I had trouble putting this down! A real page turner, many nights I was up too late because I had to find out what happened, or the action and suspenseI had trouble putting this down! A real page turner, many nights I was up too late because I had to find out what happened, or the action and suspense kept me riveted. Interesting characters who weren't what they first appeared to be often surprised me with a new, previously unseen facet to their character that led to actions I didn't expect. I was always waiting for something else to go wrong.
The author developed the characters while continuing the action, rather than slowing it down. The result: three-dimensional characters and a fast-paced plot. No cookie cutter characters here! Even those you love to hate had their good moments that kept you off balance, unsure of what a character will do next.
The alien was fascinating and as complex as the other characters. His motivations developed with the story. Jane's new role was quite a twist. She has a really novel relationship with the alien. And with the ship. Terrific story with terrific characters. My only complaint - it ended too soon. I hope there's a sequel!...more
This story grabs your attention from the start. The daily log format set up allowed a conversational tone that was engaging and kept the reader in theThis story grabs your attention from the start. The daily log format set up allowed a conversational tone that was engaging and kept the reader in the story. The narrator's voice felt like someone was actually talking to me. The audio book could be really good.
(view spoiler)[I did wonder about his immediate reaction. I would have expected a moment of panic, perhaps. He seemed to approach the situation logically and strategically from the start. Although, after reading the whole story, I can say it was really his personality. He's a very logical, scientific character. So, maybe not. But still, he was stranded on Mars. Ok, he did start out with a rather extreme, pessimistic view. Not many stories start out with a first line of "Well, I'm fucked." (hide spoiler)]
The story was quite a ride. As I got further into the story, I had more and more trouble stopping reading. By the end there was no stopping me. The suspense was only paused occasionally when an expected problem went smoothly - which wasn't often.
The protagonist was hilarious. I even laughed out loud on occasion. The story is like Castaway on Mars. But interweaving the story of those on earth was a good addition, intensified the drama.
The narration was such a stripped down style but I liked the straightforward delivery. Very little fluff. Only description when necessary. Many characters were never described. The author left that to your imagination.
The science was more detailed than usual but I enjoyed it. Some of the descriptions got very technical. So it's really like Geek Castaway. Very geeky. I enjoyed it, but probably because I'm a science lover.
But the best was that he was hilarious. Very fun, very quick read. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Just a quick review here. The Kraken Project was full of fun and interesting characters. But I felt there was not enough time spent on any one charactJust a quick review here. The Kraken Project was full of fun and interesting characters. But I felt there was not enough time spent on any one character to get really connected to them. I ended up feeling most connected to Jacob, whom we didn't meet til later. And at first it felt like another story. I knew it would connect eventually, or else why was it part of the story? But the supposed main character, Wyman Ford, didn't feel like a main character, even less central than Melissa Shepard.
Still, I enjoyed seeing how Dorothy behaved. I was curious how that would play out. It was interesting to see. All in all a fun story. And nice ending! Set up for the next one?...more
Picks up right where the last left off. Continues the relentless pace, gets a bit more brutal. Still, the characters intrigue me and engross me enoughPicks up right where the last left off. Continues the relentless pace, gets a bit more brutal. Still, the characters intrigue me and engross me enough that I can't put it down.
(view spoiler)[I got a few questions in this book answered I had been wanting in the first. The world they live in now makes more sense. What had been nagging me was that it didn't seem like a complete world, a self-sustainable world. It seemed there was an endless yet mysterious supply of "new" stuff, simple stuff, like new paper towels. They had functioning things like watches. Who made the watches? Where were the paper towels made? For that matter, where did all the weapons come from, the computers, etc. There were no factories, no plants. They did provide their own food, but the rest was a mystery. I'm still not sure the rest is supplied by the outside, but now I know there is an outside.
