The idea of this book is solid, and there are definitely moments that are fun and engaging. Unfortunately, the writing seems immature. The work is stiThe idea of this book is solid, and there are definitely moments that are fun and engaging. Unfortunately, the writing seems immature. The work is stilted, the dialogue is flat, and the characters are underdeveloped. I wish I could give it a higher rating, but the writing makes it difficult to just push it into the three star range....more
It begins with an ending. As world-famous actor Arthur Leander collapses onstage, dying from a heart attack, little do the people in the theater knowIt begins with an ending. As world-famous actor Arthur Leander collapses onstage, dying from a heart attack, little do the people in the theater know that a greater death is waiting outside. A civilization ending virus has spread the world, sparing few. Those that are left must come to terms with the fact that the world they knew is no more and must find their way in the new and chaotic world left behind.
I must admit, I'm not one who generally gravitates to post-apocalyptic/dystopian, but there was something about this novel that called to me. I questioned, more than once, why I had put this book on my "to-read" list. Still, I kept being drawn back to it, and I'm glad I was. I'm glad I gave in to its call. This is a beautifully written novel, following the paths of those who knew Arthur, weaving multiple lines into one consistent plot. The characters' incredible depth is only increased as their storylines intersect. It is emotionally intense even when there is a sense of detachment. It is a novel full of heartbreak but also full of hope. Masterfully written, it's a definite must read, even for those who don't normally lean toward this genre, and definitely one of the best books of the year. ...more
A book as appropriate and important today as the day it was written, Black Like Me is a sociological and anthropological look at prejudice and discrimA book as appropriate and important today as the day it was written, Black Like Me is a sociological and anthropological look at prejudice and discrimination centered around race relations. Yet, this can easily be seen in matters beyond race in many instances. While some of the issues have lessened and changed, others have become better hidden, and still others have simply shifted to other population groups, When reading one can see the familiar justifications and excuses still given today. An enlightening look at the dynamics that drive discrimination....more
As a long time reader of both this series and the author's Den of Antiquity series, I am beyond disappointed in this book. There is virtually no plotAs a long time reader of both this series and the author's Den of Antiquity series, I am beyond disappointed in this book. There is virtually no plot whatsoever. The characters are flat and beyond annoying. Basically, it seems the author has brought forth every pun, quip, and sarcastic comment ever used in the series and thrown them in this book to be repeated ad nauseam. On top of that, she seems to have taken every criticism or critique ever given to her by a reader or editor and made passive aggressive comments concerning them. This work simply comes off as a self-serving, lazy attempt that thumbs its nose at the readers. This is by far the worst book I've read this year, possibly longer....more
Lila Wilkins finds she's been laid off from her job at the local newspaper, a job she's held for years. Fortunately she immediately, and I mean immediLila Wilkins finds she's been laid off from her job at the local newspaper, a job she's held for years. Fortunately she immediately, and I mean immediately, finds a new job as an intern at a literary agency just one town over, actually in the town where her mother, a psychic, happens to live. Unfortunately, during the course of her first day she not only uncovers the drudgery of being a literary agent, but also meets a homeless many who regularly visits the agency, a homeless man who she will find dead, murdered, on the sofa in the reception area of her new employer. She spends the rest of the novel dealing with this man's death, her sometimes troublesome teenage son, her sometimes overbearing mother, and her libido, torn between two men new to her life.
I am an avid reader, and as such, honor and respect every aspect of the writing, editing, and publishing process. I have multiple friends who are writers and editors. To find a book that is so insistent on cramming down a reader's throat, the belief that the job of a literary agent is of the utmost importance, above and beyond all, seems a bit over the top. As if we avid readers did not already understand and appreciate the importance. Still the self-righteousness of this main character, not only about her current job, but about everything else concerning her, her mothering skills, her detective skills, even the fact that a house deserves a better owner, that owner being her, comes off so self-indulgent and shallow that Lila becomes unlikable. All of the characters seem to fall flat, and somehow the writing is both descriptive as well as stiff and stilted. It reads much like the work of a school child learning to write descriptive paragraphs, not like a skilled literary professional. The words are there, but the feelings, emotions, and connections are not. Unfortunately, the storyline is much the same. There is actually very little mystery to this mystery. There is little to no suspense. It becomes a focus on a large cast of characters, none of which are developed well enough to even be interesting. I most definitely will not be reading another edition of this series. ...more