I very nearly gave up on this one. I'm a woman in my 30's. I have always considered myself a modern, liberated woman. I had a memory of this book on my (feminist) mother's bookshelf, and of being titillated by the racey cover. I had heard that it was a seminal feminist book. So, I finally decided I should fill in this gap in my literary repertoir and "read" it for myself.
However, as I listened I found I really despised the main character. I was completely unable to relate to her. My generation is very different from hers. I am happy in my marriage, my interpersonal relationships, and my self-image. I've never felt oppressed or smothered by anyone. This woman just seemed disgustingly whiney, neurotic, and childish.
I am stubborn, though. At first I kept myself going by telling myself how good it was to see how far we'd really come since then. I thought it was heading for all kinds of extreme endorsements-- live in communes, forsake all commitments, want nothing more from life than perpetual free sex and empty "freedom". I kept thinking, thank goodness the pendulum has swung back from that extreme into some sanity!
In the end though it didn't go where I feared it would. It more than redeemed itself, and I'm glad I stuck with it. It's about a woman finding her own identity, and while the details of path she took to get there ARE rather dated, the journey itself is as pertinent today as it ever was. It IS a wonderful insight into the dilemmas of being a woman, of the differences and conflicts between the sexes, and of what it means to really grow up and be a whole person.
I was not impressed. It's a pretty typical haunted house story. The characters are bland. The medical parts were poorly researched. Probably OK if haunted houses are your thing, but nothing special.
I hated this book. The heroine of this book has all the maturity and judgement of a thirteen-year-old. The main love interest is a controlling jerk with no respect for boundaries-- he should have been reported for assault and sexual harassment and never spoken to again. The whole thing read like a Harlequin Romance, except that the "romance" was either absent or incredibly annoying. Ick!
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 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 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.
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