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)
This book is fantastic! It's a charming, and spooky, tale of two orphaned Irish children in the late 1800's who stumble into work for a once wealthy f...moreThis book is fantastic! It's a charming, and spooky, tale of two orphaned Irish children in the late 1800's who stumble into work for a once wealthy family that is in a mysterious downward spiral. Their health, their relationships and their money all seem to be slipping away from them. And the cause could be in the house itself. It's a mystery that unfolds as the two orphans first witness it, and then get caught up in it.
The story explores themes of greed, honesty, loyalty and family. It's incredibly well written. The story moves along rapidly and the author expertly weaves his characters into the setting and the setting into the plot. To me there was no wasted space, and no wasted opportunities. Auxier knew exactly what tale he was telling and it shows. Even though this is "young adult fantasy" I would recommend this to any adult with a love for supernatural stories (and if you are a Gaiman fan, as I am, you should just go read it right now). I might hesitate to give this to anyone under the age of about thirteen, and even then they'd have to have a penchant for the darker side of things. It's get fairly creepy near the end, and I won't lie, people die.
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)