My husband read this book first and came at me demanding I read the book too so we could talk about it (he wants this all the time ever since we tandeMy husband read this book first and came at me demanding I read the book too so we could talk about it (he wants this all the time ever since we tandem read A Song Of Ice And Fire a couple of years back), but I was in the middle of reading the Wheel of Time. By the time I surfaced from that series the movie was out and I thought it would be pretty interesting to go into the movie, one of us having read the book and one not and see what we each thought of the movie. Unfortunately our infant daughter (staying with her grandparents for the movie) decided breast really is best to the point she refused the bottles and I had to leave 45min before the end to ensure her survival. (I'm a nice wife tho, I let my husband stay to finish watching the movie). So that experiment failed ;p
Anyway, now I HAVE read the book.
The characters are well presented, and I find the nerdy blog style writing of Mark's sections funny and very relatable. Sometimes his jokes are just sad nerdy (like "fear my botany power") but some are pretty damn funny, like naming a unit of measurement 'one pirate-ninja' and his cleverly reasoned out proof that he is a space pirate. The failures just prove he really is a big nerd, which (as a fellow nerd) endeared the character to me.
Though it was only a very small part, the cute little bit of romance between Beck and Johanssen was fun for me.
The pacing was fairly solid, though sometimes suffered from long science discussions. I'm not a typical reader of hard science fiction (though I'm not anti hard SF), but by the final quarter of the book, I was pretty much skimming the scientific breakdowns. The information was very interesting initially, whether it was the repeated nature of it happening, the frequency, or the fact that several bits had been covered in the movie I'm not sure. I think typical readers of hard SF will absolutely love it though as it seems well researched and laid out in a fashion that most people should be able to understand.
My only real issue was the rehashing of information. Mark would say something, then next scene in NASA someone would say exactly that again. Sometimes it was expanded upon for we without physics degrees, but sometimes it was just repeated. Sure, that would totally happen in real life, but this is a novel, I don't want to hear the same thing repeated within a page of being told it the first time unless something new and important is being added.
Overall a pretty awesome book, a survival thriller with science. I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to try out science fiction and to those who already love the genre....more
I've been wanting to read this book since I watched the movie and found out it was based on a book (not to mention how the River Song plot in Doctor WI've been wanting to read this book since I watched the movie and found out it was based on a book (not to mention how the River Song plot in Doctor Who is reportedly inspired by it too). Of course my always taller than me to-read pile made it a long slog before I finally got around to it.
At long last I finally read it, thanks to a sale on Audible. As with all books-turned-movie the book has more depth and - as often seems to be the case for me - some of my favourite parts didn't make it to thesilver screen.
I enjoyed the split POV and there were very few points in which information was needlessly re-hashed.
I have a big problem though. My big issue is with the "heroine's" behavior at the end of the book. (view spoiler)[I mean, I understand that grief is difficult and we don't always shine bright like a diamond when we just lost the love of our lives. That's why I was able to forgive the moping in bed and kinda ignoring her own daughter until Alba forcibly entered the bed. She didn't stop with that, and a spot of moping.
What got me mad, what made me hate her character almost enough to ruin the entire book for me, was when she decided to get sexually involved with another man and pretend it was Henry. Well, if it had just been that, close her eyes and imagine it was Henry making her moan I wouldn't be so pissed, however it wasn't just some random dude she chose. It was Gomez. Gomez who is married to her best friend. Gomez who has loved her for nearly two decades. She doesn't just almost ruin a friendship and a marriage with her shenanigans, she also callously disregards feelings SHE IS WELL AWARE OF by getting involved with him when she has absolutely no affection of that sort for poor Gomez. I'm sorry, but there is only so far that playing the grief card will get you in my book.
Her actions in that scene were too horrendous. It changed the way I viewed her as a person and almost made me view the book in an entirely different light. (hide spoiler)]
The only reason this book got the four star rating is because I distanced myself from that reprehensible scene, knowing the rest of the book was well written, intriguing and fun and doesn't deserve to be dragged down to two stars - maybe less - because of that one scene.
Read it and skip that scene.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
In a world full of supervillains(called Epics) with no superheroes to oppose them, non-powered humans live Dickensien lives in cities ruled by the EpiIn a world full of supervillains(called Epics) with no superheroes to oppose them, non-powered humans live Dickensien lives in cities ruled by the Epics. Only the Reckoners try to fight back and return the balance.
I read this book for research essentially. I've got my own superhero story I've been toying with for years but have been waiting on an artist(I'm nowhere near the talent level needed for a graphic novel). However I sold a short story that was a prequel for one of the characters and it went over real well, so I've been thinking about doing the story as novels. I wanted to check out what is already out, see how well they've been received, how well they're written, if there's a certain style they have.
Steelheart certainly reads like a comic book in written form, characters called 'Prof' wearing their stylish black lab coat - tell me that doesn't seem fresh off the page.
