Tristran Thorn is a special snowflake. He’s completely, stupidly in love with Victoria Forrester, the town of Wall’s pretty socialite (well, you know,...moreTristran Thorn is a special snowflake. He’s completely, stupidly in love with Victoria Forrester, the town of Wall’s pretty socialite (well, you know, for a tiny town bordering a magical world). When he asks what it will take to get a kiss — or marriage — from Miss Prissy, she points to a falling star and says THAT RIGHT THERE YES.
Of course, love is blinding. Tristran sets out to go capture it. And everything falls into place from there.
I don’t want to spoil it, as the events are really fun once they all fall into place, so let’s just say it involves brothers I fondly call the Numbered Bros (because they’re literally named First, Second, Third, etc., just in Latin).
What I Liked
How everything fell together. From Dunstan, Tristran’s dad, and his involvement with a witch’s slave, to the Numbered Bros, every plot point came along exactly when it needed to in order to maintain my interest.
The unicorn. Seriously, I have a thing for them and love when they show up. Can’t have a fairy tale without a unicorn. Or without naming the entire magical continent Faerie, but you know.
Lightning-hunting. It’s a small (spoiler-free) portion of the book that I wish was expanded on more. Seriously, sky-ships and lightning-hunting could totally get their own book. Speaking of…
All the unique fantasy concepts in this book blow my mind. From the Lilim to the giant tree that serves as a docking station for sky-ships to killer forests, it was all so briefly described, but those descriptions were eloquent and memorable. See lightning-hunting. Also how most animals are cursed people and have to go through these ridiculous steps to become un-cursed is so true to classic fairy tales.
The Numbered Bros. Just wait, when they’re introduced it’ll be worth me not explaining exactly why.
Neil Gaiman’s dry sense of humor. Dear God there were moments I was just laughing at these dark jokes or dryly funny moments when a character does something so stupid but is explained so seriously. It was great.
What I Didn’t Like
The lack of an epic finale with a certain character. Can’t say much more than that. The ending itself is good and satisfying, I was just expecting a little more action in this ONE area. But still, how it resolves itself is also interesting, as it’s not normally done. How’s that for cryptically vague?
How briefly certain creatures or world aspects were detailed. This is a personal gripe, I understand. There are people that prefer Tolkien length descriptions and those that want only the things that pertain to the scene or important world-grounding information. Gaiman definitely falls into the latter group. I, on the other hand, tend to land somewhere in the middle. A teeny tiny bit more Faerie world tidbits would’ve made this that much better for me.
The narrative style makes certain parts dull. That dry humor can backlash in places. It’s too dry at times when it shouldn’t be. More than once I spaced out during transitional moments. BUT I never strayed far, or for long, so there’s that to counter-balance this minor annoyance.
Final verdict: 4/5 stars
DO read if you love fairy tales and traditional fantasy, happily ever afters with somber, serious reminders of how real life works, dry humor, dark humor, and unique characters.
DON’T read if you don’t like any of the things mentioned above all in one package. (less)
Apparently I have a thing for scifi stories that have mechs or robots or androids. The concept of what makes a person, well, alive, is a really fun to...moreApparently I have a thing for scifi stories that have mechs or robots or androids. The concept of what makes a person, well, alive, is a really fun topic to grapple with, and I love it when books spend an entire plot doing the same thing. Just with more action and fun parts that are compelling and addicting.
This book was really good at sucking me in and making me give a damn about Tuc-67/c -- or Tuck for short. To be honest, Tuck seemed really skittish at first, and that frustrated me. Then I learned why. Then I had emotions. Then I gave a damn and man, does this story really make you go RIGHT. IN. THE. FEELS CENTER. (It's okay I didn't need that anyway, what with all the stories, TV shows, and movies I fangirl over.)
Oh right you want to know what the hell this about.
Plot Tuck is a robot, or a bot, that's 150 years old. He's seen a lot and is in total disrepair. He also has a lovely AI friend named David who reminded me a little bit of what HAL would've been like if he was only the AI for a futuristic BMW. And actually gained emotions.
Anyway, there was a Bot Riot and most bots were destroyed, making Tuck a valuable remnant of a past era. He's constantly running from collectors and is slowly but surely losing parts. His leg doesn't work so well, and he barely has any synthaskin left. He's desperate.
Enter Gerad, a businessman with a secretive deal. He needs Tuck for something. He also has the money to make Tuck's body brand new. Which is good because Tuck is scared of death. Deathly scared. Aha. Get it?
What? WHAT it was funny.
There's only one catch. Tuck hates killing people. He's stored the image files of the sixteen people he's done in, either accidentally or on purpose or because he wanted to live, and is constantly haunted by them.
But Gerad's plan involves him potentially killing other people.
SO the question of survive and kill or die in disrepair come into question. It's really great stuff.
What I liked The characters, even (or especially) the minor ones. Maze, Lim, even the other soldier guys were fun to read about.