I started getting inklings that this was all an experiment early on, when they started talking more about the fence, and about secrets, what was out there. But that their memories were wiped, that they were the hope for the rest of them? That the Divergents especially were the ones to save them? Did not see that coming. Or that ending. No doubt people will be suspicious of Tris, knowing that her mother was the one in the video, even though everyone's memory has been wiped. There's a bit of irrationality and suspicion built into everyone's reactions, it seems.
Can't help comparing this series to Hunger Games. Which means comparing Tris to Katniss. The main difference I feel as I read is that Katniss was more mature, so it didn't really feel like I was reading a YA book. The characters here are a bit less mature, despite what they're going through. So it feels a bit young for me.
And yet, Tris's reactions feel very genuine. The ambivalence, inability to make the "right" choice, lingering on what she shouldn't or can't afford to think about. Sounds like an adolescent to me. (hide spoiler)]
I've enjoyed this story, curious as it is, and will definitely read the final installment. Don't know if it'll live up to the promise of the cliffhanger, but it'll be worth finding out.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I really enjoyed this third book in the Mindspace series. I've become quite fond of Adam. He seems harder in this book, tougher, but not colder. And aI really enjoyed this third book in the Mindspace series. I've become quite fond of Adam. He seems harder in this book, tougher, but not colder. And also more determined to stay on the wagon. Adam has come a long way -- he was held by his addiction when we first met him. Now he takes charge more. He refuses to lay down and die.
(view spoiler)[His life really sucked for much of this book (except for the few moments he got to spend alone with Cherabino). The Guild are a bunch of assholes. Just thought I'd make that clear. They just throw him into a cell at the drop of a hat. And Kara is so caught in her political web she doesn't help him! So add betrayal to the list of injustices.
But Adam finally had a date! He and Cherabino went on a date! Okay, so it ended prematurely, but it was so overdue. Loved how Cherabino told him they were going to the deli and then he'd kiss her goodnight. Of course someone had to die first and nixed that plan. Their relationship is nicely complicated. I never know which way they're going to go next. In fact, a pleasant surprise in this series is that I rarely can predict how someone's going to behave. The characters are developed enough to behave in unexpected ways that always feel genuine.
The final climactic scene was gripping, and Adam put himself at risk for people who will never appreciate it! How about a 'thank you'? Never going to happen.
The tensions did not totally dissipate, though. It looks to me like there's a war coming for these people. And I'm very worried about what will happen to Adam when Swartz goes - I'm predicting that's the next trauma for Adam. It'll devastate him and leave him without his lifeline. (hide spoiler)]
Can't wait for Vacant!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Enjoyed Sharp as much or more than Clean. Poor Adam suffered even more in Sharp - he just cannot catch a break. Things turned from bad to worse to worEnjoyed Sharp as much or more than Clean. Poor Adam suffered even more in Sharp - he just cannot catch a break. Things turned from bad to worse to worse and worse. And then they got worse! By halfway through the story, his ability to stay clean, his dignity, his freedom, his job, his livelihood, even his life - everything was on the line.
No one seems to notice how hard Adam tries. No matter what happens, he's at fault.
The stakes continued to rise with every chapter! No one trusted him, no one but Swartz. If he lost him, he'd lose everything... (view spoiler)[Adam kept losing ground, with more and more at stake, more clues to follow up, more of the mystery to uncover, with fewer answers, until he literally had a gun to his head. Cherabino was forced to use their link to get to him. Maybe now she'll start to see the good things about the link? She really needs to cut him a break! (hide spoiler)]
And when all was settled, the author dropped something else on us, just enough that I've got to come back for more! Hope it's not to long till the next book!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This story grabbed me from the start, with a protagonist who is not only skilled - highly trained in telepathy - but is also a recovering addict. An aThis story grabbed me from the start, with a protagonist who is not only skilled - highly trained in telepathy - but is also a recovering addict. An addict who struggles every day with his addiction, while he tries not to lose his job. And throughout, he tries to do the right thing, even when he has to swallow his pride. A great balance for a dark hero. The world of this story is intriguing, and I appreciate how the author reveals it gradually, as the story unfolds. It's a world dealing with repercussions of a war with technology -- pencil and paper are now common tools -- but yes, there are flying cars! A unique world that continually fascinates.
