What I can say for sure, though, is that it was mesmerizing. It drew me in right from the start, and...more3.5ish Stars
I have mixed feelings about this book.
What I can say for sure, though, is that it was mesmerizing. It drew me in right from the start, and I was swept along on a very mysterious ride... to a small, friendly estate, that would soon be filled with tension, dark comedy, romance - and yes, some hauntingly suspicious events.
Unlike many other reviewers, I really enjoyed that the author shifted the genre in the middle of the plotline. It was a very dramatic shift, but she'd been hinting at it in subtle ways up until then.
And oh, I love the way she writes! All of the characters seemed to float up out of the pages. And the estate itself seemed very real. It was very well described. The author said in an interview that the house came to her in a vivid dream, and I can tell. I felt like I was in the story, not just standing above it, like I often do.
This story is a mix between historical fiction and magical realism. If you like "Downton Abbey" and would appreciate a few supernatural twists, this book is definitely for you. I wasn't sure I would agree with it, but I ended up loving it.
Note: There is an explicit scene towards the end. I usually don't put up with that, but it was very short, and if you skip over it, it doesn't matter to the rest of the storyline.(less)
So I finished The Silmarillion today, on the first day of the new year.
I think that what surprised me about this book was how complex Middle-earth rea...moreSo I finished The Silmarillion today, on the first day of the new year.
I think that what surprised me about this book was how complex Middle-earth really is.
In The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, you followed characters of different races on epic quests. But in The Silmarillion, you actually see what ancestors these characters stemmed from, and how the very lands of Middle-earth were formed and shaped over time.
Like other reviewers have said, this book isn't for the faint of heart. But I'm not saying that because it's long or hard to read. In fact, I found it much less daunting than The Lord of the Rings. And I actually enjoyed it much more than reading about Bilbo's arduous journey.
What's difficult about this book, though, is just the amount of information you receive from it. All of the characters and places and stories... I got wrapped up in just how much Tolkien had imagined of the history of this world.
I wanted to read this book mainly because I wanted to see how all of the characters had originally started out - like Galadriel, who actually is mentioned a lot in this book. And I also wanted to see why the Elves and Dwarves first hated each other. And I was not disappointed.
But what I didn't expect was to get so much background information. Even though there are so many characters, Tolkien made sure that all of them had a story. Nobody in the story was just "put there" by accident; each had his or her own part to play in the larger scheme. Each character went through their own trials and victories.
Of course, like in our history, there were a lot of ups and downs. Towards the end, when the glories of Middle-earth's youth were fading, the plot got very depressing very, very fast. It almost made me want to cry, reading about lovers torn apart and former friends seeking revenge on each other.
If you decide to read this book (and you should at least give it a try!), don't just skim through it. There's a lot to enjoy and gain wisdom from. Yes, it can be hard to finish, but it's worth the read. I've never found so much life, death, love, betrayal, and new beginnings in one book, than I have in this one.
(Plus, there are tons of dragons and Ents and magic. Who could resist??)(less)
This probably isn't the best of Shakespeare's works, but I liked it much better than Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar, which are the only other two...moreThis probably isn't the best of Shakespeare's works, but I liked it much better than Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar, which are the only other two I've read.
I would recommend The Tempest to someone who's just starting out reading Shakespeare. It's not that hard to understand. And it doesn't carry the stigma of "sappy love story" that Romeo and Juliet does. Also, there's a lot of magic and some suspense, which makes it A LOT more interesting than Julius Caesar.
What I liked most about this play was the fairy, Ariel. Even though he's just Prospero's slave, he's a dedicated worker and he has a sense of morality that I think Prospero tends to lack. In contrast from most of the other characters in the play, he doesn't seek after power or glory. And even though he's powerful (I bet his magic could rival Prospero's), he doesn't try to defeat his master.
For a comedy, The Tempest isn't the most humorous play. There's a lot of master/servant tension and sibling rivalry. And although there are some witty remarks, the bulk of its comic value lies in its light and romantic atmosphere.
But that's kind of what I like about it. It's not just a funny play that makes you roll out of your seat laughing. It has depth and meaning. I think it's an extraordinary work of literature, and I'm excited to read more of Shakespeare's comedies.(less)
What I Liked: The textbook was, for the most part, very easy to understand. And the author tied each concep...moreI used this textbook for Gen Chem 1 & 2.
What I Liked: The textbook was, for the most part, very easy to understand. And the author tied each concept into a real-world application that helped me understand it better.
What Could Have Been Better: The author could have organized the chapters in a way that didn't overload the reader with a lot of information at one time. For instance, I don't think it was a good idea to stick solubility in with the titration chapter.
Overall, not a bad textbook. I'm just glad I'm done with my first two Chem classes, haha(less)