I was given a free e-book copy of this book in return for an honest review.
This book fell between 3 and 4 stars for me. It started off a little slowlyI was given a free e-book copy of this book in return for an honest review.
This book fell between 3 and 4 stars for me. It started off a little slowly and took me a bit to get interested in the story when it was still just Honoria. I found once I was introduced to Lady Clifford and Albertine I became more and more engrossed with the story. I wanted to keep reading in order to find out what happened to everybody in the end. The weaving together of the three time periods worked really well and allowed the story to unfold gradually, leaving some questions yet to be answered until the end. And very nearly all questions were answered - ALMOST all loose ends were tied up, which I find has not been the case with many books I've read lately. (view spoiler)[ The only loose end I would've liked some closure on concerns Mary-Anne and Angela. Once the witch allowed Angela to return to her family, we don't know what happens to them. Allison/Albertine tells us her family is dead, but we don't know if Mary-Anne kept searching for her after Angela reports she had found her. Albertine said she'd be right behind her but didn't escape until much later. Allison/Albertine mentions not wanting to disturb her sister's descendants, but she likely could've found out what happened to her sister and niece in other ways. (hide spoiler)] I also liked how all of the characters in the story seemed to be connected to each other in some way. I did find some minor grammar/spelling errors, and I felt that the book could've used about 50 more pages to fully flesh out the story - some revelations were made a little too quickly to be authentic, and the ending occurred much too quickly. With 20 pages to go I felt there was too much to be resolved for it to be done properly, and I was right. Adding at least another 20 pages to the end to wrap it all up a little more slowly would've been perfect. I approve of the events leading up to the ending, (view spoiler)[ for instance, Honoria's death, although sad, does nicely complete the story, as all she had wanted throughout the book was to be back with her parents, and she gets her wish, (hide spoiler)] but I felt it needed just a little more sprucing. (view spoiler)[ Also, I would've let Albertine come to the realization herself that Elizabeth was the witch. All the signs were there for her to figure it out, and she was already suspicious. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, I felt the story was creative and gripping and I thank the author for allowing me the chance to read it, as I'm not sure I would've come across this book otherwise.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book, and the possibility of the world it describes, is terrifying.
I had never read anything by Atwood before, hadn't even glanced at one of herThis book, and the possibility of the world it describes, is terrifying.
I had never read anything by Atwood before, hadn't even glanced at one of her works to see if I'd be interested in reading it. I think I had been linking her with "the other Canadian Margaret" - Margaret Laurence - whose "The Stone Angel" I was made to read for Grade 12 English class, and which I thoroughly hated. I apologize, Ms. Atwood. My unfair linking was destroyed when copies of "The Handmaid's Tale" were set on my desk. They were one of the selections for the Grade 12 English class of the school at which I am the librarian. I happened to pick up one of these copies and read the blurb. The premise immediately fascinated and horrified me, and I knew I must read the book soon.
While reading, I found myself getting annoyed with Atwood in that she would withhold details of the story after dropping some new little development, like allowing just a nibble of a delicious dessert and then taking it away to be given another taste some time later. I know she did this on purpose, to keep you hooked and reading and wanting more, and it worked. However, by doing this and not fully explaining things all at once, I feel she forgot about some details in the end and therefore many questions were left unanswered. I am a closure person, I need all the loose-ends tied up with a pretty little bow. I get that some ambiguity is a good thing and allows the reader to draw their own conclusions... but to me there were too many things left open-ended to really give that satisfied feeling of having read a thoroughly well-developed story. (view spoiler)[ Perhaps Atwood didn't know how she was to bring this story to an end without being accused of a "cop-out", and from there was born the discovered-tapes-and-academic-discussion-years-ahead ending. I'll admit, when I first saw the "Historical Notes" page I thought the book had ended and that was sort of like an "Acknowledgments" page you sometimes see in books. This made me furious. You can't end it like that! What the hell happened to Offred?!? But that wasn't the end, though it didn't give any further clarity as to what happened to Offred. (hide spoiler)] How did this religious right so quickly and easily take over the country? Surely this would have been opposed with greater force. How did this regime ultimately topple? We are led to believe that we are only seeing the earlier part of the reign; how did things progress from there? What actually happened when Offred and her family tried to flee to Canada? She never fully discloses this because it's too difficult to discuss. And, of course, the ambiguous ending leaves plenty of questions unanswered.
Despite this lack of answers, I was completely enthralled with this dystopian world. The thing that is most terrifying about this is that this world COULD become a reality. Not nearly as quickly as in the story... but over time, with power in the wrong hands, pieces from this work could, bit by bit, be put in place. I'm amazed this book was published 30 years ago, as so many elements have eerie similarities to things I see in the news today.
