Published in 1986, this novel by Alan Dean Foster reads like a knockoff inspired by Stephen King's 1981 novel Firestarter. Not to say that the novel iPublished in 1986, this novel by Alan Dean Foster reads like a knockoff inspired by Stephen King's 1981 novel Firestarter. Not to say that the novel itself is bad - it just falls sort of flat when you compare it to other novels in the same sort of psi-power sub-genre. The characters are very two-dimensional and some of their behavior and response to the situations they're forced into is just silly. Although it's a quick read, after about 100 pages I was just pushing through the book hoping to get to the end and forget about it....more
If you haven't read the Dark Tower series, I'd highly recommend it for its epic storytelling arc - this may be one of the weaker books in the series,If you haven't read the Dark Tower series, I'd highly recommend it for its epic storytelling arc - this may be one of the weaker books in the series, but it's still excellent.
I forgot how much build-up there is in this book (sort of a bridge between the action/history of the last and the building climax of "Song of Susannah"). Despite that relatively slow pacing for the first two thirds of the book, it still lives up to the rest of the Dark Tower series and is well worth reading. The fake Maine accents ("Do ya" and "Tell me I beg" and "Big big") always turn me off but it's understandable that King felt the need to draw parallels between the Calla and the rural northeast US to tie together the whole Salem's Lot crossover and differentiate the Calla from everything the Gunslingers have seen to date.
Better than the Cherryh series I started, but I'm thinking Cherryh is just not for me. This book was engaging to a point, but it felt like it kept setBetter than the Cherryh series I started, but I'm thinking Cherryh is just not for me. This book was engaging to a point, but it felt like it kept setting up more and more backstory for a larger tale, rather than being a riveting novel in its own right. Action/plot started dragging about 1/3 of the way through and I wasn't drawn in by the intrigue and conspiracy as intended. Only felt moderately interested in the characters (pretty much all an unlikable bunch) and not-at-all invested in their welfare....more
Quite possibly my favorite Doctorow novel to date. The writing still leaves something to be desired, but the subject material and its potential applicQuite possibly my favorite Doctorow novel to date. The writing still leaves something to be desired, but the subject material and its potential applications in today's society, the similarities/analogies to the dot.com boom and the New Deal era are fascinating, and the characters are engaging and much fuller than any of Doctorow's previous attempts at characterization. Could not put it down....more
Not really my thing. Some of the stories were entertaining, but I really could have put this book down and never felt the urge to pick it up again, evNot really my thing. Some of the stories were entertaining, but I really could have put this book down and never felt the urge to pick it up again, ever....more
Can't believe I went so long without ever reading this. Although it was a little slow going at times, the story itself is fascinating. Wells starts inCan't believe I went so long without ever reading this. Although it was a little slow going at times, the story itself is fascinating. Wells starts in the middle of the "action" and develops the character of the Invisible Man and his plight long before you learn how he got that way. What really interests me is how the view of the protagonist changes over the course of the book (no pun intended) - the story of his brilliance and hubris combine to create a portrait of a tormented man and stress the importance of humility and faith in fellow humanity.
This book is a must-read for science fiction AND literature lovers, if only to identify the origins of so many concepts one sees in stories (of every genre) today....more
Even though a 30-year old male is not the target audience for this satire of the vampire/paranormal romance novels that seem to be spontaneously appeaEven though a 30-year old male is not the target audience for this satire of the vampire/paranormal romance novels that seem to be spontaneously appearing on the shelves of bookstores everywhere, I found I did enjoy this novel for what it was - a light, humorous take on the subject matter that is sure to be engaging for teens and genre-fans who can take a little good-natured ribbing.
Eighteen year-old Algonquin "Alley/Ali/Gonk" Rhodes is the self-proclaimed Ice Queen of the "Vicious Circle" - a clique of close-knit friends who not only run the school newspaper (blog), but somehow are allowed to turn the escapades of their classmates into gossip-rag fodder for mass publication. One of their favorite topics of ridicule is the excessive efforts teenage girls at the school make to try to nab a vampire boyfriend; in Alley's school, dating the undead appears to be the epitome of cool.
Alley acts above all of that, clinging to her reputation and her independence like a badge. But when reviewing a band at a local venue for her paper's music column, she falls head-over-heels in love with Doug, who, she belatedly realizes, is not really a really-cute goth boy, but rather a zombie hipster who shares her eclectic taste in music.
Selzer's world is intriguing - vampires, werewolves, and zombies do exist, and they live (mostly) peacefully alongside humanity. Of course, there was that whole issue with Mega Mart raising and enslaving zombies for a cheap workforce, but now that the lawsuit has been settled and all those zombies are free to live their lives coexist, people have pretty much accepted the "post-humans", and aside from all the vapid teenage girls wanting to date (and eventually become) "post-humans", things are pretty normal.
I had a little bit of trouble believing in the character of Alley - here's a bright young teenager with the scathing wit of a college junior who appears to be able to psychoanalyze her own motives in staying single, yet it takes her a couple of dates (and 60-something pages) to discover that Doug is a zombie. She explains this incongruity near the end of the novel, but by then I'd already written it off as something just to get past and treat the novel as a fluffy, witty (but not sparkly) book that will surely be snapped up by teenagers anxious for a novel take on both teenage romances and the paranormal. This isn't a book I'll be hanging on to myself, but if you know someone 13-18 in your life, they'll probably enjoy giving it a read.
Note: I received this book as part of a contest giveaway....more
This review is of the audiobook version of the novel that you can download for free at podiobooks.com.
Sigler's futuristic galaxy-spanning work is awasThis review is of the audiobook version of the novel that you can download for free at podiobooks.com.
Sigler's futuristic galaxy-spanning work is awash with creative and instantly-memorable alien races. He combines them with the very-familiar aspects of American football and the mafia, sets the whole thing on planets strewn throughout space, and ends up with a hit sports-action and coming-of-age novel that is sure to please sports and sci-fi fans alike.
Although I enjoyed this book quite a bit, the protagonist (Quentin Barnes) felt fairly two-dimensional. In the first half of the novel, it was almost painfully so, as he struggled to reconcile his racist teachings of the Purist Nation planets of his youth with the reality that a football team made of multiple alien races must not only play together, but respect each other and treat each other as equals. I think Sigler goes over the top a bit, but I understand this novel is also intended to be a YA book, where such exaggeration is pretty standard (although I'm hoping in the YA version, the explicit language is cleaned up).
If you're not a football fanatic, you will still get caught up in the action and the suspense of the novel, but you might find yourself Googling some of the specific football terms and formations to get a better idea of exactly what Sigler is describing. A basic understanding of the sport is really all that's required to enjoy the novel, though.