Alien…a classic, epic movie. Created from a screenplay, they turned around and made the movie, then made the book off the movie/screenplay – one rarel...moreAlien…a classic, epic movie. Created from a screenplay, they turned around and made the movie, then made the book off the movie/screenplay – one rarely thinks of this book offspring when they hear the word “Alien.” The movie is better too, but for fans of the series, especially completionists, this spawned book is a good addition to the shelves.
I won’t go into the details of the story – what’s the point? If you don’t know the story of Alien, rent it immediately or miss out. The book stays pretty faithful to the film. This didn’t work for the beginning, though, as reading about drug out technical aspects of landing, planning the course, and positioning lasted far too long and bored me. After page forty or so, my interest finally shipped off.
The scene where Lambert, Dallas, and Kane explore the alien vessel and find the chamber is especially eerie and great. In written form, I was able to appreciate the impressiveness and uniqueness of the ship much more than when staring at it on the screen. I think this was due in part to the author taking such time to detail the structure and how truly alien it was, emphasizing this fact further than the movie did. Creepiness was laid on thick as Kane explores the chambers; that climb down seemed longer in length, more suspenseful, in written form.
After the first half, the book starts changing small things from the movie, which is fine. Overall the deaths in the book were lackluster to the movie though. There wasn’t as much suspense and impact. There is even more kitty emphasis. Mother plays a smaller part, especially at the end. The chase scenes were great and made sense (in other words, they weren’t in trouble because they were acting stupid like some stories rely on, they were acting with intelligence but happened to be up against something stronger than they.)
And of course, there was no underwear showdown!
Character wise, Ridley was less likeable. She is flatter, bitchier, and her arrogance irritated me as well as the crew. Dallas is as likeable in written form as the flick. I cared more about Parker and Brent reading about them. Ash was well done and further fleshed out.
Oddly the alien’s appearance isn’t discussed hardly at all. Weird, right? The author goes into detail about the egg, the facehugger alive and dead. Ash eagerly dishes out revelations and theories about the being’s abilities and superiority, but when it comes to the adult’s alien appearance, it’s ridiculously vague. Was it because the author struggled with the right wording on describing the unique creature right? Writing error and accidentally leaving that description out despite the many chances to include it? Did they want to leave that particular surprise for the movie buffs, what? It bugs me.
Overall fans should read it if they own it or stumble across a copy. The book doesn’t add in any missing pieces or further insight but it’s still an enjoyable read. The characters, even the alien, are flatter – but the action segments work and it’s a fascinating story. It also has made me in the mood to watch the movie again. <3 (less)
Richard Laymon has always been a much revered horror author, choosing as his style to employ horror, shock effects, and sexuality in his work. Unfortu...moreRichard Laymon has always been a much revered horror author, choosing as his style to employ horror, shock effects, and sexuality in his work. Unfortunately, The Lake is not a book worth praising. Suspense is there, but it’s scarce, and frankly the reader doesn’t really care. I couldn’t get over the bizarre plot, the too unbelievable coincidences, and I could loan even less forgiveness to the hideous characterization.
It’s a rule in the publishing world that the ! sign be kept to a minimum. Also, capitalizing words or sentences to show that the character is screaming, or else is stunned, is lazy writing if overused. Here Laymon sins repeatedly, and I almost feel that the book was only published and this was overlooked simply because he had already gathered a following. His other works did not have this flaw, and one must wonder what was going on in his personal life to create such a rushed piece.
Dialogue is painfully pitiful for the most part. It’s unnatural that when characters speak to each other, they keep saying the others name in each sentence. The dream sequences used with the young girl, Deana, grows confusing, and so many times is not needed and only hurts the story. To make matters worse, the story is told through a valley girl style, with exclamations and comments capitalized by teenage slang that screams cardboard character.
The plot isn’t better. In fact, the book was hard to finish, and even harder to keep picking up. It starts promising enough, but then everything becomes so muddled it’s painful to wade through. The ending doesn’t answer all the questions, being obviously a bizarre twist just inserted to have something. Storyline isn’t consistent, and some things are rather irrelevant seeming. If he had following up with the story line the book began with, it would have been more interesting, or even the second storyline, but as it stands….well, I’m speechless.
