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message 1: by Michelle, Overrun By Pets (last edited Apr 26, 2015 04:44PM) (new)

Michelle Finazzo | 281 comments I am 177 pages in to Gravity's Rainbow. I haven't picked it up in a good many weeks. I aspire to post questions covering Section 1 shortly and then hope to forge ahead on this psychedelic rollercoaster. Needless to say the end date on this book has been extended considerably due to my lack of progress.

I finished Ticker. It was a raucous young adult steampunk adventure. I enjoyed the setting, the fast pace, the characters, and the plot development. I like to be surprised, and some of the details disclosed about Warwick were definitely things I did not see coming.

I read The Dead Key and loved it. I liked both primary female characters, Beatrice being my favorite. Although I was sometimes confused by Iris' life choices (think hard-drinking, cigarette smoking, somewhat promiscuous, modern day Nancy Drew), I was thoroughly envious of the opportunity to dig around the old abandoned bank uncovering secrets and mysteries. The author did a great job of portioning out plot points and then releasing a whirlwind of information for a thrilling conclusion. I adore a good investigative conspiracy tale.

I am nearly done with Wreckage and have been disappointed with some of the plot choices and some of the cliche characters. I will reserve final judgement until I have read the last 25 pages.

message 2: by Andrew, Wound Up (last edited Apr 27, 2015 03:02PM) (new)

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 343 comments I haven't been reading too much, until we had a lovely getaway at the Sylvia Beach Hotel (a place made for enjoying a good book).

Earlier in the month I finished The Dead Key and thought it was quite good. It alternates between two different characters (past and present) working in a now abandoned bank. I enjoyed the mystery and suspense but didn't think the main character's decisions always fit her character.

Once arriving in Newport I cracked into Station Eleven and loved it. This novel seems best suited for a certain type of nerd if you look at its individual pieces: plague apocalypse, comic books, Star Trek, survival, cults, etc. These window dressings could send potential readers astray as this is a focused story about the lives and relationships of a small group of people who have each been impacted significantly by a single man who dies just before the outbreak. Specifically: the person looking for a survival adventure may be disappointed while the reader who skips this thinking that is all there is will miss out on a superb book. Read it.

The Martian is a deservedly popular science fiction novel about an astronaut left behind accidentally when disaster strikes the manned mission to Mars he is a part of. He has a month worth of supplies, no means of communicating with Earth, and an estimated four years before the next scheduled mission to the planet arrives thousands of kilometers from his current location. Weir is so skillful at balancing aspects of this novel (technical information, humor, drama, hope, disaster) that he could be justly compared to a tightrope walker who looks as though he is dancing upon a stage.

Next I cracked open Wolf in White Van whose title is a reference to the hidden messages supposedly found in certain records when they are played backwards. The novel plays out backwards and, like those messages, can be quite hard to understand. The main character Sean has just been cleared of any wrongdoing in a lawsuit related to a play by mail game he created many years ago while in a hospital recovering from a disfiguring catastrophe. Sean works backwards in time reflecting on these two incidents. The confusion clears up completely by the end of the novel and I found the story personally meaningful but I'm not sure how often I'd recommend it to others.

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