**spoiler alert** I don’t really know how to go about critiquing “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” as a stand alone book. I don’t think it’s fair**spoiler alert** I don’t really know how to go about critiquing “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” as a stand alone book. I don’t think it’s fair to critique a book that’s so much a part of a series that it can’t be said to have a true ending so much as a line that will bleed into the next installment. However, as a purest, I cannot say that I feel that this unique structure is to the credit of Adams. A story must have a beginning, middle, and an end in order to be, by definition, a story. If your story’s beginning, middle, and end take place over multiple installments, then that’s fine so long as each installment likewise has a beginning, middle, and end. This cannot be said about Hitchhiker’s Guide, and it leaves me feeling that something is lacking.
Indeed Adams sets out to break a lot of the established “rules” of fiction. In and of itself, this is not a problem—rules were made to be broken. Master authors often break the rules of chronology and plotting in order to make a point or just to showcase their mastery. This can often have a profound effect on the reader. Hemingway’s “Hills like White Elephants” is a great example of this, but Adams seems to want to only break the rules for the sake of so doing without any attention paid to why. For example, when he deliberately tells the reader before hand that nothing bad is going to happen to the characters while they’re being pursued by missiles aside from someone getting a bruise on their arm, he robs the following scene of any possibility of suspense. This is problematic in a book that is drastically lacking in suspense and narrative drive. So instead of following rules about the formation of suspense and the use it has in making your reader want to turn the page, Adams throws that out of the window and the book suffers as a result.
The book is sloppily plotted, there’s little to no dramatic arch, the stakes of everything our cast of characters do are very low, and the characterization is rather poor. Or at the very least, he doesn’t take many pains to get the reader invested in the characters. However, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is often very very funny. It made me laugh out loud multiple times, and its characters can be colorful if not deeply rendered. Also, points in this book resonant with the potential for great political satire and very interesting allegory for the world we do live in. I won’t say that Adams takes these points to their fullest extent, but they are fun to come across.
Ultimately, I don’t think “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” can be considered high art. I wouldn’t even call it a page turner as I found myself more than capable and willing to put it down and find something else to occupy my attention many times, but it is a fun and funny book that I would recommend for young readers starting to delve into the realms of literary analysis. Sadly, it did not inspire me to want to pick up the other books in the series and see where the story actually does end which suggests that this doesn’t stand as a very good or enticing beginning....more
The interesting thing about Uglies is that it doesn't really stand up quite as well on reread as certain other books. Westerfeld tells instead of showThe interesting thing about Uglies is that it doesn't really stand up quite as well on reread as certain other books. Westerfeld tells instead of shows way too often and crucial scenes are left in summery instead of being played out in scene. Indeed if the book had been closer to 600 or 700 pages, it probably would have been better. But what makes Uglies worth revisiting is how real and vibrant the world is. Westerfeld's rushed through tale might not do much good on the character front, but the building of this sci fi universe is really quite astounding. So between the creation of this remarkable world, and the great allegory he's created, Uglies is a book well worth reading. But if you go back to it after a few years and a few creative writing classes, don't expect to find something that's anywhere near as engaging as it was the first time around. ...more
What McCarthy does here is something that could not have been done better by anyone else. The Road is a story of love, loss, heroism, fortitude, and hWhat McCarthy does here is something that could not have been done better by anyone else. The Road is a story of love, loss, heroism, fortitude, and hope in the face of hopeless circumstances. McCarthy's sparse use of language and the utilitarian methods of the character's speech is nothing short of genius in showing the uselessness of pomp and decorum. In a world where everything has been stripped down to its most bare essentials, what purpose is served by long winded soliloquy? However, McCarthy never dumbs down or lessens the beauty of his prose no matter how desperate the situation may be. Using short but poignant, fast-paced, and moving dialogue, McCarthy pens a novel that equal parts genius and entertainment. This book should be read by everyone. ...more
