It's both amusing and sad when a book series falls flat on its face during its final leaps. The Odyssey series is, unfortunately, one of these. Except...moreIt's both amusing and sad when a book series falls flat on its face during its final leaps. The Odyssey series is, unfortunately, one of these. Except instead of attempting to get back up and trying to pretend its fall never happened, 3001 wallows in the failure, following the same idea as 2061; nothing happens. Well, nothing substantial, anyway.
Let me be the first to say that I don't mind that Frank comes back to life. It was a (sort of) logical way to show Dave's human side (sort of) while still having a (sort of) familiar character to 'relate' to (sort of).
The problem is that the entire plot is, as stated above, filled with 'sort of's. I honestly never found Frank engaging enough to care about, as he's pretty accepting about the fact that he's one thousand years ahead of his time and has very little difficulty adapting. I'll take the excuse that 'it's the future' for why he could miraculously be retrieved from space and brought back to life. There's been more implausible things in this series. However, what little personality he had in 2001 must have never been revived, because he is easily the most boring character in the series.
Not that the characters have ever been the high point of the Odyssey series, with the exception of maybe Hal and Dave. It's always been about the adventure, the journey to get to the plot. The characters were always basically two-dimensional, and that was fine because it wasn't a character driven story. 3001 attempts to change up the formula, happily turning in its space suit for a more boring 'life-in-the-future' story.
It's unfortunate that Odyssey ends on such a low point, when the first two were so good and the third passable. It won't go without recommendation - it's still a rather unique take on the future and one of the grandaddies of sci-fi. The good also far outweighs the bad in the series, with space descriptions that make you believe you were standing right there next to them.
So if you haven't yet, check out these books, watch the movies, something. Odyssey is something that everyone - young and old - should experience. (less)
Compared to the last two, this one was just bland. Stories just sort of stop in the middle of where they were going, then it just sort of jumps ar...moreMeh.
Compared to the last two, this one was just bland. Stories just sort of stop in the middle of where they were going, then it just sort of jumps around. The rescue mission was boring because there was nothing remotely dangerous about where they were at.
And Hal and Dave barely show up in this one, despite being advertised prominently on the back cover.
...Is it possible to like a sequel more than the first book? Cause I totally do.
I can't really describe why though. Perhaps its the fact that more int...more...Is it possible to like a sequel more than the first book? Cause I totally do.
I can't really describe why though. Perhaps its the fact that more interesting things happen in this book. Or that we actually stick with a set of characters the entire time instead of jumping around different connected events. And I quite liked the characters, too. They felt less flat than the last one.
But MAN, Hal and Dave steal this show. Like, really steal it. Both of them don't appear for long but they manage to be SO AWESOME that it doesn't even matter. Though Chandra and Floyd are cool, too. And so are the Russian characters.
The descriptions are gorgeous, and I could actually imagine how Jupiter would look during the last scenes (view spoiler)[becoming a star (hide spoiler)]. OH MAN THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!
I still haven't seen the movies, but I REALLY want to now.
Reviewing 2061 next :D ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Let me preface this review by saying I've never seen the movies. Ever. I knew about Hal, sure, but who doesn't know that at this point? He's like the...moreLet me preface this review by saying I've never seen the movies. Ever. I knew about Hal, sure, but who doesn't know that at this point? He's like the grandaddy of all our favorite evil AIs (SHODAN, GLaDOS, etc).
Anyway, this book was okay. I was scratching my head at points - the ending almost made me bang my head against the wall in frustration - but I sort of... kind of... get it. Maybe?
Well, what I liked about this book was that it didn't go out of its way to lecture me. It didn't scream that nuclear war was evil or that SPACE = DEATH or etc. It just kind of implied it, which I really liked. Finally, thought I, a book that's not trying to pound anything in my head!
Then the ending came. And that ending.
I'll just, uh, pretend to get it. Even though I really didn't. I mean, I get what happened, sort of... But it was like the book took a plunge off the deep end for the last fifty pages. Not that the rest of it wasn't weird, and the technology shown had been shown before, but while everything else had a sort-of realism to it, the ending confused the bonkers out of me.
Otherwise, the writing is pretty clear and concise, the space travel is realistic and it doesn't try and pump every single Captain Planet lecture into your head, so I really did appreciate that.
4 out of 5 stars.
