I first got this book in abridged audiobook format. I only liked to listen to it with my headphones, because there was swearing in it, and I was onlyI first got this book in abridged audiobook format. I only liked to listen to it with my headphones, because there was swearing in it, and I was only ten years old, and feared my mother would take it off me if she found out this YA book wasn't quite appropriate for ten-year-olds.
Later, when I reached high school (which starts at age 12 in Australia), my brother was given this book for Christmas. Despite the fact that he didn't want it, he wouldn't let me borrow it to read it. One night I crept into his darkened bedroom and took it, and read along with my audio book, reading all the parts left out. I never gave it back. He never missed it.
I love foxes. I grew up in the only place bar Antarctica where a species of fox doesn't live. They've always been a very exotic, curious species to me, and they fascinate me. This year I got to see my very first live fox. I was surprised by how big he was.
This book is about what happens when a compassionate young boy buries a dead fox, and a great fox spirit takes him under his wing and teaches him all about foxes. It's about escapism, and broken families and gang violence and peer pressure and friendship.
There's also some great contemporary urban scenes surrounding Tod's fascinating family. Even if this wasn't a book about foxes, I'd still enjoy it....more
Today is November 10, and I've read a grand total of 26 pages since August.
I just don't like it. The writing itself isn't quite up to the stI give up.
Today is November 10, and I've read a grand total of 26 pages since August.
I just don't like it. The writing itself isn't quite up to the standard I would expect, but I know Paolini was a teen when he wrote it. I'm not excusing the choppiness based on his age because I know some teen authors who are simply angelic with their writing, but that kind of polish comes with experience.
Some books manage to be epic fantasies where interesting things actually happen.
Also, each chapter ends as Eragon goes to sleep or is knocked out.
Also, I have issues with the name Eragon. To explain why, let me tell you about the book I'm going to write about the last unicorn rider. Her name is Vnicorn. And the book I'm going to write about the last griffon rider, called Hriffon. And the book I'll write about the last chimera rides, called Dhimera. Get my point?
Names and technique aside, I'm also not interested in the story, the plot of the whole thing. It's been done so many times before I know exactly how it's going to end. And while I do re-read books for the enjoyment, this is not the kind of book I would want to re-read. I'm just not invested. I don't give two tosses about Gary Stu Eragon, Wise Man Brom, and Animal Sidekick Saphira. I was endeavouring to finish this book, but I've got other books waiting for me, and I don't feel right wasting my time on this when aspiring authors who deserve a chance are waiting for me to critique their work.
I'm sorry, maybe it's the concept of the whole 'the last whatever' that gets to me. The inherent sadness and sympathy we're supposed to have over the last of the whatevers doesn't work if it can't be enjoyed. Let me read a book where there's a FIRST of something. Let's see how they cope with no advice and no one to guide them, discovering all this tosh for themselves. That'd be an interesting book.
(for the record, I can think of two off the top of my head: Kiersten White's Paranormalcy and Jeaniene Frost's Halfway to the Grave. My darling Anila reminded me of How to Train Your Dragon. Let's turn this into a game. Any other suggestions of books about the first of something amazing and cool rather than the last?...more
The following is completely one hundred percent true.
In 2005 I was in the chorus of a school production of the musical based on this book. It was an aThe following is completely one hundred percent true.
In 2005 I was in the chorus of a school production of the musical based on this book. It was an abridged production and we had at least 50 children aged 12-18 (except they changed it to 19 to allow some older principal actors, for example the guy playing Javert, who funnily enough turned 20 on the final night).
I had one line as one of the factory bitches who bullied Fantine. "If Fantine doesn't look out watch how she goes - she'll be out on the street!" - Yep, that was me. Lines were few and far between, but our musical director made sure everyone in the chorus sang at least one line.
