The Time Traveler's Wife is a heart-wrenching romance seamlessly interwoven with a surprisingly convincing time-travel premise; granted, Niffenegger The Time Traveler's Wife is a heart-wrenching romance seamlessly interwoven with a surprisingly convincing time-travel premise; granted, Niffenegger never gets into the scientific specifics of the time-travel, but it seems a moot point as it always maintains some sort of logic and never overshadows the plot and characters... What the novel is actually about.
I fell in love with this book the first time I read it, and would happily reccomend it to anyone who is, well, prepared for it. It's a love story, yes, but it's also painfully realistic and quite a powerful read. To put it simply, peruse at your own risk- but it's worth it.
It's been a while since I've re-read this, but I keep it on my shelf- tempting me- for good reason. Fire Bringer is David Clement-Davies response to tIt's been a while since I've re-read this, but I keep it on my shelf- tempting me- for good reason. Fire Bringer is David Clement-Davies response to the anthropomorphised animal genre, and he does a damn good job at following in the footsteps of Watership Down and the like. His ability to weave a powerfully dramatic plot is matched by the time and research he has presumably put in to creating a cohesive and convincing society of deer species. It has its weak points, as most novels do, but I couldn't put this down as I was reading it.
I was immensely impressed with the first book in the Hunger Games trilogy- it came to me highly recommended by friends and family, and I'm always lookI was immensely impressed with the first book in the Hunger Games trilogy- it came to me highly recommended by friends and family, and I'm always looking for new scifi/fantasy novels (YA or otherwise) that provide a new and exciting world for me to get enveloped in.
I think Collins' biggest strength with this series is her world-building- she effortlessly creates a compelling interpretation of future post-apocalyptic North America with its grey morality, allegorical gladiatorial matches, and the resultant cultures on both sides of that fight. I think I'd be content to read any number of spinoff novels so long as they're set in Panem- it seems to be a universe rich and deep enough to support hundreds of narratives aside from Katniss'. Of course one can't help but compare the premise to the Japanese book Battle Royale (and the film of the same name), in that both involve a world with a lottery that pits young kids against each other in a televised battle to the death, but I think Collins has done just> enough with the setting and characters to make the concept her own.
It is worth noting that Katniss is far from a Mary Sue, despite what other reviewers have claimed, insofar as she's just a protagonist. The Lord of the Rings story revolved around Frodo Baggins, too, but that doesn't automatically make him an absurd idealization or a self-insert for the author. Katniss is comparably blessed- yes, all of Panem is taken with her, but that's the stylist's job. Yes, she has two suitors fighting for her hand, but she's known them all her life and is a substantial enough character that we as an audience can say "Yes, I can see the appeal in this person despite her noticeable and humanizing flaws."
And so we come to the meat of my review- having now read Catching Fire and being a good third or so into Mockingjay, the one utterly frustrating thing with the book- more specifically with Katniss as a character- is her inability to make choices. I've been a teenager and can completely understand the weight of indecision upon one's shoulders in times of stress, yes, but at the same time being constantly privy to Katniss' internal dialogue becomes quickly exhausting. For someone with an otherwise firey personality, hearing her constantly question her own perception of things is distressing. Do I approve of this, do I like them, am I willing to sacrifice this or stoop so low as to do that, what do they mean, should I... And so on. Not that internal conflict is a bad thing (quite the opposite is usually true, in fact) but watching Katniss ask these things and more often than not shrug them off and never answer them is a might bit frustrating. It doesn't make the books unreadable, I'd still happily reread them or suggest them to a friend, but its enough of a frustration that I'm now keeping a tally whilst reading the third book....more