A group of " I drank too much kool aid " (so sick of that) extremists kidnap Tana’s two sons to show them the "right" way to live. Wrong move. She hun...more A group of " I drank too much kool aid " (so sick of that) extremists kidnap Tana’s two sons to show them the "right" way to live. Wrong move. She hunts the kidnappers down with an executioner's ax and brings with her an entire mob of equally protective mothers that have lost their children to the same cause. Lesson learned: Do not mess with a woman’s offspring.
More than that, this short is story well written and should appeal to the Sci-Fi crowd. The only disappointment for me is the length. I wish it were longer with more of a conclusion. Having two sons myself, Tana and the other women appealed to me. I wish to have stayed with them just a wee bit longer to read more about them kicking all those self righteous -family murdering -buttocks. (less)
From the beginning of this lovely book it is easy to see why someone would publish it. It's well written, breath-taking and beautiful. For YA, it's ad...moreFrom the beginning of this lovely book it is easy to see why someone would publish it. It's well written, breath-taking and beautiful. For YA, it's adult friendly, not immature or contrived and the detailed character development turned the fantasy of Neverland into a reality. As an admirer of J.M Barrie's Peter Pan this hit the same spot in my heart with the unassuming way of Peter, the strength of Tiger Lily, the kind heart of Pine Sap, the naivety of Wendy, the goodness of Tik Tok, and the confusing unfairness of the world they shared. These characters made the story seem real, like an experience one could have if they just bought tickets and stepped on a boat headed for an island, or asked around in London for the house of Pan, once the boy that would never grow up. There's much emotion in this book...especially about the things people wish they would have said to someone but never did... people's inability to tear down the walls they build around their hearts...the way we want everything but can't have it. A book about letting go. It made me cry so high marks for that. Did I tell you how realistically sad this books is? Highly recommended even if you are not a fan of YA books.(less)
I wanted to love this book mostly for superficial reasons. I wanted to love it simply because it is Arthurian and the cover looks like one of my grand...moreI wanted to love this book mostly for superficial reasons. I wanted to love it simply because it is Arthurian and the cover looks like one of my grandmother’s exquisite cameos that I used to borrow from her jewelry box as a little girl; the cameos fed in to my intrinsic desire to be the pretty woman with a loose knot of long beautiful hair, strands touching bare shoulders. However, superficial things though often pretty to look at are not always of value and are not always what they seem. Sometimes we open them up and find large hairy boils, or worse we find emptiness. Nothing.
The latter is what I found here. I found nothing. There were so many opportunities for fits of passion and fury--and instead all these things were negotiated to death until everyone seemed a phony. The characters were wax figures in a museum especially Lancelot and Guinevere, who simply whined about their state, crying about how they loved each other but how they were never going to do anything about it. Lancelot could and would not let himself sleep with Guinevere so he does the deed with someone else--yet he is all about honor--so honorable he won’t be true to his heart and can’t keep his thing in his pants (rolling my eyes. That is not honor to me) Yet everyone is pretty okay with this aside from feeling pity and sorrow for him? Blech. Perhaps my expectations are too high for male characters?
Or perhaps I am just entering a stage that love triangles seem silly to me? Never the less, this love triangle did not evoke any emotion from me except disdain…and that is not good since this is the main part of the book (aside from themes of destiny).
Arthur is more complex; a saving grace to this novel (imo). He is not infantile, but has a no nonsense way about him which created more dimension here. He also didn’t make excuses when he screwed up, so on my end there was less eye rolling. Lancelot failed at knighthood but Arthur played the role of a king (despite his stick figure choice in company).
Still, there is too much phoniness, too many double standards, too many untruths, too many genralizations even from Arthur--too many I know you so I trust you, you would never, I never thought you could, I will save you but it’s too hard to be there for you, I love you but I love someone else, I want to have sex with you but won‘t, but will have sex with someone else. Beauty plays a larger part than it should in the story which simplified the story even more and offered no complexity of character to any of them.
