I was about halfway through the book when I realized that I was actually reading two separate books at the same time. The first chronicles the hurdles...moreI was about halfway through the book when I realized that I was actually reading two separate books at the same time. The first chronicles the hurdles of constructing the World's Fair in Chicago up until then end of the fair, and the second following the United States' first serial killer H. H. Holmes and some of his killings. The only connection between the two happened to be that Holmes had performed most of these killings in Chicago during the time of the fair. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I did expect more of a connection between the two parts other than what I got. Both parts were interesting, and Larson does a fairly good job of weaving them together throughout the novel, but I found myself favoring the sections about Holmes and having them separated by lengthy sections devoted to Fair put me off a bit.
My other criticism of the book is from the way it's written. It feels very much like a fiction novel, which I feel is both good and bad. As someone who tends to fall asleep reading anything resembling a history textbook, I was very happy with this presentation. It kept me interested and invested in the story behind both the Fair and Holmes. On the other hand, when Larson decides to flesh out the scenes by describing intricate details or the thoughts and actions of people at very particular instances tended to pull me out of the experience. I know small embellishments would have to be made for dramatic purposes to keep readers interested, but I started to doubt some of the information presented during these instances.(less)
I enjoyed the book quite a bit. Rowling was always good with making interesting characters and creating an easily accessible world for them to inhabit...moreI enjoyed the book quite a bit. Rowling was always good with making interesting characters and creating an easily accessible world for them to inhabit. Don't expect a sprawling adventure with good vs. evil. This is a novel about all the politics involved with people trying to get things to go the way they want.(less)
I did not like this book at all. I didn't like the characters, and the writing was terrible. Because of this it was amusing for the first couple chapt...moreI did not like this book at all. I didn't like the characters, and the writing was terrible. Because of this it was amusing for the first couple chapters, but then got really old really fast.(less)
It had a pretty neat concept, with the ability to control the different elements and the djinn, and played out like an entertaining summer action movi...moreIt had a pretty neat concept, with the ability to control the different elements and the djinn, and played out like an entertaining summer action movie. My issue was that I didn't care for any of the characters.(less)
Coming off of the last few books I've read, I wanted something that was light and didn't infuriate me to read. This totally fit the bill. I haven't se...moreComing off of the last few books I've read, I wanted something that was light and didn't infuriate me to read. This totally fit the bill. I haven't seen an episode of True Blood, nor have I queued it on Netflix, so this was the next best thing. It was an entertaining read, and it had enough to leave me interested to continue the series later on.(less)
'Twas an awesome read indeed. I really started to enjoy it once Fitz began his apprenticeship. I was hooked and couldn't put it down at the halfway po...more'Twas an awesome read indeed. I really started to enjoy it once Fitz began his apprenticeship. I was hooked and couldn't put it down at the halfway point once he begins learning the Skill.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Fantasy, and especially those who are interested in the A Song of Ice and Fire series but find it a little intimidating.(less)
Where are my half-stars? I feel bad giving it a 4 because it really deserves a 4.5.
I enjoyed Tigana quite a bit. I have always enjoyed stories told fr...moreWhere are my half-stars? I feel bad giving it a 4 because it really deserves a 4.5.
I enjoyed Tigana quite a bit. I have always enjoyed stories told from the eyes of a character who is being brought into a world they didn't know, and because of this I was immediately engrossed in the story from the get go. Then after Chapter 5, the story changes perspective from Devin to Dianora. I have nothing against books that tell the story from the perspectives of different character, but there was so much momentum built up for me after the event in the cabin, that the switch threw me off balance, and it took me a little while to come back and pick up where I left off. Additionally, the constant flashbacks that occur to establish these characters tended to throw off already slow reading pace throughout the book. Once I had figured out Kay's pattern in storytelling, I was able to really get into the book and enjoy it. It is a very well-realized world, and the characters are superb. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the fantasy genre.(less)
I both liked and didn't like this book. I found the story to be interesting but pointless up until the final chapters when everything is brought toget...moreI both liked and didn't like this book. I found the story to be interesting but pointless up until the final chapters when everything is brought together. While I like the characters, I felt unattached to any of them. The 'Coming to America' stories were interesting but interrupted my enjoyment of the main plot or halted my progress completely (I would have enjoyed them better if they were placed in an appendix after then main plot).(less)
I would have given this a 3.5, but alas, like Netflix, Goodreads does not allow for half stars. So it leaned more towards the upper end of the 3 to 4...moreI would have given this a 3.5, but alas, like Netflix, Goodreads does not allow for half stars. So it leaned more towards the upper end of the 3 to 4 spectrum, hence the 4.
