I bought this God knows how long ago and let it collect dust until four months ago. I'm bad, I know. Anyway, this book started off good but fizzled ouI bought this God knows how long ago and let it collect dust until four months ago. I'm bad, I know. Anyway, this book started off good but fizzled out and left me disappointed in the end.
The author spends a lot of time setting up this new bar code reality and, when things start to go south for the main character, the story suddenly hurls into fast-paced motion. Around the end, (WARNING: mild spoiler here) when she makes it to the mountains, things become vague. Too vague.
Ultimately, the ending left me wanting. I never read the second book and, quite frankly, the story left me with no incentive to.
The best part is the set-up, the beginning. I'll admit I gobbled through the first sixty or seventy pages in a couple of hours. Then things started moving fast. Then it got vague. Then I finished it and plopped it back down, most likely to collect more dust until I give it away.
Props to the author for doing genetics research; that definitely hooked me and added this "holy shit this could totally happen" factor.
So yeah, two out of five stars, though I think if I had read this book at a younger age--probably around the same time I actually bought the book--it would've been a better read. Therefore, this review should be taken with a grain of salt, especially if you're in the age range this book is geared towards....more
It's a confusing book, to be sure, but it REALLY leaves an impression (to the point that all-caps are needed). The ending gives it an almost InceptionIt's a confusing book, to be sure, but it REALLY leaves an impression (to the point that all-caps are needed). The ending gives it an almost Inception-esque feeling, too, which actually helps this story. I can see why it's considered one of the major PKD books!...more
I want to preface this review with a simple fact: I've never read a single Stephen King novel until now. Most of my writing friends insisted I pick thI want to preface this review with a simple fact: I've never read a single Stephen King novel until now. Most of my writing friends insisted I pick this book up, so when I saw it on sale at B&N (and saw the adorable Corgie on the front cover -- you can tell I'm easily swayed by cute things, yes?) I decided to give it a shot.
On Writing is a memoir that also blends King's advice on the writerly craft of creating a worthwhile story. It's honestly interesting as far as memoirs go, especially since I'm not a big fan of memoirs in general. The first part of the book is King's past (mis)adventures as a boy, teenager, etc. Basically this first part details the events that made him into the writer he is today (or was in 2001). There are no chapters, but rather segments and snippets of memories. The entire novel is broken up like this, with parts separating the content into something like a coherent whole.
The second and third parts deal with King's advice on writing. His pet peeves (adverbs!), what he thinks writers should focus on (read and write a lot, for starters), and so on. There are moments in this book where I laughed. His humor is great, and very snarky (yes, snarky).
While I don't think I'll adopt all of King's processes into my writing life, they're still worth reading about, if only to understand how a "successful" author goes about his business. This book is definitely recommended for beginning writers, as well as writers who want to be reminded about why we write -- because that was the biggest bit of understanding I stole from this book. King's enthusiasm for writing, his love for the craft and for reading and for the entire art that is writing is just infectious. It reminded me why I want to be a writer in the first place, and that's something very valuable.
tl;dr: 5/5 stars, no complaints, was a fantastic read. Recommended for all writers....more
Just a note: This is a book I didn't fully read; I only finished the ebook sample and decided not to buy it -- but I'm making my reasons clear in my rJust a note: This is a book I didn't fully read; I only finished the ebook sample and decided not to buy it -- but I'm making my reasons clear in my review. Just because I didn't buy the book and finish it doesn't mean it wasn't a worthwhile read.
Now, this book was actually interesting. The Japanese setting was a nice change of pace from the typical medieval fantasy surroundings, and the conflict raised a lot of questions I wanted the author to answer later on down the line. The prose was solid and strong, too, which is a big deal for me.
Unfortunately, it all came down to price on this one. Sadly, I can't spend $12.99 on an ebook, and if the price goes down on the ebook, I'll buy it and re-review it.
4/5 stars because what I read of it was really good....more
I can't say anything that hasn't already been said. But this book is one I should've read sooner, and it will definitely inspire me the way the movieI can't say anything that hasn't already been said. But this book is one I should've read sooner, and it will definitely inspire me the way the movie did, if not more. A work of brilliance considering when it was written....more
First, this is a two-in-one book. I admit I've only read the first book, The Golden Queen, as an ebook. I'm leaving the rating here because, honestly,First, this is a two-in-one book. I admit I've only read the first book, The Golden Queen, as an ebook. I'm leaving the rating here because, honestly, I see nowhere else to put it. I'll update my star rating once I read the second book -- assuming I even read it.