In 2008 I auditioned for an adult production and impressed the musical director and director with my classically trained voice that they clearly had been oblivious to up until that point, considering I'd been trained since 2002. I made it into a much smaller and much more experienced cast. The theatre community is somewhat limited where I grew up; everyone knows everyone, and it is rare that a person can make it into an experienced and established cast off their own talent. I remember that I beat some other auditioners who had been in many productions before. Ha ha.
At one early rehearsal, the director asked who had read the book before. I watched in amusement as only about two or three - and these were the over-achieving type (and I believe the gorgeous classical baritone playing Javert, and the powerful tenor who played Grantaire and Bamatabois [who, interestingly enough, was the same guy who played Javert in the schools edition I was in], but I don't remember who the other person was) - raised their hand. Then the director asked who'd never seen the musical before. Only two people - and one of them was playing Enjolras - raised their hand.
I endeavoured to identify myself with the over-achieving types and borrowed my dad's copy of Les Miserables. He'd bought it after watching the Gérard Depardieu/John Malkovich 2000 mini TV series on SBS (before they brought in ads during TV shows). I made it about a hundred pages in before I gave up - I'm simply not interested in reading chapter after chapter of obscure backstory unrelated to the plot. I should try the abridged copy, but honestly, I've been in two productions and been in the audience for a third, so I'm pretty sure I know the musical backwards. And in this day and age, the musicals of books tend to be more popular than books themselves: The Phantom of the Opera, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, and Wicked : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West are a testament to this fact.
(view spoiler)[I was also in a production of Cats in 2007. If I get enough comments, I will post a picture of me and Bustopher Jones. (hide spoiler)]
I was cast again as one of the factory bitches ("Take a look at his trousers, you'll see where he stands!") and as the crazy old beggar woman in Act II ("What d'you think you're at, hanging round me pitch?"). I was also cast as Whore #1 ("Come on dearie, why all the fuss?"), much to my father's delight, and he proudly announced it to his lifelong priest as he received a blessing for some dangerous back surgery he had shortly before the production went onstage.
During the production run, my mother went to hospital for emergency brain surgery. She had two golf-ball sized benign tumours removed from the back of her skull. The hospital was literally across the street from the theatre, so I was there before the show and in make-up afterwards. Luckily, my mother had seen the show two days before she was taken to the emergency room.
I'm not making this shit up. Wanna see a picture of the barricade?["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
What I liked about this book: Katsa is a warrior female. The concept of the Graceling and the multiple kingdoms - quite original. The fact that she hadWhat I liked about this book: Katsa is a warrior female. The concept of the Graceling and the multiple kingdoms - quite original. The fact that she had to leave a major character and love interest behind and do something totally tough with a small child. We went through large chunks of the book without sighting a single male character. That's cool. That being said, I also quite enjoyed the romance aspect of it. Katsa spends the entire book saying I WILL NOT BE A WIFE but then she struggles with falling in love, and it's nice to read about her working it out and fighting between her desires and her beliefs. I liked that part, too.
What I disliked: The characters were pretty frickin' stupid. I could tell the plot 'twists' from a mile off. It was so blinking obvious to me, but apparently other readers didn't get it either. So I dunno, maybe the characters weren't so dumb.
The ONLY way a woman could be important in this story is if she was royal. There are literally NO other females in the whole story. I wasn't afraid of the villain. I was afraid of what he could do, but not him.
I felt as if the climax was accidental. Like there was a deadline and the author rushed it. It was clearly the only conclusion, but it could ahve been drawn out a little longer. It was like, "Ha ha ha, I'm the big bad villain and I've won" and then BAM story over. Except that it wasn't. Katsa then had to go off and find a resolution to the story that I swear was an extra 50 pages. The main plot was over but the subplot wasn't. And even when you thought the sub-plot had gone as far as it could, it went a little further. It was like watching the end of The Return of the King extended edition: it didn't know where the end of the story was.