Next time I'll be reviewing 2010: Odyssey Two! Will it leave me just as confused as this book did? Stay tuned! =P
This book wasn't bad, but it wasn't particularly inspiring, either.
The entire 'Society' feels ripped away from other books, and it really doesn't...moreMeh.
This book wasn't bad, but it wasn't particularly inspiring, either.
The entire 'Society' feels ripped away from other books, and it really doesn't do anything new to make it different from the others.
The characters are also 'meh'. There's no actual writing problems - they're characterized well - but they're just... boring. The relationships are also as such, though I applaud it for not turning any of them abusive/unrealistic. There's no mental-vampire-angel-etc abuse here, and I appreciate it.
However, the most interesting characters - the brother, the grandfather, and her father - are barely in the book. I really wish that Cassia was as interesting, or had more to go off of. She's just hopeless and has no spine for most of the book.
But, I mean, it was okay. There's nothing bad about this book, but it's unoriginal and bland. Some people might really like it. I really wanted to like it. But so far, it's just okay. Maybe I'll check out the other ones some time. Maybe not, though.(less)
You know, when the inside cover of your book explains more than the actual story does, you know you're doing it wrong.
My friend told me to 'avoid this...moreYou know, when the inside cover of your book explains more than the actual story does, you know you're doing it wrong.
My friend told me to 'avoid this one at all costs' because it was confusing and boring. Me, being a rebel, decided to borrow it from her. When I saw that one of my favorite authors had approved this book as being awesome, I decided that it couldn't be too bad.
And at first, the idea wasn't bad. It was like a willing 1984. I was intrigued by what everything was, why their 'school' (or whatever it is, I'm still not sure) was called the Game. By halfway in, I still didn't know half of what they were talking about was and I was getting frustrated. What is 'branding'? Oh, it's not actually explained. Use context clues and make your best guess!
And I never did figure out what the Game was until I looked in the front cover. Same thing with the 'levels' that they kept talking about. I felt like this entire book was just an inside joke that they invited me to join into but I never understood. It felt lackluster, disappointing, and no matter how convincing I tried to make my smile and laughter, it never managed to make anyone think it was genuine.
The moral of this story? Always listen to your friends, even if they did try to keep you away from your book about killer water horses.(less)
I wish I could say I liked this book. I really, really do. That would, however, be lying.
There were ideas that I really liked. There were parts that I...moreI wish I could say I liked this book. I really, really do. That would, however, be lying.
There were ideas that I really liked. There were parts that I really liked. The relationship between Jackal and Snow was interesting but not nearly as deep as it could have been. The Virtual Reality was interesting, but not nearly as deep as it could have been.
This book was a waste of good material, which I'm actually quite upset about. I do, however, want to read Eskridge's newer book, however, because as a first novel this wasn't as bad as it could have been. If she had just drove on with her original ideas rather than getting sidetracked, this could have been such an amazing book.
Dear people in charge of putting together the blurb at the back of the book,
What I read was most certainly not "Magisterial and uplifting..." In fact,...moreDear people in charge of putting together the blurb at the back of the book,
What I read was most certainly not "Magisterial and uplifting..." In fact, it was probably the most depressing thing I've attempted to read in a while!
You see, I was going to try and finish this, then I saw that I still had a good three hundred or so pages to read. I'm a patient reader, usually; I read both the War of the Ancients trilogy and Snow-Walker. They're both about the same length as Evolution, yet there's a prime difference between them.
Evolution is literally the most mind-numbing, depressing, and just the longest read I've had in a while. If someone hadn't told me to check it out, I probably would have laughed and put it back on the shelf.
There is good, mind you, in this novel. The first chapters detailing Purga, her life, her children, etc. were quite good. I found the beginning to be the most interesting part, sans the weird whip-and-spear-wielding dinosaurs that managed to squeeze into a random, unrelated chapter. Purga was interesting for what she was, and the fact that she lived through the end of the dinosaurs was pretty cool, really.
Then it got to the actual humans. I'm pretty sure Baxter has no faith in humanity, from what I've read through reviews and spoilers. I figured out that I was done once the human-basing began. And then I find out that humans (view spoiler)[cause the end of the world near the end of the book. Figure that! What a new and interesting concept! (hide spoiler)] I swear that not all humans are evil Saturday morning cartoon villains who twirl their mustaches and tie women to railroad tracks. Nor are they villains from Captain Planet, determined only to destroy the environment.
