**spoiler alert** Running Fire is a romance about an Army helicopter pilot and a Navy SEAL. The pilot’s helicopter is shot down while going to pick so**spoiler alert** Running Fire is a romance about an Army helicopter pilot and a Navy SEAL. The pilot’s helicopter is shot down while going to pick someone up in a valley in Afghanistan, and she’s the only survivor. She’s rescued by the Navy SEAL and they have to hang out in a cave for a few days while she heals and he does recon. Eventually they are surrounded by Taliban and they have to sneak out the back and head to another cave.
She has PTSD and has horrible nightmares which are only held at bay by being cuddled, so obviously eventually they kiss and have sex. She has had sex before but it was only with her rape-y husband and a couple of rape-y one-night-stands in college, so it totally doesn’t count and she’s practically a virgin. He gets to teach her everything she knows about being pleasured as a woman. Between that and the caves it’s actually quite like The Valley of Horses, now that I think about it.
They play cave hopscotch for a while and the reader learns that there are lots of caves in Afghanistan, and most of them have water in them, and some of them have supplies left by other US military types, and some of them have Taliban, but that’s okay, you can shoot them and steal their clothes and horses.
The caves without Taliban are great for having sex in. Sexy cave sex.
Eventually they make it back to base and after that it’s much less interesting. I would have read more about the walking and the caves and the romance, but then I did really enjoy The Lord of the Rings.
They finally end up back in his ol’ Kentucky home, where they eat cookies and hold hands and go for a walk in the woods and decide to buy a big house and she’ll stay home and have babies instead of applying for the local hospital helicopter pilot job. (Buying a big house and quitting work before you get pregnant is a recipe for tempting-fate induced infertility if you ask me. I know a couple who bought a big house before they were pregnant, and then they couldn’t get pregnant and they ended up getting divorced. True story.)
(That was not a spoiler because this is a romance book. Okay fine, I will hide this review.)
This book had the biggest body count of any romance I’ve ever read: the three people in the helicopter, three Taliban, two more Taliban, six more Taliban (I think), plus that other guy, so that’s fifteen. I don’t think I missed any. But then we are at war.
Running Fire was actually a pretty good read. It could have used some more editing, but the characters were compelling and I enjoyed the chemistry between the leads. The man was supernaturally sensitive and respectful (which was nice after reading The Caves of Steel where the man was basically an angry jerk). I enjoyed the portrayal of enthusiastic consent.
The woman was tough and funny. I thought the portrayals of PTSD and spousal abuse was pretty effective, although I don’t know how realistic they were since I don’t have much knowledge of either.
This was a satisfactory way to while away an afternoon when I was too sick to face the giant Alan Turing book with all the math (Alan Turing: The Enigma....more
I read this years ago, probably when I was in high school. I picked it up again now because Delphine just read the Robot books and I wanted a refresheI read this years ago, probably when I was in high school. I picked it up again now because Delphine just read the Robot books and I wanted a refresher.
It’s so strange reading science fiction written a long time ago, because you get to see what kinds of things the author thought were problems to be solved. For example, Asimov clearly didn’t think the problem of sexism was at issue, because he kept it, whole cloth, in his future. Racism has evaporated completely, along with non-white people, and apparently no-one ever thought to make eyeglass lenses out of anything other than glass.
But it’s easy to pick on old science fiction for being short-sighted and wrong. In forty years our new science fiction will also be short-sighted and wrong. I didn't enjoy this for other reasons: I didn’t like the main character, Elijah Bailey. He is emotional, short-tempered and inclined to melodrama. That might be another result of the era the book was written, though, now that I think about it. The main character in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life is also emotional, short-tempered and inclined to melodrama. Maybe that’s just how they wrote men back then.
The mystery was fine -- quite mysterious, lots of misdirects, satisfactory resolution.
Anyway, I was going to read a couple more Robot books, but I think one is enough for now....more
**spoiler alert** I read this under duress, for book club. I wasn't excited to read it, but sometimes it's nice to read what "everyone else" is readin**spoiler alert** I read this under duress, for book club. I wasn't excited to read it, but sometimes it's nice to read what "everyone else" is reading, so I slogged through it. (Most of the way -- I skipped a couple of chapters towards the end because I was running out of time. I'm quite confident I didn't miss anything important.)
I liked Gone Girl at the beginning: I liked the characters, even though they were both whiny and annoying. I love a flawed protagonist, and I liked the (I thought) honest portrayal of a messed up marriage between two basically nice but screwed up people.
But then it went from Nick Hornsby to Stephen King (but not as good as either) with the turn of a page: the nice, pretty, "cool" girl was revealed to be a scheming, evil sociopath and the self-absorbed, cheating, abusive husband was revealed to be the nice-guy victim of her malicious plan. It's an MRA's wet dream, basically.
The character Nick was interesting and rich with possibilities: how does someone who was brought up to be a misogynist function when the most important people in his life are women, and when he's smart enough to realize that his misogyny is anachronistic and wrong? The character of Fake Amy was interesting, too; how does a city girl manage when she's moved to a small town and her husband doesn't seem interested in her any more? How does she make friends and find her place in this unfamiliar milieu?
I was much more interested in the real problems of real Nick and fake Amy than the author was; she decided to make the book a more lucrative, easier to write, more sensational thriller.
I think that's why I disliked this book so much: I started to enjoy a book which never finished, but which changed midstream into a completely different kind of book....more
We have the Scholastic edition of this book, and it has literally fallen apart from re-reading by Delphine. Also she stops conversations to read out fWe have the Scholastic edition of this book, and it has literally fallen apart from re-reading by Delphine. Also she stops conversations to read out funny parts (even though she knows I have read it myself). Great writing, great characters....more
What I Saw and How I Lied starts off as another light teen romance novel, the kind I've been raiding from my daughter's bookshelves through the ChristWhat I Saw and How I Lied starts off as another light teen romance novel, the kind I've been raiding from my daughter's bookshelves through the Christmas holiday. But it seamlessly transforms into a mature whodunnit and a beautifully crafted coming of age story. I might send a copy of this book to my Mum....more
This was a book club read, and we basically hated it. We didn't like the style, we didn't like the allegory, we didn't like the ending. Okay, I likedThis was a book club read, and we basically hated it. We didn't like the style, we didn't like the allegory, we didn't like the ending. Okay, I liked the ending but no-one else did, I think. On the plus side, I blew through this book in a few hours in one afternoon; it moved along pretty easily and the story was good, but the characters' motivations were unconvincing. This book was trying too hard to be clever....more
This book was fine - it was a quick read and a good story. The characters weren't particularly rich, and the writing was rushed and flat sometimes, buThis book was fine - it was a quick read and a good story. The characters weren't particularly rich, and the writing was rushed and flat sometimes, but it got the job done....more