Now on Katsa herself. I liked that she declared she would never be a wife because it would lead to children, but I never actually got WHY she felt so strongly about it. In this patriarchal world, Katsa was the strongest character ever, and no one could make her do what she didn't want to do. So I didn't understand why she was so afraid of being forced into this relationship which could be all on her own terms if she wanted it to be. I mean, she's royal, too. She does get a say in it. And there's more to marriage than children, which no one seemed to understand. I mean, there was freaking birth control, so where was the pressure to pop out babies? None of the men saw marriage in the same way Katsa saw it. I wonder how she even got such a twisted idea in the first place. Being brought up in a sheltered castle wouldn't exactly let her see how the common man abuses his wife or whatever. And if any man tried to make Katsa do what she didn't want to do, she could just break his thumbs.
It was like trying to put a superhero woman in a medieval setting to quantify why she was still repressed.
She said she was in love with Po but then gave the impression that it was NOT a 'forever' love. I understand if sometimes she'd need time away by herself, that's the kind of person she is. But I wanted confirmation that she would never love anyone else. I could never really trust their love was 'true' and romantic rather than just lustful and companionship. It didn't quite feel real enough to me....more
“Did you have a good bath?” he says as I come out after only an hour. “No,” I say, recognising that my tone is petulant. “Why not?” he asks in surprise,“Did you have a good bath?” he says as I come out after only an hour. “No,” I say, recognising that my tone is petulant. “Why not?” he asks in surprise, as the answer is usually the opposite. “I hate the book. Nothing is happening. Nothing has happened. And the aliens who invaded still make junk food. This doesn’t make sense. They don’t earn money or pay for anything, but they still make junk food. An alien invader who could read the mind of its host would learn to only make food with essential nutrients and stuff, to keep the populace as healthy as possible. They wouldn't waste time and effort making junk food.”
I give up. I just can’t do it. 107 pages and nothing has happened. This book literally put me to sleep. I said I was in the bath for an hour. I was asleep for half of that time. And then I was so mad that the book was so shitty I got out of a perfectly nice bath.
And it's made me half sad and half really fucking angry. I like Twilight. It's not the best book or series in the world but it is special to me because I burned out my reading after doing a literature degree, and it took me a year to even pick up a book. Twilight was that book. It welcomed me back into the world of reading, and I've slowly been enjoying it more and more for the past two years. It was easy to read, fast, and relatively painless until you start looking at the deeper aspects.
If I had picked up The Host in September of 2009 instead of Twilight, I probably wouldn't be reading yet.
This book is fucking stupid. I don't care how much worldbuilding has gone on or how many different species of aliens there are or even what it's like seeing their worlds from their perspective. Which I should, becasue that is what is awesome about sci-fi. But who the fuck would want to live their life as an inter-connected sea weed? Or a land-based plant? They don't do anything. They just grow and reproduce. They don't live. They just exist.
How THE FUCK did this parasitic species evolve? In Animorphs, the book series by Katherine Applegate the idea pretty much mirrors (I know it's not original but I grew up with it so bite me), the Yeerks evolved alongside the Gedds, and the Gedds were pretty crappy hosts anyway. The Yeerks were expanding to give their brethren better hosts so they could experience the world like everyone else: notably, Yeerks are blind, and they love being able to see through their hosts. Souls are obliterating entire races just because they think they can do better.
How the hell did souls evolve and how the fuck did they evolve so that they need to be surgically implanted? The Yeerks evolved a way of doing it themselves, with anaesthetic solutions to dull the pain of drilling into the brain. The souls literally makes no sense. To gain the abilities to take over the brain of another host you'd need very specific evolution, and when technology is introduced evolution stops. This is why humans haven't evolved for a very long time, because they've been using tools and technology for ages - manipulating the world around you, adapting to change (such as wearing clothing in colder climates) leads to no need to evolve, for example, fur. So how do you get a soul from its pre-parasitic days to a parasitic state via evolution if they need to be surgically attached?
