This is the second of the change novels I have read and I must say I am hooked. I'm really taken by the way the author weaves in all aspects of life in this rebuilding world from sociology and religion to politics and technology (or lack thereof). All of these things bring pressures that have an effect on the progression of the plot. I like how characters that were adults before the change have different perspectives and attitudes than those that were very young or not born until after and how people adjusted and value different things based on the priorities of the times and of the setting. I gave it a four overall mostly because I was a bigger fan of "Dies by fire", and I think this work falls short of that one, but that could be because this book is further along in the timeline and lacks the raw struggle for survival that seemed to be everywhere in the last installment.
The narration is excellent as well and I'll be looking for more work done by Mr. McLaren.
My only regret about "The change" novels is that I didn't find them sooner. The world building is excellent, mostly because it includes the deconstruction of modern society as well as the construction of a new one. Many things in this story could have gone another way, and the little mini societies that survive are indicative of how your resources and leadership in life or death situations like this one are more determining factors than one may have previously believed. Mostly I like how it brings to life human values and highlights the things that we take for granted in modern society. Most people in america never experience a life or death situation and never really worry about their next meal. With no market to go to or fast food places...what would you do? It made me really think about my own skill set and how useless most of us would be in a post modern society.
This novel made me think. It's not just sci fi or speculative fiction, it puts you there and makes you ask questions of yourself...something books rarely do these days.
Kudos to the narrator as well. He brought a solemnness to the situation that I believe helped me visualize which is so important in the audio format.
I'm an aspiring writer and I listen to Sanderson's collaborative podcast "Writing Excuses", so I wanted to see how much he practices what he preaches. Without a doubt he didn't disappoint.
The detail in this world was amazing. No question went unanswered, and while the magic system was a bit odd at the beginning, it turned out to be an integral part of the plot and was refreshingly creative. Their were a lot of twists in the plot and a wide variety of characters to like or dislike as it were.
I will say though that this book started slow and the magic system was confusing at first. If I hadn't been a fan already, I don't know if I'd have made it to the good parts. This should have been a series in my opinion.
Hang in there on this one, it does pay off.
The world building in this collective work was both extensive and creative. However, the world is suppose to be the backdrop. Too often the world itself was center stage instead of the plot or the characters.
I am a big fan of speculative fiction, and where authors think society will be in the not to distant future. I feel the authors went too far with the whole "Evils of the Eco footprint" bit. After a while it was really preachy and worn out.
I gave this audio a four largely based on the works by Buckell and Scalzi. They created great characters and put them in situations I could relate to, regardless of the world around them. Brick and Rudnicki did their usual brilliant job with the narration of their stories. All in all this was a well presented project, but I was left wanting more from this great world the authors built.
I too read great reviews about this book, but it was much more like an episode of crime drama that a novel. The character development wasn't very good. They were shallow, had unbelievable motivations and were frankly unlikeable. When characters are like this, I don't get invested. I don't really care what happens to them. It did learn a lot about marijuana and drug trafficking, which was interesting but the details didn't move the plot along. I did like the authors style and the edge in the dialogue. For entertainment value, I gave it three stars but I won't be running to get more of Winslow's work based on this book.
I've been an avid reader my whole life, but no book has made me think so deeply and laugh out loud the way this book did. Jonathan Trooper's take on a grieving Jewish family and the drama of their individual lives was so detailed you felt like you were right there in their family home feeling roller coaster of emotions with them. The many (and I do mean many)issues with the family members between each other play out brilliantly. It felt real. The character building is done very well. No matter who you are you will feel personally invested in one of the many characters. As you travel through the trials of Jud, the main character, you feel all the conflicting emotions as shock after shock hit him throughout the story. He deals with them in a real, sometimes gritty and sometimes sad ways that make your heart reach out to him. Trooper's descriptions are real time and present tense, you feel like Jud's best friend and you want to support him in any way you can.
In short, you must have this book!
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