This book was immensely well written. Plot wise, it was intricate and interesting and really just pulled me in. I loved the most that the story spanne...moreThis book was immensely well written. Plot wise, it was intricate and interesting and really just pulled me in. I loved the most that the story spanned so many generations and had such a huge cast of characters. The main location, Barcelona, drew me in deeply. I would love to go visit Barcelona now, although it's far removed from those of both the Civil War and of the protagonists time (around 1970's I'd say).
But, aside from all that, this book didn't leave me feeling that special something I had excepted. I loved it, but only intellectually. Perhaps I wasn't as caught up with the characters because it took me so long to finish reading it (thank you school). It wasn't a bad book. In fact, it was a very well written a thorough book. Thus only the 4 stars. (less)
As far as detective mysteries go, they mostly bore me, since I tend to figure out whodunit way beforehand. In this book it wasn't so bad. I was kept a...moreAs far as detective mysteries go, they mostly bore me, since I tend to figure out whodunit way beforehand. In this book it wasn't so bad. I was kept amused and in thrall by the world and cultures the author had created and by the time I actively tried to figure out whodunit because I was pretty bored, the main character, Marîd was already on his way to get him.
There are a few key elements about this novel which I really enjoyed. First and foremost was that this portrayal of the future was like our now, only with a few more high tech things (i.e. the surgeries which modify your brain and allow you to stick in 'daddies' and 'moddies' to alter your own skills, personality, etc). All the squalor and pain were still there... humanity hadn't reached that next level up. And yet, at the same time, it wasn't a terribly dystopian world. Yeah, things had gotten a little shitty and there seemed to be pain and war and disease everywhere, and yet isn't it adversity that makes the best of people? Between these two aspects Effinger found the best possible balance, I feel. At least for the type of story he was trying to unveil.
As to the characters: they're just put out there, and accepted. We see everything through Marîd's eyes, so we get his ideas and thoughts on people as well. He's (compared to someone of today's caliber) oddly accepting of transgender's and regenders and in-between genders. His drug, alcohol and sex habits notwithstanding, he actually is an honorable and decent man in a world that is anything but and forced into situations which will second guess his own ideals and mindsets.
It's a book that got me pondering about our own world and how we view our own culture. How I personally view drugs and sex and money and killing and vengeance and all the other topics that have been raised.
For all that, it was immensely well written. I at no time was too irritated... just at times a bit bored because not much was happening ((view spoiler)[all those bodies building up, and then chasing down a bunch of endless dead ends makes for frustrated reader. More dead bodies! (okay, not really. seriously, don't do that!). (hide spoiler)]). Overall a really good book. Thanks for the read, Kim!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
As adaptions of other novels go, this one was pretty amusing. Based on Sherlock Holmes (and he does come up as an absent character) and his types of a...moreAs adaptions of other novels go, this one was pretty amusing. Based on Sherlock Holmes (and he does come up as an absent character) and his types of adventures, this is an erotic twist on the whole thing. It was a series of 5 or 6 short stories in which Ambrose Horne has to solve some sort of erotic-based mystery.
Because of Sherlock appearing in absentee, I'm sure you've surmised that this book is set in the same era. That was about the most interesting part for me, mainly due to the fact that the characters would say awesome things like "Let us speak frankly." and then proceed to keep talking around the subject (at least in a modern sense!)
This book had me more reflect upon the writing style, and how the author was certain that she was actually getting the proper diction of such fascinating folks set in such an interesting time, rather than the supposed mystery occurring, or the erotic bent of the whole thing. I doubt that was the intention, but it really did give me some fun ideas on how to procure proper writing styles for peasants of the 1800's.
Anyway, an amusing book, but without the fun mind trip it would have been really dull. (less)
I cannot bring myself to finish this book. 20% left and it's not giving up; it's saving my sanity.
There are probably spoilers in this review. Read at...moreI cannot bring myself to finish this book. 20% left and it's not giving up; it's saving my sanity.
There are probably spoilers in this review. Read at your own caution. (I say probably because it's hard to tell what's the actual story.)
I don't know what this author was thinking... It couldn't have been much, though. What started out as a 3.5 star rating (a pretty premise to grow into 5 stars, I believe) quickly became apparent that it was going to fail. The only interesting part of this book was the beginning. After that things become boring, drawn out, immature, predictable... Must I go on?
