When I glanced at the cover of this dusty old paperback that I had found while cleaning, I thought it was going to be just another garbage dime-a-dozeWhen I glanced at the cover of this dusty old paperback that I had found while cleaning, I thought it was going to be just another garbage dime-a-dozen thriller.
And maybe I haven't read that many thrillers, but I believe I was wrong. What's that age old adage about not judging a book and...(I've already lost half my readership to boredom)? Mad River Road is a story about liars, deeply troubled people trying to escape their pasts, nothing unusual there, but at its center it's about a whirlwind fantasy romance that slowly deteriorates into a dangerous abusive relationship. It's like watching a real life horror story unfold, hurtling towards the end, and as I was reading I couldn't help but wonder if the author was speaking from experience, with how authentic the portrayal of the relationship felt.
However, for the length of time that we get to spend hating the bad guy, the climax was too short, disproportionate to the length of time spent building up to it. Unsatisfying. I would've appreciated a longer epilogue, a little more time to bask in the character development we were finally given.
The characters and prose are nothing to talk about, but all in all it's absorbing reading for a couple hours. I don't regret picking it up. ...more
It's funny, the copy of this book that I have in my hands has the exact same cover illustration, but the title reads "The Ties That Bind." Same differIt's funny, the copy of this book that I have in my hands has the exact same cover illustration, but the title reads "The Ties That Bind." Same difference, I guess?
Anyway, this is a fascinating little story about three blood-sucking chimeras, a banned book, an old friend of Roy's, and how they all tie together. It dips into the backstory regarding the Ishvallan/Ishballan war, and does well to expand on the series' themes of regret and guilt, circulating around the state alchemist veterans of the Ishvallan rebellion. It also explores a further aspect of biological alchemy.
I had fun putting together the pieces of the puzzle during the book's initial mystery-like setup (it all culminates, of course, into a nice big battle at the end), although I might have done it more quickly than I should have. Overall, I got what I came for: another fun adventure with Ed, Al, and Roy. I recommend this for FMA fans 12 years and up....more
An entertaining little side-story that gives you a glimpse of Edward and Alphonses' adventures during the 3-year time skip in the animes and manga. AtAn entertaining little side-story that gives you a glimpse of Edward and Alphonses' adventures during the 3-year time skip in the animes and manga. At the beginning I had a vague feeling of deja vu, as the setup of this story is similiar to the Lior arc at the beginning of the first anime and the manga, and it does little to distinguish itself from that arc, even later on in the story. However, characterization is intact, as well as the series' overarching themes of morality, fairness and the principle of Equivalent Exchange.
The ending was a cop-out that bumped it down from four to three stars for me. Characters that were previously staunch in their beliefs and ideals changed at the drop of a hat, and it rushed to tie up the loose ends into a neat little bow much too quickly, colouring all the interesting grey areas it had previously created black and white.
The writing is a little awkward at times, but not nearly so much as other reviews might lead you to believe, and it's not as juvenile either. Overall a fun read, though it doesn't contain anything of substance and does not add much to the series as a whole. I would recommend it to FMA fans ages 12 and up....more