So gerne ich Krimis, Thriller und Sci-Fi lese, zwischendurch darf es immer mal ein ruhigerer Roman sein, was fürs Herz und die lieben T• apfelwolken •
So gerne ich Krimis, Thriller und Sci-Fi lese, zwischendurch darf es immer mal ein ruhigerer Roman sein, was fürs Herz und die lieben Tränendrüsen.
„Morgen kommt ein neuer Himmel“ schien die richtige Mischung aus Sentimentalität und Selbstfindungsreise zu sein – ein schönes Buch also für heimelige Herbstnächte, während draußen die Blätter von den Bäumen fallen. Etliche Rezensionen schwärmten von der berührenden, verzaubernden Geschichte, einer liebenswerten Heldin und einer wichtigen Botschaft, die das Buch mitbringe. Dementsprechend gespannt war ich natürlich…
Eine stiefmütterlich abgehandelte Beerdigung. Der Einstieg in das Buch fiel nicht schwer, denn Spielmans kokette Schreibe liest sich flüssig und unterhaltsam, wodurch man problemlos schnell in die Geschichte hineinfand, in diesem Fall in die bedrückende Atmosphäre eines Beerdigungsessen.
Man muss eine trauernde Brett dabei beobachten, wie sie, vom Tod ihrer geliebten Mutter völlig erschüttert, alle bisher hehren Konventionen über Bord wirft und auf der Trauerfeier hemmungslos dem lieben Alkohol frönt.
Wen wundert‘s, denn Elizabeth war der wichtigste Mensch in Bretts Leben: Freundin, Vertraute, jemand der ihr in Zeiten der Verwirrung den Kopf wusch; eine feste Konstante also, die mit einem Mal weggebrochen war und Brett allein und einigermaßen hilflos zurückließ.
Leider konnte man die Trauer, die zwar ausgiebig zur Schau gestellt wurde, nicht so recht fühlen, denn Brett hat keine Denkschwierigkeiten damit, sich kurze Zeit nach der Beerdigung in geschäftliche Aktivitäten stürzen – immerhin gab es ein Millionenimperium zu erben und alles nötige dafür in die Wege zu leiten.
Wenn auf den ersten zwanzig Seiten eines Buches schon die ganze (eigentlich ja breite) Palette an Trauerarbeit, Anteilnahme, Loslösung und Start in einen neuen Lebensabschnitt abgehandelt werden, bleiben echte Emotionen leider gehörig auf der Strecke. So ist für mich die enge Beziehung zwischen Brett und ihrer verstorbenen Mutter leider nie so richtig greifbar gewesen.
Wie ein Fähnchen im Winde. Von da an ging es leider nur noch bergab. Brett blieb mir leider auch im weiteren Verlauf des Buches unsympathisch. Ihre oberflächliche Art, mit ihren Mitmenschen umzugehen; ihre ständige Passivität, wenn es darum ging, endlich mal Stellung im Leben zu beziehen; ihr Nichtbegreifen von Dingen, die dem Leser schon seit ewigen Zeiten klar waren; fortwährend schwankte sie zwischen Egoismus, Selbstmitleid und Enthusiasmus – all das hat sie für mich zu einem enervierenden, geistlosen Charakter gemacht.
Ich sehe sehr wohl die (kleine) Entwicklung, die sie im Laufe des Buches hingelegt hat, aber leider hat sie es nie geschafft ihre Oberflächlichkeit ganz abzulegen. Es reicht mir leider nicht, zig Mal gesagt zu bekommen, dass aus der einstmals oberflächlichen Heldin nun plötzlich ein tiefschürfender Mensch geworden ist – es muss sich auch in Worten und Taten der Figur widerspiegeln und hier konnte Brett mich absolut nicht überzeugen.
Brett drehte sich wie ein Fähnchen im Winde, „liebte“ mal den, dann mal jenen – gerade so wie es ihr in den Kram passte – und ständig tat “ihr Herz einen Hüpfer” - nerv! Es war nicht ernst zu nehmen und auch ein bisschen lächerlich.
Eine abstruse Verkettung zweckdienlicher Ereignisse. Es ist schon höchst beeindruckend – und realistisch betrachtet unmöglich -, wie Bretts verstorbene Mutter die Geschicke ihrer im Leben festgefahrenen Tochter aus dem Grab heraus lenkte. Entweder die Frau hatte hellseherische Fähigkeiten oder es gibt den Himmel wirklich, von wo aus sie all die Ereignisse, Begegnungen und Situationen steuerte.
Schon gut, ich begreife ja, dass es sich um einen Roman handelt (steht ja glücklicherweise groß auf dem Cover) und dass in einem Roman nicht alles immer total wirklichkeitsnah sein muss. Aber alles hat seine Grenzen. Die Aneinanderreihung unwahrscheinlicher Zufälle nimmt in „Morgen kommt ein neuer Himmel“ ganz neue Dimensionen an und wirkt dadurch übermäßig konstruiert, unrealistisch und an den Haaren herbeigezogen.
Wie überaus praktisch, dass sich Bretts Situation so entwickelt hat, wie sie sich entwickelt hat – wie sich ihr eine Möglichkeit nach der anderen auf einem Silbertablett offenbarte, so dass sie nur noch zugreifen und etwas daraus machen musste.
Ich wünschte, mein Leben würde auch nur annähernd so zielführend verlaufen, gelenkt von einem geheimen Plan namens „Schicksal“, der mich in die richtige Richtung leitet.
Fazit Was bleibt, ist die zugegebenermaßen schöne und auch wichtige Botschaft, die das Buch seinen Lesern offenbart:
Lebe dein Leben und vergeude deine Zeit nicht mit Leuten, die es nicht gut mit dir meinen. Setz dir Ziele, auch wenn sie nicht den gängigen gesellschaftlichen Vorstellungen entsprechen. Umgebe dich mit Dingen, die dir gut tun und verbringe so viel Zeit wie möglich mit den Leuten, die du liebst. Manövriere dich nicht in Beziehungen hinein, die dich frustrieren und blockieren, und in denen du dich nicht entfalten kannst. Vergib und lerne zu vergeben, und gestehe dir selber auch mal ein, wenn du Mist gebaut hast.
Asche auf mein Haupt: Mir war überhaupt nicht bewusst, dass schon wieder ein neuer Roman von Sebastian Fitzek auf dem Markt erscheinen• apfelwolken •
Asche auf mein Haupt: Mir war überhaupt nicht bewusst, dass schon wieder ein neuer Roman von Sebastian Fitzek auf dem Markt erscheinen sollte. Manchmal könnte man fast den Eindruck gewinnen, dass es Fitzek-Romane regnet wie Kamelle am Kölner Rosenmontagszug.
