I currently have five books sitting on my “to-be reviewed” list – all bogged down because the review of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss has been taunting me. How am I supposed to review a book that was so amazing, so absorbing and so encompassing, that I virtually didn’t come up for air until the book was done (and at 672 pages, it wasn’t a short span of time)?
I stumbled across Patrick Rothfuss when he did a Vlog with the infamous Jenny Lawson. Patrick acted as a moderator/contributor and I found myself drawn to his sense of humor and wit. When Wil Wheaton mentioned that he was anxiously awaiting the third book in Rothfuss’s Kings Killer chronicles, I did a quick Google search and read the synopsis of The Name of the Wind. I pinned it and was put on the waiting list at my local library and quickly forgot about it. When I picked up the book, I was less than enthusiastic about reading it – I’m not really a big fantasy fan, but the reviews were so positive, and Rothfuss was so charming, I knew I had to give it a shot and that was the best book decision I’ve made in a long time. Continue reading
Justin Cronin’s The Passage is an epic story. To try to summarize the plot would be doing the book a disservice. The plot line is deep and so full of curves, it would be impossible for me to accurately explain this book without one, spoiling all of the good parts; and two, writing a 15 page document full of half starts and “oh yea, I forgot to add”’s. Suffice it to say that my quick retelling of the book (without including any spoilers) is in no way an indication of how truly amazing this book really is.
Picture it- the military develops a very secretive virus. Said virus is injected into 12 “expendable” death row inmates and one little girl. Invariably, the military loses control of said individuals; they escape and infect essentially the entire planet. Therein lays the basis of the story. Intertwined throughout the story are the rich narratives of multiple different characters – some of which span entire life-times – so rich and authentic you feel as though you aren’t simply an observer in the story, you are an actual participant. This story encapsulates the best of multiple genres – fantasy, horror, and science fiction.
Cronin has an unabashed knack for creating a dystopian world that feels genuine and realistic. His character develop is almost eerie in its ability to make you form unnatural attachments to the characters (some of this may be due in part to the length of the book – clocking in at a monster 912 pages, this book is not for the timid reader). Cronin is an absolute master of suspense; however, you are left in a constant state of abatement. I felt like from the beginning, there was a constant state of panic/urgency in all of the interweaving stories; yet there never actually came a point where everything climaxed. I do feel like I need to quantify that last statement – this is the first book in a trilogy. I’m hopeful that the climax will come WITHIN the series; but as a stand-alone book – while entertaining, absorbing and absolutely engrossing, it does leave the reader wishing for a final culmination of sorts.
This book is a frantic page turner. I found myself desperate to continue reading to find out what happens; while simultaneously trying to slow down to ensure the story wouldn’t end. I’m currently reading The Twelve, the second book in the series, and I am just as entranced by the follow-up as I was with the original. If you have an aversion to sci-fi/fantasy/horror, please take a chance on this book. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Upon starting this challenge this year, I was hopeful that my year would be filled with amazing books and scintillating reviews. That is, until I finished Point, Click, Love by Molly Shapiro. The story follows four women following their own path: Katie – secret internet dater; Annie – sperm bank donation stalker; Maxine – a celebrity gossip mongrel; and Claudia the hypocritical cheating wife.
Going into this novel, I knew it would be your stereotypical “chick-lit”. Meaning – I knew it was going to be brain candy. I wasn’t expecting to learn anything or to spend nights contemplating the concepts that were introduced in the book. However, nothing could have prepared me for the horrible dribble that seeped out of this book. The dialog alone is enough to make a person want to throw this book across the room. It’s full of trite saying and absolutely unfathomable conversations – conversations which all wrap up with a neat tiny bow so as not to cause the reader and/or the author a moment of concern or reflection. I continually found myself re-reading passages of conversation between the fearsome foursome and laughing about how absolutely unrealistic the conversations were.
Added to the horrendous conversations was the characters complete lack of individuality. I kept flipping back to the start of the book to try and figure out which person was seeking which type of life through which internet media. The horrible stories just seemed to mesh together. The endings of each story were so utterly predictable I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself at the end of each post-scripted conclusion.
There were no redeeming characters or plot lines in this book. I racked my brain trying to think of something in which I could include to end on a positive note, but the only thing I could come up with was the fact that the book was a quick read with a relatively low page count (272 pages).