I really liked the first book, so I eagerly got this one. The author managed to up the ante in terms of combat and conflict, but at the expense of story. The story is real fragmented. For example the story is told by the main character, apparently by way of a diary that he left, but we never do learn anything about the diary. They introduce the "fast zombies", but again this new revelation never really goes anywhere, and seems forgotten by the end. And then there is the "ending" that really isn't. The book just kind of ends without even a satisfying temporary resolution. It's like the author reached his target page or word count and just called it a day.
I've always been a big videogame fan, playing games back as far as the early 1980's, and so I'm pretty aware of the Rockstar Games library, but really didn't know much of the company's history. This book is very good as far as telling that story. The problem is though... it's not really THAT interesting a story, and by all accounts the principals in this story are basically jerks. Oh well, it was informative if not enjoyable.
I'm very touched by the story of Dewey, and very glad that I got this audiobook. The reader is really good, and the story is very touching, inspirational, and of course tragic as it chronicles the entire life of Dewey including his eventual death. Prepare to shed a few tears, but you will enjoy the ride.
I really enjoyed Divergent, and in many ways enjoyed this one just as much. Lots of action and combat and drama, and an ending that was somewhat of a surprise and was pretty good. The only thing I didn't like about it is that for me, the character Tris is getting increasingly more difficult to identify with. She keeps lying to and betraying her friends over and over again. That's tough for a main character to do that.
I've gotten somewhat tired of the cat stories that go like: family meets cat, family initially doesn't like cat, but gets used to it, then loves it, then cat gets killed by car, the end. There are only so many such stories (or similar) that you can read/listen to. Fortunately, these are pretty different. Mostly heartwarming, lighthearted, and fun. I enjoyed them all, which is a rarity.
I did enjoy Cats In The Belfry. It is basically a series of anecdotes by a owner of several siamese cats. The anecdotes are mostly somewhat whimsical, so it makes for a pretty pleasant read. Two downsides though: firstly, the reading was somewhat difficult to listen to. It is read by a British woman, talking extremely fast in long long long run-on sentences. It takes a long time to get used to that and to hear and process all the words. The other thing that for me is challenging to get past, is the fact that this is a story about a family who acquires a cross-eyed Siamese queen and attempts to breed her. In breeders circles, that is considered somewhat of a travesty, and the book seems to be clueless about the whole morality question of that.
Aside from those problems though, the stories are sweet and mostly light-hearted fare that are easy and enjoyable to listen to. I am glad that I got this audiobook.
Dulcy's Tale is a "story" told from the point of view of Dulcy, a cat. That is in interesting idea, but kind of flawed. The main problem with this is that it forces the cat to "talk" about his owner, and then that quickly turns into self-congratulatory drivel on the writer's part.
I listened for about an hour to this non-story until I couldn't take anymore. It's really awful. First off, it's in no way a story. It's just a bunch of mundane events (the owner going to work, a trip to the vet, etc etc) told in an equally mundane way. There is no antagonist/protagonist, no conflict, and no growth of the main characters. So in no-way a story. Secondly, the reader is REAL hard to listen to. Just this real "girly" sugar-sweet voice that makes me want to rech.
I'm a big cat lover, I love "A Streetcat Named Bob" and "Cat Daddy", but not this rubbish. I would recommend one of those books or even one of the "chicken soup" cat books long before this one.
Console Wars gives us all a trip down memory lane, returning us to the mid 80's through the mid 90's, which to me is the "Golden Age Of Video Games". The book focuses mainly on Tom Kalinski, the head of Sega of America, and follows him through the whirlwind ride that Sega took, coming to prominence in the 16-bit wars only to lose it all in 32-bit.
I really really enjoyed being taken back and re-living that era of video games. And along the way I learned tons about all the corporate strategies and deal-making and such that was going on. Fascinating stuff. Also the reading of this book is outstanding.
The only downside to me is that the book somehow doesn't take it's own advice, namely that "The name of the game is the game". In other words, the book gives us so much detail about what the heads of the companies are doing, what their strategies were, what the marketing department was doing, how they were coming up with their slogans and advertisements, and on and on. But what they talked surprisingly little about were the games! What would have been much MORE interesting to me was more of a focus on the development of the games, how the games were received by players, discussions about game genres and technologies and peripherals and all that stuff. THAT would be been a lot more engaging.
But anyway... it's still a really good and interesting book. Highly recommended for fans of video games who are interested in some of the history and behind the scenes stuff of that era.
Jackson's Life Cats
The trials and tribulations of Jackson and his successes (and failures) in the pet industry. Also his tips at the very end I thought were very spot on and informative.
Probably when he met Benny
No. Very very few books are like that for me. Quite the contrary. I wanted this to go on and on and on and on and never end.
While this book is about animals and love, it is also a very adult story. Totally inappropriate for kids. It's also a real tear-jerker, so be prepared for that. The story is mostly about tragedy (even though Jackson chooses to sometimes spin it differently).
I would prune out the bad and inexplicable stories and replace them with better ones, or even just leave them out entirely.
There is no ending, it's a series or little anecdotes.
This *is* an improvement from the other Chicken Soup book about cats, where both the male and female parts were read by a woman. The trouble is that the guy's voice is really not very appropriate for this type of reading.
About half the stories are really good. Funny or touching or heart-warming or all three. The problem is that the rest of the stories are inexplicable, or stupid, or just plain misguided. For example there is a story about an owner who declawed her cat, then had the cat go live outside (what an idiot) and then get balled out for doing so by her "mean" neighbor. Huh? And then there is another where a woman adopts a crippled cat, and she adores it but then lets it outside where it gets killed by a car. Nice! A lot of the stories are a testament to human stupidity of the cat owners more so than they are about any special qualities that the cats possess. But like I said, about half the stories are very good and touching.
About average. The thing that I didn't like about this one is that the characters that we know (Jenks and Ivy and Nick and Marshall all the rest) basically play really minor roles in this story, except for Rachael and Trent. And the book just feels like it goes off on this huge tangent from the world that we know in the hollows, with the FIB and IS and all that. None of that really even matters in this book. It's just way off in left field so to speak.
excellent as usual.
Well, there is one more in the series, so I'm compelled to get the final book. But honestly, if there were going to be more I probably wouldn't get them. The series has pretty much run it's course at this point and it feels "tired".
I hope Kim takes a long break, then comes back with a new kick-butt book that has nothing to do with the hollows. That I would definitely be interested in.
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