Charlie's Angels meets Delta Force and blah, blah, blah. You know the drill in a a book like this: Men are REAL men, women are REAL women and drug oveCharlie's Angels meets Delta Force and blah, blah, blah. You know the drill in a a book like this: Men are REAL men, women are REAL women and drug overlords from the Balkans with excessive body hair, personal hygiene issues and sexist attitudes are REAL drug overlords from the Balkans with excessive body hair, personal hygiene issues and sexist attitudes.
But thank god Team Barbie Doll (Diversity Edition™) is on watch to protect us all from the above, as well as some confused mess about "rediscovered" Nazi technology a mere 60+ years after the fact. Boy, those Nazis sure were busy, busy, busy inventing stuff, which we should all be thankful for, since it gives hack authors a way to pull stuff out of their rectum that might otherwise seriously plug them up.
PS: I wonder if the author of this masterpiece even knows the first thing about the Athena of mythology? Like the perpetual virginity thing, getting popped out of Zeus's head a fully grown adult fully clad in her armor and that where she gets a mention in anything I've read she comes across as rather sterile and flat. Oh. Maybe he does know at least that last bit.
PPS: Gotta with two stars. I finished the damn thing, and due to the obvious degeneration of my intellectual capacity and utter lack of taste kept reading even as I kept groaning....more
NOTICE: I was given a PDF reviewer copy of this book, at my request and for no cost, on the condition that I write a "fair review" of this work.END NONOTICE: I was given a PDF reviewer copy of this book, at my request and for no cost, on the condition that I write a "fair review" of this work.END NOTICE.
Quite an entertainment, if a bit ragged around the edges in a few places. Mr. Andrews has a way with words, a way with narrative and he certainly managed to pull me into this book. I was chuckling at the misadventures of Professor Tomlinson as he was vaulted to a curious sort of celebrity, etc. It was a very quick read, and, I'd say a better than average way to pass the time.
As usual, as a reviewer I find myself struggling with how much to reveal so that I convey the essence of the text without also giving away something of tremendous importance. And, as usual, I take the expedient route and mouth only vague generalities. So I'll simply say that if you read the summary of the novel and think that it is something that you might find amusing, you will. I'd guarantee it.
Unfortunately, the only caveat I must add is that things did fray a bit towards the end. I don't think there was a satisfactory conclusion, indeed my sense is that that part of the book was simply rushed. Also one of my personal "pet peeves" is an author going out of their way to show how clever they are, with pronouncements on the human condition, editorial comments on the mental state of the protagonist and so on. Unfortunately that did happen in this book a fair amount, but since it seems I am a minority of one on that point, I'd unhesitatingly recommend this book to anyone looking for a light, entertaining read.
I have to give this book five stars. I just HAVE TO, in spite of it being a bit on the silly side in a few places. The debbil made me do it. Or, perhaI have to give this book five stars. I just HAVE TO, in spite of it being a bit on the silly side in a few places. The debbil made me do it. Or, perhaps not. Perhaps it is just that I found in this book what science fiction is SUPPOSED to be. First, it should be entertaining. This is that, and in spades. Second, it should make you think. This does do that, but but not in a preachy, annoying way. Best of all, Wilson never lets his thinkin' get in the way of entertainin'. Not great literature, of course. But so what? I'll rate cheeseburgers one way and filet mignon another, thank you very much.
And I'll even trot out the ultimate cliche for this sucker: Hopefully somehow, someway, some bigshot Hollywood producer finds his way to this book. And that somehow, someway in between his busy day of playing motorboat with his mistress' silicon implants and tracking down his friendly, local drug dealer for some high-octane Bolivian marching powder said hypothetical producer actually thinks to himself, "If I can't make a decent movie out of this, I shouldn't be in the movie-making business." One can but hope. I doubt it will happen, or that if it did happen it would be a mess...but hey, hope springs eternal and all that.
No silly ending like Robopocalypse, either. Said book was decent, but not in the same league as this one. ...more
It is a very, very rare occurrence indeed for me to make it to page 320-something of any book before giving up. If I've made it that far, by gum I'm gIt is a very, very rare occurrence indeed for me to make it to page 320-something of any book before giving up. If I've made it that far, by gum I'm gonna finish. But give up I did. And in a sense I'm sorry I did. The setting was intriguing, the characters were reasonably well done, the dialogue was a tad on the hokey side, but it always is in this sort of book, and never came near being the giggle-fest that the dialogue in many of its "cousins" is.
