Ok, I'm very on the fence here. I think my real rating is a 2.5. I liked Orson Scott Card's attempt to bring in Egyptian mythology with Norse and Greek Mythology along with Judeo Christian beliefs into his world buildinng and magic system. Orson Scott Card actually refers to this as his boring bits. I believe these were the good bits. He should have focused more on this and the plot.
If you read the first book you meet Danny North who is a Gate Mage and a Gate Father, meaning he can create great gates that will travel to another world and increase the mage's magic. This is highly desired and everyone either wants to kill Danny or gain his favor so that they may use his gates. This causes contention between the families and has the potential to lead to war.
The first book is good and introduces and creates good characters you can understand. For some reason this book does not continue this. The characters are very flat. Also, Card focuses on Danny coming into his power as a young God and his going to High School. It focuses on Danny's interaction with high school kids and in particular high school girls. Card focuses on the alure men of power have on young girls and goes overboard on Danny's sexual allure. Every young girl in this story wants to have sex with Danny and he is constantly fending off their advances because he is trying to be the "good god" because there are so many "bad gods" in history that took advantage of silly young females. It gets really trite. There was a point I almost quit reading out of boredom.
I am interested in his third book and there are some interesting pieces. I really hope the third book is better because the first one was good and there is still potential in this series. I hope this just becomes the necessary evil of the series. I recognize the writing of the second book of a series is difficult but I was a bit disappointed that such a seasoned author fell into some of these traps. Read it because the first one is good, we have hopes the third will be great, and this is necessary to get there.
Oh so good! This is police drama with urban fantasy done right. Peter Grant is a recently made constable that starts to see ghosts. This suprise has some down sides but has the decidedly great advantage of saving him from being a paperwork monkey that fills out other constable's and detectives paperwork for them. While that would be a "valuable service," it is not the service he signed up for. He wants to be a proper thief taker.
Ben Aaronovitch creates a fabulously Brittish view of London. It's modern, funny, and has the perfect and accurate pop culture references. I picked it up because I was trolling Daniel O'Malley's blog, hoping to find out when the sequel to "The Rook" was coming,and he recommended The Peter Grant series for those of us needing anything similar to satisfy our impatience.
This is a quick but fun read that will make you laugh. Make sure you have the sequel because you will not want to wait. It has some light sexual content and profanity but nothing extreme a slightly worldly teenager can't handle. Have your parents ever slipped up and sworn in front of you? Yes? You can handle this.
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith does a fabulous narration! It enhanced the book for me. The accents were fantastic and the characters were differentiated well. The entirety is in a strong Brittish accent but as it is set in London this was perfect. I will listen to anything he narrates and intend to listen rather than read the rest of this series.
This series has been enjoyable since the beginning but Twilight Watch delves deeper into what real differences there are between the Day Watch and the Night Watch. It explores the true reasons as to why they exist, and with this knowledge how it effects Anton and Svetlana's family. A little bit of knowledge can turn a persons world upside down. This was written very well and my favorite of the series.
The book is divided into three stories as is the case with both Day Watch and Night Watch. The stories are interconnected and tie in information from the previous books that previously may have seemed to be tangents.
If you read the other two and were thinking of giving up - don't. This book pays off. I personally enjoyed the first two but wouldn't categorize them in my favorites. This book I do. Read this series. The books are very philosophical...with vampires, werewolves, and magicians. All our favorite others from past books are present. This is the mature version of urban fantasy. There is minimal profanity and little to no sexual material.
Paul Michael narrates and does a wonderful job. He narrates the entire series. He has the right inflection and dry humor needed to deliver the material.
The title of this book could lead one to believe that the author was implying having children is a bad thing, but that is not the aim of the book or the author. Jessica Valenti, a new mom and writer, looks at the societal views of why we have kids, what society says a parent should look like, the rights and roles of parents and non parents. It is a captivating book. I am a reader who tends to not stray from fiction frequently but this book was on the list that should be better known and I decided to give it a try. As a result, my opinion is I wholeheartedly agree.
Jessica Valenti states at the beginning of her book that her research and the ideas brought up in the book are controversial and she expects people to have strong reactions to it. She in fact believes they should, not so that they have to agree with her, but that they think about the material and form their own opinions. This sat well with me. Parenting, to have kids, to not have kids, to be a stay at home parent, to be a working parent, how to financially support a child, US business leave policies, and government contraception law all are stratifying choices that can elicit defensive stances. This book breaks down why there is so much defensiveness for any decision and how raising children in todays culture has changed so much. We no longer have children as a labor source for the farm, and we don't view them as mini adults as we once did. Children now are seen as a source of love and completion of self for parents. The book discusses this search for fulfillment, but also how once we view parenting as a job instead of a relationship it is then seen as something that we either pass or fail at. I have only mentioned a few topics discussed.
