First off looking back this is probably the first one star I have ever given and in some respects this isn't the worst piece of literature I've ever r...moreFirst off looking back this is probably the first one star I have ever given and in some respects this isn't the worst piece of literature I've ever read. But by about 2/3s of the way through I was hating the story and almost didn't bother finishing.
And the reason? Well it all comes down to the ridiculous plot. I like the steampunk genre and can happily read stories bordering on the ridiculous as long as they make sense and unfortunately the foundation of the entire plot here just didn't.
We are in New York and there are raptors flying around kidnapping people never to be seen again. Why? So they can have their blood tested against a tentacled monster that eats people. Ok that I can get excited about until it turns out... and this isn't a spoiler it's obvious from the first scene he's in... That the man responsible is in charge of the city and instead of subtly arranging these people to be kidnapped in the traditional non-raptor way he decides to create mass panic.
And there's another thing We are led to believe New York is under seige by these creatures but at the end of the book everyone is enjoying an evening at the fair.
It is a contradictory story which relies on every steampunk cliche for action and reason without ever setting that great ambiance a good steampunk novel has.
Couple this with a handful of monotone uninspiring characters this book quickly becomes a lame Doctor Who episode and maybe on screen it would work but on paper it is just utter nonsense.
If you have never read a steampunk novel stay clear of this one it doesn't do the genre justice.(less)
I don't normally read this type of thing. So why did I buy it? Well that was the question that kept me reading right until the end - what possibly com...moreI don't normally read this type of thing. So why did I buy it? Well that was the question that kept me reading right until the end - what possibly compelled me to purchase a book about government conspiracies and terrorism? To be honest I think it was a mistake - probably something to do with the creepy cover and not reading the blurb properly. So my next comments should be taken in context - I don't read books of this genre normally out of preference.
This is a thriller set all over Europe which is a treat. You get a sense of each place and country. Weather is important and effective and helps set the mood. The story is well written, I believe it is translated, but nothing seems to be lost in the English version.
However the story just isn't grabbing enough. The characters, of which there are a lot to choose from initially, don't seem to develop and are impossible to relate to. They are mainly well off, sophisticated Europeans who work ridiculous hours and wear Armani. Most of the characters are drawn into the insane conspiracy plot through chance, meaning their entire lives are ripped apart for very little reason other than they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. The plot itself borders on shambolic and farcical, trying to loop too many loose ends into one anticlimactic finish.
Unfortunately this book couldn't decide on a lead character, probably because they were all without massive personality, and so the steps in plot just rolled into one chase after another where the characters felt lost, sad, panicked, stoic, determined all for the circle to repeat itself in the next chapter without any growth or development.
By the end of the book I was left with the overwhelming question - what was the point?
I would read another book by this author especially one set in Europe and if you like spy thrillers then give it ago, but if you're looking for something darker with deeper characters I wouldn't bother.(less)
I love the Charlie Parker series and not having an installment last year I was eagerly awaiting this book. It did not disappoint. Connolly is one of m...moreI love the Charlie Parker series and not having an installment last year I was eagerly awaiting this book. It did not disappoint. Connolly is one of my favourite writers and this book is a foreboding, frightening tale. In many of the other stories in the series it's the monster that terrifies the reader, but in this story it's the fate of Charlie Parker which kept me up all night. We are so emotionally invested in Charlie and Connolly continues to allude to some big nasty coming his way.
Not to give any spoilers to the ending I can summarise it as follows: OMG WTF!!!!!!
This book is amazing - you must read it as part of the series and it probably needs to be read twice to really absorb it fully - but definitely read it.(less)
The first thing that surprised me about the book was the twists. What seemed obvious was turned on its head. This is a clever, well thought out story...moreThe first thing that surprised me about the book was the twists. What seemed obvious was turned on its head. This is a clever, well thought out story and it didn't fall into the cliches a lot of books like this take.
The characters were very human and Howey allows you to grow fond of them right before bumping them off in some horrific way. As well as the characters Howey's setting is equally as realistic. The chapters are claustrophobic and oppressive and the reader really does get the sense of what it is like in the Silo.
This is an enjoyable read, different from what I was expecting and from similar things I've read before.
So why not five stars? Well there are two reasons. There were chunks of story which just felt missing. The reader spends a lot of time in one small space and then we blink and the world has jumped forward. Although this is a long story it flows fast at the changes in time were abrupt and sometimes a little disappointing.