So wurde ich dann am Erscheinungstag von der allgemein ausbrechenden Hysterie relativ überrascht, alle Welt rannte mit wehendem Haar zur nächstgelegenen Buchhandlung, die ganz Ungeduldigen luden „Passagier 23“ kurzerhand auf den eReader, in freudiger Erwartung eines „echten Fitzeks!“
Die ganze Aufregung war ansteckend, mir war langweilig und so habe ich kurzentschlossen mein bereits leicht eingestaubtes Kindle zum Leben erweckt und mich in die zu Papier gebrachten Fluten geworfen.
„Ein echter Fitzek!“ Das Phänomen um Sebastian Fitzek finde ich schon recht beeindruckend. Ich persönlich habe erst zwei seiner Bücher gelesen und kann schon verstehen, was seine Romane so besonders und anders als andere macht.
Man nehme einen Topf, dessen Material aus Konflikten, Traumata, Existenzängsten und emotionaler Instabilität besteht. Nun werfe man allerlei psychische Störungen, Leid und die widerlichen Abgründe der menschlichen Seele hinein und würze das Ganze mit einer guten Portion an Absurdität, übelster Perversität, Ekel und Abartigkeit.
Voilà, schon hat man einen typischen Fitzek-Roman. Das Konzept geht auf: Die Leute wollen schockiert werden, wollen in die abscheuliche Gedankenwelt von Psychopaten eintauchen und sich von deren Gräueltaten erschüttern lassen – je kranker, desto besser.
Und Fitzek macht seine Sache gut: Er hat ein Händchen dafür, einer Geschichte völlig unerwartete, überraschende Wendungen zu geben - auf nichts ist Verlass, keinem Charakter kann man vertrauen und so wird man als Leser bis zur letzten Seite immer wieder mit neuen Rätseln und Wendungen konfrontiert. So auch in „Passagier 23“.
Auch hier hat Fitzek wieder eine rasante, verstrickte Geschichte konzipiert, diesmal in der beeindruckenden Kulisse eines Kreuzfahrtschiffes. Ein Ort, der, wie er sagt, einer Kleinstadt gleicht – nur ohne Gesetzeshüter. Verbrechen sind also kaum Grenzen gesetzt und von denen spielen sich so einige auf der „Sultan of the Seas“ ab.
Klingt doch gut! Was also war das Problem? Mein Problem mit Fitzeks Romanen ist immer, dass es mir von allem zu viel ist! Zu viel Perversität. Zu viel Abscheulichkeit. Zu viel Ekel. Zu viele wirre Wendungen.
Man kann ja kaum einen klaren Gedanken fassen und sich selber einen Reim auf all die Geschehnisse machen, da wird man schon von der nächsten Absurdität überrascht. Die bizarre Handlung prasselt unaufhörlich auf einen ein, schaukelt sich immer weiter hoch und driftet dabei leider irgendwann komplett ins Konfuse und Groteske ab.
Man merkt, dass Fitzek viele Stunden Recherche in seinem Roman verarbeitet hat, und das lässt er den geneigten Leser auch spüren, indem zum Beispiel Informationshäppchen in Dialogen platziert, die dadurch im richtigen Leben ziemlich unbeholfen klingen würden:
[Daniel:] „Ich könnte stundenlang so weitermachen. Es gibt ganze Webseiten, die sich mit dem Phänomen vermisster Passagiere beschäftigen: internationalcruisevictims.org, crusejunkie.com oder cruisebruise.com, um nur die drei bekanntesten zu nennen.“ (19%)
Ich hätte mir beim Aufzählen dieser Websites wahrscheinlich das Zungenbein gebrochen.
Pappfiguren auf einem Ozeanriesen. Hätten die Charaktere doch bloß so viel Tiefgang wie der Ozeankreuzer gehabt.
Es ist natürlich praktisch, einen Hauptcharakter zu erschaffen, der durch den schmerzlichen Verlust seiner Familie sämtliche Emotionen abgelegt hat. So erspart man sich, einer Figur einen gewissen emotionalen Tiefgang verleihen zu müssen und kann sich stattdessen ganz darauf konzentrieren, Martin Schwartz‘ als beispiellosen Überermittler und Psychologen auszubauen. Seine sagenhafte Kombinationsgabe war an vielen Stellen einfach abwegig und auch seine aggressiven, leicht gewalttätigen Launen haben ihm nicht unbedingt Sympathiepunkte eingebracht.
Da mochte ich Gerlinde Dobkowitz schon lieber, allerdings blieb auch sie nichts als eine Karikatur: Eine betagte Dame, deren einziger Sinn letztendlich darin bestand, Schwartz Informationen zuzuspielen und sporadisch lustige Sprüche zu klopfen. Aber immerhin brachte sie mich zum Lachen.
Eigentlich waren alle Charaktere eine Ansammlung von Stereotypen: Die betagte, aber lebhafte Dame; der therapiebedürftige, aber geniale Ermittler, der sich stellenweise wie die Axt im Walde aufführt; der depressive Teenie mit Hang zur Gothic-Szene (denn wie wir alle wissen: Gothic = Böse) et cetera pp. Es fiel mir dadurch sehr schwer, mich in die Figuren hineinzuversetzen und mich um ihr Wohlergehen zu sorgen.
Fazit Ich war noch nie auf einem Kreuzfahrtschiff. Mein Wunsch, einmal auf so einem Kahn zu reisen, ist nach dem Lesen von „Passagier 23“ nicht größer geworden - aber auch nicht kleiner. Die Geschichte war einfach zu abstrus, um mich in meinen zukünftigen Reiseplänen zu beeinflussen. ;-)
Letztlich bleibt man als Leser von „Passagier 23“ nichts als ein Zuschauer, der die beängstigenden Geschehnisse auf dem Kreuzfahrtschiff mit einigem Abstand aus der Ferne beobachtet. Man fiebert mit, ja, aber gefühlsmäßig passiert leider recht wenig.
Ich bin deshalb übrigens auch der Meinung, dass Fitzeks Romane wunderbares Potential für Verfilmungen bieten – auf großer Leinwand kann ich mir die Geschichte hervorragend vorstellen. Vom Buch hätte ich nur eben etwas mehr erwartet. Es ist wirklich schade, denn eigentlich mag ich Sebastian Fitzek! In seinen Nachworten ist er mir immer total sympathisch. Nur mit seinen Romanen werde ich leider nicht so richtig warm.
