Clio (Calliope) Kaid thought everything was normal. Well, as normal as having a famous writer for a mom could be. BuAmazon ~ Powell's ~ Series Website
Clio (Calliope) Kaid thought everything was normal. Well, as normal as having a famous writer for a mom could be. But between the moving around the country and changing schools every year, everything else seemed to be pretty clear cut.
That's when the government tells her that she was involved in an unauthorized genetic experiment, and that she's to report to a secure location, along with 99 other teens, so that they can help with any abnormalities caused by this alteration.
So it's off to a new school once again. At least this time she'll be a freak among freaks, right? Nothing like sharing an unknown deformity to bring about teen bonding. And she'll need those bonds if she's going to get to the bottom of a conspiracy on the compound. One that might even date back to before she was born...
Calliope, better known as Clio (though, I find Calli an equally valid option), is your basic teen heroine. Personality-wise, she ranks a bit on the meek side, though she does have sarcasm and sass when the pressure isn't on. In a fight, her super power (invisibility) doesn't exactly lend itself to fierceness, so her main strength draws mainly on loyalty to her friends.
And these sure are good friends to have. Bliss can be a tad annoying when the pressure mounts, but her heart is definitely in the right place. Garrett (my favorite) is a jock and a joker, so if you can get past his sometimes abrasive personality, you'll not be short of laughs. Miranda is definitely the least likable of the group, her main weakness being tact, but she's intelligent and is slowly getting the hang of having friends.
And then there's Jack... Charismatic, handsome, multi-talented, and very interested in Clio. Their romance was very sweet, though a bit predictable. Jack was very much a support (literally at times) for Clio, but I'd have liked to see things go a little slower and keep her more independent even after he comes into the picture. I found it particularly interesting that his powers are still undiscovered, yet he possesses enough strength of character to power through when he needs to.
Teens with super-powers and government conspiracies are hardly new concepts, but I enjoyed Solid's take on things. Altering a specific chromosome certainly sounds plausible, and after years of accepting toxic waste or microwaves gave people super-powers, it's not that much of a stretch that an altered bit of DNA could do the same. But where most novels have the teens struggling to control their new abilities, Clio and the others are instead learning how to awaken them. In fact, there seem to be no consequences of having powers, and had the government not told them they would have lived normally...
But having the government involved makes everything better. I'm sure for anyone not directly involved in the military or government, it's all too easy to accept that there are things being kept from us. We don't see where all the money is spent, we have information withheld for the sake of National Security, and they have seemingly limitless resources at their disposal... How could they not be running secret experiments?
Still, they're trying to make up for it. The military compound-turned-campus where the kids were sent was nearly a character in and of itself. I loved picturing the old architecture of the dorms paired with the high-tech medical and athletic facilities. Granted, Clio said the old buildings weren't exactly picturesque, but a girl can dream, right? And though I'm normally not into sports, I'd totally want to take a run in that "gym" they have. Then again, Miranda's right, they totally needed a pool.
Unfortunately, there were also a few small issues I had with the book...
Firstly, as someone who has had issues with blood draws for a few years now (small, hard-to-find, easily breakable veins), the medical scene was about the least believable thing I've read. Sure, in theory everybody's veins are in the same place, but the doc's at least gotta look at the arm before stabbing away and getting a successful blood draw.
Then there was the dialogue—it didn't feel wholly believable at times. I know, teen language is hard, and what may seem real to one person may seem stilted to another. To me, there were parts where it just didn't seem like genuine conversations. Partly, I think there was too much 'thinking' going on between the dialogue. It seemed like Clio had to reflect on absolutely everything she said, or her cohorts said, as they said it. A bit chunky for my tastes, sorry.
Another concern I have is the obvious dating within the book. There are a lot of references to current pop culture (Bush twins, Jonas Bros, New Moon, etc.) that I'm not sure will translate well in the future. Sure, pretty much all of the references should make the teens of now giggle or at least nod knowingly, but I don't know that it will have the same relevance 5+ years from now.
Okay, that looks/sounds like a lot, but really the only major problem I had was the pacing. The prologue offers enough of a tease that got me interested in reading, but then nothing happens for the entire first half of the book. Well, not nothing, but nothing regarding the 'special abilities' the teens are supposedly discovering. Every time I thought it was the perfect time for the powers to suddenly manifest...nothing.
