Lauren Oliver is really a joy to read. Her skill level is definitely higher than I've come to expect from YA authors. I also was fortunate to listen to the audiobook version of these books which are narrated by the very excellent Sarah Drew. She especially shined in this book doing both Hana and Lena's voices.
This book has the perspectives of both Hana and Lena. Usually this method doesn't work well but for this story particularly it was great. We get to see the unraveling from the resistances' side and also the cured side. It was especially interesting to me to see how Hana changed after the cure as this concept was intriguing to me from the beginning.
You still have a love-triangle technically in this book but I was okay with it due to the personality change in Alex for the last two books. It's an interesting foil. I also appreciated that there wasn't a lot of make-out scenes. She focused on the real story here - the desire for the freedom to choose.
Female YA authors often can't close the deal on the story. Although I felt it was obvious how the series would end, it was neat to see the details and think about the ramifications on the society. And no epilogue yea! She doesn't feel the need to lay out exactly where things will go but there's enough hints to leave you satisfied.
I find it difficult to rate this novel. There are things I really enjoyed about it and other things I found nearly intolerable.
The style is definitely a two-star novel for me. The author writes in third person from quite a few different PoV. He then throws in first-person internal dialogue asides quite a lot. These asides are almost always corney and are completely irrelevant to the story. Other reviewers have said it very well - it's like a 15 year old boy telling you a fantasy story - cursing, boobs, sex slaves and constant fat jokes. I sighed a lot.
Character development was definitely an issue in that the males and females had gender-based personalities, which actually got confusing as to what PoV we were hearing.
The plot was really good. There were enough interesting things that happened in the story that you didn't know exactly what would happen next. The pacing was also quite good. And I appreciate an author being willing to be gory but not too much so. I especially like when an author manages to make you change your mind from someone being despicable to admirable.
The magic in this novel is one of my favorite I've read. At first it's rather confusing, although the author tries hard to give you enough information to figure it out. It was a good balance of giving the basics but not doing an info dump. The color drafting was just so interesting. I'm glad he took it way further to all the different crazy ways this magic could work.
All in all, I'm glad I read this fantasy novel. I really wish the author had written it straight and left off the dorky style. It greatly took away from my enjoyment.
And for the love of God, don't do the audiobook. The narrator makes The Prism sound like a surfer dude.
This book is absolute rubbish, in my opinion. In the preface, Rothfuss says you probably shouldn't buy this book. In the coda he says why he thought this would never be published and people would be pissed for buying it. All true in my case. I found zero value.
The book has curiously high ratings on Goodreads. While I'd like to think that it is all people being mindless fanboys and girls, I am willing to entertain that for some reason this book "spoke" to a portion of people.
The title very adequately pegs what the novel is about. The book follows Auri as she walks through various buildings and picks things up and makes candles, soap, etc and obsessively washes her body. There is nothing else. There is no dialogue or plot. I highly suggest that you take a peek in a bookstore before buying it to determine if you would enjoy it.
Here's the thing - I have quite a few literature and creative writing classes under my belt. Most of what I read in classes I really enjoyed. There were some famous books that I just didn't enjoy and typically these were novels that explored unusual methods of writing. For this reason, I think that Rothfuss' exploration of writing - in ways that aren't typically accepted - was too much of a leap for me.
This book is based off two real ships exploring the Northwest Passage. It is basically a historical novel with Inuit mythology inserted. The book is written partially from a third-person narrative and partially from direct journal entries from several characters. This was necessary because seaman keep getting killed off and therefore their viewpoint then must disappear.
I enjoyed the mix of historical, horror, suspense, and science-fiction. The historical part definitely brought out the high risks of such an expedition in the form of mutiny, extreme cold, hunger, cannibalism, scurvy...it all makes you wonder why anyone would have gone on such a voyage!