„28 Tage lang“ ist eins dieser Bücher, das mir lange Zeit nachlaufen wird. Es könnte sogar eins der besten Bücher sein, die ich je geles• apfelwolken •
„28 Tage lang“ ist eins dieser Bücher, das mir lange Zeit nachlaufen wird. Es könnte sogar eins der besten Bücher sein, die ich je gelesen habe.
Manchmal habe ich den Eindruck, dass der „Ruf nach Vergessen“ unter den Deutschen immer lauter wird. Der Zweite Weltkrieg? Das ist doch alles schon soo lange her, was habe ich denn mit dem zu tun, was vor zig Jahren mal passiert ist?!
Wer „28 Tage lang“ liest, wird ganz schnell verstehen und (s)eine Antwort auf diese Fragen finden.
Ein historischer Roman mit einem Hauch von Fiktion. Ab 1942 wurde das „Warschauer Ghetto“ (der hermetisch abgeriegelte jüdische Wohnbezirk) schrittweise durch die Deutsche SS aufgelöst, was im Klartext die Deportation der Juden ins Vernichtungslager bedeutete. Einige Juden wurden vorübergehend als Zwangsarbeiter eingesetzt, bis man auch sie nicht mehr benötigte und ebenfalls deportierte. Erklärtes Ziel war, die gesamte Ghettobevölkerung auszulöschen. Die Widerstandsorganisation "ZOB" stellte sich den deutschen Dämonen entgegen und konnte ganze 28 Tage lang Widerstand leisten. Insgesamt kamen 56.065 Menschen ums Leben.
Nun, wenn man sich das so durchliest, klingt das zwar schrecklich, aber auch sehr distanziert, nicht wahr? Nichts, was man nicht schon etliche Male im Geschichtsunterricht gehört hätte, während man Käsekästchen mit dem Sitznachbarn spielte. Das Problem an Geschichte ist, dass sie meist sehr trocken serviert wird, geradezu langweilig, ohne rechten Bezug zum Publikum.
Was David Safier in seinem Buch schafft, ist diese Geschichte lebendig werden zu lassen und zwar auf eine Art und Weise, die in dem Kontext einfach nur erschreckend ist. Indem er die junge Protagonistin Mira als Figur erfindet, um all die Geschehnisse, die sich im Ghetto ereignet haben, wiederzugeben, vermittelt er den Schrecken auf ganz andere Weise, als ein verstaubtes Geschichtsbuch es je tun könnte. Korzcak, Mordechai, Rubinstein – sie alle haben wirklich existiert und waren jeder auf eigene Art und Weise am Ghettoaufstand beteiligt.
Was für ein Mensch will man sein? Es gab so viele entsetzlichen Situationen, die mich emotional derart aufgelöst haben, dass ich mehrere Lesepausen einlegen musste. Mir fehlen die Worte, um zu beschreiben, wie abscheulich die ganze Maschinerie des Nationalsozialismus war, wie sehr mich die Schilderungen mitgenommen haben und wie sehr ich mich für meine Herkunft geschämt habe.
Der systematische Massenmord, Verrat, Intrigen, Leid und blutige Gewalt – all das wird auf 416 Seiten beschrieben, nichts wird beschönigt, nichts wird ausgelassen. Safier redet nicht um den heißen Brei herum, er nennt die Dinge beim Namen, auch wenn sie noch so in der Seele schmerzen. Und das tut das Buch: Es schmerzt in der Seele.
Dann wieder gab es diese seltenen Momente voller Glück und Hoffnung - auch die schmerzten in der Seele, aber auf gute Art und Weise. Selbst in dieser Hölle, die die Menschen durchleben musste, fanden sie immer noch etwas, das sie glücklich machte und sei es nur ein Laib Brot. Oder Mira, mit ihren fantastischen Reisen zu den 777 Inseln, der einzige Ort, an dem sie in ihrer Fantasie noch glücklich sein konnte.
Kaum 70 Jahre ist es her. Nicht mehr als ein Wimpernschlag im Verlauf der Menschheitsgeschichte.
Ich würde mir wünschen, dass Safiers „28 Tage lang“ möglichst werkgerecht verfilmt wird, um ein noch breiteres Publikum zu erreichen. Manchmal habe ich das Gefühl, das ist bitter nötig – besonders, wenn ich mir aktuelle Geschehnisse wie zuletzt die in der Kölner Innenstadt ansehe....more
Maybe I’m just not “philosophically advanced” enough to even remotely understand this “marActual rating: 1.5 stars.
WHY DID I NOT LIKE THIS BOOK? WHY??
Maybe I’m just not “philosophically advanced” enough to even remotely understand this “marvelous piece of literature” and its “genius story”. Dumb me.
So, here’s what I liked and what I didn’t like…
+ The writing. It was splendid. I liked that the narration gave each character a unique voice. + The world-building. It was all amazing and stuff. - Everything else.
In my opinion, this book tried so hard to be all philosophically and ingenious and wise and eye-opening, I don’t even know what the actual plot was. Or what the fuck was going on after all.
It started very well in the beginning (view spoiler)[(the death scene) (hide spoiler)] but at some point the plot and its repetitive nature started to bore me. It also didn’t help that characters themselves were having entire conversations about the sometimes absurdly convenient plot, e.g. when all of them were suddenly saved with just the right timing and a lot of deux ex machina sorcery. Things, that are often criticized in other books but here it’s suddenly the best thing since sliced bread because OH, PHILOSOPHY AND DEATH AND STUFF. IT MUST BE ART OR SOMETHING.
Every page felt like one lucid dream after another. You could never be sure what is really going on, what is reality and what is not? While some readers apparently enjoyed this vagueness, I was about to throw the book into the fires of Mordor. I want answers! I want explanations and solutions! For heaven’s sake, I want a storyline that doesn’t leave me all confused and shit!
Was the purpose of its 480 pages to make me as the reader get a new perspective on the whole misery of life and death? Well, thanks, but it’s not like the thought that there might be more to this life than “you live, you fuck up, you die” never occurred to me. I, personally, don’t see things differently now after reading this heavily science-fiction-focused novel. I wonder why!
I really wanted to like this book but all it did is leaving me angry and disappointed.
P.S.(view spoiler)[ Am I the only one who wonders what will happen to the thousands of people now, laying in their futuristic high-tech coffins whose technology nobody understands, trusting that if something happens their little repair robot will help them?! Because that was its one and only task after all: keeping everyone alive and in orderly condition and now it’s gone. Well done and good luck in that demolished coffin yourself, idiot. (hide spoiler)] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Abstruse, konstruierte Story, die so völlig an der Realität vorbeigeht, dass es schon fast weh tut. Gelacht habe ich wenig bis gar nicht, meinen HumorAbstruse, konstruierte Story, die so völlig an der Realität vorbeigeht, dass es schon fast weh tut. Gelacht habe ich wenig bis gar nicht, meinen Humor hat es leider überhaupt nicht getroffen.
