Queens, NY, United States | Member Since 2011
This is the 1st work of Neil Gaiman I’ve read even though there were a few recommendations of reading anther piece of literary work before ‘American Gods’ there were stronger suggestions that this was a fan favorite & no reason to skip over as a starting point.
Although I cannot compare & contrast the difference of this novel to the other books Neil has written, I can say without a doubt that he wrote a story that takes place in modern times with a spin from historical, fantasy driven stories from the past. In this book the protagonist ‘Shadow’ is a felon who on the eve of being released from prison suffers the tragedy of losing his true love before he is ever re-united with her. He finds himself free but essentially still imprisoned within the mindset of a convict without the help of a loving woman that would have helped free him from his time budgeted daily schedule while imprisoned & jailhouse politics. After finding the particulars of how she met her end the circumstances that surrounded her death, Shadow is now thrown into chaos & while he is still reeling from the events he meets Mr. Wednesday. Mr. Wednesday is a figure that you come to know as a character no one truly knows what, when, or who he represents; all the while offering the protagonist a job that lifts the veil that is covering the eyes of all humanity. The protagonist, Shadow, see’s a side of the world no mere mortal has access to normally & because of his ‘throwing caution to the wind’ attitude after losing everyone he cares about he is able to elevate his consciousness to another level.
Gaiman weaves a tale when the gods of the past whose survival has been determined by memory & history versus the modern gods that human, especially Americans have created to take their place clash on epic proportions. It is a tale that is not only interesting but captivating due to the dialogue between characters & the nuisances created by the separating rifts between gods. As the story progresses Shadow is pulled deeper & deeper into the conflicts of gods & specifically American gods. It is quite humorous that the gods of America tend to fall into a 'materialistic' purview such as the TV or internet... if coveting a god involves the amount of time an individual spends with various 'idols' than the TV for example is one 'god' that no American can possibly argue holds sway in just about every persons life. This POV from Shadow, omnipotent, & a few sparing views from different gods from old are not only ironic but quite indicative of what the modern American views of iconic figures of society. If this is a unique Neil Gaiman written book I will be exploring this author more.
George Guidall as always does a fantastic job narrating & he does not let down although there are many voices within the book I can see why Audible re-recorded this book with multiple narrators in a special version.
This is an excellent 2nd book to continue 'The Traitor Son Cycle' series after the solo debut novel "The Red Knight.' Anyone whose wondering why the story received 4 stars while the overall was given 5? The only real issue I had with this book was that small parts could be predictable at times BUT besides GRRM who could potentially rip your heart out while reading the 'GoT' series. It seems GRRM loves taking a character you love & believed was one of a handful of protagonists dies quite viciously similar to humans swatting flies lol.
Fantasy books no matter the caliber of author all tend to have a degree of predictability, certain tropes, & characters that fall into similar categories. Cameron is able to write an incredible story containing an assortment of commonly used fantasy pieces often spread between separate books & authors, but able to incorporate a cohesive tale so far in 2 books of the series. The complex themes & persona's include: medieval themes, knights, archers, beautiful princesses, mages/warlocks, clerics, weapons containing magical properties, all sorts of kick-ass, monsters such as dragons-wyverns-giants-golden bears-fairies-demons even gods, court intrigue containing the backstabbing & conspiracies that absolute power attracts, plus a few unknown powers that have not entirely been revealed.
The magical system structure is well thought out & those who possess this ability perpetuate both power & destruction within the real world while in the 'ethereal' plane they manipulate diff. types of energy/mana against each other similar to a game of chess. Those with faith can heal thru the gift of worshiped deity's & above them all are the unique class of warrior, both having prowess in hand to hand combat & casting of magic power. This sequel was at the same level of entertainment value as 'The Red Knight' IMO & perhaps even better due an overall picture of this world familiar in histories yet unique in regards to custom & universal laws.
I would HIGHLY suggest spending a credit & read the next installment of this captivating book that bludgeons you back to "hardcore" fantasy woven tales. Narration is above average, I could find little to complain about that doesn't occur at a point in all novels of this genre. Miles Cameron made me forget about GRRM's slow progress & along with other 2014 releases to come I see a great year to come.
