What could have been the saving grace of the Ender series, ends up being another way to further cast Ender as unimportant and a memory of the past.
Car...moreWhat could have been the saving grace of the Ender series, ends up being another way to further cast Ender as unimportant and a memory of the past.
Card artfully finds a way to resolve all of the conflicts in this conclusion to the series. However, instead of placing rationality between the characters and their relationships, he causes silly events, like people getting married who know almost nothing about each other and allowing one of the anti-heroes to consume the good, true heroes, well before their time.
I wish I hadn't tried to keep finding sanity in this series. My advise is for those who loved Ender's Game and find Ender to be an inspiring hero, don't read further than Ender's Game, or if necessary Speaker for the Dead. I wish I had stopped at Ender's Game.(less)
This book is another good step along the story arc, but what keeps me from rating it higher is the author's version of philosophy that permeates the s...moreThis book is another good step along the story arc, but what keeps me from rating it higher is the author's version of philosophy that permeates the series and pulls me away from the story.
His philosophy seems to mingle religion and his personal views and sentiments. This philosophy doesn't seem to be presented as a fantasy philosophy, but as a real philosophy. This may be what is done in most books, but it feels far from reality, yet presented as truth. I can't reconcile it.
What's more, there are what could be considered homages to events in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. To me, these events are important and have emotional meaning. In my mind it it dishonors the events to mirror them in this fantasy world with the author's mingled philosophy.
Yet, what keeps me reading the series is the author's amazing gift of creating characters that seem to live in my mind and compel me to know them more.(less)
This book is amazing. I may not enjoy the use of profanity (yes, I am not a realist), but I could not get enough of the writing.
Typically, authors lo...moreThis book is amazing. I may not enjoy the use of profanity (yes, I am not a realist), but I could not get enough of the writing.
Typically, authors love to use metaphors and similes to give lift to ideas and feelings and breathe life into phrases. Just as typically, these metaphors and similes stand out as contrived, over-used devices. But when used well, it captures our hearts and carries us away. Lauren Oliver doesn't just use them well, but even when she uses them constantly, I don't mind. In fact, I want more.
The premise of the book is somewhat common. Dystopian, bad society, rebellion and someone caught in the middle. But this take on the commonality doesn't only make you want the bad society to be brought down. It makes you look at our existence now and the ways we make our lives match the sadness of this alternate future.
Sure, other books make you glad you have choice, food, and other freedoms. You may even want to do more to protect those things. But Delirium asks you to look at your relationships. In fact, in my life I have seen crazy numbers of people self-administer the cure for love in their own lives by focusing on other things. It eventually gets to the point where they are numb to love and have lost the ability to respond to it.
Great writing, great characters, great premise. I hope the next book in the series is just as good.(less)
The only thing that keeps this book from being a five-star is the language. The book is amazing, but filled with real-life swearing. I can't fault the...moreThe only thing that keeps this book from being a five-star is the language. The book is amazing, but filled with real-life swearing. I can't fault the author. In situations like the world the book creates, I can't imagine most people not talking like this. But I can't put it as a five-star in my line-up. Again, people who care about my reviews (both of you), will understand.
Robopocalypse is a great example of stellar writing. Written in the form of a documentary of sorts, you don't get lost in the format. Instead, the world and situations are fleshed-out in your own mind as key elements are relayed through experiences.
Dialog is amazing as is the description of events. It isn't gratuitous, nor does it pull punches. It is just the right amount of dialog and description to complete the feelings and visions.
Even though they are through short vignettes, all the characters are well-rounded and crystal clear.
After finishing Robopocalypse, I still think about the uncompleted plot elements. The ending is satisfying, but with enough left to think about that you could be thinking and talking about it for years.
I wish many other authors that have amazing concepts like this could write like Daniel Wilson. (less)
This is probably the best book I have read that describes in clear, real detail the transformation of someone moving from privilege and elite status,...moreThis is probably the best book I have read that describes in clear, real detail the transformation of someone moving from privilege and elite status, to an unmentionable. There isn't any trite descriptions of realizing what is "truly important" and forming "real relationships" with people who care. The treatment of the subject is first rate.
Why the one star? Why do I say you should avoid this book? To start, this should never be considered a YA title. There is vulgar language across the whole spectrum. There is sexual activity, drug use, and a fascination with cutting and doing things to experience pain and dangerous activities in order to feel alive. All with teenagers. I read YA so I don't encounter any of these things.
I want the writing to be about the story, not the vulgar attributes that may also be present. If the story were written without these elements, it would still be amazing. The pain and dangerous activities may help contribute to the transformation, but an amazing writer could convey the same message without using the easy mechanism of pain and dangerous activities. And I think Robin Wasserman is an amazing writer.
So to be holistic, these criticisms of mine make the book real. These are things that happen now all around us. The vulgar language, the sex, the drug use, the cutting, and the dangerous activities just to feel alive. Therefore on the surface the book would seem to be a triumph about telling this story in real terms and allowing people to feel connected to it on a very raw level.
That would be true if I thought that we, as human beings, should remain as we are. I don't think we should. I think we should be elevating each other and every situation we come across. Therefore, to tell the story on the same level is sad and may even validate and ratify the status quo. I want to celebrate the writers that help us to see ways we can experience the same problems and issues, but in a better way. Couched in a reality that we can achieve if we change the paradigm, thereby encouraging those around us to rise-up to a better world and condition. This is the power of YA books to me.
Therefore my suggestion is to avoid this book and this series. Vote with your time and money to change reality. At least the reality we read about and allow to color our dreams and possibilities.(less)
I couldn't stop reading the series, even though as I explained in my review of the first book, it is clearly not for me in terms of profanity, vulgari...moreI couldn't stop reading the series, even though as I explained in my review of the first book, it is clearly not for me in terms of profanity, vulgarity, and its use of sexuality.
Outside of my personal reservations, the book is another great work. The characters are amazing and even though I do not know heads or tails of the area, the scenes and areas are clear in my head. The story and plot twists are well written and thought out. I love watching it unfold.
Once again, I won't read this book or series again, would not recommend it to those who have a hard time with adult books, and definitely think it should only be for those 18 or older.(less)
After a surprising book that really made me think and full of truly beautiful writing, this second book in the series pulled me under the water like a...moreAfter a surprising book that really made me think and full of truly beautiful writing, this second book in the series pulled me under the water like an undertow. The first book may have been dark, but this was pitch black. There may be been a few moments that weren't depressing and filled with hopelessness, but I can't recall them. But on top of all this is the illustration of the part of this world inhabited by teenagers forced into prostitution.
I think I can see where Ms. DeStefano is headed. Each book seems like it explores a different part of the society, so shining the light on this area was needed. But I don't know if I can keep reading any more books that are this dark. The beautiful writing almost compels me to keep reading, but this was too much.
Hopefully, the next book will show the high parts of society and Rhine will be able to really interact there. Not sunshine and rainbows, but not so dark. But I'm afraid it may be more about the industrial rebels. Not the worst, but I want some joy before the last few paragraphs. The characters and I deserve it.(less)
My daughter who has great taste in books recommended this sereis to me. I can't say that I am enjoying them. Perhaps the biggest problem I have is tha...moreMy daughter who has great taste in books recommended this sereis to me. I can't say that I am enjoying them. Perhaps the biggest problem I have is that the central characters are teenagers, but act like 8-10 year-olds. What's more astonishing is that throughout the books they are the only people who can do anything. The rest of the people of all ages are like cardboard cutouts that stand around waiting for teenagers to act. This is even more crazy when considering the moral dilemas in this book. Overall, completely unbelievable.
This is another recommendation from my children. When I started reading it, the dystopian reality created by the author was so vivid and so wrong that...moreThis is another recommendation from my children. When I started reading it, the dystopian reality created by the author was so vivid and so wrong that it really bothered me. It seems too possible in a future not too far away.
After living with it for a few days, it was easier because I could identify more with the central character. When the tension started it was built beautifully and didn't have contrived conflict where plans were coincidentally foiled so there could be more tension. It made sense and flowed.
My only complaint that pulled the book away from a four-star or possibly a five-star was the ending that didn't give any real resolution. Our family discussion on the book made it clear that a few of us like having endings where the imagination of the reader is called upon to conclude the story. I don't like that. I don't need everything spelled out, but I do need to have an understanding of the resolution and more information that helps relieve all of the tension. This book not only didn't have enough of that relief or some time spent with right prevailing, but there wasn't any. That is all left to the reader to determine.
So, I liked it, but can't go further. The ending is just as important as the rest to me. (less)
Probably the best in the series so far. But still, I can't give it more than three stars. The progression in the story is still too slow. I am getting...moreProbably the best in the series so far. But still, I can't give it more than three stars. The progression in the story is still too slow. I am getting the feeling that things are going to wrap up in a pretty haphazard fashion in the last book leaving me wanting more since there will have been far too much conflict and disappointment and too little enjoyment.(less)
This book in the series was better and completed more of the arc, but it is still steeped in the alternate history that interferes with my memory. So...moreThis book in the series was better and completed more of the arc, but it is still steeped in the alternate history that interferes with my memory. So it could have been a three or maybe even a one. But for now it is a stepping stone to better books in the story arc...I hope.(less)
One of the best in the Shadow series, but flawed by Bean's martyr complex and seriously open holes in the ending. If this is going to be the end, it w...moreOne of the best in the Shadow series, but flawed by Bean's martyr complex and seriously open holes in the ending. If this is going to be the end, it would be nice to close out a few of the main plot lines. Instead, it is the sub-plot lines that get closure.(less)
Another of the books that is supposed to be part of the Ender series, but actually is another opportunity for Orson Scott Card to pontificate and expo...moreAnother of the books that is supposed to be part of the Ender series, but actually is another opportunity for Orson Scott Card to pontificate and expound philosophically. Oh, and Ender is in the book. But not the Ender we want to see. The reason I give this book three stars instead of two is because that notion, that Ender isn't how we want to see him, has some merit. Life rarely leaves our heroes intact. But I am one of those people that drives true literature lovers crazy. I want the happy ending, I want the hero to be an example and inspiration. I want it to push me personally.
This also felt like the middle of a trilogy. Everything bad happening and compounding with little joy. I think I should chose the series I read with greater care.(less)
While this book, Ender's Game told from Bean's point of view, does provide some nice insights into Ender's game, it sullies the original book with wha...moreWhile this book, Ender's Game told from Bean's point of view, does provide some nice insights into Ender's game, it sullies the original book with what seem to be the author's after thoughts. Instead of being the intuitively brilliant hero, Bean is revealed as the real genius behind Ender and Ender is now just a pretty smart kid who happened to be around Bean.
As much as his origins can explain Bean's genius, Bean's ability to figure out everything in almost no time, is completely unrealistic. I also tired very quickly of Bean's inner monologue as he divined everyone else's thoughts, motives, and actions.
Two starts then is all I could give the book since it attempted to redefine the hero of a beloved classic, Ender's Game, made Bean completely unbelievable, and bored me to tears with inner monologue.(less)