Victory of Eagles has significantly more angst than previous Temeraire novels, but it's probably the best of the series since the first book. The stak...moreVictory of Eagles has significantly more angst than previous Temeraire novels, but it's probably the best of the series since the first book. The stakes have officially been raised: Napoleon has invaded England and Laurence has been sentenced to death for treason. This installment has action, humour, conflicted loyalties, the reality of war (well, as much as possible when war involves DRAGONS), and a heart-stopping climax. Plus, Temeraire really comes into his own as a character and I love his relationship with Laurence.
But honestly, can someone please find a way to control Iskierka? That would be fantastic, thanks.(less)
This is a must-read reading if you are Catholic, lapsed Catholic, or wondering what all those crazy Catholics are on about. It's not about doctrine or...moreThis is a must-read reading if you are Catholic, lapsed Catholic, or wondering what all those crazy Catholics are on about. It's not about doctrine or deep theological questions, but Matthew Kelly has a way of writing in a practical, inspiring way about living authentically in a world that is becoming more and more secular.
This memoir is probably a brilliant book -- it does have a uniquely vivid and realistic narrative voice -- but it wasn't one I enjoyed. It felt like a...moreThis memoir is probably a brilliant book -- it does have a uniquely vivid and realistic narrative voice -- but it wasn't one I enjoyed. It felt like a never-ending parade of self-indulgent tangents. Granted, the stream-of-consciousness style was intentional, but I was fed up with it long before the book was finished. I kept waiting for it to go somewhere and it didn't. That would be fine if it was actually funny or (dare I say it?) heartbreaking, but it rarely triggered an emotional or empathetic response in me. (That probably makes me a terrible person, since it is ostensibly about real people.)
I'll give Eggers credit for being daring, absurd, and honest. I suppose I feel the same way about AHWOSG as I do about serialism in music: I recognize that there is skill involved and that it appeals to some people, but I don't particularly want to spend my time on it. When I got to the end, my first word aloud was "Finally!"
P.S. I thought the preface/acknowledgements was the best part. I should have stopped there while I was ahead.(less)
I was actually pretty disappointed in this book. It's not badly written, but I just wasn't interested. The book is presented as the "memoirs" of a wom...moreI was actually pretty disappointed in this book. It's not badly written, but I just wasn't interested. The book is presented as the "memoirs" of a woman reminiscing about the days when she broke away from her stuffy society rules to study dragons in unpronounceable places. That's would be fine except that the characters lacked depth, humour, and anything that would make them memorable. I also wasn't convinced by the world-building. Presumably it's an alternate world where dragons are part of the standard wildlife, but we're given very little information about that world and nothing is explained. Why do the main characters have "normal" names and live in an expy of England while the geography is bizarre and dragons are par for the course? How much can we assume the world follows 19th century England, and how much is fantasy? Plus the big "plot twist" and final conflict were very predictable, and the plot moves at a snail's pace until the last few chapters.
It's not all bad -- the illustration are lovely and the writing style is decent. And I suppose you could argue that the lack of world-building is due to the fact that it's meant to be a memoir written for people who would already know all the missing information, since they all live in the fictional world.
All in all, it's not a bad book, but forgettable.(less)
This is one of those rarities, a sequel that is better than the original. The Dream Thieves continues the paranormal fantasy cycle started with The Ra...moreThis is one of those rarities, a sequel that is better than the original. The Dream Thieves continues the paranormal fantasy cycle started with The Raven Boys, and the quest for an medieval Welsh king is complicated by over-excited ley lines and a teenager who can take objects out of his dreams. I hadn't expected to like The Dream Thieves as much as The Raven Boys, since my favourite elements of the first book were Blue, Gansey, and the ties to Welsh legend. Here, the focus is on Ronan and Adam, while the quest for Glendower takes a back seat (in Gansey's Camaro, if you will).
But you know what? It's awesome. The characters get great development, the prose is still wonderfully lush, and I am even grew to like Ronan and the Grey Man, who is set up as something of a villain. It's the interactions between the characters that make The Dream Thieves work, and it's hard to count the number of times I stopped reading to bask in something fantastic that a character said or did.
For the record, though, I still think it's goofy that they are looking for Owain Glyndwr in Virginia. Actually, the shift in focus away from that quest may have made the book stronger in my eyes, since I wasn't comparing it to The Dark is Rising sequence as much as when I read the first book.
The worst part? It ended too soon and I will have to wait ages for the next book in the series.