No, I'm afraid my problem was too much sex, and nowhere near enough plot. We had straight sex, psychic sex, gay sex§, gay and straight psychic sex, angry sex, happy sex, bar pickup sex, frustrated wanna have sex but can't b/c the love of my life committed suicide non-sex (but without doubt will become real psychic and/or straight sex at some point; probably about five pages after I abandoned the book.) Sex and sex and more sex.
Never really considered myself a prude, but if this is what America really and truly wants to read, I guess I'm on the prude side of the bell curve. I think what kept me hanging around is that, yes, on the rare occasions in between the horizontal bop sessions or the filler that I presume was supposed to build dramatic tension before said horizontal bop sessions, damned if there wasn't a very good story lurking in there, popping up once in a while gasping for air, only to be shoved down under multiple layers of yet another session of adult extracurricular activity.
And to give the author credit, it is not that the sex scenes were particularly raunchy, as in the kind where they throw in everything from the kitchen sink to Shetland ponies. It is just that there were so freaking MANY of them, I ultimately had to do my best Roberto Duran imitation and murmur "No Mas! No Mas!"¶ when the bell rang and it was time to come out of my corner...defeated by fleshpots. Or mebee fleshpiles.
§ - THIS NOTE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NOTHING. FEEL FREE TO SKIP. One of the few benefits of being on the fringes of being a Grumpy Old Man is the cooling of desire, the sort of thing that were I twenty years younger might just have, well, elicited a slightly different response, etc. Not that it exactly applied here, but the question I posed to myself: If the gay sex had been hot chick-on-chick action vs. the actual SausageFestApalooza presented would that have changed my view of matters? And as of right now, I can honestly say "Nope. It wouldn't have. Not one iota." But...would that have ALWAYS have been my response(e.g. some hypothetical younger version of myself writing this review)? I'm not gonna be honest, and I'm not gonna be dishonest. I'm just gonna say Nolo contendere, and leave matters there.
¶ - THIS NOTE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NOTHING. FEEL FREE TO SKIP. And how the frack does one do an inverted, as in Spanish, exclamation point? Whatever crazy typeface this is, I couldn't find it. I found the inverted question mark, all sort of useless characters, but not that one. Huh? Or should I say... "¿Huh?"...more
An amusing summer read, but also choc-a-block full of elements that truly strained my credulity. viz, the US in a war against essentially the entire wAn amusing summer read, but also choc-a-block full of elements that truly strained my credulity. viz, the US in a war against essentially the entire world based upon a judgment handed down from a World Court over cigarettes? That something like one-third of the country had de facto seceded...and the central government was essentially powerless against them? And I could go on, but the whole book was just too amusing for me to truly hold these and similar items against it. Well, except for the part that would constitute a "spoiler." That truly had me rolling my eyes. But, eh, even that didn't diminish the overall fun. Fluff, but entertaining fluff....more
Overall, an excellent read. So what if a super-secret government agency that has existed for centuries, undiscovered, is central to the plot? So whatOverall, an excellent read. So what if a super-secret government agency that has existed for centuries, undiscovered, is central to the plot? So what if the attempting-to-conquer-the-world-bad-guys are from, ummm, Belgium? (I think I've read more than my share of books with eee-vuulll cabals set on world conquest. But I can't say I've ever come across one where Belgium was not only on the "bad guys" side, they WERE the bad guys. And I honestly never quite understood what exactly they were after, other than revenge for a defeat from centuries ago. Would we all be forced to learn Walloon? Eat more waffles?)
But: Just go with it. There's way more than enough in the way of entertainment here to reward the ol' "willing suspension of disbelief." Very well drawn characters, psychic powers and I guess what you'd refer to as a form of alchemy worked into the plot in a way that won't leave you rolling your eyes, and of course the way the amnesia affecting the main character put a "spin" on the entire plot. That last by itself yanked me into the story, as I simply HAD to find out what was going on.