I read all 600 some pages but felt unsatisfied, like I was thirsty and sought the Holy Grail but found in its place a holey plastic cup...and it rained. (less)
Have you ever wished for something in your head and had that wish came true? In fourth grade, I wanted my seat moved next to a certain someone, and th...more Have you ever wished for something in your head and had that wish came true? In fourth grade, I wanted my seat moved next to a certain someone, and the next day the teacher called on me to move my desk to that exact spot. Weird. When I look back on life even the simplest events like moving my desk seem like a series of wishes, coincidences, and deja vu moments.
Maybe there is something to the saying be careful what you wish for . What if as a young girl you wished only to love your first love? And no matter where your life went you felt compelled to love that person even when you didn't want to? Or what if, like the heroine in this tale, you wished for a person to die and the next day you found them dead? Sometimes wishes are traps. Sometimes thoughts clip your wings so that you can’t experience new heights.
In the Ice Queen, for similar reasons a young woman never wants to wish again. Her life is frozen, on pause. She lives her life safe; a quiet librarian in a small town. Until one day something happens beyond her control that helps melt her icy heart and she learns to live again.
I like books with lovely thinking points, read like poetry, and do not line the pages with details. Hoffman's work is a lot like that. Her characters are often a little out of reach for readers which is how I think people in real life are,
"People hide their truest nature. I understood that; I even applauded it. What sort of world would it be if people bled all over the sidewalks, if they wept under trees, smacked whomever they despised, kissed strangers, revealed themselves?" — Alice Hoffman
Though I like Hoffman's style, I'm a little miffed that we are never given the main character's name. Perhaps when the heroine is struggling with identity, she should go nameless, but after her journey has ended perhaps a name is not too much to ask?
Also, I noticed with Hoffman there is always an issue with the men for me. They seem shallow and unfeeling. They always run away and they almost never pursue even when they should. The female characters, always seem okay with this too, like it is as normal as waking up in the morning. Oh he's gone. Oh okay. I think I'll go have some breakfast. Normally, I find this type of distancing oneself from devastation believable because I am a lot like that, but in the Ice Queen, after her heart is aflame she seems to get over the love of her life a little too fast. Or is he not the love of her life? I still do not know.
Don't get me wrong this is a great story for mental escape. It took me about a day to read. I would not hesitate recommending it, just know it is not recommended for the detail oriented. It's a dark fairy tale told softly. Some pieces of it are guaranteed to elude you.
In summary, Kathy, Tommy, Ruth attend a boarding school unlike most. Coming of age at this school may seem a bit normal with bullies, crushes, rules t...more In summary, Kathy, Tommy, Ruth attend a boarding school unlike most. Coming of age at this school may seem a bit normal with bullies, crushes, rules that make sense, and rules that don't but it's different because the children here are preparing for a special 'purpose'.
This story is SAD (in capitals). Ishiguro's writing style is not for everyone. I like the depressing and bleak--vague but obvious style that some might find dull. I like trying to see beyond it- like he wrote like that intentionally so readers could try to uncover the deeper meanings in his sentences. These characters seem very real this way. For instance, the characters do not say things they should say, they let great moments pass, even if saying something might change everything for the better. Real people hold back like this all the time! His writing is both mundane (because it is supposed to convey that--imo) and intense at the same time. I'm not sure how he pulls it off but it all works for me.
If you ever read his novel Remains of the Day or watched the movie and liked it--then you'll probably want to give this a chance.
All in all it made me feel deeply....it made me think about those missed moments all of us hold on to....it made me think about all the memories and personal potential people carry around inside that they never let go of...(less)
National Book Award Finalist. You can tell. Bacigalupi is a skillful and talented writer of YA. I don't hand out 5 stars often. Nailer is a poverty str...more National Book Award Finalist. You can tell. Bacigalupi is a skillful and talented writer of YA. I don't hand out 5 stars often. Nailer is a poverty stricken abused 15 year old, trying to maintain goodness in a world that has tried to beat it out of him. He scavenges old ships for parts to earn a living; a dangerous job for one so young. After a hurricane he finds a beautiful girl and her ship stranded on the beach. Nailer has lived a thousand lifetimes before this moment. He is a worn likeable person but is he a hero? Will he decide to risk his life and save her from his hoodlum dad and the other killers that lurk in his world? This story sucked me in with its adventure and variety of characters. The writing is extraordinary. You can taste the salt from the ocean, feel the cuts carved in skin from scrap metal, carry the burden of too much family dysfunction, and feel the satisfaction of loyal friendships. This is a book to savor and enjoy. Highly recommended.(less)
I received this novel for .99 on amazon. Money well spent!
