Once I’d finished Tunnel in the Sky (it was such a quick read), I wasn’t ready to be done with Heinlein. And I had this book sitting around, checked o
Once I’d finished Tunnel in the Sky (it was such a quick read), I wasn’t ready to be done with Heinlein. And I had this book sitting around, checked out from the library. So I went ahead and read it. It’s another of Heinlein’s juveniles. It’s not as much of a coming of age story as Tunnel in the Sky. It certainly has elements of that but it’s a bit more focused on the line between authority and tyranny.
Heinlein hits on some familiar themes: responsibility is a matter of maturity and skill, not of age. Self-defense is the right of every person. The man asking (or requiring) you to disarm yourself doesn’t have your best interests at heart. He undoubtedly has someone’s best interests in mind, but it’s not you. Respect for other civilizations and peoples is not only a matter of decency, it can also be a matter of life and death. Self-reliance and initiative is far preferable to dependency and trust in good intentions.
It’s an entertaining story, with a necessary message about life. It’s another one that I’ll be recommending to my daughters, as they grow up.
This book was advertised a pulp classic and it lived up to the billing. The overall level and style of writing reminded me of the 1990's Hardy Boys seThis book was advertised a pulp classic and it lived up to the billing. The overall level and style of writing reminded me of the 1990's Hardy Boys series more than anything else. There were two plucky young men, some older men that needed rescuing, and a damsel in distress who was the fiancé of one of the main characters. This book just had alien invaders whereas the Hardy Boys normally faced off against the Assassins.
Also, "Sue" was a definite non-entity in the book. She really only excited to give the men a reason to chase after the aliens and someone to rescue. She didn't do or say anything of consequence. She was so quiet that when I saw her name in one particular section of the book, I initially thought that it was an OCR scan error. I had to actually stop and think to realize that, yes, she was present now and had been present in the last several scenes.
I'm really happy that Singularity&Co chose this book to convert to an eBook and send to their subscribers. I was expecting classic SF stories thatI'm really happy that Singularity&Co chose this book to convert to an eBook and send to their subscribers. I was expecting classic SF stories that read like classic SF stories: dated science, dated tone, a story that felt stale because I've seen so many of its descendants and imitators. None of that was true about this book.
All of these stories felt timeless, in the best sense. They dealt less with technology and more with people. In fact, I had to check the original publication date a couple of times. These stories feel so fresh and relevant that it's hard to believe they were originally written 60 years ago.
This is my first exposure to Ms. Moore's writing. It won't be my last. I'm already looking forward to purchasing Northwest Smith and Doomsday Morning from Singularity&Co.
For science fiction / fantasy written nearly 100 years ago, I was surprised by how enjoyable this story was. It was written before the modern divisionFor science fiction / fantasy written nearly 100 years ago, I was surprised by how enjoyable this story was. It was written before the modern divisions of fantasy from science fiction were even thought of and as such it straddles the lines between fantasy and science fiction. The ending was a little predictable but only because so many later stories have borrowed from it. Oddly, I keep finding myself coming back to the ending of A Tale of Two Cities whenever I think about the ending of this book. It was nowhere near as poignant (what is?), but it had, well, I suppose some of the same flavor.
At any rate: recommended. It's a quick read and it's an interesting look at the history of the genre....more
Despite watching 7 full seasons of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and 5 full seasons of “Angel”, I had no idea what the Dracula story actually was. I’d th
Despite watching 7 full seasons of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and 5 full seasons of “Angel”, I had no idea what the Dracula story actually was. I’d thought about reading Dracula and I’d even downloaded eBook editions once or twice, but I’d never actually started reading it. Then, about a month ago, I played a game called Fury of Dracula. Afterwards, I was very interested in the backstory of who the characters are and what “really happened”.
I wasn’t disappointed. Now that I’ve read the story, I have good understanding of who Mina and Jonathan Harker are, why Dr. Abraham Van Helsing matters, and who Dr. John Seward, Quincey Morris, and Lord Godalming are.
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected to. I went into it with very low expecations, mostly because I’m not a fan of the style of most “classic” books. This one was a rather good yarn though.
The entire story was told through the diary entries of the main characters. The read is given a different diary each time the narrative viewpoint needs to jump. While reading diary entries really added to the dramatic tension in some parts of the story, it wasn’t necessary everywhere. Overall, I felt that this constant narrative device was a negative rather than a positive. (Especially in the parts of the book where the diary entries wandered a bit and weren’t always relevant to the main story.)
However, that’s a relatively minor storytelling flaw in an otherwise very good story. The second half of the book moved along briskly and I enjoyed the action/suspense of the hunt for Count Dracula. I think I could safely recommend this book to most people as an enjoyable action adventure story, even if it doesn’t quite meet the modern definition of “horror” novels.