Argo by Rick Griffin is not the book behind the 2012 motion picture regarding Iran and the CIA extracting hostages. This is a novelette about an androArgo by Rick Griffin is not the book behind the 2012 motion picture regarding Iran and the CIA extracting hostages. This is a novelette about an android engineer named Mira McAllister and the strangely behaving android she finds one day. As she discovers more about the android, the plot becomes more interesting.
I found the personalities of the artificial intelligence that the author gave to the androids, but I was not sold on the plausibility of them. I did find Mira to be fairly believable, but oddly reluctant when compared to the overall character. This ended up pacing the story, which I felt should have been done through more detail and/or events, rather than the main character beating around the bush.
The story posed a lot of philosophical questions. The characters did muse on them for a bit, but there was never really any answers chosen or assumed by them. This made me feel like I wasted my time reading, since there was no stance taken by the characters. At least the questions posed were food for thought. The climax of the story was definitely worth the read, but the ending was a bit of a let down afterward.
I have not yet looked into the author's other books, but this novelette would be a great introduction to an actual novel. On its own, it really does not accomplish much in my opinion. If you are interested in androids or singularity type books, this might be worth a read, depending on the price. I was recommended this book because "it has furries in it", but this turned out to not really be true. The androids are built in the shape of four foot tall anthropomorphic animals, but they are not "furries" aside from their appearance. ...more
How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You is a collection of comics written by The Oatmeal, also known as Matthew Inman. Most of the content isHow to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You is a collection of comics written by The Oatmeal, also known as Matthew Inman. Most of the content is just rehashed from his popular webcomic, while there are a few pages that are unique to the book. All of the content is about cats, though! While about half of the comics are standalone, there is a series contained within about The Bobcats.
I really enjoyed all of the comics contained in this book, but I am a cat person, so I am probably biased. Knowing a lot about cat behavior makes this book even funnier. I’d be hard pressed to select a favorite from the book, there were so many hilarious comics!
I can say that the beginning fourth and the ending fourth of the book was the best part for me. Sandwiched in the middle half of the book was a long series of comics featuring The Bobcats. These are two cats that work in an office together, and follows their shenanigans with other workers. While I found The Bobcats series to be quite amusing, it didn’t really have anything to do with funny cat comics. They were just funny comics that happened to feature a cat instead.
Anyone who loves cats will find this book hilarious. Fans of The Oatmeal will probably enjoy this, even if they aren’t into cats as well. I’ve long been a reader of The Oatmeal website, and I would love to own more books that are offered by Matthew Inman, but I’d want to wait for sales - the books are not all that long to justify full price. ...more
The second book in Huey Louis/Huey Louie/Louie Huey/Louis Huey (why can't the author keep track of his name!) and Chloe's adventures in journalism. ThThe second book in Huey Louis/Huey Louie/Louie Huey/Louis Huey (why can't the author keep track of his name!) and Chloe's adventures in journalism. This time, they are investigating several cheerleaders who appear to have been demonically possessed.
My problem with this book is much the same as the first story, Plagiarized. The dialogue is horrendous in my opinion. The author insists on every meeting and re-meeting of two characters being an uncomfortable banter of "Hi Joe." "Hi Louie." "How is it going, Joe?" "Not bad Louie, and you?". After the first time or two, it's just too much filler.
In addition, this book does what is referred to as 'breaking the fourth wall'. At times, the author will suddenly refer to the reader in direct speech. At one time, the actual characters in the book talk to the reader directly as well. It was very unsettling. Only slightly related, the author wrote himself into the book as one of the main character's old teachers.
I was happy to see a lot fewer typos and grammatical errors in this book than the first one, but there were a couple of them hiding out.