Absolutely, there are 2 reasons I would listen to this book again: 1. Narrator did an excellent job, beyond excellent IMO.. I'm not Irish so its obvious that particular point could be questioned by indiginous persons McKinty is writing about. For me the voice sounded not only creditable but also added new dimensions in dialogue (i.e. slang, humor..).
2. The story is well written with balance between storyline, humor, violence, language, & romance. The genre I'd classify the book tends to be filled with excessive violence or language, tropes, & worst of all, predictable plots. McKinty is able to address all those issues positively.
If 'edge of your seat' means when you listen to the whole book in 36 hour time period, than YES. The places McKinty literally takes the protagonist & development of all characters was well done, sprinkled with unique traits while containing the flaws that make a great story mesh.
If Doyle's native tongue is American English he does an incredible job narrating a tale with characters that cover the spectrum of accents & street slang. Even if Doyle naturally speaks accented English or its not his primary language, the delivery is done in way that keeps a listener glued to his voice.
When you read about 'gansta', 'mob', or criminal elements of a world most people don't know or ignore its existance, often times the entire life or large portions of the books sensationalize the illegal lifestyle. McKinty adds twists & turns in the book taking the listener to levels of thought & locations you wouldn't expect. Michaels internal dialogue shows why his character separates himself as the protagonist yet not blocking the significance of his compatriots & the antagonist. There's a part that Michael must endure in order to exact revenge, without spoiling anything, that journey is pivitol in shaping his personality in the trilogy.
This was the 1st Adrian McKinty book I've listened to & plan to read his other series when time allows, he's pushed himself towards the top in literary prowess. DEF. worth the credit just to listen to him curse lol... luckily its the "full package."
In terms of the fantasy genre it made it immediately to my top 5 & overall book it placed in my all-time top-50. The story started out VERY GOOD, the litmus test will be the 2nd book from basically a debut author (he might have had 1 other addition to novella's with Mark Lawrence & Tad Williams. Considering the fantasy books I've read over last year, this book catapulted its way into my life lol... I'm quite antsy & upset every author feels the need to write trilogies or 4+ books in series
Going thru each POV of the main protagonists... This has been done in similar way by David Durham in 'The War with the Mein' but Staveley IMO was able to split the POV up better & the cohesiveness of the complete book is woven into a masterpiece using poetic storytelling, in-depth characters, fantastic world building, plenty of action, intriguing 'magic system' & of course... court intrigue with backstabbing
That is an extremely hard question to answer because the character POV make up almost entire book, Valyn is my favorite.... BUT all the POV are worth reading
I tend to read 3-4 books at a time, jumping from books & genre's to keep things 'fresh' but similar to 'Lies of Locke Lamora' & 'Red Knight' when starting this book all the books on my 'currently reading shelf' ranging from thrillers to Sci-Fi were put on hold
Simon Vance is an excellent narrator as always & HIGHLY recommend this book, spend the credit, get this book, many times I would figuratively say "a perfect book to take up time before the next installment of book X comes out or will get your mind off how book X ended, etc.." but read this book because you will want more after its done & fantastic debut novel from Brian Stavely... its refreshing & worth the time... along with the credit.