All in all, this book had a total "four legs good, two legs bad" mentality around it, at least of what I read. I'm sure others would like it better than I did, mostly because there are people interested in depressing reads and everything else this book talks about.
Just not me.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm going to be honest, most of these stories are simply 'okay'. There are not very many that stood out to me, and there weren't many that we painfull...moreI'm going to be honest, most of these stories are simply 'okay'. There are not very many that stood out to me, and there weren't many that we painfully awful either. In fact, I don't think any of these were so bad that I stopped reading it. Well, maybe one or two of them.
My favorites were Little Dot, Beauty, Flotsam, Baby in the Deposit Box, and Mariposa. My least favorites were Black Fox and Hope Chest.
The other ones were decent at best, some were more mediocre than others and some I just don't honestly remember despite reading them a day prior to writing this.
My least favorites were those two 'awful' ones that I was talking about. While neither was badly written, and I actually liked the lyrical part of Black Fox, both started out promising then turned into just a mess of blaaahhh. Spoilers for both stories ahead.
Black Fox was a comic, you see. And while I'm sure the art was decent for the time, the style was one I found didn't really match the story. The story itself was confusing in its comic form, and I reread it several times trying to understand what exactly it was trying to convey. In the lyrics before the comic, the fox is described as turning into Satan. In the comic, he's the Guardian of Hunters or something similar. The characters thank him for the great hunt in the comic, which didn't fit the beginning lyrics. I would have been okay with the comic if it hadn't included the lyrics at the beginning.
Hope Chest was exactly like Baby in the Deposit Box except with a train and set in the midwest. It was also significantly worse. This is really just a personal opinion, however, since I know that a lot of people consider this one of the stronger stories in this anthology. It started out okay, but once she got the chest open and an evil government official appeared, I knew that it had taken a turn for the worse. It literally turned into a gore fest for the last couple pages. There's nothing wrong with gore fests, but I wish there had been a bit more warning that it was going to include one.
All in all, it was an okay anthology. I would not read this to middle schoolers, to which it is targeted. There's a lot of violence and a bit of inappropriate romance in a few of the stories. I think the only ones worth sharing with younger-than-high-school students would be Beauty, Mariposa, Baby in the Deposit Box, and possibly Little Dot - though for a story about talking cats and wizards that one did get a bit violent.
**spoiler alert** Pony GIFs incoming. I'm rewriting this because I don't think I laid out my thoughts clearly enough.
Here's the thing: I ADORED the fir...more**spoiler alert** Pony GIFs incoming. I'm rewriting this because I don't think I laid out my thoughts clearly enough.
Here's the thing: I ADORED the first Hunger Games book. I liked the second one. The characters and action were entertaining enough to move past the fact that a lot of the death was for the sake of shock value. The world was interesting and unique, and the main character had a unique voice that I could appreciate.
Now, The Hunger Games has never been a heavily character-driven story. It's always about the action. While, yeah, a few of the characters were 'developed', there was always the risk that they would die. You would choose a few to root for, then get heart broken when/if they died/got injured.
And this is where Mockingjay falls.
There is no Hunger Games in this book, and perhaps that was the one thing that made the series work. I was all on-board for a more serious, more depressed, more paranoid Katniss. After all, she had been in the Games twice now, and look what happened to a few that had only been in one!
What we got, however, was really, really over the top. There's a logical jump in character, then there's Katniss. She literally hid in the broom closet, snapped at everyone who passed her way, whined about how much her life sucked, etc. Even the two love interests finally pointed out how angsty she was. And she mistreats them, too.
It got to the point that by the end of the book, Gale basically said "lolPeetashe'sallyoursbye".
Then there was the horrible 'propo' shots or whatever. I didn't get it. Wouldn't actual footage of, you know, and actual battle be more efficient? Especially since Katniss is camera challenged and can't even say her lines right when Haymitch is telling them right to her. They even brought the fashion team back (minus Cinna, whose death obviously meant nothing to our selfless hero, as she never really mentions him unless it's about her outfit) to 'make her over' or whatever. I didn't really see the point in it other than to waste a good hundred or so pages.
And then we get to the most troubling part of this book. The deaths.
Oh man, there's a lot of blood, a lot of death, etc. There's always been a lot in the series, but there was more of a reason for it. Only one winner and all that, survival... yadda yadda.
