Mr. Martin's first installment of the Game of Thrones series possesses an enthralling and overwhelmingly captivating story that never ceases to intere...moreMr. Martin's first installment of the Game of Thrones series possesses an enthralling and overwhelmingly captivating story that never ceases to interest its readers. The reader becomes a part of the lives of highborns and lowborns alike in a fantasy narrative that follows multiple families as they vie for power, lordships, kingdoms, and the simple recognition of personhood. Old alliances shatter while new alliances are forged for the inevitable "game of thrones," whose beginning can be found at the end of the book.
The authorship does not live up to the storyline, unfortunately. The writing can often be unclear and confusing. And one might even be forced to study the family trees of the primary houses before starting the novel, as the author switches back and forth between the formal names and the nicknames of the various characters before indicating to the audience that those nicknames belong to characters mentioned and described before (e.g., the character Ned is called thus in the beginning of the book, then an Eddard appears on the scene, and it is not indicated that they are the same individual until very late in the novel, leaving the reader that is unfamiliar with the characters overly and unnecessarily baffled). (less)
I am not one to typically enjoy zombie tales. I love zombie movies, but I have never cared for zombies in the written word. Mira Grant has made me ret...moreI am not one to typically enjoy zombie tales. I love zombie movies, but I have never cared for zombies in the written word. Mira Grant has made me rethink this position.
The Kellis-Amberlee virus has spread rampantly through the population and the zombie-pocalypse is over. Granted, zombies still exist and people continue to get infected and "turn," but the major threat is over and America has gone back to being America. People eat in restaurants, get an education, sleep in hotels, etc. The news media remains an ever-present facet of society, but journalism is no longer what is used to be. Instead of the news being propagated by university-educated journalists spreading the agenda of the owners of news agencies, the news is now searched out by bloggers and spread to the general public through blogging Websites and constant Web video streams.
I found the world that Mira created rather believable. The issues that were debated within society dealt with things like public vs. private education for your children: is the public school a less safe environment than the private school and thus more likely to spread the infection? Politicians were as greedy as ever, interested in promoting their own ideas at the expense of others. The weaponry used along with the safety measures (like regular blood screenings) that were put in place to decrease the spread of infection seemed, though maybe not always reasonable, were certainly realistic.
Feed was an easy book to read, fast-paced at times and slower when called for. The writing was sometimes quite witty and the characters were very funny! Our main female, Georgia/George, was very good at serious reflections on the state of society, reflections that are relevant even today. I particularly enjoyed the text moving from the author telling the story through the eyes of one of her characters to what we as readers were supposed to believe were actual blog entries of the bloggers who are centerstage in the book.
Now for some minor complaints. I found some words to be too oft repeated (like "funereal"), but no other real complaints about the verbage. I thought the end of the book slowed down way too quickly for my tastes and the story seemed to be rushed. Some extra thought about how to close the book might have done some good. The only other issue I might have is with all of the Coca-Cola product placement. I kept wondering throughout if the author was intentionally "product-placing" Coke (i.e., she is receiving payment for her mentions of the beverage), or if she just didn't realize the extent to which that one product is mentioned in the book.
Overall, excellent text! I have already purchased the second book in this series and can't wait to begin my journey again in this exciting world created by Mira Grant.
The first book in this series about the zombiepocalypse was written in the voice of George Mason. The writing was clever and i...moreConfusing and annoying.
The first book in this series about the zombiepocalypse was written in the voice of George Mason. The writing was clever and interesting. It kept you wanting more.
The second book in the series was, sadly, told from the point of view of Shaun Mason, George's brother. Whereas Shaun seemed like an interesting and funny character in the first book, Feed, he was simply annoying and pugilistic in this book. His constant need to hit something (or someone) made me cringe, and his hallucinations of his dead sister (yes, George is a girl), though possibly understandable from the point of view of the author of the book, got to be too much to handle.
The narrative was simply confusing. It was difficult to understand why certain actions were taken or why characters jumped to particular conclusions. The logic just seemed to fail.
Finally, as mentioned before, the entire book is told in the voice of Shaun Mason ... until the last chapter. But it is not clear that the person speaking has changed until the reader is a good ways through the chapter. I am sure this was meant to shock the reader as an amazing plot twist, but it really just confounds.
I will have to read the third installment of this series just to see what happens--I truly hope that the writing is not as poor this time around. (less)
**spoiler alert** This book tells the story of 16 women who move west from St. Louis to Nebraska to take part in the land grab of the mid- to late 180...more**spoiler alert** This book tells the story of 16 women who move west from St. Louis to Nebraska to take part in the land grab of the mid- to late 1800s. Having been widowed or scorned by men, these women hope to make new and independent lives for themselves as homesteaders.
Having been raised by a single mother on a homestead of sorts, I was naturally drawn to this story. I thought that I could see my own mother's story amongst these women's personal histories. And I did. However, I was quickly disappointed in the path the narrative took.
Having arrived in Nebraska on the premise that they would each be given a parcel of land by the government, they soon discover that they were instead induced to travel westward to be brides for men who had already claimed land from the government. In fact, the man transporting the women to Nebraska had, in a way, sold these women to certain well-paying men.
Since these women had set out to lead lives independent of men, one would expect that they would be horrified when this "bride business" was revealed to them. Only half of them were! The other half continued on their journey to become new brides to bachelors in the west.
The women that halted their journey westward decided to settle in the town where the bad news had been revealed to them. They eventually came to the conclusion that it would benefit them all if they homesteaded together, as a team.
Up to this point in the story, the narrative was incredibly believable and intriguing. However, I was terribly disappointed when many of these homesteading and "independent" women began to accept a lot of help from the men in town in building their home and organizing their farm. I understand that there were certain kinds of help that even men would have accepted from neighbors (like barn-raising), but it seemed like these women were becoming awfully dependent upon men in the area to build and run their homestead.
Moreover, about half of the women began to fall in love with men in the area. You cannot help who you fall in love with. But it seems like awfully bad timing that the moment the women begin to build a homestead for all of them to live on together, many of these same women fell in love with men in the area (and the men had similar feelings toward the women). The reader knows that these feelings of affection will likely result in marriage, and then how will the homestead be managed with half of the women having moved away to start their own families?
Besides my problems with the narrative and the path the story eventually took, there were other problems I had with this book. The author kept repeating the same words and phrases, one phrase being "laws o'massey." I began to get annoyed with not only that phrase but with all of the religious speak in it. I now know that this is a Christian book, a detail I will not overlook in the future when choosing novels to read.
A major issue I found with the authorship, and which made the book almost unreadable, was the ambiguity throughout the novel. There were so many times I was left confused about what was going on, or I couldn't picture visually the descriptions of places she was giving in the text (I still can't picture accurately what the mudhouse on the homestead looks like). As an indication of this, there were many times when the author would introduce a character as, for instance, Ms. Smith. A few chapters later, she would refer to someone as, let's say, Beatrice Smith. The author means for us as readers to connect the Ms. Smith of a few chapters before with this Beatrice Smith. That is amateurish and invites ambiguity and confusion.
I'm sorry, but I do not recommend this book at all. The story had potential but failed miserably in my eyes. And the writing was much too confusing and incomprehensible at times. (less)