I have really liked previous books I've read by Octavia Butler, and had been looking forward to this one, but I just didn't like it. I'm not sure how much was the narration and how much was the story itself, but it just seemed really stilted and flat. This particular vampire concept was unique and interesting, but I was not able to muster any emotional attachment to any of the characters, or really believe the emotions that they were feeling. Very disappointing.
I can't say it was a bad book. It was in fact very well written. The characters were exceptionally vivid and memorable. However-- I hated it.
Maybe if it had been written under a pseudonym and assigned to me in literature class... yes, I knew it wasn't a Harry Potter book, but it was still a huge disappointment. Pitiful small-minded small-town English Muggles spending 18 dreadfully dull hours showing how pitiful, small-minded, and small-town they all are, with a terribly depressing ending to top it all off... it was NOT what I wanted. I found myself wishing that Voldemort would come along and eat the lot of them.
The main part of the novel was pretty much what it's billed as... a fun romp poking fun at Star Trek. I kind of wished I'd stopped there, though. The three codas on the end, while great "tying up loose ends" stories, had an entirely different serious/sentimental tone. It was a poor match for the main book, and totally ruined the humor/satire tone I'd been enjoying. My advice would be to read just the main part of the book, savor the experience, then go back later for the codas.
This book was wonderful fun. A classic story of young people on a treasure hunt, fighting Big Corporation and trying to find themselves-- in a future where the key to success is to become an 80's-style ubergeek. My husband and I loved it for its resonance with our own 80's coming-of-age geekery, and also loved passing it on to our kids, who have been regularly subjected to classic 80's culture in our "family movie nights". Wil Wheaton's narration was enjoyable as always, and perfect for this story. Highly recommended!
This was billed as being like Diana Gabaldon's books, which I quite enjoyed, but it did not live up to that standard. There was precious little history in this so-called historical fiction. The characters in the past are minor players, with little insight given to real historical figures and without even much attempt made to portray the daily life of the times. They were also not particularly well developed or engaging. As for the modern day part of the story, the "genetic memory" quackery made my teeth grind. I have no problem enjoying the pure fantasy of ancestral memories or ghosts or mystic visions of the past, but the book's attempt to make itself "real" with psuedoscientific mumbo-jumbo about DNA was absolutely ridiculous. DNA does NOT encode memories!!!! I suppose this book might not be so bad if you're looking for a shallow romance novel, and don't really care about science or history, but I found it to be mostly annoying.
I found this book incredibly dull. I am normally quite forgiving of stories with female warriors, but the main character really didn't have enough depth to even SEEM female. None of the characters were compelling, and the "story" was just an endless sequence of mostly meaningless conversations, travelogues, and battles.
Since my daughter went gaga over Twilight, I've been on a quest to find more vampire books for her. That's a difficult quest, since most vampire books are decidedly NOT for kids. Vampires are cool, but keeping their mystique and allure without making them gruesome or sexually explicit is a challenge.
This one tried-- the vampires here are teens in the equivalent of a high school. The premise itself is interesting, and I liked the vampire/dhampyr/human dynamics. However, all the petty high school cliques and jealously completely ruined the vampire "mystique". The kids in the story (16-17 year olds) get drunk on a regular basis, have sex, and have generally atrocious behavior towards each other and towards all the adults.
In sort, too much shallow teenage shenanigans to appeal to adults, and.. too much shallow teenage shenanigans to make me want it for my daughter.
My only comfort in having endured this story is that at least I spared my children the same ordeal. It was slow-moving, dull, and depressing. The lead character is a complete idiot-- he makes glaringly horrible choices throughout the whole book. The characters I did manage to become a little fond of were killed off. The underground world was mildly intriguing, and the overgrown bald killer cat was cool, but NOT worth the drudgery of listening to the rest of it.
I was thoroughly unimpressed, though I suspect much of the problem was the reader. She just wasn't a good fit for the story, particularly as most of the main characters are male, and she does NOT do good male voices. It WAS an interesting perspective on the possible consequences of cloning, and maybe it is much more compelling when read in print, but the audio selection just never grabbed me. The pace was slow, the characters were hard to relate to, and the bit of genetics education that I've had made it hard even to enjoy the sci-fi aspect of the story-- in the end, they live happily ever after, all set to rebuild humanity with a few dozen already related people, and no mention whatsoever of the hazards of genetic "bottlenecks" and the perils of interbreeding.
I'm really not sure what to make of this one. If I hadn't known from the reviews and description that something dreadful happens, I would have thought the first three-fourths of the book to be dull and pointless. Since I did know, it did have a kind of creepy suspense, waiting for the axe to fall.
However, when it did finally fall, it was kind of anticlimactic. The whole book has a surreal and detached feel-- good for building suspense, not so good for really feeling the horror when it happens. That same detachment made it hard to really get involved with the characters, which also lessened the impact of the climax. At the end, I blinked, scratched my head, and said "Hunh. Well... I guess it's time for the next selection!"
It's short, so if you like odd stories and subtle horror it might be worth the risk. Just don't expect too much.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.