From what I can remember of the previous books, I think this one was better than the second one. It was paced more quickly and there was a lot going oFrom what I can remember of the previous books, I think this one was better than the second one. It was paced more quickly and there was a lot going on. There was so much going on that at times it got a bit confusing. Dozens of characters in separate, ever-changing groups, always on the move, people dying and new characters being introduced almost until the end makes for a lot to keep track of.
The relationshippy parts in this series seem a bit packaged and shallow to me, kind of forced and even too easy in a way. And the way it wrapped up so neatly in the end was disappointing. I did enjoy Marcus as comic relief. And I was impressed at what Vale ended up doing in White Plains, not necessarily because I approve of his action but because it was unexpected in a YA novel. There was so much death and gore and violence you wouldn't think it appropriate for this genre but somehow I didn't feel much of the horror you might expect. The author attempted to have his characters feel something about this but did not succeed in transferring that feeling to this reader.
This series is clearly bound for movie adaptation à la Hunger Games and Divergent. And I think it might even be quite decent in that format. As for the books, they were a mostly enjoyable adventure but didn't delve as deep into the emotions and issues they raised as much as I would've liked. The trilogy focuses more on action than anything else.
2.5 stars. Good idea, mediocre execution. The relationship between Michael and Patrick was the most well done part of this book. I liked Michael's ide2.5 stars. Good idea, mediocre execution. The relationship between Michael and Patrick was the most well done part of this book. I liked Michael's idea of inventing The Game to get himself and his brother through the zombie apocalypse, and how it eventually became a liability. Less well done were the actual characters. Michael himself was yet another protagonist with self-esteem issues and the usual habit of blaming himself for everything. The other characters, aside from Patrick, were one dimensional stereotypes and could have used a lot more meat on them. Patrick was more endearing. This book had a lot of little inconsistencies and implausibilities, even given the premise of zombies. It was frustrating at times, and the climax was rather too neat. Definitely not a book for nit-pickers or people who expect detailed world-building....more
I will have to blame my failing memory for my inability to really grasp the end of this book. I do remember enough to get what happened but not enoughI will have to blame my failing memory for my inability to really grasp the end of this book. I do remember enough to get what happened but not enough to think about the meaning of it. And I found the bouncing through time confusing as well. I found a good chunk of the book boring, especially Donald's chapters in the first section. Not as good as Wool, but I still plan on reading Dust in the near future....more
Two things: 1) if humanity is still relying on oil in 2059, then we deserve to wipe ourselves out. 2) The irony of the author creating empathy for somTwo things: 1) if humanity is still relying on oil in 2059, then we deserve to wipe ourselves out. 2) The irony of the author creating empathy for someone who does not herself have it is not lost on me. He did it in the novels too. And also his John Cleaver series. It seems to be his thing. And that's all I have to say about that....more
Wool Omnibus is a collection of the 5 stories in the Wool series. Each story gets longer, with Wool 5 at 60,000 words. To be honest, I preferred the sWool Omnibus is a collection of the 5 stories in the Wool series. Each story gets longer, with Wool 5 at 60,000 words. To be honest, I preferred the shorter ones, books 1-3, because the last two seemed to gain their length from having so much technical action. That's probably not the best phrase to describe it, but what I mean is that there's SO much "then she stuck this in there and wrenched it around". Every movement Juliette makes is described in detail, which slows down the pace of the story and caused my mind to drift away. The first three parts were not like this, they were concentrated on character psychology and important plot events were described with just the right amount of detail.
Still, overall this series is excellent, and I find it bizarre Howey had to self-publish it. His writing us nearly flawless, and he knows how to create emotionally engaging characters. The dystopian vision is clear and plausible, though I suppose you could nit-pick a few details if you wanted (I won't). I will say that I started to notice most of the male characters had a sort of childlike quality to them. They were emotionally sensitive, sometimes immaturely, where the women seemed practical and less emotional. I don't know if this reversal of stereotyped gender roles was intentional, but it is interesting.
I very much enjoyed Wool Omnibus, and recommend it to fans of science fiction and dystopia. With so much garbage being put out by publishing companies, it's a real crime a great writer like Howey didn't get a book deal. But he did get a movie deal, and I'll definitely be watching that.
Rating: 2.5/5 Something's missing in this series. It's not terribly emotionally engaging, and it really needs to be, because it's long and slowly-pacedRating: 2.5/5 Something's missing in this series. It's not terribly emotionally engaging, and it really needs to be, because it's long and slowly-paced. I don't mind slowly-paced books, as long as there's interesting tension, relationship and character development, and/or heavy theme exploration. The author's attempts at these things are infrequent and rather shallow. There were a few compelling scenes, but for the most part the dramatics were repetitive and uninspired. And in between, there was a mountain of bland journeying and world-building, which should have been bleak and desolate and oppressive enough to feel like a dystopia, but somehow wasn't.
There were too many characters with poor delineation, especially the adults, most of whom seemed little more than plot devices. They just didn't seem fully human. After 500+ pages I didn't feel like I knew the main characters any better than when I met them.
I can't figure out if the plot is actually quite complicated or if Wells just made it seem that way by being so confusing about it. I think it's the latter. There was lots of unnecessary description and multiple scenes that failed to advance the plot, characters, relationships or even create mood, which they were obviously meant to do. So they just slowed down the pace.
