**spoiler alert** Ugh. This book, and the length had nothing to do with it, took me about three weeks to read. (If it was any good it would have taken...more**spoiler alert** Ugh. This book, and the length had nothing to do with it, took me about three weeks to read. (If it was any good it would have taken about a week, even with its 700 pages).
This book was beyond bad. If I could give it zero stars I would. Not only was the writing atrocious, but the narration was awful--I hate it when the narrator is not only third person omniscient but also directly addresses the reader in a very obnoxious voice that basically drove me mad.
I have to say that the book was probably very well researched, but it was on some level, really an examination of a very small segment of society--and while I think that he captured Sugar's evolution in thought and place in the world in a very interesting fashion, I failed to be drawn into caring for anyone in this story--with the exception of Agnes (maybe).
It is however, ironic that the only survivor in this entire story is the widow M. Emmeline Fox, but I don't really buy Sugar's actions at the end as one a sane woman would take.
I just have to say it was BAD BAD BAD BAD. However if you're reading for the smut and the sex--you just might like it more then me (but if I wanted that stuff I'd just read a romance novel, at least the plots are better). (less)
Uh. Just wanted to say that this book is crazy. Cray-zy. Don't talk to anyone about specifics until you get all the way to the end. You may hate it wh...moreUh. Just wanted to say that this book is crazy. Cray-zy. Don't talk to anyone about specifics until you get all the way to the end. You may hate it when you get there but the journey is worth it. (less)
**spoiler alert** Despite knowing what was going to happen in this book, I tried to be objective, but found ultimately that Kathy Traviss' love of Man...more**spoiler alert** Despite knowing what was going to happen in this book, I tried to be objective, but found ultimately that Kathy Traviss' love of Mandolorians and lack of skill in writing the women of Star Wars (unless they are Mando's) just frustrated the heck out of me.
There were some positive moments, but I wish someone would have taken a the time to let her know that there are other ways to address family members (other then Sweetheart, which is def. not the way Mara Jade would ever refer to Luke.)
Lets not get me started on the 'big' moment of the book--which I won't spoil for anyone other then to say it was lame, weak, and disappointing. If the sacrifice had to happened, why couldn't they do it with more style and in a more fitting manner to give this particular character his/her due? (less)
**spoiler alert** I think this is a sign. I've been a huge, SW Expanded Universe Fan for over fifteen years. I love Aaron Allston, Tim Zahn, Michael S...more**spoiler alert** I think this is a sign. I've been a huge, SW Expanded Universe Fan for over fifteen years. I love Aaron Allston, Tim Zahn, Michael Stackpole. I however have a problem when I'm reading a Star Wars book and it starts to feel like I've read it before I've even read it. Ever since the Legacy of the Force series things haven't felt like Star Wars. I feel like there are only so many times you can have one of the Skywalker/Solo's tempted by the Dark Side and while Vestara is an interesting character, I wonder sometimes if going back to old haunts like Dathomir are worth it.
However this was the first time that Aaron Allston's jokes just felt out of place--normally I love the humor in dangerous situations, but it felt forced and at sometimes really random.
Also what's the deal with Han and Leia leaving an 8 year old alone on the Falcon with C3P0?
I knew I'd have some issues after they killed off Mara Jade in the LoTF series, but now I feel like every book has unoriginal political intrigue that is superficial and Sith that are a little hard to figure out. (less)
**spoiler alert** Before you read further, there are no obvious spoilers in this review, but I do give some set up for the sequel.
Dublin, Ireland. In...more**spoiler alert** Before you read further, there are no obvious spoilers in this review, but I do give some set up for the sequel.
Dublin, Ireland. In her first two novels, Tana French writes a story that is hauntingly engrossing and equal parts frustrating. The first tells the story of a murder. A young girl is found at an archaeological dig and her case seems connected to a cold case, one where three children go into the woods, and only one comes out--his shoes filled with blood.