Unfortunately the ending was equally aggravating, with the main conflict being resolved without much conflict at all. I don't want to give away too much, but suffice it to say, a lot of talk and not much action. In fact, the resolution felt more like an exposition dump than a discovery by the characters. Not exactly the full character journey I was hoping or expecting...
Still, overall I found Solid an entertaining read. I'd recommend it for those who like YA Romance with a slightly Sci-Fi twist. Language, sex, and gore are practically non-existent, so I'd say this is appropriate for a middle-school reader, however, I'd recommend it for older readers only because I think the pacing is geared toward more patient readers. Though a little rough at times, Solid was a solid introduction to endearing characters and an intriguing concept, which I look forward to exploring further in future installments.
And speaking of sequels, the second of the series, Settling, happens to be coming out July 4th! Head on over to the Solid Series Website for more information.
I'll go ahead and say it now: I am an Austen fan. I wasn't always one, though. I first read Pride and Prejudice in preparation for Senior Year IB English. I HATED it! I was bored to tears—I couldn't get over how many words were used to describe NOTHING. However, by re-reading at a slower pace during the class, I was able to have my brain phase over the unnecessary/frivolous/verbose text and actually process the characters and plot. And I LOVED it. I'm really not one to read fluffy romances, but this wasn't fluffy, it was...interesting! Quite the flip-flop, eh?
Then came the sudden surge of Austen-centered movies. I saw Becoming Jane and Jane Austen Book Club (haven't read the book yet) and fell in love with both. I even resolved to do as they did in the latter and read all of Jane's books. Well, that still hasn't happened, but the resolve is still there and I'll do it one of these days. I did, however, read Northanger Abbey and once again fell in love with Austen's humor and wit.
Shortly after returning home from college, I happened upon an author visit at (where else?) my local Powell's bookstore. I'd never heard of the author, but I was there, it was free, so why not? When Seth Grahame-Smith came to the podium it was to a hearty round of applause—some out of politeness, but most out of excited glee. He told his humorous story of how everything had gotten started, how his editor had called him up with only a title and he'd set off from there, how he went about editing the manuscript with red-colored text, and how no one could have foreseen the book's success. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies had been unleashed upon the world, and the world shouted back, "MORE!"
Having been familiar with the original work, I'll admit I was slightly reluctant to try this new adaptation. I'm not the biggest fan of zombies (or gore in general), and I wasn't exactly sure how zombie hordes roaming the countryside would affect the storyline. Was there really a place for zombies in Austen's world? Then a fellow audience member stood up and walked to the front of the crowd. She announced herself as president of the local branch of The Jane Austen Society and said she was there to present Seth with an official invitation to their next national meeting. Um...color me convinced.
It took a week or two, but I managed to finally grab a copy of the book. I read through it, smirking and laughing all the way through. Now, following my second read of the book, I'm ready to offer up my review.
First and foremost, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is located in the humor section for a reason. Yes, it prides itself on featuring "Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem", but this isn't a slasher book. And yes, as with the original, the main plot centers on romance, but the style of the novel is far from your typical romance. This book is first and foremost a satire, and I'd venture to say a very well done satire indeed.
Austen's original text is, for the most part, still fully intact: the five Bennet sisters passing their time in the English countryside, seeking love and/or marriage; Misters Bingley and Darcy are still charming and indifferent (respectively), and both handsome and very well-off; And English society is still as prim and proper as ever. However, now and again instead of knitting or reading a book, characters will be sharpening blades or polishing muskets. Or a character might now be inconvenienced to behead an unmentionable in order to save her dancing partner.
Those casually familiar with the original may find themselves hard-pressed to find where the old text ends and new text starts, such is Grahame-Smith's skill with Austen's style. The zombie bits hardly "get in the way of" the story, and the story frames the zombie killing perfectly. In fact, the zombie menace actually serves to answer a few puzzling questions unanswered in the original, such as why there is a military regiment stationed in Meryton, and why such a smart girl as Charlotte would ever agree to marry who she does. And though some characters fates turn out differently than in the original, Austen fans can rest assured that the ending is still quite intact.
