Wavering between 2.5 & 3 stars. Just didn't grab me. Angsty, angry love just isn't my bag any more. I need something more than star-crossed loversWavering between 2.5 & 3 stars. Just didn't grab me. Angsty, angry love just isn't my bag any more. I need something more than star-crossed lovers these days. Give me dragons, give me plague, give me robots. Hodge is a good writer though. ...more
Obviously I am in the MAJOR minority with my 5 star rating. To be fair, it's more like a 4.5, but I wanted to be nice, because I ge[slightly spoilery]
Obviously I am in the MAJOR minority with my 5 star rating. To be fair, it's more like a 4.5, but I wanted to be nice, because I genuinely did look forward to reading it whenever I had the chance. That's been rare for me these days.
In the first book, Ashes, I lost some interest in the second half when things slowed down and the tone shifted, so I wasn't expecting much from the sequel. But turns out I actually enjoyed this one more! It's funny because the things I really enjoyed were some of the things it seems others didn't care for? Or like, we almost read different books?
I thought this 2nd book in the trilogy actually escaped the curse of "boring bridge between the first and last books". I mean, yeah, it's basically a "travel" book; characters are just trying to get from one place to the next the entire time. But it was SO action-packed! Like, because Bick introduced new point-of-views (which was a little weird at first, but I quickly got over it), there were even times three different action scenes were going on simultaneously. Like, edge of your seat, shield your eyes, cover your mouth in horror action scenes. And this sort of pace lasted the ENTIRE book! This book was dark, man. Like, mentally scarring. What is your childhood trauma, Bick?!!
No, but seriously. I need the last book in my life ASAP. I am so happy that I heard it's 800 pages long or something.
A few random comments:
--Kind of feel guilty for labelling this trilogy "zombie", because these cannibal kids are so NOT zombies, which has become pretty dang clear in this sequel. They communicate with one another, plan, organise, MATE, take prisoners, make deals...how horrifying is that?! I'll take zombies over evil teen cannibal psychos any day.
--I forgot how awesome Alex is.
--FINN IS THE MOST EVIL VILLAIN WHO EVER VILLAINED. He's how I expected the Governor would be on the last season of The Walking Dead judging from how people described the graphic novel version. (spoiler: the Governor was super disappointing; Finn is much scarier). Can't remember the last time I was this unsettled by a character.
--Really enjoyed reading Tom's POV. Chris...why are you even here, Chris?
--I noticed that Bick has really nice prose occasionally. Most of the time it's standard YA wham bam thank you ma'am, but every once and awhile she'll throw out a really great line or paragraph or moment....more
Gillian Flynn writes characters so real that it's embarrassing. "Warts and all" is her forte. I can't tell you how many times I burst out laughing inGillian Flynn writes characters so real that it's embarrassing. "Warts and all" is her forte. I can't tell you how many times I burst out laughing in that harsh shocked way while reading this book (which I also did during Gone Girl, but Dark Places has more bite) any time I'd come across some mean little observation about other people. Like, Gillian! I can't believe you said that!
She fiddled with the oversized blue stone she wore on a chain, which matched a blue stripe on her sweatshirt. I pictured her at home in front of a water-stained mirror, enjoying the slight bit of good fortune of matching her necklace to the sweatshirt. --- He wore a tiny turquoise stud earring I always associated with Dungeons and Dragons types. Men who own ferrets and think magic tricks are cool. --- Len never said hello as a greeting; he said something like a yodel, He-a-lo! and Patty had to brace for it each time, she found the sound so ridiculous. --- The one thing I suspected about Jim Jeffreys was that he must be Christian, churchy— he had the patience and optimism of someone who thought Jesus was watching. --- She was wearing a black pantsuit with a pale pink turtleneck underneath, a painfully aspirational look for a stripper.
But fear not, reader, for our main narrator is just as mean and critical of herself.
I was not a lovable child, and I'd grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it'd be a scribble with fangs. --- I’m not good at things like that: haircuts or oil changes or dentist visits. When I moved into my bungalow, I spent the first three months swaddled in blankets because I couldn’t deal with getting the gas turned on. It’s been turned off three times in the past few years, because sometimes I can’t quite bring myself to write a check. I have trouble maintaining. --- I can feel a better version of me somewhere in there—hidden behind a liver or attached to a bit of spleen within my stunted, childish body—a Libby that’s telling me to get up, do something, grow up, move on.
But enough quotes. This book, unlike Gone Girl, was always interesting, no matter what narrative I was flipping back and forth to. I didn't particularly care for Amy's chapters in the first half of Gone Girl, but I was drawn to each character in Dark Places. You could even argue, that these people--warts and all--are likable. I rooted for Patty, I felt sorry for Ben and his sad life, and I grew fond of Libby with her scribbly soul.
I must say, I figured out the "reveal" around the 40% mark, but I was still completely hooked on the novel to the very end. I needed to understand. And Gillian Flynn has no problem slicing open each and every one of her characters and showing you the mess inside. She has the precision of a master surgeon & you'll learn even more than you wanted to....more
I...have no words. This book was horrifying & creepy & wonderfully written & complex & cerebral. BUT I STILL HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!I...have no words. This book was horrifying & creepy & wonderfully written & complex & cerebral. BUT I STILL HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!
I also really just need more books with Hesketh as a narrator. What a delightful, refreshing voice. What a fascinating perspective on life.
Creepy murderous children straight outta Lord of the Flies, massive pandemic crisis, end-of-the-world-scale sabotage, etc. Sounds like a wild ride, right? But this book is a slow-burn, a slow descent into crazy town. Every time I felt I understood why everything was happening, there would be some small wrench thrown into the mess, and I had to regroup. I was constantly on edge. Last night I slept with all limbs protectively covered under my duvet, safe from monsters, from creatures.
But this ending isn't spelled out for you. It's left with a lot of room for interpretation, for confusion. Be prepared for that. You don't get a neat bow wrapped around this one. But you get Hesketh. Sweet Hesketh and his origami and his logic and his brilliant mind. He is not just a robot made of meat....more