the planet into a trusting, no war, no crime, happy fun place. As you can imagine, the TV shows are terrible.
But, something they've never encountered before happens during our invasion - a resistance.
Wanderer has lived 9 lives on 9 different planets. She's been a bat, an ice bear, even a flower. You see, in her species, when the host dies, you simply get taken out and put into a new one. Around live 5, their version of females usually elect to carry young, but Wanderer never found that want.
She gets implanted into a young human girl, Melanie, who refuses to be lost to Wanderer's invasion. Told mostly from Wanderer's point of view, the book goes really deep at the anguish of these two people that have to share a mind and body. I loved that development and how much they come to trust each other, for the mere fact that it was impossible for one to lie to the other.
All this is cool and I loved the set up, and the ending, but the middle completely bored me. I actually considered quitting and waiting for the movie to fill me in. I felt like much could have been cut from it, pages of how Wanderer is coping with these human emotions and whatnot. What I assumed was trying to make me like these characters more, I felt start to do the complete opposite. I started not to care. That is, until the end, I mean, I'm not ENTIRELY heartless.. maybe.
It was interesting enough in the premise and story to get me to read the next ones (which are still two years off, so that doesn't really matter right now, anyway). I just hope we get a little less sappy and a little more Ice Bears fighting giant Claw Monsters on faraway planets. That shit was awesomeee.(less)
I loved this one. Brilliant, exciting, surprising, funny, thrilling, scary, apocalyptic, and so much more. The simple story of 3 very random and diffe...moreI loved this one. Brilliant, exciting, surprising, funny, thrilling, scary, apocalyptic, and so much more. The simple story of 3 very random and different people from 3 very different places all being connected to a strange meteor that crashed into Earth.
Mainly told from the three character's perspectives, it starts out with Abbey: an African-American small town waitress that dropped out of Princeton because she focused too much on Astronomy and Physics classes and not on her intended med-school plan. She and her friend, Jackie, witness the fall and crash of a large meteor onto a local island off the coast of Maine, and go scouting for the crater.
Wyman Ford, ex CIA, now working for the President's head science adviser, gets a super secret mission to Cambodia - to find and record the location of yet another meteor crash. The crashes seem to be leaving behind rare, yet dangerously radioactive, gemstones that are selling for top dollar on the black market. On finding the site, he discovers a Middle Eastern war tyrant has taken hold of the crash site and is forcing women, men and children to mine the gemstones, slowly and surely killing them.
Mark Corso is working for the National Propulsion Facility in southern California. His job is to go through the thousands of data that is retrieved from a satellite that orbits Mars. He receives a classified hard drive from his late boss, who was decapitated allegedly by a homeless man in a home robbery, with pictures of a strange device on Mars' moon Deimos. He soon discovers that the meteor's trajectory suggests an origination from Mars, specifically Deimos. And that it was not a meteor at all, but something far more dangerous. He quickly figures out that his boss was murdered by a shady government agency that wants to keep these world-altering secrets under wraps. And they're willing to stop at nothing to keep it that way.
All of these stories meet up, characters joining forces in the most unlikely of ways. And, as i always do, i give major props to Mr. Preston for not being afraid to kill off main characters. You never really know if even the most important of characters will survive, or, for that matter, the entire human race.
And speaking of the matter of our extinction, the story and its implications were really eye opening to me. I don't want to give away spoilers, because the events in the book are of the "cover the next paragraph because i don't wanna know what happens!" kind. The resolution is satisfying, not anti-climactic (which i was afraid it would be because the REALLY crazy stuff starts with about 10 pages left).
Well paced, great characters to connect with and root far, terrifying villains (human and non human) to be afraid of, and a plot that, honestly, seems like it could happen any day now. Oh and it actually had an ORIGINAL idea of Earth's destruction. There are no silly alien metal robot contraptions and cliched "take me to your leader!"s here. You really only get 5 words from the non human race. And in this book's case less, is truly and honestly, more.(less)
I can't believe King wrote this at the same age i am now. It's brilliant, oddly unique and beautifully written in a language that's kind of like ours,...moreI can't believe King wrote this at the same age i am now. It's brilliant, oddly unique and beautifully written in a language that's kind of like ours, but not quite, just like the world in which it takes place.
I knew going into this i wouldn't get many answers. Why does Roland feel so compelled to get to this Dark Tower? No idea. Who exactly is the man in black? Never sure. What ever happened to all of the other Gunslingers? Don't ask me. Despite all of this confusion in the beginning, and a slightly slow build up, the middle and end has enough really cool gun fights and mutant battles to satisfy my jaded Young Adult series mind.
Oh, and there's a, well, amazing, chapter towards the last couple of pages in which a character literally explains to Roland, what he perceives, as the nature of the Universe and meaning of life. The implications to the story and to Roland are really heavy and that's where i felt King had me hooked. I was in this thing for the long haul, so to speak.
I already know that i will be finishing this series. I'm feeling as desperate as Roland must have in wanting to discover all of the Dark Tower's mysterious secrets.(less)
Smarter, funner, and more exciting than part one. This series is just getting more cooler and quicker paced as it goes along. And I really enjoyed the...moreSmarter, funner, and more exciting than part one. This series is just getting more cooler and quicker paced as it goes along. And I really enjoyed the whole Being John Malkovich feel to the parts when Roland stepped into the portals that lead to the minds of others, really cool. Loved it loved it.(less)