Just to give an example of why I disliked it so much: characterization. One of the key elements of a great book are characters that feel real. They don't need to be real (see witches, ogres, dogs, aliens, whathaveyou) but they need to be clear, understandable, and somehow make us connect with them. Saying that your protagonist is sixteen and them proceeding to have him act, talk and even think like someone half that age does not work. If the author had said ten it would have been more believable.
Another thing, an adult, even if stuck in a time loop for the last 60 years, would never, not as the caretaker and headmistress, tell a boy whom she wants on her side "if you go no, don't bother coming back." Someone that protective, world-smart and eager to have all possible help would never EVER give such an ultimatum. Ever. It doesn't fit in her character AT ALL.
There are plenty more examples, but I'd have to go back into the book and I am loathe to touch it again.
On another note, the storyline becomes something entirely differen after the first 20% of the story. All of a sudden it's X-men, ancient beings caught in child bodies style! (a new twist onthe whole ancient vampire? It was creepy enough when Edward and Bella got together... The frequency with which the author points out that these children still have child minds in child bodies no matter how many decades they're old makes the relationships here so much freakier!)
The only thing that made this story somewhat interesting to read were the photographs... Although they were of sub poor resolution/quality that identifying what was mentioned in the text was mostly guesswork.
This book isnt worth reading. Perhaps if you are eight or ten years old and aren't too picky then it could maybe be forced down. Anyone with half a brain will want more, though. Lots more. (less)
I cannot read this book. I stuck with it until my mandatory 10% although I would have called it quits a few pages earlier.
This book was chosen as a B...moreI cannot read this book. I stuck with it until my mandatory 10% although I would have called it quits a few pages earlier.
This book was chosen as a BOM read for my group, Serious About Books. Sadly, all the suspense/thrillers voted for in that group SUCK. This one is really no exception.
The characters are screwed. I couldn't connect to them. Except in a negative, I-wish-I-never-met-you, super annoying and irritating way. The main character, Sara, is trying to find her birth parents. So she stumbles across the big secret that her father was a serial killer. Sounds like a great premise, yes? But Sara is rude, uncouth, bratty and irritating. She was emotionally abused as a child, growing up as she did with 2 'real' children. Probably due to that she has scars.
I read a few of my friends reviews, but even those that are positive left me thinking "this isn't the book for me". Instead of forcing myself through something I don't like I just wont read this book.
Perhaps someone else can find something to enjoy. (less)
Wow... amazing. I started reading this book last night and just couldn't put it down. I think I only got a couple of hours of sleep in. But it was a g...moreWow... amazing. I started reading this book last night and just couldn't put it down. I think I only got a couple of hours of sleep in. But it was a good choice. This is an incredible book, and I'm so glad to GoodReads that I found it on here!
Christine wakes up every morning not knowing what transpired before an 'accident' that she had at least twenty years prior. The man beside her explains that she is his wife, that she has lost her memory and then he leaves for work. In the meantime Christine is secretly seeing a doctor who is helping her to remember her past: mainly by writing it all down in a journal. As she reads the pages of her journal we are swept along with her: waking up each day has a similar pattern: anxiety, confusion, assurances, the phone call from her doctor, reading her journal, piecing together the remainder of her life.
But underneath it all is a sense of dread, a sense of not-rightness. Christine has memories, not very clear ones, that what her husband, Ben, is telling her isn't the truth. She remembers a son and being attacked and a best friend, Claire, and yet Ben lies about it all to her.
While she is trying to piece together her life and the mystery in it, facing each day with new conflicts (some mornings she even thinks she's made up the previous days) the whole story draws closer to an amazing ending / climax. I had suspected what might be the case early on, but it didn't spoil the ending for me.
This is a great book, from a psychological perspective, but also just from a mystery/thriller/entertainment value level. Definitely worth reading and definitely make time for it, since you wont want to put it down!(less)
There is something so magical about the world that Allen creates. In one way, this book was more magical than the rest she's written, mainly because t...moreThere is something so magical about the world that Allen creates. In one way, this book was more magical than the rest she's written, mainly because there was less unbelievable magic going on and just a lot more realism.
