This book did not go where I expected it to go. In fact, it wasn't what I expected at all. That is both a very good thing, and a slightly bad one as fThis book did not go where I expected it to go. In fact, it wasn't what I expected at all. That is both a very good thing, and a slightly bad one as far as my review goes
I found this book on a list of "spine tinglers." It was supposed to be a scary ghost story, which is what I was in the mood for at the time. And that's part of the problem. Ghost story? Yes (kind of). Spine tingler? No. Oh, there were a couple of tense moments, but this book isn't scary, like, at all. In fact, for most of the book, it leaves you wondering if something is really going on or if it's all just pretend.
Instead of a spine tingler, the book is a coming-of-age story centered around a possible haunting. It's three twelve year olds who get together to play with dolls and action figures spurned on an adventure by said possible haunting and growing up on the way (after doing some incredibly stupid things that will have serious ramifications not addressed in the book). Saying much more will give too much away, but needless to say, it wasn't spine tingling at all.
That being said, the story is not bad, and it moves along at a good pace. The characters also make sense (for the most part), and you get a sense of their future from their actions. The coming-of-age part worked (minus the ignored ramifications mentioned earlier). The few tense scenes also played out well. So it's worth reading and I recommend it, but if you are looking for scary, go elsewhere. ...more
I love where Sanderson is going with the Mistborn series. I LOVED the first book but struggled a bit more with the 2nd and 3rd, largely because they lI love where Sanderson is going with the Mistborn series. I LOVED the first book but struggled a bit more with the 2nd and 3rd, largely because they lost the fun of the first one, though they were great as straight up fantasy. But then there was The Alloy of Law, a master-stroke. Who would have thought that fantasy and westerns would combine so easily. Shadows of Self continues the characters (which I belated realized were Wax and Wane) and adventures introduced in that novel and does just as well.
The best part of the Mistborn series is that its magic is fairly unique and well-explained. The new books make that even more interesting by putting them in a full western, with guns and lawmen and all. It is very well-done and, more importantly for me, a whole lot of fun, largely thanks to Wayne's hilarious lawman character and some of the absurd situations.
If there is a downside, it's that you need to read the rest of the series before you get this far. Jumping into the middle of this story, even more than Alloy, will be difficult as it references the earlier books quite a bit and I think newcomers will be confused. But don't worry, the rest of the series is good, too, and these ones are worth the read.
Not as good as the first one. It felt like a whole lot of nothing happened for the first 3/4ths of the book, and the "twist" with the romance was veryNot as good as the first one. It felt like a whole lot of nothing happened for the first 3/4ths of the book, and the "twist" with the romance was very predictable from the first book on. Still, very enjoyable and I very much want to know how it all ends....more
I had absolutely no idea Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was based on a book. When I found out, I just had to read it.
The book is significantly different froI had absolutely no idea Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was based on a book. When I found out, I just had to read it.
The book is significantly different from the movie. It's a lot darker, more adult, and the mystery is more complex. It's also has quite a bit of social commentary -- toon relations replacing race relations. It made for a very interesting read and a very interesting world.
In the end, I really enjoyed it. I understand that the later books took more from the movie and significantly re-write the ending of this book. That's a shame. I thought it was fitting and would like to see where the story went from there.
Even still, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for something a bit different -- kind of like the movie itself....more
Very fascinating book. Richard Matheson has fast become one of my favorite authors and seems to be able to do everything -- from horror and sci-fi toVery fascinating book. Richard Matheson has fast become one of my favorite authors and seems to be able to do everything -- from horror and sci-fi to drama and westerns. This book is a straight-up western (unlike Matheson's Shadow on the Sun, which a wester but mostly horror). It steals from the lives of many real-life western "heroes" like Buffalo Bill, Billy the Kid, Kit Carson, and Wyatt Earp. Matheson seems to be using his fictional account to examine the lives and legends of these characters as well as how we tell the story of the "Wild West" and how it evolved into the cultural touchpoint it is.
I don't know that I would have noticed the parallels with the real-life people if I hadn't read biographies on many of them recently. How the main character becomes a gunman and criminal in this book is strikingly similar to Billy the Kid's story, his reaction to his growing fame and eventual involvement in plays and other theatrics of his exploits mirrored both Kit Carson and Buffalo Bill. A shootout in the story is almost the same story as the Shootout at the OK Corral. They were enjoyable retellings while also presenting things in a different light.
The book was a good adventure and fascinating, but more, like much of Matheson's work, it left you thinking afterwards. I don't know that I'll read westerns the same in the future (Not that I read them often to begin with)....more
Books don't often make me mad at movies based on them. I tend to be able to take the two genres in stride and know that there are differences and thatBooks don't often make me mad at movies based on them. I tend to be able to take the two genres in stride and know that there are differences and that's okay. But very occasionally, I get very frustrated with a movie when they squander all of the potential in a book. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is the premiere example of this: why on earth would filmmakers make THAT when they had THIS to work with? It is maddening.
Insurgent is one of those very rare books.
