I really, really enjoyed this book. I'm having a hard time articulating why, but what drew me in was the idea of a book being a source of magic and poI really, really enjoyed this book. I'm having a hard time articulating why, but what drew me in was the idea of a book being a source of magic and power, and what made me stay was how well-written it was. Of course there are still cliches and I found the flashbacks confusing when I didn't know that's what they were (the use of The Second for two different characters threw me), but I still thought the story entertaining and the characters engaging. Can't wait for the next one!...more
Maybe it's just because I work in the mental health field myself, but I was kind of creeped out by how much the therapist (can't remember their namesMaybe it's just because I work in the mental health field myself, but I was kind of creeped out by how much the therapist (can't remember their names now) changed between the first and second volume, to the point where he was having him lie on public benches in his office and jumping straight towards sex. Obviously, yaoi isn't exactly known for being true to life, but all I felt by the end of this was turned off, especially since he would do things that upset the protagonist without his consent and then turn around and apologize, only to do it again the next time he saw him. For me that's too rape-y to enjoy....more
To start off, I rank Kevin Wilson among the top 5 authors I love most and any book from him is a cause for celebration to me; on the other hand, whenTo start off, I rank Kevin Wilson among the top 5 authors I love most and any book from him is a cause for celebration to me; on the other hand, when I take a book on its own merits, I have to say that Perfect Little World is not among my favorites.
It's not that the book is bad, insomuch, it's that the book is too short to accomplish what it sets out to do- which is give depth to the many characters that comprise it so the impact of the story is greater. I like Izzy and Dr. Grind, but I want more than just rushed chapters that chuck half-realized characters at the reader with the hope of leaving an impression, while also trying to focus on the core of the story which is the kids in The Infinite Family Project.
For me at least, I felt a distinct disconnect from any character that wasn't one of the main two, which made it hard to be moved when things went sideways. Any time a conflict was introduced it more or less had to be summarized within that chapter and then moved on from quickly, leaving a majority of the book vague and unexplored.
In the end I still enjoyed it well enough to rate it three stars, but that had more to do with Kevin Wilson's style of writing than it did with the book as a whole....more
I actually really liked this book, mostly because it had a very different zombie mythos than most books in the genre, but also because it presented aI actually really liked this book, mostly because it had a very different zombie mythos than most books in the genre, but also because it presented a number of interesting perspectives. Honestly, I wish it had never ended, if only for the fact that I want to know what happens after Melanie's final action and how that affects the rest of the world (much like Cronin's Passage series, but more engaging without all the religion BS). Looking forward to the forthcoming prequel, even if it doesn't touch upon the prior characters....more
As with the book prior, I'm going to be one of the few people who wasn't a huge fan of this addition and the series in general. I actually decided toAs with the book prior, I'm going to be one of the few people who wasn't a huge fan of this addition and the series in general. I actually decided to re-read the first two back-to-back the month this one was released so I had a very clear memory of the characters and overall plot. What I came away with in no particular order was:
1. Oh my god, PLEASE stop talking about God!
I get it Cronin, you were raised Catholic and then were sort of born-again about 8-10 years ago because your wife and daughter were in an accident they shouldn't have survived, but did (which is really fortunate), but not every single character needs to believe in God. Good job for representing another faith finally with the original (and conveniently dead) captain of the ship, but are you so unable to imagine another point of view that you have to assign the same arbitrary belief system to nearly every living character? It doesn't make any sense that everyone would believe in God because everyone's experience is going to be different, and the fact that you go out of your way (even in the final few sentences of the epilogue! Jesus!) to make it abundantly clear that every character, no matter how out of character it is has an epiphany that everything is connected by a celestial hand is really off-putting. It's distracting from the narrative, it makes your voice for characters sound one-note, and it's just not realistic. STOP.
2. Alicia and her baby.
Just, what the fuck were you thinking? Now Alicia, who has mentioned kids in passing only once and idly at the First Colony, appears to be shocker-treated yet again like every female character prior to her by becoming instantly attached and destroyed by the stillbirth of a baby conceived by rape. I'm not saying it wouldn't be upsetting on some level or even that babies that come from rape should all be universally despised, but given what you've shown us of Alicia prior to this it makes no sense that she would suddenly be devastated by this event. Not only that, but you make sure the reader is reminded over and over how destroyed she is that her baby didn't survive, and much like the obsession with religion you prove your inability again to imagine anything more than a narrow view of character voice and women in general. Which brings me to my next point-
3. I don't know if it's because of his personal faith or just being very conservative in gender roles (or both!) but Cronin continues to write all but a few female characters as being universally obsessed with babies, nursing, and pretty much any other sexist cliche you could assign them. It's so fucking boring and completely unoriginal, and much like the other things he chooses to do in the book, repetitive. Cronin seems genuinely incapable or unwilling to differentiate between his characters on matters of religion, voice, and gender roles, which makes for a very tedious book.