As the main character follows the evidence, he's taken deeper into his past. He has to call on the help of those who trained him then kicked him out. When he finds that the crimes involve telepaths and teleporters, he faces more suspicion than the usual he gets from all those who don't trust the telepaths. He constantly faces choices between what he wants and what he needs. He makes mistakes, but tries to rectify them. You can't help rooting for the guy, even when he's messing up.
I've fascinated by this character and this world. Immediately moving on to the next book in the series....more
This promised to be a fascinating story, but I couldn't make it past a few chapters. Part of the blame rests with the narrator who seemed half asleepThis promised to be a fascinating story, but I couldn't make it past a few chapters. Part of the blame rests with the narrator who seemed half asleep and seemed to reduce the tension and interest in the story. Aside from the mediocre reading, the dialogue was feeble, the pace excruciating, and it was becoming too predictable already. Too bad, I kind of wanted to find out what was down there. And yet, I think I had it figured out already. Two stars for the story potential....more
I haven't read much classic science fiction, and have set out to try to rectify that. This title comes up a lot in that context. But I didn't appreciaI haven't read much classic science fiction, and have set out to try to rectify that. This title comes up a lot in that context. But I didn't appreciate this story perhaps as much as others do. I think part of that is that it is a product of the time in which it was written. Also, the story stalls out and the ending feels anti-climactic. I finished the book out of curiosity and simply the reputation of the book.
The book moves slowly. Forty years ago, an author had the luxury of developing characters and setting up the story. Today, we expect a faster-paced story. Characters had discussions about what was happening (instead of things happening) and much time was spent on the history of the project they were working on. It feels like a lot of time passes before anything really happens, although I won't say the story doesn't start right away. The story leans heavily on dialogue, but the dialogue often didn't seem to be relevant to the larger story. My bigger problem was that the dialogue doesn't feel authentic. It felt like the characters were reciting lines, and often they were rather melodramatic. Because of that, it was hard to ever get fully engrossed in the story. This novel is more like three connected but separate short stories. Because we get a new set of characters in each part, we have to start all over again with some characterization and set up. So it slows down again with each new part. (view spoiler)[Part 1 seems to be the set up of the problem. The scientists discover the communication with the other universe and that it can supply endless free energy. We meet the scientists involved in the discovery and the discovery by one of them that this energy might not be so free after all. Part 2 is odd, especially at first. The aliens are so well crafted as *alien* that I had trouble relating to the characters. I was just observing. Eventually, things start happening, just when I thought I might skim, and connecting to the end of part 1. Part 3 seems to jump ahead in time a bit. This part involves mostly new characters. We only see one character again from the beginning. One side note: the Lunar culture is portrayed as having already shed many cultural conventions of those living on Earth, including wearing clothes. I've noticed this trend in books written at the same time. There seems to have been this idea that in the future certain cultural conventions would just be set aside by most of the population because they served no practical purpose. There was no sense of the force of culture itself, the hold that culture has on the psyche. Those that grew up on the moon were raised by those who grew up in an Earth culture, or who were themselves raised by those from Earth, and so would still be raised within an Earth-based culture. In two generations, they would not feel so separate as to feel no need for clothes simply because their environment is controlled. The clothes we wear are part of every Earth culture. They do not have a solely practical purpose. They define you as part of a culture. People don't shed culture so quickly. Clothing would adapt and evolve but not be abandoned. It makes this all seem a little ridiculous. (hide spoiler)] Part 3 was the most ambiguous and slow moving of the three. There was something happening, but in increments. Small steps, a hint in one conversation, a small revelation in another. Many conversations seem unrelated or shrouded in mysteries that aren't really resolved. It really just got tedious and I just wanted to be finished. Sorry, not my cup of tea, I guess. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I was motivated to read this story by its acclaim as groundbreaking in the genre. It's an epic portrayal of a potential future for the human race. It'I was motivated to read this story by its acclaim as groundbreaking in the genre. It's an epic portrayal of a potential future for the human race. It's one of many imagined scenarios for our first visitation by beings from another planet, a scenario that contains both a fatalism and a measure of hope for humanity.
