A fantastic read. This book is comprised of windows into humanity upon some of the darkest hours (centuries) of our hypothetical future. Earth has beeA fantastic read. This book is comprised of windows into humanity upon some of the darkest hours (centuries) of our hypothetical future. Earth has been rendered largely uninhabitable, and society must reinvent itself as we are crammed into massive "lifeboats" - space stations that are our last hope for the survival of our species. There is one part hope for every ten parts despair and sadness, but the hope persists, even as humanity slides farther into darkness. I loved the lack of quotations, remembering a college professor who argued that these punctuations around dialogue were superfluous, and that stories of the future would largely be published without them. If one is paying attention, the conversations are easy to follow and feel far more intimate without being broken up by the artificial pause of tiny hanging commas. I will definitely be looking for the second book....more
A tumultuous ride through a grim, harsh world. The gunslinger himself is a gritty, tortured soul who is driven across the wasteland that is left of hiA tumultuous ride through a grim, harsh world. The gunslinger himself is a gritty, tortured soul who is driven across the wasteland that is left of his world in pursuit of a mysterious man in black. Much of the backstory remains unknown to the reader(and, it seems at times, the author); this leaves meat on the bone for the rest of the series, but makes everything feel disjointed and underthought. Which brings me to my main gripe with this book: I read the original, un-re-edited version of the novel, not knowing that this was an important distinction, only to discover online that Mr. King has since done heavy revisions. Now, normally I wouldn't begrudge an author the chance to smooth-out some edges, tighten things up, even throw in some extra foreshadowing. But this is a completely different story - events have changed, motivations have changed and even a character's secret identity has changed. (view spoiler)[In the original, there is no mention of the number 19, Alice is never cursed by madness, and she is shot (while she screams for Roland not to shoot) quickly and callously while Sheb uses her as a human shield. And the man in black is not Marten, in the original, just a priest who used to know them both - He brought Marten's body to Roland, years ago. (hide spoiler)]I was thrown off when I discovered these discrepancies, and it only served to enhance the unfinished aura around the story. Hopefully there will be enough catch-up at the beginning of the next book, so I can get the story straight as it is now. ["br"]>...more
This is a pretty good book, although not as spectacular as I had been hoping. The characters, especially the mains, are tough to connect with and at tThis is a pretty good book, although not as spectacular as I had been hoping. The characters, especially the mains, are tough to connect with and at times tough to like. The villain is onscreen for such a short period (view spoiler)[and dispatched so easily! (hide spoiler)] and the final showdown falls flat, as if the author suddenly decided that she did want to write a sequel after all.
The setting and the premise are decidedly cool, and the supporting cast has tons to offer. In fact, it often feels like Briar and Zeke are intruding on the turf of more interesting people. I kept wishing that the story were told from the pov of the people still inside the wall, watching these newbies mess with their comfortable life.
Still, there is a lot to be happy about, here: zombies, airships, steampunk inventions and plenty of gunfights. Hopefully, a sequel will shift focus inside the wall to the colorful characters who have made the ruined city their home. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I can't decide whether this is sci-fi masquerading as farce or farce as sci-fi, but I think this was the author's intent. And it doesn't really matterI can't decide whether this is sci-fi masquerading as farce or farce as sci-fi, but I think this was the author's intent. And it doesn't really matter, anyway.
No matter how you slice it, this is a hilarious send-up of classic science fiction that does not forget its roots or take itself too seriously. At its heart, it is a tongue-in-cheek homage to a certain science-fiction television show that shall remain nameless, driving to the heart of the decades-old "redshirt" controversy. Lampooned in other media and sources, the idea that 'extras' in science fiction are always a step (or convoluted plot-point) away from gruesome and/or painful death is here given a well-thought-out voice, from the point of view of the potential victims themselves. What would you do if you found out that you had suddenly and mysteriously become expendable?
Andy Dahl has just been assigned to the Starship Ent...I mean Intrepid as a xenobiologist in its missions of exploration and protection. This is a prestigious post, as the Intrepid is the flagship of the fleet, but Dahl and his fellow newbies soon discover that their purpose on board may be as little more than human shields for a select group of officers. As they dig deeper toward the truth, their world becomes stranger and stranger, culminating in a philosophically twisted resolution that in fact leaves very little resolved. The codas tacked onto the end show that the author was not done with his characters or concepts - an imprtant point in the story - and serve to wrap everything into a nice package.
P.S. The end of the main story was so funny that I did an involuntary spit-take!
I received this book for free through Goodreads FirstReads. Thanks....more
This book is deeply convoluted, but in a good way. At any point in the story, it is difficult to tell which reality is present. Fred, who has alreadyThis book is deeply convoluted, but in a good way. At any point in the story, it is difficult to tell which reality is present. Fred, who has already been mentally and emotionally softened up before the beginning of the novel, receives a stunning blow when he enters a medical study in search of inner peace. He spends the rest of the story reeling through highs and lows, with surprises good and bad coming from every direction. Fred's confusion is contagious to the reader and to his fellow characters, whose lives slide into chaos whenever he is around, but he is not so obtuse as to become unlikable. Luminarium is possessed of a dark heaviness, but also a sense of uplift and an occasional smattering of redemption that make it well worth the read.
I received this book for free through GoodReads First-Reads. Thanks....more
Don't see the movie if you don't want, but read this book. The Postman examines sources and uses for hope, for belief in progress, and is designed (liDon't see the movie if you don't want, but read this book. The Postman examines sources and uses for hope, for belief in progress, and is designed (like all of Mr. Brin's work) to make you think....more