**spoiler alert** Sniegoski has a very unique and interesting subject matter he explores in The Fallen, but, sadly, he doesn't execute it to the best**spoiler alert** Sniegoski has a very unique and interesting subject matter he explores in The Fallen, but, sadly, he doesn't execute it to the best of its ability. Aaron is an interesting character going through an interesting point in his life, and he deserves a better narrative form to tell it. The Fallen is a good book that does its best to call upon The Hero Cycle without relying too heavily on it and falling into standard storytelling cliches. Aaron's refusal to accept the path (refusal of the call to action) that his life is inevitably taking makes a certain level of sense in this first book. As he's plucked out of a natural existence and forced into the world of the supernatural, it's understandable that he'd be reticent and disbelieving. The first book inspires a level of annoyance at Aaron's lack of acceptance, but it works on the level that he's still new to this life. Leviathan, however, instills the same level of annoyance and it doesn't work in the second installment. The second book it full of character inconsistencies and a refusal of self acceptance that simply isn't believable. Why would Aaron, in the wake of having lost both parents, losing his little brother, and leaving the girl he's fallen for, honestly refuse to unleash the new power inside of him in the interest of saving his best friend and pet from being killed and eaten by a new foe? Realistically, in the face of losing the last member of his family, Aaron would do everything within his power to stop this form happening. The icing on the cake for these two books in the fact that Sniegoski chooses a third person omniscient narrative when the story would be much better suited to a third limited. The connection the reader needs to make to Aaron is lost due to the abundance of time spent viewing the world through so many other character's eyes. The better choice would have been to limit the POV to Aaron and maybe 2 other characters, but no more. Ultimately, the first two books in The Fallen series are interesting and worth reading, but they had the ability to be amazing and fell just a tad short of the mark....more
**spoiler alert** Sniegoski had something of unconventional interest in the first of this four book series and then allowed it to fall into the realm**spoiler alert** Sniegoski had something of unconventional interest in the first of this four book series and then allowed it to fall into the realm of predictable clichés. The series steadily descends down the ladder of potential greatness and finds itself stuck in a world of pomp and predictability. The one thing he shows consistently is a lack of trust in his characters and a lack of faith in his readers. He misses key opportunities throughout the series to draw the reader into the world and mindset of the protagonist and allow them to relate and feel for the hero and instead chooses to trudge along with the story. As a result, the moments that should have strong emotional weight fall short and leave the reader feeling nothing but tortured or exasperated. The final speech Aaron gives about why he must be the one to face Verchiel alone does not have the intended effect of rallying the reader into a suspenseful flurry about what is to come because the lone hero role is clichéd and hackneyed and Aaron shows no deep reasoning for having arrived at this decision. Thomas Sniegoski is blessed with a wonderfully imaginative premise for a story; if only he were also blessed with the ability and talent to manifest it into the great work of art it could have been....more
I did not find this one to be as good as its predecessors. Ultimately, it's a nice ending to the series, but nothing overly shocking happens. A few ofI did not find this one to be as good as its predecessors. Ultimately, it's a nice ending to the series, but nothing overly shocking happens. A few of the storyline elements felt a little contrived, and at least one plot point, I think, came totally out of no where and had no justification. Also, he over utilizes certain storytelling devices in the interest of building suspense. Paolini is a talented young author with, I hope, a long career ahead of him, and he will learn and continue to improve, but I think the bar was set so high with the previous three books of the series that this one needed to be perfect to live up to the standards, and I didn't think that it was. Still very worth reading, though....more
**spoiler alert** The Hunger Games is well on its way to greatness for the majority of the ride, but slightly tips off of the rails towards the ending**spoiler alert** The Hunger Games is well on its way to greatness for the majority of the ride, but slightly tips off of the rails towards the ending. The story is wonderful, the characters (mostly) are brilliant and engaging, and the premise is justly exciting and worrisome, but something about the book kept tugging at my attention and I wasn't sure what that was until about the ending: the narrative structure. Collins achieves something that most other books in the genre can't: she keeps the feeling of suspense going throughout the entire story. Her first person present tense narrative never tips its hand to the reader. If the story were told in first person past tense, then the reader knows the protagonist has made it through the games alive (how else could she narrate her own tale unless she survived the ordeal?) If it were told in third person, perhaps the reader would be a little too distanced from the action to feel the effects (after all this is the first book that had me shedding tears after only 30 pages due to how invested I was in the narrator's emotions.) But the drawback of this narrative structure is that it often relies too heavily on telling the story in summery when showing us the scene at hand would be more effective. I found myself wanting small bits of information on the other tributes (do we ever even learn what Cato looks like?) that Katniss simply could not have given us. This brings me to the ending. I think it's the scenes of their final interview and the train ride home that suffers the most from this narrative structure. We hear the pronouncement of the trouble they are in after the stunt that wins them the games, but I never felt that tension, I never felt the turmoil in Katniss as she tries to figure out what she's meant to do about her romantic life. The