The story itself was told with a distance that I suppose was required for its scope. It was sort of in between omniscient POV and a distant third POV, with a more limited third coming into play at times. It kept me from getting attached to any particular character. In a way, it kept me focused on the broader tale.
The story is also sixty years old, and the differences from how stories are written today are clear. The close of the story wasn't at all what I'd expected, and rather anti-climactic. The end comes… and goes. In fact we're not even there to witness it. But we've traveled to another planet, so I can accept the tradeoff.
Overall, an intriguing tale. Though a breakthrough when written, from the perspective of sixty years later, I realize I've become accumstomed to the changes in the genre that followed this publication. Clarke may have changed science fiction with this book, but it continued to evolve afterward, and I'm afraid my appreciation is diminished because of that.
I was struck, however, by the author's vision of the future. His vision included concepts and machinations that no longer exist or are no longer necessary. At the same time, he failed to predict others that have already been created. Clarke's vision of the future included cameras with film, tape recorders, even flourishing newspapers and journalists (now a dying breed). Perhaps he was not as concerned with the technological advances that might come. But I still found it amusing that his future had no advancement of information technology, which in reality has shaped our present world.
He also failed to predict that male dominance of most spheres would wane. Men still rule and make the decisions in his future. Perhaps it was a concept beyond his imagination. But one who is envisioning a future should consider the future for our social interactions and cultural development.
The most amusing anachronism was when a character bemoaned the fact that, after the Overlords had brought world peace and expanded the leisure time of all humanity, TV watching had grown to a shocking three hours per night in the twenty-first century. If only.
It seems to me that many science fiction writers (including of movies and television), in their envisioning and creating of a potential future for us, are limited to what sort of future they can imagine. Star Trek is one example. They were a little bit more on target, as they saw the potential for handheld devices and technology beyond the capability of the day, as well as the idea that a world that had eliminated war and hunger would have also expanded equality for all. And yet, their computers were nearly as large and lumbering as the computers of the day. The relatively tiny computers we use today were beyond what they thought possible.
These days, we feel like we have a better idea of the future because we consider nearly all things possible. We have a continuous evolution of technology that regularly outperforms our expectations and--if not exceeding our imaginations--outdoes what we consider "normal."
But if we are limited by what we can imagine, by the knowledge we now possess, and we now consider so many things possible that once were science fiction, what sort of future are we in store for? What unimaginable things are in our future?
A true Odd Thomas finish to this short story (really 4.5 stars, but can't do that here). There are few characters like Odd Thomas. I've enjoyed gettinA true Odd Thomas finish to this short story (really 4.5 stars, but can't do that here). There are few characters like Odd Thomas. I've enjoyed getting to know him. It upset me, though, to hear him repeat his belief that his life is not meant to be long. I take that to mean eventually, probably sooner than later, Odd Thomas will be killed off. I can't say how I feel about that. A tragedy, for sure, yet a well-deserved rest at the same time for this character who yearns for peace, but is constantly thrown into chaos and violence. I'll follow you to the end, Odd One....more
I'm so glad to be back in the world of Odd Thomas. Odd's interaction with Jolie is terrific and endearing. He seems to get along with children far betI'm so glad to be back in the world of Odd Thomas. Odd's interaction with Jolie is terrific and endearing. He seems to get along with children far better than adults. I did hope to see more from Annamaria, but perhaps that's coming. ...more
Finally, a new Odd Thomas story after quite a while (the Odd Interlude series was a good warm-up to this new one).
I enjoy the tone of the Odd Thomas bFinally, a new Odd Thomas story after quite a while (the Odd Interlude series was a good warm-up to this new one).
