While I mostly enjoyed this, Roth's final installment of her Divergent series, the final leg of the journey and its reolution eave me feeling hollow aWhile I mostly enjoyed this, Roth's final installment of her Divergent series, the final leg of the journey and its reolution eave me feeling hollow and unfulfilled.
The first two books were blissfully self-contained, whereas this final chapter suddenly opened us up to a deadened, empty larger world. Roth created this rich culture of interlocking social groups and suddenly broke its spell, declaring it meaningless in the grander scale. I didn't care for the alternating points of view, initially, though in some sections they allowed Roth to tell the story from a more convenient pov. At first, i thought she was following suit with one of her spinoff side stories and bending to fans' preferences for Tobias's perspective, but it allowed her to explain some character motivations more fully, as well as solving the issue of how to write the final chapters of a book written in first-person, after that person--the main protagonist--dies. *sigh* But, back to that in a moment, as I'm still stuck on the change in writing style. It didn't flow as naturally as the first two installments. The change kept me from fully immersing myself within a character bc it kept changing. Another reviewer noted that the two vioices began to lose their distinction, and I agree. Tobias also lost much of his strength, which was disheartening. He was a shell of his former self, and barely redeemed himself in the end. In regards to the end... Tris's sacrifice,like her new world, also felt strange and holllow. Her death scene, while loveky in some ways, felt inappropriate, unnecessary, and wrong. I kept wondering if she were really dead, because it seemed relatively pointless for her to die, except as some kind of example of self-sacrifice.Yet, after all the introduction into the vastness of the larger world, her sacrifice only serves to affect the memories and belief system of the small bureau outside Chicago. It just feels wrong.
Further, the plot gets convoluted and unnecesarily complex. Though i was still engaged in the story and read it in only a few days, much of that was driven by interest in the series as a whole and it was easier for me to set this book aside for a while... I was not as compelled to keep reading, and that's never a good sign.
This is part of a wonderful, imaginative and engaging series, but the ending deflates the power of the first book....more
I found this among my books and am pretty sure I've read it before, but barely remembered details. Some say that indicates a poorly written book. TheyI found this among my books and am pretty sure I've read it before, but barely remembered details. Some say that indicates a poorly written book. They're right.
This book is way longer than necessary (nearing 700 pages), and takes 150 pages just to find a groove. I enjoyed the concepts and some of the characters, but far too much time is spent on setup, and the climax wraps up quickly. Sexism shades the writing (descriptions of women and assumptions), along with some presumptions of advanced vs primitive culture. In other words, western culture is presumably better/more advanced than "primitive" native Americans, etc. Likewise, the idea of immortality as a blessed gift is poorly explored, which is surprising considering the number of pages in the book. What about the negatives of such long lives? Overpopulation? Resource availability? He doesn't touch on the complexity of darkness intertwined with such light. Relationships are explored, but romantic love is strangely simplified and unrealistic (in the two new couples among the guests).
I have enjoyed Dean Koontz books in the past, but found this one rather flat, though it interested me enough to finish....more
As I write, reclined on a couch, a purring kitty methodically kneads my belly, warm and content.
This book was an interesting and entertaining read, buAs I write, reclined on a couch, a purring kitty methodically kneads my belly, warm and content.
This book was an interesting and entertaining read, but relatively unsatisfying. I enjoyed the concepts but found the pacing very strange. What were the author's motives? Some bits were laboriously dwelled upon while other notions were only hinted at. I'm left with questions, feeling like I missed something, and yet, my imagination can fill the space the author designed, so, he must have been successful.
For its mind-expansion, I recommend it, but for the weaknesses in storytelling style, I reserve a couple stars....more
An ambling beginning slowly picks up speed for Morton's debut. As I've read her works in non-chronological order, it's interesting to observe Morton'sAn ambling beginning slowly picks up speed for Morton's debut. As I've read her works in non-chronological order, it's interesting to observe Morton's themes and storyline preferences from a different perspective, reading her first book with her later ones in mind, and observing the origins of her familiar style. It wasn't until 90 pages in that this novel gained any momentum for me, but while her style is more refined in her later works, this story is worth a read. I passed this a few times and eventually picked it up just because I enjoyed her 3 others and was eager for more, though I preferred The Distant Hours and The Forgotten Garden. Fans of Downton Abbey will appreciate the setting and narration....more
Well-written, sincere, and relatable, Knox's memoir speaks to justice and humanity. Her writing style is easy to read and engaging. She describes evenWell-written, sincere, and relatable, Knox's memoir speaks to justice and humanity. Her writing style is easy to read and engaging. She describes events logically and explains herself thoughtfully and convincingly.
I'm a few years older than she, but spent two semesters abroad in college and can imagine the confusion that would lead her to act the way she did during the aftermath of Kercher's brutal murder; she was in shock and in a foreign culture.
Knox's descriptions of the incessant manipulation and lies of the prosecuting side are infuriating. Even more so, the loss endured by Kercher's family is compounded by the extended, sensationalized witch hunt of two innocents ... it seems doubly unjust that their anger and sadness are directed toward the wrong people by the prosecution and media. Hopefully they will be able to finally grieve in peace for their lost child, whether or not they change their minds about Knox and Sollecito.
All the best to the defendants and best of luck in your final trial. ...more
Amanda Knox's memoir was more relatable for me, but Sollecito's is just as interesting and easy to read. Reading them back to back, I appreciated hearAmanda Knox's memoir was more relatable for me, but Sollecito's is just as interesting and easy to read. Reading them back to back, I appreciated hearing his voice. He filled in a few gaps and offered another highly sympathetic perspective. He is clearly an intelligent, honorable, driven, thoughtful, sensitive and studious man. Initially, his professions against any further drug use (marijuana) come across a little oddly... almost forced, but I think he writes from a genuine place and I believe he and Knox are innocent.
The insights he provides of the Italian culture are helpful in shedding light on this strange and awful case. The repercussions beyond his and Knox's lives (namely his family's) also provides perspective.
All the best to the defendants in their final trial.
I am confused by Andrew Gumbel's role as a writer. Is he the translator? Editor? Did he fill in gaps? He didn't write a forward, which is what i expected, and he is never introduced in the text (at all), which is written completely in the first person aside from quotes. I'm at a loss as to what he contributed. It must have been significant, but I can't find anything attached to his name between the covers of this book....more