The greatest wizard line and the people that protect them are assassinated--all except the...more I received this novel for .99 on amazon. Money well spent!
The greatest wizard line and the people that protect them are assassinated--all except the infant son of the greatest wizard of all time. The infant is raised by a blacksmith and his wife, who are "the salt of the earth" type folks. At sixteen some supernatural type powers appear and he is let in on the secret of his heritage, just in time too, because there is a dark wizard set to take over the kingdom.
There were some laugh out loud moments. The voice in the book has a great sense of humor especially when speaking of the complexities of male/female relationships. I enjoyed all the characters and story very much. The language is not medieval but modern, so strict literary critics may pitch a fit about the voice, but I loved the humor too much for it to destroy the story. Matter of fact, I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much if it were written differently. You can tell that the author enjoyed telling this story and I think this why I enjoyed reading it.
I am very surprised at the talent this new author displayed. I was not expecting it for a book at this price and would pay full price for this novel.
I plan to read the second in this series. The novel is for Fantasy lovers, though I am more of a Sci-Fi girl (usually wizards are not my thing). Those that do not like Sci-Fi, Fantasy, or books that delve in the supernatural may not care for this, though the likeability of the characters may surprise them.
**spoiler alert** The moon, hit by a meteor is knocked closer to earth causing tidal waves, volcanoes, and the end of a life as most humans knew it. M...more**spoiler alert** The moon, hit by a meteor is knocked closer to earth causing tidal waves, volcanoes, and the end of a life as most humans knew it. Miranda , a teenage girl, keeps a diary of what has happened to her. This is her story.
I admire the realistic approach to this young adult novel. At first things seem like life will continue as normal, but then characters slowly realize that life will have to change if they are to survive. The ability for characters to adapt fascinated me. There is truth to this book. I kept thinking…. when traumatic situations occur most people manage to endure for a time don’t we? Would the end of the world be any different? Like in this novel, there is a process our brains go through, that they trick us into thinking how we are living is normal.
I wish science were more explored in the novel. The book would have meant more if there were a touch more going on. If the characters were effected a little more physically and not just emotionally. It seemed they were too lucky for too long, as the world fell down around their ankles, so because of this, at the end of the novel I felt the realism I had enjoyed took a dive.
When civilizations end, when does civility stop? In this novel, it never does. It's like someone hit a stop watch on life. I can't help but think that the end of the world would be more chaotic than that at times? It seemed people might get desperate enough to do more scavenging? I thought the lack of that a little odd. There were no bumps in the night. However, there were more recluses, which led me to believe that if in Miranda's situation I may survive. A book of hope. (less)
It's a book you can sink your teeth into right away. The action starts on the very first page; a boy named Finn is strapped to the...moreMy son was right...
It's a book you can sink your teeth into right away. The action starts on the very first page; a boy named Finn is strapped to the ground, unable to move. He's afraid the trucks that are coming will not see him, and that he'll find himself crushed under the weight of their tires.
I am impressed with Fisher's writing, mostly because the action scenes are exciting and the characters are developed. Usually a reader gets one or the other, but in this case readers are treated to both. The plot is predictable, but forgivable for a YA novel (in my opinion).
