This was a cute graphic novel for all ages, but especially kids of course. It took me awhile to get used to the storytelling, since I'm a terrible graThis was a cute graphic novel for all ages, but especially kids of course. It took me awhile to get used to the storytelling, since I'm a terrible graphic novel and words were pretty limited, especially in the beginning. However, it grew on me fairly quickly, and I enjoyed Zita's go get 'em attitude and the positive example she sets when it comes to being a good friend, accepting others despite their differences, etc. A great read for the kiddos....more
Oh. My. God. This book was so so so so good. I do not give out 5 stars lightly - none since November 2015, and none to an adult book since June 2015!Oh. My. God. This book was so so so so good. I do not give out 5 stars lightly - none since November 2015, and none to an adult book since June 2015! That should give you an idea how serious I am about the greatness!
I am especially picky about science fiction, because I feel like it's usually too much world building and technical detail (for my preference) or too little to be plausible scientifically. This novel was perfect - the science makes sense and the story is therefore shockingly believable considering how insanely unbelievable it is! And if that makes sense...
Following Tom through this amazingly tightly plotted novel is a blast. There are countless twists and turns until the bitter end, many of which even the most seasoned reader will never see coming. There is a lot of food for thought about the nature of technology and society and the human condition and human potential. It's a truly winning combination of adventurous, intelligent, gorgeous, complicated yet easy-to-read writing. (One of my favorite sentiments, though admittedly it doesn't convey how lyrical Mastai's writing can be: "The world doesn't care about how you think it should look. The world's only goal is to kill you as fast as possible and use your corpse for fuel.") Basically, I'm so impressed that I'm at a loss for adequate words and there is NO WAY I will do this book justice. I just want to rant and rave about the brilliance, so in summary:
Read it. Even if you're not a science fiction reader. If you are a human being, you should read this book. I cannot WAIT for Mastai's next book. If he can come out of the gate with this debut, I'm sure more great things are in store. I already want to read this one again.
The fine print: received ARC from NetGalley....more
I got book club to read this because I wanted to read it and usually have to force myself to read sci-fi. Having to read something for book club is u I got book club to read this because I wanted to read it and usually have to force myself to read sci-fi. Having to read something for book club is usually the best way to make yourself read anything, in my experience.
I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as a I was expecting to. I was expecting a lot more world building, but Brown rushed through what life was like on the Martian mining colony in favor of going straight for the action part of transforming into Gold and infiltrating the system. From there, the book was way more The Hunger Games meets The Magicians meets Uglies on Mars than the insightful, self-sufficient novel I was expecting. (There's another book it reminds me of that I can't quite put my finger on - something involving disguising oneself to infiltrate an organization.)
Hmmmm. I'm not quite sure what else to say. I really would have liked more of the world building (I can't believe I'm saying that) and more of the revolutionary thoughts. I think he lingered way too much on the "schooling" aspect of the plot. Still, I'm curious to see where this goes in the rest of the trilogy, now that his "education" is behind him....more
I would have loved this book more but I think there was just way too much going on. Something happens to Hope which she's a teenager that makes everyoI would have loved this book more but I think there was just way too much going on. Something happens to Hope which she's a teenager that makes everyone forget her, which makes it impossible for her to have friends, family, or even a job. This leads to a wandering, no-strings life financed by crime, for lack of better options. She gets wrapped up in stealing the code for Perfection, which is this insanely privacy invading app that gives you points for buying and doing the right things to make you "perfect." Now that part was beyond terrifying because it was so plausible. So on the one hand you have a thought-provoking science fiction novel about the nature of self as defined by your relationships and the impressions you make on other people, and on the other hand you have a thought-provoking science fiction novel about the nature of self in terms of what you buy and how you appear. Identity, consumerism, individuality... Lots of big concepts here, and they are what got me through when the plot got a little meandering and confusing for me. Overall, a good read.
The fine print: received ARC from Edelweiss....more
What an odd book. I really don't know what to make of it. I had been eyeballing it for awhile and finally picked it up because I was about to see LydiWhat an odd book. I really don't know what to make of it. I had been eyeballing it for awhile and finally picked it up because I was about to see Lydia Netzer at a conference. A third of the way in, and I was struggling with the story-telling style. (Her writing was complex and lovely, but something about the narrative was just too much for my tired brain, I think.) So I briefly put it down. And then I saw Netzer at a conference, and she was hilarious and big-hearted and interesting and unusual. I loved her. I wanted her to be my new best friend. So I had to finish her book. AND LIKE IT.
