Six hours in, there's a scene that struck me as a perfect metaphor. Robots are fighting, but they are so colossally slow, that nothing appears to be happening. The characters have to drug and wire their brains to make it seem interesting. The book is well written with a variety of characters, but they're not doing anything of import and there's nothing at stake. It might just be a book about some people in the future puttering around, but that's not something I'm willing to give more time.
I'd not normally give a 1 to something decently written, but this fails on a basic point. It isn't a story. Yes, it's part of the overall Anniversary Day story, but it's not even a complete chapter in that plot. It reads like a prologue or a series of character notes that got forced into a binding. At the best, its the beginning of a story, concerning characters we already have met, experiencing things in which we already knew they were involved. There's no middle or end. My expectation from the author, in this setting, is that I'll get a mystery, perhaps one that's part of a larger mystery. What I got was a lot of character narrative, not particularly compelling narrative at that, which did not meaningfully advance the plot of the series.
The real kicker is, that if I were to read the next in the series, the entire book will be summed up in a few lines. It was a real disappointment. If you want to continue the series, just skip this one.
I enjoyed the RA books, and Diving is decent, but the Anniversary Day books have been a disappointment.
I'm not sure what happened here. The book seems superfluous to the plot of the series and largely focuses on characters that don't have a lot to do with the core story. There are also major plot points that make no sense. I'm going to take a break from the series and see if I even get curious about what happens next.
I suspect I found this book a lot funnier than most people will. Many of the internal themes and issues that confront the characters are things that I've encountered in my own life. Seeing them in the characters was more than amusing. Another nice thing is that it's not a book that holds your hand regarding the impact of things. The author seems to understand that we'll recognize the impact the Manty child rearing strategy and technological filters have had over the centuries, and doesn't bother to spell out the problems. I think it gave extra room for the reader to contemplate these things on their own.
It appears that a portion of the book was written, perhaps during editing, to allow the protagonist to "get the girl", and seemed tacked-on. If that had been handled better, or even omitted, I probably would definitely have given four stars.
The prose is very nice, and the 20's are well researched. The performance is good quality, with the wide range of voices being well done and distinct.
Unfortunately, the plot is crap. I hate to put it that way but it was like an anti-firework. Started off with great promise, and exploded in such a way as to spoil what good came before. The main character's chief personal challenge, articulated in the beginning of the book, is being short sighted and selfish. By the end of the book, she's a petulant, disloyal, self centered, publicity hound. The magical rules established don't apply to the main character. The efforts expended in gathering information and items to defeat the villain are worthless because apparently you don't need specific artifacts, rituals or even anything relevant to the plot action to win if you feel special enough about your own lucky charm. Add on that the majority of characters, characters with several chapters devoted to them, have no impact on the resolution of the story at all.
This one is probably better read than listened to. I like the story but the narration is a serious drawback.
Noting that the narrator has changed, I'll get the second book.
As a discussion of the issues facing a military force including women and homosexuals, this is an interesting read. However, it is the second book, of three, that retraces the same plot territory. This strikes me as a "side book" rather than a main plotline book, but there's just not enough of the main story to support the side book. Directly following Lotus Eaters, I felt like it was indulgence on the part of the author to wrap his policy proposal in fiction. Since I'm, at least, willing to consider the ideas he puts forth, for me to be bugged by it is probably a bad sign.
This is the third book in which we see the same time-frame of the story, without advancing the plot. Lotus Eaters, Amazon Legion and Come and Take them all explore the period leading up to and the initial TU invasion of Balboa. If the author has any idea of what comes next, there's no reason to suspect it, as he's written three books and not gotten anywhere. Admittedly, each of these books explores the time from a different point of view, but without advancing the plot, Lotus Eaters, Amazon Legion and Come and Take Them just come off as rants or position papers thinly wrapped in repetitive fiction (and I'm either curious or partisan for the authors position). I'm interested in seeing how things work out with the UEPF, but, since the author isn't ever going to tell that story, there's no point in continuing.
I didn't take to Scot in the first book, but the story was entertaining and I gave things a shot. Kept coming back, and I'm enjoying the books a bit more as time goes on. This one felt more like two jammed together tangents than a single coherent book, but still entertaining.
No, seriously, the book is amazingly funny. For all I've admired and respected Churchill, the thought of him bursting out in a theater "If the donkey dies, I should leave" was just awesomely funny. Certainly the well known wit is featured, but the, very human, playfulness he showed to his wife and children made for genuine humor.
Yes, it's a mindbogglingly thorough history of the man, and it's not all fun. Some of it is simply heart wrenching. Some reads like an adventure novel. However, if you're not laughing a good bit this book you probably should see a professional about it.
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