Elizabeth, the heroine of the novel, is possibly the most changed from her previous version, and yet recognizably the same. Far from being love-silly over the handsome visitors or military officers, she has her mind set on slaying unmentionables and honing her skill in the deadly arts. That is not to say she doesn't notice anything else, but she is a warrior of England first, a lady second, and thus she cannot be expected to fawn over every man who might make an offer of marriage. She's strong-willed and not afraid to behead the undead nor any man who slights her, which makes her especially fun to read. Forget slapping, try a round-house kick across the room or a katana spilling one's entrails.
And she's not alone in her techniques (though she is the most skilled among them), for all the Bennet sisters are likewise trained. Funnily enough, however, their personalities remain unchanged from Austen's imaginings. So imagine Kitty and Lydia, gossipy and love-crazy, now with the abilities to awe officers with displays of throwing stars. And poor Jane is now forced to balance her kind-hearted nature with slaying the undead. One thing's for sure, the sister's Pentagram of Death is a sight to see!
Language and gore are pretty tame as far as zombie novels go. About the only raunchy language are the references to "those most English parts" and a few ball jokes (which I found hilarious). If I had to describe the gore, I'd have to say it was clear and concise. I'm horrible with graphic depictions of gore, both in movies and books, but these descriptions fit the Victorian-era language and style so that one or two sentences were enough to convey the message, and then they moved on. So probably not up to The Walking Dead standards, but possibly around Zombieland levels... Again, think comedy not horror.
An aside on "normal" vs "Deluxe" editions. I had the unique opportunity to experience both editions simultaneously, reading as I do with the audiobook going in my ear. I own and thus read from the physical copy of the "normal" first edition (pictured above); I listened to the unabridged audiobook of The Deluxe Heirloom Edition (which may be the only audiobook version available). In terms of Zombie Mayhem, the Deluxe Edition did offer a few extra scenes depicting characters engaged in the deadly arts. However, if one has read Austen's original, or perhaps prefers more of the original writing to remain intact, then sticking with the normal edition may be more to your liking.
Personally, there were some Deluxe scenes I enjoyed, and some I thought were better being left out. There is one rather lengthy scene which occurred at the beginning of chapter three in which the Bennet sisters are called to a neighboring village to help with/witness a zombie raid on a church. Nothing really comes of the venture, except that the reader gets a few extra zombies, boiled brains, and men vomiting. Most of the rest of the added content follows this pattern, however there are quite a few instances where Elizabeth's character in particular gains from the re-writes. A few changed words here and there actually made her a fiercer woman than in the original edition, and trust me, that's saying something. Again, the changes may be pleasing to some (myself included), but offputing to others.
Overall, if you hate zombies or see yourself as an Austen purist, then this book isn't for you. However, if you're open to the idea that it's okay to laugh at literature, if you have a sense of humor or an eye for satire, and if you enjoy some zombie-slaying action, then I think you'll enjoy what Pride and Prejudice and Zombies accomplishes. It's obviously not a book for everyone, I'll state that loud and clear, but I think both authors have worked hard and succeeded in producing a classic that will stand the test of time.
This book, and the series overall, has been on my radar for some time now. My sister bought the first three books a long while back and read the first one when she was in middle or early high school. Not the greatest decision ever. But before they went into the donation bin I snagged them and stuck them on my shelf. Followers should be able to guess by now that I'm a fan of werewolves, so a series having a snarky female lead who so happens to be a werewolf was an instant draw. It also helps that the author is visiting my local Powell's next week, so without further ado, let's dive in to Kitty's world.
Kitty, the hilariously-named and recently-turned werewolf, is doing her best to keep her life together. She's finding it difficult to balance her human need of independence and rent money with her inner wolf's need of community and ripping woodland creatures to shreds. After taking over the midnight time slot on the local Denver radio station, she thinks she might have just found her niche: discussion moderator and counselor to the supernatural anonymous. But complications ensue when her show garners the attention of some less-than-savory characters, and now not only does her pack demand that she quits her job, but some would rather she quit breathing altogether.
I'd say Kitty starts off as your typical snarky, kickass supernatural heroine. She has the independent streak, but doesn't yet know her full power, which is what you're reading the book to see her do anyway. I actually saw a lot of one of my friends in Kitty (and you should totally go follow her blog now...). Educated, witty, funny, not afraid to speak her mind with complete strangers, but at the same time not completely outspoken, a little insecure about certain things, and in the end just going about her day trying to make ends meet. Despite being a fantasy character, she felt human, which made her story all the more compelling for me.
