Anyone familiar with Stephenson knows three things going into a new book by him: 1. This story will take a long time to start getting interesting 2. ThAnyone familiar with Stephenson knows three things going into a new book by him: 1. This story will take a long time to start getting interesting 2. The characters will be complex and will not be well drawn out 3. The science and research behind the story will be amazing.
This book encompasses all three. It is too hard to describe what happens without spoilers, but I think it is fair to say that the book is about the aftermath of the moon blowing up. I don't consider that a spoiler since this is found in the first line of the book.
I do not recommend this book if you like plots to grab you and hold onto you. This isn't that book. This book explores themes of genetics, planetary physics, realities of living in space, male-female differences, human nature and greed, survival, religion, and the evolution of politics.
I do recommend this book for those who love hard science in a novel....more
This is not Auri's story as much as it is the story of Things, their names and why relationships (even among things) is important. This story transcenThis is not Auri's story as much as it is the story of Things, their names and why relationships (even among things) is important. This story transcends plot and characterization (though it envelopes both) and uses setting as the primary vehicle of a story. You already know the story: It is framed in the midst of Kvothe's time at school. But you don't really know the story until you read this. It is critical that one reads The Name of the Wind at the very least before attempting to read this one. This tale is beautiful, elegant and, though small, larger than the Kingkiller saga....more
Jo Walton takes all of her childhood settings, along with those of her family, and blends them into a dark and magical world of almost reality. This iJo Walton takes all of her childhood settings, along with those of her family, and blends them into a dark and magical world of almost reality. This is a believable story, layered with so many brill themes: Teen angst, angels and fairies, broken families, grief, twin psychology, sci-fi fanaticism, English and Welsh cultures, British boarding school life and the horrors of English food. And with all of these themes, she blends them so well. IMO, the final scene, the most magical scene, does not jump off the page into unreality, as some have suggested. Walton leads into it so gradually that one is almost lead to believe that it is just an extension of everything else that has already happened. And, instead of focusing in a tight shot on her mother there in the every-gorging forest, she leaves her to fend for herself. Fitting.
I adored the part where the three most important new men in her life appear together to welcome her back into the real world. In some ways, they are like the heroes of the force that appear to Luke Skywalker at the end of Star Wars or the throngs that welcome back Frodo and Sam to Gondor.
I also love her love of Tolkien and Zelazny. I read LOTR ten times before high school was done and I have the same pang of regret that the heroine has every time I finished it. ...more
I have liked Scalzi's writing for several years. But I might have enjoyed this book the best. The world-building is not as good as Old Man's War and tI have liked Scalzi's writing for several years. But I might have enjoyed this book the best. The world-building is not as good as Old Man's War and the plot not as enticing as Ghost Brigades or Human Division. This just happens to be the most fun of all his books. His experience as a screenwriter comes through on every page. Brilliant dialogue and surprise endings even in the middle....more
Atwood has three things that many sci-fi writers wish they had: She is a writer of almost unparalleled ability. She can write a sentence with great skAtwood has three things that many sci-fi writers wish they had: She is a writer of almost unparalleled ability. She can write a sentence with great skill, she crafts a plot that is consistent and full of suspense and she has characters that are fleshed-out as believable as any other writer. When she writes general fiction, her books are nominated for awards consistently. When she writes dystopic sci-fi she isn't read as much but she truly heads the class in this genre as well.
The story is a continuation of the MaddAddam story begun in Oryx and Crake. Perhaps the only criticism is that some of the characters from the first book do not act in concert with their motivations in the last book. But she fills in some of their background really well.
I highly recommend this to anyone who can handle dystopic fiction and for those who want well-written sci-fi....more
Rothfuss is another young Fantasy writer who, like Paolini, may go on to create an incredible writing career.
The plot sparkles as do the main characteRothfuss is another young Fantasy writer who, like Paolini, may go on to create an incredible writing career.
The plot sparkles as do the main characters. There is no way to describe the book without completely ruining the plot, since it is intricate and woven carefuly. Supposedly, Rothfuss wrote all three books in this series before publishing the first, so he knows exactly where it is going and has left all sorts of clues to be sorted out in the third book (a la Rowling).
I read this book in four days (750 pages) and the second book in six (1100 pages). Then, I found out the third book won't be published for over a year. I am going to go bonkers.
You will love this book if you even half-heartedly like the genre. I guarantee it. Just don't blame me when you get withdrawal symptoms waiting for the last book in the trilogy....more
"Mockingjay" is a good, satisfying read. True or not True?
This book proved what I suspected in Book 1. Suzanne Collins is pretending to creat"Mockingjay" is a good, satisfying read. True or not True?
This book proved what I suspected in Book 1. Suzanne Collins is pretending to create a sci-fi dystopic book; in actuality, this is a thinly veiled YA relationships book. By attempting this, Collins fails at both. Let's allow Margaret Atwood the title of the Queen of Relationships/Dystopia writing.
The first volume, "The Hunger Games" actually disguises this ultimate sub-text very well. Even though we are introduced to the possible match between Katniss and Peeta in the book, we really don't think she cares that much about him. She is impressed by him (to be sure), but she really doesn't have romantic aspirations as far as he is concerned. She just wants to survive to return home to her family.
But I am aware of how most good authors work - especially with Young Adult fiction. They map out the plot with the final goal in mind. In this third book, I was surprised to find out how sloppy the writing had become (too many similes and misplaced metapors), how chaotic the plot appeared (is there any plot purpose in killing everyone off other than to eliminate distractions and create more madness for Katniss) and how much Deus ex Machina the author employs.
Here is what I mean. No matter what Katniss does wrong or how much she tries to fail and be killed, the author creates some mechanism for keeping her alive. This society that cannot find a way to feed itself has a medical cure for literally everything that ails Katniss (with the possible exception of her rapidly deteriorating brain).
Collins succeeds in turning Katniss from a heroic character to a whining brat. In addition, other than Katniss' sister, all the truly likeable characters are men. Quite a switch for a female author. Perhaps she is trying to be the counterpart to George Martin's "Game of Thrones" series where the only likeable characters are women.
Collins wanted a certain young man and Katniss together from the beginning. But she had to make the path they would take to that end as long and convoluted as possible. What started out with so much promise in Book one definitely devolves in each of the following books.
King has become fascinated with time travel in recent books. But in this one, he answers two questions which have nagged me personally.
First, if we caKing has become fascinated with time travel in recent books. But in this one, he answers two questions which have nagged me personally.
First, if we can change the past, should we? We think that one change would be good and another bad, but perhaps it would be drastically the other way around. Connie Willis in "Blackout" and "All Clear" addresses this subject more thoroughly than King does in this book, but his book is more fun.
The second question I have often asked of time travel is how that affects the Space-time continuum. According to Quantum Mechanics and other elements of theoretical Physics, all matter is also a function of time (in simple terms, what we call time is simply a measurement of change or of a chemical process). Therefore, if time is "played with" will it not cause matter to change in some way? King not only addresses this, but he takes a love story and eviscerates it with this concept.
Eminently readable by America's most skilled story-teller....more
If you see my reviews on the other books in the series, this one follows pretty much the same pattern, with these exceptions.
1. The writing is finallyIf you see my reviews on the other books in the series, this one follows pretty much the same pattern, with these exceptions.
1. The writing is finally more concise 2. He does not give in to the trap of becoming sentimental and maudlin with his main characters. All do not live happily ever after. All questions are not answered. 3. Paolini finally is learning how to craft female characters that don't look like weak male characters or two-dimensional. 4. The descriptions and settings have matured. 5. This is by far the best written book in the series. It is also the most expertly edited of the four....more