After being a bit disappointed with the first book's tendency to pad the interesting plot with gratuitous sex, I wasn't sure about reading on. HoweverAfter being a bit disappointed with the first book's tendency to pad the interesting plot with gratuitous sex, I wasn't sure about reading on. However, after having read the first few pages of the second book, I realized that it had the potential to be an even better. It did not disappoint. The second book did a much better job of focusing on driving the plot and characters.
Starting the book in 1968 absolutely sucked me in, and even when the story returns to 18th century Highlands there is always the drive to continue in order to find out exactly the plot will return to 1968.
A fantastic read, worth the time it takes to get through the political intrigue and machinations of power struggles between England and Scotland to find out what happens to Claire and Jamie.
Even now, as I have just finished this book, I have to wonder if my two-star rating is overly generous.
While feeling like this book was inspired by aEven now, as I have just finished this book, I have to wonder if my two-star rating is overly generous.
While feeling like this book was inspired by a weekend binge of LOST, it couldn't possibly reach those heights. The idea and sci-fi expedition aspect seemed like an appealing prospect and I was eager to embrace something refreshing and different. However, this novel while for some may seem fresh and different, in my estimation suffers from being too in love with its own ideas.
One glaring flaw is in the narration itself. As a reader, I spent the entire book in a state of wondering whether this was indeed a reliable narrator. I have dealt with fiction that includes the unreliable narrator, and when pulled off successfully it can add something of interest. The biggest red flag being the tunnel that the narrator constantly refers to as The Tower, and subsequently insists on correcting everyone on this fact.
As well, having a male writer writing in the first-person as a female is an ambitious task and one that is extremely difficult to pull off. Unfortunately VanderMeer bit off more than he could chew and it shows. Even for a female scientist, who arguably has a very distinct voice, the narrative feels incredibly male from the way she talks about her husband and their interactions to the interactions with the other team members.
Add to all of this the fact that no names are used in the book ever, even when talking about her husband, it becomes a really disjointed novel. The ending answers absolutely nothing, but leaves you with the pile of questions in its wake with no resolution. I suppose this is to entice the reader to read the next book, but fails miserably because I have no desire to find out what her name is, what Area X really is, or what happened to her husband.
And it's a tunnel dagnabbit. A tunnel. Not a freaking tower....more
Reading through other reviews, I was a little taken aback by the number of low reviews this fun little book received. This is not Jane Austen, but mucReading through other reviews, I was a little taken aback by the number of low reviews this fun little book received. This is not Jane Austen, but much of the readership of this sweet little rom-com is obviously expecting a level of high literature and commentary on society equivalent to Austen's work. Instead, it is much closer to a Nora Ephron romance, with a plucky protagonist thrust into a romantic fish-out-of-water scenario. It is not a deep literary masterpiece, but a fun, refreshing, sweet, and innocent novel that I loved for much of the very writing and banter for which it's criticized. Give it a read when you need a break from dystopian fiction and intense memoirs....more
After having seen the movie, after having read the first quarter of the book, I was afraid that watching the movie would be too much of a spoiler. ItAfter having seen the movie, after having read the first quarter of the book, I was afraid that watching the movie would be too much of a spoiler. It was not.
Having finished I can honestly say it wasn't just inspirational it was at times gutwrenching. While we are introduced to "The Bird" fairly soon in the movie, we aren't introduced to "The Bird" until about halfway through the book and well after Louie had been put through a great deal more suffering than is portrayed in the early stages of the movie. If anything, the movie whitewashes the experience and especially "The Bird" who in the book we find to be infinitely more sadistic than anything portrayed on screen. As well, what doesn't come across at all in the movie is the level of starvation these P.O.W.s endured at the hand of Japanese prison guards. The entire experience reads as infinitely more horrifying than Hollywood portrayed.
However, reading the immense amount that Louie endured only enhances the miracle of forgiveness that he was able to extend. It speaks to a triumph of spirit, and a story that definitely needed to be told....more
A fascinating look into a part of WW2 history that was previously unknown to me. While it wasn't a story quite as heart-pounding as competitive booksA fascinating look into a part of WW2 history that was previously unknown to me. While it wasn't a story quite as heart-pounding as competitive books like Unbroken, the insight into the way of life of these young women is compelling....more