This book felt a little bit like fluff science fiction. Unlike most Doctorow books, this one isn’t filled with heavy themes or messages. It’s light an...moreThis book felt a little bit like fluff science fiction. Unlike most Doctorow books, this one isn’t filled with heavy themes or messages. It’s light and easy to digest, and yet, there was something about it that I found a little depressing.
On the surface, this seems like a light-hearted book. There is no longer death as people are “rebooted” to a clone body with their minds intact. As a consequence, death and murder and other crimes aren’t really a concern. Plus, the story takes place in Disney World, the ultimate happy place.
And yet, I found this book lowered my spirits and left me feeling blah. The main character Jules isn’t very likeable. The overall plot seems a bit pessmistic. There is just something about the story that left me not loving it.
The only thing I really enjoyed was the concept and execution of whuffie. Whuffie has replaced money and is a number based on your influence and other people’s opinion of you. Do things that people admire, and your whuffie goes up, making you wealthy, but tick people off and your whuffie score goes down, making you poor. It’s the ultimate karma system where your actions are what count. It’s intriguing and exciting, and I really loved the concept.
Overall, this was not my favourite Doctorow book, and was actually probably my least favourite. An unlikeable main character with a fluff plot left me disappointed in the book as a whole. It was good, but not great. (less)
While I found this first part of the story confusing because I really didn’t understand the tribe set up, the more of the book I read, the more I enjo...moreWhile I found this first part of the story confusing because I really didn’t understand the tribe set up, the more of the book I read, the more I enjoyed it.
The tribe set up is explained about halfway through, and it made a lot of sense. It would have been better if that explanation occurred earlier in the book, but the story wasn’t really about the time zone tribes. It was more about Art and mental health.
One thing I really like about Doctorow books is that you can either read and enjoy the story at a shallow level, or you can dig deeper into the themes and opinions and dissect them. Every one of his stories that I’ve read have a definite opinion about a topic in them, but they are woven into the plot and are supported by logic and research. There’s no half understood preaching here, instead there is a full developed debate opinion.
This book really aimed that opinion at mental health and mental illnesses, and how patients are diagnosed and treated. It was an interesting topic, and one that really made me think. Art was a good vehicle for this discussion as he was both inside the situation, but also had the capacity to analyse it from his consultant perspective.
Overall, while the story took a bit to get into, it turned out to be very thought provoking. It was a quick read, but not one that will fade from my head easily. (less)
In a refreshing twist on the usual super confident alpha heroine featured in most urban fantasy series, Kitty Norville is not any of those things yet....moreIn a refreshing twist on the usual super confident alpha heroine featured in most urban fantasy series, Kitty Norville is not any of those things yet. She wants to be, kind of, but is more of a wary, submissive shifter.
This book saw a lot of growth in Kitty towards that confident personality. When she goes to Washington to testify at a Senate hearing, things seem to happening, good and bad, and just keep escalating. She has run ins with the local vampires, shifters, and even the government agency that is focus of the Senate hearing.
With all that action, there is still the appearance of great characters, new and old. I loved learning more about Ben and Cormac. The werewolf Fritz was quite a surprise and a delight to meet.
I listened to the audiobook, and just like when I listened to the first book, the narration fit extremely well. The voice had the right tone and attitude and was simply Kitty.
Overall, I quite liked this book, and look forward to continuing in the series. It will be interesting to see where Kitty goes next, and whether she ever grows into the alpha she truly deserves to be. (less)
This was a fun twist on vampyres told from a very authentic feeling point of view.
The vampyre story was well developed, and quite different from most...moreThis was a fun twist on vampyres told from a very authentic feeling point of view.
The vampyre story was well developed, and quite different from most vampire myths. In this story, vampyres are marked, not made. They grow into their bodies and abilities over a period of timem much like regular people do. I found it very convincing and a unique change from the standard myth.
The point of view was the highlight of the book. Zoey felt like an actual, normal teenaged girl. She was likable and scared and just felt real. I’m not sure I’ve even read a YA book that had such an authentic voice before.
This was definitely a series book. There was no cliffhanger ending, but very little was resolved. The story felt like it was just beginning.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read. The characters were fun and the story moved quick. There was quite a bit of humour in the story which kept it light, and yet the mythology behind it was serious. This makes for a good weekend read, and would be especially good if you had more than one bok in the series as the story seems like it would continue almost seamlessly.(less)
This was a book full of action and unforgetable characters. A great start to the series, I finished the book wanting to get to know more about Curran,...moreThis was a book full of action and unforgetable characters. A great start to the series, I finished the book wanting to get to know more about Curran, go on more adventures with Kate, and hear what trouble Derek gets into next.
Kate was a flawed, yet likable character. She has a snarky attitude that fits the urban fantasy genre very well. She is reluctant to accept help from anyone, even though she seems to have a tendency to get in over her head.
Curran is hot stuff. He makes a good hero and counterpart to Kate, being powerful, sexy, mysterious and arrogant. He seems to irritate Kate by existing, and this makes for some great tension between them.