I'm not going to lie, it took quite a bit of will power to get through this book. This was my first sci-fi novel that wasn't Fahrenheit 451 or anything from the Animorphs series, so it took a little time to get used to some of the terminology and science in the universe that Simmons created. But I persevered and liked the book quite a bit.
I thought the world, well universe building in the the book was exceptional. I loved the split narrative style of the book. The uniqueness of each character's story was a very neat way to get to experience this universe. I definitely cared much more for some stories over others. I particularly enjoyed the stories of Sol Weintraub and Father Hoyt.
I found the ending cliffhanger to be a tad bit upsetting. The whole book was spent setting up each of these characters and explaining why each of them were on this pilgrimage, that I wanted some sort of payoff after all of that. But I know the book and The Fall of Hyperion were supposed to be one book, so I can't fault it for that. I'll be checking out The Fall of Hyperion after I get through a few more books I've been meaning to get through.(less)
I picked up this book last year because it was touted as the Harry Potter for adults, but never got around to reading it. I finally found the motivati...moreI picked up this book last year because it was touted as the Harry Potter for adults, but never got around to reading it. I finally found the motivation to read it because the Sword and Laser group made it their first book to read now that they're posting videos on the Geek and Sundry YouTube channel, and I was interested in following along with the discussions.
But after all that time of looking forward to reading the book, I didn't really care too much for it. It is essentially a mashup of The Chronicle's of Narnia and Harry Potter, and when you read that description it like that it sounds like it would fucking amazing. It's unfortunate that the story arcs are so close to those worlds that it feels like a low budget rendition of each that were just stitched together with a brief interlude of the gang after they graduate from school. The constant references to other iconic works such as Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings tended to pull me out of the story.
I also didn't really care for any of the characters, except for maybe Eliot. While I could initially relate to Quentin (because who honestly hasn't been an angst-driven teenager?), I found myself detesting his character after the second chapter, which is unfortunate given that he is the main character of the book. His character had a very sort of elitist attitude towards everyone around him. Couple that with how he perceived that the entire universe was against him, I really just wanted to flick the pages every to inflict pain upon him every time he got on my nerves, which happened a lot.(less)
In my little review of Catching Fire, I likened it to the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow's Part 1 because it felt like the entire book was...moreIn my little review of Catching Fire, I likened it to the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow's Part 1 because it felt like the entire book was a lot of exposition and rising action that just ended to leave the reader hooked for the next book. This comparison holds true in the sense that Mocking Jay acts as Part 2 of the Harry Potter film in that it is the climax and resolution to the events that take place in Catching Fire, but in another sense it can be likened to the the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as well in that Suzanne Collins decides to cram the novel with anything and everything she can think of in order to provide the action packed end to her Hunger Games Trilogy.
I do not use the phrase lightly when I say I had to force myself through the first part and a half of the book. Reading through the first few chapters, the book feels as if it's from a different series all together, and only once Katniss starts recollecting on past events from the previous two novels does it feel that Mockingjay fits in with the previous two. Katniss remains almost the same however, having transitioned from being the Barbie-dolled tribute of the Hunger Games to being the Barbie-dolled face of the revolution. Her unwillingness to comply with the rebels against the Capitol is somewhat infuriating because looking back on Catching Fire, she was all for starting a revolt herself.
Once I was able to adapt to this shift in tone and pace of the book, it did become more manageable and enjoyable. It is unfortunate that Collins decides to try and pack in as many plot twists as she can while still keeping the length of the book around the same as the previous two, that you or Katniss never really get to reflect or even flesh out on the details of what transpired before you're moving along towards the next twist. It's this aspect of the book that makes the last few chapters rather difficult to read because the shift in tone and pacing are not very fluid.
