This book was just all around fantastic. When I was finished with all Dan Brown had to offer for Robert Langdon, I found myself at a loss when it came...moreThis book was just all around fantastic. When I was finished with all Dan Brown had to offer for Robert Langdon, I found myself at a loss when it came to finding such a thrilling, intelligent plot. Interred With Their Bones was just was I was looking for. The adrenaline rush, the intrigue, the historical info - it was just incredibly well rounded. I found it really difficult just to put it down.
The plot was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. It toyed with the mysteries around the famous poet and playwright, not only giving you an idea of who he was, but of the world he lived in. The esoteric facts about Shakespeare that Carrell brought to light gave a feeling (in a way not dissimilar to Brown's style) that things are not always as they seem, and there's more to every story that we just never knew before. It opened up a whole subculture of people who are obsessed with the bard, and showed that there has always been a long-time following.
The twists of this book left me guessing and there was hardly a point where I thought, "Hey, saw that coming." The ending was fantastic, in that you were never quite sure who was on Kate's side or not.
The only thing I disliked about this book was that it was a bit hard to keep track of characters, especially the historical ones. Though I can't really fault Carrell on that, as history has always been a long affair full of too many names, places, and faces.
I would certainly recommend this to anyone - in fact, I already have. (less)
So, was this actually a Robert Langdon book? Because it really didn't seem like it. Sure it was half in Italian and referenced some slightly obscure t...moreSo, was this actually a Robert Langdon book? Because it really didn't seem like it. Sure it was half in Italian and referenced some slightly obscure things in history, but it wasn't really about... symbology. Probably for the simple reason that this is more of a book about the history through literature than history through symbols.
In fact, that might be one of my biggest problems with it: the giant question of why the hell Langdon was there in the first place. And I don't mean why he was in Florence - they explain that all away. Basically he's called by the Director of the WHO to help with this mystery with clues involving Dante's Divine Comedy and traditional Dan Brown-esque hijinks ensue and blah blah blah - all before they ever say why they called up a symbology professor to talk about something that clearly has to do with literature. Yes, true, there was a fair bit of art and architecture involved, but it all relates back to Dante, so why not call, say, a Dante expert? It's actually stated in the book that they exist, and they would probably know more than someone who, by his own admission, only taught one or two classes on the subject. He had no reason to be there.
Problem number two that I had: why is Rick Steves Dan Brown giving me this horribly boring tour of Florence/Venice/Istanbul? Maybe boring isn't the right word. Just out of place. It could be right in the thick of the action and Brown takes out three pages to describe things that are in no way relevant to the plot. Oh it's all very nice and interesting - if I was reading 'A Historian's Guide to Florence', that is.
So basically a summary of my review would be: "This would be a decent book, if only it wasn't this book." This book seemed like it kept trying to be other books. I think maybe if it was a part of another series, it would make more sense. Maybe if it was... Oo! I can do this!
Here we go! New from Dan Brown! Shrobert Flangdon is an informed but unsuspecting Florentine tour guide who gets pulled into a whirlwind adventure when his extensive knowledge of Dante leads the World Health Organization to ask for his help stopping a bioterrorist whose trail of breadcrumbs revolves around Dante's famous Divine Comedy. This book has everything! There's the pretty girl with the tortured past, the mysterious corporation with a controlling exalcoholic leader, the misunderstood-but-still-crazy-and-obviously-still-evil bad guy, and a plot twist that will make you have to recall the entire novel! And don't forget! There are hardly any controversial topics in this one so you can pretty much forget it's Dan Brown at all!(less)
I confess I haven't read the predecessor to The Warrior's Apprentice, Barrayar, so after reading the first book, Shards of Honor, I was mildly disappo...moreI confess I haven't read the predecessor to The Warrior's Apprentice, Barrayar, so after reading the first book, Shards of Honor, I was mildly disappointed by this one. Though it was good and I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was a different type of book altogether. Where Shards of Honor had Cordelia and Aral as the main characters, and was more political, this was about their son, Miles, and was a lot more action packed (not to say it didn't have its deal of political maneuvering). Both books have their merits, but it seemed weird that Bujold would change the style that much.
I guess, to explain myself better, Shards of Honor reminded me of an episode of Star Trek: TOS; problems were presented, and though there were some action-y moments, they were usually solved using some sort of diplomacy. The Warrior's Apprentice, however, is like an episode of the new series of Doctor Who; problems were presented and through some daring, make-it-up-as-you-go plan, everything works out in a blaze of glory and humor.
I'm not sure if that explanation made sense to anyone but me, but there you have it.
Like I said, that doesn't mean this book wasn't good, because it was fantastic, it was just different. I would recommend it to anyone interested in a fun space opera and a good read. (less)
Wow. This was my first book by Seth Grahame-Smith and I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't this. It was an absolutely fantastic and...moreWow. This was my first book by Seth Grahame-Smith and I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't this. It was an absolutely fantastic and gripping story that, despite my original thought after reading the jacket description, was very pro-Christianity.
But no, I'm not even sure I can say that. I think that like with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (which is next for me to read), he just took a story and added more to it. Whether the story was something fictional or something considered fact by many is immaterial to him. He was just telling the story of a man, and how his life was intertwined with something important. You'd think Grahame-Smith definitely took a risk writing this one, but once you've read it, you realize, no, he really didn't.
