This book has a lot of 5 star reviews on Amazon. For a debut self-published novel I congratulate the author on his success it must feel great and lead...moreThis book has a lot of 5 star reviews on Amazon. For a debut self-published novel I congratulate the author on his success it must feel great and lead to a lot more sales. I bought the book, only a dollar or two, and for that price and the author's experience it's a decent read. A science thriller, with many elements, probably too many, going on. The plot called for us to believe in 9/11 conspiracy theories, secret societies, espionage, kidnapping, breakthrough genetic therapies for autism, and well before the end of the book credibility was stretched to breaking. I can see why other reviewers disliked it. But also see the potential and acknowledge there's a a good writer in there, trying to tell a convoluted story. The spelling and editing was good, and for many self published ebooks is is not always the case. However there were too many short chapters, over 100, and even though I think the author did tis to ensure a sense of fast-paced tension, it still dragged and there was not enough descriptive detail about where the events where taking place, especially towards the end of the book. The characters were sketches, we didn't really get enough time to get to know them, and they seemed like they were being pulled along by e plot rather then driving it themselves. I do want to see what happens next and learn more about the genetics and evolution of humans that gets discussed, so I will get the sequel.(less)
I had visited the dear photograph website, where people retake old photos in the same location as the original photo while addressing the photo ("Dear...moreI had visited the dear photograph website, where people retake old photos in the same location as the original photo while addressing the photo ("Dear Photograph..") reminiscing about the time when the photo was taken. I then saw this book on display at the local library and picked it up. This book gathers together some good examples from the website, and they are often touching or poignant. It's interesting how much stays the same for the people's lives who contribute to the website and the book. Does it say anything about how stable they are that they can retake a photograph decades after they originally took it? That they live in the same city, neighborhood or even house? We don't get much of a sense of the people taking the photo, as they often only write a sentence or two addressing the photo. I'd have liked to have more context for a lot of these pictures.
It's still an interesting book, with some nice photos. (less)
I don't understand who this book is for. The book is less a guide to cycling as a ranting manifesto on why the cycle racing industry and sport has har...moreI don't understand who this book is for. The book is less a guide to cycling as a ranting manifesto on why the cycle racing industry and sport has harmed cycling. Especially cycling as a daily activity with few hurdles besides a reliable bike. I've seen many internet comment wars between the so-called Lycra brigade and everyone else, but I'm not on either side. I prefer live and let live, and I wish both sides took that approach too. I didn't learn a whole lot from this book, a few points about wooden bikes (hadn't heard this was a thing) and learning to turn with the body rather then the handlebars - which I understand the theory but not the application. Petersen describes himself and the people who he likes as unracers, people who ride for enjoyment rather then putting in long group rides in lycra trying to train for a big race. For a book that bemoans racers, I read far too much about racing and group rides; how training doesn't make you fit; how bikes (and tyres) are over designed and too expensive and don't work in real world conditions yet I wanted a guide for the average bicycle rider, a long way from the world of competitive road cycling. If I was a member of the lycra brigrade I would find this book even more divisive and off-putting. (less)
I loved this story, and was sad to find it was a standalone as upon finishing I immediately looked for the sequel. However, it is a complete story in...moreI loved this story, and was sad to find it was a standalone as upon finishing I immediately looked for the sequel. However, it is a complete story in itself. The book starts off as sci-fi thriller set 200 years in the future, where an Apocalypse has rendered earth a lifeless husk, and we are following the story of an archaeologist studying the wastelands of Paris. The story then switches to Paris of the 1950s, but not a 1950s we recognize, some things that should have happened by 1959, haven't.
The stories intertwine, and we are treated to a thriller where the main protagonist, aforementioned archaeologist, Verity Auger, has to complete a mission on this 1950s world as she has the knowledge of Paris at this time. She is a kick-ass character and Reynolds treats her to several near death experiences which left me on a rollercoaster ride of emotion, wondering if she, and the other characters I had come to care about with little, but careful, character development, were going to make it. Recommended.
Audio-book version: I listened to the audio-book narrated by the British John Lee. He did an excellent job with the many female voices, and his narration was very even and I now associate Alastair Reynolds with John Lee's narration. (less)
A short cute book about people who've grown up to be gay. The book features a photo from the childhood of a person, some celebrities mostly just ordin...moreA short cute book about people who've grown up to be gay. The book features a photo from the childhood of a person, some celebrities mostly just ordinary folk, and on the opposite page is a sentence, upto a few paragraphs, of reminiscing about the photo and their early lives knowing they were different at an early age. Some had no words to describe who they were, and some still reject labeling, which is fair enough. But all people featured have accepted who they truly are, and are happy succesful adults, and this book is very affirming and encouraging for any young person who is worried there's no one like them or no one grows up happily gay. My only critique is that I'd have like to have seen just a couple of photos from present day, would have made the book even more powerful but the, sometimes camp, pictures of kids and young adults were still great.(less)
I feel a bit used. I've listened to the audiobook performed by Katherine Kellgren and apart from her over enunciating "pAAAsengers" she did several di...moreI feel a bit used. I've listened to the audiobook performed by Katherine Kellgren and apart from her over enunciating "pAAAsengers" she did several different types of British accents extremely well. Well enough that the boring characters in this book came to life. The banal things they overcome when things are going right for them, such as a character desperately seeking a black skirt or she'll get fired from her department store job. In an ideal world, these time travelling historians never go anywhere too dangerous. They only want to observe everyday life. This doesn't make an interesting story. So when things take a turn for the worse and the characters do end up in more dangerous places it does get a little more interesting. I'm left wanting to know what happens to these shallow, stupid characters who have no imagination or problem solving skills, damn you Katherine.(less)
Though not as fresh or as good as the first book the series, it's still a solid entry to the zombie/apocalyptic genre. I wanted to find out what happe...moreThough not as fresh or as good as the first book the series, it's still a solid entry to the zombie/apocalyptic genre. I wanted to find out what happened to Mike and Kate who at the end of book 1 had arrived at supposed sanctuary of the Seattle sports stadium. This book covers the week after this, with plently of action, and dealing with the consequences of the first book. The ending was pretty sad and shocking.(less)
I wish I'd enjoyed this collection of short stories more as Ray Bradbury is such an iconic figure in science fiction literature. These stories, linked...moreI wish I'd enjoyed this collection of short stories more as Ray Bradbury is such an iconic figure in science fiction literature. These stories, linked together by the title character who has a body covered with clairvoyant tattoos, explore issues that seem close to Bradbury's heart, as they are oft repeated. Book burning, censorship and the value of fiction to culture are themes that crop up in several stories. The stories feature lots of rockets visiting planets in our solar system that somehow support life, and rockets are even used to make trips around the earth a trivial matter. It's I guess what people thought would happen, that'd we'd be living on the moon in a few short decades. While I admire Bradbury's moral compass, especially regarding racism and other controversial issues, the stories felt very dated.
I listend to the audiobook version, and the first whole book I've listed to that was narrated by Scott Brick, even though he's narrated over 600 books. His narration was fine. Not amazing, but well done. (less)