I enjoy the tone of the Odd Thomas books. Casual, as if we're having a conversation. His sarcastic remarks or odd observations at tense moments make this a fun read even when there are mutant pig people trying to rip him apart. This lightens the otherwise ominous tone of Odd's struggle with the darkness he must use to accomplish his missions. I don't care for the repeated references to his short life span. It's as if Koontz is preparing us for his coming demise. I hate to think of it, yet it feels inevitable.
Overall, I think it's the character of Odd Thomas that draws me to these stories. He's a unique character, one that you can't help empathizing with and even growing to care about. And not wanting to DIE.
A third of the way through Apocalypse, I was missing the character of Annamaria, wishing she was more a part of the story. It's not that her character is so brilliant. We actually don't know much about her, though we do learn a bit more about who she is in this story. Annamaria provides Odd with clues, encouragement, and even hope. But she's not a part of the story. Although Odd talks about her often enough that she feels like she should be, like at any point she will become more central to the story, she doesn't. When Odd wants or needs to speak with her, he goes to her room, which she never leaves. It's... odd. Perhaps Koontz will reveal more about her in the next installment. On the other hand, Nikola Tesla was an interesting addition, since we didn't know what he was for a while.
Koontz seems to explain a bit more than I remember him doing in previous Odd Thomas books. At first, there are some good reminders, but at times it feels like Odd is repeating himself.
I also noticed that there are fewer spirits in this story for Odd. Just the one, really, and a brief visit by another. It makes it feel less like an Odd Thomas story and more like an ordinary mystery. A good mystery, but there is something of the previous Odd Thomas stories that's missing.
Despite these disappointments, once Odd found the weird mechanical things, I was fascinated. The tension and action build from then on, and there are few disappointments after that. Perhaps my familiarity with Odd Thomas is what makes this story seem a little less out of the ordinary. And yet, a fascinating mystery.
In Odd's words: There is in me a darkness that, by darkness challenged, will rise up and have its way. I act in defense of the innocent, but I sometimes must wonder if I will be innocent in my own heart, or even redeemable, at the end of my strange road.
I can't help but wonder at Odd's fate myself....more
Fascinating look at the potential technologies to come, inspired by sci-fi. I was surprised what concepts turned out to be Class 1 Impossibilities (poFascinating look at the potential technologies to come, inspired by sci-fi. I was surprised what concepts turned out to be Class 1 Impossibilities (possible with better technology) and which were Class 3 (laws of physics need to change)....more
Yes, that's right. I've never read Dune before now. Shame on me. I thought carefully before starting this monster tome - 800 pp! But it's about time IYes, that's right. I've never read Dune before now. Shame on me. I thought carefully before starting this monster tome - 800 pp! But it's about time I got to it.
I knew little of this story going in, just the way I wanted it. I wanted to discover the book as so many others did without knowing who lived and who died, without already seeing the end Frank Herbert envisioned for his hero.
Considering this was written forty years ago, Herbert's depiction of an advanced civilization is intriguing. In some ways, he seemed to see the future (much as Star Trek did). I was quite excited to read a description of the mini 'book' Halleck gave to Paul, which seemed to be a sort of thumb drive device at first. Later I realized it was a bit more mechanical and less electronic.
The world of Dune seems based culturally on actual Middle Eastern cultures. It makes for many interesting details that must have seemed exotic for readers in 1965. Today, those same details might be considered much more loaded. I wonder if Herbert would have written the same sort of story today.
The cast of characters of the planet Arrakis is a bit large, and many are introduced early on. I didn't have them all straight right away, but I felt I knew who and what I needed to know at the moment. The characters are intriguing and rarely predictable. I got to know them, see the many sides of them, gradually, though I quickly saw the depths to these characters ran deep.
I soon saw the potential messianic path for Paul. Time hidden in the desert while he learned, matured. Then he would emerge, "resurrected," since so many thought him dead. Not far from how the story plays out, and yet I wouldn't call Dune predictable by any means. Familiar, perhaps, but not predictable. The widely held suspicion that Paul's mother was the traitor added tension on top of tension. I would not have bet she survived, but the hints of his sister allowed me to hope for her survival.