I love Bernard Cornwell's writing from the 'Sharpe' to 'Thomas of Hookton' to one of my favorite series, 'The Saxon Series' which 'The Pagan Lord' as I believed was to be the last of the chronicles of Uhtred & formation of the country we now know as England during the 900's. Without spoiling any significant parts of the book I'm also going to complain for a sentence or 2 regarding how & if this is truly the end of this particular series. I was expecting a relatively clear ending to this series with the start of the small nation that would slowly turn into a world power, play a pivotal role in creating the USA, & remain a world power to this day. But its safe to say that not all questions were answered & since I know nothing of English history there's no way to place when certain events occurred in the nations rise to prominence
Its safe to reveal without spoiling the book that in this book:
* Uhtred will find much of the vengeance he deserves & has been searching for throughout the series using serpent breath while also tasting bittersweet sadness in other area's
* Uhtreds character growth jumps significantly if you compare it to the last couple books in the series. It seemed that while reading the last couple books the battles & barriers facing our protagonist are hard to clearly delineate due to similarities. This is by no means negative talk about Cornwell because even Cornwells average battle scenes & plot twist are far better than other authors best written novels. Due to Uhtreds age (a bit over 50) has him realizing that if he wants to see his dreams coming to fruition it must happen soon. So the reader gets a look at a "new" Uhtred that is older, grumpier, but by no means any less dangerous
* The reader will also see character growth in all 3 sons he has, well, 2 sons & Alfreds bastard who he treats like a son. This dynamic & seeing his sons take an active role in this story may lead to believe that a continuation of this series to involve the carrying on of his wishes by his bloodline, BUT that is not clearly stated in either direction. The reader will see how each son reacts & evaluate their standing with their famous father
* Although there is predictability in the story there are also many plot twists to make it interested & listening... I finished this book in 2 days, easy... so even though its addictive it won't take 20 hours to finish the book
* There are many old faces of friends, enemies, or characters whose allegiances are never completely predictable
* Finally, you see his usual hatred for priests of Christianity intermixed with the love of his men & Aethelflaed on one side & his own possible personal gain on another, therefore making hard decisions with a mind that is matured but still burning for payback
The book is an easy listen but well worth the credit just to find out if he reaches his ultimate goals? I believe Cornwell will have another addition to add to this series & if so, no matter how annoyed I may be expecting a final outcome I will be pre-ordering the next installment as well. Say a prayer to Odin & hope the corpse-ripper drags his enemies down as he battles for love & hate .
FANTASTIC SERIES!!! There are once again so many great reviews for each of the books that make up this 'Omnibus Series' from 'Wool' to 'Shift' ending with 'Dust'.
This series had a great deal of 'talk' around it before I decided to go ahead & read the 3 books although I don't believe it was originally a trilogy but many smaller books. It doesn't matter because I was happy because it was a breath of fresh air even with the smothering of the series by avid readers hype regarding the content.
I don't really think I need to go into any detail about the content in a review for the 1st book 'Wool' but its this book that snared me into reading the entire series. Most likely I'll be parroting the plethora of reviewers before me. The books ability to transport the reader through great descriptive language & the grind of every day life within a Silo that was eerily an inhuman way of living but similar to the book 1984 if there were other silo's or countries that were all in the state of fear & not contacting each other how would the different populations of people end up living? You are born in a 'world' that has already been in existence for generations & is also essentially working in a symbiotic way between people of different jobs & from different levels. Similar to a country that has all the classes of people within it living in an enclosed space so ignorance of how people lived or thought could easily be present BUT if one wanted to confront a problem or go see visual proof of ones thoughts it could be done. It was a matter of traveling at times more than 150 floors downward, while passing each level a person could see what type of people, life, duties, & mindset a group of laborers have while contributing to the overall running of this only place they considered home. The intro of characters in the beginning & getting the basic world building was not too hard because it was done in a clever way IMO. Howey decided to try & keep many of the current world idea's & building in place but compacted into an upside-down sky scraper but with no view of the outside except thru computer screens & the laws of this world strictly enforced by death for those that questioned or caused too much trouble. That is where the story really begins to cascade & catch speed. When an older generation is murdered & the newer generation takes they're place it involves a 'changing of the guard' which leads to the ultimate questions that need answering for those with anti-establishment ideals or older generations that may be engrained to how society works but are still curious about what can be accomplished when a worker from a tight knit family of job related people look to help save they're friend from the fate of death by leaving the silo & going outside to a toxic world.