The main themes of this book are friendship and secrets and how the two work together. By the time I finished reading this book I felt even more connected to those special friends in my life, even if I hadn't talked to them in ages. There is something so important about having close friends as a woman that Allen captured beautifully in this story.
It was magical, and wonderful, yet realistic, touched on historic time periods while staying in the present and throughout it all was just a woven magical carpet of love, coffee, memories and dreams. A charming book, and one I will most likely be reading again.(less)
Oh my gosh is this book amazing. 6 our of 5 stars. 7 out of 5. More out of five! It really is incredible!
First off, this is my second book by Miévill...moreOh my gosh is this book amazing. 6 our of 5 stars. 7 out of 5. More out of five! It really is incredible!
First off, this is my second book by Miéville that I have read (well, I listened to this one as an audiobook). The first one was The Scar, which I also absolutely loved.
Miéville is a rare author: most of his work is original. Or at least it feels original, which is a lot more important in my eyes. In this book he took the quantum mechanical theorem of string theory, which essentially says that two objects can hold the same space at the same time. In this case, there are two cities which are located in the same space, at the same time. These are two fictitious cities located in Europe in our modern age.
Beszel and Ul Qoma hold the same space, but the citizens are under strict regulations to 'unsee' each other; if they don't, then they are in Breach, which is this umbrella police group which make sure that breach doesn't occur. Breach is the name of the organization, the verb if you are caught and the noun where you are held in... quite an amusing way to apply one word, actually. 'The cities have different airports, international dialling codes, internet links. Cars navigate instinctively around one another; police officers cooperate but are not allowed to stop or investigate crimes committed in the other city.'
The main story is that of a murder mystery: Beszel detective Borlú is put on a case where a woman is found murdered. There are a lot of questions about the case and hardly any leads. With very great detective work (honestly, for once I wasn't bored by the detective work; Miéville really knows how to keep my interest there) Borlú figures out that a type of breach did occur and tries to hand the case over to them. But someone in the government of one of the two cities doesn't want that to happen, so when Borlú is kept on the case, he needs to go over to Ul Qoma and work together with one of their detectives.
Critical to the mystery is the idea of a third city between these two cities. As we delve deeper into the phenomena of having two cities, the reader can't help but consider the possibility of another city on top of these two, regulating everything that goes: perhaps they are even in charge of Breach.
It all comes to a head in the last few chapters... and they are amazing. This is one of the best endings I have ever read in a book. Everything was tied up well, with enough open for me to contemplate how life will be afterwards, but not in an annoying fashion like most books do it. Miéville really has talent at writing, in my opinion, and it was definitely expressed in the neat and tidy and absolutely wonderful way that he finished off this novel!
You would think that the author wants us to learn something about our own lives... having all these people 'unsee' each other, up until the very end of the novel, almost sounds like a parabolic reference for us to pay more attention to our own lives. But that's not at all the case. I didn't feel patronized at all, and all the conclusions I made on my own on this subject did not seem like they came from the author.
I tend not to like mystery stories, so I was a bit aprehensive reading this book. But, it didn't feel like a crime/mystery/thriller/suspense all that much, although that was really the main focus. I loved all the references to the string theory phenomena, and I will probably listen to this book again (or find a hard copy to buy!) which means a lot, coming from me, since I tend not to re-read books like ever.(less)
I really dislike Dekker's books. This is the second of his that I have read (both times as a book club read) and a lot of the things bothered me this...moreI really dislike Dekker's books. This is the second of his that I have read (both times as a book club read) and a lot of the things bothered me this time around as well.
Firstly, all the religious bits just get in the way of the storyline. In Thr3e it wasn't as pronounced as in The Bride Collector, but it still bugged me. Perhaps if you're religious you can see it all as "normal", but it just annoyed me.
Secondly, Dekker doesn't write well. There is nothing that stands out as amazing, nothing where the plot flowed extremely well, or I, as the reader, felt totally drawn into the story. At best, I can say that he doesn't suck at writing. It read like a very plain, very boring, very perfect writing style. Like a perfectly scripted computer would release. Completely boring.
Thirdly, the only interesting part of the plot was the very end... but if that's what you call a "major plot twist", then we're gonna have a problem. It's a rather overused theme, so not all that major and not all that amazing either.
