I found this book, though dark, to be entertaining. Not great literature, but there's enough meat in the ideas to get me to think. The author did a great job of extending the worst of our current natures to their logical conclusion, and then placing his characters in a world of that making. Cautionary tale, indeed.
I enjoyed the book right up to the end, where the guy comes on and says "This is Audible. We hope you enjoyed..." At that point, I thought maybe I'd gotten a corrupted file, so I even re-downloaded and re-installed it on my iPod. Nope, that is the actual abrupt end of the book.
That makes me mad. It makes me feel like I'm being played for what I'll buy next that has this author's name on it. Never mind that I'm left hanging in the middle of several radically new developments. Never mind that I feel cheated by major plot threads left hanging. The only thing that matters is leaving me so up in the air that I have no choice but to buy the next in the series.
It doesn't have to be that way. I've read and enjoyed many other series, and have waited with anxious anticipation for the next book to come out. In fact I'm about to read Tana French's latest, and I've read the three leading up to it, and not in any particular order. Now that's a successful series. I didn't even know I was reading a series until Broken Harbor came out with the announcement that it's the fourth installment in a series.
Readers don't need to be manipulated to stay with a series. Give us a great book with a satisfying ending - even one that leaves us a little on the edge, and that also gives us closure on the stuff that matters. Just don't make it feel like you stopped in the middle of a sentence just to get us to the edge of the cliff.
Too bad. It had promise.
This story is alright. I've certainly read worse... and certainly read better. The characters are likable. It's cleverly descriptive. The story moves along at an alright pace.
Dude, learn pronunciations. More than a handful of times I caught myself ripped from a scene because of a mispronunciation.
If you are a fan of apocalyptic fiction, this one is alright. It's a nice story with a rare happy (ish) ending. Author could have pulled at heart strings a little more... all the elements were there to do so!
The Dog Stars is a beautifully written novel. Heller's style is lyrical, sparse, poetic. It is introspective and reflective. It is missing something on purpose, which gives the story much of its beauty and defines Hig as a character.
Mark Deakins does a truly outstanding job with the narration. He makes Heller's stylistically broken sentence structure seem as natural as one's own thoughts (that's the idea, after all). The few characters in the book have subtly unique, nuanced voices. I couldn't imagine a better pick for narrator.
What story there is is a reflection on loss and interdependence in a bleak, ruined world, where the weary acceptance of death exists alongside an animal fear of it. There's little plot to go on; the plot of The Dog Stars plays out in a very small slice of the world, and effects very little apart from the lives of its characters. Still, it feels like an important story to tell.
It wasn't quite all brilliance. For me, Heller lost his way a little around the two-thirds mark when Hig arrives in the canyon. The events there seemed out of sync with the rest of the story, and the new relationships felt forced and slightly contrived. Despite the mature, uncensored language in the story as a whole, the explicit sexual encounter was unwelcome and a weird decision by Heller. Fortunately, the story and characters fell back into place once the canyon was left behind.
I'm willing to overlook the mid-story midsteps, and they are forgettable when looking at the novel as a whole. It is an artfully written and expertly narrated tale of beauty in loss.
A beautifully written tale about the resiliency of love across the boundaries of time space and species. Hope in the face of hopelessness is a magical thing.
Those not seeking end of the world excitement
Sections of tediousness; I never felt a connection with the characters so when they weren't in danger of death I was bored. The ending was also one of the worst in recent memory.
Anger at the author
I think the author tried to hard to make a different kind of end of the world book. If you liked "the Road" you probably would not like this.
I really enjoyed the way this book developed. After a fairly slow start, the characters really developed and you find yourself rooting for them. At one point I didn't know if I felt sorry for the main character or whether I wanted to be him. If you like gory, zombiesque post-apocalyptic books, than this isn't the one for you. Yes, disease has killed off almost all humans. Yes, violence is present and bad people try to to what bad people do. But this book is more about an emotional journey of a handful of characters that you really grow to like.
This book was very slow and boring. It got mildly interesting when he met some new people. I really disliked the short choppy thoughts without pronouns which were used frequently. I thought the reader did a very good job with it though. He was the only reason I made it past the first few chapters.