I liked the werewolves in this story. They're not the movie-versions where they warp into a half-man/half-wolf monster, they change into full-blown wolves at least once a month. The full moon forces the change, but they are able to trigger the shift at any time. I found the wolf-mind an interesting feature of these werewolves - always lurking under the surface but taking full control while in its own form. But still, the wolf-mind is a part of the whole, so it is aware of the human mind's friends and desires, but ultimately it has its own priorities and instincts. And coming to terms with this wolf-mind seems to be the biggest obstacle a werewolf faces.
The feeling of wrongness or of being other is a common theme with supernatural fiction these days, a theme that finds many parallels with the modern LGBT movement. Now, there's having metaphors and subtle themes, and then there's throwing it in your face. The cover summary uses the phrase, "werewolf in the closet," a common idiom for not being upfront, or even lying about one's homosexuality. Then there's one point where Kitty wishes she could tell her family the truth about her condition, wishing it was as easy as saying she was lesbian [pg 41]. On the other side of the spectrum, one of the members of Kitty's pack is openly gay; he's actually a higher-ranking member, 2nd or 3rd in the pecking order, and is one of Kitty's most trusted and supportive friends. Unfortunately, I can see very little 'reason' to make him gay other than being a non-threatening (or at least not sexually threatening) male influence in Kitty's life.
I'm of mixed feelings about the LGBT references. On the one hand I'm appreciative that it's being addressed. It's nice to see something mainstream and fantasized such as the creatures of Twilight shown to have parallels with the very real issues of LGBT marginalization and prejudice. But, at the same time, I'm not sure the references and parallels were shown with the greatest finesse, or even respect. Wishing lycanthropy was as simple as being gay is both true, if you seriously think about it, and yet disrespectful to those who have legitimate fears about the backlash. I know this is a fairly inconsequential fantasy series, so it shouldn't be taken too seriously, but still, it's something I hope gets better treatment further in the series.
Another theme that seems to permeate werewolf stories is that of gender roles within the pack. There are many interpretations of the alpha/beta system and pack dynamics between males and females, I was interested to see what Vaughn had come up with. I was appalled when Kitty is raped by her pack leader in the Second Chapter. And not only is she raped, but she shrugs it off as just another one of the Alpha's perks:
Alpha's perogative: He fucks whomever he wants in the pack, whenever he wants. One of the perks of the position. It was also one of the reasons I melted around him. He just had to walk into a room and I'd be hot and bothered, ready to do anything for him, if the would just touch me. [pg 28]
What the fuck?!?! So being part of a pack not only subjugates you to another person, but magically and physiologically makes you happy when he has his way with you?! And they think wrestling with the wolf-mind about hunting deer is bad?!
Now, I'm not completely excusing it, because there's no confirmation or denial that this is how it works in all packs, nor that this is how it worked with anyone other than Kitty, who is still fairly new and, frankly, has some extenuating circumstances, but... I think Kitty's acceptance of her treatment was understandable and actually well-intentioned.
I know, I know, but hear me out. You can see her struggling against the constraints of the alpha (and her other superiors) throughout the book. It doesn't make sense that an independent, strong-willed fighter like Kitty would willingly subjugate herself to the alpha's will just because this wolf-mind told her to. And, granted I haven't studied these things, but I doubt even the wolf would instantly be completely subservient to an alpha even under normal circumstances. But Kitty's life changed that fateful night not only because of becoming a werewolf. (view spoiler)[She was raped by her former boyfriend right before being bitten/mauled. (hide spoiler)] Compiled with the sudden lycanthropic change, it's obvious that there was a lot of emotional scarring. And when told that the pack provides protection in exchange for subservience, it's only natural that in her traumatized state, and in the following months, she would agree to anything for that protection. And the wolf, not having the same value system, would surely see even sex as an agreeable (if not welcome) exchange.
I could be way off base here. I haven't read the rest of the series yet, so I don't know if this is an isolated incident, or if the whoring of female werewolves (Kitty in particular) is repeated. But this was the only way I could understand 1) how Kitty's attitude would have allowed her to be subjugated for any length of time and 2) how Kitty and the two women of power (Meg and Detective Hardin) could exist in the same book. So I don't think the author is in any way advocating for aggressive male-dominated relationships, supernatural or otherwise, but was instead showing the beginning of a victim's journey towards healing and self-empowerment.
