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.
I don't get all the rave reviews. Yes, it's a cool idea.... but the story itself is so very, very DULL. There is no real conflict or tension in it. You just sit and twiddle your thumbs as a series of highly improbable coincidences occur to reach the inevitable conclusion. I'll not be bothering with any sequels.
While the perils of technology and humankind's struggle to use it wisely are timeless themes... this book is not. It is tiresome, horribly preachy, and extremely dated. I'm sorry I wasted the time to finish it.
So, this is basically the story of Jesus from the last three years of his ministry to just after the crucifixion. It throws in time travel as a twist on that story, but that's not enough to save it. If you want that story, get it from the Bible, where it's told a whole lot better. This story is predictable, the characters are flat, and the token atheist a very poor example of the breed thrown up as a straw man to be shot down without the trouble of any real thought or examination of the issues.
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.
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