Despite being enamored with all of Neil Gaiman’s novels, his short stories usually don’t do it for me for the most part. I read them though, because fDespite being enamored with all of Neil Gaiman’s novels, his short stories usually don’t do it for me for the most part. I read them though, because for every “The Goldfish Pool and Other Stories” there are fantastic ones like “We Can Get Them for You Wholesale” and “Babycakes” and “Troll Bridge,” which are so amazingly well written, tell such whimsical, horrifying and beautiful stories that I firmly believe my children or grandchildren will be reading them in a literature class alongside John Cheever’s “The Swimmer” or Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”...more
Alas, Babylon really shows an amazing look into what American life would have been like if Russia had sent nukes during the Cold War. Admittedly, I thAlas, Babylon really shows an amazing look into what American life would have been like if Russia had sent nukes during the Cold War. Admittedly, I thought it was a rather optimistic look at life, since the people of Fort Repose, Florida, seem to get rather lucky at the things they find, at the fact that the wind blows just right so they can avoid the fallout and that they live on a river that essentially feeds the main characters throughout the book.
We don't really get much of a look at what is happening in the rest of the country until the very end, because communications are down and whatever is working is reserved specifically for special defense communications.
All in all, I thought the end of the book had a very odd message. It almost seemed as if what we were to take away was that once modern amenities were all taken away from them, the people of the book found their lives fulfilling because they had to fend for themselves in a way that they never had to their whole lives....more
This book blew me away and having finished it and run the gauntlet with the characters I am exhausted. I am in absolute awe how everything - and I doThis book blew me away and having finished it and run the gauntlet with the characters I am exhausted. I am in absolute awe how everything - and I do mean everything - that had been mentioned in previous books all tied together for the grand finale. It's amazing and I can't think properly and I think I just need to sleep on it so I can better appreciate how well crafted this trilogy was.
There are few words for how much I have enjoyed reading the first two Mistborn books. There’s something about the characters that feel so real to me.There are few words for how much I have enjoyed reading the first two Mistborn books. There’s something about the characters that feel so real to me. I think the first book was an easier read mostly because this one has a lot of politics and there are multiple factions to follow and keep track of. And yet, even while being in a fantasy world, filled with magic and creatures, there is something very real about the struggles and the conflicts.
And the climax of this novel was insane. There is so much going on, and we get points of views from so many different characters, and yet it was all easy to follow. The first book was primarily (or exclusively, I can’t remember) told through Kelsier and Vin. In this book we get chapters from just about every main character.
Loved this book, loved how the characters grew and all were explored a little more, and even the battles. I often find battles boring to read because I’d much rather just watch it, but I loved reading these fights.
Considering how this second one ended, I can’t wait to see how it all gets resolved in the next book. ...more
It's still safe to say that this book is better than most, but it doesn't stand up to the first three books for me even, though it's better than AFfC.It's still safe to say that this book is better than most, but it doesn't stand up to the first three books for me even, though it's better than AFfC. My biggest issue with this book is that GRRM has continued to expand the story by adding more POVs. He's added even more facets to this already chaotic story (view spoiler)[as cool as the reveal was that Aegon, one of Rhaegar's children, is actually alive, it meant that there's another ball for GRRM to juggle (hide spoiler)] and I really don't see, based on his writing over the five novels, how GRRM can tie this all up in two novels.
And although he said at the end of AFfC that he split that novel and this one the way he did because he wanted to tell the whole story for some of the characters rather than just part of the story for all of the characters, I felt like a lot of characters were most definitely only partial stories or left so open ended at the end of novel so as to be unsatisfying (view spoiler)[I'm looking at you, Arya. And where was Sansa? And WHAT HAPPENED WITH JON SNOW? Is he dead? If yes, then that was the most unsatisfactory end for a main character and I'm really pissed. And what's up with Jaime and Brienne? He follows her off in the middle of the book and that's all we get. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>...more
Let me preface my review by saying that this book, when not comparing it to the previous books in ASoIaF, is a good book. That being said, in comparisLet me preface my review by saying that this book, when not comparing it to the previous books in ASoIaF, is a good book. That being said, in comparison to the previous installments of this series, A Feast for Crows is disappointing in places and overall very frustrating. That is why I gave it a 3 stars (and am contemplating dropping it to 2 stars actually).