Tuck's struggle with existence. For a bot to live as long as he has, and to have lived through the Bot Riots, wherein humans actively broke bots out of hate, pains a really compelling picture. Daniel Hope actually does this in a nice, even pace, too. Every reveal made that emotional punch that much harder. By the end of it I sat there contemplating the meaning of life.
David. An emotional BMW HAL is an image I can't erase now.
The plot pacing. Certain things happened that made me go BUT-BUT HOW ARE YOU GOING TO PULL THIS OFF LATER? This is a good thing. It means I gave a damn.
I stayed up two nights in a row to finish it. (What? I was busy all day.) That alone says something.
What I didn't like Gerad. But seeing as he's a sleez businessman, is this really surprising?
The repetition of certain moral questions. In certain areas I just wanted the answer instead of the question being asked over and over. However, the answer is answered, and it is answered. ANSWERED. With a punch and a case of the "that's okay I didn't need that box of Kleenex anyway." That's a real troublesome bug, that one.
The pacing in the middle slacked just a teeny tiny bit. It's my singlemost complaint on the writing front. WHICH IS GOOD, SIR. Seriously, I'm picky, so this is a good in a bad. A bad-good?
Overall rating: 4/5 This is a solid read with really great details. It makes you think about things, too, and invest yourself into this bot's struggles.
DON'T read if: you hate scifi, specifically scifi books about the meaning of life.
DO read: if you like bots, futuristic worlds (hello, scifi), snark, humorous characters, and punches to the feels. (Especially at the end when the freaking title makes that much more sense.)(less)
While I'm not displeased with this book, or the writing, I'm not entirely sure that I feel satisfied, either. The topics are very heavy: relationship...moreWhile I'm not displeased with this book, or the writing, I'm not entirely sure that I feel satisfied, either. The topics are very heavy: relationship issues, massive anxieties (something I related to), and so on.
Mara is a gifted painter who struggles with the numerous issues her past has burdened her with. Divorced and bitter parents, drinking, plenty of sex as an attempt to escape her issues. It's a very dark story, but there were parts that made me chuckle out of the sheet dark humor of the moment.
I think my biggest complaint was the plotline with Erik. I won't say more than that because of spoilers, but I thought I'd at least mention that some elements seemed unnecessary (his relationship with another character in particular).
This isn't a light read, but I do recommend it to readers who enjoy serious contemporary fiction.
3/5 stars because I enjoyed it and yet walked away a little too stunned and upset to give it a 4/5. Feel free to take my opinion with a grain of salt.(less)
First, this is a book definitely tailored to younger kids, and that's great. I still love this kind of fiction. But if you're expecting something more...moreFirst, this is a book definitely tailored to younger kids, and that's great. I still love this kind of fiction. But if you're expecting something more adult in terms of depth, vocabulary, and so on, this isn't it. Still worth the read though!
Shard is a young gryphon in a pride of gryphons that crossed the sea and conquered the local pride, only it turns out things aren't that simple. Not by a long shot, and Shard has to make some hard choices.
Things like loyalty, justice, war, peace, and what it means to handle all of these things are tackled in this book, and I think it's great. That's the sort of stuff I always loved when I was younger, and that slight nostalgic feeling definitely made this a better read personally. However, that doesn't mean the read is bad if you don't have that same feels. It's a very simple read, very quick, but it keeps you interested. I finished this in about a day once I truly sat down and lost myself in the plot (you know how that goes with books).
My one grumble is that the plot was slightly typical, in terms of fantasy plots at least. Anyone who reads this and reads a lot of fantasy will understand. It's not a super big problem though, and is my only gripe.
Verdict? 4/5 stars. Great read for younger kids and people who enjoy fantasy overall, even if it leans on the slightly typical side.(less)
Anne McCaffrey's books inspired me as a child to write fantasy. I re-read this recently for the first time as an adult, and the changes were interesti...moreAnne McCaffrey's books inspired me as a child to write fantasy. I re-read this recently for the first time as an adult, and the changes were interesting. I don't look at it as this perfect fantasy and science fiction blend as I used to -- it has its faults, to be sure -- but these books will always be special to me. Because of this I can't really give an objective review. All I can say is that the writing reflects its age (it was written in the 70s, I believe) a bit, as it's not really the style in favor anymore, and a lot of people seem to express dislike over the obvious misogyny (it's a medieval-ish setup where women tend to be inferior).
I recommend it anyway, especially for younger ones who like fantasy and science fiction.(less)
I like science fiction and fantasy quite a bit, but have never read much military scifi aside from Halo novels (no groans, please). So when I saw this...moreI like science fiction and fantasy quite a bit, but have never read much military scifi aside from Halo novels (no groans, please). So when I saw this, the cover drew me in and the story did the rest.
Solid writing, great amount of technical details that don't bog the story down in any way, which is good. Gabriel seems like an interesting character, and there was a couple of plot twists I didn't see coming.