Fourthly, all the references to psychology, and all the different types of mental disorders that Kevin could have just confused me. Perhaps Dekker should have dragged over a medical dictionary and researched a bit with a real reference source, not just the internet. Then I wouldn't be so annoyed at his vague descriptions.
And last of all, the characters were just flat, boring and predictable. Kevin was supposed to grow, that's the whole point of a main character. (view spoiler)[ And if finding out that you have a personality disorder is growth, then I suppose discovering that the main character really is bipolar and it's not all faked is also growth. Sorry, but it just doesn't cut it. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, I doubt that I'll read Dekker again. There is nothing at all special about his works, his writing or his style. I can spend my time on much better books, where I can actually learn something, or at least be entertained. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I loved this book the first time I read it! My sister had brought it home, and when she brought it back to her friend? library? I had forgotten about...moreI loved this book the first time I read it! My sister had brought it home, and when she brought it back to her friend? library? I had forgotten about it until a few years later, when it was jolted back into my mind.
I always loved stories of castles with secret passages, or huge houses with hidden corridors, and this book definitely takes that mythicism one step further.
The main character, Anna, doesn't fit in anywhere, so she pulls herself back and becomes a "ghost" who lives in the walls of her family's huge home. She starts rebuilding sections of the house. Anna stays for years living in the walls , until she starts noticing she is growing bigger and can't fit into places she used to be able to crawl through easily. Then, Anna finds a mysterious note, and decides to come out of hiding. (less)
Years later, I think that this book is a completely different one. Somehow I have this title linked with a very different story, but I can't seem to f...moreYears later, I think that this book is a completely different one. Somehow I have this title linked with a very different story, but I can't seem to find that book.
Anyway, this book wasn't so bad. A typical pre-teen/teenage book about bullying, and fitting in. I actually liked it a lot when I read it, mainly because it was from a boys perspective (as a girl at the age of 12, it's hard to imagine that perspective!)
On top of that, this book actually dealt with some more serious problems, that I wouldn't normally encounter in my daily life. That's another reason why I liked it so much when I read it.
I also enjoyed the writing style. It flowed well from one character perspective to another and the plot developed smoothly. That is definitely something that a lot of books of this type lack. I'm happy to say that it's not a problem with Shattering Glass!(less)
Even if Sarah Addison Allen didn't add in little bits of magic and whimsicalness into her town's and characters, her books would still be amazing. She...moreEven if Sarah Addison Allen didn't add in little bits of magic and whimsicalness into her town's and characters, her books would still be amazing. She has a fresh way of writing that is so lovely to read in this day and age of horrible YA.
As things are, the magic and amusing bits of enchantment mixed in with each family just charm any reader who encounters Allen's books. Along with Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen, The Girl Who Chased the Moon mixes southern life with a dash of magic and some very realistic humans.
The focus of Allen's stories always seem to be her characters, and their traditions, rather than the actual plot. They are always happily ever after stories (more or less) that serve to uphold love and family values and just the pureness of humanity. There are some dark threads woven throughout the canopy of cheerfulness, but all is resolved at the end.
Her stories always make me feel better, and make me want to get up and bake or cook something! Allen is a truely amazing author who just deserves to be read and read and read.
This book stayed with me all these years. I really got freaked out the first time I read it, and I suppose it's those feelings that I still associate...moreThis book stayed with me all these years. I really got freaked out the first time I read it, and I suppose it's those feelings that I still associate with the book. I just recently found it again.
It's a great story, especially if you want to scare someone into fear of their parents! Jesse Osburn really knows how to wrap the plot around his little finger.(less)
Of the first three books in the series, I'd have to say the second was my favorite. I loved how at the end of the first the series started deviating f...moreOf the first three books in the series, I'd have to say the second was my favorite. I loved how at the end of the first the series started deviating from the TV show (LaGuerta dies, yay!!!!!)
The third book really bugged me.. marriage, strange kids, and then this weird cult thing, plus Dexter having issues with his Passenger? There the TV Show did a better job, although the show did get rather boring.
In general, I rated these books so highly because they are like nothing that has been written yet (well, nothing that I found, anyway). Most books are copies of other books, so this was definitely a fresh take (especially on the topic matter).(less)