The protagonist, Juliette & her supporting characters start on a path that will inevitably end in disaster, but for who? are there others out there? whats the purpose of the silos? Well the answer is one that is quite the mind fuck lol. Which is the type of books I love. In 'Shift' the 2nd book where they change to a better narrator IMO & is the best book of the series the reader is brought back to 'present day' time while the silo's were being built, who was privy to the total information surrounding the silo's, the major players in silo 1 which are essentially the overseer's in this series & are introduced to a new cast of protagonist, antagonists, family members of both, & regular people trying to live they're lives. The reason I gave this book 5 stars vs. the other 2 was mainly because of the background & how the concept of silo's & why they were built in the 1st place plus described a great deal of background regarding this project & how certain people were compartmentalized regarding their duties. This might only be a small problem for a generation but think about the ramifications of shift after shift of people cry o-genetically frozen, re-thawed while select people were allowed NOT to take medication that made a person forget trauma & slowly who they were in a past life. By the time 'Wool' takes place its been over a hundred years & you have those in charge still frozen & awakened to run the project while others go thru the monotonous shift changes unaware of past memories or how they ended up in the silo's to begin with... without women in Silo 1 ! (it was a theory the women & children were kept frozen to ensure the men would work without creating problems that might put the women & children at risk). Apparently every human nature related issue was thought out in advance, but those in charge slowly realize that just like the other silo's, their "main hub, & center node of control' also can fall prey to the unexpected.
This last book 'Dust' was a very good ending although it did leave a few head scratches at the end. I'd like a reader to figure those out for themselves mostly but simple questions such as whether or not the entire world was involved in destruction or why the air was only contaminated in a certain circular area without dissipating were immediate questions most would probably catch. I really loved Donald & Charlotte who were completely flawed characters but once finding out what he did unknowingly, Donald got his own redemption in a way & Charlotte was a character I was pulling for although Darcy was also a new character I liked that didn't turn out like I thought it might. Without spoiling the ending its safe to say, people will die, silo's will crumble, power will be flexed, & the ultimate answer to all the readers main questions will be resolved in a believable manner. Perhaps not the best in some eyes but much better than many other endings to these dystopia type books. I will say as a minor spoiler that Juliette IMO got all she deserved in regards to her constant pushing while forgetting her mayoral duties, forgetting friends to the point of not meeting them face to face after contact, & with a character like Solo from book 2, he's not the type of person you want running around a "normally run Silo" without a bit of concern. She was too busy finding out the next new thing & perhaps the way the silo's were built made it so the easy gathering of people was harder to do, but Juliette had her life saved by many people who ended up getting a raw deal. I don't want to throw out numbers that one can figure out at the end, but I'd put her in a rather uncaring category as long as she got to potentially dish out vengeance, revenge, or perhaps something more profound? The end won't disappoint IMO.
I would highly suggest this book for anyone looking for a different POV than typical 'world destroyed dystopia' based books, which than evolves into what most readers believe to be unpredictable events in a civilization that has established societal norms they believed true come crashing down around them. As you read this you can see not everyone is new to these events happening or in some cases caused the events while others adapted & overcame hardships, while others burned they're own path by fire & explosives lol. How is that possible? Why? If you plan to get this series be prepared to get the 2 books after 'Wool' because the 1st book takes place in the future while the 2nd jumps back & forth while the 3rd does all three, to include a climatic conclusion. Start to remember as you stop taking your shady medication, wonder who you were & perhaps where you came from & get the wool pulled down from around your eyes in this unique look into the depths of human nature.
** My rating was closer to 5-stars but the 1st book still holds that
I was lucky enough for this book to be released while reading Red Seas Under Red Skies so I knew there would be an immediate book 3 to go directly onto once done. Once again Lynch does not disappoint, especially when the book is based off a character that is only mentioned a few times within the 1st & 2nd books. Kudos to him for the ability to create a character we can set on the backburner without being inordinately annoyed & when she is mentioned taking an active role also the history between her & Locke Lamora, as a reader you are hooked before even starting to read a chapter or 2 of this book.
As mentioned with the last book of 'The Gentlemen Bastards' its hard to envision a way to top the original The Lies of Locke Lamora but just like book 2 this book is another lateral step on the same plane of excellence. Without spoiling any important points this book:
* Resolves the problems facing Locke & Jean at the end of book 2 which leads directly into the teeth of The Republic of Thieves smoothly with content that is once again new & refreshing while still testing the same skills the duo is known for
* Has extended past memories of Locke, Jean, & Sabitha that include the original crew of bastards with Chains (Chains happens to be a favorite of mine, plus the twins
* Obviously includes how Locke 1st met & fell in love with Sabitha & how they became lovers. These flashbacks happen while the current dilemma facing the 3 past friends is occurring
* The flashback story is a great confidence (big surprise) the bastards pulled off in the past while the current issue is one that matches the wits of 2 bastards who've been a dynamic duo against the 1 older, potentially wiser bastard that's been missing thru the series since book 1 but from similar upbringing therefore leveling the 'playing field'
* You will learn of Locke's past, what makes him so unique, & why this curiosity would be inevitable answered but will he wish he never found the answer out?