Best segue into the romantic elements, eh? The cover summary mentions a sexy werewolf hunter. Cormac may end up being a romantic interest down the line, but there was relatively little of any genuine romance here. Kitty's still going through some healing and growth, so she's not very practiced in picking up guys. It also doesn't help that their introduction to each other was him trying to kill her. But there's some good foundation being laid here for trust and perhaps a more intimate relationship. I saw the possibility for some other romantic interests/conflicts in a couple vampire characters, but hopefully it won't re-tread over what the Mercy Thompson books have already attempted (not sure which came first...).
There was one last nitpick I wanted to address. In the course of the story it comes out on-air that Kitty is an actual werewolf, which leads to perhaps my biggest issue with the plot. Most of what Kitty says is, smartly, ambiguous as to whether or not she is a werewolf. But even when shit starts getting real, would the normal world really jump to the conclusion that the whole bit was real? I mean, radio has always been the least reliable form of documentation because you can't see what's happening. Why would the masses instantly believe that Kitty was a werewolf instead of it being a promotional stunt? In this age of cynicism and conspiracy theories I thought the sudden and overwhelming acceptance of the supernatural, truth or not, was a bit unbelievably convenient.
Believe it or not, I'd actually describe this as a new-adult book. It's never stated (and I can't find anything online) what age Kitty is, but based on her lack of job history, yet still having a bachelor's degree, I'd say mid-to-late 20's. Combine that with the journey towards self-discovery and strength, and it seems to fit the bill. Can't say what the rest of the series will hold, but I enjoyed this origin story and series start. I've made some assumptions and wishes for what might come in the future, and I can only hope I'm not completely off base.
Overall, Kitty and the Midnight Hour was a compelling introduction to a new world of the paranormal. I'd recommend it for those who enjoy the paranormal, supernatural, or urban fantasy genres and are looking for a young, sassy heroine to show them the ropes. It contains strong language, briefly described rape and sex, and more graphically depicted violence, so please take that into consideration before diving in. But if you ever wondered what the supernatural would say if they had their own talk-show, you'd best give Kitty and the Midnight Hour a taste.
This book is possibly the most random, hilarious, and delightful book I've ever read. If you're looking for something chronological, that follows a stThis book is possibly the most random, hilarious, and delightful book I've ever read. If you're looking for something chronological, that follows a straight and completely unwavering line, you should drop this book immediately. If you completely dislike humor or wit of any kind, you should try Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. And, lastly, if you are a Vogon, I'd like to know why you seem to be showing any interest in what my opinion is.
The story swerves this way and that like a (insert random parallel here), but always in the best taste, humor, and followed by a speedy return to those whom you might actually care about. There's little character development, but the characters and the plot are so quick that there's little time to really care.
Arthur Dent, though arguably the protagonist of this tale, is sort of thrown here and there with little regard for his opinion. He questions things now and again, but with the entirety of the Galaxy suddenly thrust into his cognizance, there's little he can do but learn to just go with the flow - which happens to be quite fast.
You might be a tad confused at times, but as the cover of the book says, Don't Panic! Things are usually explained fairly well, and those that aren't usually don't matter very much.
The book ends. If you'd like, you can stop reading the series now. Granted, it's not over, like, 'and they all lived happily ever after', or anything like that. It's more of a...we have a sense of resolution, there aren't any huge cliffhangers or dangling plotlines to deal with, you can rest easy having finished this book...but if you'd like to find out more about these characters, we do have another book following this, if you're interested.
On a side note, if you're having trouble getting into the book - I found the first chapter pretty dull, actually, subtle British humor and whatnot - I'd advise checking out the audiobook from the library, or finding a public-domain recording of it online somewhere. I found that the British accent (my version was actually done by Douglas Adams, himself!) conveyed the subtlety of the humor and helped get me into the mood of the work. It also helped get past names like 'Zaphod Beeblebrox'.
Read this book. No, don't go see the movie, don't read a summary, don't read movie reviews, just go read the book. Okay, you can read my review first,Read this book. No, don't go see the movie, don't read a summary, don't read movie reviews, just go read the book. Okay, you can read my review first, but then go read the book. You can thank me later.