The deaths in this book felt so completely worthless. Finnick and Cinna's felt like the most needless, because none of the characters were really... affected by it. Finnick had finally gotten his happy ending and its completely blown out of the water. We don't find out what's happened to his wife, and he's just sort of forgotten. While yeah, it's a war, and yeah, people die... There was no point. Literally.
My mind was completely void of all emotion by the end of the book. Like, every death just became a 'cool story bro'. In the past books I'd be rooting for a character - in the first it was Rue, second it was Finnick and the drug-addicts - but in Mockingjay I just wanted them all to die for the cause. But you know, whatever. It's a war, I guess. People are gonna die.
Then Prim dies. And the entire point of the books is completely lost. We literally wasted our time.
Now, if it had been a good death, I wouldn't be as upset. But it was pulled out of nowhere. You say she was 'manipulated' to the front lines. Um, HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?! Seriously, she was a medic. She had no reason to even be that close to the front line unless she was helped carting soldiers, which wouldn't be ideal for a fourteen-year-old girl (or however old she is) to be doing! Collins wanted a shocking death, but this just literally killed the book for me. I could (almost) forgive everything else. Even Finnick's death. Even the way the love triangle was resolved.
I felt no emotional bond to Prim as she died, and apparently neither did Katniss (though she had one redeeming moment when she shot President Coin instead of Snow). She cried a bit, angst-ed a bit, etc. But it wasn't the same person who had been willing to sacrifice herself for her sister two books ago. I get that the Hunger Games changes people. I'm just sure that Collins didn't want Katniss's reaction to everything to be 'whatever'.
The spirit of the books was lost as soon as Katniss stopped caring about those who she loved. The series was about war, but it was also about sacrifice and passion. All we got in this final book was the war.
I still do recommend the Hunger Games. It's a good read. The ending however, lowered the series in my eyes.
Two stars because Peeta actually grew a backbone and snapped back at Katniss, which serves her right for taking advantage of him.
**spoiler alert** Summary: Fans of the Uglies series should just avoid this book. Anyone who's not a fan or has never read the others may like this bo...more**spoiler alert** Summary: Fans of the Uglies series should just avoid this book. Anyone who's not a fan or has never read the others may like this book, but otherwise it's a blemish on an otherwise great book series. Characterizations are all over the place, and it becomes rather confusing and aimless as it goes on. The new choice of setting is cool, but it's not enough to save this book.
I never thought I'd see the day when I'd give an Uglies book such a low grade. I love that series more than I probably should, really. I always liked the society of 'pretty' people, the 'uglies' with free will, and the 'specials' behind it all, but the books were always rather shallow and it always ended with Tally getting what she wanted in the beginning - whether it was to be pretty or to have free will. Still, though, I stuck to it loyally, wanting to see what happened.
I wish that it had ended in a trilogy, honestly, because what's been read cannot be unread. Trust me, I've been trying to get rid of Breaking Dawn for a long time now.
Extras takes place after the Uglies trilogy and can sort of kind of stand on its own. It explains what you need to know about the series in a few short pages, so you can read it without having read the rest of the series. I would personally not recommend this, and I suggest you go and read the rest of the books and then skip over this one.
Aya Fuse lives in Japan, which is kind of cool. I really wish they had expanded on the culture of new-Japan, because it was the best part of the book to me. Unlike Pretties, where you're forced into having surgery at sixteen, you can choose when and what surgery you have. Status is no longer decided by parties or overall 'pretty-ness', but rather how popular your feeds are. Feeds are obviously the internet. It doesn't take a genius to figure this out.
Aya is ridiculously low on the feed list, so she's obviously not very happy in this fame-driven, superficial society. She decides to do a story about this group of girls that sneaks out of the city and has been doing weird stuff. After telling this story on her feed, she skyrockets up to number two in popularity and gets a cool apartment and everything.
Then Tally has to come and ruin whatever fun the book was having. Seriously, the book was just fine up until she came in and crashed the party. It's like if you were forced to invite someone that you didn't like to your birthday party, and they came and ate your cake and sneezed on your presents and kicked your dog.
Well, maybe that's a little extreme.