This book has a fairly large flaw, which is that it reads more like a really long, annoying interlude to the story that you actually want to read. Remember all those characters you loved in the first three books? Well you'll be lucky to see them even three times in over 900 pages. Instead, you get a plethora of chapters from new POVs. Of course, at the beginning of the book I wasn't happy to see so many Jaime or Cersei chapters, but as the story went on I did enjoy them more. But there is way to much of the Greyjoys. I think that is a plotline Martin never should have allowed to grow so large. And that right there is really the main problem of this book, to be honest. Martin allowed his story to get out of hand.
Martin has created a fantastically detailed world and a complex struggle with many players. I love that about these books. It's also his downfall in AFfC. He created too much and this book is the result. We are being pulled away from the characters we care most about so he can further expand upon the smaller sideline stories. There was far too much with the Iron Islands, which I would have liked to see entirely cut from the books.
This book was a miscalculation, but it was still an interesting read and I enjoyed watching the characters grow in this book. Right now, this is easily the weakest of all the ASoIaF book. And if that is still true at the end of the series, then there isn't whole lot to complain about. ...more
I just ... this book killed me. Martin has this way of crushing all hope. And I say that with all praise. He doesn't pull any punches and horrible, hoI just ... this book killed me. Martin has this way of crushing all hope. And I say that with all praise. He doesn't pull any punches and horrible, horrible things happen in this book. But that being said, it's not all doom and gloom. There are certain characters that give you hope, especially at the Wall. Those guys are the best. And I love that the characters constantly evolve and change. We see how war makes for strange bedfellows, how people's morals are tested and best of all we see who rises above and who falters.
I'm so glad I have the next book handy. I'm sure I'll devour A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, but I don't know how I'm going to wait once I finish them.
(view spoiler)[I hated Catelyn, so there's no sadness from me there. But I was devastated to see what happened to Robb. And then to hear what they did to his body afterward? That was one of the most horrifying things I read and I both dread and look forward to seeing if they actually show his body with Grey Wind's crowned head sewn on in the show. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
In the second book of A Song of Ice and Fire we get to see some of our characters flourish, while others begin to sink into despair. It's a nice contrIn the second book of A Song of Ice and Fire we get to see some of our characters flourish, while others begin to sink into despair. It's a nice contrast, especially since we have POVs from all sides of the fighting.
One of the interesting things about this book is that because so many of the characters are no where near one another, sometimes we have to rely on the chapter we're currently reading to find out new information. And sometimes that information isn't entirely reliable because it's based on rumors or just flat out lies. So it's interesting to actually get the characters POV without knowing the truth until a chapter or two later.
As a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings books, I went into George R.R. Martin's series with incredibly high hopes. Thankfully, I have yet to be disappointed. These books have everything I loved about LotR - the huge cast, the various points of view, characters whose trustworthiness is unknown, the journey and the character development - but Martin's books have a gritty realism to them that LotR sort of avoided for the most part. Sometimes the grittiness is a little much for me (I get it, everyone wants to rape every woman they ever come across and usually they want to rape each woman multiple times in a humiliating ways).
But to sort of, kind of, not entirely counter the overwhelmingly horrible acts done to women, we have some pretty kickass women (which LotR was sorely lacking with the lone exception of Eowyn), such as Arya, Brienne, Meera, even creeper Theon's sister Asha. Even, loathe as I am to compliment her, Cersei....more
The problem with this book, is that it took far too long to get into anything really interesting. Until I got more than halfway through this book I had to deal with characters who are just too witty and have a quip for everything. Also, ALL of the journalists have this sort of demeanor. So while Rick is slightly different from Georgie and Shaun, and Buffy is different from them all, they all have the same sense of humor and respond the same way in situations with annoying and sarcastic comments or a witty rejoinder.
Also, I didn't care for Georgia's first person POV (view spoiler)[although, since it was first person POV, I didn't expect her to die and for the perspective to switch to Shaun (hide spoiler)].
The so-called conspiracy was only sort of interesting. It wasn't a shocker and it wasn't nearly as big as I kind of expected it to be, so overall that was a letdown after the build up for it.
Lastly, and this is just my own annoyance since I am a journalist, at the beginning of the book Georgia says that bloggers became respected during the outbreak because no traditional news media sources wanted to cover it. Really? There's a ZOMBIE OUTBREAK and NO media outlets want to cover it? CNN would be running constant footage from peoples' cell phones. Fox would be speculating on how it was the left's fault. Anderson Cooper would be out in the field. These are 24/7 news channels. OF COURSE they're going to cover this! I just ... it made absolutely no sense. I can understand how she could have argued that traditional media broke down in the face of the outbreak and subsequent years because travel was more difficult, there were quarantine zones, etc, and that led to the rise of blogging as the main form of reporting, but not that the traditional outlets just IGNORED it.