This book once again turns what we think about Locke upside down & created a new path, agenda, & birth of a new enemy with old grudges. Take a stroll thru Locke's love life, memories of love, & what 3 old, close friends would sacrifice for each other but also what 2 lovers do when faced with the true nature of 1 of them. Make sure anything valuable is locked & accounted for as plunge into another epic tale.
When it comes to his type of genre I see Vince Flynn (RIP), Silva, Ludlum, Le Carre, Clancy, early Follet, Coonts, even Coes (also relatively new compared to others but IMO better books than Greaney) as overall better writers & the alias known as 'The Gray Man.'
This book was the much better than the earlier 3 although they are all worth the read if you are into the genre & have a credit handy. This book involved more specific people within the government hunting Court Gentry & contained a great deal of new technology mixed with old spy craft & not entirely 'eye rolling' action like authors in the genre all walk the line on. I felt the first couple books were mediocre & lacking in character depth besides implying "agent has global currency as -awesome-, one man army, & not subtle to pull a trigger' regardless of the reminders the author tries to claim his protagonist is low key & avoids confrontation. In this book you meet another legend trained like Court & his obsession with Court in a world of killers & spies is not exactly a pragmatic POV. Although it gave us a small look into his past & about history the other books rarely mention let alone write about.
The 3-star rating may seem low but for this type of action book its the average entertaining good read in my ratings. There are few authors that elicit 4-5 stars in this genre because as mentioned before even though its fiction when the book is filled from front to back with violent action its hard to give it the same stars I give a book written by Brandon Sanderson or Neil Gaiman or a non-fiction/'based off true event' type book regarding the military, i.e. Navy SEAL past actions or experiences based off true accounts of different battles thru history. Writers like Silva, Le Carre, & Flynn tend to draw my attention more (also recent author Ben Coes) as a cut above the rest IMO. Perhaps its because the portagonists are refined thru more books than 3-4 (although Coes with Andreas has the same) but also because large parts in the book focus on past history regarding how the operative was trained, pre-operations, less raw action & more cloak & dagger 'spy craft', use of assets in non-violent ways, or global implications without crossing into a political soapbox. 'Deadeye' avoids most of this but revolves around a cat & mouse chase of trained killers as they leave a wake of bodies thru every country they step foot in. Entertaining, Fun, but as with many in the genre just a satisfying read better than its predecessors.
There are plenty of great reviews for each of 3 written 'Demon Cycle' books, so I'm providing overview thru the first 3 together & VERY interesting POV written by Peter V. Brett regarding a reviewers dislike for the 1st book & the negative points in the 1st book 'The Warded Man' that made her stop reading this ongoing saga.
For an unknown reason I thought this was a trilogy so was both pleasantly surprised & quite annoyed when about 3/4 thru book 3 realizing this book couldn't possibly end with the questions unanswered to that point & realizing 'Skull Throne' slated for approx. release in 2015. So many trilogy's, 10 book series, & even series the author plainly admits they will never finish? At times it makes you wish for writing 'The Great American Novel' within ONE book... BUT, personally enjoying many of the series in limbo, its the waiting, OK, with the pointless crying over... I found the books & story so far to be unique, engaging, action filled with believable romances involved (except for a point made below), & an interesting magic system that combines a few previous systems from varying authors. I obv. thought the books so far are great so these points are minor:
Besides a couple parts I had a hard time digesting the overall writing so far in this series is fantastic, great world building, complete character development for each major POV. The issues I found hard to swallow occurred in the first book (often the case) 'The Warded Man'. The main issue was in regards to a violent acts done to Leesha IMO would not only cause physical but major mental scars, but within 48 hours it's as if the event never happened when she's ready to sleep with a character she just met, the tattooed & one of the main protagonists, the warded man? while Rojer snoozes in the cave. I am no female but I found this a bit unrealistic? Whats great about this part is when a reviewer brought this point up, Peter V. Brett addressed her point & his answer was interesting:
"Actually, women who have been sexually assaulted will often seek out a consensual sexual experience very soon afterward, as an attempt to cleanse themselves of the assault and reassert control over their bodies, not to mention the hopes that if a pregnancy ensues, they can tell themselves it is the result of the consensual act and not the assault. I know this as a fact, both from research and from personal experience. Whatever else you may think of the story, please do not think that I touched on the topic of sexual assault lightly, gratuitously, or without any knowledge of what I was talking about."