The book itself was going pretty good, but there were so many things that were left as dangling story bits, never followed up on - like Anette's situation at the end of the novel. Louie mentions it briefly in a summary chapter when he also talks about how "some stories don't tie up all the loose ends when they are over". I appreciate that the author was trying to do, but it was far too bluntly put, and not very cliffhanger-ish to be pulled off here....more
While I really enjoyed the book after it got going (the first 15% or so was dull and sluggish), I didn't think it deserved to be rated too high. ThereWhile I really enjoyed the book after it got going (the first 15% or so was dull and sluggish), I didn't think it deserved to be rated too high. There were several things that I found at fault, for me. There was a lack of vocabulary variety (several rare/uncommon words appeared far too often, giving a repetitive tone to those frequent passages. I also had problems with some of the choices of the characters in actions which I felt common sense lent alternate courses of action/reaction than the characters chose. I know not everyone thinks the same way as myself, but (important) things happened that were just way out of the blue. These of course were in place to further the author's plot line, but for me that very reason made the actions feel forced against the grain. The ending dragged on quite a bit more than it deserved, yet the content of the last several chapters jumped large gaps of time, only to backtrack in order to explain things. This, for me, upset the pacing of the story line, giving a long-winded feel to a rushed cramming of the ending events. Despite my gripes about the book, I really did enjoy the read. I just think it was of average literary quality. I'll definitely be going to watch the film adaptation, though!...more
The Maze Runner by James Dashner is the first book in a series of three novels and three novelettes. It is aimed toward a young adult audience, and yoThe Maze Runner by James Dashner is the first book in a series of three novels and three novelettes. It is aimed toward a young adult audience, and you probably have heard of the movie that was made from the novel. It is written in third person and follows a teenager named Thomas. Thomas wakes up in a large walled-off area called The Glade with no idea how he got there and missing memories of who he is (aside from his own name). In The Glade are many other teenage boys, and they all have the same problem with their memories. During the daytime, the walls have sections that open up, exposing a large-scale maze which is protected by murderous creatures during the night. The boys of The Glade have spent several years trying to solve the maze and escape.
Of the main characters, only one or two seemed believable or realistic to me. The main character, along with the rest, I just could not relate to. I believe that this was the biggest contributor to me only somewhat enjoying the book. There were so many things that these characters thought, said, or more importantly chose to do, that made it hard for me to suspend disbelief. None of the characters really invoked any emotions or connection with me. Their odd (to me) behavior kept me from getting attached.
The author chose to invent a set of new cuss words, which were based on things that happened in The Glade. For example “klunk”, which is the sound that “poo” makes when it lands in the bucket they use for doing their business. I was a teenager once, and I know that among their peers, cussing is common for many of them. The invention of this language allowed the author to use cuss words generously throughout the book. I do not personally mind reading cuss words in a novel, but it made me uncomfortable to know that this book was aimed at a young adult audience, and the author just used a workaround in order to inundate the story with adult language.
I was happy to find that The Maze Runner was not completely predictable. It was not exactly a twisting and turning plot either, but just enough to keep things interesting. There were only once or twice in which I was able to determine what was going to happen based on revealed information. I am not always against a predictable book, but I definitely prefer to be surprised by the next big reveal. While reading this book, I had a hard time putting down the book because the scenes kept me engrossed in the events, but not in anticipation of big changes. The main plot seemed a little bland and drawn-out for me. It was an enjoyable read, but I was more interested in parts of the story that were not revealed here. I wanted to know more about the history of how The Glade came to be and the events leading up to that. I also am very curious about what happens if they are able to escape. Knowing that there is a sequel to this book, perhaps some or all of my questions can be answered.
Many books which are part of a series have a cliffhanger at the end. The Maze Runner did not feel that way to me. While there was plenty of open ends that can easily be expanded upon in the second book, this one could be treated as a standalone novel without dismay. I am not eagerly looking forward to picking up book two, but I will definitely put it on my reading list for when I run out of more interesting things to read.
I would suggest The Maze Runner to young adults (primarily boys, but it is enjoyable by all genders!), as well as adults who like books in the dystopian genre. ...more