This surpassed my expectations. Even though I've heard amazing things, and was assuming it would be great, it still surpassed my expectations. Needles...moreThis surpassed my expectations. Even though I've heard amazing things, and was assuming it would be great, it still surpassed my expectations. Needless to say, I loved it.
I loved the premise, loved way the story was told via flashbacks vs. "now", I loved the idea of the world that women create (I didn't love the world and the chaos (nor do I think that women couldn't in actuality keep things running smoothly), but rather how how interesting it was), loved the art, loved the mystery of why these two males survived, and loved the potential of this story...I sound like I'm gushing, and I guess I am. I enjoyed it that much. When I finished this volume, I cursed myself for not having volume two already. I hope I can get my hands on it (and all the rest) soon.(less)
This book deserves a much more detailed and thought-out review, which I'll give it when I have time to do both the thinking-out and the writing, but f...moreThis book deserves a much more detailed and thought-out review, which I'll give it when I have time to do both the thinking-out and the writing, but for now I just want to write a quick review: I'm having some trouble coming up with a plot summary, but this book is genius, fascinating, exciting, deep, mind-blowing, epic-feeling, and wonderful. Probably a few other great things as well. Tim Powers is my new favorite author. I'd decided he was just based on and interview and descriptions of his books, but having read him, I am not disappointed.
While reading this I was attending a six-hours-a-day, week long training session and I read during every five-minute break and lunch break we got (as well as some that I manufactured), and even though I was in an echo-y room with around thirty other people doing paperwork, I couldn't stop myself from exclaiming and trying to advise the characters out loud. It's that good, and sucked me in that much.
Charles Unwin is not a detective. He doesn't know how to be a detective. (Although he has been making unofficial trips for unofficial reasons...) He's...moreCharles Unwin is not a detective. He doesn't know how to be a detective. (Although he has been making unofficial trips for unofficial reasons...) He's merely the clerk who reviews and files all the reports of the Agency's star detective, Travis Sivart. But when Unwin finds himself suddenly promoted to the rank of detective, he reluctantly decides to solve just the one case that will return his life to the status quo: Where is Sivart? He will allow himself to read just enough of his new copy of "The Manual of Detection" to do the job and no more. But as the case becomes deeper and wider in scope than Unwin could ever have forseen, and the future of the city is threatened, he finds himself rising to the challenge--and when people's dreaming lives overtake their waking ones, Unwin must follow...
I bought this book because I saw the author read two selections from it and was excited. I knew I had to read it, and suspected it was something special. I was right. The premise is fantastic, the characters are sympathetic, the action is exciting, the ideas are fascinating, the writing is excellent, the mysteries are interesting...I honestly can't say enough good things about this book. Also, I don't have a single complaint. Oh, and the cover is beautiful.
Seriously, this amazing book defies both summarization and categorization, but I'll do my best. It is both mystery and fantasy. There's no magic and nothing actually supernatural, but the nameless city Unwin lives in seems surreal in its noir-ishness and it's constant rain. The setting and characters and locations are hard-boiled, but its detective is not. It is also humerous--but while there are some moments of great humor, but there are no specific laugh-out-loud lines to point out, because it's situationally hilarious.
Unwin's lack of real experience with detecting and with the gritty city outside of his apartment and his office, and even with the hierarchical world of the Agency, allows us to learn about them along with him--and yet his academic knowledge of them, via his close reading of Sivart's reports, allows him to sometimes be a step or two ahead of us and to keep us guessing.
Then there's the dream detecting. This book crosses into similar territory as the movie Inception, but from a different angle, and with a different science. In both concepts, your dreams can be used against you. But in The Manual of Detection, everything that happens in dreams can affect what happens in real life--might even be happening in real life. There is dream surveillance, dream communication, and there are dreams within dreams within dreams within dreams. The dimensions of sleeping and dreaming that the book gets into are new and interesting.
I love this book and recommend it to anyone who has an open mind and likes quality writing.(less)
Neil Gaiman and Batman. My favorite author and the most human and interesting of all superheroes. It sounds like a winning combination, and it is.
In t...moreNeil Gaiman and Batman. My favorite author and the most human and interesting of all superheroes. It sounds like a winning combination, and it is.
In the titular story, Batman is no more, and as his friends, acquaintances, and enemies gather to say goodbye, they share their very different stories about how the Caped Crusader met his end. Most of the stories are thought-provoking, some are contradictory, and some are downright shocking...and there's no way of knowing which--if any--are true.
The rest of this book is comprised of past Batman stories penned by Gaiman, a longtime writer of comics and graphic novels.
This has some really fascinating ideas about Batman. It has kind of changed the way I see the character. Not that I know anything new for sure, but...there's that possibility.(less)
I love Ender's Game as well as Ender Wiggin, and that book will always be my favorite of the Ender books, not to mention one of my all around favorite...moreI love Ender's Game as well as Ender Wiggin, and that book will always be my favorite of the Ender books, not to mention one of my all around favorites. That being said, I think this book is better. It revealed dimensions of Ender's Game that fascinated (and kind of angered) me, it had many remarkable characters (some of which touched my heart and some of which chilled my blood), and plenty of dramatic events that made me rejoice or cry (and sometimes both).
I gave this book five stars because it was wonderful and it's also one of my favorites. I would probably even recommend it to people who for some reason can't or don't want to read Ender's Game for some bizarre reason, because I think it could stand on it's own. I really do love this book, and really like Bean. But I love Ender, and I love Ender's Game more.
My brother had to buy me this copy because he borrowed my original copy that I bought in Israel and gave it back to me so beat up that it was only technically still in one piece.(less)
I had extremely high hopes for this (not expectations; I've been disappointed before). Spike is my favorite character from the Buffy-verse and from se...moreI had extremely high hopes for this (not expectations; I've been disappointed before). Spike is my favorite character from the Buffy-verse and from several other 'verses besides--and hands-down the one I most want to look at a book full of pictures of--and it's not all because of how hot he is. I like his character, his personality, his attitude, the things he says, and yes, the depth of feeling he has always been capable of, soul or not. And I don't like it when he's written out of character, or misunderstood or not appreciated by the author. As I said, I've been disappointed before. But, thankfully, not by this. Not AT ALL.
This was Spike: The humor inherent in the way he talks and thinks, which here we were privy to. His interesting and unique (I hope) worldview. His passionate loyalty to the few people he allows into his world. His talent for both buttkicking and being tortured (if an tendency to attract torture--dare I say a propensity?--can really be called a skill, which in Spike's case I think it can). The leather coat. Lots of other little habits and quirks that are part of all that is Spike.
Plus there was the incredible cover, which I could stare at for a very long time (I'm so glad I waited for the softcover--even the clerk who rang me up commented on how great it looked). I also really liked the art inside, even of Spike, although I do agree with another reviewer that he could have been "cuter." One page in particular blew me away so much that I have a bookmark there and want to blow it up and frame it.
I should probably also mention the plot. It's great. Basically it's the story of how Spike, along with Illyria/Fred, came to find his place in the world of LA-gone-to-Hell and to collect his ersatz Scooby Gang. He meets people, some of them human and some less so. Some try to kill him, some try to have sex with him. Pretty usual for Spike. The first chapter was funny and a good set up for the darker story of the other three. The end is both a resolution and promise that Spike goes on.(less)