Overall, Mockingjay provides a pretty similar experience to the previous two books in the Hunger Games trilogy, but doesn't really provide a very satisfying ending to it.(less)
After a very heated internal debate, and the realization that I should probably stick with something light to read while I adjust to the new school qu...moreAfter a very heated internal debate, and the realization that I should probably stick with something light to read while I adjust to the new school quarter, I decided to just go ahead and read the next book in The Hunger Games trilogy. I was originally going to put it off given my distaste for book 1, but having recently watched the movie (which I found to be an improvement of the book for the most part, especially since I didn't have to listen to Katniss's incompetence musings about whether she liked Peeta or not), I decided I would power through the rest of the trilogy instead of waiting for their movies to be released.
I did enjoy Catching Fire a litte more overall than The Hunger Games mostly due to the fact that Katniss does not spend the entirety of the novel trying to keep up her showmance with Peeta. I also enjoyed that the book was a little more focused on the political unrest throughout the country, and the arena this time around was pretty neat. But I don't feel like a lot happens in this book. For the sake of comparison, it felt very much like the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. There was a bunch of set up and then it just sort of ends. Obviously this was to keep readers hooked and waiting for Mockingjay, but it just felt very rushed. (less)
I really liked this book. It was a nice follow up to what an amazing read The Name of the Wind was, but I did not find myself as enthralled in this bo...moreI really liked this book. It was a nice follow up to what an amazing read The Name of the Wind was, but I did not find myself as enthralled in this book as I did its predecessor. I felt some sequences felt a little too long. The first third of the book felt almost like a reread of the first book, and the Ademre chapters felt like they could have been condensed a little. The biggest problem I had with this book was with the Felurian chapters. I understand why they were there, since this is Kvothe's story and he's giving all the nitty gritty details behind the stories being told of him, but they brought me out of the story, which I was very much engrossed in up until that point.
That being said, this was still a very exciting and fantastic read. I am eagerly awaiting book 3.(less)
I rarely, if ever, tend to read a book without knowing at least a little bit about it. I've also rarely read a book that I didn't have a reason for pi...moreI rarely, if ever, tend to read a book without knowing at least a little bit about it. I've also rarely read a book that I didn't have a reason for picking up in the first place, which usually correlates to me trying to "educate" myself with a classic or reading the source material for a movie or television show I plan on watching. So when I decided to read The Name of the Wind, knowing only that is was a fantasy novel about a wizard and that I was reading it with no other purpose than to enjoy a book, I was a little out of my personal comfort zone.
Needless to say, I enjoyed the book very much. I really liked Kvothe for the most part, except I found him being exceptionally good at almost everything he did to be a tad overdone. Him throwing in the "if you have never been ______ then you wouldn't understand" quips constantly got on my nerves a little, especially when he used it to make his point about being poor several times throughout the course of the novel. Minor griping aside, I found myself hooked and had a difficult time putting it down. Elodin and Denna are both equally awesome, and let out audible chuckles a few time while reading, which is rare for me period. I'll be checking out The Wise Man's Fear at some point before the end of next year. I don't want to have to finish that one too soon and have to wait several years before #3 is released.
Overall I would have given this book a 4.5, but since I don't get half-stars, it was leaning more towards the upper end of the 4/5 spectrum. Hence the 5.(less)
I decided to read the comics after finishing both the Buffy and Angel TV series. I started with this volume because after the series finale of Angel,...moreI decided to read the comics after finishing both the Buffy and Angel TV series. I started with this volume because after the series finale of Angel, how could you not want to know what happened? I am a comic book noob, so the medium is taking a little bit for me to get used to. I tend to get confused a little between some of the panels, so hopefully once I've read a few more issues I'll be able to rate this higher.
Story wise, the comics take place a few months after the end of the series. The writer has done a good job writing for the Angel and Spike characters so I didn't feel any disconnect there. The others don't feel quite the same as they did in the show though.(less)