An interesting twist on vampirism. Lots of social and political commentary on discrimination and racism. I've got the v-wars books and hope there is sAn interesting twist on vampirism. Lots of social and political commentary on discrimination and racism. I've got the v-wars books and hope there is some overlap and parallels with characters and/or story....more
Alone is Book Three in the Generations Trilogy. Book One dealt with mostly discovery of what was happening; Book Two dealt with unification of the BirAlone is Book Three in the Generations Trilogy. Book One dealt with mostly discovery of what was happening; Book Two dealt with unification of the Birthday Children to a common purpose. Now Book Three pits the united Birthday Children against their common threat, although it does explore the themes of discovery and unification in a different, but related direction.
This young adult series concludes with a literal bang. Sigler’s work always has a certain cinematic quality to it, and his battles and climaxes in this book are no different. To the great delight of all his fans, it’s finally revealed exactly how this series fits into the Siglerverse - the alternate universe in which all of Sigler’s works exist. It’s been hinted at for a long time, and now it is finally revealed.
I was fortunate enough to read an early draft of the book, and one of my comments at the time was, “That was one of the most satisfying endings I have ever read.” There is definitely a nice sense of conclusion to this trilogy, and even enough of the door left open to be walked through at a later time, if Sigler decides to continue in this direction.
The book is not all fist-pumps and high-fives as one group triumphs over all obstacles, however. There is real conflict here, along with bad decisions, horrible consequences, and a fair load of heartbreak. Sigler masterfully ties plots lines together, providing a conclusion that will resonate will all readers, whether they are excited or repulsed by the dramatic elements that comprise it.
It’s hard to come to grips with this series ending. I would love to see more of these characters, but I guess that’s the mark of a good series, and especially of a good ending....more
I want to live in Carter's Cove. And I want to work in Cross-Winds Books bookstore. The former is the setting of Winter Secrets, and the latter is theI want to live in Carter's Cove. And I want to work in Cross-Winds Books bookstore. The former is the setting of Winter Secrets, and the latter is the place of employment of the main character. Let me be clear - I am not a romantic novel kinda guy; this book was way outside my typical wheelhouse. That being said, this was not a gushy romance book; it is a clever love story centered around the concept of courtship at Christmas.
Carter’s Cove is some sort of mystical place that holds magical people, objects, occupations and infrastructure. The entire town is portrayed as a Thomas Kincaid painting come to life, with the kind of small-town beauty that can only be found in a wifi dead zone. This is a town full of people who actually seek each others’ company out, spend time talking and having a good time, seemingly disconnected from the hustle-bustle that drags us normal folks down with our daily grind. In other words, it’s the idyllic spot for a Christmastime love story.
The story is such a simple concept, I can't believe I haven't run into it before. (Again, not a romance story kinda guy) The basic concept for this story is that Molly, the most eligible single woman in Carter’s Cove, has a secret admirer, who leaves her a note and a song each of the days in December leading up to Christmas. It’s an advent courtship calendar! Brilliant!
The suspense builds with each day’s anticipation of the next piece of the puzzle, as Molly struggles to figure out who is her secret admirer. Along the way, we readers get a little extra inside information, which helps us cheer Molly on when she needs cheering, and stand firmly at her side when she needs support.
Obviously (hopefully?), Carter’s Cove is a fictional place, and the author uses my favorite kind of world-building, where the special parts of the place are slowly revealed through small hints and one-off casual descriptions that gradually provide the context for the story. The reader is so casually exposed to the uniqueness of Carter’s Cove that it feels both at-home and familiar.
This is a very cute story of courtship and love, with a lighthearted feel to it that makes it easy to read. It also makes me want to move to Maine and hole up in a cabin in the winter with a warm fireplace and 500 books....more
The long-anticipated fourth GFL novella was well worth the wait. Expanding on a brief introduction in The All-Pro (book three in the Galactic FootballThe long-anticipated fourth GFL novella was well worth the wait. Expanding on a brief introduction in The All-Pro (book three in the Galactic Football League), The Rider follows the struggles of a burgeoning sport's rising star, Poughkeepsie Pete. The fascinating sport that has small riders riding big monsters in games of joust, capture the flag, tug of war and others gets a more fleshed-out treatment here, as we follow Pete and his team of riders as they struggle with day-to-day money issues and the complications of riding literal monsters into mock-combat.
This novella (in category only, as it's pretty much a full-length novel) pulls together elements from many other GFL stories as well as the rest of the Siglerverse, featuring sentients and creatures that have barely been mentioned in other stories. The story follows the closing of the 10th season of Dinolition as the sport's premier rider, Poughkeepsie Pete, has to deal with upstart attitudes, money problems, mount issues, and the ever-present threat of gangster financing.
Once again, Gredok the Splithead features in this storyline. He's such a great character - one of my favorites - and it seems that every appearance in every story adds more and more complex layers onto his personality.
If your appetite was whet by the peek into Dinolition from The All-Pro, this story will satisfy your craving and more. It's also a fine standalone work, with a gripping plot and a bunch of new characters to love. The game wheel is spinning, and we're all hoping it lands on "Book Two" !...more
Morning Star concludes the Red Rising trilogy, and does so wonderfully. The story comes to a conclusion with this final entry in the series, but keepsMorning Star concludes the Red Rising trilogy, and does so wonderfully. The story comes to a conclusion with this final entry in the series, but keeps you in confusion to the very end. Brown's storytelling is masterful, and Morning Star is the denouement we both wanted and needed.