Die Charaktere waren völlig überzeichnete Karikaturen mit wenig Tiefgang - am schlimmsten von allen die Hauptfigur, Friederike, die die meiste Zeit nichts besseres zu tun hat, als in Selbstmitleid zu schwaden, gedanklich über andere herzuziehen und sich mit einer gehörigen Portion Blödheit, Dreistigkeit und vor allen Dingen offenen Auges in ihr persönliches Lügengestrick hinein zu manövrieren. Die meiste Zeit ging sie mir gehörig auf die Nerven und ich habe mir nichts sehnlicher gewünscht, als dass der ganze Bockmist auffliegt und sie den Rest ihres erbärmlichen Lebens allein, arbeitslos und verzweifelt verbringen muss.
Message des Buches: Dicke Menschen sind ungeliebt, allein, nicht erfolgreich im Beruf und sowieso zu nix in der Lage. Dünnen Menschen dagegen, fliegt alles nur so zu, Parter, Erfolg im Job, Freunde, sogar ein Kind - ein, zwei "Wonneröllchen" sind da so gerade noch akzeptabel. Nutella is the root of all evil.
“But if I’m it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I’m going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I a“But if I’m it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I’m going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.”
1. Sentence: “Aliens are stupid.”
I have to start this review by saying that I didn’t realize this book was about aliens. I thought it was about zombies, actually. No clue why – sometimes I get distracted by shiny covers, I guess.
I am not exactly a fan of the whole alien topic, so if I had spent more time reading the blurb I probably would have decided to avoid this book. I’m quite glad I didn’t avoid it, though, because after all the book was pretty good! Not *great*, but not too bad either.
The concept is similar to Meyer’s The Host: Aliens have invaded earth (and human brains) and in several attacks, so called waves, they try to wipe out humankind. They arrived in a huge spaceship and only ten days after their appearance the attacks begin.
The First Wave shut down electricity. The world turned dark and full of terrors and people died.
The Second Wave flooded the coasts by throwing giant metal rods into the ocean to cause tsunamis (…realistic? I think not) and people died.
The Third Wave infected people with a virus called “Red Tsunami” which caused fatal bleedings and ultimately people died.
The Fourth Wave brought aliens down to earth, deceitfully disguised as humans, in order to kill them. Hence, people died.
The Fifth Wave is yet to come and this is obviously the point of time in which our story takes place. Nobody knows what is going to happen next but people die nonetheless.
Obviously, I have never been in an alien invasion. I would assume, though, that genuine aliens, who supposedly are highly developed, superior beings, do *not* need numerous waves to effectively extinguish humankind and take over the world in order to colonize it. Apparently, they can build a big-ass spaceship and are able to download themselves into human brains – why can’t they come up with some kind of weapon that kills all humans at a single blow? Why bother spending years? Also, why those psychological mind games with the earthlings in order to make them turn against each other? Do our aliens happen to be academically fascinated by human social behavior?
I found the idea that a bunch of kiddos/teenagers are supposed to SAVE THE DAY WORLD to be a bit ridiculous and/or unrealistic. I highly doubt that in real life they would survive one minute, but okay, this is fiction, obviously, so I guess it’s all right.
Katniss Cassie is your average teenager, totally unconfident about her looks due to the lack of attention from the boy she adores, Ben Parish. Thank god there’s an alien apocalypse so she can be come the kick-ass, witty heroine that is needed for this story and who likes to stalk around with a M16 in her hands. Don’t get me wrong, overall I quite liked Katniss Cassie. Her ready wit and sarcasm made me laugh out loud more than once and the author did a good job to make her character seem plausible to me, age-wise. However, sometimes she was getting on my nerves a bit too much.
First, for someone who swore to herself that she would not trust anyone ever again, she trusted Evan far too quickly. Basically because he was all hot and mysterious. I guess the dude she shot earlier just wasn’t hot enough, poor guy.
Second, for someone who claims her primary goal was to save her little brother, she spent far too long swooning over mysterious creeper dude Evan and his hot body, speculating for hours when they would finally make out. When *he* eventually wondered if little Sammy was possibly still alive her reaction was the prime example of the deep love an older sister feels for her cute, little brother.
“Is he alive?” he whispers. That sad, desperate look is back. What happened out there? Why is he thinking about Sams? I shrug. How can I know the answer to that?” (~60%)
YEAH, WHY THE HECK WOULD HE BE WONDERING ABOUT THAT. *shrugs*
Thank goodness that at least ONE person worries about that five year old child who probably got kidnapped by aliens while the other person is too busy having the hots for a random stranger with stalker-ish tendencies. Anyway, I am losing myself in this senseless romance drivel and the inevitable love triangle that simply has to appear in each and every YA book out there. Therefore, I shall concentrate on other things, for example…
…the writing style! It was okay, I guess. Dialogues are written in a very juvenile way which suits the young protagonists. Don’t wonder if you stumble over acronyms like “FUBAR” or the like here and there, there’s always the Urban Dictionary that can help you figure out what they actually mean.
What I had a problem with, though, was that all those hundreds of characters… – well, I’m exaggerating, of course, but there were A LOT OF characters – all sounded the same to me which made it difficult to distinguish them. I was pretty confused in the beginning. A chapter would start, introducing a new character, but I was not aware of it until I realized that it was not Cassie anymore I was reading about, even though he/she totally sounded the same.
I complained about so many things now, one could think I didn’t like the book at all. That’s not the case, though. It still was an entertaining read, fast-paced and full of action with characters that were likable for the most part. Yancey definitely knows how to build up suspense, mixed with a good portion of sarcasm in just the right places and I can’t recall that I had one single moment of boredom.
Also, let’s not forget the rather philosophical questions this book has to offer to its readers: Would you be able to kill to survive? Even if that means you’re probably killing innocent people as well? Could you live on knowing you killed an innocent? How do you determine if you can trust someone or not? Is it possible to survive at all without having some trust? And are these invaders really aliens or is this all just One Big Conspiracy by certain humans? I, personally, look forward to reading the sequel to get to the bottom of these questions. ;)
The sequel is expected to be published in August 2014. Oh, and they want to make a movie of it. ...more
"I needed to hate someone and you're the one I love the most, so it fell on you."
1. Sentence:“Every morning I wake up and tell myself this: It’s just"I needed to hate someone and you're the one I love the most, so it fell on you."
1. Sentence:“Every morning I wake up and tell myself this: It’s just one day, one twenty-four-hour period to get yourself through.”
Uhm, ... nope.
