After learning that Brandon Sanderson was going to be finishing the WoT series, I downloaded two of his books, and didn't enjoy them at all. The ideas were great, and the magic was great, but I really disliked his "voice", the way his characters acted and interacted; to me, it sounded like very forced comedic scenes interspersed with long, convoluted planning sessions.
That said, I am a HUGE Robert Jordan fan, and really need this series to end, so I went ahead and downloaded TGS about five minutes after it came available on the 27th, and started listening immediately.
I'm exceptionally pleased to report that I really enjoyed this book. Everyone important is in it, if only for a chapter or two, and for the most part, Brandon Sanderson has adapted his style to fit into Robert Jordan's world a little better.
That said, you can absolutely hear his voice, particularly in the sections of the book which feature Matt Cauthon. I found those sections a tiny bit offputting, but I think maybe that comes from personal bias rather than any actual fault in Brandon's treatment of those sections.
I felt that some of story arcs were actually improved in this book; RJ used to hop around a lot more, splitting a plotline in halves or thirds and then shuffling other things into it, creating mini-cliffhangers. In this book, it seems that we stay with some of the main arcs for much longer, often to their ultimate conclusion, and I found that to be very, very satisfying.
I'm looking forward to the next two installments.
This is one of those rare mediocre reads, where you know you've wasted some of your life listening to it, but you don't really mind all that much.
The premise is fun and fairly original, but the execution is like that guy in your high school Spanish class who tried really, really, REALLY hard to be funny and cool, and succeeded JUST enough to keep from getting beaten up.
If there's a follow-up book, I'll probably give it a listen. If there's not, well, I'm okay with that, too.
I picked up the audiobook version of this book on a whim; as a young teenager, this was my go-to book for all my angsty moments. I read it so often that, listening to the audiobook, I found myself able to recite some passages by heart.
Still, the book is as cold and creepy as ever, with it's slow downward spiral and stilted language, and I loved every moment.
The premise of the book is really interesting, and the prose is really well done. It's pretty gory, but I have no problem with that.
My main issue with this book revolves around the protagonist. She's supposed to be a smart, capable YA character (about 17). She appears that way initially, but as the book progresses, any success she has ends up attributed to the guys she meets. Unlike similar YA books, like Divergent and the Hunger Games, where there are threads of romance, but the female protagonist mostly stands on her own two feet, this girl needs a boy to help her make even the most basic decisions, and that... kind of sucks.
The other issue I had was with the pacing. The first third of the book is really, really exciting, the second third, somewhat less so, and the last third is really, really dull. I know that this is the first book in a trilogy, and had to end in a cliffhanger, but frankly, by the end of the book, I was so bored that I didn't really care what might happen next.
Those two factors combined make it really unlikely that I'll bother reading any of the other books in the series.
I just couldn't get into this book. The sound effects drove me nuts, the characters weren't people I could relate to or understand, or even like just a little, and I just kind of thought the whole thing was... overwrought.
The closest comparison I can think of is either 'Key Largo', or 'Lisey's Story', both by Stephen King. Like those two, this book is well-written, and based on interesting ideas, but overall, the only appeal is that I like the author enough to give all his books a try, but this one just didn't pan out well for me.
I've always been a Deutermann fan, but seldom read much WWI or WWII fiction - it's just not my thing. That said, I found this book to be exceptional in every way; the characters are extremely well written and fleshed out, and the story is funny and sad and scary and exciting in all the best possible ways.
On the narration side, I was very pleased; I've always been a Dick Hill fan, but in the past, have found his rendering of female voices to be kind of whiny and grating; for me, this book was a huge improvement.
Overall, I highly recommend this book, even if you think the topic isn't one you're normally interested in.
I enjoyed this book more than I am willing to admit. Indeed, the author seems to really loathe his protagonists, and subjects them to all manner of horrible situations, but darned if it doesn't just work, somehow.
The sex scenes made me feel slightly ill, the fight scenes also made me slightly ill - they went on forever and were needlessly gory. The motivations of every character were suspect and ridiculous, and the narration was painfully overdone.
That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and really hope that there's more ahead for this group of characters.
This is a book worth downloading only if you have an extra credit kicking around. I picked it up on a whim, and kind of wish I had my credit back.
The Windup Girl starts off a little slowly, and the introduction of characters is a little cumbersome, but it's well worth the wait.
This is probably a four star book, but I rated it at three stars for a couple of reasons. One, the graphic rape scenes were, IMHO, totally unnecessary to furthering the story. I got the picture after the first one; I didn't need the second, more extended and brutal scene to prove the point.
Two, it was never really explained why there were only two kinds of energy available; coal and stored kinetic, with no wind or solar energy. In a story where the world has completely accepted that burning fossil fuel is directly related with climate change, I found it very hard to buy into the idea that most electricity in the story was generated with mutant elephants turning cranks.
On the other hand, the story itself is interesting and intriguing, and the ending is eminently suitable to the story itself, which I found immensely satisfying.
This book not only failed to leave me breathless, it barely qualifies as a book at all.
Instead, it's a compilation of three extremely dull but very nicely written short stories, haphazardly patched together to make one volume of largely uninteresting crap.
I am a HUGE Dean Koontz fan, and was very excited to download this. The prose is very nice, but the premise and the execution are a complete waste of a credit.
It's not exciting, not creepy, not interesting, not thought provoking, not sweet, not bitter, not anything. It's the Book Of Nothing At All.
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