You see, Tally forces the plot into motion, and she keeps it going. But it takes a completely different direction than the one it was originally taking. A girl's rise to fame and eventual fall was what the first half promised. And I was going to be okay with it. Sure, there were little hints that there would be action in it, but it didn't seem like there was going to be much but maybe a hover board battle or something.
I guess I got one thing right, though. There are hover board battles. A lot of hover board battles. It's like Sonic Riders, but with less hedgehogs.
The plot of the second half is pretty much aimless. They run around trying to stop some terrorists or something. That sort of gets resolved, and then they go to a party for the rest of the book. And Aya stays famous and is now BFFs with Tally.
Yes, I'm serious.
So basically, our protagonist has gained nothing from this life changing experience. She hasn't decided to sacrifice her fame for her family and friends, decided that fame isn't worth being a traitorous backstabber. No, she remains famous and very happy about that. So yes, this book was a waste of time.
The characters are pretty boring, actually. Tally's also been completely flipped from what she was at the end of Specials. She's brutal, snippy, and madly in love with David, I guess. The rest of her crew just sort of are there to be in the book, and Aya herself is a load of wasted potential. I don't expect every character to completely change their ways, but Aya did not evolve in any way throughout the entire book.
If you're a fan of the Uglies series, it might be best to avoid this book. It adds pretty much nothing to the original plot, though it adds a cool location to learn about. So if you have to read this book, only read to the halfway point. Or you could read all the way through, but Tally as a character is pretty much ruined by this book, at least in my eyes.
Still, it's not the worst read in the entire world, and if I hadn't been so fond of the Uglies trilogy, I probably would have rated this higher. If you're interested in the series, start at Uglies and finish at Specials. Completely avoid this if you can.
**spoiler alert** Summary: It's just bland, boring, and bad. It's also like Twilight. But with aliens.
Yeah, I can't honestly remember for the...more**spoiler alert** Summary: It's just bland, boring, and bad. It's also like Twilight. But with aliens.
Yeah, I can't honestly remember for the life of me what happened in this book. Something about body-snatching aliens doing it for the good of humanity or something? I dunno.
See, when I see books like this - with aliens that take over people's bodies, 'improve' life for humanity, and a human rebel team - I struggle not to compare it to Half-Life 2. Thankfully, this book is so terrible that comparing it just seemed shameful. To Half-Life 2, that is.
But we're going to talk about that anyway, as I personally feel that if you can't measure up to Half-Life 2 - a videogame - in over five hundred pages of novel, you're doing something wrong. Actually, this book is sort of like Half-Life 2, except it's as if Meyer saw a summary on Wikipedia, thought 'LOLALIENS = MONEY', and sat down and wrote this book.
The 'soul'-alien-things are sort of like Combine. Except a lot prettier and even less likable. Now just imagine that every human except for, like, two of them is like the Civil Protection group except for the awesome - stupidly liking the aliens for helping to 'purify the Earth' despite everything that they've done. Even the human rebel forces start liking Wanda, despite the fact that she is a parasite (she says it herself) that took away a loved one in order to exist.
Even Mel's family likes Wanda. Seriously. She took your daughter from you, you idiots!
There is also a surprising lack of creativity in this book, which is to be expected from someone who's admitted to not doing the research. The world names were so generic that I expected it to end up like the Super Mario Brothers Super Show! I wouldn't have even been surprised if there was a world called Spy Land or Car Land. The species also lacked any sort of creativity, and were all named after... Earth species?
Well, at least we know what species to look out for!
The medicines are also remarkably uninteresting. Things like Heal, Cool, and other generic words I can't even remember.
It's pretty obvious that this book is just as padded as Twilight, and has a hefty amount of thesaurus abuse. The characters are just as uninteresting as the aliens, and the only good thing I can say about Mel is that at least she sort of fights back. So she's better than Bella in that respect.
I'm pretty sure Meyer just decided to take all the stories from various alien related arts and shove them all together. As a gamer, it really is hard for me to see this and think, "Hey, I saw this in Half-Life 2!" because it's really quite shameful to compare the two.
I bet that the spider aliens were headcrabs. Seriously I googled 'alien spiders' and literally came up with headcrabs.
Still waiting for Episode 3 by the way, Valve! *hinthint*
This book is boring, pointless, and isn't even as fun to read as Twilight. It's not even fun to laugh at, which is what I expect from a Meyer book. I still can't believe this lady went to university for literature. It must be so embarrassing for the university she went to.