As she said herself, science fiction meets women's fiction is a hard genre to sell, and this big mash up was a lot to digest. There's so much to think about in Sunny's life (mother/daughter relationships, the mask - or wig - we wear in public, what makes a child normal or healthy...) and in Maxon's (how do we define humanity, is progress worth sacrificing everything for, what makes a man normal or healthy...) It's about a marriage, but they aren't even on the same planet for the main timeline of the book. It's about the birth and death of both people and machines. It's about relationships with others and ourselves. It's about how normal abnormality really is.
So. If your brain is clear, you have some time to think, and you want to enjoy a well-written if odd novel (with a very abrupt ending), read this book. And if you want a new author crush, go see Lydia Netzer in person. She is something else.
I was torn between 3 and 4 stars on this book, but I ultimately went with 4 because it was just so compelling and hard to put down even after it spunI was torn between 3 and 4 stars on this book, but I ultimately went with 4 because it was just so compelling and hard to put down even after it spun off into a wildly unanticipated direction that didn't exactly thrill me. (Not that it was possible to anticipate where it was going, but this would have been the last possibility on my mind if I could have thought of any!) Mike was a great character and the plot was mind-blowing. In layperson's terms, scientists convince the universe that there is a fold in space which allows them to step across other dimensions and back to their own, having essentially "teleported." (But they make it very clear that's not what it is--"teleportation" is just the easiest word for the layperson to understand.) Something isn't quite right at the research compound, and Mike goes to figure out what it is. The feeling that something isn't quite fitting makes the reader's skin itch, and as darker possibilities begin to seem possible, then probable, then certain -- eep!
I thought Clines overcomplicated things a little by making two terrifying outcomes when one was already more than enough. (view spoiler)[Researchers replaced with their counterparts from other universes was awesome. Monsters coming from other universes is just not my cup of tea, plus a bit of overkill. (hide spoiler)] His obvious gift for storytelling seemed to run wild - sort of like Jack's beanstalk. Less can sometimes be more, and I don't think adding to the complications really added much to a story that was already incredible.
I don't know why, but reading this I was somewhat reminded of both 11/22/63 and The Company of the Dead. Completely different stories, but something in the writing or the overall feel must have struck me -- I guess what I'm trying to say is that this book might be a good read for fans of those books, even if it seems an unlikely combination.
The fine print: received ARC from NetGalley....more
Despite having hints of My Name Is Memory, The Witch of Painted Sorrows, various medical thrillers, and even Now You See Her, this book was still oneDespite having hints of My Name Is Memory, The Witch of Painted Sorrows, various medical thrillers, and even Now You See Her, this book was still one of a kind. Even though it was technically sci-fi, it felt more like a paranormal/historical/mystery/romance-type genre bending mashup. Which I quite like. I'm sure it won't come as a big surprise to people who know me that my biggest complaint was that I wanted more. Although this time I feel more justified in saying so. Womack had this great idea that could have been so much more fully developed, instead of the convenient and sudden reveal of "the Egyptian life." (Side note: Why did all of the past lives have to be historically known? Why couldn't they have been regular people?) I think the Egyptian life in general is what turned me off in the end. It took a plot that relied on science with very little suspension of disbelief and suddenly gave it this "woo woo" element that just didn't feel right. With a more satisfying climax/falling action, I would have liked this book a whole lot more. Still, it was an enjoyable read overall.