While the story line in general wasn't too predictable, pretty much all the major twists were for me (view spoiler)[ Megan and Prof having powers, Prof being a gifter, that powers make you a megalomaniac. Pretty much the only one I didn't get was that Megan was Firefight. I did get misled by the Superman S red herring though (David's dad was wearing a Superman shirt and Abraham has a piece of S-sheild jewelry and they mentioned at least twice that a symbol could be an Epic's weakness so I thought that would be Steelheart's, but no). (hide spoiler)] This didn't ruin the story for me though. It was kind of like watching a favourite movie for the tenth time: sure you know what's coming, but you still enjoy it.
I liked some of the little touches to give depth to the characters that didn't get a lot of page time (like Tia and her Cola addiction), but thought David's over-confidence was a bit much at times. I got he was a gun expert and it made sense for him to be proud of that, but he crashed every vehicle he touched - stop thinking you can drive kid!
The researching on guns was magnificent, and I know people who argue the merits of handguns vs rifles in reality, so loved this banter between Megan and David.
Overall, I thought it was good fun if a touch predictable.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I'll admit, it got a bit slow in the middle there (originally when I was reading the books as they were being released I rage quit the series, refWow.
I'll admit, it got a bit slow in the middle there (originally when I was reading the books as they were being released I rage quit the series, refusing to go on until it was finished, and I'll confess even on this re-read of the first eight/first read of the final six I got bogged down and might have quit again were I not reading via audio book) but this finale was worth EVERY SECOND.
I'm left with a sense of loss, both for a few dear characters who didn't survive Tarmon Gai'don and for the end of this series that I started in my early teens.
Worth the wait and worth the time in my opinion. ...more
Kip wants to go to the moon. A determined young man he won't let anything get in his way, so he enters a competition with a trip to the moon as a prizKip wants to go to the moon. A determined young man he won't let anything get in his way, so he enters a competition with a trip to the moon as a prize 5,000-odd times. But he only gets the runner up prize, a spacesuit. While testing it out he hears a distress call and a spaceship from the moon lands with a young girl and an alien inside, followed by more aliens from whom they were escaping. Kip is going to the moon now, but it won't be the trip he was expecting.
Kip is a highly driven and intelligent young man, his father is interesting, the Mother Thing and Peewee are both great and intriguing characters and the Wormfaces make fabulously creepy villains.
Sometimes the scentific descriptions got a little too much and were skim-read as a result, but this was rare. Overall it was an action packed adventure and I can't wait until my son is a little older so I can read it to him :)...more
I’ve been a fan of this anthology before I ever read it, before it was even compiled. I helped with the crowdfunding for Kaleidoscope – you can see myI’ve been a fan of this anthology before I ever read it, before it was even compiled. I helped with the crowdfunding for Kaleidoscope – you can see my name on page 438 (second column near the bottom). What appealed to me about this anthology was the fact it would focus on a more diverse range of protagonists, both from the perspective of race, sexual preference and (my favourite) neurodiversity.
The anthology did not let me down at all. While there was one story that just didn’t fully click with me (the idea was awesome but the characters and the story didn’t move me), it was only one out of twenty, and it wasn’t bad, just not exactly my cup of tea. I really liked a lot of them, and really, really liked the rest.
Tansy Rayner Roberts’ ‘Cookie-Cutter Superhero’ had wonderful characters and an amazing concept, but the ending felt much more like the end of a chapter than the end of a tale – not that I didn’t enjoy it, and I would read the hell out of that book if/when she releases it.
Vanilla was definitely one of my favourites. I loved the hairies and her relationship with them, and her background was wonderfully detailed. The ending was certainly a surprise too :)
The Chupacabra’s Song was probably my most favourite. The mixture of magic and the nuerologically diverse character and then add a legendary animal – you had me at hello ;p
Walkdog was really something different, and certainly impressed me – despite a regular desire to backhand the POV character.
I intend to write up my opinions on more of the stories but I’m pressed for time, so I'll have to come back and add them later.
I really enjoyed the diversity of characters and very rarely did it feel like their gender preference or colour had just been painted on for the appearance of diversity. I NEVER felt that the neuro diversity was painted on – every single time it was integral to the plot and character both and I really loved that.
However I was mildly disappointed that nearly all of the homosexual characters were female. I’ve noticed a distinct tendency for lesbians to be more accepted than gay men. I’ve literally stood in the presence of a bigot (not entirely willingly) who went from whinging his fears about a rumour one of the men on his favourite sports team might be gay and how that ‘just wasn’t on, he shouldn’t be kicked off the team’, and seconds later was commenting on how hot it would be if the two very attractive friends with me(both female) made out. While he’s clearly not the best example of a good person, he does effectively show my point. I’m now quite determined to write more gay men into my stories.