ending reads way too much like summery—like the author attempting to wrap the story up quickly because she feels that the nearly 400 pages she's got so far is running on too long—to be effective. In my head, I was yelling at Collins to slow down! to show me instead of tell me, the interview and everything that went along with it. But alas, that's not the way this particular narrator and narrative structure functions. The Hunger Games is a good book. Indeed, it's one of the better YA Sci-Fi books I've read since I put down the Harry Potter series. But the fact that it I see how it could have been beyond great fills me with a little regret. You won't be sorry to have read it, I’m sure, but I also can't say for certain that I'll ever read it again....more
The Stand is the strangest book I have ever read in the sense that even after over a thousand pages, I still don’t really know how I feel about it. ThThe Stand is the strangest book I have ever read in the sense that even after over a thousand pages, I still don’t really know how I feel about it. The only thing I can even think to do is take this bit by bit and stick to the basics. Pros: The characters are very well crafted and colorful. They’re also rather unique from other characters in this type of story. King does a great job of avoiding caricature or writing in simple “character types” which would be the easy route for this sort of story, and instead he gives us varied and special characters the likes of which I don’t think I’ve ever really seen in fiction before. Also, the arcs of these characters are rather special. Granted it takes over a thousand pages to get there, but Stu ends in a very different place than where he began, and it’s a lot of fun to watch. The book is amazingly well written. King knows how to write, and no one can deny that. His prose are powerful, evocative, visually stunning, and deeply moving. The book did its job well on the emotional level (as cliché as it sounds, I laughed and I cried at all the appropriate moments) due to the skill of the prose and the strength of the characters. I cared about these people and cared about what happened to them so I was invested properly. The story is fascinating and well crafted. The concept behind following a couple people through the end of the world is great. It might not be the most unique, but I do think that King handles it in a very unique fashion. I can’t recall ever seeing the before, during, and after of the apocalypse in a work of fiction. Most stories would be more interested in either setting you down in the middle of the post-apocalyptic world and moving forward, or maybe giving you a little back-story about before and then skipping the actual action of the world ending. I kept waiting for the book to jump forward a couple months/years to the world after and skipping all of what we got in the interim, but he never did. That’s just one of many ways this book continues to skirt the issues of convention. If you think you know what’s coming in The Stand because you’ve read books like this before, you’ll almost always be wrong. It’s this fact that leads me to my biggest point of contention with the book though. Cons: You can never be sure of what’s coming. While reading, I constantly felt like a fish out of water trying my best to get my bearings. I made a couple of predictions correctly, but for the most part something would happen and I’d be left kind of like “what the heck was that?” It’s ballsy and artistic of him to do things in that fashion, but it wasn’t a lot of fun to read. I felt offended (for want of a better word) that the characters I loved would be killed for little to no real reason. At a certain point, I honestly just felt like King was showing off or allowing the story to get away from him. He heaped so much pain and suffering onto these characters that it seemed unreal. By the end, I was finally just cringing and saying to him “Just lay off it already! Can’t one simple thing go right for the people we care about?” I know you’re meant to visit horror on your characters, but I think he takes too many liberties with that concept in this book. I didn’t buy it. And mostly, it’s just too damn long. I never skipped an entire chapter, but I skipped over many sections of certain chapters and didn’t miss anything. All told, I think a solid 2 or 3 hundred pages could have been left off of this and the same effect could have been achieved. There are large sections of the book (especially in Book II) where the plot doesn’t seem to have any forward momentum at all and everything’s just spinning its wheels. I think this goes towards realism, (for example how long it takes them to get the lights back on in the Free Zone) but it isn’t a lot of fun to read. Something needs to be happening in a kind of constant march forward, and it doesn’t sometimes here. Add to that the fact that each new character (and there are a lot of them) tends to get his/her own little back-story of what they were doing during the outbreak and eventually I was just saying “Ok, enough already, I get it.” The Stand is a good novel. I don’t feel as though I wasted my time reading it (which is considerable since it took so much time to read.) But I can’t say that it was the most entertaining and enjoyable read that I’ve ever had. Enter at your own risk....more
Are society and civilization nothing more than untenable ideals held by men? Is the fall of civilization automatic and unavoidable? Books like Lord ofAre society and civilization nothing more than untenable ideals held by men? Is the fall of civilization automatic and unavoidable? Books like Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm seem to be suggesting exactly that. I bring up Animal Farm because I see a lot of that book in this one. Power corrupts and even civilizations built on sympathetic principals will eventually fall.