The setup was long and perhaps a tad slow, but when reading an 800-page book, you must be prepared for that. It wasn't an unacceptable pace, and the setup did its job. The buildup to the first major plot point was incredibly tense.
Though it revealed its secrets slowly, before long the world of Dune had drawn me in. At first I was aware of the many details about this new world, learning terms with the help of the glossary (knew this book was an undertaking). But before I knew it, I was thinking about the book when I wasn't reading and anxious to get back to it. I wanted to know more! The world certainly sucked me in!
The pace picked up as treachery revealed itself and events began to unfold. The web of connected plots, people, and power was intricate and fascinating. As I got to know the characters better, as they revealed more about themselves, I became attached to some and wished horrible deaths for others. I tried to predict who would turn against Paul or prove an ally. I wondered who would die and who would be left at the end of this sweeping story. It's no wonder this tale was told over six books. The layers woven over layers makes for a complicated story.
One problem I had with this book was the use of omniscient point of view. It reminded me why I don't like that POV: it feels like head-hopping. It was hard to keep straight whose head I was in at any given moment. Herbert even switched mid-paragraph at times. I guess this is true omniscient. But it was distracting.
"His voice was low, charged with unspeakable adjectives." That tells you all you need to know--a swift death would be too good!
Herbert knew how to turn a phrase and craft a story. Dune is gripping, full of suspense and political intricacies. I can't wait to see how the story continues....more
I have a mixed review for Gideon's Corpse. The story began right where Gideon's Sword left off, updating a bit for those who might not have read the fI have a mixed review for Gideon's Corpse. The story began right where Gideon's Sword left off, updating a bit for those who might not have read the first. But after a few chapters, there was a huge information dump of basically all of Gideon's backstory, even of information they'd already given the reader. And it went on and on. I found it annoying, not so much because I knew the information from the previous book, but because it repeated info we already got in this book. Plus it was all dumped in one block. Very unlike the authors. One problem with the first half of the book: the scenario was there was an Islamic terrorist. I thought, Really? You couldn't be more original? It's the easiest and most overdone idea in crime fiction these days. And then the cliché ramped up--Islamic terrorists with a nuclear bomb. Yawn. Eventually there were clues that the cliché setup of the radicalized Islamic convert-turned-terrorist was some sort of red herring, and I began to have hope for the story. But I would have been happier to get some of those hints earlier, if only to avoid the feeling I was reading a cliché, cookie-cutter storyline. I was not amused by the chainsaw fight, though. It was too horror-flick like, bordering on the ridiculous. And I have a high tolerance in fiction. If you establish something as acceptable, I'll usually go along with it. Perhaps that was the problem. Gideon was supposed to be kind of average, if more intelligent than most. Nothing in his background said he'd be able to swing chainsaws with a cult nut. However, midway through the story, with a sudden and unexpected plot twist, the story became suspenseful, unpredictable, and more interesting. Many times I could not guess how Gideon would get himself out of the situation he'd gotten into. It was strange. The second half of the book was the caliber I'd come to expect from Preston and Child. Not sure what happened for the first half. The only problem I had after that was the closing chapter. It was rather hokey and sentimental, and I felt, extraneous and unnecessary. I kept expecting a paragraph to be the last line, and then there was more (I listened to the audiobook). So, a mixed, ambiguous review. Not even sure how many stars to give this one. The first half is about a two star, but the second half would be at least three and a half, maybe four. Overall, I have to say, can't wait for the next book in the Pendergast series. ...more
I listened to this audiobook because I'm a huge fan of the Pendergast series. But this was not at the level of that series. The main character was likI listened to this audiobook because I'm a huge fan of the Pendergast series. But this was not at the level of that series. The main character was likable enough, and I felt like there was potential for him to grow. But the story lacked the level of suspense and plot twists I'm used to getting from Preston and Child.
One thing that bothered me is how the story started with one incident then went on to another like it was a separate story. The scenario of Gideon selected because of his talents by a top secretive group that's been keeping tabs on him tested my ability to suspend my disbelief.