It's almost like he wrote an incredibly gory, Guillermo Del Toro-inspired fanfiction for the Bible. He took a part of the Bible that he felt deserved more attention, in this case, the three wise men, and gave them a story. It's not rude, it's a reinvention. The world today is tired with the old tales and they need something to spice it up a bit, to remind them that these stories, however dry they may sound after the fifty-second sermon, weren't always meant to be that way.
Unholy Night is just giving the Bible a bit of meat on its bones, giving people a reason to remain interested in wondering if this could have possibly been true. We don't know much about the three wise men, and after reading this story, I don't think any less of them. Seth Grahame-Smith just gave us more reason to like them.
Now, I'm not really a religious person, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story itself is brilliant and the references explained to the unknowing reader without over-explanation. I would recommend this to just about anyone except for those with weak stomachs (I actually found myself gagging at some of the gore) or those who are easily offended by people expressing differences in religious opinion, as the main character tends to do that. This isn't your grandma's Sunday School book, but a good read for believers and non-believers alike.(less)
Out of the first three books, Life, the Universe, and Everything was my favorite. The first two were spectacular and hilarious but I didn't quite feel...moreOut of the first three books, Life, the Universe, and Everything was my favorite. The first two were spectacular and hilarious but I didn't quite feel they had the same plot drive as this one. It was intriguing and suspenseful and had me laughing outright in the middle of class (as it rightly should).
Perhaps it's because the plot was originally something he wrote for an episode of Doctor Who that I felt so connected to it, but I liked that, unlike the first two, plot wasn't just a sort of side note that he forgot to mention in between pages of sarcasm and satire until the very end. There was a purpose to Arthur, Ford, Zaphod, Trillian, and Slartibartfast's trek (no nerd reference intended) through the stars (okay, maybe nerd reference intended). Maybe it was also because I paid this one more attention. Whatever it was, I loved it and it is one of my favorite books on my shelf. (less)
I was considering reading this book after John Green did a video on it for the Vlogbrothers but I saw several reviews on this site that said things li...moreI was considering reading this book after John Green did a video on it for the Vlogbrothers but I saw several reviews on this site that said things like, "This book should have ended on page 150" and "I wouldn't read the sequel." Naturally, this had me a bit apprehensive. But I'm glad I ignored the reviews and am happy to say that if the book HAD ended on page 150, I would have been sorely disappointed.
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children is one of the strangest books I've ever read. The story (though similar to the idea of the X-Men) is rather original and - coupled with the vintage photographs - creepy. It starts off quickly on the mystery of Miss Peregrine and Abraham's past and once that's figured out (around page 150) the story DOES keep going but that's because it isn't over yet. The conflict in this book is not this mysterious house with the peculiar people; that's only a part of it. The conflict is what killed his Jacob's grandfather and why. Finding the house does not resolve that, so of course the story continues, and when the real climax comes along, it really does resolve that issue and even sets up for more.
I am excited to read the next adventure and see the next group of creepy photos. Altogether, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children is unique and hard to put down. As I was reading it, I found myself showing it off to other people and telling them they should read it, and I'll still do that, even after I'm done. (less)
**spoiler alert** I'm not quite sure how I feel about American Gods but I'm sure it's closer to 'hate' than 'love' on the rating spectrum.
First off,...more**spoiler alert** I'm not quite sure how I feel about American Gods but I'm sure it's closer to 'hate' than 'love' on the rating spectrum.
First off, the thing that bugged me the most had to be just how vulgar it is. I'm not talking about sex scenes, those I can handle, but there were moments where I would think, "that was unnecessary." The cursing, again I can handle that, but I really hope that's not how American adults talk. It was just trashy and put me off of pretty much every character. Are there no decent gods - or people even? I just got really tired of it really fast.
Also, I was so bored reading this. I understand there was a lot to set up, but he took way too long to get to the point. By the time Shadow got to Lakeside, I was about to give up.
It kind of seems like Neil Gaiman gave up on the book too. The ending, however nice of a twist it was, was a bit anti-climactic (Perhaps because there wasn't much build-up to begin with, but I digress). The final battle scene had a lot of potential and he gave a really good speech, and then... it was just over. There were no fighting arguments, they just... left. It seemed a bit unbelievable that, all of the sudden, these gods would easily give up on something they felt so passionately about just because Shadow said they should.
Basically, I had to mentally push myself to finish this book. I heard that it was supposed to be this grand metaphor about America and her fickleness, but I found myself greatly disappointed - and intensely bored. I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone.(less)
Across the Universe drew me in with the beautiful cover and the Beatles reference, to be honest, but it really was a good book. The world of the Godsp...moreAcross the Universe drew me in with the beautiful cover and the Beatles reference, to be honest, but it really was a good book. The world of the Godspeed was so strange and dystopian, and the characters were likeable.
One of the things I didn't like, however, was just how predictable it was. You almost knew from the beginning who did what and why. But, it might be okay. By the end, I saw that the important thing about this book was the development of the characters and Amy's acceptance of her situation.
The thing that I truly was disappointed about, thought was how they never talked about Amy's time in the ice. The author spent all that time setting up this awesome idea of her being awake the whole time only to dismiss it after she wakes up. I mean, she was under for 300 years, and she doesn't tell Eldest once? That seems like something you'd want to talk about.
That aside, Across the Universe was good. I would recommend it and the sequel is on my 'to-read' list. I can't wait to see what happens next. (less)