What makes this book a classic is the way it preservers. Like all the best books, it crosses genre lines. Lord of the Flies stands up to multiple readings at multiple ages. A big part of that is because Golding understood the basic aspects of human nature. From the quiet shyness of Simon, to the intellect of Piggy, to the calm sense of leadership and bearing of Ralph, to the alpha hot-headedness of Jack, there is something in this book for everyone to relate to. Golding understood the way people interact with one another, he understood what was necessary for societies to function and be built, and he understood how little was needed for them to crumble. Notice how the boys’ fears of the unknown dominate everything that they do, and how the poison of that fear infects them and turns their attention away from what’s most important.
Lord of the Flies isn’t perfect. Some of the religious allegory, though deftly implemented, isn’t totally necessary—the story of the human struggle and failings is strong enough without it. The dialogue hovers somewhere between trying not to get the characters to say *exactly* what they’re thinking and still ensuring that they’re saying *something* of substance (which is sad because Young Adult fiction tends to be one of the few places where characters can get away with saying exactly what they’re thinking as children tend to be less tactful than adults). And the ending might be a little too easy and heavy handed, but Lord of the Flies proves that perfection isn’t needed to turn a book into a classic. A deep understanding of character, humanity, and the world at large turned into a compelling story is all that’s needed to make a classic. Lord of the Flies has been read and studied for decades, and it will continue to be read, studied, and loved for decades to come. ...more
**spoiler alert** I want so much to say I loved The Giver, and for about 7/8 of the book that statement was true, but there's something about the last**spoiler alert** I want so much to say I loved The Giver, and for about 7/8 of the book that statement was true, but there's something about the last 3 chapters that I simply hate. I'm not sure if my hatred of those last couple of chapters poisons my view of the entire book or not, but there you have it in a lot of ways.
The Giver is the story of a very interesting dystopian society in which everyone is given exactly what they need, all aspects of life are regimented and controlled, and concepts of honesty and politeness are pushed to the forefront of all interactions. Within the story, we follow Jonas who is about to turn 12 and, by his community's standards, become something of an adult. He and his fellow 12s are to be given work assignments specifically selected for them by the community's elders after years of close observation. Jonas is chosen for the town's highest honor: to be the Receiver of the communities collective memories and starts his training process by meeting the old Receiver who proceeds to "give him" memories of the world before they're people took over and started changing things.
One of the better things that Lowry does is to hide the dystopian elements of the society under the surface a bit. A lot of what is presented of the community is utopian. Ostensibly, everyone is polite, families sit down for dinner together every night, discuss their feelings in detail, and adults have jobs within which they tend to be perfectly happy. The dystopian elements only peak through the surface and become more pronounced as the story moves on.
Problems start to peak through as the story moves into its final act. Seeing into the past through the memories given to him by The Giver, Jonas starts to recognize that their town isn't right, and that stripping the people of choice isn't the way to go. The Giver's been thinking this for some time now as well, but it isn't until Jonas comes around that he's capable of coming up with a plan to change. His great plan is..... for Jonas to run away. I was left with a huge feeling of anticlimax at this revelation. It feels a bit more passive than active. The idea isn't for Jonas to stay and use his new-found power to change his world for the better, it's for him to run away and leave the Giver to pick up the pieces. The book isn't too specific on how Jonas' absence will actually start the process of healing the town except to say that when he leaves, the memories he's been granted will be released back to the people. But since it's never actually explained to us how the memories are transmitted, how they're tied to this specific location, or what keeps them locked inside one specific person until said person decides to give them to someone else, this concept falls flat.
The other issue with the end of the book is that Lowry's pacing becomes really odd. Her scenes become disjointed in a manner they weren't in the rest of the book, and she starts relying on telling as opposed to showing us the events of Jonas' great escape. So what should have been a breathtaking, breakneck adventure for Jonas and his foster brother Gabe, instead reads like simple and straightforward descriptions of what's happening. I never felt the tension that should have been at the forefront of the story.