All up I absolutely adored the anthology and am so glad I donated during the crowdfunding phase. I recommend this anthology to anyone and everyone...more
Strange events cause twins Jaide and Jack to have to move from their somewhat-exploded house to their grandmother's home in Portland, Victoria. TheirStrange events cause twins Jaide and Jack to have to move from their somewhat-exploded house to their grandmother's home in Portland, Victoria. Their Grandmother is weird and the longer they're in town the more weird stuff seems to happen. Soon the twins will find out the meaning behind their grandomother's nick name for them: troubletwisters.
First up I'm not the target market for this book. This book is middle grade and I'm in my thirties, but I won a copy and I've been wanting to read something by Garth Nix for ages so figured here we go.
Sadly this book had one of my greatest fiction pet-peeves: the trope of the protagonist being kept in the dark by others with no more of a reason than the plot just isn't ready to divulge it yet. 'Not now,' says Grandma X. 'Here, drink some memory erasing hot chocolate,' she says. 'You'll find out when you're ready to know.' Are you kidding me? Please tell me I'm not the only person who hates this junk. True enough at the end of the book we receive a bit more of an answer as to why secrets couldn't be revealed earlier, but even that answer seems to have a rather heavy dose of the-author-needs-a-reason-so-here-it-is. The book even ends warning us there's more of this to come in the following books.
I think overall this book could have been shorter. This first hundred or so pages plodded along with lack of answer after lack of answer, then we even got a dose of the old 'thinking the person obviously helping you is a bad guy' move. This is all right in my opinion if the reader genuinely thinks they might be a bad guy, but when the character is blatantly helping (despite being a douche about answering questions) it feels rather cheap.
However, once the action kicks in things get good. The slow lack of plot becomes a quick moving river of action and a certain amount of velocity kicks in. I'm certain I read the last two thirds in half the time it took me to read the first third.
The powers and ideas in the story are really cool concepts, and I can see this being something the target audience could really get into. If they can get past the start....more
Miller is a hard-boiled cop working on a Belt(asteroid belt) station given a case by his CO to find a girl and return her to her parents - a kidnap joMiller is a hard-boiled cop working on a Belt(asteroid belt) station given a case by his CO to find a girl and return her to her parents - a kidnap job. Holden is an XO on a ice transport vessel, until a strange discovery leads him to tragically becoming a captain. In his grief of the moment he makes a broadcast which may start war between Mars, the Belt and maybe even Earth.
The book alternates chapter by chapter between Miller and Holden as Miller's case becomes more entangled in everything and Holden's well-meaning integrity and ability to be in the right place at the wrong time exacerbates everything.
The world is amazing and well thought out, I love the details like Belters shrug with their hands because a shoulder movement would not be noticeable in a spacesuit and how they have their own sort of lingo. Particularly interesting is their outlooks, those on Mars, Luna, Earth, and the Belt all have different outlooks on life which affect their decisions and actions.
Miller can at times come off as a typical noir detective, but he's a bit cooler than just the stereotype. Most of the women are secondary characters, but none of them are handkerchief waving damsels. Holden's XO is so reliable he keeps forgetting there are limits to her knowledge because most of the time it seems like there isn't.
A surpsing number of books lately have been disappointing me with their endings, but not this one. Solid good end, and good for a series too since you could leave it at this book(no frustrating cliffhanging or way too open-ended finale), or you can move onto the next book easily.
The only thing that really bugged me was (view spoiler)[ how EVERYONE seems to think the protomolecule is a weapon, a threat from this powerful other civilisation, not just some scientific intervention a la 2001: A Space Odyssey. The fact no one even seems to consider it feels a little unbelievable to me. If this crops up as a 'twist' in later books, I will have to roll my eyes. (hide spoiler)] but that's pretty much my only real quibble.
I intend to read the rest of the series soon and have learned there's a TV series coming out next year and really look forward to seeing it.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
In the future historians are able to use time travel to better research the past, however some periods are deemed to dangerous to attend. Eager to seeIn the future historians are able to use time travel to better research the past, however some periods are deemed to dangerous to attend. Eager to see the medieval times, Kivrin Engle finds a way, against the advice of her Professor, Dunworthy, and Dr. Mary Ahrens. However, shortly after the 'drop' sends her to the supposedly safe time of 1320, the technician Badri collapses with a new illness which defeats all his medical enhancements. This disease spreads, but not before Badri tells Dunworthy that something went wrong with the drop.
The characters were diverse and well-fleshed out, even many of the secondary characters, and the ultimate fate of Kivrin was never obvious (I was constantly flip-flopping as to whether she was stuck in the past or not).
One thing I was regularly confused about was the exact nature of the relationship between Kivrin and Dunworthy. It seemed very father/daughter, what with his protectiveness and tenacity to try and assist her, but it didn't seem they were blood related. I wondered for a time if they weren't romantically involved, but it didn't quite read that way either. So why was he so determined to do anything to help her? I don't have a problem with it really, just it seemed like he was going far above and beyond the 'she's my favourite student' sort of reaction.