The fine print: received ARC from NetGalley....more
It's so hard to believe that Shusterman has carried this story so far since 2007, and it's still interesting. He's still bringing fresh ideas to the AIt's so hard to believe that Shusterman has carried this story so far since 2007, and it's still interesting. He's still bringing fresh ideas to the AWOL's stories. A lot of pieces really come together in this volume (view spoiler)[no pun intended... so bad (hide spoiler)]. It's not neat and tidy, but it's thought-provoking and it makes sense within the Unwind world. It was also really exciting in parts, really emotional in parts, and sometimes both at once. The end of this book was the perfect mix of finality and open-endedness (sort of GWTWish, TM - ha). I could see it being continued further, but I think it's more powerful if it stands as it is. Highly enjoyable, incredible reading....more
It would really help if I had time to reread the early parts of a series before the new ones, but that is just not realistic! Meyer's pretty good abouIt would really help if I had time to reread the early parts of a series before the new ones, but that is just not realistic! Meyer's pretty good about putting in reminders of the earlier plot lines, which definitely helps jog my memory and is much appreciated. This book was another entertaining read and a decent end to the series. I never really got behind the whole Winter (Snow White)-is-crazy thing, so her plot line sort of underwhelmed me, though it was still engaging. For an 800+ page book, the story really clipped along at a good pace, until the big battle in the last 100 pages or so, which slowed things down. Descriptive battle scenes just aren't my thing to begin with, so it really slammed the brakes on my page turning. The ending was fairly tidy, about as close to "And they lived happily ever after..." as you can get in a futuristic dystopian fairy tale world, but I wouldn't expect anything else. Perhaps because she's the first protagonist, I continued to like Cinder the best, and I appreciated her actions and decisions in the end.
This was a great series, and I hope I'll have time to read them all again (and together!) one day. I would recommend this series to so many people with all kinds of reading preferences. It's just stellar....more
I enjoyed this book. It was nice to read something different than my normal reads (although that's admittedly a varied selection already). It was defiI enjoyed this book. It was nice to read something different than my normal reads (although that's admittedly a varied selection already). It was definitely interesting to think about what our civilization would like like to another civilization, particularly if it is in ruins. I liked the characters, though I would have liked most (or all) of them to have more depth. And ultimately I wasn't blown away because despite deaths in the company and some confusion about "ancient" technology, they ultimately had way too many convenient aha moments and lucky breaks to get to their destination....more
This book was a HUGE struggle for me. It took me so long to read that my checkout expired and I had to wait to check it out again. I think the premiseThis book was a HUGE struggle for me. It took me so long to read that my checkout expired and I had to wait to check it out again. I think the premise was awesome, and I really enjoyed the first few and last few chapters. However, I found it very difficult to keep up with the politics in the middle section and was just thinking too hard to enjoy it. Also, military operations and intelligence strategy just aren't areas of interest for me, and probably 80% of the book revolved around just that. Don't get me wrong, it was well written, and if I hadn't recognized the merits I probably wouldn't have finished it or given it more than 1 star. I think it would be the perfect book for a certain kind of reader; I was just disappointed that reader isn't me....more
I really wanted to like this, but there was just too much man-hating and unexplained science and unremarked incest. I liked the premise and some of thI really wanted to like this, but there was just too much man-hating and unexplained science and unremarked incest. I liked the premise and some of the plot, but those other elements were just too much for me. The story had serious potential, with the traveling and the new planet and the new civilization, but alas, too much hair fetish and mentioning of Mother's "melons." Yeah....more
I so wanted to give this one a 5, but I couldn't quite do it. Mostly, that's because the big "cliffhanger" that everyone keeps referring to was so obvI so wanted to give this one a 5, but I couldn't quite do it. Mostly, that's because the big "cliffhanger" that everyone keeps referring to was so obvious from close to the beginning of the book, which was frustrating. I mean, on one hand cliffhangers are annoying because you want to know what happens, but on the other hand, the anticipation makes the next book so much better! I'm still looking forward to see where the story is going, but it's not quite the same.
Anyway, that being said, this was a fantastic book. It was shockingly original even as it relied on very old material. (That would be Cinderella, in case that's not clear.) Except instead of a glass slipper, we have a cyborg foot. And a futuristic "New Bejing," where a bubonic/choleric type plague is killing citizens and royalty alike. The city was well written, the culture was interesting and easy to fall into, the characters (particularly Cinder and her android sidekick) were easy to get to know. The story was engaging, and even though I saw the big twist from a mile away, it still tells me that book two is going to go in very interesting directions. I liked how she roughly followed the Cinderella plot of stepsisters and "shoes" and princes and balls enough to make it recognizable, comfortable, and familiar, and yet also changed it to make it her own (aside from the whole cyborg/futuristic story, Cinder is actually friends with one of her stepsisters).
This book was so great. Unique, refreshing, and practically un-put-downable. (I read it in two sittings, which probably would have been one sitting if I hadn't had to go to book club the first evening!) I've been looking for some good YAF sci-fi for awhile, and this definitely gets top billing on the list. Yay!...more