Curiously, there was nothing on the copy of the book I borrowed from the library to suggest that this book is the fist in what is apparently going to be a series. There were certainly more than enough loose ends that I was wondering about that, but it was not until I made this entry at GR that I saw the "#1" following the title. I wonder if the publisher didn't have enough confidence initially that this would in fact work out into a series? Or if they were trying to hook the sort of reader who gets the heebie-jeebies about reading anything other than stand-alone novels? (Though that last is all but impossible these days in any category of genre fiction I can think of, from Fantasy to Mystery to the rather unfortunately dubbed "Chick-lit" category.) ...more
Quite well done. This one actually worked as a mystery, as science-fiction, and even as a work of psychological fiction. Perhaps a bit over the top toQuite well done. This one actually worked as a mystery, as science-fiction, and even as a work of psychological fiction. Perhaps a bit over the top towards the end, as Alison's synesthesia seem become almost a superpower, but I'm not complaining since it has been a while since I've wanted to finish a book in one sitting, as I did here. ...more
**spoiler alert** Interesting enough to keep me plodding along, but also not interesting enough to really rouse any deep-seated excitement or interest**spoiler alert** Interesting enough to keep me plodding along, but also not interesting enough to really rouse any deep-seated excitement or interest. I personally thought the underlying premise of how the "Daybreak" organization was supposed to function as more than a bit implausible, particularly given what they were able to accomplish. And the idea of "biotes" and whatnot as destroyers of modern technology have also been done with far more originality in The Martian General's Daughter, which explored many of the same ideas as this work.
But, again, having said all of the preceding, I kept coming back to the well, and I suppose I possibly might even take a stab at the whole trilogy. (Which is a possibility I specifically discounted in my one comment while in the midst of reading the book.) However, what would put me off such a course is that this book just seemed to go on and on and on, often like a six year old's shaggy dog story, meandering back and forth, as though the author had never heard of editing, or that he's somehow being paid by the pound. But then abruptly at around Page 425, there's this rather iffy plot twist that I had a rather difficult time swallowing. Particularly the way in which the two antagonists seem to have this "sort of" epiphany from a meeting of three or four hours. Won't say exactly what it is, but I will mark this review as containing a "spoiler," since I am mentioning this, even if in only general terms. Almost like Barnes was bumping up against a deadline or a publisher imposed limit of around five hundred pages, and he had to grab at a deux ex machina solution to meet this demand.
Perhaps this will be one of those books that "grows" on me; I can think of at least one case off the top of my head where I wrote a very harsh two-star review...but have kept thinking about the story off and on since then, and do plan on re-reading it at some point. I can't imagine that if my review had reflected my true feelings I'd have done anything but forgotten about it as quickly as possible after the fact. And I've not. But...mitigating against that here is the sort of literary "Bataan Death March" I felt myself upon as characters ping-ponged around from place to place rather mindlessly.
So, I didn't hate it, but can't say I really liked it, other than to note that, yes, there was enough here to keep me turning pages. And since it is a pet peeve of mine when people write some "X.5 stars" in a review, there's absolutely no way I could ever take such a cowardly way out/do that (show some frickin' backbone, people); 3 stars here giving the benefit of the doubt to the text. ...more
Decided mixed bag. Some interesting elements mixed in with an overwhelming sense I was reading something produced on an assembly line. To be fair, I'vDecided mixed bag. Some interesting elements mixed in with an overwhelming sense I was reading something produced on an assembly line. To be fair, I've read enough of Patterson's book to have an idea, in general terms, what to and not to expect, but I think this is a series I just don't feel any overwhelming urge to continue on with, at least for now. But I've also read far worse in my time, so I suppose I can't completely rule out returning to the series at some point.
Can I even name the six bird/humans? Max, Iggy, Fang, The Gasman, Angel, and Thorn. And of course the bad guys Jeb and his mutant son Ari. One thing I will say for sure, this book did not hold up very well upon re-reading. I'd read it last summer and for some odd reason it was one of about a month's worth of books during July/August 2012 I never bothered to record on GR. I recall it as being much more interesting the first time through....more
**spoiler alert** I'm marking this one with a spoiler tag, not because I give anything away, but rather because I'm giving it to this piece of vilenes**spoiler alert** I'm marking this one with a spoiler tag, not because I give anything away, but rather because I'm giving it to this piece of vileness masquerading as a book with both barrels. If you continue reading and happen to have been a fan of this, don't say you weren't warned. Got it?
"This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." ~~Dorothy Parker~~
The above nicely sums up my attitude toward this one. Though this is also one of those books that make me wonder what I missed that everyone else seems to be seeing. Or, conversely, what I saw that everyone else seems to have missed.
