A quintessential Hunter Thompson book. Uniquely written. Gritty. Unforgiving. The book is worth a read for his vignettes on his active time with the H...moreA quintessential Hunter Thompson book. Uniquely written. Gritty. Unforgiving. The book is worth a read for his vignettes on his active time with the Hell's Angel's and the crazy moments he finds himself in. the three stars is really because of pacing. It's not a long book by any means, but the detailed back-story interspersed throughout often drags and takes away from the book IMO.(less)
I find Laura Hillenbrand to be in the same category of Erik Larson - an author of very accessible, very well researched, page-turning biographies. Unb...moreI find Laura Hillenbrand to be in the same category of Erik Larson - an author of very accessible, very well researched, page-turning biographies. Unbroken is no different. The story of WWII pilot Louie Zamperini is one for the ages. Even if half of what he went through while stranded in the Pacific Ocean and held captive as Japanese POW is correct, Zamperini's story is both gut-wrenching and hopeful. Take a weekend and power read through it. It's touch to put down and his story is so hard to read at times that you may only give yourself one chance to read through it.(less)
The controversy of this book was too much to pass up, but media hype aside it's worth a read. Without getting into the religious implications, I found...moreThe controversy of this book was too much to pass up, but media hype aside it's worth a read. Without getting into the religious implications, I found Aslan's historical portrayal of Jesus Christ to be fascinating. Counter to many reviews, Aslan was very open about what we historically know and what we don't. He provided all of the angles, uncertainties, and time ranges that inherently come with trying to understand when portions of the Bible were written and by whom. The most interesting - and important - part of the book was putting Jesus in the context of the time period he lived and how his message (or really, the message that his followers wanted to express) traveled to Europe and transformed the world. It's a transparent historical analysis that everyone shouldn't be afraid to read, religious or not.(less)
This was an absolutely amazing book that ended all too quick. While an entire world library could be filled with fictional books that take place durin...moreThis was an absolutely amazing book that ended all too quick. While an entire world library could be filled with fictional books that take place during WWII in Nazi Germany, this one is unique and literally refreshing (though equally as horrific and emotional to read through as one would expect of a book set during this time period).
- The author truly gave life to the main character of the book, a young orphan girl named Liesel Meminger.From her arrival at her foster parents home through her time acclimating to a life of little money, but surrounded by exceptional friends and family, her story and characterization is engrossing.
- I know some didn't like the unique way that the author would switch back to the personification of "Death" to gain its perspective on Liesel's story and what was happening in Germany. I, on the other hand, very much liked it and thought it added a interesting flavor to the book that reflected the insanity of what was happening during the time period, but from an almost emotionless character. The reader is left with the perspective of not just the young, hopeful, loving child but also the lifeless character of Death who itself isn't even enthralled with what it is seeing (and partaking in).
- The story is also filled with wonderful side characters that enriched the story. I loved Liesel's best friend Rudy, her foster parents (and how they were polar opposites yet equally caring), and the unlikely friend that helped Liesel expand her access to literature.
The con (sort-of):
The final third of the book - and the conclusions for all of the characters - really whizzed by much faster than the lead-up. On one hand I get why given the circumstances - it simply reflects the immediacy of what happened in the story. But on the other hand, it almost felt too fast and sudden.
All in all, great quick read worth anyone's time. (less)
I only occasionally get in the mood for pulp-thriller-crime novels, so I only really picked up this book because it's written by a former crime report...moreI only occasionally get in the mood for pulp-thriller-crime novels, so I only really picked up this book because it's written by a former crime reporter from my hometown Philadelphia and the entire story is set throughout Philly. It was just cool being able to picture the happenings of the book in places I'm familiar with.
Anyway, it's a lightening fast read as all pulp-thrillers should be and is very funny and often times vulgar (as I would assume most thieves/bank robbers/murderers would be). The main character was generally interesting and the story was straight forward - bank heist gone wrong, so now let's figure out why. It's the written version of a mindless summer block-buster.(less)
Everything that I didn't like about the first book of the duology - The Killing Moon - was non-existent in the Shadowed Sun....moreOne word review: amazing.
Everything that I didn't like about the first book of the duology - The Killing Moon - was non-existent in the Shadowed Sun. Mainly, the hollow characters that never really grabbed me in the first book handed over the story to new, very detailed and deep characters that really made this book special.
- Jemisin's now common use of ancient religions and cultures is in full force here, adding a really nice layer of depth to the story. The stark comparison between the desert tribes and the urban city life is excellent and fun to explore.
- The two main characters of the story - Wana and Hanani - are fantastic and the interplay between the two induced constant page-turning and chapters of wonderful dialogue and interaction. I really felt connected with the characters in stark comparison to The Killing Moon's Nijiri and Ehiru, which often didn't.
- The authors exploration of love, sex, and relationships not only through the main characters, but in their exploits and those of side-characters was excellent. It never felt cliched or campy.
- The magic/dream world this time around seemed to be better described and explored than in the first book. This helped as there are major scenes that take place in the "dreaming world" that would have fell flat within the context of the first book.
So the key message is don't be discouraged by the first book (if you actually were - a lot of folks loved it, I just "merely" liked it) so you can rip-roar through the second book. Look forward, as always, to Jemisin's next series.(less)