This book catches up with Danny Torrance, from The Shining, as an adult; he's a recovering alcoholic working in a hospice in New Hampshire. He seems tThis book catches up with Danny Torrance, from The Shining, as an adult; he's a recovering alcoholic working in a hospice in New Hampshire. He seems to have built a good life for himself, but this is Stephen King, and things are never what they seem. A deadly band of nearly-immortals roams the country looking for children with the shining, to feed on the 'steam' that makes them special. Danny, now Dan, becomes involved when a young girl with a strong set of powers reaches out to him. From there, it's the expected King journey through the weird, gruesome, and utterly moving.
I really enjoyed the book- The Shining is one of my favorites from King, and it was lovely to revisit Danny as a grown up and see how he had dealt with the events of the Overlook Hotel and what his abilities meant for him as he carried on. King is always strongest when he's building a compelling group of characters, and that's the focus of this book; Dan, Abra, Rose the Hat, and their supporting cast are front and center. My only small complaint is that there were times when I was aware of King, the author, intruding on the story. It's great that he loves Sons of Anarchy- his guest spot on the show was quite memorable- but I don't need to see something implausible like a twelve year old girl thinking that Dan looks like Jax Teller, or the shout outs via the fictional Road Saints, which were largely irrelevant to the story. It only happens a few times, but it did take me out of the story, though not enough to stop me from voraciously devouring the remaining pages. Just write a book about a motorcycle club, Uncle Stevie. The book was awesome otherwise....more
Guh. I've finished this book too recently to say anything coherent, other than it was incredible, and I'm sorry that I have to wait another year to reGuh. I've finished this book too recently to say anything coherent, other than it was incredible, and I'm sorry that I have to wait another year to read the next book.
I will update when I can write more intelligently about it....more
This is one of my all time favorite books, so my rating may be a little high because of the sentimental attachment I have for the series. I first readThis is one of my all time favorite books, so my rating may be a little high because of the sentimental attachment I have for the series. I first read the Vampire Diaries back in high school, so at least 15 years ago. I would finish book four and go right back to book one. I think it's awesome that the books are being released in these combined trade paperbacks, and for a good price (looks like they are doing the same for Smith's Secret Circle series, as well). I guess SMeyer was good for at least one thing: paranormal YA renaissance.
In fact, if you read this series, you will note a few similarities to Twilight; just remember, Smith did it fifteen yeas ago, and she did it better. The story features a popular girl, Elena, who is strangely attracted to the new guy at school, an Italian exchange student named Stefan. Strange things begin happening in their small, Southern town, and it's not long before people are looking at Stefan with a wary eye. Elena discovers Stefan's secrets, and a new world of intrigue and terror opens up as they fall for one another, and the town is threatened by a dark menace.
So yes, vampires in daylight, in high school, and a love story. But this series has plot right out the gate, antagonists with depth, and a love story that takes time to grow. If you were disappointed with how Twilight ended, or even if you loved Twilight and want something similar, give this series a try. It's a terrific YA vampire series with characters you will fall in love with....more
This is one of those books that I often picked up and looked at, but never read. I'm shallow enough to admit I was turned off by the artwork and lackThis is one of those books that I often picked up and looked at, but never read. I'm shallow enough to admit I was turned off by the artwork and lack of recognizable characters. I must say, I am so glad that Watchmen was chosen by one of my book groups, forcing me to get past my first impressions.
Watchmen takes place in alternative universe, where the emergence of costumed adventurers has altered the course of modern history. The superheroes, the majority which are neither super nor all that heroic (with one notable exception), are in forced retirement, until the murder of one of their own compels them to action once more. The plot twists and turns in unexpected ways, all the while introducing us to these masked men and women, their histories, and their motivations, and draws to a riveting and ambiguous conclusion that leaves the reader pondering what heroism really means.
This graphic novel, published originally in 1986, ushered in a new era for comic fans; comic books became literature, and superheroes became people with flaws and angst of their own. Alan Moore truly takes the genre to the level of literature, pulling out all those post modern favorite techniques like meta-fiction, intertextuality, and symbolism, while still retaining the classic elements of comic books; while there are no whizz-bang sound effects or thought bubbles, he stays true to the format and elevates it to a new level. Likewise, David Gibbons, the artist, uses the art in a deeper way; each panel is filled with meaning and symbolism, from the repeated use of the Comedian's smiley face, to the repeated graffiti asking, "Who watches the watchmen?" The art creates a cinematic feel and also evokes the "golden age" style of comics, and in the end I was appreciative of it. Both writer and artist have put a lot of thought into this work; for example, the chapter "Fearful Symmetry" is based on the William Blake poem, The Tyger, and not only are there numerous places where both plot and image symmetry are used, but the panels are symmetrical goign from first page to last page, second page to second-to-last page, and so on. The chapter also refers to the character, Rorschach, who wears a mask with a shifting, symmetrical inkblot, who tends to think in black and white, and is a character that others should be fearful of.
One negative issue did get brought up in my book group meeting, and that was the treatment of the women in the book. Try as we might, we couldn't find many positive portrayals of female characters. We found the rape storyline distasteful, if only because all the characters but two, including the character who was the victim, are pretty dismissive of the serious nature of that act, and pretty forgiving of the rapist. I don't like seeing rape used as the start of a consensual, romantic relationship, and I don't like seeing a woman put her rapist up on a pedastal.
I still give the book five stars, however, because overall I loved the story and the characters, and found the writing stunning and moving. This is a landmark, watershed book, but it is also just a fine, enjoyable read. I'd recommend it to folks giving the genre a try for the first time, as well as graphic novel readers looking to branch out from Batman, Supes, and Spidey. ...more