Alright, in all seriousness, this is an amazing book. This will probably be one of my more sparse reviews because I don't want to spoil things. It really deserves as open a mind as you can give it. Then again, I've read it three times now and each time I've gotten something different out of it. The first time was for a high school class, and I remember becoming inextricably engrossed in Ender's journey and the battle school and eagerly jumping into the next books of the series. The second time was in college, around when I was studying a bit of philosophy, wherein I paid much more attention to Valentine and Peter's story. Finally, upon reading multiple reviews (and summaries) of the movie, I decided to revisit Ender's Game for a bit of comparison, analysis, and nostalgia. And it is every bit as great as I remembered.
Before I go too far, here, I feel somewhat obligated to touch on the elephant in the room that is the author. Orson Scott Card has been in the spotlight lately due to his extremely vocal and financial support of anti-gay causes. I personally abhor his words on this topic and had I not already purchased his books before learning of his practices I would probably never read them. But I did read them, and I love them. That being said, I fully support those who refuse to buy his works. Perhaps read them from the library, or from a friend, and if you feel so inclined to purchase one, do so from a used retailer.
For anyone wondering, there are absolutely no references or bashing of homosexuals in Ender's Game, nor can I remember any in the subsequent novels Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind. Actually there is a scene in which a boy kisses Ender on the cheek and whispers, "Salaam," in his ear as a gesture of friendship and farewell, which could readily be construed as a homosexual encounter. But it is never referenced as anything more than a meaningful (and perhaps forbidden) gesture between friends, which is most 'risque' action that takes place in the novel. Perhaps a bit surprising for a story about a predominantly male children's boarding school featuring scenes of naked roughhousing and shower fights?
Ender is the quintessential underdog you find yourself rooting for immediately. He's a six year old kid being thrown in to an intergalactic war, a small but smart young boy with next-to no power over his own destiny. And yet he knows what's at stake, he knows what's being done to him is far from 'normal', possibly even criminal, but he continually pushes onward for the sake of those he loves. And yet, even with this heavy burden he still has his moments of humor and camaraderie with his fellow students at his schools, so it's not all gloom and doom about him.
The other characters are equally as engrossing as Ender. Not only does he develop intricate relationships with other students, but we also are privy to conversations between teachers/military admin watching over him. Ender may have the lives of thousands of faceless people on his shoulders, but these officers have the life and well-being of this little boy in their hands, and they have to live with what they're doing to him in the name of the "greater good". We also get glimpses back to Earth through the eyes of Ender's siblings, Valentine and Peter. These serve as not only an interesting look into politics and the influence of the internet, but also a look at the psychology and morality behind two would-be leaders of men.
If I had to give the book a label, a genre, or an audience I would be quite hard-pressed to do so. As I said before, each time I read it I focused on and came away with different nuances from the story. It is Science Fictional in setting, but it contains very little hard science for non-SciFi readers to get tripped up on. The story focuses primarily on characters aged 6 to 14, yet their thoughts and actions are uncharacteristically adult and their stories are far from the typical coming-of-age a YA audience might expect. It contains war and violence, politics and psychology, but it is also tempered with the games of the Battle School and watching Ender persevere.
There's a saying that "the eye sees what it wants to see," meaning that if you aren't expecting something, oftentimes you won't see it. There is a lot in this book, but from what I remember, I didn't see a lot of what it had to offer until I was prepared to. You read what you want to read. And maybe you glean something greater through it.
Overall, Ender's Game is a must for everyone. If you need a generalization, I'd recommend it for those who enjoy SciFi and/or have an open mind. Younger readers will enjoy the battle school, while older readers may take away some other parts as highlights. It does contain violence and some heavy morality issues, so I'd say high school and up would enjoy this the most, especially for discussion. If the commercials for the movie have piqued your interest at all, and if you haven't already explored the Game, I'd suggest you go find a copy and read it ASAP before someone spoils it for you.
Picking up where the last one left off, we have our same characters, exactly where they were...two hours later.
This book contains a very similar stylePicking up where the last one left off, we have our same characters, exactly where they were...two hours later.
This book contains a very similar style and pacing to the last one. There are more excerpts of what might be written about certain things in The Guide. There are more zippings here and there around the Galaxy. There are more Vogons.