The story kept my attention enough to listen to on my commute, but only just so. I'll read the next in this series, to see how it goes, but my expectations aren't high....more
A terrific thrill to read, even better than the first, Oxygen. The tension remained high through most of the story, with few points for a breather. BeA terrific thrill to read, even better than the first, Oxygen. The tension remained high through most of the story, with few points for a breather. Best of all, I really didn't know who the culprit was until the reveal, a true surprise. This story has the added bonus of being set on Mars, an ongoing fascination of mine.
And the appendices hold a bonus for new writers, with excellent advice I've already applied to my writing. ...more
I rarely read science fiction, and now I'm wondering why, I enjoyed Oxygen so much. This story of humans' first attempt at reaching Mars grabbed me riI rarely read science fiction, and now I'm wondering why, I enjoyed Oxygen so much. This story of humans' first attempt at reaching Mars grabbed me right away. Once the suspense started, it rarely let me go. In fact, this story kept me up one (week) night until 2:00 a.m.! I think I can safely say I couldn't put it down. There were a couple of short lulls, when a character would go into some introspection about what finding life on Mars might mean for humanity and for their personal religious beliefs, and these felt out of step with the story -- I felt I had stepped back from the story at these points. But fortunately, they weren't frequent, and the suspense of the story kept me going despite a character's worry that discovering life on Mars put his or her religious beliefs in jeopardy. I am looking forward to the next one! I must add that my e-book version of Oxygen came with a bonus: a few appendices for writers, including a breakdown, paragraph by paragraph, of the first two scenes of the book and how they accomplished the authors' goals for the chapter. Excellent resource for writers, worth the price of the e-book alone. ...more
This is a wholly different sort of science fiction. There are no wars, well, ok, there's the start of one, with some major political upheaval. There iThis is a wholly different sort of science fiction. There are no wars, well, ok, there's the start of one, with some major political upheaval. There is a great deal of technology involved. It is science fiction, after all. But the focus of the story is the political and economic ramifications of that technology. It was a fascinating read. I didn't always know where it was going, especially at first, but I was fascinated enough to keep reading. And as the drama snowballed, so did the suspense. If you're looking for a different sort of sci-fi story, I suggest you give this a try. ...more
I'd completely forgotten this story, except for how it ends, which is why I decided to reread it. One of the things I'd forgotten was how focused it iI'd completely forgotten this story, except for how it ends, which is why I decided to reread it. One of the things I'd forgotten was how focused it is on the school, on the coming battle. This time around I found it a little repetitive. It eventually gets more than repetitive. I realized that there's little in the way of subplot. There is the switch of pov to the adults who run the school, but in their conversations, and in any povs that aren't Ender's, such as Bean, we only learn things that affect Ender and the main plot, no other facts or events. Nothing about the other students, about his parents, nothing about the world except the coming battle.
There is the creation of the alter egos by Valentine and Peter. I wouldn't call that a subplot because it doesn't really relate in any way to Ender. I thought it would come back to Ender in the end, but only after the Game is over and the rest of their lives are summed up, do we learn how Peter made his move and about the effects of these alter egos they created, which were just steps to an end.
The audiobook was a different experience than I'm used to. It's read rather differently, almost in a conversational tone. The reader for Valentine is just right, I must say. She's reads in a mildly melodramatic way that captures the overblown sense of purpose these kids have in themselves mixed with their jaded sense of the world.
There's a major element of the basic premise that stretches and challenges a reader's suspension of disbelief. The idea that you must swallow or set aside is that the world would get to a point where major military powers would turn to children to fight their wars. Mazer Rackam says they need children because adults are cautious, but children are reckless. ...Right. You have to ignore this absurdity to accept the whole story.
I thought I'd find aspects of the story I missed the first time on my reread, but there's a lot less to the story than I expected. I am interested in the sequel, though, which has an interesting premise. Perhaps it will have a more fully developed story. ...more