**spoiler alert** This was my least favorite of the three. I could describe it as unfinished, but a more apt description would be underfinished. there...more**spoiler alert** This was my least favorite of the three. I could describe it as unfinished, but a more apt description would be underfinished. there were way too many loose ends at the end, and it seemed as though she was rushed to finish.
I also found myself very disappointed in Etain. (less)
i struggled with this one a little. it seemed like it dragged, and i had a hard time sympathizing with some of the characters. i also spent time belie...morei struggled with this one a little. it seemed like it dragged, and i had a hard time sympathizing with some of the characters. i also spent time believing a few of them were quite stupid. rashness is one thing. idiocy is another. but idiocy is where we get deeper stories, i suppose. :)(less)
i liked this a lot. i could definitely see the influences of tolkien and some other authors. i also really enjoyed the characters; they made me feel f...morei liked this a lot. i could definitely see the influences of tolkien and some other authors. i also really enjoyed the characters; they made me feel for them. i didn't much like Mat, liked Rand and loved Perrin tons. i'm looking forward to reading more in the series. :)(less)
another good read, although mr. green is starting to stray dangerously close to the jk rowling school of "remember this tiny scene, it will be importa...moreanother good read, although mr. green is starting to stray dangerously close to the jk rowling school of "remember this tiny scene, it will be important a year from now". (less)
**spoiler alert** i have had it with stephen king. HAD IT. i thought i had had it after the mess that was Duma Key. i thought i had had it again after...more**spoiler alert** i have had it with stephen king. HAD IT. i thought i had had it after the mess that was Duma Key. i thought i had had it again after the debacle that was Kingdom Hospital. but this... this is it. i am done. finished. i can think of only one other series that i abandoned in the middle because i couldn't handle it any more.
the dark tower series is described as stephen king at his finest. his masterpiece. his tour de force. wrong, wrong, wrong. i don't think the man is capable of a tour de force. i'm going to limit the things i hated about the book, and the series, because i'm sure if i went off on it like i want to i would run out of room, not to mention being so irritated for the rest of the day as to be useless.
king is a child. i have never read an author so entranced by whores, flatulence, aberrant behavior (especially sexual) and the c-word. he gets away with his behavior because even during the writing of the dark tower, his editors seemed to not care. he was untouchable. i somehow hope that at least one editor saw untouchable as a bad thing, not a good thing, and just walked away.
detta walker. holy mother of pearl, detta walker. every time she opened her mouth, i cringed. i felt by even reading the words he wrote for her, i was setting back the civil rights movement by 50 years. unbelievable. i am without words. the whole scene in the waste lands with her and the demon made me cringe.
on a related note, once upon a time i read another book. in that book, the characters were lost in a desert, and they happened upon a kindly old prospector who gave them wisdom and help. they asked his name, and what was the name he gave? clive cussler. the author had written himself into the book. just a few paragraphs, just a few sentences. at the time, i thought that was one of the stupidest, most arrogant writing tricks in the book. i lost huge amounts of respect for an author i didn't like much in the first place.
king puts himself as a major character in two of his books. TWO of them. the books, the quests, the characters aren't able to be finished without him. it is the single most arrogant, stupid, pathetic and cheap trick any author i have ever read has pulled, bar none, and it is completely inexcusable.
king and his reviewers talk about his homage, his inspiration. he claims inspiration from tolkien, and he takes whole scenes, large parts of books and ideas from movies and other authors. it is supposed to be because he is blending worlds and blurring the lines of reality. in practice, he is stealing. he has no ideas of his own, and he can't even come up with weapons that aren't taken directly from other authors' works. and honestly, when you have to steal from jk rowling, how far down have you gone?
the edition i had also had full color pictures. not, you know, well done pictures. and really, how many pictures of one naked woman do you need? a few less than are in there, that's how many.
