Wow this book didn't stand the test of time. I read it in my teens and loved it but now not so much. Back then I didn't quite understood the implicatiWow this book didn't stand the test of time. I read it in my teens and loved it but now not so much. Back then I didn't quite understood the implications of the Goblin Kings' actions and just thought it was super romantic (and a nice spin to the Beauty and the Beast trope) but as an adult reading it now it just reeks of stockholm syndrome and is just borderline rapey and creepy. At least Beauty in B&B was just a captive but she was never meant to be his wife from the get go where else here, the Goblin Kings' kidnap women and they FORCE them into marriage. That premise aside, I still love the things I loved like Marak and Kate's characters (plus the snake and while we're at it even Emily is awesome) and the world building is interesting (kidnapping and raping set aside)....more
Interesting companion to the Mass Effect universe but predictable plot, careless editing (there are actually typos in the book!) and very dry almost bInteresting companion to the Mass Effect universe but predictable plot, careless editing (there are actually typos in the book!) and very dry almost boring writing left much to be desired. I took 3 weeks of active daily reading to finish this book which is a stark difference of my usual pace.
I am an obsessed fan when it comes to the Mass Effect universe. So when I read that revelation was a prequel to the ME games and is about Anderson and Saren I just had to get it! However I was quite disappointed and I really wanted to love this book (heck it displeases me that I am even struggling to LIKE this book). But even my obsession with the universe just couldn't get me into this book.
The one thing that I love about ME is the characters and their interactions because let's face it, in terms of world building there's nothing really new about Mass Effect. It's a typical sci-fi space opera but where it shines is it's ability to make you care for the characters. Sadly I felt the book didn't translate this quality of the ME universe at all.
The characters themselves felt quite flat and perhaps I was over expecting things but come on it's Anderson for crying out loud! It's a sad pity really because the Anderson character is so amazingly rich to see him fall flat was kinda sad. The only character I felt that was fleshed out so amazingly well was probably Saren. I liked how we get to know Saren and that he is one badass mofo of a villain which makes the ending of ME1 even sweeter! As for the rest Grissom, Kahlee just kinda fell flat and the interactions (and budding romance) too was just so surface. This is attributed mostly to the dry almost factual style of writing - Characters move from A to B, Characters do ABCD, We now change the scene to Planet XXXX. I just don't really like Drew Karpyshyn's writing I guess. It's just too Wikipedia factual for my tastes. The dialogue on the other hand is top notch and very close to the quality of the Mass Effect games and definitely true to the characters. As I read the dialogue, I could imagine their voices reciting them with Anderson's deep timbre and Saren's crawl on your skin voice. However dialogue alone isn't enough to save a book.
There's also the problem of a super predictable plot and honestly there wasn't any excitement in the book at all. The plot might work as a video game but as a book it had no climax or cadence or exposition.
Having said that though, the wealth of background info on the universe alone is enough merit for any die-hard Mass Effect fan. I found myself more intrigued with the world building that the plot or characters themselves. Also I liked how the concept of Organics and Synthetics was hinted in this book that was written 2007 circa Mass Effect 1. So guess that whole Organic vs Synthetic crap didn't just came out of no where.
Overall, unless you are a die-hard Mass Effect fan that needs to read/watch everything about Mass Effect... the predictable plot, factual dry style of writing and lack of character engagement makes the book very mediocre. I'd say skip this for the casual fan....more
I really feel that this book should come with a warning that not everyone can stomach it. This is some really DARK F***ed up fantasy (and yes the capsI really feel that this book should come with a warning that not everyone can stomach it. This is some really DARK F***ed up fantasy (and yes the caps and swear word is there for a purpose). I've been exposed to some really dark fantasy where pillaging, rape, violence, gore, incest, etc.... and it didn't bother me much as Daughter of the Blood disturbed me. I'm going to share with you (and maybe some minor spoilers but they're pretty minor) so you can judge for yourself whether you'd pick the book up. I like to think of myself as fairly open minded but seriously some of the themes in this book are downright disturbing.
