A good read, but points subtracted for the lack of detail that such a short book necessitates. The book also needs a serious revision of the afterword
A good read, but points subtracted for the lack of detail that such a short book necessitates. The book also needs a serious revision of the afterword -- although the rest of the book was proofread well (although not perfectly), the afterword is filled with typos and unclear sentences. It's really a shame because the author has some interesting ideas to share in that final chapter. Unfortunately, many readers will probably find the mistakes distracting from the point he's trying to make....more
I was eagerly anticipating the release of this book -- I've read all of the Cabal books, as well as the shorter stories, and absolutely love them.
SadlI was eagerly anticipating the release of this book -- I've read all of the Cabal books, as well as the shorter stories, and absolutely love them.
Sadly, this one missed the mark for me.
The first half to three quarters of the book is told in flashback, narrated by Cabal's brother, the vampire Horst Cabal. We see only brief glimpses of Johannes (the necromancer) during this part of the story, and I just didn't enjoy it as much without J. Cabal being the primary focus.
The author actually addresses that complaint towards the end of the first half of the book in a clever and amusing way. It made me smile, but I still missed Johannes.
Horst is an interesting character, and it was fun to get a fuller picture of him, but the books for me are all about the necromancer brother -- Johannes is cold and calculating, which really adds something to the humor of the book, while Horst is nice enough in his own way, but definitely not a character I want to read a whole book about.
The story picks up when Johannes Cabal finally enters the picture -- I love this character!
It looks like the author is definitely going to be working on another Cabal book, which I will be anxiously awaiting. For Cabal fans, this one is a good but not great entry....more
Christopher Buehlman is becoming one of my favorite authors. I was so excited to see that he had a new book out, I rushed right out to buy it and coulChristopher Buehlman is becoming one of my favorite authors. I was so excited to see that he had a new book out, I rushed right out to buy it and couldn't put it down. This might be my favorite book of his so far.
One thing I really enjoy about Buehlman's work is that every book is different -- different time periods, different types of characters, different themes -- and yet the writing is uniformly wonderful, the stories interesting, and the narrators likable. No matter who these guys are or what they do, you can't help but root for them.
The Lesser Dead takes us into the world of vampires, circa late 1970s NYC. Buehlman really nails this time period, and you can really imagine the gritty New York of that time.
We follow our narrator, Joey, as he navigates life as a vampire in the city -- taking detours along the way to see how he became a vampire, as well as his life before that event. The main story concerns his vampire "family's" discovery of several child vampires. This discovery propels the story into unexpected directions.
To say anything else about this book would ruin the pleasure of having the story unfold as you read it, so I'll close for now.
Full Disclosure: The author, Jake Kerr, is my long-suffering spouse. I can assure you that this is more of a hinderance than a help when it comes to g
Full Disclosure: The author, Jake Kerr, is my long-suffering spouse. I can assure you that this is more of a hinderance than a help when it comes to getting a good review from me.
Perhaps because I read the earliest drafts of it, I was lukewarm (at best) at the prospect of reading this book. I was genuinely surprised and pleased that the story grabbed me from the first sentence -- I honestly couldn't put this down until the very last page, then eagerly read the preview chapter for the next book in the series.
Tommy Black is a young teen who has been thrown into a formerly -- to him -- unknown world of magic. Yes, yes, how very Harry Potter. But beyond that passing resemblance, this truly couldn't be more different. Set in the build-up to World War II, there is an historic feel to the story, much of which will be more obvious to adults than to the YA target audience, although I feel that there is a lot here for younger readers to explore if they so desire. Many of the characters and events are real, and spotting those parts is like a delightful treasure hunt.
Rather than being based on English lore, this story centers on the Middle East, pulling in mages, djinn, marid, and more. I think it's a unique twist on this type of story, and I enjoyed the exotic imagery immensely.
We follow Tommy as he learns about his magical legacy, then goes on a quest to find his grandfather. Along the way, he meets Naomi, who is probably the most badass character in the book. As the mother of three girls, I love that this story has a strong and powerful female character, and I hope we see more of her throughout the series.
Although it is in no way preachy, the story does touch on some interesting subjects, such as equal rights, cultural appropriation, and the bonds and responsibilities that come with family and friends.
I thought that the story started off fairly simply, growing in complexity as it went along, and there was a lot of foreshadowing that I missed the first time around. (I read it straight through twice. It was interesting -- and fun -- to see the clues that were scattered throughout.) It looks as if the characters, as well as the story, will be growing and maturing in the next installment -- I'm very excited to see what happens in the next book!
Extremely fascinating book detailing the author's research into the identity of "Jack the Ripper" -- although this is apparently his first book, thereExtremely fascinating book detailing the author's research into the identity of "Jack the Ripper" -- although this is apparently his first book, there are very few obvious missteps in the writing, rather it comes across as being quite accessible to the reader. Edwards does repeat himself a bit, but this is understandable when you consider how carefully he is presenting his evidence.
I especially enjoyed the details of the scientific process of extracting and analyzing the DNA, as well as learning how the author was able to track down descendants of both the victim and possible killer to compare their results with.
While it is true that Edwards narrowed his focus to one of the possible suspects, the careful reader will see that he initially thought it likely to be someone else, and he does explain his reasons for discounting the others. Considering the time and expense that would have been required to test every suspect, this certainly was the best use of resources.
Yes, this isn't peer reviewed, and yes, there is a lack of notations, but this is a book published for the layperson. Let's face it, the casual reader would most likely skip all of that anyway. Hopefully there will be more information presented to the scientific community in the near future -- although I very much doubt even that will silence the "experts" who prefer the killer's identity to remain a mystery. Unfortunately, there are many people who are more invested in keeping the "Ripper" industry alive rather than in celebrating the use of scientific advances to solve this mystery.
After all the raves for Murakami, I expected this to blow me away.
Even as I found my enthusiasm waning, I stMy first Murakami, and probably my last.
After all the raves for Murakami, I expected this to blow me away.
Even as I found my enthusiasm waning, I still thought there would come a point where the author would pull all the pieces together and I would have this sudden a-ha moment -- I was really looking forward to that.
Even when I reached the point of literally forcing myself to continue -- come on, you can do it, only three more chapters! -- I STILL thought there would be SOMETHING to make the whole endeavor worthwhile . . .
I'm actually left wondering if Murakami is more akin to "The Emperor's New Clothes", where everyone says how deep and amazing he is in order to hide the fact that they really don't get what all the fuss is about either.
There was absolutely nothing I liked about this book -- the plot was dry, so so dry, and the characters not even remotely likable. What I assume is some kind of symbolism -- the swimming, the piano piece, the never ending discussions about railway stations -- just never add up to anything.
Except boredom. And let me tell you, I am NEVER bored. I'm one of those people who doesn't even understand the concept of boredom -- much to the dismay of my children -- yet this book completely broke me.
If I could give this less than one star, I absolutely would.