I fell in love with Card 20 years ago, like many after reading the Ender Series.
I really liked the way this story is broken into two parts with a quick glimpse of the back story at the beginning of each chapter, and overall it is an interesting world, and a interesting plot. I did enjoy the overall story and wanted to see how it came out, but the book get tedious in places. We are given the thought processes of everyone, reasoning out everything, at each new tiny step. In fact I think about half the novel was someone thinking about the possible motivation of others and the consequences of their actions. Card seemed to include all the stuff an author normally figures out, but doesn't usually actually put in the book. After a while I was begging them to get on with the plot. If the characters are acting in a realist, believable way, then you don’t have to include their entire thought process.
Mild spoiler: I know Card wanted to play around with a different version of time travel than most authors, he says so himself in the closing notes. I found it hard to believe someone of this of this pseudo pre-industrial society would sit around talking about the implications of time travel. They would probably just do it and see what happens.
I'll probably listen to the next book in the series, but I may wait a while.
I bought this on the "Daily Deal" I figured it cost $3 so why not try it. It wasn't worth what I paid. I listened to about half of it and finally gave up. I don't know if it was the story, the writing or the narrator but I can say the combination was not good. Save your money and find something else.
I normally have a pretty easy time buying into a story, but this one just had too many things that broke my suspension of disbelief. Once I got used to the narrators (there are several to match the point of view of each chapter) I tried to get into the story. It was farfetched but I was willing to go with it. I just kept finding myself distracted and wondering whether or not people in that situation would act that way instead of wondering about the story or the characters. Generally I came to the conclusion, there were several things that are basic human nature, that would have happened long before in this world.
I also didn't think the story was very original. It's basically Lord of the Flies on another planet. I also really didn't care for most of the characters. It maybe because the story is told from several people's point of view that we never really get to know any of them, I'm not sure.
This obviously this was the start of a series but I won't be listening to the rest.
Save your time and listen to something else.
Here are few of the my problems with the plot:
You figure out the big surprise at the end pretty early into the story. The space ship ended up crashing back on the planet, no one from earth is coming and they are stuck on the planet forever. It was so obvious that when it happens I just thought it was just a sub plot put in for character development. But That's it, the story ends. I guess the author was going for a big dramatic Planet of Apes ending, but it just fizzled for me.
In the story we are supposed to believe in 160 years, no one has explored this planet beyond the one little valley they live in. No one has pushed building tools, boats or other things beyond the most basic, basic level. I get it was such a lush forest that no one really had to work for anything until the population grew but these people knew all about earths technology and didn't try to duplicate things as simple as the wheel.
Everyone sleeps with everyone and no one really cares. Yeah sure they are a little jealous but it's just accepted. No one even knows who the fathers of the children are. I understand in world with no diseases people may have lots of free love, but I couldn't buy there were no monogamous couples, no family units at all.
In a 160 years no one has killed another person.
In a 160 years no one has raped another person, even though the "Batface's" and "Clawfeet" men weren't popular with the women and didn't get to "Slip" like the other guys.
Then after 160 years of all of this going on one boy changes everything and within a couple years people start acting like people.
Definitely not my thing. More of a romance novel than fantasy. I'd call it a starter book for Laura Hamilton. Never read any Twilight but I can only guess this is what it was like.
I dove right into this one as soon as I finished Hard Magic and I wasn't disappointed. If you like the first then you'll like this one too. There are great writing with interesting characters. The second book has basically become the X-men with magic instead of mutants, in 1930's but it's done extremely well. And who knew Bronson Pinchot was a narrating genius. I'll be going back to listen to anything he's done.
I bought this book thinking it was the sequel to "Lost Gate" . I also listened to the first one in this series and thought it was average at best. So I knew what was going on, but the problem is I just didn't care. I thought there was a lot of boring discussions and bickering in the first book. Little did I know, Card had barely scratched the surface. The characters argue so much I found myself hoping the ships would come and destroy them.
Hopefully the title "Ruins" is not an indication of the direction Card's writing is going, but if he keeps producing books like this that is where it will end up.
Hill plays with some interesting ideas but it never gets that, on the edge of your seat sense of desperation he achieved in "Heart Shaped Box". Its still worth a listen, but I keep hoping he will get back there.
I honestly went to download the next part and realized that was it. After I realized there wasn't a second part I accepted there was an ending but it was rather unsatisfying. Don't understand all the great reviews. Granted it could set up a second story with a bigger conflict, I still thought it was OK at best. The bad guys actions just didn't make much sense to me.
I’ve enjoyed the Odd series, but it seems to be moving from entertaining to average. Mr. Koontz seems to have some issues with modern day society and he uses Odd to voice all of his complaints. He has done some of this in all of the Odd books but it seems to gotten out of control and has become quite distracting. It would be great if Knoontz could get back to the form of some of his earlier work like “Out the Corner of His Eye” or “The Face” where he would take time to build suspense and develop his characters.
Spoiler alert: One of my other complaints about this story is Tesla. It seems like anytime an author needs to create a unusual machine or some piece science fiction machinery they simple pull out Nikola Tesla to give it creditability. I know he is a fascinating person, but why not invent a new mad scientist.
I was prepared for JK Rowling's new book not to be another Harry Potter installment, in fact I thought it was a good move for her to go a different direction. After the phenomena that was HP what could she possibly do to follow it up? So I gave a Casual Vacancy a chance. I gave it a chance after a slow start that introduced so many characters it was hard to follow. I gave it a chance past all the profanity, drug use and sex; more than most adult crime novels I listen to. I could have even dealt with the rape scene if it had been important to the story. Unfortunately it wasn't worth it. I get That Rowling wanted to dig into the gritty "real world" after years of fantasy, but she seems to only run to all the things she couldn't write about through seven other novels. she spends the entire novel digging into all the dirt of real life without out even glancing at the good parts. There are no redeeming characters, no one to pull for, no innocent people only victims, no villains just slightly corrupt, incompetent abuser and self absorbed people.
You wouldn't think a small town in the English country side would hold such misery. Casual Vacancy starts like many books, introducing different characters of a small town who seem to be completely unconnected. One local councilmen dies of a brain aneurysms and we begin to see how his death effects them all. The story is slow, but has a sense of building so I figured it was going somewhere. None the characters are completely good or bad, but its their flaws Rowling focuses on. The story ends in a senseless tragedy, which seems to come out of no where and leave you completely unsatisfied. You think something good will come out of this entire mess, but it doesn't. One or two of the characters end up slightly better than they started, but anything to be learned from the book are left to the reader to be decided. The story is told from 3rd person omniscient, and I had a hard time believing some of the characters motivations which got a little annoying.
All that said I somewhat enjoyed it. I was drawn in, I wanted to find out where the much to do about nothing was leading. I was hoping for big payoff, and I was prepared to write a good review. But the ending is just kind of empty and sad. It's like Rowling created all of these characters and then didn't know what to do with them. I noticed in the HP books she had a tendency to add unnessicary story lines in some of the later books. I thought she just like those characters too much not to have something for them to do. Now I wonder if she just needs someone to tell her to focus on the main storyline, even if you have to cut a few thing.
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