Overall, I don't think I'll be continuing this series. Which is unfortunate, because there are only so many good zombie novels out there. This is not one of them. It's not because the zombies made limited appearances, I didn't care about that, it's that the rest of the story wasn't interesting enough to make up for the lack of zombies.
Oh, and this has no bearing on how I felt about the book, but exactly where was After the End Times getting its revenue from? How were they paying the dozens of people who ran the site and wrote for it? I'm not sure how many people they employed (say 20 admins, tech people and writers?) or how much they paid ($20,000 a year?) but overall that's still a lot of money that the site has to make ($400,000 just to pay salaries, plus overhead (the vans, computer equipment, server space, etc.) and they need to be making let's ballpark $600,000 to break even a year. I'm sure the site rankings play into it somehow, but where is the money coming from? Who is supplying it?["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
In Genesis, we meet young Anaximander, who is enduring questioning on the topic of her choice in an attempt to gain entry into the prestigious AcademyIn Genesis, we meet young Anaximander, who is enduring questioning on the topic of her choice in an attempt to gain entry into the prestigious Academy. Through the questions presented to Anax and her carefully worded answers the reader learns about how a devastating plague ravaged the world and a small society survived by completely cutting itself off from the outside world. Of particular interest to Anax is the figure Adam Forde. We learn about Adam's importance as if the story is the center of an onion and we need to peel back the layers to slowly unveil the true meaning of this story.
Genesis is not an easy read. There is a lot of philosophical discussion, particularly when we look at one of Adam’s interactions. These philosophical discussions and arguments become quite important for the end of the story we are being told. And the end of this story is delivered with a punch. This is a book that I believe needs to be read again in order to truly appreciate the ending.
Genesis is a quick read but it is not easy material, and that makes it all the better.
Some thoughts about the very end of the book, so major spoilers ahead. (view spoiler)[I find it interesting that even the robots have their own religious founding in a sense. There is Adam and Art who represent Adam and Eve. It is Adam, though the infects Art and brings about the virus (equivalent to Eve eating the fruit and giving it to Adam). This is interesting because men dominate women throughout the Bible and history and yet it is the woman - whom men would consider the lesser of the two - who brings about a cataclysmic event.
Now it is the human, the lesser and flawed of the two that brings about the mutations in certain robots, something they are still trying to stamp out years and years later (I believe they even refer to it as original sin). But without Adam Art would never have been able to send out his programming and thus begin the war between robots and humans. They even refer to this whole episode as their Genesis. I found it interesting that although they are robots and probably have no need for religion and faith, they still use terms from religion and their history mirrored a religious story. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
What I enjoyed most about Across the Nightingale Floor was how the pieces were all set for the story to go a specific way and yet when the time comes,What I enjoyed most about Across the Nightingale Floor was how the pieces were all set for the story to go a specific way and yet when the time comes, nothing goes as planned, which may seem like an odd thing to like about a book, but I thought it was nice here. (view spoiler)[I sort of liked that we were expecting Takeo to be the one to kill Iida and there was so much build up with the nightingale floor and after all of that Kaede gets to him first because he's a drunken perv. (hide spoiler)]
My biggest complaint about this book was the insta-love that takes place between Takeo and Kaede, which was a huge disappointment and a little creepy at one point: (view spoiler)[the part where they do it right after Kaede killed Iida and his dead body is still in the room. What? That's not romantic at ALL. Plus, Takeo actually mentions at one point that the more frail she looks the more he desires here (hide spoiler)]. The insta-love was even more disappointing because Kaede had the potential to be a really interesting character. I could see how she was growing, but she never really gets a chance to be as good as she could have and I sort of blame the insta-love for that.["br"]>["br"]>...more
Fantasy can sometimes be difficult for people to get into. And YA fantasy can get tiresome because its characters and relationships can often be far tFantasy can sometimes be difficult for people to get into. And YA fantasy can get tiresome because its characters and relationships can often be far too often similar. What Finnikin of the Rock is like is Tigana-lite. That's not a bad thing considering the fact that Tigana is incredibly dense and heart wrenching and at times difficult to get through.
The people in Finnikin are exiled from their homeland because the country of Lumatere has been cursed. No one can enter and no one can leave. The royal family slaughtered and an imposter king (responsible for the royal family's deaths) sits on the throne. When they find out that the heir to the throne might still be alive, Finnikin and others believe they might have finally found their way home.
