A psychological thriller, with blatant critique on consumerism and wasteful spending, as well as the meaning of being a man in a "generation of men raised by women". The narrator is unintentionally funny in the deadpan way, and while the story skips between events and timelines, it is all the more like you are living inside his insomnia-plagued head. The twist at about two-thirds of the way in was very well played, and ties together a lot of the quirks and seemingly innocently repeated lines since the beginning. There were blatant statements of misogyny though, but depending on the reader it could be taken offensively or as just another facet of the characters' deeply disturbing psyches.(less)
Though I found some of the characters compelling and original, the author's world-building and writing was strained and felt incomplete. The characters were constantly in danger of losing consistency, and some of the twists and turns thus were mildly confusing. However, it was a fun read, with plenty of hilariously snappy dialogue.(less)
What I do like so far Brothers. I always like stories about brothers, and this book does remind me a bit of Supernatural in terms of them travelling to...moreWhat I do like so far Brothers. I always like stories about brothers, and this book does remind me a bit of Supernatural in terms of them travelling together and protecting each other from any threat. They aren't always together, but live together and keep tabs on each other, instantly suspicious of anyone that gets close to either of them. The older brother Niko's loyalty and sense of duty to protect his younger brother Cal is pretty intense, almost to the extent that he gives up his own lifestyle to revolve around him. Brotherly banter is almost a constant, which is a plus for me no matter how juvenile the writing is. The mystery surrounding Cal's origins/interaction with the Grendles/age-skip, and the underlying threat of him becoming a "monster" does intrigue me enough to want to find out how it goes.
What I don't like so far The writing is a bit too keen on veering off into a convoluted adjective/metaphor-fest at random intervals. The chronology is slightly confusing when flashbacks appear (without italics/distinct text style) in the middle of a conversation. The dialog isn't particularly stimulating, sometimes tries too hard to insert a joke in every breath, but there's the rare amusing phrase here and there. The narrator is a bit too fixated on his own woes and takes every few paragraphs to reaffirm again that, yes, he is a monster, but I suppose that's expected of a teenager. I hope Niko gets some good character development too even if Cal is the narrator.(less)
An unexpectedly intricate mystery is woven neatly alongside the themes of teenage rebellion, institutional corruption, and the slightly overdramatized flashbacks to the murky past of a young Jimmy Kirk. The struggles both teens have to overcome - Spock's search for his place between the Vulcan and human races, and Kirk's reluctant admiration for the very institution he has grown up to resent - urges along character development and the beginnings of a mutually supportive friendship. I am quite disappointed of the less than satisfying portrayals of female characters, as well as the lack of PoC characters, but casual readers should have no problems enjoying this read. I should also mention that, while there are ample descriptions of high-tech settings and props, I found this novel quite accessible for non-sci-fi fans as well.(less)