Overall, I enjoyed this story, despite the lack of closure, and will start to look at some other Atwood works, now that I've lost the unintentional link between her and Laurence. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I had a lot of issues with this book. First, it is painfully obvious that no editor was used. There were grammatical errors, missing words, extra wordI had a lot of issues with this book. First, it is painfully obvious that no editor was used. There were grammatical errors, missing words, extra words, the wrong form of a word, names misspelled (Reese and Reeze for the same person), etc. For example: "A strange tingling as if a disease was slowing taking over me." "... it would easier on the both of us." "I guess they could've have planted it...". These things occurred far too frequently. Also, multiple uses of "back-peddling". Do we not know the difference between peddling and pedalling? (Or pedaling if American). At this point I know I'm being nit-picky... but there was so much wrong that I couldn't help but notice it all and get really annoyed by it. Beyond that, the writing style is awkward, with weird sentence structures. I had to go back and re-read many sentences in a different way, because how they were written didn't make sense with my original inflection and emphasis. The story had poor flow and seemed to jump without adequately explaining the elapsed time. I would suggest adding in dates to the characters' topic discussions to better help the reader follow the passing of time. The plot developments were also extremely inauthentic and forced; I found the use of the "literary agent" to coax out some background and further the plot development did not work well and was too contrived. (view spoiler)[ I also found that the many devices used to prevent Michael from learning for so long that Avery and Greyson weren't dating got to be ridiculous. (hide spoiler)] I didn't find that the three characters had any real difference in voice - they all sounded like the same person. Again, I realize I'm being nit-picky here.
I DID like the concept and story line. The supernatural powers and shadow creatures living among us, etc., made for a good idea, but was poorly executed. However, my issues with this book lay not with the creative elements; the author's imagination is solid. It's only in execution that there is a lot of room for improvement. This is why the book received 2/5 stars instead of 1/5.
Shannon, I am not an editor by profession (I am a librarian), but I have edited multiple works before and could act as an editor for you, if you wish. Otherwise, good luck with the rest of your works!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Well I finished the saga... at least I can say that much. With how promising the series started out with "The Giver", I'm rather disappointed with theWell I finished the saga... at least I can say that much. With how promising the series started out with "The Giver", I'm rather disappointed with the rest - "Gathering Blue", "Messenger", and "Son". In these later three, Lowry goes on forever with her story-building until the last two chapters that contain ALL of the action, and usually with very little detail in the resolution (if there even IS resolution). And it really bothers me when writers can't keep their storylines straight. In "Gathering Blue" Christopher (the Seer) tells Kira that he was found in the Field by people from Village and they carried him there and healed him. In "Son" it says that he stumbled there himself. And I may be wrong about this, but didn't Jonas run away with Gabe a lot sooner in "The Giver" than they make it seem in "Son"? It's been awhile since I read "The Giver", but I hadn't thought they were on the eve of another Ceremony of Twelve when Jonas learned they were going to release Gabe and decided to take him and run, but that is how it happens in "Son". Overall... not a great ending to an excellent first book. Lowry probably should've just left "The Giver" alone and left people wondering what happened instead of writing these....more
This book was terrible. I had never read a Koontz book before, but I picked this one up because it sounded interesting. A guy gets a heart transplantThis book was terrible. I had never read a Koontz book before, but I picked this one up because it sounded interesting. A guy gets a heart transplant and then a woman stalks him wanting it back? Sure, I'll give it a try. BAD IDEA. But as bad as picking the book up in the first place was, sticking with it to the end was worse.
There is so much wrong with this book, not the least of which is that this woman who wants the heart back DOESN'T SHOW UP UNTIL 222 PAGES IN. Technically, he glimpses her around page 185 and she plays some tricks to torment him in his house... but he doesn't actually see her face until page 222. Everything before that? Unnecessary side stories and unbelievably excessive detail. It is amazing how Koontz can give so much detail and still say nothing. NOTHING!! Oh the wind, and the trees, and the birds, and the clouds, and the sea... he explains everything at every moment to the point of nausea.
Once this woman finally shows up, the main character, Ryan, still goes on stupid trips to add to the unnecessary side stories that were introduced in the first half of the book. This woman who wants his new heart back BARELY plays a role in the story. She's likely featured for... maybe 60 pages all said and done? With the tricks, the glimpses, the meeting, and the final showdown? Yeah. 60 pages. Pathetic, given that this is supposed to be the main storyline, given the description of the book. Why not just give a blurb saying "Ryan needs a new heart, so he spends half of the book paranoid and following idiotic threads that mean nothing, and building a relationship with a character that leads to nothing, and developing theories about identical twins that lead to nothing... but then he gets a new heart, and yet he's still paranoid, so off on tangents he goes again... oh, and just for fun there's a teeny tiny little bit about a crazy woman who wants his transplanted heart back". (view spoiler)[And after all of that intensity, and planning, and toying, she doesn't even kill him? She shoots him three times and leaves him for dead, and she and her accomplice leave his DAD alive, whom they had planned to kill but also don't, and who obviously calls 911 and keeps Ryan from dying... (hide spoiler)] It was all just absurd! Terrible, terrible, terrible.
I'm so furious with this book I will never pick up another Koontz title. If this is the type of crap he spits out I have no idea how he became such a popular author. It's evident someone LOVES his thesaurus, but using a variety of descriptive words does not make for a good story. Was he running low on cash? Gets paid per page that he writes, even if it's mind-numbingly awful? I really can't say enough bad things about this story.
I recommend this story to NO ONE and am relieved that I spent no money on this book and that it only came to my attention because I weeded it from my library due to poor circulation.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more