And what is Meyer's obsession with eyes being able to give people away? In Twilight, red-eyed vamps are the bad guys and golden-eyed vamps are the good guys (I don't remember if anyone says what colour eyes the vamps who drink donated blood from a bag have). In The Host, the parasites give people a shine around their pupil. Meyer may be reading too deeply into the whole 'eyes and the window to the soul' thing. Ha ha, I just made a funny.
And the book opened with a scene that was just contradictory. (view spoiler)[The Healer said anyone could do the procedure in a back street alley yet they needed a lot of tech just to get Wanderer into Melanie (hide spoiler)]. Don't say something is really fucking easy and then go and show exactly how not-easy it is. Fucking fuck fuck (can you tell I'm exasperated?).
And where is the conflict? (view spoiler)[Something about Wanderer's chaperone needs some information that Wanderer can't get from Melanie so they're threatening to evict her from Mel's body. No idea what information it is or why it's so important they get it. Suspect it's something to do with the location of the rebel base. Insert Star Wars joke reference here. (hide spoiler)]
If this was Meyer's first attempt at getting published, she would have been laughed out of the industry. I read 107 pages and nothing has happened! At least in 100 pages Bella had met Edward! There is such a thing called THE INCITING FUCKING INCIDENT and as an aspiring traditionally-published author, I pretty much chase what the agents say they want. Such as no prologues, for example. So it pisses me the hell off when an established author wields such clout no one cares what the fuck she writes so long as she puts out another book *cough*Cassandra Clare*cough*.
Sometimes inciting incidents are happening on the first page! The first chapter! It's totally awesome when that happens. But why should I bother reading the rest of the book when I've given it 100 pages to give me anything and all it's done is wasted my time?
I mean, why should us newbies stick to the rules when veterans can break them and still rake in a payload?
I know the answer to that. They're famous. And it boggles my mind WHY.
I hope Meyer wrote this in her spare time for herself because I fucking love light sci-fi and I hate to think she sat down and decided the market needed this.
This book should be ashamed to call itself sci-fi.
I was looking forward to reading this because I'm doing NaNoWriMo and I need a book that isn't totally awesome and I want to spend all day reading (Unearthly, Divergent, Bloodlines, Shiver). But it's just made me fucking mad.
Mello and Cory, I should have listened to you. I'm so sorry. Forgive me.
I can't write any more because the nap in the bath made me sleepy and when I get sleepy I get emotional and I refuse to cry because I hate a book so fucking much.
I'm going to go bury myself in a GOOD BOOK because I am sick to fucking death of being burned by bad ones. But first I need a cuddle and to be assured there are still good books out there because the last time I felt this bad about a book (Fallen, Torment) I ended up giving those books away (despite their GORGEOUS cover art) and I NEVER give books away.
A mostly interesting road trip across America and back as Percy is framed before anyone even realises he exists...
Yeah I suppose it was OK. It's not rA mostly interesting road trip across America and back as Percy is framed before anyone even realises he exists...
Yeah I suppose it was OK. It's not really my thing. I found it in our living room and was really drawn into the first few pages. But mostly I can't bring myself to admire people who build off someone else's mythology and take advantage of all that folk lore. Build your own mythology, damn it.
I suppose the idea was interesting enough, and I didn't find any major plot holes. I was OK with the monsters coming back after they're been killed so the modern-day heroes could complete quests their ancestors did. I was OK with the idea of the Greek gods relocating themselves to America because it's apparently the 'hub' of Western civilisation. I was OK with the gods being literal and actually giving a crap about rich white kids in America when they could have pulled a Christian God and gone all fucking up Rwanda and systematically murdering African babies. I was even OK with the idea of Ares being some big bad biker badass even though that's SO unoriginal. Bikers are lovely people.
Well, except for Percy trying to tell me that Persephone really DOES affect the seasons and when it's summertime she's above ground and when it's winter she's in the Underworld... yeah, I'd buy that, except that I'm not American and I know the world doesn't revolve around America and I know that when it's summertime in America, it's winter in Australia. So explain that, punk!
