Although GRRM is best know for a Song of Ice and Fire, he is a prolific author. I have read his work for 25+ years. Tuf Voyaging is a collection of sh...moreAlthough GRRM is best know for a Song of Ice and Fire, he is a prolific author. I have read his work for 25+ years. Tuf Voyaging is a collection of short stories featuring the protagonist, Haviland Tuf. Most of these stories were published in Analog over a space of many years. This is rollicking space opera-- quirky, clever,occasionally funny, and definitely cat oriented. Those expecting only dystopian fantasy from GRRM may be surprised, and hopefully pleasantly so. A fun and fast read that I can recommend.(less)
This is an extremely ambitious book that was thought (and admiration)producing, but flawed.
As others have said, the book consists of 6 stories, ascend...moreThis is an extremely ambitious book that was thought (and admiration)producing, but flawed.
As others have said, the book consists of 6 stories, ascending in time. Five of them are broken in half, so we get the earliest to latest story (a post-apocalyptic earth) that is told in full, and then we finish each story in descending order. The narrative structure is shaped like a "V".
I found the book very hard to get into, the later the story, the more I was engaged by it. The first couple hundred pages were actually a chore. By the time we get to far future tales: Sonmi's tale-- a server "fabricant", and to Sloosha's Crossing, I was fully engaged.
There were several strands weaving the stories together, some of them done subtly, but some feeling tacked onto a story, or wedged and glued in, that distracted in some ways. And perhaps worried that we wouldn't see the connections, Mitchell uses at times a fairly heavy hand.
Nevertheless, this incredibly ambitious book written in several genres; contains thought-provoking ideas about the nature of power and civilization; and interesting ideas about how we are all different and alike.
I didn't know this book had been much talked about last year. I picked it up because it sounded interesting.
This was a well-written slice of life stor...moreI didn't know this book had been much talked about last year. I picked it up because it sounded interesting.
This was a well-written slice of life story about a girl and a cataclysm. The earth's rotation slows in this book, and the results are vividly depicted from an 11 year old suburban girl's vantage point. It is a book about love and death and growth and loss. A very quick read and a brilliant one.(less)
Much as I enjoy DuPrau's books, this was clearly the weakest of the series so far. DuPrau has a strong moral compass, and in the second book it became...moreMuch as I enjoy DuPrau's books, this was clearly the weakest of the series so far. DuPrau has a strong moral compass, and in the second book it became a little heavy-handed to solve a difficult dilemma. This book talks about religious and moral extremism, but with a very heavy hand-- DuPrau gives in to her own desire to educate, and it hurts her story. I like her for her moral core, but here it became self-indulgent. I'm hoping the fourth book will be a return to her stronger narrative.
I'm not at all the target audience, and indeed, this skews young even for my YA proclivities. The writing is good and engaging, but the story is slow, and then bogged down by it's own convictions.(less)
A satisfying end to the trilogy. The third book turns the first two on their ear; in the first two books, Katniss was a killer in an artificially leth...moreA satisfying end to the trilogy. The third book turns the first two on their ear; in the first two books, Katniss was a killer in an artificially lethal situation. I the third book, she is an artificial soldier waging a war in propaganda in a truly lethal situation. I thought a lot about negative reviews I had read here as I read through the book and I must say I disagree with them.
Katniss remained true to herself-- she is concerned with her own survival and that of her family and friends. She remains apolitical and does not see much difference between the Capital and the rebels. I'm not sure what it was that readers wanted who were incensed that Katniss was "used" by the rebels. Was she to go all Braveheart; gather her own considerable influence, denounce both sides and become the leader of the other districts against district 13 and the rebels? She never had that in her; she never has the conviction or fire-- that belonged to Gale. Katniss doesn't have the skills or the infrastructure to wage her own rebellion, even if she had the conviction.
I will say that I was never much invested in the love triangle, but hell, I'm a 47 year old woman and not a YA reader. Katniss' final choice makes logical sense to me. I think Gale sees her clearly when he says that she will make the choice that will help her survive, and by the end of the war, her ability to survive and to experience many basic kinds of pleasure and fulfillment are at stake. She makes the logical choice. I don't see the ending as a Harry Potter happily ever after-- Katniss has a life, and life goes on. Children play, oblivious that their pretty meadow is a mass grave. Katniss thinks about how children can be mindful of the horrors of the past in a way to make them strong, not fearful. A happy end for Katniss of compromise-- the only thing she is capable of.
A good end to an excellent trilogy. I highly recommend it.(less)
Like the Hunger Games, this was a fast read. I found many of the elements to be derivative, however. (view spoiler)[Katniss' and Peeta's return to the...moreLike the Hunger Games, this was a fast read. I found many of the elements to be derivative, however. (view spoiler)[Katniss' and Peeta's return to the arena seemed a warmed-over version of the first book-- too much similarity, although the arena and its perils was clever and interesting.
What was better was Katniss' relationship to the Capital and her belated understanding that President Snow had trapped her with impossible demands. Katniss is essentially apolitical, and it takes her awhile to understand that her set of skills simply doesn't equip her to change the course of the revolution. Even if she was more politically savvy, all it would have done is to make it clearer to her that she was incapable of meeting his demands. (hide spoiler)]. Like the first book it is very well paced, with wonderful suspense. I enjoyed it in spite of it's repetitive elements. I was also glad to see that Collins didn't let the book just descend into a cliched triangle; although that element was definitely present, it didn't overwhelm the book. An enjoyable follow-up to the Hunger Games, but now that I've read all 3, I must say I think it's the weakest of the trilogy.["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This was a serviceably written and superbly paced YA book. I've been curious about this trilogy for some time and never expected to be mesmerized or t...moreThis was a serviceably written and superbly paced YA book. I've been curious about this trilogy for some time and never expected to be mesmerized or to have such trouble putting it down.
I was fascinated by Katniss-- a savvy survivor and practical killer of no malice whatsoever toward her prey. I was similarly fascinated by her connection to Rue, Prim, and Peeta as her lifelines to kindness and to humanity, whom she can only see through the lens of her own need for survival. I was enthralled by the levels of Katniss' game play-- her relationship to the tributes, the sponsors, the audience, and ultimately to the Capital government.
I haven't yet started the second book, and hope that the author resists the standard romantic triangle that she has set up-- Gale or Peeta? (At least marginally better than the choice between shape shifter and vampire.) It would be disappointing because the larger issues she raises of survival and sacrifice; entertainment and desensitization to the suffering of others; the filters of our own life experience and circumstances in relation to what we perceive of others-- these are genuinely thought-provoking. They deserve better than the standard romance angle in so many urban fantasy-type/romance books.
Of course, we're in the same conundrum as the watchers of the games-- we are here for the entertainment and shock value of these children killing each other, no less than the audience (of the book, or to watch folks grapple with life or death issues on TV, like addiction or OCD). So we end up no better or worse than any of the characters of the book, since the game itself makes the novel so gripping.
A thought-provoking and excellently constructed read. I look forward to the next 2 books.