1. Pointless sexual violence and deviances: It just seems that all the violent sexual acts were just for shock and awe. There literally wasn't really much of a reason for it to be happening. I understand that the author wanted to create this environment of fear but unlike other fantasy books where the rape and violence made sense, these characters were just doing it for entertainment and for no other better purpose and the violence was probably more trouble than it's worth. It just didn't make any sense at all. There's a very disturbing scene where the females of the court decide "hey let's dismember the privates of this random male for entertainment". It's almost as like a bunch of males saying "hey let's cut off the tits/clitoris of a woman for funnnnnn!" who the heck does that?! I understand if it's some kind of punishment but this is for the sake of entertainment? Really?! It's kinda messy, hard and troublesome to dismember someone's privates. Frankly speaking it sounds more trouble than it's worth. That's just ONE example of the many type of weird sexual punishments in this book. Frankly I couldn't stomach them at all because it just seems so POINTLESS.
2. The main male character starts lusting after the 12 year old main character: Now there's some disturbing things in here involving sexually deviant adults who love to molest children. While I can stomach that no problems, it becomes a HUGE problem for me when the main character starts sexually lusting after the 12 year old Jaenelle! Now in the case of Lolita (which I frankly liked very much cause the writing was so gooooddd). In those cases you know that the main character is a perv and that whatever his doing is wrong... But in this case the notion that he is attracted to her is romantacize. I guess the author had wanted to possibly set up for some sweeping romance in book 2 and book 3 by dropping these hints. It would have worked except too bad she's like what 12!!!!
Janelle swayed, bracing her hands on his thighs for support. She licked her lips and looked at him with slightly glazed eyes. "Do... do all boys kiss like that?"
But she would remember that kiss and compare every kiss from every weak-willed Chaillot boy against it. He didn't care how many boys kissed her. They were, after all, boys. But the bed... When the time came, the bed would be his.
I'm sorry but WTF is that????!!!! There's nothing sweet about a grown man perving after a 12 year old girl sexually. If anything I was super disturbed because it was written in a romantic sort of way but hey guys remember she's just 12. T___T
3. An older male character hints to sexually lusting after the 7 year old main character: This is frankly quite disturbing as well because this older male character eventually becomes a father figure to her. While he never acts upon it, there's some hints that he felt some sort of a sexual attraction towards her even as young as a 7 year old!
He held her eyes, letting his fingers travel slowly along her jaw and brush against her lips, all the way around and back. He didn't try to hide his curiosity, interest or the tenderness he felt for most females.
This is probably not as disturbing as number 2 but the fact that the father figure in the storyline is also perving on the main character is making my brain ache.
Those were the things that greatly disturb me about the book but I had some criticisms with how the book was written too. I had some major issues with the lore of the book as it was introduced so overwhelmingly fast. I couldn't catch up and a lot of things didn't quite 'register' in my head and I had to go back and re-read certain chapters to even understand what was going on.
However, all is not bad as there were some good things about the book as well. Where I had to give props was having a fairly well thought out Matriarchal society where females had the power. It was interesting to me because the author had taken into account the nature of females and incorporated it into the book. I suspect if females were the super power, we'd run the world a lot more differently that males! (cause we're biologically wired to multi-task, communicate better and be more emotional) So these aspects really came out in the way the world was run so good job on that part for the author.
Also when the main character wasn't sexually perving after Jaenelle, they had some really tender moments (like older brother and sister kinda moments) which I thought were sweet. And Saetan as the father figure to Jaenelle was really sweet too.
The plot had its moments too (whenever I could understand it when the lore and world building confusion weren't in the way). It was interesting and engaging enough that I wanted to keep on reading but in terms of originality it wasn't spectacular. It was just the usual story of a gifted one trying to come into power being protected by her guardians against those who are in power trying to kill her.
