How young adult science fiction should be done. There isn't much teenage angst when you compare it with your standard YA fare. I gave up YA fiction fo...moreHow young adult science fiction should be done. There isn't much teenage angst when you compare it with your standard YA fare. I gave up YA fiction for a while precisely because of all the angst. Smart kids with non-idiot adults is also pretty rare in YA fiction. Sure the kids are a little too nice and the adults are probably a bit over-indulgent or naive. I think the is handled pretty well, considering the author is writing for a younger audience.(less)
I bought the Clifton Chronicles on sale and didn’t know what to expect. I was looking for a new author and series to follow. It turned out to be a pleasing read. The story is almost entirely character building and has very little plot.
Set between the World Wars in England. Harry Clifton is a fatherless boy that grows up on the docks of Bristol. He gets a scholarship to secondary school and life starts to get better. Falls in love with his best friend’s sister. Harry’s mother works lower-class jobs available to women to make the better life for Harry all the while keeping a secret that would destroy everything.
The character development is very intriguing and drives the story. For the most part it’s very well done and the reveals can for deduced without being obvious. The story is told from multiple points of view and this gives you even more insight into the characters motivations and struggles.
(view spoiler)[Unfortunately, the author uncharacteristically explicitly gives away a major spoiler with about 10% of the book left and I spent the last 10% of the book wondering how the author was going to continue the series instead of enjoying the final two twists. My enjoyment of the book would have been immeasurably improved without a single sentence at the end of Chapter 51. (hide spoiler)]
I’m looking forward to reading the second book of the series and finding out where the story goes.
I've always been a fan of Alexandre Dumas and have read a great deal of his work. It was interesting to read about the family history and the amazing things the his father accomplished. The biography starts with Alex Dumas' grandfather a minor son of a noble in France who took off to the new world to make his fortune. It continues through Alex's childhood in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) and return to France. His participation in the France Revolution and following campaigns. (view spoiler)[ His eventual capture, imprisonment and life after his release. Truly, a rags to riches to rags story. (hide spoiler)]
The book is told in an easy to read voice. The footnotes are plentiful and particularly helpful. I'm going to have to check out more by Tom Reiss.
If you enjoy a good biography, French History, or the writing of Alexandre Dumas you really should read this book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The border between noir and horror was crossed in this book. It's straight up horror. Bobby Dollar spends ninety percent of the book traveling through...moreThe border between noir and horror was crossed in this book. It's straight up horror. Bobby Dollar spends ninety percent of the book traveling through hell and doing what he does best. Getting "the point" beaten into him until he FINALLY figures it out. I'm not a horror reader and find the genre pointless is most cases.
I'm hoping the third book focuses on heaven and makes Bobby go through compelling struggles while getting "the point". If this is the case the series will be redeemed.
The book and series in general is full of interesting ideas and twists. The heaven vs. hell concept as addressed in genre writing is thought provoking. The noir aspect is a different take. I just hope the third book makes it worth going through 350 pages of horror.(less)
John Taylor is the new Walker and is getting married. For some reason he wants to take one last case. This book really feels like one last hurrah and...moreJohn Taylor is the new Walker and is getting married. For some reason he wants to take one last case. This book really feels like one last hurrah and really doesn't advance the overall story at all. I expect this to be the final Nightside book.
Not really sure it's worth reading, but if you've read the previous 11 books it's probably worth a library checkout. I'm glad it was a gift because I would feel ripped off if I had paid $13 for it.
Typical humor and over the top villains make this fun to read. John revisits old haunts and the past players are all there.
I hope this is the last Nightside book and if it isn't I won't be paying for the next one. The whole book just felt half thought out.(less)
Best book I've read this year. The book is very much like a baseball game. Graceful moments, followed by "what just happened" moments. At times a bit...moreBest book I've read this year. The book is very much like a baseball game. Graceful moments, followed by "what just happened" moments. At times a bit slow. At times a bit frenetic. It kept me reading, and finally satisfied when it ended.
The story of Henry "Skrim" Skrimshander college shortstop for a Westish College. It follows him and friends through twists and turns. All the people you meet are important, though not always in a way that is apparent when first introduced.
The book is all character development, with the baseball serving as the stage, the college as the backdrop. I think it would make a great play, if you could sit for 8 hours.
Henry is a straight laced kid through the book and amazingly this works. Usually this makes the character seem too one dimensional. The problems with Henry are mostly his own doing. But you never get the "just get over yourself" feeling. You struggle with Henry and can feel the doubt along with him. (view spoiler)[It's also interesting to me that the Henry never has a love interest. I can't remember the last time I read a book or saw a movie that didn't have the obligatory love interest for the main character. (hide spoiler)]
Owen (Henry's gay roommate) is such an interesting character that his story eclipses Henry's and delivers the climax of the book. His sexuality is critical, but not overwhelming. (I read this right after trying to read The Song of Achilles and the homosexual aspects of that were so stilted I had to give up.)
Mike is the broken down mentor even though he is slightly older than Henry. He has his own story about finding a place in the world is possibly the most normal and most unusual of the group.
Pella is the daughter of the President of Westish and is probably the most damaged. She's young, married, and hurt. Yet, somehow she manages to be the most together part of the group.
How these four and the many other characters circle, interact and close with each other make this book an amazing journey. Everyone has real issues and sometimes do the right thing, but often times are their own worst enemies. Amazingly this isn't cliche.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)