The flashy cover ( I adore it!) is foreshadowing for the rich soul survivor story that awaits inside. The journey through the Labyrinth of Incarceron is well worth the time.(less)
Every time I read Steampunk it’s like taking a journey to the center of the earth with Jules Verne. To have the opportunity to live in an alternate re...moreEvery time I read Steampunk it’s like taking a journey to the center of the earth with Jules Verne. To have the opportunity to live in an alternate reality of past, present and future is the ultimate getaway. Therefore, it thrilled me to win Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories on the first reads giveaway because the possible plots are endless. Would I get to read about Thoreau describing the disappearances of nature aboard an airship chased by tree greedy pirates? I didn’t this time, but you never know. I did read about many other revolutionary thinkers and tinkerers though. I love the synopsis on the back especially the first sentence, “ Think you have your trusty brass goggles focused on the steam punk ethic? Think again.” It made me think, Ok rebels let’s read this. And I did in a couple days, a week tops. There are fourteen short stories included this anthology. Fourteen fascinating stories. I really liked all of the stories but my favorite element of the anthology is I LOVED all the characters in each story. The characters are packed full of fearlessness and adventure. All of them have an insurmountable amount of guts; a characteristic that is hard to come by, fun to read about, and something to aspire too. Take Monty Goldfarb in Cory Doctorow’s "Clockwork Fagin" for instance. The author writes, “Monty makes you ask yourself, "Why shouldn’t this all be mine? Why shouldn’t I just take it?" And I didn’t have a good answer apart from fear. And fear was giving way to excitement” Bloody brilliant. Fear is what holds many people back. One has to love the fearless Monty because he overcomes his own insecurities so much, it freed him to empower the crippled children at St. Agatha’s Orphanage to take their lives back from a tyrant. Then there is Adelaide Jones in the short story "The Last Ride of the Glory Girls" by Libba Bray. Adelaide apparently did not have much of an education but yet is intelligent beyond her years. She used her intelligence to ride her way out of her own exterior prison. She busts through time like it’s not her first rodeo. Tacy in Delia Sherman’s "Ghost of Cwemlech Manor" is a determined young girl that seemed to have her heart set on what she wanted. She didn't listen to the discouraging words of others. When she loved something, she nurtured it to life. She also kept her dreams when realists tried to send her ghostlike beliefs to the fire or when they just ignored her sensibilities altogether. Of course there are many more characters. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the characters and urge others to read this anthology of Steampunk stories. It’s clever in all the right places and inspiring to those that can appreciate imagination. Tim Burton anyone?
**spoiler alert** No offense but the reviewers that point out the negatives of Ender's Game seem to have no understanding of the book. Ender's Game is...more**spoiler alert** No offense but the reviewers that point out the negatives of Ender's Game seem to have no understanding of the book. Ender's Game is not book about or for dorky video gamers, nor does it have anything to do with pedophiles, and it’s not even about ego centric Ender never losing, only winning. It’s about a little boy that does not have any control over his life. Even his conception was controlled. Though stifled, alone, with virtually nothing to live for he rises above the people that have driven him down, and takes his life back. Seems pretty amazing to me. Let me argue the negatives said about this book.
1. Ender wins everything. No, he’s the only one with enough forethought to think outside the box, this is why he wins. He’s not egocentric or arrogant, he’s surviving even when people at every turn are trying to physically or mentally kill him. He is the ultimate survivor and is not narcissistic ( to see him like that, is to see him with the eyes of the characters that wanted to kill him) Ender had much pain and many insecurities.
2. Pedophilia? Naked Boys? Okay this worries me. It isn’t here. Sorry. The fight scene in the shower with two naked boys made a literary point. In the shower, the boys were at their most vulnerable, like the day they were born. This is the ultimate scene for not having any control. The soap was tactical because it made Ender slippery and invincible. Also, in many scenes they are given the battle assignments as they are getting dressed. I think this showed that these boys were not even allowed to have their basic needs met, they barely had enough time to eat food, let alone an adequate amount of time to bathe after battle, and get dressed. How do some take them being naked to such an extreme as pedophilia? That stretch concerns me more than the author’s purpose.
3. The Buggers are seen as non-intelligent life yet they come all the way to Earth to wage war? Doesn’t make sense? Well, some characters thought they had no intelligence, and YES it didn’t make sense and those that thought this were wrong. Yet, there were a few brilliant few that saw that the differences between how Humans and Buggers communicated was the significant problem. If they knew how to communicate, the wars probably would not have happened, this was Card’s only point. To say it should seem obvious to all characters in the book, maybe it should, but it never happens this way, people assume untrue things about others all the time in reality. Simple arguments every day are usually based on a misunderstanding or inability to express ourselves the way we really want to.
