I have read some of the reviews here so far and I have to assume that they are mostly written by children. Card is one of the premier fiction authors of our age. In a genre such as science fiction, it is not common to find an author who can articulate the human experience while developing unique, interesting speculations on science and philosophy. In all of Card's works, he breathes life into the characters and creates palpable tension throughout the story. The acid test is this: do you care about the characters and find what they are doing relevant? There is no doubt that Card can pull this off with aplomb and style.
To me, reading this book was like plunging into cold water with its shocking revelations about the number of sociopaths that are out there affecting our lives. The descriptions and details give a clear and sometimes frightening glimpse into the mind of the sociopath. Most of us have no clear idea what a sociopath really is and how to recognize one although we often think we do from things we see in movies and the press. The author's research and clinical experiences lend a great deal of credibility and the writing is excellent. It never feels like sensationalism. As I listened, I began to see how some of the people I have known are probably sociopaths and many things I didn't understand about my experiences with them suddenly seemed much clearer. I highly recommend this book. It has helped me in dealing with some of the people that were enigmas in my own life. The narrator did an adequate but not masterful job in my opinion but my wife thought the narration was excellent.
This book is a thinly disguised promotion of new age nonsense by someone who should know better. To claim that the number one cause of death in the US is doctor incompetence is a dead giveaway. Lipton sounds like a bitter person whose ideas have been rightfully shunned by his peers but wants to strike back at those who see through his spiritual mumbo jumbo. While I found a few interesting nuggets and I am all for thinking outside the box, this book doesn't offer anything but flimsy speculation. Don't waste your money.
While I cringed at the preachy new age tone at times, I think the author was able to create an interesting story and made it possible to suspend disbelief and become involved with the characters. Some of them are a little too stereotyped but overall I think they had reasonable depth. I don't think the language was too cliche as some have said. It is a decent sort of thriller with a few suprises. Maybe some will think it is too formulaic that is probably a bit too critical. I liked the technology and felt that the author's research was very good. I also liked the way he tied in the mysticism of the characters to many of the legends and myths of history. It has energy and moral dilemma and personal angst to spare. I didn't really like the jacket synopsis and didn't expect to like it as much as I did. It is a fun and interesting story. Scott Brick does an excellent job of reading, as usual. I recommend it.
I know some people will think this is a good book just as I know some people are completely insane. I've read Neuromancer and although it was a bit tedious, there was at least a story there. What story there is here is bogged down in minutiae and mundania. Gibson seems to think that the protagonist is so deeply interesting that he forgets that something has to happen to make the read worthwhile. He sure seems to be having fun but there is almost nothing to make this one moving, interesting, or suspenseful nor is there anything that most people will relate to on any level other than mundane. I guess that excludes people who lost someone on 9/11. Mystery? Thriller? Don't make me laugh. When I got finished with this one I asked myself, "Who cares?" There is really nothing to care about in this entire book. There is no real conflict and the ending fades off into tedium. The reader was good when she wasn't using her own voice. Really. She had some good character voices and nice accents but her own voice was soporific to the extreme. I would give her another chance but Gibson is on my "Do Not Call" list. I gave it one star but only because the system won't allow a null.
It took me quite a few pages to get into this one but once I did, it was worth the time. For comparison I can say that, I had more difficulty getting into William Gibson's stories and characters. This one is a wild ride and very unpredictable, but fun.
I have to begin by saying, this narrator is the best I have heard so far. The characters each have their own voice even if only slightly different. And he never forgets who is speaking. Simply outstanding.
The plot is traditional adventure fare but the characters and the world in which they live are unique and compelling. They become real even though they are patently surreal. The author keeps up a fast pace and delivers a lot of interesting imagery that makes you want more.
The conflict and resolution deal with a lot of religious history and artifacts. And this can sometimes become bogged down under it's own weight. It feels didactic and sometimes even preachy but it is clear. People who are deeply religious will have difficulty with what is going on because it effectively portrays believers as programmed automatons. It is definitely not complementary to religion in general. If you consider religion and religious history to be real, then you will probably feel put off by the ideas proposed in the story. To those people I say, lighten up. It's only a story. It isn't trying to replace religion.
The conclusion is a little bit vague and there are a lot of loose ends that don't get wrapped up in a neat package.
Many an author could have written this interesting premise quite well but not this author. She is a spectacular wordsmith and is probably quite at home writing poetry. But here the juxtaposition of real life with her flowery prose is distracting to say the least. The device of presenting the story through the memory of the main character does not work well for a story like this one. Written in a chronological order, it might command your attention. As it is, the voice is way too passive for this kind of tale. And developing all the characters through the filter of the protagonist's memories turns it to vanilla most of the time. It's a great concept but actually much of it has been done before, and better.
What can I say that hasn't been said about Uncle Orson's ability to capture the soul of his characters? In my opinion, that is the best thing about his work. They are so human and real and often tragic. It is apparent that Card really cares about these characters and lives in their world with them. He deftly brings the reader along for the ride.
This is a grand and beautiful story that stands on it's own even though it is a sequel. The plot is excellent. It is intricate, exciting and very well paced. For fans of the series, this will justify their devotion. But, this volume can be enjoyed by everyone for it's own sake. I couldn't put it down. The narration is excellent too. It adds immensely to the feeling of the story.
Science fiction this is not. But that's OK. I think I expected more from the time travel aspect but for a love story like this it might have been distracting. I am big a fan of science fiction so I was somewhat disappointed at first but the story was well written with excellent character development making it worth the read. There is an element of adventure in the involuntary time traveling with it's unique problems. I enjoyed the discussion of what skills should be cultivated by a person who accidentally stumbles through time in the buff. Those aspects intrigued me and kept me reading as much as the time-jumbled romance.
The pacing was generally good and there weren?t a lot of pointless detours. The narration may have been a bit flat at times but overall I thought the readers did a nice job. The characters seemed interesting, real, and a bit tragic sometimes but not common. I came to care about Henry and Claire and I wanted to know how things turned out. The sex scenes, of which there were very few, seemed a bit out of place. They really didn?t add anything to the story for me. The story is not especially predictable and has several unique twists. The ending wasn?t as satisfying as I would have wished but it was bittersweet and hopeful. I liked the book a lot despite my expectations.
Stylish and smart with many classical and contemporary references. The author deftly takes you on a journey inside the mind of a serial killer. The characters are well drawn and it is easier than you think to actually begin to care about somone normally considered repugnant in the extreme. There are many interesting surprises so the story is not too cliche or predictable. It's an excellent read if you can handle graphic depictions of gore and death.
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