This certainly wasn't the warm and fuzzy bunny story that I was expecting. On the contrary, it was a more adult story with the rabbits as the main chaThis certainly wasn't the warm and fuzzy bunny story that I was expecting. On the contrary, it was a more adult story with the rabbits as the main characters. Not at all similar to The Wind in the Willows, which is what I was expecting.
A small group of rabbits leave their warren and set off to found their own. On the way they have lots of rabbity adventures, some of which ultimately lead to conflict and violence. Probably my favorite aspect of the book was the rabbits unlikely alliance with a seagull. Sounds odd, but it works out.
As you might expect there is a lot of allegory here so what you get out of it may vary depending on how you interpret it.
**spoiler alert** This is basically a book about mans faith in God and what happens when this is pushed to the limits. The story is wrapped round a Je**spoiler alert** This is basically a book about mans faith in God and what happens when this is pushed to the limits. The story is wrapped round a Jesuit space expedition to Alpha Centauri and a 'first encounter situation'. I guess overall the story was okay, but it's been done better. As with many books nowadays this would had more impact crystallized into a short story. A lot of the book is fluff that only points out the weaknesses, not the strengths. The author would have been much better off not trying to tell this as a science fiction story.
Most reviews point out how great the characterizations are. True, they were pretty good but very inconstant. At the beginning of the book the main characters are all brilliant and there doesn't seem to be anything they cannot do. (The idea of a small group of people equipping the first expedition to another star reminded me of E. E. Doc Smith's Skylark of Space, but that's another issue.) But later, when they get to the alien world, they make some unbelievably stupid mistakes. Even on my own planet I know not to eat strange things. On an alien planet they go right ahead and try it. They were not even smart enough to bring along some mice for testing.
Most of the really bad decisions were only there for a convenient way to move the plot in a certain direction. For me that's just bad writing. But the really killer of the book was the actual moment of first contact. The main Jesuit Priest uses slight of hand tricks to make it look to the aliens like he's making flowers appear out of thin air. Now why would he do that? A few chapters on there is some discussion that they don't want to mislead the aliens into believing they are gods or starting a cargo cult. Make your mind up! After that point I was glad that Sandoz got what he had coming to him. Perhaps that simple act of deception is why God punished him.
The science in this book was mostly nonsense. Even worse than bad it made statements about existing technology they anyone can look up and see is just plain false. For an academic writer like the author, this lack of research is just mind boggling and inexcusable. For example: She constantly refers to the Alpha Centauri system as having 3 suns, which is technically true, but the 3rd red dwarf star is 0.2 ly from the other two. That would make it appear as a bright star, not a red sun. The Jesuits accelerate an asteroid using a mass driver and the stated logic is 'the bigger the asteroid is, the more fuel they have'. Perhaps she should look up Newton's Laws. And they can also 'circle at 0.2g' using a mass driver... :)
There was a good underlying story but I was constantly taken out of it by eye rolling bad science, stupid character decisions and contrived coincidences. I know that in real life the Jesuits are considered the scholars and scientists of the papal world, but this book made them look like arrogant, ignorant idiots.
The second novella from Brandon Sanderson about a detective type character who has a very unique form of multiple personality disorder. He sees his o The second novella from Brandon Sanderson about a detective type character who has a very unique form of multiple personality disorder. He sees his other personalities as hallucinations and each of these 'aspects' has their own specialty. The first book setup the overall theme and world with just a few characters and a short plot line. This second story expands on the previous characters and adds some new ones. More details of exactly how his aspects work and their limitations are explained. This is all set against a background of biochemical industrial espionage. At the end there was a neat little twist to the story that I enjoyed. Someday there will probably end up collected into a single publication. Until then it's worth reading each installment as they come out. My problem here is whether to classify this as fantasy, science fiction or mystery? I guess all 3. ...more
When you read the cover of a book and all the quotes are about the authors other books, that's always a bad sign. This one had a quote from a PortlandWhen you read the cover of a book and all the quotes are about the authors other books, that's always a bad sign. This one had a quote from a Portland newspaper on the front cover "Bunch's battle sequences are second to none". That was referring to one of his previous books "The Seer King". I have read that trilogy, and it wasn't bad. This one was nothing like it.