In the end, the overall effect of The Giver is a feeling like Lois Lowry had this great idea about what society could look like with all choice being stripped away, and about the importance of a shared societal consciousness and memory, but she never quite figured out how to transform it into a workable story. I know that The Giver is the first book of a series, so maybe these concerns are better addressed in the books to follow. But even if that is the case, Lowry's first tale wasn't very self-contained, and the final passages didn't exactly fill me with a desire to rush out and buy the next installment. The book was good in a lot of ways; I was very impressed and happy with the first 20 chapters or so, but it's messy and poorly constructed final chapters stopped the book from actual greatness. ...more
The Blinding Knife is a collection of problems; the most glaring of which being it's poorly written. After reading four of his books, I never imaginedThe Blinding Knife is a collection of problems; the most glaring of which being it's poorly written. After reading four of his books, I never imagined I'd complain about poor writing from Brent Weeks, but what else is there to say about a book containing the line "It was Kip. 'Kip?' Gavin said, surprised." One more basic draft would fix so many of this book's problems, but somewhere down the line Weeks got lazy. He stopped asking what was best for the series, what was most true for his characters, and how best to go about showing instead of telling his story. There is no visual storytelling in this book. I defy anyone to tell me they have a clear cut image of the way this elaborate magic system actually works, or that they've gained a clear image of any of the many action sequences within the pages.
More over, this is not the story of the object known as the blinding knife. This is the story of Kip training for the Blackguard (a training process that's ridiculously nonsensical at that); it's the story of Kip and the pointless, never before mentioned, complex card game. I don't feel like Weeks thought out all of the elements of his magic system (as evidenced by the fact that he doesn't actually give Kip, and by extension the reader, any solid instruction in how to use it), nor do I think he thought all the way through his characters. He doesn't understand them and their various motivations beyond the overactive sex drive which seems to consume each of them from start to finish. And it all culminates in what can only be described as the most disappointing reading experience I've had in some time.
Of the first book in the series, I had this to say:
With this introduction, it appears Weeks' Lightbringer series will be every bit as good as his Night Angel books. The characters are well crafted and varied, he does everything he can to stay away from the expected and mix things ups, and his dialogue is fun, witty, and snappy. [...] For me, a person who believes that a great story begins with great characters, and when those great characters are fully understood by the author, the sky's the limit, this book was wonderfully successful. It did everything a first novel in a series should do and I can't wait to read the rest.
I can't say what changed in between the writing of the first book and the writing of the second, but this sentiment simply isn't true any longer. Weeks allowed the story to get away from him. He didn't advance any of his characters in any measurable or believable fashion. He didn't fulfill the exceptional promise of the world he created in the first book. And, perhaps worst of all, he didn't even make the ride entertaining, exciting, or well written. After reading roughly 1,300 pages of this series, I can honestly say I have no desire to read so much as one more paragraph. ...more
Sometimes I wonder if we hold endings to a higher standard than we do beginnings. Even though we all know that a good first impression is as importantSometimes I wonder if we hold endings to a higher standard than we do beginnings. Even though we all know that a good first impression is as important as anything in the world, I think we're more willing to forgive a work for stumbling out of the gate than we are for crashing into the finish line. Maybe it's just the expectation that once the artist finds his/her footing, the rest should be smooth sailing. The process of getting to know a set of characters and being taught how to interact with a book (or a TV show or a movie for that matter) can be an arduous process, but once we've made it through that, the rest should be child's play. Naslund's novel does not have the most auspicious beginning, but there were elements to it that I honestly enjoyed. The characters (specifically Lucy and Adam) were interesting. They were wounded in just the right fashion to make their stories engaging and meaningful. I was interested in the potential of a retelling of Adam and Eve's experience within the Garden. As a result of that, I forgave the book it's early short comings. A lot of the story wasn't working. I didn't care about Lucy's relationship with her dead husband, Thom. The possibility of Extraterrestrial Life wasn't impressive in the least at the moment, but if it came together with the Eden storyline and the rewriting of the story of Genesis, then I would overlook it's extraneous introduction. There were too many characters getting their own POV on the story, but their chapters were short and didn't distract much from Adam and Lucy's storyline. In short, I was invested in spite of the many flaws. And then the third act came around and I was ready to toss the book into the nearest fire and find something better to read.