And time. Yes, there's some time traveling, too. Those who vehemently dislike these types of complications might want to stop at number one. Those who only dislike them because they aren't handled well can rest easy and enjoy the ride.
Also on the same lines as the last one, there's little more character developing done here. Zaphod has a good while off by himself. In fact, he finds his own little mission of sorts. So a little more is done with his character in particular, but the others remain, at the most, functional.
This book's ending isn't nearly as concrete as the first's. Sure, it ends, but even if you had no idea there was another book written, there's a part of you that knows this can't be the end. Adams just couldn't leave them like this. Could he?
A bit more time has passed since Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Last time it was a mere 2 hours. This time...well, it's been 5 years.
Some of yA bit more time has passed since Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Last time it was a mere 2 hours. This time...well, it's been 5 years.
Some of you may be wondering if you read that right. To you, I say, yes. 5 years. Even with a quasi-cliffhanger, we join our characters 5 years after the end of the last book. Then again, this changes in the first couple chapters, as we again start time-traveling.
If you really aren't a fan of time-travel, you should not read this book. At all. In fact, there's so much of it, that Adams even had to introduce a sort of Time Squad to keep the order of things. Not that they actually make things any easier. No, if anything they only increase the amount of time-traveling. And this time, it isn't as neat.
Right off the bat, this book came off as less comical and more...serious. There, I said it. There seems to be an actual attempt at a straightforward plot...and villains...and a mystery woven in. And I'm not sure they all really work.
The crew is given the task of saving Life, the Universe and Everything, and it ends up being a purpose that weighs heavily on the story. They still have their jokes, but with this over-arching purpose, this goal, the crew aren't nearly as carefree and frivolous as they once were. Granted, there are times when Ford Prefect pokes fun at this, saying, "But we don't care enough to save the universe!", yet the group tries anyway. Even the random, anecdotal ramblings play into the story at large (though how exactly, I won't say).
This book has a conclusion. You could definitely say that the 3rd part of the trilogy ends things quite nicely, and stop right there. In fact, I might almost recommend it...
This book almost seems as a new beginning for the series. A new jumping-off point, sorta like Orson Scott Card's Ender's Series does. does.
It is in a cThis book almost seems as a new beginning for the series. A new jumping-off point, sorta like Orson Scott Card's Ender's Series does. does.
It is in a completely different style. There are no random links to what The Guide might say about something. In fact, The Guide doesn't play a large part in this book at all. Also, there is very very little space travel. Most of the book takes place on Earth (time-travel, perhaps? nope, I'm not telling), and focuses on Arthur Dent.
Arthur gets a good bit of character development here. In fact, this entire book might be taken as a character study. As such, I almost wouldn't recommend reading it, except that it is written well, and it contains a well-rounded story, and there's really nothing wrong with it. It simply isn't like its predecessors.
You can definitely tell that Douglas Adams did not want to write this book. Well, if he did, he did not want to write it then. He, apparently, did notYou can definitely tell that Douglas Adams did not want to write this book. Well, if he did, he did not want to write it then. He, apparently, did not like deadlines and, I've heard, was fed up with having to write these books by now. You can tell from the first chapter.
The book is, in short, only for Hitchhiker fans (or fanatics). Well, if you've made it this far, I would assume you would be.
It does not stand on its own. It hardly stands as part of the series. If you found Life, the Universe and Everything unappealing, then you probably shouldn't try this one.
Two words: Parallel Universes. Okay, that's not exactly what they call them in this book, but that's the easiest thing to understand. There's a lot of techno-babble in this book, and unlike in previous novels, Adams doesn't do a great job explaining them. We're often in the same boat as Dent, who feels he should understand something, is really trying to, but eventually has to leave it be and move forward.
It has character development...which seems completely unnecessary in the long run. It has a number of plots...which try to get resolved. It has a complete absence of 3 (of my favorite) characters...then again, you're almost glad for that by the end.
Oh, the end. I must say that the end is a let-down. There's a lot of tension by the end. There are a lot of people and plots converging at once, and it all seems rather rushed. You're thinking, 'what rabbit is Adams gonna pull out next?'... And then... Well... Nobody likes the ending.
Adams had said he was considering writing another book, to better resolve some of these issues, but he died suddenly in 2001. And so, that was the end...