I read Where She Went together with Rose as part of a Buddy Read. We had different opinions in regards to its prequel, If I Stay, which I, personally, LOVED TO NO END, but Rose disliked very much. Hence, we thought it would be interesting to see how the two of us would experience Where She Went.
So, let's recap. The first book basically was about Mia who got involved in a tragic car accident that killed her family, her being the only survivor. Stuck in a coma, somewhere between life and death, she had do decide if she wanted to stay in this world or not. I cried so much over this book, it was heartbreaking. I couldn't immediately continue with the next book as I needed some time to process what happened.
Now the time had come that I was ready for Where She Went. Needless to say, I had my hopes up high and kind of expected another tear-jerking thing of brilliance.
Oh my, what a huge disappointment this ended up to be.
This time the story is written from Adam's point of view and the story plays three years after the accident. Mia apparently decided *not* to die but stay in this world, however, things never were the same again. Shortly after, her and Adam parted ways, both of them following their own ambitious dreams. Mia as a successful solo cellist, a bright new star risen on the cello music firmament. Adam as a highly sought-after celebrity rock star. Yes, I know right, this could be, like, anyone's story, situations taken straight from real life. Anyway, one night, Adam and Mia meet again and have to deal with the past and also their future.
Adam was not always a likable character to me, quite the opposite to be honest. He had some really disturbing violent tendencies, for instance, he repeatedly imagined beating women and in one situation even punched a wall in his fury and destroyed a window. Erm, yeah, I understand that he's a rock star and everything, and we all know that rock stars like to trash their rooms (why, hello, stereotypes) but that behavior didn't make him particularly likable to me. The fact that he is also one of those guys who feel the need to point out that they "see the intelligence in [a woman's] eyes" (p. 84), like it's One Big Astonishment to them, didn't help much. I never really began to like him, although at some point I, at least, could understand his behavior - a bit. I still don't support all his actions but what Mia did to him really was way below the belt.
Which brings me to my next point: Mia. What on earth is wrong with this girl?! I couldn't understand her behavior in any way, I couldn't sympathize with her in and I couldn't recognize the Mia I got to know in the first book. Yes, it's horrible that she lost her entire family and everyone, most of all Adam, understood that she needed some time alone. Nothing wrong with that. What certainly is wrong, though, is how she treated Adam who she supposedly loved. Dropped him like a hot potato without a care in the world and didn't even have the guts nor the decency to explain her behavior to him in the slightest way, she just vanished without a word. That's asshole-ish behavior at its best and I wouldn't ever forgive her if I was Adam. The fact that you're through a tragic event doesn't give you the right to treat everyone like shit and behave like a total douche canoe. But then again, I'm not Adam and of course he's mad at her but not that mad and gets involved with her far too easy again. All whilst being in a semi-relationship with some celeb girl he never really sees, though, and who he doesn't love anyway. So that does make it OK then, doesn't it?! No, not cool, man.
Their relationship seemed anything but healthy to me. Too much had happened in the past, too much got broken if you ask me. All the way through the book I was hoping that there wouldn't be an happy ending because that would have been so clichéd and completely out of place. I didn't see any basis for a long-term partnership for them, but maybe that's just my way of thinking. I am not going to reveal how the book ended, no worries. All I'm saying is, I would have wished for another ending, a less convenient one maybe.
Overall, I very much missed everything that made me love "If I Stay". I couldn't identify with the characters, I didn't like them, nor their behavior. I didn't like their idea of relationships and how you treat each other and other people. Actually, I wonder what exactly was the point of this book? If I Stay dealt with a lot of emotional turmoil, death, loss, sorrow, the question what makes live worth living and how do you overcome tragic events. You know, big things. Things that matter. Where She Went, however, was just your typical romance drama shiat which you find in every second YA novel out there these days. Something along the lines of "I LOVE YOU BUT I CAN'T BE WITH YOU". Nothing was really special about it and I just can't find the message it was supposed to send to the readers.
"Fight for unhealthy love?" "Never let go?" "Stick to the past?" "Don't care about how shitty you treat others?" "Love rulez!"
Sorry, but that's nothing that I, personally, enjoy. I really expected more of this book and only the fact that the writing was splendid again saves it from an one star rating. ...more
“Listen to me, he said, when your dreams are of some world that never was or some world that never will be, and you’re happy again, then you’ll have g“Listen to me, he said, when your dreams are of some world that never was or some world that never will be, and you’re happy again, then you’ll have given up. Do you understand? And you can’t give up, I won’t let you.”
1. Sentence: “When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he’d reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.”
Some time ago I was asked to join a book club and the book they were reading that month was The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
Because it's so controversial and divisive, y'know. Pompous book club is pompous.
I was actually quite glad they had decided for a post-apocalyptic novel and not, like, Goethe's Faust (which, in retrospect, wouldn't have surprised me; oh, these literate people) so I was really excited to read the book. Especially since I have watched the movie ages ago and remembered nothing. Only that it was kinda good and I had liked it. So, motivated me was looking forward to read the book and join one of those rare, top sekret book clubs.
Then it all went wrong.
There were several problems I had with this book (and the book club for that matter, but that's another topic).
First of all, the writing style needed getting used to. Luckily I had read Peter Heller's The Dog Stars some weeks ago, otherwise I would've been majorly annoyed by The Road, I guess. Same as in Heller's book the story is told in a rather detached way, it feels like a report, a documentation, a scene that you, as the reader, are watching from a distance. You're sort of hovering over the two main characters of the story, but you don't have the possibility to really connect to them. It is difficult to get emotionally invested in characters and their well-being when the necessary emotions are not delivered to the reader in any form.
In regards to the layout: I quite liked that it was written in short paragraphs which made it easy to read on. You didn't have to bear endless pages filled with wall of texts until you finally ended a chapter. Dialogues, however, were missing quotation marks, which is something I hate. Also, there was a little too much "okay okay okay CARRY THE FIRE OKAY" going on for my taste. It became rather repetitive after a while, just like the story turned out to be repetitive but more on this later. There were no real conversations, not many profound talks between a father and his son - at least nothing that I would consider profound. They generally kept talking to a minimum - but maybe that's normal when there simply isn't too much to talk about anymore; when the world is ultimately going down, resulting in the extinction of the human race.
But... who are these ageless characters who don't even seem to have names? Was it the author's intention to show that things like these don't matter anymore at the end of days? But how can I care about two people when all I know about them is that they're walking through an apocalyptic landscape? The father and son were called "the man" and "the boy" all throughout the book. I can only guess that the little one must have been around the age of 5 or 6 - or was he older? Not sure. Why should I care, though, if some random people (because that's what they were to me, really) ever reach their target, the coast, or not?