I have no idea what the filmmakers were thinking. Insurgent isn't a great book, it has some significant problems, but it is leaps and bounds better than the movie that pretends to be an adaptation. When I saw the movie, I thought it was passable. Not great -- or even as good as the first movie -- but decent in it's own right. I don't think that anymore. After seeing what the filmmakers had to work with -- which, quite frankly, I can't imagine being any more expensive just less "Tris-is-the-chosen-one-focused" -- I am furious at them. They had the chance to make a much deeper, complex film that opened up the world and, you know, made sense and even explained the title, and they chose to do an effects-laden mess focused on Shailene Woodley instead. It is so disappointing it's tragic.
That being said, the book isn't great. It has problems. Four's and Tris' moping gets old, fast. Some things happen just because, and the writing is decent but not great. However, it is a fun -- sometimes thrilling -- book and unlike the movie, it is occasionally thought-provoking. It also has scenes that I'm shocked the filmmakers didn't jump on because they would have played well on screen (Tris drugged by Amity anyone?). Tris and Four's relationship is more complex than the movie as well, which was a relief because it felt flat even before I read the book. And Jeanine's motivations make SO MUCH more sense here.
In the end, I enjoyed the book, but I don't know that I will be able to watch the movie again without getting really grumpy. I've been told that the third book is pretty bad and that it kind of ruins the whole thing, but right now, I'm looking forward to it. But I may have to skip the film. ...more
I think that these books are some of the best fairy-tale retellings out there. Who knew that Cinderella would go so well with cyborgs? Who knew LittleI think that these books are some of the best fairy-tale retellings out there. Who knew that Cinderella would go so well with cyborgs? Who knew Little Red Riding Hood would mesh so well with aliens? Totally awesome. I think that this is the weakest book out so far, but it is still way better than a lot of other junk out there.
Re-listened to this over the weekend with the family on a trip. We all loved it....more
Listened to this book again over the weekend with the family on a trip. It really is one of the best YA series I've read in a long time. So much fun aListened to this book again over the weekend with the family on a trip. It really is one of the best YA series I've read in a long time. So much fun and so imaginative!...more
James Bond is, of course, the classic spy, and this is perhaps his most iconic adventure. The book has everything a Bond fan will enjoy: a scheming, oJames Bond is, of course, the classic spy, and this is perhaps his most iconic adventure. The book has everything a Bond fan will enjoy: a scheming, over-the-top villain; beautiful women; lots of intrigue; and some pretty tense moments. It also includes everything about Bond that makes readers squirm a bit: the womanizing, unabashed sexism, and blatant racism.
To say that the sexist/racist moments are simply products of the time is, I think, pretty disingenuous, as women and equality were making great strides at the time. And at times, it gets really old (especially the sexism). But at the same time, it makes Bond an interesting character--one you can't always get behind and who is, at times heroic and dashing, and at times repulsive. I'm sure much has been written about this strange contradiction, but I doubt I'll spend much time researching it.
Also, an interesting thing about this particular book is that I actually thought the movie was better. It improved upon the source material and even covered some pretty glaring plot holes, making it a rare exception to the "book is always better" rule. Not that I thought the book was bad, I just thought that the movie handled things better.
In the end, I enjoyed the book, but I think I've had my fill of Bond for a while....more
I really enjoyed Wildwood Dancing. Its mixture of classic fairy tales and Transylvanian folklore was fascinating and its characters and story intriguiI really enjoyed Wildwood Dancing. Its mixture of classic fairy tales and Transylvanian folklore was fascinating and its characters and story intriguing. Unfortunately, Cybele's Secret doesn't quite live up to the first outing.
Cybele's Secret has a few things going for it. The first is its location -- Istanbul of the 1700s. The mix of religion and cultures shoved together in that legendary city was very interesting. On top of that, the amount of mythology and the numerous fairy tales from that part of the world present an excellent opportunity to integrate into a sequel to Wildwood. Unfortunately, not enough time is spent on the setting and the mythology that does exist in the book -- focused largely on an earth goddess named "Cybele" -- seems to be created solely for the book.
In other words, the book is filled with missed opportunities. The characters also aren't as interesting or as believable as the first go-round. Sorry, but Paula isn't as interesting as Jena. On top of that, the romances were predictable as was the "villain." And, quite frankly, the ties to the first book were too tight. It would have been better (in my opinion) to be loosely tied to the first story.
But probably the worst thing is that things don't develop gradually. In the first book, the fairies set things in motion and then let them develop organically. Here they seem to be shoving the characters forward. And rather than questioning what's happening, the characters just accept it with little reason to do so. Even worse, there isn't really any doubt of how things will turn out. Sure, we know it's a youth book and that everything is going to turn out right in the end, but at least the first book kept you guessing. This one, not so much.
That isn't to say that the book is bad. It's actually fine for a standard, run-of-the-mill YA fantasy-romance. But to me, that's the problem. The first book was something different and unusual -- dare I say "special"? It drew me in and presented a classic story in a unique and fresh way. That uniqueness and freshness was missing this time around. So, in the end, this one just seemed... flat. And that's not what you want a book to be....more