I had some other issues with this book. The kids seemed to have knowledge of some things about they old world they shouldn't, but are completely baffled by other information. Afa was conveniently lucid only when they needed him to be. Heron's constant anger and complaining was repetitive and annoying. The only purpose it served was to create drama where the author needed "an episode" to break up the monotony of cross-country travel. Her behaviour was almost, but not quite, enough of an excuse for why Kira and Sam barely cared where she'd gone and just up and left her behind.
Putting aside the fact that Kira seems to forget that she has a boyfriend back home, I liked the dynamic between her and Sam, but it didn't develop fast enough for me. Kira's internal dialogue didn't go deep or far enough. It didn't really go anywhere, actually, except in circles.
Wells' writing style fails to convey much atmosphere or emotion, it is very matter of fact. I thought this was a choice in his John Cleaver series; it worked well for him in the Hollow City too. But it now appears it's just the way he writes, and it doesn't suit a protagonist like Kira who is passionate and emotional. At least that's what I think Wells was aiming for.
It feels as though the author wrote this book using a recipe, to make sure he had all the proper genre (Young Adult) ingredients, adding the spices (more of the same drama) as needed. The characters are doing what he needs them to do, not what they are driven to do for themselves.
I did like the moral conundrums in this book, but I wish they'd been dealt with by more introspective characters. Introspection seems to be difficult for Wells to write. This being a trilogy, I will read the next book if only to have a sense of completion. Perhaps the author will surprise me.
Insurgent is more focused on action than its predecessor, Divergent, which necessarily had more character- and world-building. Personally I like charaInsurgent is more focused on action than its predecessor, Divergent, which necessarily had more character- and world-building. Personally I like character-focused books, so I didn't really get into Insurgent as much as I did Divergent. Full review: http://bit.ly/YXxmfL...more
I'm trying to figure out what the message is here. That evil is ineradicable? That violence is inevitable given complexity? That a perfect utopia is iI'm trying to figure out what the message is here. That evil is ineradicable? That violence is inevitable given complexity? That a perfect utopia is impossible because the world never stops changing? I read about the theory that ideas are subject to evolution in On the Origin of Tepees: The Evolution of Ideas, and I think it's fascinating.
I read Genesis cover to cover in a few hours. Considering the way the "story" is presented (as a kind of oral exam/presentation transcript reminiscent of Socratic dialogues) I think it's rather amazing how it held my attention. It's also kind of a story within a story - while the protagonist is telling the story of her people's history, we also get to know her story. Less than half-way through I was able to predict the twist revealed at the end, but that wasn't the only way this book messes with your mind. While I was reading I thought of calling this book a philosophical treatise or manifesto disguised as a YA dystopia, but now that I'm finished I'm no longer sure just what the author was aiming for. Maybe just another, somewhat fresh and unique exploration of common dystopian themes (control, consciousness, humanity, artificial intelligence, evil, etc.)? In any case, it was an excellent read, and well-written - for such a short book to cover so much ground in a thought-provoking and engaging way is a rare feat.
This book is has two main characters, the protagonist and the ever-degrading world in which he lives. Some chapters are devoted to the former, some thThis book is has two main characters, the protagonist and the ever-degrading world in which he lives. Some chapters are devoted to the former, some the latter, and some are a mixture of both. As such, it's not your typical novel, but I don't have issues with that. It does create a flow problem, however. I found myself pushed out of the story at the beginning of almost every chapter. I'm also not convinced the over-populated, electricity-laden future America the author has created is entirely believable in every detail. I did like the dark feel and originality of this book a whole lot. I also like that the protagonist's journey was only mildly redemptive, not over-cooked. It seemed to fit.
I can see why this book has awards and accolades, but personally I found it kind of boring. It touches on a lot of issues about our culturRating 2.5/5
I can see why this book has awards and accolades, but personally I found it kind of boring. It touches on a lot of issues about our culture - technology and privacy, consumerism, American-style fascism, the degradation of the planet - and imagines a world (or rather a country) where each of these things are taken to an extreme. I think this is in fact a pretty good book for young adults (and possibly grown adults who don't think about the consequences of their culture and lifestyles), but for me it was kind of lack luster.
Ugh. This book started off lukewarm and shaky at best. Halfway through it began rapidly disintegrating into a totally ridiculous mess of implausibilitUgh. This book started off lukewarm and shaky at best. Halfway through it began rapidly disintegrating into a totally ridiculous mess of implausibility and forced sentiment. Also, much of it was boring, not to mention trite. Seriously disappointing garbage....more
I didn't make it past chapter 3, the writing was so unbelievably horrible. I couldn't read a single page without having to back-track because of someI didn't make it past chapter 3, the writing was so unbelievably horrible. I couldn't read a single page without having to back-track because of some confusing arrangement. Incoherence, grammar problems, verb tense mix-ups, run-on sentences, commas out the yin-yang, you name it, this book has it. It's also a slow-starter, clichéd and cheesy. Despite the extremely interesting premise, this book fails in every way and I just couldn't give it any more time. The fact that this substandard book has an average goodreads rating of 3.9 makes me sick to my stomach. Does good form count for nothing anymore?
An epic geek-coaster of a book. It wasn't entirely perfect, but I'm giving it five stars anyway because it was the most fun I've ever had reading a boAn epic geek-coaster of a book. It wasn't entirely perfect, but I'm giving it five stars anyway because it was the most fun I've ever had reading a book....more