Fifteen-year-old Zira is training to be a namoa, a warrior priest[ess] for the religion of her people, the Rua, who live in a land occupied by the SedFifteen-year-old Zira is training to be a namoa, a warrior priest[ess] for the religion of her people, the Rua, who live in a land occupied by the Sedorne, who invaded a decade earlier. Zira is an orphan with little care for history or politics; her care is for the Rua and their way of life. And then comes the cliche: everything gets turned upside-down, secrets are revealed, and Zira is right at the center of it.
Despite that, though, it's a good book. The book's description had me thinking a slightly different story would take place, but it went farther than "girl discovers secret, falls in love with enemy, lives happily ever after," or at least it gave all the details that a good story needs. The book's description includes this: ...and accept her growing feelings for a man who should be her enemy, which made me immediately wary. Here we have a strong female character, and a land wonderfully written with a beautiful culture that I want to know more about, is it really going to be marred with cliched forbidden romance?
Thankfully, no. Without spoiling things, I can definitely say that the story is truly about Zira and not her love life, and even the love interest is a good character....more
Ella Minnow Pea is a book told in epistles (letters, though I shant use that word to avoid confusion, as you shall see) between characters, who live oElla Minnow Pea is a book told in epistles (letters, though I shant use that word to avoid confusion, as you shall see) between characters, who live on Nollop, an imaginary, independent island off the coast of North Carolina. It was named after the founder, Nollop, who devised the saying "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," (which uses every letter of the alphabet). With this prestigious achievement, the citizens pride themselves on using a remarkably verbose vocabulary.
However, the saying is cemented on a statue of their beloved founder. After a hundred years, the cement holding it up has gotten old and cracked--letters start to fall off. The island council, however, takes this as a sign from Nollop that these letters are to be banned from all use, writing and speaking.
Now few people, if any, will miss "Z." You can't call your sister lazy, but she can still be a sloth, or dull, or apathetic, or sluggish, or a host of z-less synonyms. You'll have a problem, though, when the "I" falls off.
Altogether, a very witty book--author Mark Dunn did an excellent job writing entire epistles missing letters that we consider essential, and it's not just impressive wordplay, it's got a decent story, too....more
I am conflicted, but will discuss that hidden under a spoiler tag below.
The basics: Amy and her parents are frozen and stored on the Godspeed, destineI am conflicted, but will discuss that hidden under a spoiler tag below.
The basics: Amy and her parents are frozen and stored on the Godspeed, destined to be awoken in 300 years when they reach a new planet for colonization. 250 years in, she is accidentally unfrozen and faced with uncertainty and a weird environment.
I was very intrigued by a non-hard-sci-fi book that dealt with a new place and society. And it was fun while reading, but even without a cliffhanger there's not been much accomplished by the end of the book.
Accomplished: introduction to Elder, how Godspeed came into being, how the society currently functions on the ship, roughly how much longer it will take to get to Centauri-Earth, wrapping up the bad guy of the book.
Not accomplished: (view spoiler)[how they'll actually get to where they're going, why this whole thing seemed like a good idea, what will happen in the future.
And while obviously "the future" thing is because there will be more books, it makes it exceedingly difficult to talk about this book without making it sound pathetic. "Yeah, it's four hundred pages of Amy waking up and exploring, and her and Elder realizing the leaders are evil."
MY WORDS ARE FAIL. But it's cool, I promise. Just please ensure that Elder learns Hitler was not a good leader in the future, please? (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
When literary researcher Harold White is inducted into the preeminent Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society, The Baker Street Irregulars, he never imagi
When literary researcher Harold White is inducted into the preeminent Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society, The Baker Street Irregulars, he never imagines he's about to be thrust onto the hunt for the holy grail of Holmes-ophiles: Conan Doyle's missing diary. But when the world's leading Doylean scholar is found murdered in his hotel room, it is Harold - using wisdom and methods gleaned from countless detective stories - who takes up the search, both for the diary and for the killer.
This is actually two stories in one. Each chapter switches--2010, from Harold, the murder, and the search for the missing diary, to 1900, with Arthur Conan Doyle trying to solve a real-life mystery and embroiled in the events of that not-then-missing diary. Simply by the nature of the events, Conan Doyle's story is much more interesting than Harold's.
Probably the most interesting part of the 2010 section is Harold's obsession with Holmes. It's rare to see a complete nerd portrayed in stories that's not a video game/comics nerd--and yes, Harold is a complete nerd, to the point of annoying the reader....more
If you don't know what Divergent is about yet, SHAME.
Personally, I thought the idea of factions was an interesting idea--it wasn't (or didn't appear tIf you don't know what Divergent is about yet, SHAME.
Personally, I thought the idea of factions was an interesting idea--it wasn't (or didn't appear to be) the control-everything-while-our-citizens-think-it's-a-utopia that appears in a lot of modern YA dystopias. Rather, it appeared to have started as an honest way to divide people according to their nature.
Of course, humans being human...
I like this world. I don't entirely buy the reason for the dissatisfaction--it did feel a bit contrived, which is why I can't give this a 5. Instead of a (view spoiler)[a grand plot by the Erudite to kill the Abnegation because--why? Because they think they're hoarding things? Because they're not selfless? (hide spoiler)] Think of the implications--if they were true, then the same idea could be spread to the other factions. In practice, faction-ing would be useless, because it wouldn't mean anything. And it seems the problem could be averted simply by (view spoiler)[transparency, which I think the Abnegation[ites?] would be open to. Eruditians' (YES I WILL MAKE UP WORDS FOR THEM) whole problem lies in the suspicion that Abnegationites are hoarding or hiding things. (hide spoiler)]
The idea that factions have strayed from their original purpose--yes, I can buy that. A lot of Dauntless stuff is daredevilry--protectors, yes, but there's a lot that's foolhardy. And I think that's a cool basis for a dystopia--it doesn't (as far as we know) have the dishonest or repressive start that I would associate with the idea of "dystopia," and I wish there had been more detail into the beginning of this system, and how it changed. But I think the story would have been stronger with a different conflict.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more