That child, now grown, is Detective Rob Ryan who along with his partner Cassie Maddox are in charge of investigating the death of Katy Devlin. This first book, narrated by Ryan is about more than solving the murder/disappearances. Its about making decisions, breaking the rules and crossing ethical boundaries that end up changing the course of your life. I found myself pulled into Rob's past and watching his every move with interest—not knowing that there is more to the story than what French gives us. While Operation Vestal (Katy Devlin's murder) is trying in its own right, it is Rob's story that hooked me. I'm hoping that we will see more of him in French's future work, since my only disappointment with the book is a lack of resolution to what actually happened In the Woods. Then again, maybe that was the point. Not knowing defines the story, and the speculation and results of the two disappearances provide the contours to understanding Rob, his relationship with Cassie and how Operation Vestal finally plays out.
The Likeness takes place six months after In the Woods, and this time Cassie is our narrator. While some say you can read them in any order, I think understanding the events surrounding Operation Vestal gives you insight into Cassie Maddox's state of mind. This book is also about the death of a young girl: Alexandra Madison. Not only does she have Cassie's face, but the name is a fake identity created by Cassie and her former handler when she worked in undercover.
So Cassie who had once been Alexandra Madison a drug dealing student, becomes Lexie Madison—a dead, English doctoral student murdered and left alone in a ruined cottage. Just like with In the Woods Cassie makes choices that blur the lines of ethics, choices that force her to confront her own demons.
So two books and hopefully a series that I highly recommend.(less)
**spoiler alert** Not so much of a review rather than fragments of thoughts about it:
I think that more often than not I got thrown off track from the...more**spoiler alert** Not so much of a review rather than fragments of thoughts about it:
I think that more often than not I got thrown off track from the narrative of this book by the extensive description--and decided that the excerpts from the Corah at the start of each chapter ended up to be more distracting in the long run than informative.
It felt like we spent 3/4 of the book getting her to the Sea, and then in a matter of pages the pilgrimage was over....sloooooooooow and then fast.fast.fast.
I also felt like for all the attention that was spent on the female character, that Bohnhoff often short-shrifted the males. Either they jumped from revulsion to love, from friend to infatuation or they were deviants who were violent or looking for sex.
(The exception being of course Os. Bevol and the father of the sick boy).
I also feel like that while Bohnhoff had a clear idea of who the Meri was, she tended to get lost in the Philosophical maze. I don't think that she did a good job in showing us what that vision was. It felt like, at times, that there was a lot of telling and not showing but through Meredydd's introspection. (less)
**spoiler alert** So with this book, I an torn between three and four stars. On one hand, I can't help but compare this one to the Twilight series (wh...more**spoiler alert** So with this book, I an torn between three and four stars. On one hand, I can't help but compare this one to the Twilight series (which in short, I liked the world building, despise Bella, hated the final book which I felt was a complete cop out)--depressed girl, spending a lot of her time moping about rather than facing the task at hand and taking charge of her own image, her own life. (Not to mention the eavesdropping on conversations between the two love interests when they think Bella/Katniss is sleeping scenes).
On the other hand, Katniss has been through a hell of a lot more than Bella in the Twilight series. The two Hunger Games have been brutal, and no one can go through a body count like that and not feel it, not be effected by it both physically and emotionally. So it is not a surprise that she would need to crawl into closets and shut out the world. However for a girl that is shown to be perceptive in the first two books, Katniss is slow to pick up on cues in District 13. I actually ended up listening to this book rather than reading it, which might have effected the pacing, but while the front end of the book held promise (where she went out into the districts to aid in the war, the use of propos to urge on the fighters) as she slowly fell apart it became harder, and harder, to sympathize with Katniss, and at times I found myself wanting the story to move faster.
And that's not the only random character changes. Gale--who may have had seeds of rebellion in the other books, all of a sudden appears to be incredibly aggressive and murderous. It doesn't feel like a natural progression. And the build up of Finick and the other Victors is tragic, especially once it becomes obvious that in the "Capitol" games the only possible survivors would be Gale, Katniss, and Peeta.
Which brings me to Prim's death, which I found heartbreaking and jarring. I had to rewind the audio a few times to make sure I understood what was happening--which made it all the more disjointed and unexpected. It felt a little bit like a plot point for shock value/to drive a wedge between Katniss and Gale, then a natural fit with the story. This is the moment where things actually started to drag (that is until the conversation between Coin and the Tributes prior to the assassination).