loved this one. there are few books these days that make me actually laugh out loud. this one did a couple of times. i really like his writing style,...moreloved this one. there are few books these days that make me actually laugh out loud. this one did a couple of times. i really like his writing style, and occasionally he's thought-provoking. i'll certainly keep reading!! :)(less)
i really liked this book. it was a fairly quick and fun read. i like the classic suspense/mystery to it. whenever i read books like this, i always fin...morei really liked this book. it was a fairly quick and fun read. i like the classic suspense/mystery to it. whenever i read books like this, i always find myself researching clothing, cars and other accessories from the era, just to get an idea of things. i'm a very visual person, i guess, so it helps. i really like the simplicity of the story, though - very unlike the mass-market suspense you find these days. recommended. :)(less)
this book has been maligned as the worst book ever written. i disagree. it may have been a contender, once upon a time, but then came james patterson...morethis book has been maligned as the worst book ever written. i disagree. it may have been a contender, once upon a time, but then came james patterson and stephen king. suddenly, this book is awesome by comparison. :)
i've reviewed nathanial hawthorne's works before, and i stand by my initial assessment: this man loved to hear himself talk. this came out very clearly to me in this instance, as i listened to the unabridged audiobook. the first part, in which hawthorne is talking about the customs house, and which has absolutely NOTHING to do with the rest of the book, took up one and a half cds out of eight. that's almost 20% of the book. twenty. percent.
once i got into the story, though, it was pretty good. not great, and there was some really heavy-handed and repetitive symbolism in it. i'm glad to have read it and to understand the appeal of the book, but i doubt i'll read it again. three stars. (less)
i've been putting off reviewing my books, in general. i have a bunch that need to be reviewed, but for some reason i've been avoiding sitting down and...morei've been putting off reviewing my books, in general. i have a bunch that need to be reviewed, but for some reason i've been avoiding sitting down and doing the reviews. this book, however, has been really bothering me, for some reason, so that i felt the need to review it right away, if at least to get it out of my brain. i have several issues with this book - some good, some bad (in a lighthearted sort of way) and some serious. i'll work through them as we go. :)
first off, it's a good idea for a book. it really is. the bad thing is, it's been done before, in a lot of ways, and done much better. i find that i end up comparing short-haired plucky yet reluctant heroines to each other, and after reading brandon sanderson's Mistborn: The Final Empire trilogy, most just don't compare to vin. (i'm in no way saying vin/the mistborn are perfect. i'm also in no way recommending the mistborn trilogy to a 12-16 year old, which seems to be the target audience in this book.) in this case, katsa (the protagonist) just seems unfocused and whiny.
another distracting and/or troublesome aspect? of all things, the names. you can tell, if you say the names of countries or people, that they're shortened or mutated forms of regular words. monsea = well, given the description of the country, i would say it's a mutated form of "mountains and sea." middluns? look at the map - midlands. so my brain subconsciously started looking for this in names. grandfather tealiff? tea leaf. katsa? my brain tried and tried to make it better, but it kept fixating on "catsup." that's... noble, right? but it got troublesome. even the names that weren't really anything that i could see were bad - po, for instance. po is either a giant cartoon panda or (shudder), a teletubby. either way, your character is ruined for me. do your research and think about your audience, ms. cashore. in fact, most of your readers probably WATCHED teletubbies as children. do you really want that??
and now to my real issues with the book.
the graces themselves were interesting. they had some great ideas, and the idea of a fairly useless grace such as talking backwards or holding your breath for a long time was a good touch. once we find out the truth about katsa's grace, though, she becomes less of a hero to me. there was no drama. there was no guessing. she survives because she's graced to. she just will. and because most young adult authors won't kill off a ten year old girl, her charge will live, too. (i'm not saying any author should kill off a ten year old. i'm just giving an example.)
my major concern with this book, though, is the relationship between katsa and po. katsa feels as though she never wants to get married. she never wants to have children. she doesn't want to lose her identity. she doesn't want to be tied down at all. and yet, she "loves" po. po "loves" her in return, and he is willing to let her be free and says that he would never hold her back. so instead of a committed, loving marriage or relationship, or admitting to herself that she needs to make the sacrifices that she needs to in order to keep the life she wants (i.e. avoiding relationships, abstinence, whatever), she and po decide to enter into a purely sexual relationship from which either one can walk away at any time, with no repercussions. and it's not as though it just happens, either. there are pages devoted to katsa making this a deliberate decision, even going so far as to making sure she has birth control. (birth control isn't bad, kids. i'm not saying you shouldn't use it. i'm just saying that the reasons behind her choice are bad.)