What I enjoyed so much about this book is that is was well researched and did not include a lot of conjecture. She does relate some of her own stories and personal accounts but I did not find it to be agenda driven except for maybe pushing parents/moms to not be so judgmental of one another. For a topic I thought I had a decent handle on she challenged some of my beliefs and the reasons behind why I thought the way I did.
Emily Beresford narrated it well. At no time did I find myself irritated with her voice, she did not overdramatize the material, and she kept me engaged to the point I was finding excuses to do activities I could continue listening to the book.
Charles de Lint explores the boundaries between what is real and what is not on multiple levels in this book. It had many twists and I enjoyed it immensely. Memory and Dream is part of the Newford series, but like the other books in this series it can stand on its own and it is not necessary for it to be read in order. If you have not read any de Lint before; this is a good book to start with. De Lint explores urban fantasy meshing a modern day alternate 1980's America with the fey and Native American spiritualism. Memory and Dream delves into this but not as deeply as some of his other books.
The book is centered around Isabelle. She is a talented artist with an ability to create engaging pieces, but she also has a gift to bring to life what she paints. This was taught to her by her mentor, the acclaimed reclusive artist, Rushkin. Rushkin insists she must protect the world by destroying these creatures, but Isabelle has difficulty believing this. She wonders if she and Rushkin are crazy, and if she truly did create these creatures, why do they need to be destroyed?
Isabelle's relationship to Rushkin isn't healthy. He is a mad artist with mood swings, anger issues, and mental instability. Aside from questioning the reality of bringing life into the world by painting, Isabelle isn't sure she can trust Rushkin, or John - her boyfriend she doesn't know if she created or not.
De Lint often explores the effect of abuse with his characters. Isabelle is the product of a neglectful and verbally abusive childhood. The level of abuse is not as extreme as in some of his other books, but it does have a big impact on how Isabelle relates and deals with her life. While issues of abuse, suicide, and drug abuse are part of this book they are dealt with realistically and respectfully. There is minimal profanity and descriptions of sex, drug abuse, etc. are not explicit or graphic
Kate Reading's narration is very good. She has done all of the de Lint books I have read and enjoy the consistency. She does a fabulous job of distinguishing between her characters.
Jasper Fforde does not disappoint with this novel. It is fun and fully immerses us in the book world. Emily Gray does a great job with the narration. She has a diverse set of voices and believe me with the number of characters in this book this was no easy task.
Our Ms. Next becomes a Jurisfiction agent in the Well of Lost Plots. This is a purely fictional world filled with Ms. Havisham, The Cheshire Cat, Heathcliff, etc. You also have a vast number of characters from books that have not been published and generics. You'll have to read the book to truely understand how enjoyable the generics are. Ms. Next is still trying to get Landon back and is in hiding - that is why she is in the Well of Lost Plots.
Enjoy this book. It is science fiction but focuses on a many literary concepts such as the idea that there are no more original thoughts/plots and characters are just recycled versions of other characters so you can hire on multiple Heathcliffs, Merlins, and so on. It is delicious for any book lover.
Emily Gray, as mentioned above did a great job. I bring attention to this because I was critical of her performance in the previous Next Novel. She did not handle male characters well previously. She overcame this issue. Landon was a miniscule part of this book but there were many male characters and she did a fabulous job. If you are on the fence because the narration of the last book left you disappointed don't worry. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised.
I have to be honest, I picked this up in a sale and did not expect much. While I enjoyed the pop culture fun of the cover and the title it didn't inspire me to rush out and purchase the book. On the surface I thought it would be a recycled romance with zombies to make it so very slightly different from the rash of vampire romance books. Anyway, I did pick it up, and while I will say that it probably will not become a classic, this was a funny and well thought out book. It was enjoyable and I already picked up the next in the series
Is it crass? A bit but not as much as I would have expected with a title of "My Life as a White Trash Zombie" . Is it gross? Somewhat, but it's not page after page of zombies massacring the masses. It is about zombies, however, if there isn't some brain eating it would be odd. There is mild swearing and sexual material, but its not really a romance. It is a coming of age zombie mystery.
Angel is our protagonist and she is, in her words, a loser. She is a high school drop out with alcohol and pill addictions who lives most of time with her on and off again loser boyfriend. She does this so she doesn't have to go home to her alcoholic abusive father. She wakes up in the hospital from an overdose to find herself to very changed. This book explores how she learns she is a zombie and what it means for her future. It changes her life and is probably the only thing that could have spurred her to get and keep a job and see possibilities for her future.
The book is a lot of fun. Allison McLemore narrated it. She does a great job with Angel's character. Her interpretation of male characters is not great but certainly not the worst I've heard. It is my preference to listen to the audible version but certainly others have not liked it. My recommendation is to listen to the snippet audible gives you. If you are ok with her interpretation of Angel you will most likely be ok with the narration.
14 is an enjoyable read. Imagine getting a great deal on an apartment and while you notice there are distinctly odd aspects to the building you find out there are only more when you meet your neighbors. Everyone ignores the oddities. Including neon green 5 legged roaches. Do you choose to buck the system? If you are Nate(an otherwise laid back, lost, uninspired but nice individual), you do. You've got to go all in on something in life and this is his mission.