The Golden Queen is a science fiction, action-adventure story that follows Gallen O'Day, Maggie Flynn, and a genetically enhanced black bear named Orick (who's absolutely adorable, by the way) as they get entangled in an battle against the vanquishers that spans across three galaxies and one thousand-something worlds. The three people run into a recently dethroned queen, Everynne, and her protector Veraisse. Shenanigans then ensue that involve saving the world(s), fighting some pretty lengthy battles, Stargate-like devices, and so on.
Honestly, this was a quick, fun read. The writing wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worst, and the characters were fun. Don't expect a science fiction marvel, but it's definitely not a bad read if you're looking to kill some time and don't really have large expectations for all novels evar.
tl;dr: 3/5 stars. Fun. Not going to blow your mind, but not going to burn it either.
PS: if you read this as a an ebook, be prepared for some pretty crappy formatting in places....more
Amazon blurb quote: “The book tells the timeless story of war, in this case a conflict between humanity and the alien Taurans. HumansRating: 5/5 stars
Amazon blurb quote: “The book tells the timeless story of war, in this case a conflict between humanity and the alien Taurans. Humans first bumped heads with the Taurans when we began using collapsars to travel the stars. Although the collapsars provide nearly instantaneous travel across vast distances, the relativistic speeds associated with the process means that time passes slower for those aboard ship. For William Mandella, a physics student drafted as a soldier, that means more than 27 years will have passed between his first encounter with the Taurans and his homecoming, though he himself will have aged only a year. When Mandella finds that he can’t adjust to Earth after being gone so long from home, he reenlists, only to find himself shuttled endlessly from battle to battle as the centuries pass.”
Okay, so if that little blurb didn’t hook you, you’re clearly not interested in the concepts of time and relativity, which is fine. Personally, I love the concept of one person living to see the beginning and end of a thousand year long war because of time relativity. Technically, because of the collapsars, these people travel near instantaneously from collapsar point to collapsar point. Mandella, at the beginning of the story, was only enlisted for two years, and, like the blurb said, came home twenty-seven years later, even though he’s only around twenty-five years old.
Personally, I loved the writing style of this book, but some of the Amazon reviews said it reads like literary fiction or that the narration is bland. If you’re into Twilight or Potter-type narration then yeah, this book won’t really be entertaining because of the sheer difference in style. However, I think the narration is one of the book’s most interest aspects. You infer a lot, you miss out on a lot of details (especially about Earth throughout these thousand or so years).
The other interesting aspect was the Taurans. They aren’t human in most ways, other than the fact that they are bipedal. Their motives aren’t exactly explained, and you’re left with an interesting amorphous concept of what it means to fight the Taurans instead. The humans aren’t fighting someone who wants to eradicate the human species, they’re fighting a race that suddenly started attacking once humanity started using the collapsars. What in the world does that even mean? Were the collapsars theirs first? And so on. Again, maybe I just read way too far into the text, but the book is so rich in details and concepts (like the relevance of war, sexuality even).
When it comes to concepts, there are certain turns of events that can be really controversial and were honestly surprising to me at first, but I like that the author went out on a limb and wrote the story anyway, controversy be damned. But if you don’t like homosexuality or the thought of homosexuality (because that seems to be a big issue with a lot of people I know), read this book with caution but not presumptions. It’s a part of the story but not the entire point, so don’t get caught up on it.
Okay, I’ll stop rambling about this. My point is the book is wonderful, makes you think about our world and where it’s heading (whether or not we can change it), and what war means. For me, there were some interesting parallels to the US’s recent long-winded wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but you’ll have to tell me if you get the same thing if you read the book. I think a lot of people have said the writer was referring primarily to Vietnam, since the book was written in the 70s. But I’ll stop now. Really. Go buy the ebook at least, it’s only $4.95, and it’s well, well worth that price....more
While I liked the beginning of the story, the end was disappointing. It was apparently religious with the Mercer bit, and I felt it flip-flopped in plWhile I liked the beginning of the story, the end was disappointing. It was apparently religious with the Mercer bit, and I felt it flip-flopped in plot too much for my liking. Chalk that up to personal preferences though. I certainly can't fault Dick for his creation. I've also noticed that those who watches Bladerunner first and then the book were giving equally bleh reviews. ...more