4. Alicia understanding Fanning's life story makes no sense because she has never lived in a world where most of the things he takes for granted exist. This is never explained, which comes off as lazy and unbelievable to me.
5. Everyone shares a HEA in what is presumably, Heaven, even the dude who wiped out millions of people- which, given that Cronin does the same thing to every character, is probably not surprising at this point.
6. The epilogue was stupidly long and took away from the story overall. I don't care about these new characters and I'm sure Amy could have been revealed in a much quicker and less tedious way.
There's probably more but that's all I feel like writing about this book, honestly....more
My first review got eaten by the internet, so I apologize if this one is less solid. Having recently re-read The Passage in anticipation of the compleMy first review got eaten by the internet, so I apologize if this one is less solid. Having recently re-read The Passage in anticipation of the completion of the trilogy, I finished The Twelve feeling less certain about how much I would enjoy the conclusion considering how deeply annoyed this sequel made me.
In no particular order, here are the things that ruined this book for me:
1. The insane amount of religiosity in this and the former book was the absolute worst. When I'm so distracted by the universal acceptance of a Christian god for practically every character that I have to stop reading the book and read the author's bio to see how religious he is, that's too much. Lacey kind of bugged me in the prior book, but whatever, she had a purpose, whereas this constant referencing of God in this book seems unrealistic and heavy-handed, especially with Greer seeming to take up the Lacey mantle as God's chosen voice after she's gone. Maybe I'm just cynical, but if death was only a swift dismemberment away and pretty much everyone I loved was dying all the time, I don't know how inclined I would be to praise God for every little thing. The other thing that was pointed out by another reviewer about how Christianity seems to be the only remaining religion is super weird too- what, every religion besides that one vanished? It's almost like Cronin is writing his own version of the Rapture disguised in a horror novel, where at least one person who hears the voice of God exists to shepard the rest of them like some kind of creepy cult. No thank you.
2. The obsession of nearly every female character was babies (except Alicia, though the first chapter of Book 3 remedies that) and it was super gross, not to mention the very cliche gender roles they all go back to inhabiting. Granted, it makes a certain amount of sense that people would want to have children to keep the species alive, and there isn't exactly an overabundance of birth control to be found, but why do they all have to feel that way? I'd like some variety in the motivations of my female characters, thank you very much; reducing them to maternal stereotypes is really insulting and frankly, ignorant. Also, how the hell does Sara just magically know that "Eva" is her child? It's also awfully convenient that somehow the kid lived and just instantly bonds with Sara as if it's some preordained destiny for the both of them merely because they're related. What makes it offensive is this concept being pushed that all women have a maternal instinct and regardless of personality or motivation, will always be reduced to the same boring desire to be a mother, something which is similar to the book's repetition of religious belief. Not everyone needs to or should be the same- it shows an utter lack of imagination and an inability to differentiate the voice of your characters, making for dull reading.
3. The rape of Alicia. Of course she had to be subjected to this stupid trope because God forbid a strong female character would be allowed to exist without being knocked down a peg. It's misogynistic, it's been done a million times, and it didn't need to be used to justify why Alicia is now more bloodthirsty as there were multiple other ways to convey that. Also, the first chapter of the final book (minor spoiler) regarding Alicia and motherhood was really fucking aggravating, but that's a whole other review.
4. Lila Kyle was so badly done, my god. Again, here's a female character with agency- she's a doctor and super intelligent, but no, she has to be traumatized so badly by things every character has seen up to this point that she is unable to connect to reality and instead is written as an entitled shrew who, you guessed it!- is obsessed with babies. To be fair, her fixation on kids makes more sense because of her first child's sudden death (which Wolgast was also really preoccupied with, so that's good at least) but the obsession goes on waaay too long and makes her pretty much unbearable for the rest of the book, which is a shame because the idea of her controlling virals was kind of interesting.
Honestly, there's probably more irritants I can't recall, but these were the major ones that made the prospect of reading the last book much less enticing since history shows I'm likely to be bludgeoned over the head with more of the same....more