Charlotte, NC, United States | Member Since 2011
The authors had a compelling premise here, but spoiled it by imposing a good versus evil showdown on top of what could have been a fascinating moral issue.
The protagonist wakes up in world where everyone is incorporated at birth, and where they own less than a majority of their own stock. Our hero is startled at the perceived lack of liberty that these people have, though it is pointed out to him again and again that this system eliminated poverty and war, creating an overall quality of life that is much better for everyone on average.
If the book had taken time to let the readers explore the pros and cons of this new system, and make up their own minds about it's validity and morality, then this could have been a great book. Instead, we are immediately confronted with a too-evil bad guy who ends up representing all of incorporation (metaphorically and literally). Because he is such an evil jerk, we, as readers, are forced to align ourselves against him, in spite of the fact that his arguments are extremely convincing. We are told what to think instead of letting us make up our own minds.
The writing feels pretty amateurish in that the protagonist is way too smart/prescient at the beginning, though that seems to taper off steeply as the story progresses. There are other places where the writing is half-baked: entire plot lines, which seem vital to the story, are abandoned completely. Also, their is this really contrived will-they/won't-they romance based on a ridiculously unbelievable and artificial taboo. This taboo seems sacrosanct until it is broken, at which point everyone important acts like it is no big deal at all--totally inconsistent.
The authors did paint an interesting picture of future society and technology, which is largely why I've given them 3 stars instead of just 2.
Ultimately I'm left unsatisfied with this book, largely because I was very swayed by the pro-incorporation arguments, and the anti-incorporation argument really boiled down to feelings, rather than any articulated points against it.
The book started out strong, took a turn for the weird, and then got lost in weird world were anything can happen, so nothing really matters.
The problem with a book that delves into the surreal is that it's impossible for you to care about the characters. Logic doesn't apply to them or their situations, and therefore they can never really be in peril. Peril requires concrete consequences-- cause and effect -- some actual rules.
I enjoyed parts of this book. I wish it had been funnier. I wish it had been scarier. I wish I cared about it more.
Don't give my review too much weight. I only listened to the introduction and the first story.
The introduction worried me a lot... the premise for this collection of stories was both vague and boring... something about similarities between cities... what? What are you talking about? Is that it?
And then they started the collection with, what I hope was the worst story of the bunch. It was weird, impossible to relate to, and way too focused on Telling instead of Showing.
I erased this book from my phone before I even finished the first stupid story. I regret nothing.
This book was a chore to get through. Maybe when it came out it was an interesting take on a new concept, but it certainly doesn't stand the test of time. It's been done better elsewhere.
I didn't care about any of the characters. I was frequently bored.
It doesn't deserve a review longer than this. I'm out.
This isn't one of Bryson's best, but even when he's not on his A-game he's still entertaining.
I learned a lot from this book, and was drawn in by Bryson's masterful storytelling. He got me to care about all sorts of things that I really wouldn't have ever given a thought to. That is his gift.
if you're a Bryson fan, go for it. This book is fun.
If you've never given Bryson a try, don't start here... try Lost Continent, A Brief History of Nearly Everything or A Walk in the Woods.
At first glance you'd think that "The Martian" is some old book, or something in a retro 1950s sci-fi style. It's not. It's smart. It's modern. It is real SCIENCE fiction. Good stuff.
This is what Sci-Fi is supposed to be: well researched, interesting, thought-provoking... a story of what could really happen just beyond the horizon.
The protagonist is an astronaut who is resourceful, smart and funny... everything Sandra Bullock WASN'T in the movie "Gravity". In fact this book ruined that movie for me because it made that movie seem small and stupid.
I wish all sci-fi were written this well.
I give this book my highest recommendation.
You'll spend the entire book waiting for our idiot protagonist to figure out what we, the audience already know before picking up the book. Does that sound fun to you?
The story isn't boring, exactly... it's just unnecessary. Wool already told us everything we needed to know about the Silos. The backstory answers some questions... but this all could have been done in a more elegant way... preferably in a single chapter instead of this slow, useless tome.
For the most part the story held my attention, and had it had a satisfying ending, or had the it progressed the plot from Wool in any way I probably could have forgiven the insane redundancies. But it didn't do those things.
I already own Dust, so I'll see this story out to its conclusion, but had I not purchased it on sale, I certainly would have called it quits right now.
I listened to this book on 3x speed, and it was still too long. I don't recommend it to anyone who isn't totally in love with hearing about life in the Silos.
I enjoyed the first book, but it took me about a year to pick up its sequel. I'm glad I did.
This novel felt much more mature than the first. The story was richer and and the characters more engaging. The plot grew to fill the scope of the world described in the first book. Everything just seemed to work better.
I immediately dashed into the third book as soon as this one was over. The series as a whole is captivating and has a very satisfying conclusion. I highly recommend this book.
The opening of the book had me worried... it was sloppily written, in fashion to get the plot moving as quickly as possible. The protagonist isn't well thought out... he's smart enough to be an elite hacker, but his intelligence is otherwise absent from anything he does thereafter... for the entire duration of the story.
The character discovers that he has the powers of a god, but this is quickly forgotten by both him and apparently the author. Like in the movie "Bruce Almighty", we're supposed to believe that our character is so unimaginative and selfish that the only thing he can think to do with his powers is to improve his own little life in small and insignificant ways.
But before you can get to frustrated with the story, Meyer throws you backwards in time, and the story takes a turn for the weird(er). Here in the past, Meyer has thought things out a little bit more. If he researched the time period, it doesn't really show... but he has built an amusing cast of characters.
Here the book starts to take on the flavor of Cline's "Ready Player One", one of my favorite light reads. Meyer's characters are funny, and the humor is geared at an audience who is familiar the life of 1980s computer geeks.
Everything stays fun and light. I wasn't bored for an instant. Oh, and the narration was hilarious.
The ending was satisfying within the scope of the story... but then, the scope of the story was very small.
As a listener, what I really longed for was for our hacker protagonist to play around more with the code he's discovered... outside of this one little pocket of use that he's fixated on in the past. Play with more variables... discover things... surprise me.
Anyway, Meyers has a lot of promise. I hope that he continues writing... and that next time he takes his writing to the next level.
Good listen for the price. I recommend it if you liked "Ready Player One".
A lot of folks have been beating up on the narrator, and while she wasn't terrific, I think the criticism is undue. She did a fine job... Not the best voices, but at least she differentiated characters. She also had a sense for drama, unlike more famous narrators like John Lee, who speaks every line with equal importance, whether its a description of a tea cup, or the dying words of the protagonist.
As for the story itself... it's a bit depressing. The setting itself is naturally depressing, so I would have wanted a more hopeful story. Perhaps the rest of the saga is more upbeat? I plan to give it a try.
This was a fantastic continuation of the The Way of Kings. It kept me interested and intrigued from begin to end. I believe this is the longest book I've tackled on audible, so it's no small thing that it kept its momentum the entire time.
The narration was perfect--adding distinction without distraction.
I listened to the entire Mistborn series and other Sanderson works before this novel was released. I am in awe of how much high quality storytelling he can generate.
Now begins the long wait for part III.
Report Inappropriate Content