Ready Player One is a geektastic fanboy dedication to the 1980’s and one heck of a fantastic novel. ErneREVIEWED by Chris for Between the Covers blog:
Ready Player One is a geektastic fanboy dedication to the 1980’s and one heck of a fantastic novel. Ernest Cline weaves a tale of epic proportion that takes the readers on a quest to the past, but weaves it into a future that is so technologically advanced I am not sure it is one that we would even want to entertain.
Ready Player One (RPO) centers on Wade Watts, an 18-year-old orphan who has dedicated his life to James Halliday’s quest. Halliday is the Steve Jobs of RPO; he created the OASIS, a virtually simulated world that everyone uses to escape real life. Prior to his death he created a contest. To win you must find the prizes hidden throughout the OASIS: three magical keys, each of which will unlock one gate. The first person to find all three keys and open all the gates finds the golden egg, completes the quest and wins Halliday’s fortune. While scouring this virtual world Wade manages to make friends, enemies and maybe even find love.
RPO throws 80’s pop culture and trivia at you from page one, almost to the point that if you are not familiar with the decade it will go over your head and seem pointless at times. I found myself loving the trivia and references, especially the movie and television references. The only thing I found a little annoying was that at times the pop culture was used as a crutch to push the story along making it seem a tad over used.
Ernest Cline should be proud of his debut. I think that it will appeal to fantasy and science fiction fans, as well as to 80’s pop culture junkies. There is a quest, love, action and electronics... basically something for everyone. RPO is well written and keeps you on your toes. I have a feeling that this book will be a cult favorite for years to come.
I love Rachel Caine, she is one of my favorite authors currently. Her Morganville Vampire books are a frREVIEWED by Chris for Between the Covers blog:
I love Rachel Caine, she is one of my favorite authors currently. Her Morganville Vampire books are a fresh young adult series, and her Weather Warden series gives new light to the gene / djin lore. When I saw that she had a new series coming out that was tackling and reinventing the zombie genre, I knew I had to read it.
Bryn is an ex-soldier who decides that handling the dead is a job that she could make a living from. Unfortunately, her first week doesn’t really go that well: she has a suicide on her watch; is harassed by Fast Eddy, the morgue’s undertaker; finds out that her boss is peddling drugs; and winds up dead. Luckily for Bryn, she doesn’t stay dead. Bryn doesn’t know why she has been brought back, or even exactly how. With the help of the undercover agent (and possible romantic interest) Patrick McCallister, she plans to find out exactly what’s going on and bring new definition to the term “Working Stiff”.
Ms. Caine has taken zombies and brought them to the modern age. Bryn doesn’t crave flesh and she isn’t a rotting corpse. She is a fully sustained person kept a live by the most ground breaking technology. Being the debut of a new series this book has a fair amount of world building and character development, but it is all done with a finesse that only a seasoned writer could possess. I love the idea behind a medical “corporate zombie,” and Ms.Caine has created a heroine that you can empathize with but who is a hardcore woman, all at the same time.
I am not sure how many books are planned in this new series, or even when the next one is planned to be released, but I am certainly watching and waiting for it. Ms.Caine has a knack for writing fantastic novels and this just adds another series of hers that I will be reading immediately upon there release.
Dead Politician Society is the debut novel by Robin Spano. A murder mystery, DPS introduces us to ClareREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
Dead Politician Society is the debut novel by Robin Spano. A murder mystery, DPS introduces us to Clare Vengel, a 22-year-old rookie police officer with the Toronto police. When a politician is murdered Clare is given her first undercover assignment: to investigate a group called The Society for Political Utopia which has claimed credit for the murder. As the group appears to be linked to the political science classes at the local university, Clare enrolls in the PoliSci class hoping to find information about the killer. As more politicians are murdered, Clare learns that more than one person has a reason to kill.
Generally speaking, I love murder mysteries. I’m a huge fan of the genre and it is one that I often fall back on when I burn myself out on the paranormal. Having said that, I went through this book with mixed feelings. BtCers, you know my view on character development and how integral I feel the characters are to any story. I can forgive a lot if I love the characters. I have to be honest. *sighs* I didn’t really like Clare. She’s 22-years-old, which as the mom of a girl minion that age I feel is still rather young. But Clare acts younger than minion 1 does, and behaves in some very irresponsible ways... such as getting drunk while on the job. Truth be told, I seriously wanted to ground her and cut off her allowance more than once. #TimeOutNeeded
I think if this book were told solely from Clare’s perspective I might have actually disliked it. Which isn’t fair, because in the end Clare is very realistic. (I can think of two or three of my daughter’s friends who I want to hang by their toes for being obnoxious.) However, DPS is told from multiple points of view, and each provides us with an insight into another character and another piece of the puzzle. I will say this for Spano... good or bad, each character made me feel something: frustration, amusement, a sincere desire to smack them upside the head for being a pompous ass. (My sincere apologies to Professor Easton.)
The transition between character POVs is well done and works to keep the story moving and interesting... which is saying something because I’m seriously NOT a fan of politics. Spano offered up enough twists and turns that the ending wasn’t predictable. Overall, Dead Politician Society was a fun and interesting read, and my irritation with Clare aside, I plan to read the next book in this series, Death Plays Poker.
I've been a fan of this series from the beginning, love Mercy as a heroine, truly enjoy the cast of chaREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
I've been a fan of this series from the beginning, love Mercy as a heroine, truly enjoy the cast of characters Briggs has created and the way they interact with each other. The deeper insight into Mercy and Adam's relationship was one of the high points of this book for me and I enjoyed seeing them grow in their respective roles, both within the pack and with each other. We also received quite a bit of new information about beloved characters: the design, and reason behind same, of Kyle and Warren's home; a more detailed explanation of Kyle's devotion to family law; the reason behind the stalemate in Sylvia and Tony's relationship... All of this information was interesting though none seemed entirely necessary to the story.
While everyone who has read my reviews knows I'm largely a character driven reader, the slow reveal of the supernatural world Briggs has brought to life in these books has kept me intrigued and turning the pages just as much as each book's individual story line. That didn't happen for me this time; I feel I know less about Mercy's world after this book. The plot seemed to jump around more than usual and left me confused. The storyline was impossible for me to follow and seemed forced, not a natural happening caused by the interaction of so many different supernatural beings. The combination of fae strategies, vampire politics, werewolf rules and pack disputes left me dazed and confused. There was an overload of characters, many of whom didn't seem to have any part in the actual storyline, which only added to the confusion. Even when the machinations were explained I still felt as if I'd missed something.
I enjoyed the book overall, but that was due to specific scenes and characters not the complete story. I look forward to the next installment in this series, and truly hope that the confusion and dissatisfaction I felt upon finishing this story was merely a fluke and the next will pull me even deeper into the fascinating world Briggs has crafted and filled with such likable characters.