Due to the weaker writing style, the bizarre plot that doesn’t entertain, bounces all over the place when it doesn’t need to, doesn’t make sense, and the false characters with painful internal and external monologue, The Lake isn’t a book I’d recommend. Frankly, I’m surprised it was even published. Read another Laymon book if you wish to be entertained, but stay far, far away from this one. (less)
When most people think of Jack Ketchum, they think of horror. You think of horror again when you read a book blurb that sounds like a more realistic,...more When most people think of Jack Ketchum, they think of horror. You think of horror again when you read a book blurb that sounds like a more realistic, friendlier version of Pumpkinhead. So hey, it’s a horror story right?
Well, not really. Life has decided to stop being predictable after all. Red is much more than the typical revenge story it touts itself as being. Av doesn’t believe a crime can’t be forgiven, but he doesn’t believe in scapegoats, liars, or not manning up to your mistakes and accepting responsibility. This story stands on the shoulders of a larger one which is slowly revealed to the reader.
The protagonist is an older widow with only his small self-owned store, empty house, and old dog left. They keep each other company as they’ve aged together and seen their loved ones pass on. The sympathy stake is buried firmer since his wife died tragically, and the dog was a birthday present from her to him. It’s not just anger at the act, but at the senselessness of it that gets to both Av and the reader who follows him on the ride.
Ketchum writes with a slow, sweeping grace. His writing is literary, but I do hold qualms with some of his sentence lengths and comma aversions the first few chapters. Thankfully this settles down.
I applaud the slow, believable progression of anger. The blurb reads like it’s a classic revenge tale, but it’s really not. The story is more intricate that you’d believe as he goes through every channel he can to try and see the boys admit to what they did and apologize. It’s not just about punishment and getting revenge, but something for the senseless act, even if it’s only an admission of guilt. The psychology behind this comes out as the story unfolds and why this is so important to the man.
The ending is heartbreaking as it reaches its inevitable conclusion, all that could be avoided, as the consequences swing to full closure on the karma wheel. (less)
It's hard to categorize this one - it starts as complete fantasy, then delves into a horror-fantasy type, then seems like it's edging towards...more3.5 stars
It's hard to categorize this one - it starts as complete fantasy, then delves into a horror-fantasy type, then seems like it's edging towards a little romance before quickly running from any love interest again. Whatever hintings it seemed to take in that department fall apart swiftly, as this is not a romantic book in any form. The storys pace is slow at first, unfurling at an unrushed pace. It is not a book which is high in action or suspense, yet much happens within the pages anyway. You could almost imagine a haunted orchestra playing in the background while reading this one, but rest assured it not melodramatic or emo in any way.
The writing style stands out as nearly gothic, beautifully poetic, with the writing approach of telling it from a characters point of view, but staying distant from them at the same time. Neither the hero nor the heroine are likeable in the story. Their relationship was mesmerizing, however, and ended strangely with bizarre imagery and almost peacefully. I'm not sure yet what I think of the very end, as I did end up liking Daniel more than Laura. As odd as that sounds considering who the beast of the story is and how the legend surrounds him, Laura was unlikeable from the start to me and I couldn't sympathize with her. She seemed to be left haunted and in the cold but it is no matter since she herself can't really seem to feel. The lamb sticks out in the mind as one of the best examples of the bizarre imagery I mentioned above.
I'm a big moon gal and it's played up to all its glory in this one, which of course matches considering it's a werewolf theme. I have to say it's one of the more unique werewolf books I've read and beautifully done. The moon is always focused on with lycanthropy, but with this book it's taken to higher planes. There is much mystery here, enshrouded what the creature is exactly, how it came to be, what the stone is about, and I'm still not sure I grasp their draw to each other and the results of that. If all the mystery had been solved, then much of the glamor of the book would be lost.
There's a decent amount of blood - violence is not shied away from, and when it's there it's short and fits to the purpose. The ferocity of the beast is told instead through the matter of fact power and presence. Religion, as almost always with shape-shifting tales, plays its role. Overall a book worth reading if you run across it, especially if you love horror shifter books or Gothic fantasy types.