In a lot of ways Finnikin is a commentary on social inequalities and apartheid. The people of Lumatere who have been stuck outside of their country are not welcome anywhere they go. Although some countries tolerate them more than others, the truth is that they live in camps and hovels and are still kept very separate from the countries' inhabitants. And in the places that are more hostile they have to deal with atrocities and massacres and slave traders.
What I enjoyed most about this book was watching the relationships evolve, although sometimes I was a little bewildered by people's behaviors. For instance, Finnikin and Evanjalin were so hot and cold, which got frustrating because I couldn't always understand what caused the changes in their regard for one another.
Because I was reading this book knowing that the sequel is Froi of the Exiles, I got incredibly excited when I found out the thief of Sarnak's name. I was already interested in his character because I could see the purpose of his character. He was the Han Solo of the book (if Han Solo was a little more reprehensible and had tried to rape Princess Leia...). But no matter how bad he was, you could see that Froi's attitude toward Finnikin and Evanjalin as changing. And since I enjoyed reading the parts from his POV, I'm very excited to read the next book.
I feel a warning must be given (and part of the reason why I couldn't give the book 5 stars) that this book deals heavily with prophecies and fate....more
I was impressed when I read Mistborn because Sanderson had created such a unique magic system and a world with a detailed history and interesting poliI was impressed when I read Mistborn because Sanderson had created such a unique magic system and a world with a detailed history and interesting politics. In that sense, Warbreaker is similar, with an entirely new and unique magic system in an entirely new world that he built. He's also incredibly adept at creating three-dimensional characters, particularly strong female characters who aren't abrasive. He does a good job at keeping you guessing about what is really going on until he deigns to explain it all (and it isn't tiresome).
I thoroughly enjoyed the ride that Warbreaker presented. However, the destination was sort of a letdown. Warbreaker is a standalone novel, but at the end I couldn't help but feel like I was jipped. The entire purpose of the book is that sisters Siri and Vivenna are both trying in their own ways to prevent a war between their home, Idris, and the more powerful Hallandren. And yet there's nothing really concrete about the outcome of the war. The epilogue tied up some loose ends, but it didn't really give me what I wanted after investing so much in the (incredibly interesting) in the story.
I think a lot of people will be disappointed with the rushed ending....more
It would have been easy to make Eon: Dragoneye Reborn a simple story about a girl pretending to be a boy because she wants to prove herself. In realitIt would have been easy to make Eon: Dragoneye Reborn a simple story about a girl pretending to be a boy because she wants to prove herself. In reality, there's so much more going on here. In this story, there are so many others relying on who they think is Eon to help prevent a plot to overthrow the emperor.
I was surprised at the gender themes going on in this book, especially since it was YA. Eona differs from Alanna in The Song of the Lioness Quartet. In private, Alanna doesn't hesitate to act as a girl or talk about the fact that she's actually female to those who know. In comparison, Eona is fully immersed in acting and behaving as a boy. She has even separated herself into Eon, the person she is everyday, and Eona, the part she keeps hidden as often as possible and the side of her she is trying to stamp out entirely.
Eona doesn't believe that she can have power as a woman, whereas Alanna wants to prove that she is strong regardless of her gender. The first person POV actually serves to cement the idea that Eona is gender identity issues. Because gender pronouns are never used during the narrative I found myself forgetting she is a female character unless something specific was mentioned to remind me.
The other interesting issues brought up are the many eunuchs and even Lady Dela, who is not only a cross-dresser, but everyone knows that she is actually a man.
I had two issues with the book, one of which was small and I quickly got over and the other that sort of soured the ending for me. Eona is one of those "super special" characters (like Bella Swan). She's not only a girl trying to keep up with boys and men, she's also a cripple, she's a former slave and she can see all of the dragons if she concentrates (whereas the other Dragoneyes can only see their own). Since it's far too easy to compare this book to the Song of the Lioness books, I found it even more unnecessary that Eona be so special. Alanna was a strong character on her own. She was touched by the gods but that wasn't so uncommon and she had strong magic, but her own brother was more powerful. She was a strong fighter, but that all came from ruthless drills and continuously pushing herself.
The other issue I had, which was much more difficult for me to get over, was how Ido is dealt with at the end. Although the war has yet to be fought, the smaller battle is wrapped up a little too neatly and I didn't think it was handled realistically.
That all said, the book was interesting from the get-go for me and once I got about 100 pages into it, it became and incredibly fast read....more