It is an absolute nod to Lovecraft. If you like Lovecraft you will be in heaven, but even if you are not the Lovecraft superfan it is still entertaining. There is a lot of Scooby doo, who dun it humor, along with a healthy dose of self mockery at each tenants search for meaning in their life. The characters are endearing. They are predictable and fit into boxes, but Clines recognizes and makes fun of that.
If you like a little science fiction mixed in your mystery with a side of humor, read it, or get the audible version, Ray Porter does a fine job. He is in tune with with Clines humor and sarcasm.
World War Z is not your run of the mill zombie novel. Max Brooks takes you into the perspective of a reporter who interviews various military and political leaders, soldiers, regular people, and feral children. This gives you a broad picture of what an impact the zombie plague had on the world population. It takes on a realistic flavor rather than the fantastic. Normally, I am not a fan of short story compilations but the way the stories tie into one another it does not feel disconnected or separate.
The narration of World War Z is nothing short of amazing. Each piece is told by skilled actors. The combination of the strong writing with the masterful narration evokes a powerful emotional response. There is a section that discusses a military unit that has a dog and a soldier partnered. This section caused me to tear up a bit. I am not usually one to cry.
I was wary to purchase this and it sat in my wish list for a long time. I don't get abridged books but after reading the reviews by those who had read the book and listened to this version I learned the audio problems have been rectified, missing sections have been added, and the parts cut out are minimal and do not effect the story. I will probably still read the book but I wouldn't miss out on this narration. It truly is amazing.
This sequel to The Night Watch is structured into three stories just like Day Watch. Sergei Lukyanenko explores characters we have already met but the perspective changes from the introspection of Anton and the Night Watch characters to delving into those of the Night Watch. The whole concept of the Light and the Dark not being bad but different life choices is explored futher and Lukyanenko writing the Day Watch shows no partiality. In fact a large point is made about both being necessary. This is a good sequel. I will say it took a moment for it to build in its intensity so that I couldn't put it down, and more frustrating, because since it is three stories it took 3 separate moments to build intensity. That being said. I truelly enjoyed it.
The book follows Elisa, Vitaly, and Edgar of the Day Watch. The stories take loyal Day Watch members that are in the higher ranks from being pawns who follow orders and force them into positions they must grow and see the more complex picture of the war between the Light and the Dark. It causes them to question their commitment similar to Anton questioning his commitment to the Light in Night Watch. The dark are not corrupt lechers, well...for the most part. Being a member of the Dark Others is more a choice towards individualization. They do not want to be told what to do, how to think, or how to live. It's a different perspective of Dark.
If you enjoyed Night Watch I think you will enjoy Day Watch. It is a good sequel as I mentioned above. Paul Michael did a wonderful job with the narration. His accents are good and he differentiates his characters well so you do not question who is speaking. My only reason I did not give the narration a five is there are a few moments the audio seems to skip or pause. It does not seem to lose anything but causes brief confusion for the listener. I would still say I believe this book is enhanced by the narration.
I love this book in so many ways. The hype is justified. Those who recommended it to me I owe a debt of gratitude to. Now that I have gushed and gotten it out of my system... for the most part, I have to do my part and tell others to drink from the fountain. Truelly, it is a great book, but you do have to love pop culture, sci-fi, gaming, movies, and TV to get the most out of it. I have friends who would not enjoy this but the sci-fi fantasy geek in me couldn't love it more. I'm not a gamer, so if you havn't picked this up because you thought you would miss out on too much if you aren't one, I'm here to tell you that you should still enjoy it if you have love for any of the other things listed above. Also, if you have any basic knowledge of computers and gaming you'll get alot of the references.
Wade is a high school kid who lives in "The Stacks"(a futuristic version of a trailer park.) He is not blessed with a loving family or wealth but through his own survivalist instincts and intelligence has gotten by on his ability to fix computer and Oasis software. The Oasis is an online community where almost everyone spends their time since the real world is less than desirable to spend any time in. There are limited jobs, limited fossil fuels and resources, and mass pollution. Wade and everyone else is competing to find an easter egg in the Oasis. This egg is a ticket to inheriting the wealth of the Oasis's creater who died.
It's more complicated and gripping than what is listed above. I love the scoreboards top five, our main characters. The book explores the effects of living in a fantasy world and not living in the real world. It also looks at evil corporations taking control of all facets of life and technology, big brother, and ineffectual government. Sounds dark. It isn't really. Its terribly funny. I finished it and immediately listened to it a second time. I listened to it on Audible and the narrator is Will Wheaton. No one could be more appropriate. I thought for a moment it could have been Shatner, John Cusack, or Matthew Broderick but by the time I finished it I decided that truelly Will Wheaton is the ultimate choice, did the book perfect justice, and added to the experience. All I can say is enjoy!
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