That's probably the biggest thing to piss me off and if it wasn't casually written in so close to the end, if it was closer to the beginning of the book, I would have thrown it at the wall.
I hated the movie the first time I saw it. Most predictable piece of crap I've ever seen. I hoped the book would be better. I wasn't really convinced, although I do really like how Riordan wrote in dyslexia and ADHD as having some kind of benefit to half-bloods. It's about time I found a good evolutionary excuse for those learning disabilities, even if it is totally fictional. It's about time someone addressed 'troubled' students in a book like this and made them feel not like complete losers for sucking at school work. It's not their fault. They're secretly the offspring of Greek gods.
I'd happily read this to my children, but I think I'm far too old and cynical to be included in the target audience....more
This is the worst fucking book in the whole fucking world. I don't even want to give it a star, that's how bad it is. I give this book NEGATIVE FIVE SThis is the worst fucking book in the whole fucking world. I don't even want to give it a star, that's how bad it is. I give this book NEGATIVE FIVE STARS.
The idea isn't even the author's. She spoke to some guy who told her about his idea and she wrote the book. And there was no research done because everything they say is so fucking wrong (like crystal children are anything similar to indigo children? Vomit). And also, anyone with a passing interest in the same things tackled in this book (Wiccan, genetic, religious, historical, or politics) could write it.
There is punctuation and basic spelling mistakes. I don't think this book even had an editor. The flow was completely bad, it was jerky and dysfunctional, and the dialogue and dialogue tags were simply atrocious. It was like the author did not know what to mention and what to exclude as a summary.
The locations chosen in this book are only there in the vain hopes someone will make a movie out of it. Referencing Leonardo Da Vinci's Codes is a very bad attempt at taking advantage of the phenomenal reception of the Dan Brown book.
The story seems more like a justification for writing sex scenes that reflect an old man's sexual fantasies rather than a really coherent story. The hero is a cross between Quasimodo, The Phantom of the Opera, and Casanova. The whole thing is just disgusting.
Yes, I read the whole bloody thing. I was nineteen at the time and still under the impression I had to finish a book to have an opinion on it. It seems like this was the first draft of a promising novel, accidentally sent to publishers instead of the final result. ...more
Given the author's spectacular homophobia, it almost pains me to admit that I very much enjoyed this book. My grandfather is Slavic, so I knew all aboGiven the author's spectacular homophobia, it almost pains me to admit that I very much enjoyed this book. My grandfather is Slavic, so I knew all about the Baba Yaga fairy tales. It was really cool to see that woven into the contemporary narrative. Ivan was a likeable character and cared for Katerina even when she was being an unreasonable bitch....more
Fox's Feud This is a book about the response to unwelcome immigration. The Farthing Wood animals have upset some native members of the Park. And as I rFox's Feud This is a book about the response to unwelcome immigration. The Farthing Wood animals have upset some native members of the Park. And as I read this, there was absolutely NO mention of the White Deer Park foxes being blue. So I wonder where they got that idea from in the cartoon?
The most frightening member of the native foxes, Scarface, feels put upon by the newcomers. He's angry they've moved into his park and angry they've taken a whole quarter of it as their territory. As the Farthing Wood carnivores do not hunt the Farthing Wood herbivores, the foxes tend to hunt outside their quarter. And truth be told, I find it a little hard to understand why Scarface is so pissed because I'm an immigrant and quite frankly I don't have a problem with people leaving their destroyed homes for a better life somewhere else.
As it is, Scarface strikes the first blow by killing Fox and Vixen's daughter, Dreamer. It sets of a whole chain of events as the Farthing Wood animals realise Scarface is not only a major threat to their ongoing survival and prospering, but he is, at the moment, the ONLY threat. Scarface is even more upset when he compares his cubs to Fox's and finds his own lacking, especially in comparison to perfect, strong, fearless Bold.