Because the story shifts between Kivrin's POV in the past and Dunworthy's in the future there was some repeated information. I think in several cases it could have been handled better. Yes, both individuals might think of a conversation they'd shared previously, but going through all the details of that conversation both times seems unnecessary. This happened on more than one occasion and it started to bug me after a while.
Also I felt like some (to me) obvious conclusions were being drawn out unnecessarily long in the narrative for tension's sake. this might be more because I often like predicting and anticipating twists so might not be a problem had by others. As I did say before the most important thing - whether Kivrin would return safely to the future or not - was something I was never certain of though.
Despite my complaints I still really enjoyed the book and had fun reading it....more
Duke Leto Atreides knows Arrakis is a trap, but he must enter it regardless. Onto this dangerous planet which is the only place one can find the much-Duke Leto Atreides knows Arrakis is a trap, but he must enter it regardless. Onto this dangerous planet which is the only place one can find the much-treasured spice, he brings his beloved concubine, Jessica, and his son and heir Paul as well as his many trusted advisors - one of whom is a traitor planted by his enemy Baron Vladimir Harkkonen.
While the story is set on a non-Earth planet, with laser weapons, invisible personal shields, spaceships and other typically science fiction fare, it also features typically fantasy devices like prophecies, hand to hand combat, and nomadic people. The two genres mesh together wonderfully, mixing it up spiritually, politically, even environmentally. There's so many layers to the world building you can't help but feel impressed.
I was a bit disappointed by the way Herbert told the reader virtually from the start who was the traitor, it did create more sympathy for certain characters (sorry for the vagueness, trying not to make spoilers), but i feel it would have been more fun/suspenseful if we hadn't known immediately, before any treachery was even wrought.
I did love the fact that most of the women portrayed in the story were strong and fleshed-out. The political plays were interesting, complex but not to the point where you couldn't make sense of it all.
Also I was a bit weirded out by the normal sounding names of Paul and Jessica thrown in amongst all the more unusual names. Not a big issue, just a random 'huh?' moment.
Ending related spoiler here: (view spoiler)[I did feel a touch jipped at the end after all the wind-up of Thufir thinking Jessica was the traitor and they were going to meet at the end and I was expecting some ka-blewy action, but then that sub-plot fizzled at the end. (hide spoiler)] Apart from that the ending was intriguing and satisfying.
I can definitely see how this is a bestselling book and recommend it for science fiction fans, fantasy lovers and people who dig political intrigue.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Hunting what they expect to be some amazing sea monster, Dr Arronax, his faithful servant Conseil, and harpoonist Ned Land find themselves bundled aboHunting what they expect to be some amazing sea monster, Dr Arronax, his faithful servant Conseil, and harpoonist Ned Land find themselves bundled aboard a massive submarine unlike anything imagined and taken prisoner by Captain Nemo.
Now, considering the time the book was written during, a lot of the inventions come across in the story were years ahead of their time(though now are well known) so I must give Verne his due for an amazing and highly scientific imagination, however the book quite often slipped off into long and detailed descriptions of exactly how everything worked. the opening pages of the book are a good example: a long, thorough description of whales, followed by a detailed running down of where each siting of the giant 'thing' has been and what happened, then a details listing of why it can't be a submarine and why it can't be a cetacean.
And OMG, it might have just been the particular translation i read, but not chapter was complete with out at least two mentions of the word 'cetacean'. Minimum. Sometimes no page was complete without the word being used. but that's just me picking up on repetitive words like a crazy person.
Anyway, my only issue was the frequent stopping of the story to explain how things worked and details of certain things. This is a particular dislike of mine and why I used avoid stories defined as 'science fiction', because a lot of science fiction I read when I was younger was that way and it turned me off the genre. I have however been enjoying a lot of sci-fi recently, and a lot of stories don't get too bogged down in details.
While it was quite accurate to mens behaviour during that time period, I also wasn't a big fan of the rampant animal killing. Ok, sure enough kill those giant squids, that's fight or die - but the poor little otter? Nope. Not my kind of thing.
I wanted to know a little more about Nemo, find out precisely what had happened, so was a little sad in the end to not know it all, but I at least learned enough.
Is it weird that Consei was my favorite character? That guy had serious courage and serious devotion. I would have loved to have learned more about him.
Overall, a good story that just got bogged down too often in minuitae....more
While this was still quite an enjoyable book, having watched too many movies based on this book I knew the vast majority of the plot. The book does hoWhile this was still quite an enjoyable book, having watched too many movies based on this book I knew the vast majority of the plot. The book does however better explain the mechanics both of the time machine itself and the origin of the Morlock/Eloi races.