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)
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)
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)
This is a military action story set in Antarctica. It’s a long story, full of twists and reveals, so it’s hard to talk about much of it without spoile...moreThis is a military action story set in Antarctica. It’s a long story, full of twists and reveals, so it’s hard to talk about much of it without spoilers.
The main character Shane Schofield, aka “Scarecrow”, is a youngish Marine leader who specializes in high risk situations. He’s a cool, slightly mysterious character, and a lot of his history remains underexplained in the story. He’s a competent leader, and while a bit aloof, he’s quite respectable. Most of the other characters are underdeveloped, without detailed backstories, but they are fairly believable, without a lot of stereotypes.
This is definitely an action-movie style story, with endless fights, deadly killer whales (that scene was pretty freaky), and even nuclear weapons. It has a quick, don’t-let-up pace that makes the pages fly by. There is some suspension of belief required for some of the situations, but nothing outrageous.
Overall, this is a fun action story. It’s all about entertainment, and while it doesn’t leave a lasting impact, it does provide a getaway into an exciting military-based adventure that could rival any action movie. (less)
This is a book I was really disappointed in. I heard such good things about how it was a great epic fantasy story. While it had a very unique premise...moreThis is a book I was really disappointed in. I heard such good things about how it was a great epic fantasy story. While it had a very unique premise of being set in the future with time frozen in an older era, I think the story got bogged down in the details. Everything was very slow moving and boring. The level of details in the characters and world building were incredible, but the plot seemed stuck on slow-mo.
I did enjoy how both Claudia and Finn dreamed and fantasized about what the world must be like on the other side. This mimics the saying "the grass is greener on the other side" and very effectively showed how the saying could be wrong.
While I enjoyed the premise, I didn't enjoy the excution, and in the end, I never made it to the end. (less)