Stories about sleep walkers potentially committing murders without any memory of them are so overdone that they have become cliched. Hang Wire is anot...moreStories about sleep walkers potentially committing murders without any memory of them are so overdone that they have become cliched. Hang Wire is another example of this, but doesn't do anything interesting enough to make it worthwhile. In fact, it borders on completely ridiculous. The novel is severely disjointed, as it jumps around in the timeline so much that it is a lot of work just to follow what the hell is going on. To make things worse, it's really not worth the trouble. Nothing about this novel makes me want to read anything else by the author, frankly. (less)
This book gets talked up a lot, but it's actually pretty bad. I love just about everything Star Wars related, but this graphic novel is kind of a mess...moreThis book gets talked up a lot, but it's actually pretty bad. I love just about everything Star Wars related, but this graphic novel is kind of a mess. The dialogue is awful, minor characters are shoehorned in for no reason, the coloring is terrible, and the art is pretty bad as well. There are a few fairly cool moments in it, but the basic idea of the Emperor coming back as a clone is just... weird, and the solution to the problem is idiotic. Definitely the most disappointing part of the Star Wars EU I've read.(less)
Bloody mystery and time travel aren’t two aspects often found in the same novel, but Lauren Beukes is hardly the kind of writer known for sticking to...moreBloody mystery and time travel aren’t two aspects often found in the same novel, but Lauren Beukes is hardly the kind of writer known for sticking to genre cliches. After already getting some serious notice for Moxyland and Zoo City, Beukes has written her best novel yet with The Shining Girls, a brilliant mystery with a fantastic spin.
It has one of the more memorable protagonists in recent memory with Kirby, the sole survivor of a serial killer who travels through time picking off special women in order to feed a strange hunger. She’s a spunky and smart woman working as a journalist in Chicago, who uses all of her connections and all of her investigative skill to try to track down the mystery killer and put an end to the series of crimes that seems to repeat throughout recent history.
Lauren Beukes is a special writer, and every one of her novels is a reinvention. The Shining Girls has very little in common with her previous work, but is definitely the most under-appreciated novel released in 2013. The characters are real and vibrant, and the Chicago backdrop for the brutal murder mystery is the perfect setting. For those who know and love Chicago, you’ll immediately see Kirby sitting at the Billy Goat Tavern for a respite during her investigation, and you can feel the city in Beukes’ prose. It takes a special writer to have a place really come alive in a novel, and Lauren Beukes is a special writer.
For some, the content may verge on too much from time to time. It’s definitely not a pleasant experience to read about a crazed murderer eviscerating a young woman, but it’s important that you as the reader feel that disgust and anger. It invests you more in the story and makes you want Kirby to catch the asshole almost as much as she does, which definitely makes for a more immersive reading experience. The Shining Girls is definitely so good that you want to read it again.