I used to read this a lot when I was younger, and as I prepared to read it again, knowing how the plot unfolds, I thought that Fox's dealing with Scarface was a little harsh. But then I remembered that Scarface is ruthlessly cunning and will wipe out all of the Farthing Wood animals by himself if he could. So I understand the reaction, even if it does seem a little extreme. In comparison to the Farthing Wood losses, it's not really that big a deal - and it means to pave the way for Fox's family in the future as well.
The Fox Cub Bold
Bold is a great character, but Colin Dann is just... I dunno. I can't even say he's sadistic. He's not killing animals off for the sake of it. He's representing what really happens in the wild. Nowadays, books with this much death and destruction would be kept out of children's hands. I was reading The Fox Cub Bold when I ten.
Bold is a beautiful, robust, healthy, independent, slightly rebellious cub in search of the adventure his father encountered on his journey to White Deer Park. Bold can't imagine living life with the Nature Reserve, and so he leaves for the 'real world', the True Wild. He's successful at first - he's the perfect fox, really. Then the very Oath of Mutual Protection that his father lived by, which was carried on inside the reserve, comes back to bite him in the ass.
Bold was raised with this Oath, and he feels very compelled to help others in need - especially the sow badger caught in the trap meant for him after he wreaks destruction in a fowl game reserve. He helps the badger escape the trap, but damages his eye in the process. Later, with his eye not working properly, he accidentally runs among human hunters and is shot in the hind leg and permanently lamed.
This, you see, is Bold's downfall. The very Oath that worked to protect the Animals of Farthing Wood on their journey and inside the Park leads directly to Bold's own predicament. His need to be independent and free of his father's control leads him outside the park, where his injury leads him to rely on others to help him survive.
It's an incredibly moving story of what happens when a young, overconfident, brash and inexperienced fox leaves a nature reserve - but more than that, Bold didn't even experience the harshest winter on record and hasn't even the slightest clue that life within the reserve can be just as dangerous as outside it.
Is it any wonder foxes are my favourite animal?
Truth be told, I'm a little depressed after reading about such a brave, beautiful, broken creature struggle to survive. I may have to take a break before I read the next one....more
I remember this book being passed around all my school friends because it had underage sex in it and when we were twelve that was positively scandalouI remember this book being passed around all my school friends because it had underage sex in it and when we were twelve that was positively scandalous! It also dealt with a gang street culture our preciously sheltered middle-class minds had no idea about. We even went so far as to speculate if it really was a dairy written by a teenage runaway sold to an author to 'fix up', if it was inspired by a street girl, or if Clark was just that good at telling a believable teen story. Part of the reason is because it doesn't have a happy-ever-after vibe to it.
This book pretty much blew my mind when I was twelve....more
EDIT: The more I think about this book, the more I realise that it doesn't deserve the 2 stars I gave it originally. I tried hard not to let the subjeEDIT: The more I think about this book, the more I realise that it doesn't deserve the 2 stars I gave it originally. I tried hard not to let the subject matter or stylistic devices or plot affect my rating, but the point of the matter is that I did not think it was amazing (5), I did not really like it (4), in fact did not even like it (3). To me, it was OK (2). BUT. I still think this is a book people who read YA need to read. I didn't like it as much as my favourites, and it didn't quite rate as highly as the books that are pretty much flawless but just miss the mark with me personally, so I'm re-rating this to 3 stars. I hate sitting on the fence like this. It's not a book for me, although I really want to read the other two books in the trilogy. So maybe that explains how I feel.
