Not for me -- I'm not a fan of the Man vs Nature genre, but even within that genre I expect the narrator/protagonist to have at leastDNF at page 50.
Not for me -- I'm not a fan of the Man vs Nature genre, but even within that genre I expect the narrator/protagonist to have at least some emotional depth and introspection* and lots of thoughtful observations about their physical environment. There was none of that here (within the first 50 pages anyway).
This mostly just made me want to re-read Munroe's What If? which has the same amount of math, but a ton more social insight and narrative flow.
*I've read some reviewers speculate that the lack of emotional depth is because the author/main character falls on the Autism spectrum. Eh, maybe, but I work with a fair number of people with Aspergers and they (the people I know) are all about emotion. Especially if you use sarcasm. Then you get a lot of emotion: usually in the angry-baffled part of the emotional realm, but lots of it. This was just hollow with lots of sarcastic exclamatory sentences, which is not the same thing at all....more
Fast, easy read. I liked how it made me think differently about why I do certain things. I also enjoyed the factoids about the history of sci3.5 stars
Fast, easy read. I liked how it made me think differently about why I do certain things. I also enjoyed the factoids about the history of science and Western pop culture -- although I think the thing about pink being a traditional color for girls prior to the 20th century and the thing about tattoos being a fad are wrong, so I'm taking all of them with a grain of salt.
The whole thing about antismoking being a moralistic fad would probably have worked better for me if I didn't have the same physical reaction to cigarette smoke as I do to ragweed season. (ie, eyes, nose, throat and lung pain along with intense itchiness if the smoke is really concentrated) While as a perfume fan I get that banning something because a vocal few people don't like it is annoying, I'm also careful about where I wear perfume because I don't want to cause others to have asthma attacks or migraines. There's a difference between resisting mob mentality and being a jerk.
Also, while the heroine is a book snob, I too will sometimes check out my favorite noncirculating books to keep them from being purged from libraries :P (Although I do wonder what kind of hack corporation HiTek is that it doesn't have its own research library--using a public library for pop culture sources makes some sense but you'd think a business that does behavioral and animal research would have relevant resources on-site.)...more
I generally prefer my humor to be less heavy-handed. And while I enjoy zany elements in stories, the non-stop, no pause for breath or thought or heartI generally prefer my humor to be less heavy-handed. And while I enjoy zany elements in stories, the non-stop, no pause for breath or thought or heart zaniness in this left me very ... well, annoyed.
I suspect this will have more appeal to people who like puns....more
Reading this felt like watching someone playing a video game. In first person present tense. Despite the cool concept (SF spy novel during the Cold WaReading this felt like watching someone playing a video game. In first person present tense. Despite the cool concept (SF spy novel during the Cold War!), the actual story did not engage me at all.
Things like having the heroine, a native New Yorker, internal monolog about needing to "mash the trigger" didn't help. (For those not from the US, "mash" is a southern phrase that means push. Not at all something I would expect to hear from a New Yorker. Also, I think mashing the trigger is kind of poor firearms technique??)
Anyway, did not finish. And kind of sad about it, since I'm totally in the mood for a fast-moving, inventive spy novel right now....more
The only reason I finished this is because I know so many people who love this author and speak well of this book. I kept wanting to feel the love, buThe only reason I finished this is because I know so many people who love this author and speak well of this book. I kept wanting to feel the love, but never felt much of anything. Maybe I'd have been more into it if I were a Trekkie... ?...more
I think I've had too many friends get raped to find rape jokes funny. Or maybe I just take things too seriously. Whatever, they bothered me.
Kitty's dI think I've had too many friends get raped to find rape jokes funny. Or maybe I just take things too seriously. Whatever, they bothered me.
Kitty's descent into Mary Sue territory and how she jerked around Jeff by continually prodding his jealousy button also bothered me (she comments at one point that she likes that he has potential stalker tendencies, but even though they're engaged, her wishy-washy commitment to him seemed kind of cruel? needy? in an unpleasant way). Add in an increasingly zany, decreasingly coherent world, plotting and cast of characters and... bleh.
I enjoyed the first two books, but the things that mildly annoyed me are taking over. I'm done....more
4.5 stars. Rounded up to 5 after thinking about it for a while.
Started off with a bang, dragged a bit in the middle and had me in tears by the end. I4.5 stars. Rounded up to 5 after thinking about it for a while.