4/5 stars, recommended for anyone who likes space opera and military type scifi fiction.(less)
I normally don't read legal thrillers, but I watched the movie and liked it (to some surprise) and decided to check out the book, see if it was any be...moreI normally don't read legal thrillers, but I watched the movie and liked it (to some surprise) and decided to check out the book, see if it was any better. Honestly, I liked it. Not enough to read legal thrillers more often but enough to admit I spent a single night reading the last 40% to find out what happened.
Mickey Haller is a defense lawyer in LA. He's unashamedly in it for the money and doesn't see the law as a matter of innocent or guilty but rather who manages to present their side in the best way. Manipulation, lies, how to treat your evidence, etc. There's a lot of details in here that made it an interesting glimpse into a lawyer-character's mind.
All defense lawyers like Mickey look for the "franchise" case, the one that will pay the big bucks. They don't care if their client is innocent or guilty, but that's where Mickey has a sticking point. His worst fear is not knowing innocence when he sees it because the worst thing is to put away an innocent man.
When Louis Roulet claims he didn't brutally beat and try to rape then murder Regina Campo, Mickey is thrown down a rabbit hole with thorns reaching out for him in the dark. If Louis really is innocent, what does that mean? There's something off about the case, and Mickey doesn't find out what it is until it's too late.
Honestly, if you like legal thrillers you'll enjoy this one. You might not love it, but it'll definitely be a nice read. Mickey is an interesting character. He's not a good guy but he's not unlikeable either, and quickly grows on you in a strange way.
tl;dr 3/5 stars because I liked it and it was a nice read.(less)
I bought this back when I was younger -- bought the eBook when I actually had the freaking print book in storage and had totally forgotten about it. I...moreI bought this back when I was younger -- bought the eBook when I actually had the freaking print book in storage and had totally forgotten about it. I must have never actually gotten around to this one though (that happened a lot, I bought more books than I knew what to do with), but holy crap I'm happy I did now. I tore through this book in one night, stayed up to finish it because I had to know. And now I need to buy the rest of the books.
I guess waiting to finally read a book 5 years later means you don't have to wait for the sequel to come out, huh?
I won't bother leaving pros and cons for this review -- there are so many reviews already I don't want to just continue adding to the masses. It was a great read, with very minor cons. Definitely entertaining.(less)
I read this a while back and forgot to review. The writing isn't bad, Verita is a unique place, but I really didn't like the main c...more3.5 stars out of 5!
I read this a while back and forgot to review. The writing isn't bad, Verita is a unique place, but I really didn't like the main character. Understand that I don't normally read YA, and when I do I normally have a problem with the immature main characters -- which I understand is part of the genre, so please take this review with a grain of salt. A huge pinch of salt, actually.
-unique world. The animals and plants were strange and exotic. -fun minor characters. Love interest and best friend were pretty cool people, on the whole, though Ryan annoyed me a lot in places too. Again, throw that salt in. -science fiction. I'm a sucker for it, so that automatically gives this book a plus. -decent writing. It wasn't hard to read this book, nor was the writing painful (like a few others I've read recently, so that might've helped me enjoy this story more, too). -cover. It's the reason I bought the ebook.
-main character. Main character, main character. Oh my goodness. -the matter-of-fact way the teens went around the world. Even with their added career knowledge, unless they added behavior learning or something in there too. It just felt a little stale.
As you can see, not that many cons. I liked the book, just not really liked it because it's YA, and that's a genre that's hard to enjoy at times. Overall a solid read, especially if you like YA. If you like YA you will definitely love this story, because I feel it has the proper appeal.(less)
So I'm not going to explain what I disliked about this book (see other reviews below who sum it up in better detail), but what I will tell you that th...moreSo I'm not going to explain what I disliked about this book (see other reviews below who sum it up in better detail), but what I will tell you that the most frustrating part about this book was the ending. It has no resolution whatsoever. If you want to find out who the villain really is and what his aim is (other than the typical world domination stuff), you have to read the sequel. I'm a big fan of series books having resolved endings of some sort on their own, and a large over-arching plot between them. The author almost pulls this off, but the ending still left me feeling frustrated at having spent all this time reading the story for that.
- world is high fantasy, which I adore. In places it reminded me of Skyrim, which isn't a bad thing but might annoy others.
-the Written are unique.
- the dragons aren't entirely unique, but they're still pretty cool.
-Farden, the main character, seems pretty broken and has to deal with that and save the world. He's not perfect, and that's a fun thing to read, as it leaves you wondering what he'll choose (because he has the potential to be a big ass at times).
-too typical in places where originality would've added that special flavor to an otherwise stereotypical fantasy world.
-see other reviews for the writing quality. I admit I skipped huge chunks at the end because I didn't want to deal with the slow pace, and I missed nothing important, so there's that.
Overall, as a newbie author myself, I understand putting out your first book is hard, so I'm not knocking Ben Galley in the least. He has balls of steel to put this out, especially given a lot of the negative feedback. I wish him the best, and that his future endeavors become better and better. (less)