Why? I have no problem with anti-hero protagonists, but the author seems to have gone out of her way to create the most unlikeable, hypocritical and down-right mealy-mouthed group of truly petty and truly nasty set of characters I've come across in quite a while. (And, no, I'm not talking the "mutts" here. I mean the "Pack.") End of story, at least for me, though where these four and five star ratings are coming from, as previously noted, I haven't a clue. I could continue to burble on, but what would be the point? Since what I saw seemed self-evident, somebody, somewhere is seriously deluded. Could be me, certainly. Must concede that. But I sure as hell wouldn't make such a concession without a fight.
Though I must admit to one rather bemused chuckle while wading through 240 pages (before coming to my senses and stopping) of what sure seemed to me like a slime-pool. That would be the back-cover blurb, "A hair-raising story for the she-wolf in us all." Umm, that would properly be a "bitch," right? Well, I suppose I must concede that point, at least. All the pack members certainly came across as psychopathic bitches, even though the only facsimile of a female in the whole group was Elena.
NOTICE: I was given a reviewer copy of this book at my request and for no cost. In order to receive this book as I was given it I have pledged to postNOTICE: I was given a reviewer copy of this book at my request and for no cost. In order to receive this book as I was given it I have pledged to post an “honest review.” END NOTICE
I’m a bit befuddled about how to proceed here, since I just had too many problems with this book to give an overall positive review. And that, in large part, my “thunder,” such as it is, has already been stolen in the review posted by Michael, here. Very solid take on the book, and I think a fair one, if perhaps a bit stronger than I ultimately felt about it.
Well, now for me and my $.02 of input. What did I like about this book? Some of the action scenes were tolerable, possibly even mildly enjoyable. And when I come across that in a book I feel myself able, and with a clear conscience, to give out a two-star rating at the absolute minimum. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t go beyond that with this one.
Why? Well, first let’s take a look at some selected bits of text. Note that I’m using page references to the reviewer copy, a PDF, which ran to only 159 pages. I’d guess if you double the page number referenced you’d come close in the paperback, but I’ll also throw in the chapter number for those who really wish to follow along at home.
"So late!" the young woman cried, as her loyal, worn, cream-colored sneakers tried to distort reality so she could run faster than time itself. [Chapter 1, p. 6]
Remember when you thought Sydney was the capital of Australia? I know that in reality"—Jadie pointed at Cindy with a sarcastic attitude—"you're a moron. [Chapter 1, p. 7]
A rusty water pipe roared out from the blackened cave above and dropped down over Cindy's head like a log going to a sawmill. [Chapter 3, p. 35]
They loaded up their empty chambers with bullets, quivering to rip into Cindy's flesh. [Chapter 4, p.57]
Cindy found herself staring down dozens of rifle barrels, each holding quivering bullets in their blackened chambers. [Chapter 8, p. 129]
Sigh. What to do here? What can I say? Of particular note is that first entry. It is actually the first line of the of first chapter in the novel, leading me initially to wonder if I’d not somehow stumbled into an entry in some sort of strange Bulwer-Lytton Contest. It certainly did nothing to pull me into the book, to make me wish to read more, and so forth. Quite the contrary. Never having written a novel I’d always supposed an author would take particular care with that first sentence. Apparently not.
And beyond that? I’ll keep my pointy sarcastic attitude at my side for fear of putting somebody’s eye out, avoid any chambers, blackened or not, and pass on in silence, though perhaps looking a tad askance at those quivering bullets. And please note that what I’ve posted here involved no particular search. You can find sentences similar to the preceding at any point you’d care open the book.
As to the logic, or lack thereof, at certain places in the book let me post one example. Though I remain unclear as to the importance of this episode to the overall plot, I’ll mark my discussion of it with spoiler tags
(view spoiler)[Early in the novel Cindy is stabbed by an attacker. To use the author’s curious phrasing,
She whimpered softly, as she felt pain in its liquid form spilling onto the ground. The concrete became stained with a deep, copper red; her blood spilling over the curb and dripping into the water drain below.
[Chapter 1, p. 16]
She then passes out, has her purse stolen, and is discovered by her sister after, oh, I dunno, an hour or two spent laying in that condition. Sound serious? I sure thought so. But, apparently not. She’s up and at ‘em and going to work the very next morning, pain in its liquid form or not being no bar to our Cindy. Sorry, but I had to roll my eyes. (hide spoiler)]
Let me just end this now. Could you do worse than to read this book? Yes, I’d think so. I’ve given it the GR “It was okay,” rating, and I mean it. But are there some quite serious problems here? Problems that I found by turns giggle-worthy and annoying? Unfortunately, also, yes. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more