cashore is basically equating "true love" and sex. she's advocating an open sexual relationship because it seems the "best" way for her heroine to cope with her wants and needs. for me, for an author who writes exclusively to young adults and youth, this is completely irresponsible. it's bad enough when young adult fiction revolves around infatuation or angsty teenage crushes. it's bad enough when those angsty teenage crushes lead to worldwide change and are used to push forward a plot that's struggling. but when a YA author resorts to characters having a throwaway sexual relationship that's not even vital to the plot, that is reprehensible.
shame on you, ms. cashore. with the good reviews about positive role models and such, i honestly expected better from you.(less)
i wanted to love this book. i really did. i mean, come on. ursula k. leguin! it's a legendary name in fantasy! meaningful! symbolic! a classic! and ot...morei wanted to love this book. i really did. i mean, come on. ursula k. leguin! it's a legendary name in fantasy! meaningful! symbolic! a classic! and other exclamation points!!
what this was to me? the LONGEST 187 page book on the planet. normally i would eat a book like this for breakfast. 90 minutes, tops. but this one... this one took me days. i couldn't relate to the characters. i just didn't care. i liked vetch, and i liked the part with the dragon, but that was all.
maybe i didn't give it enough of a chance, or there's something, like A Pale View of Hills where i just feel like there's something i'm missing, but i'm not invested enough to find out what it is. i know others love the book, but it's not really for me.(less)
a little sensationalized at times, but a very good read. in reading the book, i wonder if the tragedy mentioned in the title isn't the actual disaster...morea little sensationalized at times, but a very good read. in reading the book, i wonder if the tragedy mentioned in the title isn't the actual disaster of the essex, but the actions of the crew. a lot of if-only moments in the book. it broke my heart a little. (less)
to be honest, i think i've burned out a little on these books. i find that if i read too many books in a series at once, i tend to get more nitpicky a...moreto be honest, i think i've burned out a little on these books. i find that if i read too many books in a series at once, i tend to get more nitpicky about the books. i pick up speech or other patterns in the writing that tend to grate on me after a while. (compare it to watching a marathon of "diners, drive-ins and dives"... how many times can you listen to guy fieri talk about flavortown before you want to smack him?)
i think i've been running into this with david weber books lately, for some reason. there comes a point where characters become caricatures, and this happens a little in this book, especially where it comes to the grayson navy, the prh and, to a certain extent, honor herself. and although i know that david weber is legendary in sci-fi circles for his portrayal of space battles, i am increasingly finding his endless pages of tactics, battles and ships harder to get through. in this book, he also suffers from robert jordan syndrome, where i believe he just has entirely too many characters to keep track of, and me (the reader), has a hard time keeping up with who's who, who's good, who's bad, and who's in between. (as a side note, though, i was warned this going into this book. i've been told in the next book it gets better, as weber breaks the series into three different lines and focuses on fewer characters at once.)
i have to admit - i skimmed about the last 150 pages of this book, so perhaps i didn't give it due justice. i just couldn't handle it, though. i'll probably try again at some point, but in my opinion, weber's earlier honor novels were much better. once again, an example to me of "awesome idea, pretty bad execution."
very much liked this one. didn't love it all the way - sometimes i feel like it gets bogged down in the technical descriptions that will go on for one...morevery much liked this one. didn't love it all the way - sometimes i feel like it gets bogged down in the technical descriptions that will go on for one or two pages. this is noticeable when someone is having a conversation, and then it goes into a technical spec page, and then back to the conversation. it kind of loses the flow. not sure how i feel about the white haven thing.
the last 150 pages were really good, though, except my brain kept going STOP STOP KILLING PEOPLE ARGH NOT ANOTHER ONE!! it made me sad, which i think is the point. but i would recommend this one, too, and now i need to go find the next one. (less)
this actually leans more toward 3.5 stars, but i'm being generous. i read Something from the Nightside on monday, and comparing the two books (unfair...morethis actually leans more toward 3.5 stars, but i'm being generous. i read Something from the Nightside on monday, and comparing the two books (unfair though it may be), nightside came out on top. possibly it's the idea that i cannot, much as i would like to, respect a man who owns sweatpants and actually wears them places. maybe he was over a barrel and had to wear them, but he really shouldn't have owned them in the first place. :) but it was a good read, and i really liked it. i'll certainly be reading the next one, but only probably after i devour the next nightside.(less)