Thinking back on the story that unfolds in this book, I'm amazed at how much is covered in just this one book. I mainlined the whole series over the course of the last month, and was worried that the details would blur into one gigantic mess. But the stories are really very nicely separated and individual, but still function to hold the entire tale together.
Morning Star is the final third of the tale, with subterfuge laid upon subterfuge, telling the story of brilliant schemes colliding against wicked deceptions. Seeds planted long ago spring forth while at the same time strong trees are uprooted by forceful winds. This story is filled with twists and turns to the very end. I cannot gush about this book enough. It's simply incredible, and a brilliant conclusion.
This is my first exposure to Pierce Brown, and I must say that I'm extremely excited to read more from him. ...more
Golden Son continues the story of Darrow, a deep-undercover agent of the low-caste Reds, who is uniquely positioned among the high-caste Golds, and isGolden Son continues the story of Darrow, a deep-undercover agent of the low-caste Reds, who is uniquely positioned among the high-caste Golds, and is trying to sow discord in an effort to restructure the society that keeps his people as slaves. It's the second book in the Red Rising trilogy, and is as exciting as the first.
The series strikes at the fundamental core of our American independence - free will. Many stories have been told of dystopic societies that paint a worrisome future for us if we "continue down the path we're on." Most of them have oppressive regimes that all feel they are doing what is necessary to keep the peace. Look to Star Wars and The Hunger Games, to name just a few. These stories take our fundamental desire for free will and suppress it in a structure that appeals to the reader on a visceral level.
Brown does a remarkable job of playing with the reader's emotions, to the point where one takes personal offense at the content of the story. This draws the reader in and attaches themselves to the fate of the characters, willing the characters to make the right choices and make the same decisions the reader would make. You're all but cheering along with the victories, and weeping with the tragedies.
The world Brown has built is rich and expansive. Not just the planetary scale of characters, but the depth with which the society has been carefully constructed to serve the story and reflect history. There's enough for everyone to relate to from a historical perspective, and yet it's easy to become lost in the overwhelming "now" of the narrative.
Golden Son is as amazing as Red Rising; the story is relentless and engaging, if not a bit predictable. Just a bit, though. There are patterns that must be followed of course, but you'll still enjoy the ride the entire time....more
When I first heard about this book, I figured it was some sort of parodic handbook meant to poke fun at rookies in the NFL. After I started reading itWhen I first heard about this book, I figured it was some sort of parodic handbook meant to poke fun at rookies in the NFL. After I started reading it, however, I came to realize that it is, in fact, an actual handbook meant to help guide rookies into a transition to life in the NFL.
As such, it has minimal appeal to everyone else. There is plenty of interesting insight into the inner workings of the NFL, its players and the overall professional sports milieu, but the advice presented therein is really anecdotal and rarely applies to anyone other than a young professional sports player.
The book is an extremely fast read, and has many illustrations that are, for the most part, unnecessary. They seem to have been inserted in order to a) provide pictures in a book in order to get some dumb jock to read it; and b) to stretch out the length of the book overall. If you think the first comment is harsh of me to say, consider this line from the book itself: "In constructing The Rookie Handbook we realized early on that many of you were not the most scholarly of students and reading may not be your forte. So we took it upon ourselves to present the simplest version we could possibly conceive. The result is an easy-to-read, heavily illustrated reference book that should help you not only increase your chances of surviving your first season, but also of achieving a long and successful NFL career."
That all being said, I really do feel that there is some value in young rookies reading this book. I'm not a professional athlete, nor do I know any, but I can see for certain that the advice that is presented in this book would be well-received, especially by young players fresh out of college who don't have a lot of life experience. The only problem is that the people who would bother to read a book like this are least likely to actually need the advice. It's an interesting read to us NFL fan plebians, but the message is lost on us. But if you're a recently-drafted professional football rookie who is looking online for reviews on books to help you through your rookie year, then by all means - buy this book. ...more
I've wanted to read this book for a while now, and never got around to it. A friend of mine expressed the same interest, so we decided to "book club"I've wanted to read this book for a while now, and never got around to it. A friend of mine expressed the same interest, so we decided to "book club" it together. I can honestly say that if we had not done that, I probably would never have finished this book.
Her edition of the book came with an introduction that said something like, "The reasons that some people hate this book are the same reasons that others love it." That seems to be a pretty good description, in retrospect. One of the first pieces of feedback I gave after reading the first few chapters was that I felt like I had woken up in the middle of someone else's acid trip.
I found it very difficult to follow this book right out of the gate. It didn't seem to follow any sort of timeline that I could reconcile; it jumped forward and backward in time often with flashbacks within flashbacks, to the point where I couldn't tell where I was anymore. There was an abundance of characters, which made it difficult to follow. So many colonels, generals and air crew. Add to that the promotions that some servicemen enjoyed (while others were demoted) and it was a tough task to keep up with them all.
Throughout the first part of the book, there were some really snappy and witty little pieces of inanity that shined through, and gave me some hope for being able to weather this storm. Eventually, at some point, I feel like there was a switch in the storytelling that put things on a more linear progression, which made it easy to move from one chapter to the next. With this, it was easier to follow the story and keep things straight, which really helped get through the rest of the book.
Along the way, there is PLENTY of silly craziness, and it sure seemed to be an amazing accomplishment that Heller was able to construct a narrative tale around his various plot points and nonsensical arguments.
Was the juice worth the squeeze? Like I said, I would not have been able to get through this book on my own. I feel like multiple re-reads of this book might enlighten me to the subtle nuances of pathos and storytelling that I missed when my eyes were glazed over. But I have no interest in re-reading it. As fulfilling as the conclusion of this book was, my desire to continue the story in the sequel is completely absent.