Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels discussion

Camouflage
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Monthly Reading: Discussion > December 2018 "Camouflage" Discussion <Caution! Spoilers May Be Present!>

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message 1: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2549 comments Mod
Group Read #22


message 2: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kateblue | 3611 comments Mod
Well, I really liked it but it just ended. I mean it was an OK ending, but I really liked the book and then it just ended. The ending should have been stretched out a little more, it made the book seem unbalanced.

Also, no real explanation of the bad guy.


Allan Phillips | 1860 comments Mod
Exactly what I thought. He spent most of the book describing how the protagonist lives and learns, very little on the antagonist, then they meet, and boom, it's over. It was solidly written and interesting, but "unbalanced" is a great way to describe it.


message 4: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kateblue | 3611 comments Mod
Just a two page denouement would have helped. It reminded me of the end of some movies that I have loved but that needed just a little tag on the end. For some reason, right now, the movie "War Games" comes to mind as needing a little something at the end.

Like, as they are traveling to the protagonist's home, or after they get there, they are experimenting on the antagonist (in a nice way of course) to determine where he is from so they can reach out to his people . . . Or their kids could be doing that . . .


message 5: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan | 481 comments Mod
Well, I completely agree with Kate and Allan. It was unbalanced. I also didn't like the overly "happy ending" it had. No one dies, everyone is happy, and the alien gets the human at the end.

I don't mind the abrupt ending. The alien left as suddenly as it arrived. We don't know much of anything before it landed on Earth and we won't know much of it after it leaves. We only see it's existence as it is on Earth. I think that is pretty balanced.


message 6: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited Dec 06, 2018 07:08AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kateblue | 3611 comments Mod
Bryan, it's the EVIL alien that I am mystified by. I mean, he was never really explained. They put him in a cage and--boom!--he's gone. I almost feel you could drop him out of the story altogether and you wouldn't miss him.


message 7: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan | 481 comments Mod
Oh, yea I agree with you there. He didn't serve a purpose at all. It was almost like Mr. Haldeman wrote the whole story without the Chameleon and someone told him to add in an antagonist.

It would have been better, in my opinion, if when the Changeling split itself before leaving the ship that the protagonist was the "good" alien and the antagonist was a different life lived by the other half of the alien. And all the shit it went through is what caused it to become "evil". Then the ending would have been more interesting...as the two would become one...and have balanced themselves/have gained a better understand of Earth/humans.

I should probably write this down...I think I could BS an entire book with that idea...lol


message 8: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited Dec 08, 2018 12:02PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kateblue | 3611 comments Mod
Wow! Bryan, I think your idea is much better than the way the author did it. Maybe it split into because it got bitten in half by a shark or something. Although your idea is like, they did it on purpose. But what if it wasn't on purpose but one was more injured and became evil because of it?

Because would the aliens even have our concept of good'n'evil?


message 9: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2549 comments Mod
Just managed to finish the novel and I totally agree with the fact that the "bad guy"'s character was neither well presented nor served much purpose. It would seem as if it was added as an afterthought, for ending to have a bit of action.

Overall I enjoyed reading about how changeling traveled through decades, connecting the past with the present. I didn't even mind the romantic spin, which is pretty uncharacteristic for me, probably because changeling's motivations made sense, more or less.

Wish there was more to the story, but I suppose it is one of those cases when the author had an interesting idea without having enough content for a full fledged novel.


message 10: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Z (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3404 comments Mod
Art wrote: "Just managed to finish the novel and I totally agree with the fact that the "bad guy"'s character was neither well presented nor served much purpose. "

I disagree, to have an eternal enemy, non-comprehensible has its pluses - for one, you don't need to create the reasons for aliens to do something or other


message 11: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2549 comments Mod
Oleksandr wrote: "I disagree, to have an eternal enemy, non-comprehensible has its pluses - for one, you don't need to create the reasons for aliens to do something or other"

It is not chameleon who is non-comprehensible (I enjoyed the character and I believe it had a lot going for it), it is its presence and the pitch that vexed me. Not saying it is a flaw of the novel, just saying that I wouldn't mind picking author's mind on the subject.


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