I know at this point you're probably wondering if I liked anything about this book. Details aside, when I step back and look at the larger story, the things I can appreciate all have to do with Katniss making that decision to kill Coin. With that move, Collins shows that actions have consequences, and that even though the Mockingjay is taken back to her home, she isn't really home. Life has moved on, she has changed, and that she has to move on without much that had held her life together until this point. I also liked how the "good guys" were more complex then being "good guys" and while I said that I disliked the changes in Gale's character, it is one example of how everything in life is not cut and dry. That even in her semi-content life, Katniss is forever changed. So while not a wholly satisfying ending, I can still appreciate it for what it was--a fitting end to a great story.(less)
Slow, but intriguing. I liked the idea of going back in time and researching the history of the ship that has been almost as much of a character in th...moreSlow, but intriguing. I liked the idea of going back in time and researching the history of the ship that has been almost as much of a character in the series then anyone else. I just wish the ending hadn't been so damn anti-climactic! I wish the treasure had been anything but what it was.
I did like seeing Leia/Han/Amelia-Allana again. I'm not sure if I'm digging the way the new series is going to go either.(less)
I'm not going to say this book wasn't completely lacking in entertainment value--but it came pretty close. I've read other books by David Baldacci...moreUgh.
I'm not going to say this book wasn't completely lacking in entertainment value--but it came pretty close. I've read other books by David Baldacci(Absolute Power) and none of those had writing that made me cringe.
Anyway--the storyline reeked of someone who spent a lot of time in Washington DC and wanted to write something filled with Da Vinci Code/National Treasuresesque intrigue. He spent a lot of time describing people's pasts and not enough time showing through actions who the people really were. As a result, Annabelle and some of the Camel Club cam across and two-dimensionally stereotypes rather than fleshed out individuals. (Not to mention Robert Seagraves who we meet on the first page--his inner monologue probably made me laugh out loud a bunch of times.)
What did I like? Oh--the references to DC life that I recognized. Baldacci has all those details down and I love the Library of Congress so that was a plus. (less)
Overall Plot: Much, Much better. It felt more thought out and tried to use a broader cast of characters...more**spoiler alert** Thank God for Troy Denning.
Overall Plot: Much, Much better. It felt more thought out and tried to use a broader cast of characters then the other (alright just Traviss' book) books which tended to be narrow in focus. Mara, Han, Leia and Luke all seemed a lot more realistic, and I think that Jacen's wavering and uncertainty was a lot more vivid--that is you could tell that while Jacen had committed to this sithly path, he's very much still not sure if he can take the next step. In the previous books, it felt like he had embraced it wholeheartedly.
Though I'm not sure the whole "Jacen will see the error of his ways" path is the smartest thing to do...
I love that Mara was calculating trying to get Jacen to see things the right way, and I could tell that Tenel Ka was having trouble buying some of Jacen's thought processes.
Ben: Wow, he's still pretty cool, but that final inane conversation on the Falcon about arresting Han and Leia and stabbing Zekk was terrible. He is so committed to doing the right thing and being something his father can be proud of, that he is unable to see how his father is trying to teach him to see what is going on with Jacen. That fight at the beginning was really illustrative.
It was nice to see Jag again, and the discourse between him and Han/Leia was dry, witty and very much in line with a Jaf who is a little bitter after having been stranded for two years. Wow..that just sucks.
I'm not sure if there really are a whole host of Sith out there or like that ridiculous allusion to Ben being the Sith is just being made up by Lumiya.
Allana was a cute addition and Jacen seemed so much more human when he was trying to protect her, but listening to him calculate who he would rather sacrifice to take that final step was a little disgusting.
On a meta level, in terms of the larger Star Wars Universe--the galaxy has once again turned into a scary place especially where you can't be sure of who our friends can trust, or even if our friends are trustworthy anymore. I like how Zekk has appeared to relinquish his little crush, but at the same time I feel sorry for Jaina and her belief that being the Sword of the Jedi means she has to be alone I'm seriously frightened by the deaths of Tresina Lobi, and the 11th hour, lack of quorum tactics by Omas.(less)
**spoiler alert** Wow. I guess there aren't a lot of things I can say about this book other then I am not a huge fan of Karen Traviss.
