The story was a rehash of gimmicks that have been done before and done better. There really was no suspense after the secret of the building was revealed. The main characters didn't die; the peripheral characters did. All very predictable. And the premise didn't make sense. It struck me as silly. Too many holes in the story.
The plot and the characters. The dialogue was like someone's screenplay that couldn't attract financing.
He didn't detract. He did what he could with the material he had.
It worked on some levels until it became clear what the big secret of the building was. Then it fell apart for me.
A more complex story line; fewer one dimensional characters; less predictability; fewer cliched plot twists. Everything in this story has been done before, many times. There was almost nothing original in it. I kept thinking I'd made a mistake and downloaded a novel for pre-teen boys because that's about the audience this novel appears to be aimed at.
Written a different book.
Other than the voice of Jake, the characters' voices were not very believable.
I'd have told the author to start from the beginning and write a different novel.
I'd take out the excessive attention paid to the physical appearance of the characters; also I'd reduce the time and pages spent describing each character's minutest feelings. This is actually two books. One about an epic clash of two warring groups. She excels at building and describing this world. The other is a typical teen love story in which every character of any depth is "so beautiful and perfect." She spends way too much time on that part of the story and also reinforces the notion that virtue is beauty and vice versa. That part of the book reads like a teenage girl's fantasy in which people fall in love almost instantly.
Sure. Hopefully she'll aim it at an older audience.
Her voice was very well suited to the text. She did an outstanding job.
Laini Taylor imagines worlds with angels, demons, half-human monsters of every variety. Yet when it comes to the humans in her stories, they're all, exclusively white, as is the skin of all the half-humans. I think she should try to expand her ability to imagine beauty not having exclusively white skin. Seems like the idea is foreign to her.
If found many parts of this fascinating book very difficult to get through due to the graphic descriptions of the extreme, every day brutality that the slaves had to endure. But the story accurately describes the sadistic methods used to keep the slaves under control and aptly illustrates how slavery degraded the slaves and the slaveholders, however much the British slave owners tried to pretend they were still part of refined society. The book also provides a very informative history of slavery in Jamaica.
The story of Lilith and her growth from child to woman in the most horrific circumstances imaginable was captivating and, ultimately, affirming of the degree to which people in even the most inhumane circumstances fight to keep hold of their humanity.
Robin Miles did a wonderful job narrating the story. Her Jamaican accent lent the story an additional element of authenticity that made the book more compelling.
I recommend this book highly.
This book is actually two stories. One is about the experiences of the rather ineffectual American ambassador to Germany at the rise of Hitler's regime. This story offers a well written eye-witness narrative of the daily outrages suffered by citizens and visitors alike in pre-war Germany. The environment of hysteria and mistrust and ever-increasing anti-Semitism that gripped Germany following Hitler's rise is presented in chilling and effective detail.
The other part of the book concerns the ambassador's sexually adventurous daughter who seems to have slept with half the diplomatic core and not a few senior Nazi officials as well. While her slow conversion from infatuated defender to horrified critic of the "new" Germany is interesting, it is trivial by comparison to the import of the larger issues the book addresses, yet almost half the book is about her experiences. Her obsession with describing and evaluating the physical appearance of each person she encounters reads like a superficial Victorian novel and I question the auther's decision to go into long details about the overwrought love letters she exchanged with various men. Eventually, I found the passages about the daughter so irritating that I fast forwarded through them so I could get back to the larger goings on between the US and Germany and within the German government.
On the whole it's an interesting book that gives the reader a very good sense of what life was like for the priviliged few of Germany and the diplomatic core trying to restrain the worst excesses of the Hitler's government .
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