It sounded like a great promise, but it dissolved into nothing much along the way. Three stars for managing to keep me listening; but there wasn't much reward at the end of it. I guess bets of the kind behind Sloan's novella aren't necessarily the best kick-off for great literature.
Avid listener of mysteries, thrillers, a little sci fi. Also enjoy self improvement titles. Mom, wife, Social Media Coordinator for biz.
I know I have been spoiled by the likes of Connelly, Deaver, Lippman, French, Child and others. This book is kind of juvenile in its plot and pacing. I think my 12 year old would love it. However, it is NOT Ready Player One (RPO). RPO is a well-polished narrative with clearly thought out characters. It moves neither too fast nor too slow. I adored it. This book has a bit of fantasy in it but it doesn't seem to fit with the non-fantasy parts. Characters are very one dimensional and predictable - almost like cartoons at times, especially Mr. Penumbra himself.
This book comes across like someone just sat down and typed it up with no effort to edit, polish or improve it after the fact. It's not awful, simply unsophisticated.
Based on the first hour or two of this book, I thought I had found something akin to the eerie metafiction of Paul Auster's "Oracle Night" with a bit of SF/Fantasy focus.
Instead, this novel proved itself to be a "Ready Player One"/"Da Vinci Code" mash-up filled with techie references and code-breaking, secret societies.
The initial atmosphere is a nice blend of mysterious, youthful, dot com, near-future economic ennui. But as the story unfolds, everything feels trite.
The plot is serviceable, though the characters (as another reviewer noted) seems like poor caricatures of real people: more overly-optimistic archetypes than real, growing people.
I too was annoyed by the take on Google. Basically, Google (and those perky, unstoppable Googlers) can do no wrong, and their campus is some sort of modern day utopia of enlightenment.
What got me most about this book was the ending. I wish that our author had simply finished the book with the completion of the main narrative arc. Instead, we get a cloying, everything-turned-out-perfectly-for-all-the-main-characters-except-the-villian-who-got-his-comeuppance epilogue.
All my complaints aside, this book was, at least, entertaining. If you like books like "Ready Player One" and don't want to be bogged down in anything even vaguely-related to real life concerns or problems, this one is probably for you.
But less generously: not half as interesting as either. Foucault's Pendulum is much more worth the time.
Not much of a book. I thought it was silly and hardly worth listening too. I finished it, but if you like this kind of book and haven't listened to Ready Player One, it's a better bet. Penumbra's seems like it was plotted out on someone's computer and then written from out from someones writing program. I suppose I just didn't buy it. The narrator, however, was perfect for the story. He redeemed the whole thing.
I am 36 years old and enjoy a good conspiracy adventure and even a fantasy every now and then. I am therefore baffled at the great review's this book has received.
I almost quit around chapter 17 but endured on to the end. I was not rewarded for my faithfulness. I gave this book 3 stars because it was not the worst book I have read lately. The concept was good. The characters had promise but in the end fell flat, I was not really invested in any of them.
The narrator read way to fast, this book should have been 10 hours not 7+.
This reminds me of the book "14" that was also on my recommendation list and I also disliked, and also was baffled at the great reviews?
Maybe its an age thing, I don't know...
I will just give you an idea of the books I have enjoyed recently so you can compare and decide if this is worth you downloading:
Sweet tooth by Ian McEwan
You're next by Gregg Hurwitz
Garden Spells by Addison Allen
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Beautiful Ruins By Jess Walter
House at Riverton By Kate Morton
Dublin murder squad series by Tana French
The Leopard by Jo Nesbo
Mr. Penumbra's is a literary piece of bubble gum. A clever premise brings you into the story with great hopes. But one-dimensional characters and a plot that loses momentum produce the same stale taste that you experience with a piece of bubble gum. My mom had books she called beach novels and this book fits the bill. A pleasant simple read while lying on the beach. Easily forgotten once digested. Enjoyable enough but not a big deal when it's over.
The premise had me very interested, but the story quickly became boring with too much focus on cringe "techie" lingo and a flaccid love interest. Mystery and intrigue were seemingly left to the wayside though I had anticipated that they would be the focus of the story. Disappointing and oddly immature especially during the romantic moments. I could not finish, it was just not gripping enough and the characters were too shallow. The narrator was above average.
I was bored to tears with this book. Not interesting in the least. I listened to the whole book to see if it would get better. It didn't. A waste of money and time.
A quick light read perfect for a lazy summer weekend.
The story is interesting enough to keep you reading, although the pay-off is a bit underwhelming.