Derek was my favourite secondary character. He’s humourous and means well, even though nothing seems to go his way. He’s loyal and tends to be the butt of the joke. I hope he remains as prominent in future books because his presence helped lighten the mood in most of his scenes.
The story itself was fast and enjoyable. There were twists and turns that kept it interesting, yet nothing seemed beyond the grasp of reality as defined by the world building. And what intricate and exciting world building it is. The back and forth between magic and tech was unique and lent an interesting angle to the story as each time presented specific challenges and advantages.
I listened to the audiobook version and the narration was great. The voice fit Kate, and had a smooth flow. As I progressed into the story, the narration itself faded into the background with the story taking centerstage, the way a good audiobook does. I really enjoyed the narration, and will be looking for the audiobook version of the next book.
Rapture in Death is the fourth book in the series. The plot for this book centres around Eve's investigation into a series of unrelated suicides that...moreRapture in Death is the fourth book in the series. The plot for this book centres around Eve's investigation into a series of unrelated suicides that are completely out of character for the victims. She is certain that something, or someone, is causing them, and is determined to figure it out.
This is the most outlandish plot so far. The technology used in this book is much further advanced than in any of the previous books, and is way ahead of where we are now. The story opens at an offworld resort, and heavily features VR simulations.
The story is overall darker than the previous ones, and it seems to take a little bit more to read, but it is still a great story, and great addition to the series. (less)
As a second book, this was quite strong and enjoyable. The story has a strong plot that stands alone, yet still ties into the first one, and the overa...moreAs a second book, this was quite strong and enjoyable. The story has a strong plot that stands alone, yet still ties into the first one, and the overall characters and story arc are advanced well.
The big draw of this book is the information learned about Sam’s past. In the first book, she struggled with knowing nothing. In this book, she’s starting to learn things, and they are both unsettling and intriguing. I can’t wait to learn more in the next book.
One thing I really like about the whole series is the inventiveness of the world and the characters that inhabit it. There are some standard creatures like vampires, but then there are creatures like kites, which are quite scary and unlike anything I’m familiar with. It helps keep the books fresh and new because you never know what’s going to come out next.
Overall, this was a great sequel story. It was exciting and action packed, and made me want to continue the series. You can’t ask for more than that. (less)
This was a fun and action packed start to a new urban fantasy series.
The most interesting feature of this book was the inclusion of shapeshifters and...moreThis was a fun and action packed start to a new urban fantasy series.
The most interesting feature of this book was the inclusion of shapeshifters and shapechangers. These are two very different abilities in this book, and it was interesting to learn about the differences. The explanations were very clear, for this, as well as other paranormal creatures, which made the unique types easy to understand and keep straight.
Sam makes a good heroine as she has many puzzles in her past. They are mostly just touched on in this first book, with a few hints given here and there to lay the groundwork for her missing memories. It was intriguing, and sparked my curiosity. Sam’s a likable person, so I’m interested in learning more.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and really look forward to the next one. The paranormal setup, with several unique characters feels new and fresh, and combining that with likable characters makes for an entertaining and enjoyable read. (less)
Using three easy steps, this book describes an easy method to discipline your kids. Easy to understand, but difficult to follow. The trick is to remai...moreUsing three easy steps, this book describes an easy method to discipline your kids. Easy to understand, but difficult to follow. The trick is to remain calm and keep your emotions under control. Bad behaviour is counted, 1-2-3 Timeout.
At one point the author tells the parent to stop thinking of children as little adults. Think of them as little wild animals. After that point, all I could think of was Caesar Millan, Dog Whisperer and his no touch, no talk, no eye contact rules. Because that is essentially what this discpline structure has you do once your kid reaches the timeout stage.
That being said, I think this is probably a very effective method, when done correctly. And that is the key. The parent has to remain calm, keep their mouth shut, and be consistent. Much harder said than done.
But I think this is something we will try at home. If only because it is so simple, and once the initial push back is over, it should be smooth sailing.(less)
I hate when book 2 in a series doesn’t live up to the first one. In this case, I really liked the first book, and ended up DNF-ing this second one. I...moreI hate when book 2 in a series doesn’t live up to the first one. In this case, I really liked the first book, and ended up DNF-ing this second one. I felt that there wasn’t enough story to this book. I got bored waiting for things to happen.
While the first book had supernatural creatures and action, this one had only one ghost (maybe), and was more lecture about faking the phenomena than anything else. I didn’t feel like there was any danger to the story at all and ended up not caring if the ghost was real or not.
I listened to the audiobook version, and this may have been part of the problem. The voice of the narrator didn’t quite fit the image of Harper. There was an edge to it that was a bit unpleasant, and the voices while reading other people’s conversation seemed overly dramatic, especially anyone with accents. The overall tone was sarcastic but not in a good way.
Overall, this was a disappointment, and has made me drop the series completely. I’d recommend the first book, but not this one.(less)