Ok, it's a classic so definitely a book with deep things to say. Generally I like the classics outside a classroom setting, but I'm just not sure this book was all I was hoping it was going to be. The first half of the book (give or take) is almost entirely consumed with setting the scene of a dystopian future (can you really call it dystopia if the people living in it are 'happy'?). I think the second half was supposed to be plot, but I couldn't really tell. There were a number of main characters, but none of them really seemed to be the 'hero' of the story, or even the focus of the story. There were tons of plot holes and loose ends, and some oddities in the society described (seriously this homogeneous society is ok with just sending the intellectuals off to a random island and hoping they never cause trouble? It just doesn't ring true to me) which betray this book for what it is: not so much a book but an extended discussion of a hypothetical future. It is an interesting concept, and one of those things that you can sort of see happening in a frightening future. Long story short: listen to it, contemplate the overall concept, don't expect a riveting plot.
This book was recommended to me by a friend, and it was definitely an enjoyable listen but doesn't really break any new ground. There's enough steampunk out there now that it uses all the cliches that we have come to expect: clever detective with adorable sidekick, Queen Victoria, allies at Scotland yard, dirigibles, killer automata, two seemingly different mysteries which are actually related, etc. etc. I'd say it's got more plot than say Gail Carriger but is less intense than Mark Hodder. I also liked the characters in this book better than the "Ministry of Peculiar Occurences" novels, although I'd say they are otherwise on a similar level. Actually, I recently read The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man by Hodder and it was interesting to see how Hodder and Mann handled the same elements: automata and zombies. The narrator was good, although his female voices were a little too high and over exaggerated sometimes. There were also a number of editing slip-ups, where the narrator stops suddenly, does some rather hilarious vocal exercises then carries on. Bottom line: standard steamed fare
Explaining the parallel universe concept and outsider criticism of society seemed to be far more important to the author of this book than actual plot was. The assortment of characters were kind of interesting enough to get you through, but the whole thing left me wishing that there was more to the novel. It kind of reminded me of Brave New World, where the author has spent so much intellectual time on the backdrop that they don't have any effort left for making the characters do things. The only conflict in the novel which seems to have anything hanging on its outcome is the trial in the Neanderthal universe, and even that is so bogged down by repetition and talk of social order that it looses any weight.
As always, Jonathan Davis is the world's greatest narrator. The novel seems determined to highlight Canada's multiculturalism, so there are tons of accents, which Davis does admirably. Ok, I won't lie, his French Canadian accent maybe leaves something to be desired, but he's so great at everything else that I'm not going to hold it against him.
This book was somewhat less enjoyable than the first one in the series, but it was still a good listen. There are basically two plots in the book, what happens in Dallas and what happens with the murder in BonTemps. I guess since there wasn't really enough plot in either to make a single book, they got kind of jammed together into one book. They're both in there, but neither really has much to do with the other.
I would have given the story four stars, but the Dallas section of the plot kind of pissed me off in spots. For a psychic and a bunch of old, supposedly clever vampires the Sookie crew really makes some stupid decisions. You would think they know better. But, what are you going to go? :)
Like most (probably) I got this because I enjoy Carriger's Parasol Protectorate books. If you liked those books, you'll probably like this. It's an adorable kind of book. If you haven't read her adult books, I don't know what you'll think of this book. There is a lot about the England this book takes place in that isn't really explained (aka not explained at all), like any background whatsoever with regards to the supernatural.
I couldn't give the plot more stars for two reasons. Firstly, the book really doesn't have much of a plot. Things just sort of happen as it becomes necessary for characters to do things rather than just exist. It's definitely more about meeting beloved characters that we know well as adults and setting the scene for future books than it is about the 'mystery' or whatever you'd like to label the plot here. Now, if you don't think too hard about anything and just happily go with the flow, then this lack of plot won't bother you. Just have low expectations.
My second issue is with the intended audience. I imagine most readers will be (as mentioned) adults who liked her other books. But it's definitely intended for a young adult audience....or so it sort of seems. Now, Sephronia is young for most young adult heroines, and there isn't any romance whatsoever (which is just fine, the girl is 14!). That's all fine and well, but given what else is out there for teen readers, this book will probably come across as rather tame. Younger teens might like it, but vocabulary might be a concern for tweens.
I had really high expectations for this novel, and there were tons of great reviews, so when it failed to live up to that, I was quite disappointed. The book is almost more a collection of novellas rather than a start to finish story of Elphaba's life. I guess what I didn't like was the disconnect between each of the parts. I just couldn't really see how each previous part shapes Elphaba into the person she is in the next part. For example, given the first section's description of her parents, I can't really see why she is the way she is at university. By the end of the book, I wasn't sure why she was doing anything that she was doing.
Furthermore, parts of the overall plot weren't really that well explained. Now, it's been a while since I last read The Wizard of Oz, so maybe I ought to have given it a reread before I started this, but points like why is Nessa Rose considered to be 'wicked' aren't explained, and it just adds confusion to an already fractured plot.
Well, this book has all the cliches that you've come to expect from teen paranormal romances: spunky heroine out to protect her sister, fatherless, having problems with her mother (who has psychological problems); older 'hero' who reluctantly helps the heroine and generally acts like an ass, who is considerably older than her; dystopian future. However, even going in with low standards, this book wasn't great. The entire premise was kind of disappointing. The whole 'apocalypse' thing is all fine and well but there's just no rationale behind any of the stuff that's going on. Maybe the best way to explain it is that the author seems to have some grand scheme in mind which explains why all the stuff that's happening is happening, but by the end of the book you still don't even really understand what the true conflict is, let alone how to solve anything. Maybe, if the entire angel political conflict (or its significance in terms of the apocalypse) and the whole children/monsters thing had been better explained, I might have given this book a better review.
All the things you love about James Bond without the crazy complicated tangents of the movie versions. Great narration. Not much more needs to be said.
I was quite optimistic about this book, it sounded like it might be great. But it wasn't. I think what I disliked most about the book was the completely irrelevant section (about half the book). The entire middle section could have been cut without the plot loosing anything whatsoever. Everything from Marius leaving Keth to him meeting up with Gurd again should have been left out. Not only does it not add anything to the plot, but it doesn't do the main character any justice. Marius is supposed to be a clever con man who lives by his wits but the card game and the whole episode with the island make him out as extremely naive. The narrator did a good job. At the end of the book there's a not-so brief author's notes. He mentions a potential sequel; I won't be buying it.
There isn't much for me to say other than the narration was excellent on a classic tale. If you're worried about tackling such a long 'must-read' book, this edition might be just what you're looking for!
As I promised myself, I only bought the second book of this series when it went on sale. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not, but I think I ended up liking it a bit more than the first book. The book carries on a number of plot points from the first one, and has almost all the characters from the first, so maybe best to brush up. This book also sets up for at least one following book. As in the first installment, there's tons of steampunk technology, alternate history, evil plots and whatnot. Also zombies. Who doesn't love steampunk zombies?
I would have given the plot five stars but I just wish that the characters developed/changed more through the books. They're very plot driven, which is fine, but it would be nice to see them a little more fleshed out. Once again, I probably would get the next book, but only once I find it on sale.
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