The historical accounts of Socrates and his trial were interesting along with his arguments. The last half deals more with philosophy which I found got more dull closer to the end, especially when talking about the Athenian myths.
I found it to be a slow read, more literary then fun, and more hard sci-fi then fantasy sci-fi. Despite being published in 1996 the predicted science is vague enough not to take away from advances since then.
In the near future the discovery of nearby alien civilization causes the Jesuits to organize a mission to make contact. Loosely Paralleling historic Jesuit missionary.
Like good sci-fi it deals with several social issues and other themes. Faith and devotion is a strong theme throughout. Dealing with significantly different cultures and overcoming one's troubled past.
Half the book is dealing trauma and a character's personal struggle to reconcile his faith of a loving God with the horrors and evil he witness.
The aliens and world are different and strange by our standards but understandable if not always relatable. Characters are well developed, believable and interesting. I had an issue that every Priest on the mission seemed loose with their faith. I think the organization of the Church was handled well.
While funny, clever and hopeful at times this is not a feel good book at the end. If you like first contact stories or theme of struggling with one's faith or traumatic past it's worth a read.
This was a easy, fast and comfortable read but mostly due to the writing style and not the plot.
A girl from a 'savage' tribe is summoned to the capital where the monarchy have gods as their slaves. The story starts off sounding like it will be political but that plays very little. There is a LOT of sexual tension and innuendo in this book which seems to be the main focus as well as relationships..
Explores themes of corruption, desire, and history interpretations. Lot of world building at the start and figuring out how the god system works. The book is enjoyable while I was read but reflecting it afterwards, it seems to lack substance, like junk food.
I'm not sure if I'll read the sequels.
Like good science fiction the story deals with the concept, ideas and people over actual science. How would individuals, a small town and eventually society at large deal with or believe in an invisible man. The advantages and disadvantages being invisible presents and what it could do to a person's mind. There's enough scientific explanation to allow us to understand how someone went about achieved it.
Anyone with a remote interest or curiosity of the middle east should read this book. It's an honest first hand account of what it's like for a girl growing up in Pakistan. Malala recounts what life for her, her family, her village and her country is like before the Taliban, living under the Taliban rule and after the military "officially" pushed them out.
I like to think of myself of well informed but this explains many questions. How terrorist organizations are able to use propaganda and start off with compassionate gesture like providing funding to win the heart and minds of locals. Why the country citizens don't trust the United States, the extent of government corruption and political maneuvering.
The second take away we see through Malala, a girl who strongly believes in her rights to an education, and her father how one person can make a difference. It's an inspiring tale of how standing up for what you believe and against what is wrong can affect people and change.
The book does a good job of not getting tied down in the high level politics but covers them just enough to understand what is going on.
Forget the rhetoric and listen to this first hand account of life in Pakistan.
This is a long and slow read taking place in a well thought out world. It's the first in a popular series so while it plays into cliche and tropes of the genre it may not have been a big deal when it was written. This makes the plot predictable and not very thrilling.
Characters are stereotypical but distinct from each other, however as often the case with many main characters only a few are really fleshed out and even then briefly.
If you like dungeon crawlers, campaign based stories (RPG) or classic fantasy it is worth a read.
How could the tower of babel be built, how would a mad scientist view the world, What if we could make ourselves unaffected by people's looks, and what if Angel sightings were common everyday occurrences and we could see the deceased in heaven or hell? These are some of the stories this collection examines with their social, scientific and psychological impact. Some stories better than other, aimed more at plot and themes so some readers may find them boring.
An urban fantasy taking place in the middle east, which may feel like a different world for western readers. Computer hacker inadvertently get involved with mystics, government censors and involves the Arab spring. At the heart it's a coming of age and romance story. Good introduction into middle eastern culture and themes. If you're use to western fantasy it's worth a read for something different.
By now if your thinking of reading this book you already committed to the series. A different tone than the previous books and we get to see the rest of the world the previous books built. This is much more focus on the politics and media manipulation on both sides.
It's rare to see a popular book series show the brutal consequences to ones mental health of living through a tragedy. This book really explores the trauma, P.T.S.D and mental repercussions on Katniss. Hopefully your use to being inside the girls head because it pretty messed up at this point.
This is not a clean tying up of lose ends. There are twists and turns, surprises you may not see coming but can be understood.
A great end to a series, staying true to what came before while keeping it fresh.
Finished reading: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North.
The classic question: if you could live your life again, what would you do differently knowing what you know now? For Harry August this isn't hypothetical, he is born, lives, dies and is reborn again at the exact same day and place as before. The premise has been explored before in Groundhog day and Edge of Tomorrow but having to live his whole life again is a big difference.
This is a book about concepts and big picture plot. Explores how an individuals would react, what kind of secret society would form, deal with the tediousness of childhood, try different careers, and keeping life interesting. This allows other concepts like alternative history and pre-crime prevention to be examined.
This kind of story needs many characters and settings but only two characters are really developed. While the concepts that are introduced are interesting to think about the story narrative is only adequate. There no interesting characters to draw you in and no risk or thrill until the last third.
Narrator was excellent keeping the different characters and accents distinct.
The story is slow and not a page turner. Read if your an ideas person.
I would rate this as on par with an average David Tenant and Rose episode. Nothing memorable or ground breaking. Didn't take advantage of the possible extra length or unlimited budget (imagination) a book has over a TV show.
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