I'm intrigued enough to read at least one more book in the series, though the writing and story call to mind bits of many other books I've read that,I'm intrigued enough to read at least one more book in the series, though the writing and story call to mind bits of many other books I've read that, at least at the moment, tell this kind of story better....more
I don't have a wide experience of this type of military sci-fi book from which to draw my conclusions, but to me this book felt a lot like reading anI don't have a wide experience of this type of military sci-fi book from which to draw my conclusions, but to me this book felt a lot like reading an inverted version of Ender's Game. What if Ender were an old man instead of a young boy when recruited, but lots of the same stuff happened to him? Maybe there are tons of books like this, each of which is fairly well written considered on its own, but that all play on very similar themes and plot lines, and that is an accepted part of this sub-genre. But to my taste, it definitely limited the appeal of this story to feel like it was only a slight variation on a story I'd read before (e.g. a new recruit makes Captain in less than a year by showing early promise as a leader and an inexplicable talent for military strategy). A lot more weight could have been given to the actual implications of long-lived, wise people being recruited as soldiers, which, to me, is the most interesting question raised by this story. Instead, Scalzi leaves most of that aspect to surface level discussions of new and better bodies, or occupational knowledge that people happen to have from their earlier life. That's a shame, because if we're really just here to get a narrative of space battles between humans and aliens, it won't hold my attention for very long. Humans tend to write space-battle stories in which humans win. Not a spoiler. And definitely not as interesting as it could have been....more
This book feels like it was intended to be a gift from a sciencey person to their English- (well, Italian-)major partner hoping that they'll stop glazThis book feels like it was intended to be a gift from a sciencey person to their English- (well, Italian-)major partner hoping that they'll stop glazing over any time they try to have a conversation about science. Eighty-one pages is not a lot of space in which to explain seven gigantic and complex theories of physics, but a remarkable amount of the space is dedicated to poetic and emotional appeals to see physics as beautiful and as a source of spiritual enlightenment. I didn't appreciate it much. Every good piece of scientific writing should include a section about "why should we care?" but it should not overwhelm the content. Apparently I need to find a book that is somewhere between this content and A Brief History of Time to satisfy my interest....more
I found in these short stories that Rich is as clever as ever, but I didn't find them to be as funny as his previous works. If it were billed as a colI found in these short stories that Rich is as clever as ever, but I didn't find them to be as funny as his previous works. If it were billed as a collection of clever, penetrating short stories I would have given it a higher rating. But if everyone who says they found this particular collection hilarious actually found it hilarious, then I guess I have to disagree with them all....more
Although I have read a fair few graphic novels now, I am not a comic book reader. This, in fact, was my first superhero graphic novel read (though ofAlthough I have read a fair few graphic novels now, I am not a comic book reader. This, in fact, was my first superhero graphic novel read (though of course I'm very familiar with Batman and other superheros through movies and TV). So judge my reaction accordingly:
Art: A+. Fantastic, evocative, wonderful
Storyline: C. I think far too little time was spent on the actual crisis and climax compared to the lead-up development time. I had the impression that The Joker had Commissioner Gordon for a few hours before Batman came. I don't think that's probably what they intended to convey. If it is, then I'm even less impressed with the storyline.
Dialog: D. Especially in the first half, the dialog reminded me strongly of fanfiction. Bad fanfiction....more
Read on the heels of several other depressing books, this was not particularly what I was interested in reading at the time, so it might deserve moreRead on the heels of several other depressing books, this was not particularly what I was interested in reading at the time, so it might deserve more than the 2.5 stars I wanted to give it. I found the writing a little too matter-of-fact about events without any sense that Abby was gaining any insight from her reflections. I felt that certainly as an adult I knew very little about her but did not particularly have a sense that I would like her or that she would be a good wife or mother. As a child I wavered between understanding her need to do what she could to escape and blaming her for abandoning her brother in the process. In the end, I found little that held me in this book and I felt disconnected from all the characters....more
I am a huge proponent of simple living and buying only what I really need. I was excited to read this book because it seemed to fit my philosophy perfI am a huge proponent of simple living and buying only what I really need. I was excited to read this book because it seemed to fit my philosophy perfectly. I was only kind of right. Dave Bruno is really interested in having few possessions, but exercises it in a way I can't understand. He had this jacket that he absolutely loved. In an effort to get below 100 personal things, he got rid of it (and actually would have been able to keep it and stay under 100). Later he tried to replace it but found the replacements inadequate. I don't understand a minimalist philosophy that includes getting rid of items you use and love to meet an artificial standard of minimalism that will lead you to buy a replacement.
Also, his lack of need for a variety of clothes seems quite inapplicable to much of the country. I live in the north. I cannot only have 7 shirts and one jacket that will serve me for the entire year. But one of the strengths of Bruno's book is his openness to having everyone adapt this challenge to fit their own life.
One of my other critiques is the rambling nature of this book. It seemed like a very extended blog entry that took a long, LONG time to get to the point.
One point that I think Bruno made well though was in getting rid of his power tools. I questioned that decision initially because I figured he'd end up buying more--he used them as a productive, active hobby. But they didn't provide satisfaction for him. He did not have the time to become as proficient at creating things as he wanted and they took time away from other hobbies he would rather have been doing. I think that was a moment of growth....more