This was such a crazy read! The story centers around Vic McQueen, a young girl with a gift of finding things thanks to a magical bridge that appears wThis was such a crazy read! The story centers around Vic McQueen, a young girl with a gift of finding things thanks to a magical bridge that appears whenever she's riding her bike.
On one of these adventures she meets Charles Manx, an old, creepy, misogynistic prick who loves children and has created a world called Christmasland, where children will never know sadness. Charles is helped by another creep, Bing Partridge, who helps him collect children and take them to Christmasland. When Vic's son Bruce gets taken by Mr. Manx and Bing to go to Christmasland, Vic must fight with all she has to get her boy back.
What follows is a sick, twisted, magical story that manages to be both heartwarming and horrific. It's so hard to describe what makes this such a unique book--there's a lot going on, some awesome world-building, various characters, and violent scenes that make you wonder how humans can be so resilient. It's a fun ride, though, and every chapter keeps you wanting more.
My two critiques are that some characters seem very stereotypical, ie. The Nerd and The Manic Pixie Girl, and the dialogue can be over the top at times, especially when it comes to the women. Sometimes they say something that I would never imagine a woman saying or thinking. It definitely reads as if a man is writing the story, and it kind of took me out of the scene I was reading at the time. Sometimes men in the story will say or think something truly psychotic or over the top, and I wondered if maybe Joe Hill got carried away. Sometimes less is more.
However I was able to look past this as there is so much else to appreciate in the story, and it truly was a unique reading experience. So I still recommend it, especially if you're into horror, magical realism, and fast paced stories....more
This book focuses on Montgomery's experiences while conducting research on octopuses and their emotional intelligence. She meets various rese3.5 Stars
This book focuses on Montgomery's experiences while conducting research on octopuses and their emotional intelligence. She meets various researchers and staff from the New England aquarium, and dives to observe octopuses in their natural habitat. Throughout the book, she shares interesting facts about octopuses, fish, and other mammals and will back some of these up with snippets of research.
Most of the book reads like a memoir. Montgomery introduces the people she meets, shares personal interactions with various octopuses in the aquarium, and describes the connection she feels to them and to the staff. While I enjoyed the writing style very much--it reads like she's having coffee with you and sharing her cool experiences--I wanted more. I felt like Montgomery had just as many questions as I did, and not many answers.
This book made me want to pick up another book on octopuses, fish, etc. with more cool facts backed by research. Overall it's a very enjoyable book, and I would recommend it to anyone who would maybe shy away from reading a scientific book but loves a good memoir--this would be a great choice, as it blends both genres into a fun, quick read....more