As previously mentioned, the story turned out to be very repetitive. They walk, they search for a place to sleep, they sleep, they wake up, they're hungry, they freeze, they search for food, as by a miracle they always happen to find food somewhere, they walk on, they sleep, the man coughs, they are hungry, they sleep etc. etc. You get the idea. There is a lot of telling and simply too little showing. I don't want to read endless repetitions of someone walking here, then there, picking up this, putting it there - it gets tiring and my mind usually wanders off to more spectacular things. Like, the "Where does that huge pile of laundry suddenly come from?" or "Oh look, there's a loose thread on my cuddly blanket" types of thought.
The tedious flow of the story was only sporadically interrupted by intestines laying around here and there and cannibals trying to eat up what's left of humanity. It really was disgusting sometimes ... - well, no, I READ that it was disgusting, I didn't feel disgusted, though, nor did I feel shocked or scared. At all. Maybe I have watched one too many horror movies in my life, I don't know. That horrible thing that happened around the middle of the book (view spoiler)[when the cannibals roasted a baby (hide spoiler)] shocked a lot of people - I, however, just wondered how, (view spoiler)[from an cannibalistic point of view, that baby could even provide that much … meat. :/ (hide spoiler)] D: D:
It feels disturbing to even think about stuff like that but exactly this was the result of the overall monotony in this book. I didn't feel involved into all the events, but felt unconcerned and unemotional. That's what basically made me think about cannibalism from an... economical viewpoint, I suppose. That, or I'm just a cold, evil, soulless person who doesn't care for babies. Who knows.
The world-building did not always seem consistent to me, the reader is thrown in the present situation, there are no explanations as to what exactly happened that turned the world into a place covered in ashes and, well, guts. Only interrupted by little rays of light (= hope) here and there, like, when they found food or found a reason to laugh, even though there wasn't much to laugh about anymore in this devastated world. Where other authors usually try to come up with a lot of scientific explanations (and mostly fail at them) Cormac McCarthy didn't bother with anything like that but instead concentrated on the status quo. I appreciated that attempt, however, it kept me wondering.
For instance, the timeline. The book takes place during one, long winter. That's what I understood at least from all the freezing going on. It's been years since something happened that inevitably turned the earth into the inhospitable place it is now. The boy still was a baby back then, now he is, let's say, 5. How is it even possible, that after such a long time they still manage to find food? Again and again? Wouldn't it be gone a long time ago when there still were more people living on the planet? How can apple trees still bear fruits when there is no sun anymore and the ground covered is in ashes?? I don't get it and it doesn't seem very logical to me, to be honest.
I think if the book had been written in another way, I would've been able to connect more to the story and both characters. It certainly helped that I had watched the movie before, because whilst reading the book I remembered a lot of scenes and was able to imagine them better. If I had to rely on the writing alone, I would've had problems for sure because of the general "telling instead of showing" problem going on. A few people in the book club pointed out that this was exactly the author's intention, to use this writing style to show how desperate, hopeless the situation was in the book. How empty and miserable people had become, their primal instinct for survival being the only emotion left. I get that and I admit that discussing about the book and trying to see things from a different point of view helped to understand why The Road won so many literary awards. I still stick to the points I made, though. I don't enjoy books I have to philosophize about to be able to feel them. A book should be able to deliver emotions to me without me having to interpret every little sentence.
Hence, this book really was not my taste, I'm sorry. I understand, though, why people like it. It just wasn't for me. Which happens. ;] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
“When she reached the secluded spot, she felt the tension in her body relax and she laughed with her sheer pleasure of being in her favorite place in“When she reached the secluded spot, she felt the tension in her body relax and she laughed with her sheer pleasure of being in her favorite place in the world.”
1. Sentence:“Sarah Browning hurried through the halls of C. D. Napier High School, her head down.”
The title is magic. ♥ The cover is magic. ♥ The writing style is magic. ♥ Heck, even the plot involved some magic.
I have never heard of T.L. Haddix before but she totally has a new fangirl here, waiting first in line for any future releases. I cannot wait to read this book's sequel, Butterfly Lane, which, by the way, is yet another beautiful title.
The story is about Owen, a handsome, yet troubled young man who leads a rather secluded life in the woods. He only makes his appearance in the small town every now and then to visit the library or run some errands. Girls swoon over him but he doesn't seem to be too interested in them or relationships at all for that matter. Keeping secrets he cannot, under no circumstances, reveal to anyone else they would turn him into a well-guarded, lonesome man, who is unable to bond with anyone. Until he meets Sarah, that is.
Meet Sarah Browning, a confident young woman and college graduate, who comes back to Hazard, Kentucky to support her family in times of need. She takes a job at the local library, where one fine day she meets Owen. She's sort of interested in the good-looking guy. However, she only ever knew him as an odd loner, living on an extensive plot of land that Sarah never was allowed to trespass when she was younger, but which she secretly did anyway. She has a history of spending time at a beautiful magical pond on said land, whenever she felt sad or needed time to think about things. Now that she's back in her hometown, this becomes a habit again, only this time she gets caught by Owen.
What starts as a bit of an awkward, clumsy encounter soon turns into a romantic love story about two people finding strength in each other.
As the blurb already mentions, this is a romance novel with paranormal elements. Lately, I am so fed up with anything paranormal that, at first, I was hesitant to read this book. Also, I am not exactly someone who enjoys romance, if romance is all the book has to offer. A plain love story, as turbulent as it might be, simply is not enough for me to enjoy a book. Thus, one could assume that the requirements for me liking Firefly Hollow were rather... bad. Wrong! I absolutely loved the romance as well as the paranormal elements, which surely were there but not the omnipresent main subject of the story. Instead, romance and paranormal elements were perfectly blended with each other, using just the right dosage of both. The result was an enthralling, mysterious read and an unputdownable book.
The story takes place in the 1950's/1960's. The novel covers different facets of this historical era, such as shades of upcoming feminism while the general idea of women still was being in the home. Women began becoming independent and discovered their sexuality. Also from a technical point of view the novel adhered to the time frame with people using typewriters for example. There were no such things as emails or cellphones so people had to write letters instead and sometimes wait for days to receive an answer. I found the world-building to be very consistent in that regard and felt like I was thrown back in time.
Not only does the novel deal with romance and blooming feminism, the characters are also facing some really tragic events and have to deal with the loss of loved ones under shocking circumstances. It was terrible what happened to Sarah's sister and I felt for her, even though she was not portrayed as the most lovable character in the history of the world in general. The characters overall seemed real to me, even though some of them stayed rather secondary. That was all right though, because the focus clearly was on the main characters and exploring their personalities in full depth. I could connect to them without a problem and cared about their well-being, laughed, cried and worried with them.