4. The idea that this is beyond kids. My favorite element of this book is that it isn’t beyond kids. My thirteen year old son will love this book. I look at him now and I remember myself in eighth grade. How grown up I thought I was, and now I realize I was not too much different than I am now. I was just a little more naïve, not sure of what I wanted out of life, and I did not have as many experiences behind me. But there are some kids that have lived a lifetime in only a few short years. This is their story. So I think most preteens can get it, and if they don’t, it will not be any less of a feat than the adults that didn’t understand all of it. Isn’t the true treasure of this book all the questions we can ask about it?
5. Okay the book may seem only for or about dorky video gamers. However, I think that is a very narrow target audience . I think the book appeals to Sci Fi geeks like me, not video gamers. There’s so much more here than a video game. It’s a futuristic metaphor of the complexities of real life. I’ll agree if you don’t like heavy handed Sci Fi, and are not into military strategies you will probably dislike this. There is no romance and little comedic relief to take you away from this futuristic setting.
I liked this book because of how much there is to digest, even when you think you have it all figured out, another question is raised. It's literary analysis seems so easy and surface like on the outside, yet it has many hidden layers. In my opinion, I think the author played a great game of writing here and won!(less)
I had not heard the hype about this book in particular but had heard plenty about the author's books in general. Enough to feel like he had changed li...more I had not heard the hype about this book in particular but had heard plenty about the author's books in general. Enough to feel like he had changed lives with his words. Enough to make me feel that reading American Gods had the potential to work on me in simple ways (say a few magic words, bippity boppity boo, and away I'd go):
Instead the first 150 pages felt like this (and I'm not Belle):
This is not Disney. Gaiman means serious business and he'll call into question entire cultural and personal histories. I thought he wrote teen books (that this would read like one) = Wrong. I assumed this novel would reveal itself as a package of mere entertainment delivered in an interesting way = Wrong.
Oddly enough the entire novel is about the stories we may tell ourselves or are told by other people. What is real and what is fiction? What are facts and what are opinions? Does reality even exist? Do we create our own worlds by who we are? But best of all it confirms that no one has any answers about what life is about, even though many of us like to pretend we do. It's far easier on the nerves to believe we as individuals or groups have all the answers.
Initially, I was going to suggest the author make a guide of the characters but think it is better without one. The significance of this novel works better as a surprise. The timing is a little heroic that way.
If a reader likes mythology and folklore they will like this. It contains about every character one can imagine from various parts of the world. It's a book a reader is unsure of at first, but then by the end will love it. So stick to it!
Anyway, I'm rather speechless about it. My mind is blown.(less)
Tepper is my favorite author. She doesn't ride on the coat tails of other author's book ideas, her created worlds are her own. How many authors can sa...moreTepper is my favorite author. She doesn't ride on the coat tails of other author's book ideas, her created worlds are her own. How many authors can say that? Don't get me wrong, I have no problems with authors that take certain elements or inspirations from another book, but there are so many good books, coming up with a whole new idea for a book, making the story your own, is difficult and quite a feat. However, Tepper manages to accomplish this feat every time. Kudos to her.
I have found something to love in all of her books. Her books offer me the perfect escape because the places she writes about are places I've never been. I've never had to help a comatose princess fight the black clouds in her head and then face a destiny dangerous and bold like in this novel. Also in this novel, a little stick of a girl is accompanied by many interesting companions to find out why the world is changing. What is happening and why? What is their fate? It sounds so cool, right? Tepper is cool.
Many, many moons ago I read the first in this series A Plague of Angels. I remember so many "Aha!" moments in A Plague of Angels because of the "thinking" content so I remember not wanting the story to end. However, The Waters Rising didn't grab me at all because of the descriptions of the characters' environments. Too many details for my attention deficit difficulties to process. So I guess the problem with the book is really my own problem.
The Waters Rising is probably my least favorite of Tepper's novels because I was drowning in the details. I might suggest some of her other works first instead, like: