I went back and forth on this one. It had more than its share of faults (too long, too much gun porn for my tastes, MC who was a complete Gary Stu, etI went back and forth on this one. It had more than its share of faults (too long, too much gun porn for my tastes, MC who was a complete Gary Stu, etc.) but it was also one helluva an entertaining ride. What ultimately cost this work a fourth star in my mind was the complete hash it made of the whole Lovecraft Mythos.
Curiously, this one of those three ratings where I can say with certainty I will be looking for the sequels. Even if you don't impress someone like me, you'll get me to take another drink out of the well if you entertain me....more
Given what a douche-canoe Scalzi is on his blog, I'm shocked at how much I flat-out enjoyed this. Obviously that art needs to be separated from the arGiven what a douche-canoe Scalzi is on his blog, I'm shocked at how much I flat-out enjoyed this. Obviously that art needs to be separated from the artist here. Best Hard SF I've read in quite some time....more
Please Note: I received a copy of this work at no cost to me and at my own request, in return for an honest review.
This was quite a cute little storyPlease Note: I received a copy of this work at no cost to me and at my own request, in return for an honest review.
This was quite a cute little story of an alien human-hybrid boy named Augie who is sent on a mission to "infiltrate" Earth. His mother is human, his father an alien of some sort. His father's home planet is dying and his people need a new home. Augie, the alien in question, is sent to live with his human grandparents in North Carolina, and his task of infiltration involves him blending in in the local fourth grade. He has several "missions" to accomplish, include going to a birthday party, going to a sleep-over, and making friends.
Yeah, the premise is a bit forced, but so what? Some kids might be put off of this book from the preceding paragraph, but I'd guess most won't. Much hilarity ensues, due to Augie's misunderstanding of human customs related to clothing, how one speaks to adults, and (view spoiler)[that giving a 98 year old man a Miley Cyrus themed birthday card might not be the best idea. (hide spoiler)] I will say that I laughed quite a few times while reading this.
The only open question in my mind is what age would this book be most appropriate for. I honestly couldn't nail that one down. I'm guessing maybe fourth through seventh grades (or ages 10-13), but parts of it seemed aimed at a younger audience, parts possibly at an older one. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
**spoiler alert** Note: I was given a copy of this book at no cost, and at my own request, with the understanding that I post an honest review.
More li**spoiler alert** Note: I was given a copy of this book at no cost, and at my own request, with the understanding that I post an honest review.
More like 1 1/2 stars, but, eh, I'm feeling generous and was a tad amused at some of the clunkiest prose I've think I've ever seen. How clunky, you ask? Lookie heeyah...
“The man,” Sarah said to Abraham, “Adam Lot. Was it his intention to deceive us? Did you have no choice?”
“No,” Abraham answered, “he did not deceive. He was afraid, but his intentions of robbing us were clear. He made no direct threat on our lives, but his intention of robbing us was clear.” [p. 70]
Got that? No intention to deceive, no siree bobber.
Shinab was there on the day that the scar was made. He watched his companion closely ever since. He was doing this on the day that Abraham met him. Every few seconds, Shinab turned his head towards his companion. [p. 95]
Companion watching, post-apocaylptic Dick & Jane style.
Ah, and how can we forget chortling Bera?
“Give her a taste,” said Zoar. Bera chortled. [p. 94]
Bera chortled. [p. 96]
Then, suddenly, another sound from the lips of the man who was lying on the bed. “Salty, Salty, Salty.” And Bera’s unique chortling laughter. [p.116]
Birsha smiled. Bera chortled. No-one noticed the turn of phrase. [p.134]
He smiled, chortled to himself, and finished the bar with a second bite. [p. 153]
Bera chortled as droplets of water flew up towards his face. [p. 175]
And on and on and on. I seem to recall the same sort of business with hair-tousling and the son, but I'm too lazy to check the text again. Heck, open the book to just about any page and I'd wager you'll see a phrase or two (or three or four five) repeated over and over.
And stuff like this, well, it kinda sorta makes me wonder if I was paying more attention to the story than the author...
Sarah was indeed very beautiful. Her black hair was cut short, but it suited her. [p. 26]
Abraham studied her closely. She was in all black. Her long feminine figure, her dark tan skin smoldered in the dim light of late evening. Her long hair was down. He had not seen it that way since the day before the journey began. Her black locks fell in waves over the small curves of her breasts. [p. 204]
And since the entire flight from Babel -- that's what he called it -- on page 26 to the countryside on page 204 took about a week or so, well, that's either one honking huge growth of hair, or a goof. Though how he could have seen it that way before they left Babel, since in Babel it was "cut short?" Dunno.
The again, Arthur Conan Doyle couldn't get Watson's wound to stay in the same place either, so what the hey. Still, these kinda oopsies always give me a chuckle.
Bit surprised to see that a high school English teacher confused "alter" for "altar," "coup" for "coop," and "You're" for "your" at various points, also. That's the sort of thingy I'd do, but I'm an accountant by training, so ah gots me a good excuse. Not so sure he does. Plus I'm not inflicting my writing upon an unsuspecting world. (At least outside of GR reviews.)
Oh, and as to the story. Oh, yeah. Some sort of Objectivist themed-cum-Old Testament flight, complete with Abraham and Sarah, but Isaac curiously renamed Iniko...and despite being named as such still being on speaking terms with the parents. This Abraham also never does the nasty with his wife's handmaid, in fact this Sarah doesn't even have one, alas, so no post-Apocalyptic Islam gets founded. Sorry if that rates as a spoiler.
Where the Objectivism popped up, other than being listed as an inspiration in the Note from the Author, I'm still not quite sure, but the author certainly did Rand proud in one way: Turning his characters into the same walking stereotypes she used. As in, the good characters are good looking, the bad characters are ugly. The good characters are tall, have good posture, the bad characters slouch and smell funny. Always. No need for a score card in this one to tell the players apart. I'd dig back into the text, but, meh, YOLO and all that. Trust me on this bit. Or not.
Still, strip off the Biblical stuff and what you've got is a fairly generic PA tale. The sort of thing I'd usually rate three stars if the prose didn't irritate me. And if what I've burbled on for far too long already about is not the sort of thing that irritates you, well, you'd probably like this book quite a bit more than I seemed to have.
Oh, yeah. I can't recall the last time I saw homosexuals referred to as "sodomites." (Lower case being the author's usage.) Doesn't bother me (much) but I imagine some would be put off by that particular descriptive. If so, this is a book you'd DEFINITELY want to give a pass on. For about a chapter or so it pops up on almost every page.
I wouldn't recommend it, but I'm copacetic with calling it "Okay." Exactly what a two star rating signifies. I have no intention to deceive. My intent to deceive is non-existent. Hopefully, the next book I pick up will find me chortling.