However, I have a bit of a problem with Owen and his questionable behavior. I didn't like how he treated Sarah in the beginning, struggling with his inner turmoil that he likes her but at the same time just can't be with her... because reasons. Very dramatic. Sarah accepted his apologies a bit too quickly in my opinion. Why? Because he's oh-so-good-looking and that makes it okay that he raged at her? Because it was her own fault, after all? I don't think so. Well, what then followed was, of course, a passionate love story including some rather explicit make-out sessions.
While Owen clearly deeply cared for Sarah and claimed to love her, he often enough fell back into his old patterns of douchebaggery. Yes, he had a troubled past which made him insecure and all. I understand that, but how can he *possibly* think that disappearing for weeks, showing no sign of life, would be an acceptable move? And then write that pathetic letter of "apology" to her? A day has 1440 minutes, I think it was completely possible for him to spare five minutes to contact the one he supposedly loves, especially when he knew that Sarah is sitting at home worrying about him.
There were some more things that turned Owen into a really dubious person in my eyes. At one point he was honestly amazed about...
"...her eyes sparkling a deep blue that fairly shone with intelligence" (~78%)
I mean, really? First off, eyes don't sparkle. Second, I have no idea how 'dumb' eyes differ from 'intelligent' eyes - after all they're just eyes and you just can't make assumptions about a person's intelligence by looking at their eyes. Third, is it seriously a surprise to him that a woman might be intellectually bright? I don't even.
Then there was the scene where they eventually were about to have sex (about time too!) and Owen got all aroused and passionate and seriously told her:
"Last chance to stop, but I'm not sure I can let you go,even if you change your mind."(~92%)
No. Just no. You're not a slave to your genitals, man. If a woman says no, you damn well stop no matter what kind of massive erection you have. Period.
All in all this would have been a 5 star read, if it wasn't for Owen's problematic behavior. Nonetheless, it was an enthralling, fascinating story and the magical writing style made me sink into this world quickly. I can't wait to read Butterfly Lane, to see how things evolve for Owen and Sarah and all the other characters, of course. :)
I received a digital copy of "Firefly Hollow" via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review....more
“The purpose of life is not to do what we want but what needs to be done.”
1. Sentence:“Eragon stared at the dark tower of stone wherein hid the monst“The purpose of life is not to do what we want but what needs to be done.”
1. Sentence:“Eragon stared at the dark tower of stone wherein hid the monsters who had murdered his uncle, Garrow.”
What the fart. Seriously. WHAT THE FART.
This series goes downhill rapidly with every book I read. I really liked the first book, I found the world-building to be amazing and original, even though I noticed the similarities to other fantasy novels. I didn't mind, though. The second book was then a big disappointment, completely dull and long-winded. So now, here we are with the third book in the series, Brisngngsrr Brisingr, probably the most boring drivel I have ever read.
If you asked me what exactly happened in Brisingr, I would have serious problems attempting to answer your question. Let's see what the blurb has to say about that.
Eragon, Saphira and the Varden survived a colossal battle against Galbatorix' warriors. No really, it was colossal.
Eragon is reminded of several promises he once made to a bunch of people. Shouldn't of done that, dude.
Eragon travels the kingdom in order to keep those promises. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.
Eragon must continue impersonating hope. Or at least try to do so.
Well, isn't that exciting. No, it is not. What the blurb managed to summarize in, like, nine sentences took Paolini 763 pages of lengthy rambling. Or 24 audio CDs for that matter because I had the pleasure to listen to the audio book while struggling not to fall asleep during it. Which is quite dangerous if you, like me, listen to audio books while driving.
Frankly, Brisingr more felt like a gory blood feast than a fantasy novel. It didn't even take ten minutes into the book and I was already completely grossed out. It didn't get better afterwards.
I cannot even count how many fights I had to listen to; fights that were described disturbingly vivid, in shocking, bloody detail. Slit throats, knives being drilled into heads and a lot of beheading and slashing... gross. Not only was it really sickening but it also became rather repetitive after the 2507th fight. For what kind of audience was this book actually written for, I wonder? Children? I think not. Well, I *hope* not, but who knows. I certainly wouldn't recommend this book to anyone under 18 years. Oh, and neither to anyone over 18 years while we're at it.
I got the impression that the author grew tired of all these boring dwarves, elves and dragons. I mean, after two books about this childish stuff it starts to wear out, doesn't it. So, what would be the obvious solution to make things more thrilling again and add a never known level of gore? That's right, an army of zombies, of course! I'm rather baffled as to what place freaking zombies have in a fantasy novel but ... there they were. Laughing zombies. I laughed at them, too, because it just was that ridiculous. To be honest, at that point all the hope I had left for the Eragon series went down the toilet, with a loud flush.
Listening to the ever ongoing violence almost physically hurt my ears. However, the characters themselves ignored all their injuries surprisingly well. If *my* hand got cut off, I'd certainly not tell everyone that it's NO BIGGIE and hardly a wound at all. I'd really like to know Jaime Lannister's thoughts on this.
Also, who cares about a bloody combat, nay, a colossal battle against a zombie horde, where thousands of fellers died a horrible death. Let's not bother with that nor shed any tears, let's have a wedding instead! And there the wedding preparations began, everyone was happily running around, blissfully ignoring the heaps of corpses all around.
Way to go.
Frodo Eragon has always been one of the dumbest characters I ever encountered but I usually could bear his dumbness by simply ignoring him and concentrating on something more interesting. As nothing interesting at all happened in Brisingr this became a real problem and I had to realize that Eragon still is an idiotic, arrogant, self-important and self-righteous twat-waffle. How can he even begin to think he has the right to simply decide things over people's heads and keep secrets from them just because he, being the bigheaded douche he is, thinks it's for the better? And we're not talking about random strangers here, no, he's doing that to family members, people who trust him and naively believe every word that comes out of his mouth. It just makes me angry.
What makes me angry, too, is the fact that Eragon had to transform into a freaking ELF to be able to save the entire kingdom/world/universe. Obviously, the message being sent here is that being human just isn't good enough!
Other characters were more or less forgotten, until Paolini all of a sudden remembered them and threw them into the story like dusty chess pieces. Orik didn't even appear until the middle of the book and when he did, nothing of the old, grumpy, likeable dwarf was left. He got moved around the political chessboard, then disappeared again when he had served his purpose for the story. Nope, that's certainly *not* how you maintain your characters.