This is one of those books where I'm torn. Generally the prose was quite fine, except that every so often something weird would happen like someone suddenly starts screaming with no indication they were angry. The prose could be very scarce like that. And sometimes the dialogue tags were really weird. Maybe that's a style thing. I'm not dropping a star because of that, though, even if it wasn't really my thing. And there were entire sections lacking dialogue that I just found so boring I wanted to skip over them. In fact, I got quite distracted thinking about other things and would have to go back a re-read those sections. Even if it was broken up with little things like Mary uttering to herself, that would have given me something more interesting than pages after pages of "I did this. I did that. The atmosphere was oppressive and spooky. I thought about the ocean. I thought about Travis." Blah blah blah.
Sorry. That was rude. But I did find large chunks of it rather boring.
And I'll be honest and say I don't like zombies. I've been exposed to my fair share of them (films I mean). My fiancée loves zombie movies and is totally prepared in the event of the zombie apocalypse. I was prepared to read about zombies and it's not the subject that turned me off.
Although for the most part I did like Mary. I found her very human, and enjoyed spending time in her head. Some books can pull off present tense - Unearthly did it very well, Divergent failed a little, but in this book, I don't like the present tense. Present tense is, in my opinion, rookie and amateur. I don't know how the industry feels about it, but it's used to give a sense of immediacy that in some ways seems to me like 'cheating' - as much as one can 'cheat' writing a book, I mean. This book would have worked perfectly well in past tense, so I can't figure out why it was written in present tense, except that is was a NaNoWriMo book (which I am NOT holding against it, plenty of NaNo books are really awesome). I've done NaNo, I published my NaNo book, and I think it's decent. But after experiencing NaNo and the rush of trying to fit some many words in per day, I'm not sure if this book fails a little because of that. Maybe that's why it's present tense, because we're in such a rush to get the words out. I don't know. I'm not knocking a star off for it being a NaNo novel because then I'd be a great big hypocrite.
What I did like about Mary was that she's not a total badass kick-ass warrior like Katsa or Katniss or other YA warriors. She's human and she's fighting against something totally horrific, yet she has the guts to fight back. I partly expected her to become a total warrior princess but I'm glad, in reflection, that she didn't. It kept the whole novel more REAL. And she has the balls to choose her dream over the love of her life. I don't know if I could do that - but then again, I'm not a teenager, aware that my feelings may not be completely genuine because my hormones are out of control and everything is life or death - except that in this book, everything is life or death. Sure, she does on occasion stand back and play observer instead of being active in the role but I can't hold that against her because if I was her I'd probably be wetting myself. She's certainly a much better role model than damsels in distress. She finds a fine balance between being a damsel and being a warrior which is quite hard to pull off: most girl characters tend to be one or the other.
Yet there was something about this book. I just didn't care. I didn't care about the very well written yet majorly contrived love triangle. I didn't care about anyone who died. In fact, the character I was most worried about was the dog. It's true that I don't like zombies, yet I'm not letting that colour my judgement. Ryan put in a scene that is my worst freaking nightmare (view spoiler)[ zombie babies - it's totally personal, you can ask if you want a totally morbid answer (hide spoiler)] and it horrified me like it usually does. It's true, the first section of the book drew me in like a drowning person slipping under the water and I loved Mary's obsession with the ocean and her constant questioning of faith. I loved that. I loved how she had total faith in this ocean she's never seen, had photographic evidence for, yet questioned her faith in God and the Sisterhood. I loved that her dream was strong enough to keep her going when everyone else lost faith. I loved that.