Started off with a bang, dragged a bit in the middle and had me in tears by the end. I can see why this seems to elicit such love it or hate it reactions. It's not a dungeon-crawl, shoot 'em up kind of zombie story. It's actually more about virus transmission, democracy and... I don't know. Fear? Journalism? Humanity? Whatever it is, it made me think. It also made me laugh.
That said, I wish more attention had been given to non-Anglo-American parts of the world. (Rich, industrialized parts of the world are still going, but what's going on in the already conflict-ridden oil and mineral producing parts of the world that provide the tech they/we rely on?) I also wish the tech/journalism parts didn't feel like they were written in 2007. Craigslist survived but twitter is gone like it never existed?
Those small complaints aside, I did enjoy reading it and am looking forward to the next in the series....more
Light-hearted, well paced and humorous. It manages to combine benevolent, super-powered aliens exiled to Earth with themes of domestic terrorism, xenoLight-hearted, well paced and humorous. It manages to combine benevolent, super-powered aliens exiled to Earth with themes of domestic terrorism, xenophobia, interracial and interfaith dating, and the ways in which loving families can be unintentionally cruel. And it all makes sense and is fun, which is the lovely thing about this series.
There were a few scenes towards the end that I didn't care for--the scene with Chuckie at the reunion seemed unnecessary and the scene with Reid was unexpectedly gross. Fortunately, neither lasted very long.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed reading this and am looking forward to the next one....more
The story concepts were wide ranging, from historical fantasy to rocketship science fiction and from folklore to steampunk. There were a few, like LipThe story concepts were wide ranging, from historical fantasy to rocketship science fiction and from folklore to steampunk. There were a few, like Lips of Ash by Huang and Mortal Clay, Stone Heart by Foster that seemed complete and fabulous in short story form. There were others, like The Character and the Hound by Pi or The Water Weapon by Clough that seemed like they might be setting up books or series that I would be very excited to read. Then there were a few that were just... not to my taste. Overall, a very mixed bag of stories, but it did introduce me to a few new-to-me authors that I'm looking forward to reading more by....more
I'm not sure how to rate this... up until the last two pages I was completely engrossed. I didn't want to put it down for anything. Then, I got to theI'm not sure how to rate this... up until the last two pages I was completely engrossed. I didn't want to put it down for anything. Then, I got to the end and ..... cliffhanger! Not a fan of the cliffhangers.
Edie is kidnapped by rovers, who want her to help them reprogram the nanotek devices responsible for terraforming worlds. As Edie has been trained by the Crib to do such programming, it's obvious why she's been selected. (The Crib sounds like Monsanto, only instead of making crop seeds that are only fertile for one season, the entire ecosystem of planets is vulnerable.) Because she's so valuable and such a target for eco-rad(ical)s, she's assigned a bodyguard. In this case, her bodyguard is Finn, a serf (prisoner/slave) with ties to a group that rebelled against the Crib's authority. In order to keep Finn under control, Edie's kidnappers tied his life to hers by implanting a chip in his brain. Even worse, because of the way the chip is implanted, not only must he keep Edie close and alive, any strong emotion she feels (fear, anger, lust) causes him painful mental feedback.
Edie grew up both as an outsider/underdog and as someone who helps maintain the status quo. Because of her past, she is determined to protect Finn as she wasn't able to protect others. The value she places on Finn's life, however, leads her into conflict with the rovers and makes her even more afraid of being returned to Crib control.
Through much of the story Finn is wary and distrustful of Edie, but as they learn more about each other and work together more, their strengthening bond allows them to accomplish and learn more than they had expected--especially related to the planet Scarabaeus, which Edie had been assigned to help terraform years earlier, and which she had thought she had protected. Not much of Finn's character is revealed in this story, but he reminds me of what the Captain in Firefly might have been like if he'd been captured by the Alliance and his crew killed.
Overall, good characters, fast pace, excellent world building, and a dark but not too graphic story. Romantic elements were negligible, and currently of the doomed variety. Honestly, if it weren't for the cliffhanger ending, I'd probably give this five stars. I think this would appeal to fans of Ann Aguirre, Linnea Sinclair, and maybe Ilona Andrews...more
Better as a thought exercise than as a novel. The exploration of ideas related to gender identity, gender roles and enculturation was interesting but.Better as a thought exercise than as a novel. The exploration of ideas related to gender identity, gender roles and enculturation was interesting but... well, it was published in 1960 and you can kind of tell in the dialog, unspoken biases, etc....more