And secondly, although it did not deter from the reading at the time when I finished the book and tried to describe it I realised that each nail biting scene was really just a rehash over the same formula over and over. Something is needed to change the course of the plot, that something is somewhere dangerous, it's traumatic and life threatening, and then things are accomplished. After a dozen events like this it gets a bit repetitive. By the end of the book I was getting a bit bored of the lack of oxygen driving the tension, but the writing was strong enough to absorb me in the plot even if it did feel a bit like a deja vu.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good apocalypse novel or anyone just out for a different thriller.(less)
I really, really wanted to like this book. I love Raylan Givens as a character and thought the short story Fire in the Hole was amazing, but this book...moreI really, really wanted to like this book. I love Raylan Givens as a character and thought the short story Fire in the Hole was amazing, but this book just lacked something for me.
Leonard's writing is effortless and his settings are very engrossing and believable, which is probably why I stuck it out to the end. But unlike his other books I really felt that this story was just filled with infuriating characters.
The first part of the book was set up nicely, with a botched heist and some great action. But as the story moves away from the marshal world and into Raylan's personal life things take a downturn.
His partner Joy is still infatuated with her ex Harry - for reasons I still cannot see. And when Harry goes missing she forces Raylan to look for him, while still being pretty horrible to him. Harry is an alcoholic loser, who was irritating in the earlier story, but is even worse in this story and his kidnappers are just variations on the same dysfunctional wastes of space.
By the end of the book I hated them all apart from Raylan and it would have made more sense if Raylan had just thrown in the towel and left them all to it.
The story lacked the slick excitement of other Givens' books and really relied heavily on the previous novel Pronto to set up the characters.
This book is by no means terrible but it's not in the same ball park as Pronto or Fire in the Hole.(less)
This book was beautifully written. The history aspect of the story was excellent - incredibly interesting and absorbing. It was easy to get into the f...moreThis book was beautifully written. The history aspect of the story was excellent - incredibly interesting and absorbing. It was easy to get into the feel of 19th Century New York, while at the same time keeping true to the history.
The story started off well - fire, murder - it was a real page turner, but the more the lead character Tim carried on through the plot the more his benign character started to effect the book. He was supposed to be an excellent police man (copper star) because he used to be a bar man and then it turned out he wasn't a great police man at all.
With about a quarter of the story to go I guessed everything - not because I'm particularly sharp, but just because it wasn't the most original plot and still there seemed to be several chapters at the end of the book that just didn't need to be there - dragging out a mediocre ending.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in history, especially New York history, but if you're after good crime fiction this is probably going to annoy you.
(If Valentine, Tim's brother, had been the lead this book could have got 5 stars easily)(less)
I was really surprised to find how much I enjoyed this book. It was very slow at first and I have to confess I dragged out the first few chapters over...moreI was really surprised to find how much I enjoyed this book. It was very slow at first and I have to confess I dragged out the first few chapters over a couple of weeks because I was busy and reading other things.
But then the plot changed and I couldn't put the book down. If someone hadn't been bringing me food all weekend I think I would have ended up as starving as the characters in the book.
Anyone interested in apocalyptic fiction, especially a Brit should definitely read the story. Would love to see it adapted into a film.(less)
At first this book seemed really interesting. The setting was originally. I liked the concept of a world totally in the dark and from that point of vi...moreAt first this book seemed really interesting. The setting was originally. I liked the concept of a world totally in the dark and from that point of view the idea was well thought out.
Unfortunately the characters all became quickly annoying. By the end of the book I hated John and the rest of Family were too irritating to warm to.
The plot kept promising a unique ending but either someone stole the last few chapters of my book or the whole point of this story was lost somewhere on Snowy Dark.
Well written, great ideas but predictable twist and lousy characters just left me in a bad mood by the time I got to the end.(less)
I am a big fan of the Gentleman Bastard series. I have to confess this isn't as good as the two previous books and after the long, long, long wait for...moreI am a big fan of the Gentleman Bastard series. I have to confess this isn't as good as the two previous books and after the long, long, long wait for it I was a little disappointed it wasn't as clever as the other two. However the writing was exceptional, the story continues to be original and I think this book is laying the foundations for a much stronger story which I can't wait to get stuck into.
Scott Lynch is a remarkable author and although it doesn't get five stars, because he has done better, it is still by far one of the best books I have read this year.(less)
I've been waiting for this for such a long time and I have to confess it isn't as well crafted a story as its predecessors, but the beloved characters...moreI've been waiting for this for such a long time and I have to confess it isn't as well crafted a story as its predecessors, but the beloved characters are still there and I dragged out the last 100 pages because I knew it would end and that would be it - but I did love it and am very sorry the story is now after more than 5 years over.(less)