I never knew the end of the world could be so much fun! The basic plot is that Armageddon (the ultimate and final showdown between good and evil) is cI never knew the end of the world could be so much fun! The basic plot is that Armageddon (the ultimate and final showdown between good and evil) is coming and an angel and a demon decide to team up and try to prevent it b/c if evil wins there'll be Hell to pay and if good wins it'll get really boring (in their opinions). And that's all that's basic about it! This is a truly entertaining journey through the imaginations of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
I've been a fan of Gaiman for a while, and I know I need to read (and will probably greatly enjoy) Pratchett, I just hadn't gotten around to it before, but I will definitely be making it more of a priority now.
The only thing that really bothers me about this book is the thought of how much of the humor I just didn't get. There are just so many religious, literary, pop culture, etc. references that I'm sure I missed many; and not being British probably didn't help me any!
However, there is plenty here for everyone with even the slightest sense of humor to enjoy. And for such a hilarious, fun book there's also quite a bit that will make you pause and reflect on your own beliefs. But that's certainly not necessary if all you want is a fun ride... Pratchett and Gaiman definitely deliver that!...more
I love, love, LOVE this book! It's silly and fun and clever and sweet and my recent re-read only served to remind me how wonderful it is. I really neeI love, love, LOVE this book! It's silly and fun and clever and sweet and my recent re-read only served to remind me how wonderful it is. I really need to buy my own copy, because this would be a great read any time I need a light-hearted escape from the real world....more
This is an excellent book all the way around. It's very well-written, the research that went into it is evident, the characters are amazingly deep andThis is an excellent book all the way around. It's very well-written, the research that went into it is evident, the characters are amazingly deep and real, the story in both the past and present draws you in and takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Because it's about time travel, it's categorized as science fiction, but at the same time it's historical fiction, medical thriller, mystery, psychological fiction and more all rolled into one fantastic story. ...more
Okay, I know it's only February and to say this is the best book of the year so far for me (it is!) doesn't seem like saying much, but the rest of theOkay, I know it's only February and to say this is the best book of the year so far for me (it is!) doesn't seem like saying much, but the rest of the books I read this year are going to have to work very hard to beat this one! The story begins by telling about a horribly injured and ill Jesuit priest who has returned as the only survivor of a mission (more scientific than religious) to contact and study an alien race. The story doesn't unfold in a linear progression, but jumps from after to before to during the mission. Gradually, the other members of the team are introduced and Father Emilio Sandoz (the sole survivor) eventually is able to tell the story of what they experienced as he begins to heal both physically and emotionally.
It is a very powerful story, and touches on many topics; love, friendship, faith, religion, sentience, environmental issues, suffering, joy, life, death, and our place in the universe. I will be thinking about this one for a while....more
The Scar is a vast improvement over Perdido Street Station. Set in the world of Bas-Lag, but not in New Crobuzon, this is a good, solid, entertainingThe Scar is a vast improvement over Perdido Street Station. Set in the world of Bas-Lag, but not in New Crobuzon, this is a good, solid, entertaining read from beginning to end.
Mieville has overcome most of PSS's weaknesses here. This plot is far more tight and controlled. Don't misunderstand, there are plenty of twists, turns and surprises, but the storyline moves continually forward, not splintering into disparate and confusing arcs that don't ever, in many cases in PSS, come back together. Character development was much more focused, well-paced and realistic. I didn't have any jarring moments where I thought, "What? No! No way he/she would do/say that!" as I did in PSS.
The Scar is a dark, gritty, fantastical, exciting, horrifying, heart-breaking, wonderfully imaginative story of human (or not, as the case may be) nature in many and varied circumstances. There is power and the different personalities of those who hold it and the many ways they use, misuse, abuse, or are used by it. There are loyal followers and the good, bad, confused, or even never understood reasons they follow the leaders they have chosen. There are manipulators and manipulated, and at the heart of it all is Bellis, a woman torn from her homeland and thrown out into an unfamiliar world, and then torn from even that world into a world she feels no control over or loyalty to. At its simplest, The Scar is the story of how Bellis struggles to hang on to control of her own destiny and to her true self, even as that self is altered forever by the events in which she is caught up.
But The Scar is far from simple. Gloriously, wondrously so.
Oh, and did I mention that there are pirates and sorcery and undefeatable warriors and vampir and grindylows and leviathan and innumerable fantastic beings and (unfortunately) a vast overuse of the word puissant?...more