Whether u choose to accept Peters reasons is up to you but really cool that he responded to a readers concern personally (he wrote about 2 more paragraphs but it addressed other issues as well), always great to see an author who addresses his readers, Patrick Rothfuss is down to earth as well. I'm just glad there was no need to graphically describe events, that might have had me fast forwarding because as common in history the act of rape occurred, there's no need to go into any detail about it.
Another small issue which is neither right or wrong IMO just an observation, is that plainly Krasian's are modeled after parts of middle eastern or Arabic fanatics & regular cultural differences. I' m not ethnically close to Arabic except that it is closer to Asia versus the US so I couldn't judge if any insult would be felt by those who felt the metaphorical reference as well as blatant use of religious martyrdom & jihad to fight the demons unlike the rest of the world that started off hiding behind wards. It was interesting how he turned something like fanatically fueled Jihad into the weave of the story.
The MINOR details brought up in the series so far doesn't change any thoughts about the overall quality of the books, they are very well written & am anxiously waiting for the next installment. Hopefully the series isn't like GRRM where you wait 6 years! for the next installment between book 4-5 (yet still waiting impatiently for next 'GoT' book lol), the next book is due out in early 2015 last read. I highly suggest the series but be prepared to go look for other books to keep u busy until the next book...
One of the most interesting people to read a review from is another author in the same genre who is essentially 'competition', altho with books its diff. cuz u can enjoy all books & the author is usually in no danger of 'losing u as a consumer.' A reader may hold diff. POV regarding which author is 'better' after reading each story but in other business fields there is competition for the sole attention of consumers. When I was on Goodreads I was able to read reviews Patrick Rothfuss wrote on books he's read, it gives u a peek into the mind of a person I respect due to his literary prowess but also humanizes an author regarding they're personal opinion. If u can find his review of this book on the website mentioned above u will understand what I mean. Both authors have now finished they're 2nd book & Pat tells u how he believed the 2nd book for a debut author is the hardest to write as an author which seems logical. But Lynch has book 3 out & we are still waiting Pat!! :)
Anyways, this book was extremely good considering it was already at a disadvantage cuz of the bar set for himself after writing 'Lies of Locke Lamora.' It would be impossible to top his debut, yet this 2nd book doesn't try to rise above but take a lateral step along with the 1st. New places & challenges, same old Locke & Jean. I will prob. find myself reading it again after 'Republic of Thieves', esp. if 'ROT' is as good as the first 2. Lynch still has his unique humor that makes u laugh out loud, establishes great characters u end up loving & hoping they don't die, & a fresh adventure for a concept I thought was going to be hard to write another few books on. Reading Lynch's books makes u realize a master story teller is at work. Readers are interested in a character only talked about so far! & finally makes there 1st appearance in book 3! That alone is amazing but the depths of the confidence games & the webs that Locke & company continue weaving reach far across his world, & who knows the next person to be caught up. I highly suggest taking the time to read this book, obv. after reading book 1, & once done book 3 is out as well so no waiting like so others had to endure... Michael Page is an excellent narrator, he did a couple books by Joe Abercrombie & he has a perfect voice for all the characters, esp. the main protagonists. The first 2 of the series are well worth the credit & it wouldn't be going out on a limb to say the 3rd is going to be well worth the credit as well.
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