I began hearing about the Wayward Pines series online during discussions of the upcoming "Twin Peaks" like TV show produced by M. Night Shyamalan. So...moreI began hearing about the Wayward Pines series online during discussions of the upcoming "Twin Peaks" like TV show produced by M. Night Shyamalan. So far this is the only related story I've read, but I am super interested in reading the others as well as the source books, if they are anywhere nearly as interesting.
This book chronicles events that take place before, and indeed events that turn out to be the source of what's happening in the Wayward Pines universe. It's a personal chronicle of one man's extraordinary journey. Part noir mystery thriller, part revenge story. It take a few chapters to really get going, laying the groundwork of who this person is and how he ends up involved in this bizarre conspiracy. But it lays a solid foundation for what comes later. It felt like the narrative literally picked up steam, as they say, as I progressed from chapter to chapter. And it pulled me into the story in an interesting and subtle way. Once I was about halfway through it was extremely difficult to stop reading.
I've read one other novel by Stephen Romano, Resurrection Express, and it had a similar effect on me. Starting slowly with foundational character stuff and picking up steam as it drew to it's fascinating, and unexpected, conclusion. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good mystery, crime or Sci-Fi genre story!(less)
Really enjoyed this book. Subtly funny, interesting characters, good story and a little philosophical banter to boot. Very quick 400 page read. Slight...moreReally enjoyed this book. Subtly funny, interesting characters, good story and a little philosophical banter to boot. Very quick 400 page read. Slightly slow to start at the beginning but picks up quickly. Definitely recommend!(less)
I loved this book! It's one of those books that kept me on the couch with my nose buried in it for my entire day off. Easily a good seven hours withou...moreI loved this book! It's one of those books that kept me on the couch with my nose buried in it for my entire day off. Easily a good seven hours without even realizing it. Admittedly I don't delve into fantasy books all that often. As great as knights and dragons and fair maidens are, I usually don't want to invest more than two hours in it, preferably in film form (Lord of the Rings as the notable exception). However, this book has such a unique take on things that I was hooked almost immediately. (warning!!! spoilers below... but not bad ones)
So, in the fictional world of Seraphina, humans and dragons co-exist. They've been at peace, under a treaty, for forty years. Dragons can change their form and appear human and in fact must do so when in the human realms, so says the treaty. But there are many humans out there that still remember the war and don't trust dragons. The story takes place around the 40th anniversary of the signing of the treaty and all of the sudden one of the princes of the realm has turned up dead and decapitated, just before the week of celebrating the peace begins. The suspicion is that a dragon did it, so everyone, human and dragon alike, are a bit on edge. Seraphina herself is a sixteen year old musical protege, and has recently come to court as the assistant of the court composer. But she has a secret, her mother was a dragon, which makes her half dragon, something that neither human nor dragon dare consider exists. Her mother's brother, Orma, who is also a dragon, was her music teacher and mentor and taught her a great deal about dragon-kind. The thing is, amongst dragons emotions are illegal. They rarely have them in dragon form, but something about taking human form changes them, and they often have a hard time dealing with it. Seraphina's own mother was so in love with Seraphina's father that she left her own dragon family and took on human form full time and bore a child. It's a fascinating set up and I haven't even gotten into the plot yet! And I won't because I don't want to ruin the pleasure of reading it for yourself! Rest assured, there is action and intrigue and romance and a little comedy. And author Rachel Hartmann very effectively explores themes of bigotry and friendship and loyalty, all to great effect.
I would recommend this to young adult and regular adult alike. The prose is beautiful and flows easily. The material is adult enough to keep us old people interested but it's tame enough to not be shocking, maybe just a little risqué, like a well spoken dirty limerick you might tell your parents. And it has a wonderfully strong and intelligent female protagonist, who has to come to terms with who and what she is and what is the right and moral thing to do. The ending might be a bit on the maudlin side, but it's no less satisfying just because it's a tad predictable. It's really what I wanted to happen, in my heart of hearts, but I'm a hopeless romantic so that might just be me. So ultimately I found this book to be a very entertaining read and I was sad when it was over. If you enjoy Neil Gaiman, Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth, or Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials then you will very likely enjoy this book too. (less)
Scarlett Dedd is SUPER adorable. From it's wonderfully comical and macabre premise to the illustrations that made me think of a horror/goth version of...moreScarlett Dedd is SUPER adorable. From it's wonderfully comical and macabre premise to the illustrations that made me think of a horror/goth version of Tank Girl (see Jamie Hewlett). It pretty well captured the ennui involved in being a teenager that holds a great deal of contempt for the mainstream (which I certainly was, so I could relate).
So basically Scarlett Dedd comes from an eccentric family. Her parents are artists and hippies and are kinda poor, so she's stuck wearing thrift store clothes that don't exactly flatter her pale skin and sunken eyes. But she's found a group of friends that suit her and they make horror movies together. But there is a school trip about to come up and she needs a way to get out of it so she goes looking for mushrooms that will make her sick enough to fool her parents. But she picks wrong and instead makes a deathly poisonous risotto and dies. Then her family finds it, and they eat it, and they die. Then they all come back as ghosts to haunt the house they've been living in. Her friends break in because they're the kind of kids who dig death and other spooky things and Scarlett realized how alone she is so she hatches a terrible plan to kill her friends so they can all be dead together. Being dead apparently makes you a little crazy.
There's a few other things going on that move the story along pretty well and Brett uses some unusual tactics. The story is told in the 3rd person but there's a blog that ghost Scarlett keeps that gives us a little insight into her thought process, as well as a chat room she goes to where there are other dead kids, maybe not all of them trust worthy. And the design of the text isn't always straightforward, it intermingles with some of the illustrations, which is a nice touch but there were two instances where it was particularly annoying. That is, the text wound around itself in circles and I had to turn the book over and over to keep reading it. Sorry man, not cool. The other was that there were often jumps in time that the design of the text didn't indicate. Where there should have been an extra space between paragraphs or something like that, there just wasn't, so it was a little jarring jumping from one scene to another and it took a minute to realize it. Other than those two things, however, I found it a charming and engaging experience.
It is a young adult book, technically, but I would go further and say it is specifically a tween book. If you have a particularly bright ten year old or a particularly unusual thirteen year old they'd probably like this book. Any kids that are artistically inclined or like horror/mystery/thrillers or "Are you Afraid of the Dark" (is that show still on???), would probably dig this book. The prose isn't particularly sophisticated, but it's not supposed to be. Even though it's told in the third person it's still told from the perspective of a fifteen year old, and it reads like it. It's not like reading my eighteen year old niece's facebook posts though. It's way more interesting than that. thankfully.(less)
So much fun! I couldn't put it down and so consequently it took me only about a day and a half to read. And now everything I wear is inspired by the 8...moreSo much fun! I couldn't put it down and so consequently it took me only about a day and a half to read. And now everything I wear is inspired by the 80's for some reason (hello Van's hightops! Haven't seen you in awhile!)(less)