"Part Three" of the book is something of an anomaly. While the main problem with the other two parts is that there's simply too much going on (too many characters, too many storylines, too many genres all competing for attention and taking away time from them only story that's actually working), the third part strips everything down, focuses on only four characters, and flies so far off the rails that reading it is painful. The third part is poorly written, or maybe the entire book is poorly written and that fact only stood out in the final moments because this section had nothing going for it to distract me from the bad writing. The characters have no concrete motivation for anything they're doing, characters die for no reason other than to serve the half-assed plot (which is actually the case with every death in the book), and there's no grand sense of forward momentum until the last three chapters which are the literary equivalent of the obligatory final chase scene of an action movie. Production companies include chase sequences in their final acts out of fear that after 2 hours their audience will be bored and require a jolt of action to peak their interests. Naslund has done the same thing for the same reason, and sadly she's right that by that point in time, I was bored. But the chase chapters didn't work for me because the tension she was trying to force onto them wasn't earned. As a result, I read through the "thrilling" final moments while rolling my eyes, sighing, and waiting for it to be over.
The sad thing is Adam & Eve could have been a good book. Indeed, if you start at the moment that Lucy's plane crashes in Eden and only read up until the ending of Part two, it is a good book. Granted even those passages could have been better than they were without the high levels of self awareness, but one can only ask for so much. The story of an attractive naked man believing himself to be The Adam and a naked woman who knows she isn't Eve but falls in love with him anyway due to the fact that 1) he's loveable, and 2) they're the only two people occupying this paradise, is an interesting story to tell. Enter a third male into the mix whom they nurse to health after his plane also crashes, and you've really got something there. But Naslund's book doesn't want to be a retelling of the Garden of Eden story no matter what the title implies, and that's where she fails. Sena Jeter Naslund might be a good author, I wouldn't know as this is the only book of hers I've ever read, but here she needed to pick one story to tell and then tell it to the very best of her ability. She might be a good author, but I doubt I'll ever find out as this is the only book of hers that I'll ever read. ...more
In truth, I'm giving Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion 4 1/2 stars, but that shouldn't imply it's not the best book I've read in the last couple of months.In truth, I'm giving Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion 4 1/2 stars, but that shouldn't imply it's not the best book I've read in the last couple of months. It's flaws are very slight and totally overshadowed by its greatness. Marion's writing is warm, emotional, funny, action packed, and simply remarkable. I look forward to reading everything he publishes in the future. That he's only just written his first book seems a crime; that we'll (hopefully) get many more decades of his writing is the greatest of blessings. I can think of no better reading experience to usher in the new year than this one.
Warm Bodies places us in the POV of a zombie. This, I feel, is a very bold choice, and it's the right one. We've had books told from the monster's perspective when the monster is a Vampire or a Warewolf, so why not a Zombie? This gives us a look at R, at his world, his life (or un-life as the case may be), and a brilliant journey into the world of desire. Indeed, Warm Bodies is all about desire and how something as simple as wanting ties us to life. Clearly, the best way to understand life seems to be through studying death, and that's what Warm Bodies does so brilliantly.
What it doesn't do as brilliantly is give us solid characterization on Grigio, the stories main antagonist. I didn't understand his motivation as well as I would like, and in a world with such vibrant, well thought out, and unique characters as R, M, Nora, Julie, and Perry, Grigio feels a bit tacked on. The story needed a living villain so Marion created Grigio and forced his actions to serve the plot instead of simply giving him a fully realized back story. The other small flaw in the novel is the ending. The book devolves into a standard action sequence with a lot of back and forth style running around. Things happen a little too quickly, and I realized had the book kept up its established moderate pace, the conclusion might have felt more organic. The end of the story works, but I didn't care for the way the characters seemed to be bumbling along while allowing things to happen to them instead of charging forward in order to cause things to happen.
All the same, these are trifling concerns that don't amount to much of anything. Another draft or two would have been sufficient to take care of these problems, and when all a story needs is one more draft to make it perfect instead of an entire rewrite, you can't complain too much. Warm Bodies is the perfect kind of debut novel. It introduces a strong and clear voice, it tells a very well contained story, and it makes me ravenous for more from this remarkable young talent. I can't wait to sink my teeth into the next Marion masterpiece. ...more