I didn't find the novel to be too long as others expressed. It all, to me, felt important to building the ambiance. And this book, overall, is about giving you the feeling of what it was like, versus being action-packed. There is definitely some action, of course, but building horror is more Simmons' schtick. The monster reminded me of Simmons' treatment of the Lord of Pain in Hyperion. There is so much fear for the creature and for good reason, but as you go through the series, you find that he is an equalizer in some ways and can be helpful if on your side. I enjoyed how, in this novel, he uses the monster in a somewhat similar way - as a creature outside of our Western viewpoint. And the evil of the mortal humans is a foil for this philosophical discussion.
I can see that this book wouldn't be for everyone, but I think if you're a Simmons fan, like me, you'll find enjoyment in this novel. As always, I enjoyed the great Simon Vance narrating.
This is my first Reynolds book. I was very impressed by the idea of this book and the science behind it. While during a few parts I felt like it was a little over my head, he mostly keeps it understandable for all readers. It was a very interesting plot and I enjoyed that it never felt boring even though it's a longer book.
While his idea and concept for the story were great, he lacked in several areas. The characters were fairly flat - which was tolerable in the older sci-fi books but I rather expect more now. I believe the problem lies in that Reynolds knows nothing about Americans.
The two main characters are American but it feels very like he watched, say, Columbo, then wrote his characters from the stereotypes on screen. Our main male character is a very typical gumshoe. And our female is a somewhat abrasive archeologist turned spy. The falling in love bit felt unfounded as well. But back to the American issue - Reynolds appears to not know about America. For example, the Americans call a flashlight a torch, which everyone knows is what Brits say. And he acts as if we have regional accents like in England, which we don't. E.g. -continually has Americans doubting she is from Nebraska because they don't recognize her accent. Well, Reynolds, no one would recognize a Nebraska accent. It's not that distinct at all. So, I felt like someone with the internet at their fingertips could easily find out more about Americans if they were going to write about them.
In all, I enjoyed the story, but only in the way I enjoy the older sci-fi books which tend to have good science but not so great with the character development. I think it's worth reading. I plan to read another book of his to see if it was writing about Americans that tripped him up or if he just has issues with characters.
The narration is fairly good. He gets a little confused on the accents early on but gets better.
I previously read this author’s book “Before I Fall” and found I really enjoyed her writing style but was disappointed in the book’s lack of interesting turns. The author has a skill that you rarely see in YA authors. She uses quite a few metaphors and similes, which I felt built mood and ambiance without being distracting. I was much happier with the Delirium series as it’s a dystopia and thus delves into more interesting content.
Of course, one must note that there are many many YA dystopias out there with a brave young woman and her love interest. But I felt the focus of the book wasn't so much on this relationship but all relationships the heroine has. How does the love cure affect how others interact with you? How do parents treat their children and spouses? You start to see the domino affect in a society with no affection and the author contrasts this with uncured children and the rare uncured adult.
One of the things I enjoyed about the world of this dystopia is that it felt like a very believable near future. I can absolutely see our society going down a path like this “for the greater good.” With domestic drones and brain research in the news this week it felt very close.
I also enjoyed what I considered a nod to Huxley’s “Brave New World” by making Shakespeare and other works of literature banned (or used as cautionary tale) and also the limiting of music. Another world-building concept I felt worked well was how each chapter begins with excerpts from their manual for society rules and new religion.
About a third of the book focuses partially on building your affection for the main characters then about the last third is very action-packed. I found in general, though, the book pulls you forward plot-wise as you know the main character is quickly approaching a procedure that will make her into a socially-approved drone. This series does delve into some violence when people don’t toe the line, but it won’t be as shocking as Mazerunner or Divergent so expect a more believable version of the future.