Just like in Eldest, endless chapters were spent on unnecessary, long-winded, tiring ramblings about jewelry, power structures, cooking and eating habits including the concept of being vegetarian (which Eragon clearly never fully understood), plus completely redundant scenes that were explored in full length, but had no actual significance to the plot. For instance, does anyone remember the long-drawn-out conversation between Arya and Eragon in the woods, when she suddenly created some strange grass ship and Eragon was all "oh" and "ah" about it? I wouldn't wonder if you forgot about it because that ship actually served no other purpose than to be there and add some fluff! It was probably supposed to tell the reader THAT THERE'S MAGIC IN THIS WORLD. WHICH WE ALREADY KNOW AFTER TWO BOOKS, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
The goal clearly was to hide a nonexistent plot under a cover of lots of fancy words. At some point I was actually *screaming* in my car because I couldn't bear this superfluous nonsense anymore! I well remember which scene caused my yelling. Roran and Katrina decided to marry, consequently a ceremony was held with Eragon solemnizing the marriage. Such a ceremony naturally includes some kind of speech and vows.
What I expected: A somewhat brief description of Eragon's speech and the couple's vows. Ta-dah! Marriage done.
What I got: A fully written out wedding speech right down to the last detail - three times in a row! Because, of course, Roran had to repeat each and every sentence as his vow, and Katrina had to do the same once more. Instead of using a simple "Roran/Katrina repeated it", it all got copied and pasted again. Way to gain a few pages!
T-I-R-I-N-G, I'm telling you.
Not only was the writing verbose, it as well was downright ridiculous. What's up with all those "silent smiles" going on? Last time I checked smiling didn't make any noise, so why the frack are you pointing it out over and over again. Annoying.
Also, this book and it's similes, I can't even. If you think Shatter Me is filled with lots of stupid similes and metaphors, you should definitely check out the Eragon series. Puts everything into perspective.
"She gave an abrupt, choked laugh, the sound of water falling over cold rocks."
"Eragon realized she was crying, thick tears rolling from the outer corners of her eyes, down her temples,and into her hair. By the stars, her tears appeared like rivers of silvered glass."
"Calm as a mountain lake, Nasuada arranged her robes before answering [...]"
"Silence reigned for a quarter of an hour until Eragon said, 'Urgals.' He let the statement stand for awhile, a verbal monolith of ambivalence."
What. A verbal monolith of ambivalence?????
This book is a prime example of how to not write a book/bore your readers to death. There were no major twists and turns, not even the one I was secretly hoping for... (view spoiler)[(The Varden are actually evil folks while Galbatorix really is the good guy muahahahah) (hide spoiler)]
Well, yeah, a few things got revealed, some of them really sucked for Eragon, I'll give him that.
Anyway, I will finish this series! I kind of see it as a challenge now. One could say I will go down with this ship, drowning in a sea of utter boredom, engulfed by waves of regret and fatigue.
1. Sentence:“I keep the Beast running, I keep the 100 low lead on tap, I forActual Rating: 3.5 stars
“I want to be two people at once. One runs away.”
1. Sentence:“I keep the Beast running, I keep the 100 low lead on tap, I foresee attacks.”
There are a lot of dystopian novels out there. Most of these books do have punchy titles like "END DAYS" or "VIRUS" or "UNDEAD". "The Dog Stars" was a much welcomed change as far as that goes. The German translation was even better: "The end of the stars as Big Hig used to know them." It definitely excited my curiosity; who's Big Hig? And what's up with his stars?
"Did you ever read the Bible? I mean sit down and read it like it was a book? Check out Lamentations. That's where we're at, pretty much. Pretty much lamenting. Pretty much pouring our hearts out like water." (~1%)
Big Hig is one of the last survivors after a deadly flu epidemic which had extinguished mankind almost entirely. He is living together with his dog Jasper and a crazy gun freak called Bruce on an abandoned airport. Together they fight against other rather hostile survivors, who repeatedly make their appearance at the airport and attack them. One day, during one of his recon flights, Hig receives a mysterious radio signal. He begins to wonder if there are possibly many more survivors out there than originally thought. Doubts emerge and throw him right into a full-blown conflict: Should he give up his sparse, yet secure life at the airport and investigate on the radio signal? Or should he better not risk it and perhaps miss the chance to return to a "normal" life somewhere out there?
It was rather difficult for me to find my way into the book. At first the story was rather sluggish and focused on giving the reader an insight into the destroyed world Hig lives in. I must say, from a world-building perspective this was brilliantly accomplished. I can still see the barren steppes around the airport in my mind's eye, the decayed shacks where the infected used to live, or the isolated cottage in the mountains. I rarely experienced a dystopian world to be as consistent as this one and consequently had no problems imagining everything.
What I had a big problem with, however, was the narrative style. It is, well, different. Kind of a mix of first-person psycho-narration and interior monologue. Overall personal but it often felt like a report. Factual but not without emotions. Dialogues were not written in the conventional way, meaning that quotation marks were completely missing. Sometimes I was really confused as to who just said what and had to reread whole paragraphs. It definitely needed getting used to.
Another problem were sudden, unexpected changes in tense. Every now and then it shifted from past tense to present tense and back, within the same scene. I'm really not sure if that was actually intentional? Perhaps to make everything feel more human, more real? Anyway, it confused me and severely interrupted my reading flow.
All in all I spent up to halfway through the book getting adjusted to the story and the narrative. Frankly, there wasn't much else to do anyway as nothing really happened. The story slowly dragged from one page to the next and only around the middle of the book everything eventually caught up speed. From then on I was absolutely glued to the pages. The dramatic events that occurred a) made me silently burst into tears :'( and b) now I definitely wanted to know what was up with this weird radio signal.
In regards to the characters: I quite liked them all. They all had their own little quirks - not necessarily of a positive nature - but they all were likable personalities nevertheless. I could understand their behavior and actions for the most part, even if I personally would have decided differently in some cases. Big Hig's tragic past made me feel for him. Certain things he had done, no, had to do, haunt him every day and often enough he wonders why he's still clinging to life at all. It were some pretty shocking things and I'm not so sure if *I* would have been able to do the same. Then again, I've never been in an apocalypse.
The love story felt a little forced. It's like Adam and Eve all over, but for this story and this plot it wasn't really necessary. Contrary to popular belief there does not always have to be a love story in each and every book out there. This one could've done without the two lovebirds very well .
Sometimes things maybe went a tad too easy for Big Hig from my point of view. He quickly overcame all kind of obstacles rather easily, or let other people solve his problems. Nonetheless, the second half of the book kept being an enthralling read and I generally consider "The Dog Stars" to be a dystopian novels you just *have* to read if you enjoy this genre and if you don't mind a rather unusual narrative style. It definitely stands out from the crowd of dystopian novels. :) ...more