First of all, t...more**spoiler alert** Wow. I guess there aren't a lot of things I can say about this book other then I am not a huge fan of Karen Traviss.
First of all, the woman cannot write Luke or Mara or Han or Leia for that matter. Thier conversations just seemed so out of charachter.
And then there were the idiotic thought processes of Mara (really would she really not see the darkness surrounding her own nephew?) Not to mention the relationship between L and M and Ben.
That being said the hardest parts of this last bit of the book:
"Poor Grandfather: gifted, exceptional, dismissed, barely tolerated, largely untrained, abandoned. No wonder he resorted to crazed, desperate violence...
I'm the second chance.
The Jedi Council dropped the ball. And they paid for it.
Jacen had accepted his Sith destiny, but now he understood not only that it had to happen, but why. Everything in his life had led to this point because Anakin Skywalker's destiny had been subverted and warped by well-meaning but blind Masters, sending him off on a tangent to do a flawed Palpatine's bidding instead of realizing his own full power.
I am more powerful than any of you." (Jacen after Forcewalking back in time to see how the Council refused Anakin his title of Master)
Ridiculous, I think the part when he admits he is prepared to kill Tenel Ka and Allana is where I decided I wanted to hurl.
Though I will say that the most realistic moment of Han's was this quotation:
I don't know who you are, but you aren't my son anymore. My Jacen would never do the kind of stuff you do. Get out. I don't want to know any more." --Han.
There are tons of gripes, but maybe its my dissatisfaction with the larger storyline: Omas, internment, secret police, Luke saying he 'isn't a student of history' when his whole life has been determined by the past. Anyway. I wasn't happy, but at the very least I've heard the series picks up with the next book..so stay tuned. (So I lied, I did have a lot to say)(less)
Well. Colbert is genius. He's funny and amusing but you know in book form, best served in small dosages over time--not in one week like I did. Whew wh...moreWell. Colbert is genius. He's funny and amusing but you know in book form, best served in small dosages over time--not in one week like I did. Whew what a read! I did like how the main text was supplemented by commentary on the margins and the footnotes with the stickers taking the cake! (less)
I have only read the first one in the series (though I plan to read the others), as a TA for a History of the Middle East course about a year ago.
It...moreI have only read the first one in the series (though I plan to read the others), as a TA for a History of the Middle East course about a year ago.
It is one of those books that illustrates the amazing ways that we can educate each other about certain events in countries very different from ours. With simple black and white images Marianne Satrapi weaves an intense story in a medium that expresses without words the rapidly shifting changes in Iran.
As the LOST book club book ([http://www.washingtonpost.com/lost]) for the month of August, The Wizard of Oz was a quick read. I'll be honest and say I...moreAs the LOST book club book ([http://www.washingtonpost.com/lost]) for the month of August, The Wizard of Oz was a quick read. I'll be honest and say I was not looking forward to reading this book--mostly because the movie scares me (we'll blame it on wild childhood imagination run amok). Anyway, the book was pleasant and very fairytalish. I didn't know that Dorothy was younger, and the circumstances surrounding the Wicked Witches Death make the events in Wicked make so much more sense.
I did get a sense of the various metaphors to modern society that are incorporated in the novel, but for the most part I just read the book for the sake of reading.
I did find it interesting that everyone took special care to not hurt the Tin Man's feeling since he "didn't have a heart." If he did not have a heart, how could he feel bad? I also loved how even the Scarecrow and the Lion already had what they wanted (a brain, and courage) even though they didn't believe they did.
Not sure about the lost parallels (aside from Henry Gale and the balloon) but the discussion is on Aug. 29 so i'm sure i'll think of something. (less)
Its chicklit pure and simple. But its so well done that I was able to read it while I had a horrible cold this weekend. No thinking, just pure silly e...moreIts chicklit pure and simple. But its so well done that I was able to read it while I had a horrible cold this weekend. No thinking, just pure silly enjoyment.
And realistic too. I wish there had been more of a solution to one of the side stories, but even in that it was full of uncertainty like life really is.