While in the first book they had mostly just one narrator, in this one they have several and that made sense for a style difference (and they got some good familiar voices!). The book is divided up into quite a few perspectives but it doesn't come across as annoying. There's quite a bit of build-up in the book for you to get to know the children that have been created by the originals. It is interesting to see how their different perspectives contributed to what type of children they made (human or not) and what methods were used in their child-rearing. It's not really until pretty close to the end that much happens though. Since it's such a short book that didn't really bother me. But I do see this mostly as a book that forwards the plot but, besides some shocking action parts, didn't really reveal much. I did enjoy the book and love how Sagan can write different types of people so well. Now the question is - can he close the deal?
At the beginning of this book, Endymion says that this story is not meant to answer – what happened to the book three characters? Don't be dismayed! You will certainly learn pretty much everything you want to know about the universe and your favorite characters.
There isn't as much action in four as in three. The first half suffered from some slow bits where Simmons gives you probably more information than you need about planets and politics from the Pax folks. I was more tolerant of the slow parts that involved Aenea’s teachings as much of it revealed a lot of interesting info on The Core. In general I feel that Simmons’ pacing didn’t flow well in the first half. It was perfect in the remainder of the book. I think perhaps the stem of the problem is Simmons’ desire to wrap everything up and satisfy your curiosity about the Hyperion universe.
Thankfully once things start to happen it’s an engrossing read including all those crazy clones, our favorite Shrike monster, and many characters we’ve enjoyed in the previous books. I appreciated the interactions of Catholicism, Buddhism, Pax Church, and The Core. All sorts of interesting concepts are explored. You even find out how The Core was created and what those cruciforms really are. And of course some beautiful poetry is included.
The most interesting aspect of this book is Aenea and The Strike’s ability to move through time. It brings about all sorts of interesting prospects for plot timeline. But more importantly, exploring what it would be like for Aenea and Raul to live a life connected to this variable. It actually makes things pretty convenient for the author.
It is unusual to be able to give a high rating to the book that ends a beloved series. I felt very good about Simmons’ wrap-up of the series. Aenea’s story is satisfactorily resolved and you know the general trajectory of others. Thankfully authors of this genre don’t feel the need for unbelievable happy endings. I highly recommend this series.
Story content and plot in The End of Eternity were very interesting to me. At first I found the idea of eternity and how it works rather confusing and the story seemed slow. It does become easier and more clear as the details are discussed. I loved the ethical implications that come to mind as you learn more about this entity. I especially enjoyed how Asimov doesn't blatantly point out these issues because he evidently assumes your intelligence. But it's not just intellectual, it also has plenty of action.
The End of Eternity feels like it should be broken into acts like a stage play. The main character goes through several shifts in his behavior and viewpoint and the story also takes a few big turns. The main male characters are wonderfully detailed and flawed. Asimov did an excellent job of filling out the characters but never lets you be quite sure of their motivations. The scenes where the main character has a mental break was so well-described, I could totally understand a man doing the crazy stuff he does.
The female character is a ridiculous mix of 70's free-love hippie and 50's subservient housewife. It was like a man wrote a female character from only watching tv shows. Then you have an aha moment that makes you realize Asimov has some serious skills.
The narrator took some adjusting to but I found his style very familiar to other sci-fi cannon narration.
The next installation in the Delirium series and I'm still really enjoying the story. The previous book ends with the possible death of the main character's love interest, which was brutal. I'm so lucky to not have to wait for the series to be written!
I was somewhat frustrated by the first part of the book. The part where they are held as hostages felt drawn out. This author shines when faced with ambiance descriptions so a chunk of the book being inside a room wasn't that interesting. I understand that she was trying to show how the relationship between the two grows but I didn't feel it was that successful.
The rest of the book pacing was excellent. I enjoyed the fast-paced escape scenes and the rescue scenes. I appreciate how she also puts in lulls in action to build characters. And once again she throws a real cliffhanger at the end. I would say the last half of the book was an absolutely five star, but the first half was a little boring.
I can't rave enough about the audio book narrator, Sarah Drew, who has quite a notable list of audio book performances out there. She did an amazing job of doing the voices and anger and fear
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