Holy Mackeral... It's been a long time since I read a book like that. Actually, I don't think I've ever read a book like quite like that. We're talkin...moreHoly Mackeral... It's been a long time since I read a book like that. Actually, I don't think I've ever read a book like quite like that. We're talking the epic-battle-ness of Hunger Games meets the deeper darker more adult writing of Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking. Too good to not rave about.
I'm not going to go into the synopsis, because it's too much and I hate that. It feels redundant. Just click on the book and read it, then come back to read my review.
I'm just going to jump right in and say that even though the book is somewhere around 350 pages the author writes Darrow in a way that you are able to watch him grow and mature. He makes a few stupid mistakes, and then he makes a lot of really strong decisions. In the beginning I wasn't sure I saw more than a cocky but passive man, in the end I saw him as a powerful cunningly smart warrior. In only about 350 pages. I had to say it again, because it's worth repeating.
I don't want to give too much away, because I feel like a lot of the feels from this book are because of the build up and surprises. I'll just say, again, that it has been a long time since I read a book that left me feeling this excited in the end. I've read a lot of books ranging from mediocre to decently good lately. I was in need of something off the charts impressive, and I definitely got it.
Read the book! I feel like most of you definitely won't be sorry.(less)
I have to start this review by saying how much I love Jordan Castillo Price as an author. Okay, granted, I’ve only really read and loved her PsyCop se...moreI have to start this review by saying how much I love Jordan Castillo Price as an author. Okay, granted, I’ve only really read and loved her PsyCop series but it holds a very special spot on my favorites shelf. Not only was PsyCop my first foray into M/M books but I relate to Vic Bayne more than absolutely any other fictional character ever. He’s introverted, anti-social, and adorably awkward. (I’m adorable, dang it!) JCP, you wrote one of the best characters out there! Just know that I love you.
Unfortunately, I can’t rave about this book the way I do about PsyCop.
There was a lot that I was looking forward to when I picked up Meatworks, like the idea that it was being categorized as a Sci-Fi Dystopian. I love Dystopian books. I also love M/M books. The idea of them merging in a book by such an amazing author had me really excited. JCP is a great writer, though. It was really well written. I can’t say that enough, I had no problem with how the book was written. I think that the problem with this book was that I felt like JCP’s special strength as an author is in her character writing. She writes books that are very character and relationship driven, and I just didn’t like the characters or the relationships in Meatworks.
Desmond Poole was supposed to be an a-hole. That was actually a part of the plot, how cynical and dismissive Desmond was, and when he lost his hand his depression just added to his sour personality. I get that. I actually didn’t even mind him. I thought he self-reflected and recognized his personality defects and tried to change. I just really did not like Corey. I know that JCP tried to write him as a character with funny sweet quirks, and I recognized that he was dealing with his own issues from the loss of his hand, but at the end of the day I felt like he was an emotional wreck. His temper tantrums were incredibly immature and every time it happened I couldn’t understand why Desmond didn’t tell him that he didn’t have time for teenage hysterics.
So basically, I couldn’t get behind that relationship.
Also, the part that I was looking forward to, the Sci-Fi Dystopia, wound up being just a futuristic setting that read like a contemporary book. There were ‘bots’ and robotic prosthetic’s and it was unusual to drive a manual car or own a boombox, but that was it. Don’t get me wrong, I could have looked past that if the characters and relationships were spot on for me, but since both plot and relationships were lacking the whole book just fell a little flat.
I’m very sad about it. I wish I had a better report. It doesn’t make me less of a fan though. I still love the author, and I’m still going to keep reading her books, because every one is unique and honest even if some just don’t hit me as hard as others.(less)
"Human's will break your heart," Prof said. "The same selfishness that makes so many of us hurt the ones we love makes our species hurt creatures it admires. To hunt and destroy chimpanzees, like they would never do to us. Our treatment of animals is a great failure of our empathy."
I am such a sucker for animal stories. Especially stories about human and animal connections. This is the same drive that pushed me to reading Julie of the Wolves as a very young girl, and the same drive that makes me still call the Matthew Broderick 80's film Project X one of my favorites.
When you add to that the humanitarian aspect of Threatened, bringing the plight of apes to light, it just makes me want to read it even more. Basically I'm happy to report that it was good!
I really appreciated the setting because, while obviously the book is going to take place in the jungle, Schrefer added in other issues people face in Africa like starving and orphaned children, AIDS, and abuse. He placed the central characters as a young boy from Gabon and an older Arabic man, both of whom were alone and lost. Then he created a host of amazingly real and human-like apes for us to love. Of course my favorites were Drummer and Mango but the story wouldn't have been the same without the heartbreaking story of Bad Mother and Good Mother and the interaction of the ape family, both the brutality and the compassion and immediate forgiveness.
The only reason I didn't rate this book higher was that I was expecting more in the end. I have to warn people who pick this up, the end just ends. It's not the artistically abrupt ending like Eleanor & Park, but more like the feeling that if you turn the page there will be more. Perhaps it was the lack of a big climactic ending, but I just feel like there should be more chapters. It feels unfinished. No concrete resolution... but then again, there isn't a resolution when it comes to conservation and preservation so I guess perhaps it's fitting.
Last thoughts, if you read this, please make sure to read the informational sections at the end of the book. So much information about his motivation, Jane Goodall, and the chimps in Africa. (also about the endangered beautiful Bonobo's.) It added so much extra depth to these animals.