Bloodlist is the first of an eleven book series. I found this first one at Audible, liked it, and read the next ten in the series. I'm looking forward to Audible getting the rest on line. Some of the plot twists can be a stretch, but on the whole the characters and plot lines are great story telling.
I started this book after reading only the description - no reviews. I suspected it might be another vampire book, which didn't count in its favor. I did not know it was a zombie book, which I am less likely to read than another vampire book.
However, zombie or not, once I heard the first few minutes there was no turning back.I was immediately hooked, drawn into the story and found myself looking forward to my commute just so I could listen to more of this story.
On the negative side, there were a couple of small plot twists that were weak and contrived to move the story in the direction the writer needed things to go, but those few spots are not so noticeable within the larger story.
Maybe I'm not so familiar with this genre - zombies - but I found the development of all the characters well done and in particular the Melanie main character fascinating. Her growth and her relationships with the Sargent, Ms Justineau, and the slightly mad Dr were believable. I also liked the ending, or endings, for the characters and found them overall satisfying. The elements leading to the end were planted thru-out the story as it unlayered, but the final twist was a surprise when it came.
This was for me the rare book that left me wanting more maybe a sequel, but I don't think the ending has a real opening for one. However, I would like to see the movie version, or maybe a one season mini-series. The problem and it's a big one is that a large part of the attraction to this story is that it's told from Melanie's point of view - mostly - and it's fascinating as she learn's new facts and puzzles thru to an understanding of what the situation is and where and what she has to do towards the end as she extracts the final puzzle pieces from the slightly mad Dr. The Dr is the character who never gives up on her goal of dissecting little Melanie.
Intense Refreshing Gripping
The standout scene occurs early in the first book when the title character undergoes vivisection. After that the buy into the main character's point of view is complete and there's no turning back.
I listened to the sample because I saw her name as narrator. And yes the audio version and in particular the Ms Pearlman's talent as a narrator add another dimension to enjoying the book just not available to silent reading of the text.
The quality of the writing is high and sustained through out the trilogy. Often such a fantastic first book is followed by a weak sequel, but that does not happen here. Shepard not only understands his main character thoroughly but has an unusual grasp across a broad range of very real political and philosophical issues. All too often a SF writer will sketch out a simple black and white conflict - political or other issues - and then have the characters run through the plot. Shepard achieves something I've rarely seen in that on both the political dimension and across several softer issues he sets up a very believable universe within which his characters operate. But these background issues are never allowed to dominate. The story is well told and the characters always in the center of the action with the wider issues and setting providing an enjoyable and very realistic background.For example, in the political realm in SF authors often can't help grinding some current axe, but Shepard resists anything like that. The political factions are not reflections of today's, but realistic creations fitting the future world that the main character - Sandy - lives within.The struggle between those people and entities against the creation of artificial life vs those who wish to embrace its potential would seem to set up a very black white background, but that doesn't happen. As the main character moves through the trilogy it becomes clear that this division is nuanced with hidden agendas popping up from unexpected but believable sources. And at no point does Shepard allow some very complex background material to overwhelm his main character(s) or their stories.Shepard could have fallen into the trap of not allowing one side to have of the 'right' on some moral ethical issue. In the third book one android recommends to another to read the book by Shelly 'Frankenstein' in order to understand why the organic humans fear the created artificial life forms so much.
Well thought out presentation of the terrorist problem and possible solutions facing America. Those who see our terrorist threat primarily as a legal problem will react badly to what the authors have to say (and might even try to score the book low not on its merits, but because they're afraid of its content and want to supress a valid point of view). Those who see a need for solutions with less due process and more direct action will appreciate the analysis. The work is an excellent contribution to the debate over where we go from here.
As is typical for a book covering a political topic like this one, you will find most reactions are either in the over-the-top-hate-it or over-the-top-love-it category. If you hate Bush and are even more stirred up by the least rumor of some conspiracy, you are not likely to read even part way through this book, which is really too bad. I found the book very insightful on many aspects of Bush. One area in particular that was very good was the author's coverage of Bush's relationship with his Father, which is, I now understand, much more complicated than I had guessed. I found some of the most interesting sections dealt with how and why Bush gets the left so upset because it reminds me of some of my personal reactions to Clinton, the President, when he got the right so upset not too long ago. But I think this is something many of the people so rightously upset by Bush today are going to learn the hard way. If you like Bush already, this book will explain a lot of how the man is able to accomplish so much. Anyway I highly recommend taking the time to listen to it.
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