First off, there were no epic battle sequences here. Bunch usually does a good job of them, but no where near in the same class as say Bernard Cornwell or David Gemmel. The other problem I had with this novel was that it seemed to be a series of adventures along the route of an overall quest. The whole format reminded me of the serialized style of the pulp era. But it was written in 2000 so I doubt if that was how it was first published. Some parts of it were okay, but most of it was 'meh'.
Sometimes you come across a book that doesn't seem very interesting at the beginning but then grows on you as you read further. For me The Night CircuSometimes you come across a book that doesn't seem very interesting at the beginning but then grows on you as you read further. For me The Night Circus was just such a book.
I really disliked this book starting out. There did not seem to much going on, the characters were uninteresting and paper thin. It took me two attempts to get through the first couple of hours on audible as I fell asleep the first time around. If this had not been a pick for the Sword and Laser bookclub I would most likely have abandoned it. That would have been a great shame as I ended up really loving this book by the end.
It's the story of two practitioners of 'real' magic, involved in an obscure contest against one another, who hide their talents by working in a circus. Almost everyone else thinks they are just really good at prestidigitation and illusions and have no idea what is really going on.
The book is structured with the chapters jumping between timelines and points of view. At the beginning these are far apart but gradually get closer and closer together until they converge at the end. This made the early parts of the book hard to follow on audible as you cannot refer back to previous chapters to review the dates.
After finishing the audible version I went out and bought a hard copy and will re-read it again at some point.
Not quite a 5 star book as the beginning was hard to get into. I can see why people might abandon this book after reading the kindle sample. It's lacking that initial 'hook' that grabs you in the first chapter or two. ...more
The third book of this pulp era series about adventures inside a hollow earth. In its time I guess this was a cutting edge thrill ride, but today it rThe third book of this pulp era series about adventures inside a hollow earth. In its time I guess this was a cutting edge thrill ride, but today it really shows it's age.
Like some of the others, this one is written as if Burroughs himself was in contact with Pellucidar and the story was relayed to him from one of the main characters. It's an interesting concept and does adds a bit of variety. This concept seems to have been almost forgotten in recent years.
The writing style bothered me the most. The pulp serial style of interconnected mini adventures is common in books from this period. Some of them work when collected into a single volume, but this one not so much. This will not prevent me from reading the rest of the series however. Another reason is that the fate of one of the main characters is left unresolved at the end of this book.
Next one is the crossover book 'Tarzan at the Earth's Core', which should be interesting....more
Most people seem to regard this book as a total letdown compared with 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Angels and Demons'. After reading it, I would agree andMost people seem to regard this book as a total letdown compared with 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Angels and Demons'. After reading it, I would agree and say that it's definitely not as good, but still worth reading.
The story centers around the Freemasons and Washington DC and like other Dan Brown books it's full of facts that had me doing Google searches. The plot moves along at a fast pace and there was a major plot twist that I didn't see coming. As such, I managed to blast through this book in only a couple of days. There's lots of interesting stuff in here if you're not already familiar with the history/mysteries of Washington DC. If you are then a lot will be familiar.
I have a couple of criticisms of this book. 1) The main antagonist was not that believable and over the top. 2) I guessed the location of the 'McGuffin' early on in the book. 3) The ending degenerated into a long diatribe on god. It would also have been nice if Brown added some references and explanations at the end as an author's note. James Rollins always does a great job of this at the end of all his books and clearly deliniates fact from fiction and I wish Brown had done the same here.
Worth a read for sure, especially if you're not well versed in the mysteries of Freemasonry and Washington DC's origins. ...more