My favourite part was (view spoiler)[ when Mary and Travis were trapped inside the big, well-stocked house in the second village. I liked the idea of cooking all day, even if the zombie horde were trying to break into the lovely big house. I thought their time together was sweet, although I don't accept them sleeping in the same bed. More on that later. (hide spoiler)]
But I got bored. I hate walking books. I don't like Lord of the Rings. (view spoiler)[I didn't like the section they spent inside the path. I couldn't get a proper grasp of how the fence was built. Was it around the entire forest like a giant doughnut, linking to random villages? If so, are there zombies trapped inside the Forest of Hands and Teeth? I couldn't get a good enough idea of the look of the fence. I keep seeing chicken wire in my head, but I doubt that'd be strong enough to keep zombies out. I mean, there's a great big freaking Forest right outside the village. Why didn't they chop down the trees and use them for protection instead of relying on a flimsy wire fence? I couldn't figure out why the big long fence, more than ten days' journey, was so well maintained. I couldn't figure out why when the village was breached, they thought they were safe on the other side of the fence when there was a freaking hole in the fence. I couldn't figure out how they could be inside the path yet still inside the village and on that side of the the fence instead of on the side of the fence closest to the Forest. That's what's dropping a star. The description - or lack thereof - disoriented me and I spent too long in the book being frustrated and not enjoying it like I really wanted to. (hide spoiler)]
That being said, I was interested in reading the sequel before I even saw the preview of the first chapter. I thought it might be about Mary, but I don't think it is. I'm still annoyed it's written in present tense (seriously, why does it annoy me so much?) but I totally want to read that book - The Dead Tossed Waves.
Am I expected to believe that after all the (view spoiler)[heat and the almost-kisses and the pining and the real kisses (if there were real kisses - I could never tell if they were kissing or just breathing each others' breath) and the OMGTWULOVE that when Mary and Travis shared a bed in the second village they didn't sleep together? Because no mention was made of it AT ALL. They shared a bed quite often. I find it so hard to believe that every time they touch they nearly lose control yet in the bedroom they didn't do anything. (hide spoiler)] Also, the idea of (view spoiler)[ the binding to me seems implausible. Mary and Harry are roped together for a night, they clearly share a bed, yet there's no indication of whether or not they slept together. I know Harry wanted to, and he's the kind of guy who would just do it, and Mary's the kind of girl who would lie there and take it because she doesn't know any better. And if they're not meant to sleep together during the binding, why are they bound in the first place? I know the point of marriage in this book is to provide the next generation, but why have marriage at all if the Sisterhood encourage out of wedlock shagging? Or do they only encourage it for betrothed couples? And why are girls who aren't spoken for by age 18 forced to become celibate nuns instead of letting them take their time to find a mate and have an ever-so-important baby? Or why not have polygamy if the next generation is so important? (hide spoiler)] I was never ever convinced that (view spoiler)[Harry was in love with Mary. He just wanted her for no reason. Maybe to piss off Travis because Cass was prettier and nicer than Mary and wanted to settle down and have a family and that's what Harry wanted as well but instead he got stuck with a girl who wasn't interested at all and didn't want to be with him or live in the village or have a family whereas Travis got the shining, perfect Cass. (hide spoiler)] I was interested in knowing how the apocalypse came about. (view spoiler)[I loved seeing that picture of New York City and the fact that they still had photographs. I'd like to know where Mary's village was originally, which city it might have been if the Cathedral is still standing many years later. (hide spoiler)] Did the zombies ever actually (view spoiler)[ eat anyone or did they only bite people and then leave them alone? because that's the worse of the damage we see. Even the zombie baby only had one bite. Mary's mother only had one bite. Beth only had one bite. Travis only had one bite. Sister Tabitha fell beneath the horde but I'm willing to bet only one of them bit her and then they all let her get to her undead feet and carry on the invasion. (hide spoiler)] It took more than half to book before it was revealed (view spoiler)[Beth was the sister of Harry and Travis. (hide spoiler)] Did all of the (view spoiler)[separate forked paths on the path with the numbers in Roman numerals all lead to other villages? I know Mary's village isn't the only village to survive, so don't pretend it is. Also, how come some people are infected as Fast Ones and some are normal zombies? These are questions I hope are answered in the sequel. (hide spoiler)]
I actually think this book would make a better film than a book. If it is made into a film, I hope it is better.
I only kept going because a friend of mine whom I trust raved about this book and wanted to give it 6 stars. And I also spent money on it. If I got it from the library I might have sent it back half-read.
I'm disappointed this book left me feeling 'meh.'["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more