Ok, first I must say that I enjoy Orson Scott Card's works immensely. However, this one I only kinda enjoyed. The concept was good, and I believe original. The story line was good, though rather predictable. The details, though, had me pulling my hair out. The story is set in the not too distance future...no year is given, but that is obvious from cues in the text. But suddenly we went back 40 years to using IV needles (instead of plastic catheters) in patients? If you have ever had an IV in the past 50 years and pulled it out (after it has been inserted, and already in use), you were probably holding a plastic catheter, not a sharp metal needle. Similarly, gurneys have not been "strapped" into ambulances for decades--they are held by metal brackets and latches. Early in the book an pivotal "anti-virus" is described at great length as being red in color, and the reason for the coloration is given. At the end of the book it is green. These are just examples, there are others. Perhaps because of my background in the military and medicine I zoomed in on these and other points more readily, but I think that the average reader/listener would pick up on them too. If you are just looking for something to wile away half-a-day and are willing to gloss over the fine points, this book is a good one. Otherwise...
First off, I love S. M. Stirling and have greatly enjoyed many of his other books. This one, though, I did not enjoy. The story was too stiffing, and the manner in which he had the story jump from one time line to another was very confusing...perhaps straight forward for a book reader but as an audio reader I found the oscillations bewildering. I can understand why he wrote this book, to tie the story together, but it felt like a boring old patchwork blanket, like the one that grandma always had on the back of her couch that smelled of mold and mildew.
This book did not engage me as many of S.M. Stirling's books have. In fact, it was so dull that my mind frequently wandered. Just as I was about to blow it off and listen to something else, something more interesting (like Barney or the Muppets) I decided to try and stick it out in hopes that it would get better. Just as I thought that I would be rewarded, just as the characters were girding up for the final climatic battle, the book ended.
Bummer does not begin to describe it.
I listened to Stephen King's 11/22/63 after Tears of the Sun, and it was great.
Todd McLaren's performance in this novel was excellent.
No, not unless you mean instilling a desire in me to never listen to another book in this series. This desire is similarly tempered by my desire to find out how this will all end.
I could not get through the first hour of this book. Maybe it is different further on, but this is not at all like The Hot Zone or Demon in the Freezer. This book is about Preston writing those other books. It is basically a trip down memory lane for him, with loads of tips for aspiring authors. Perhaps it gets better, but I could not finish it.
This book sounded pretty good from the blurb, but when I started to listen to it I kept hoping for the good parts to come around. If they did, I never heard them. This book is horrible and nearly put me to sleep while driving. I tried twice to listen to it before I gave up.
What do you get when you mix Mad Max with Soylent Green with Jimmy Swaggert and a hefty helping of amateur porn? Meat. The book is weird, but not horrible. It did take me awhile to get into it, but once I did I listened without issue to the rest of it.
Much of the information listed in this book is great (except for the medical info, skim over that). The scenario presented is initially well thought out and scarily real. Then the storyline drops like a rock. The characters are not believable, the dialog is horrible, the details conflict like mad, and the narration could be a good bit better. The story line for the last half of the book is frankly weird. The information presented in the book is great and I learned a lot from it, but it was hard to make it to the end.
This booked sucked on so many levels. So many examples could I give. Ok, here's one: a British writer trying to set his work in the U.S. We don't have lorries here, we call them trucks. The descriptions of the military were horrible...the entire work felt like the author did not care to do any research before writing to make the work at least a little realistic and believable. And then there was the story. The plot and story line sucked too. It felt like, at times, the characters were actually trying to get themselves killed just to get out of the book.
Turtledove attempts to deliver again and thus far in this tread he seems to be doing so. He attacks the question: what if WWII started a bit earlier, with the Allies declaring war instead of handing over Czechoslovakia? Thus far, much of the gist of WWII seems to be following as it did in our history, but several events are developing that allude to some interesting turns. The ending is a cliffhanger. This book has the feel of another great Turtledove saga, and those can often go on for 7 or more books, so beware before getting too deeply into this.
Overall, I think that for the time and the subject this is a pretty good book. There are a few things wrong with it...using mustard gas and nerve gas as fertilizer? Mustard gas left over from WWI and WWII is still toxic, I don't know if I would be farming a field covered with it a year latter. The plot has some other issues: the quick switch to a cannibal diet after only a few days. Yes, profound hunger is a powerful motivator, but in just a few days? A few other odd spots--a character is seen getting smashed by a tidal wave in one chapter, reappears a few chapters latter unscathed. The end felt like a quick wrap up, not a polished finale, but given the length of the book it is understandable that the authors had to wrap it up. Don't forget that this was written in 1977, so references to Apollo and the Soviets etc... Overall, this is a good book and an enjoyable read, well worth the time.
This book is long, the text is dull, and for the most part I find it to be unlikely and the characters to be unbelievable. I know that this is a classic in the apocalyptic genre, but sometimes even classics can suck. I give it two stars because, given modern transport/communication it may be possible for such a disease as described to spread as quickly as described, unlikely, but possible. Now, the thought that within two generations we will revert back to hunter gathers...that I find more unlikely. Possible, given how lazy many are, but widespread? In short, the plot seems to me implausible and the story itself painful to get through.
I would like to say that this book is a good concept that was well executed, but the only execution that I could think of that the author did to this book was like the electrocution scene from the Green Mile. The idea, the concept of this book is good and is frightening. Beyond that it sucks. The details were poorly researched, the scenarios are unbelievable. There are three characters in the book: the good guys, the bad guys, and the victims. The good guys are all shallow and alcoholic. The bad guys are pathetically stereotyped and very unbelievable. The victims are stereotypes drawn from the streets of the LA riots, or from Uncle Tom's Cabin. The dialogue is, well I don't know for sure what the dialogue is but it sucks too. When I read the blurb I thought that this book would hold a lot of promise to be a good read/listen, in the same vein as Herbert's The White Plague (not at all a racial thing) and Forsythes' One Second After. After the first chapter I fully accepted my error and nearly did not finish this work. I sort of wish that I hadn't, I will never be able to get those minutes back.
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