Overall I'd say the world building and lore of the Daughter of the Blood universe is very interesting despite having a conventional plot. However the disturbing themes kept me from truly immersing myself into the world and truly enjoying it.
Though I have to admit, I liked the book enough that I quickly bought the sequel and read it the next day. So some part of me must have liked it enough despite being thoroughly disturbed. ...more
I must be one of the few who preferred Queen over this. Still absolutely fantastic stuff. Again I am floored by how brilliant Gen is. Though he did anI must be one of the few who preferred Queen over this. Still absolutely fantastic stuff. Again I am floored by how brilliant Gen is. Though he did annoy me a little in the first half (even though I know it's part of the grand scheme but reading him that way knowing what he is capable of was painful). ...more
This book is not for everyone, I'll put that as warning first.
If you don't like books that have no plot don't read this. If you don't like books thatThis book is not for everyone, I'll put that as warning first.
If you don't like books that have no plot don't read this. If you don't like books that are slow paced don't read this. If you don't like books that have tragic endings don't read this. If you don't like books that tell you the ending right in the middle so you know what to expect don't read this. Most of all if you don't like books that portray life as it is don't read this.
The Book Thief is a hauntingly beautiful book, with a subject material that may be sensitive to some (World War II told from the perspective of German civilians). There are many books out there that will tell of the suffering of the Jews during the Holocaust but not many will dare tackle the suffering of the German civilians during this period. I know some people are against this "How can we humanize the very people that supported the killing and suffering of an entire race?". It's easy to lump everyone into one category, so it's nice to see how The Book Thief tackles the balance between the Nazi supporters and the ones who just support to stay alive. Also in war I believe there are no winners, just casualties. Everyone truly suffers in one way or another, even Nazi sympathizers.
“It’s a small story really, about, among other things:
* A girl * Some words * An accordionist * Some fanatical Germans * A Jewish fist fighter * And quite a lot of thievery”
The book tells the account of Liesel Meminger's life on Himmel St and how her foster family hides a Jew in their basement. To be honest, it's a collection of little vignettes about her life on Himmel St featuring a colorful cast of side character neighbours and how they try to survive World War II. It's very reminiscent of another slice of life book To Kill a Mockingbird.
The most unusual thing about this book is the narrator and his narration style. Death as a narrator takes some getting use to... He likes to interrupt his own narration with little comments and footnotes. These little interruptions are highlighted very nicely with font changes and adds a lot of richness to the narration.
“She imagined herself reading the entire page in faultless, fluency-filled triumph A KEY WORD: Imagined”
Some may view them as unnecessary interruptions but I personally love them and it gives so much character to Death as a narrator.
As for Death personified? I've seen a number of personifications of Death before in books but I must admit, I do think Markus Zusak's version of Death seems the most human:
“In the darkness of my dark-beating heart, I know. He'd have loved it all right. You see? Even death has a heart.”
He constantly complains about how much work he has cut out for him since the war started. He does get snarky sometimes, other times he wonders about the injustice of everything. He does try to help as much as he can and there are some absolutely heart wrenching moments -such as when he describes the Jews in their last moments and how he tries to arrive earlier so they don't have to suffer (T_______T). Or how he hates to see children because he feels that it's such a waste of life: “Five hundred souls. I carried them in my fingers, like suitcases. It was only the children I carried in my arms.”
At one point he even steps on Hitler's photo on his way out when taking the soul of an elder woman! Got to love Death :)
I really do think that Death is an appropriate narrator because he has reason to have an overly preachy POV on the detriments of war without sounding overly judgemental. I think this is the author's intent and purpose, to give a commentary on world war II and its horrors without sounding too judgemental or preachy.
But do not despair, this book although speaks of the horrors of World War II, speaks more of the human will to live: “I guess humans like to watch a little destruction. Sand castles, houses of cards, that's where they begin. Their great skills is their capacity to escalate.”
I'll end this review with the last paragraph of the book that sums my whole journey reading The Book Thief very nicely:
“I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race - that rarely do I even simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant...