Tag Archive | review

Review: The Way of Kings

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

Greetings Fellow Booknerds,

Every time I finish a Sanderson novel, I think to myself; “There’s no way that he’ll be able to write anything that can top this.” And every time, without fail he makes me eat my own words.

The scope of his imagination is simply astounding, as if it’s an actual living thing that grows with every story, feeding off of his creative energy until the words take on their own life. He takes you on an epic journey, one that literally knocks the wind out of you, because every time you think you’ve got things figured out, Sanderson punches you in the gut with the truth, leaving you breathless and stupefied.

 

**WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS**

 

51hpm256bgl__sx258_bo1204203200_Book Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

5-stars

The Way of Kings is just one might gut punch after another, and most of them you won’t see coming. This first installment of the Stormlight Archive is an introduction to another corner of Sanderson’s Cosmere, and when I heard that there could end up being at least ten more books in the series, I knew that I was in for a heart pounding, adrenaline pumping thrill ride. You see, when you read a Sanderson novel, there are no dull moments. There are only very brief quiets before the storm, which happen on almost every page.

Like most of his books, The Way of Kings follows the stories of several different characters, whose lives eventually become intertwined in a way you don’t see coming until it happens. A large portion of the story follows Kalladin, a former soldier turned slave who is sold off to work as a bridge man for the Alethi army, who are currently fighting a war against the Parshendi over a highly valued resource; gem hearts.

Another part of the story follows the journey of Shallan, an aspiring scholar with a secret agenda as she seeks to become a ward to Yasna, a genius in her field who is very selective when it comes to whom she is willing to teach. She’s possibly one of my favourite characters, because she starts off as a nervous, sheltered girl who has strayed far from home and into a world she doesn’t know how to navigate, and grows into a bold, witty badass.

And then you have Dalinar, high prince of Alethkar, also known as the Blackthorn on the battlefield. He does his best to aid and serve the new King of Alethkar following the assassination of his brother, Gavellar, an event which fueled the hate and need for revenge against the Parshendi.

There is just so much going on at all times in this book, that it’s next to impossible to go into much more detail without giving anything more away. So, I’ll finish by saying that this book was one of the longest books I’d ever read, and it was well worth every minute I put into finishing it. If you’ve read a Sanderson book before, then you already know more or less what to expect. If you haven’t, then be warned; once you’ve entered the Cosmere, there is no backing out.

Also, I would like to wish all of you who are participating in Nanowrimo this year the best of luck, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Book Review: World War Z

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

I’m what you would call a more ‘traditional’ reader, in that I prefer the feeling of a genuine book in my hands as opposed to a hand held reading device. That’s just how I was raised, and it’s not easy to undo over 20 years of doing something a certain way.

I had convinced myself that I would never EVER enjoy a book that I couldn’t flip open on my lap, ruffling through its pages simply to enjoy that musty smell wafting up as a result of sitting on a bookshelf for many many years… well, that’s what I thought, anyways.

Facing a six hour drive, and in need of something to listen to that wouldn’t lull me to sleep within minutes, I decided to give an audiobook a try. Admittedly, I wasn’t initially convinced that an audiobook would be able to keep my attention long enough to fully appreciate the story. Boy, was I wrong.

The moment it started playing, the world around me disappeared. It was just as engaging, if not more so, than a physical book. After six hours, we managed to get halfway through it, and I could hardly wait until our next road trip so I could hear how it ends! I may be set in my ways, but sometimes, it can be more rewarding than you thought to give something new a try.

World_War_Z_book_coverReview: World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War by Max Brooks

5-stars

First off, I just want you all to keep in mind that this book is NOTHING like that movie they supposedly based off of it. The book follows Brooks, an agent of the United Nations Postwar Commission, as he goes around interviewing individuals who either played crucial roles during the war, or were among those who survived it against all odds. Through the interviews, we gradually uncover how it all started, where the first to be infected were discovered, and how they were able to contain the threat and return things to more or less the way they were before the crisis.

The book goes into so much detail, that there were times while I was listening where I had to remind myself that we hadn’t actually lived through a global zombie epidemic. It can really put you on edge at times, making it seem like you’re the one waking up to find a reanimated corpse trying to break down your door in the middle of the night.

I must confess that I haven’t actually watched the movie adaptation, but based on what I’ve heard and read about it, there is little to no resemblance to the book. Supposedly, even the author Max Brooks wasn’t happy with this Hollywood rendition of his work, and I can see why. The movie is all flash, and absolutely no substance. The book delves into all aspects of the war, not just the blood, gore and violence. Brooks digs deep into the politics, the attitudes of both the masses and the individuals, the degradation of order and structure, the emotional and psychological state of those who struggled to lead amidst the chaos, and so much more.

It’s basically what I wish my grade school history textbooks would’ve read like. There was tons of information and facts, but they were presented in such a seamless and emotionally provocative manner that you felt like you were living through that moment in time. He has brought the horror fiction genre to a whole new level, which is why it’s such a shame that such a movie exists which makes it seem like this book is just another Walking Dead rip off.

The audiobook version I listened to featured a number of different celebrities, each one taking on the persona of the various individuals being interviewed throughout the story. It certainly does add something to a book when you can hear the characters speaking to you aloud, especially when it’s the voice of Alan Alda, Nathan Fillion, Mark Hammill and Simon Pegg, just to name a few. I’m sure there are many different versions out there, but I would highly recommend this one, which is also narrated by Wil Wheaton… okay, he was my least favourite part of Star Trek: Next Generation, but he’s gotten much better at his acting since then, and he really nails it in his reading of World War Z.

I would highly recommend picking up a copy and reading it as soon as possible, especially if all you’ve seen is the sorry excuse for a book-to-movie adaptation. World War Z is definitely worth your time, and I would love to hear your thoughts on it once you’re finished in the comments below. So go out and find this hidden gem, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd 

 

Book Review: The Law of Nines

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

There are so many defining elements that one can use to determine whether a book qualifies as being good or bad. Does it have a relatable protagonist? Is the plot of the story unpredictable? Does it abide by rules that make sense? Is it something that no one has ever done before?

Those are all  important elements that can amount to an amazing story, but to me, it doesn’t mean anything if the book doesn’t somehow engage you on an intellectual level. I want a book that makes me think; a book that gets me to question everything I thought I knew about life. I’m basically saying that I want a book that goes out of its way to mess with my mind, forcing me to see the world from perspectives I’d never even considered before.

In The Law of Nines, Terry Goodkind creates a version of our reality in which we truly are not alone, but not in the way you might think. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that the world Goodkind created in the Sword of Truth series and our world have a lot more in common than you may have thought. In this book, we get the chance to see our world from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know how it works, and is fascinated by things as simple as making tea or using a hair dryer.

Now, how much do I like it and would I recommend it? Let’s take a look!

9780515147483_p0_v1_s260x420

Review: The Law of Nines by Terry Goodkind

Three stars

Synopsis:

“Turning twenty-seven may be terrifying for some, but for Alex, a struggling artist living in the Midwest, it is cataclysmic. Something about this birthday, his name, and the beautiful woman whose life he has just saved has suddenly made him – and everyone he loves – a target. A target for extreme and uncompromising violence…”

I knew absolutely nothing about this book going into it, except that it was written by one of my favourite authors. From reading the synopsis, I was able to glean that it was a story of a conspiratorial nature, that focused on a guy named Alex. Then there’s the ‘beautiful woman coming into his life and changing everything’ cliché, a rather overused premise, but one that can still hold some intrigue if done right.

I had no idea, until the main character’s last name was revealed, that this book had any connection whatsoever to the Sword of Truth series. It didn’t give that impression at all, what with the lack of seekers, confessors, magic and Gar’s. Granted, it’s been a while since I read any of the Sword of Truth books, so it’s possible that there’s something in one of the –  I want to say fifteen, although when I started reading them there was only ten, which is how you can tell it’s been a while since I read them – books that hints at some kind of connection between these two different storylines. This made it a little confusing for me once the two storylines collided, but it did succeed in making it refreshing, yet still familiar.

Designing a good female character who is the perfect balance between strength, courage & tenacity, and empathy & femininity is challenging. If they’re too much of either, I find they become immediately unlikeable, like Sansa Stark during the first season of Game of Thrones, and Cersei Lannister during… well, the entire series, really. On the one hand, you had Sansa, who very much behaved like a proper lady, and dreamt of meeting a handsome man who would sweep her off her feet and make her feel like a queen, both figuratively and literally. Now, this isn’t the bad part of her personality. The bad part comes with how incredibly naïve she is about the ways of the world, especially her inability to see that Joffrey is a sadistic creep, and the worst possible choice for a husband. Her life just keeps getting worse and worse, but you can’t help but feel that it’s her fault because of those aspects of her personality.

Cersei’s character is an example of a female character from the other end of the spectrum, one who is very strong, manipulative and understands very well how the world and the minds of men work, which aren’t bad qualities in and of themselves, but she portrays them in a way that basically make her look like a… well, you know. Not a very pleasant person, let’s put it that way.

Both characters have admirable qualities, but they lack balance, resulting in characters that you love to hate. In The Law of Nines, the female protagonist Jax is what I would consider a decent balance between the two extremes. She’s strong, vicious even when she needs to be, extremely loyal, and despite how out of place she feels being in our world, she learns quickly so that she doesn’t get taken advantage of. Jax is certainly one of the main reasons I kept reading this book, but sometimes, one reason is just not enough.

My overall impression is that it’s not a great book, but it’s still worth the read. It’s certainly an interesting side story, and there are several moments where I could feel my heart pounding against my chest when our protagonists found themselves with their backs against the wall and their lives on the line, but it was a bit of a struggle to read it through to the end. The story felt rather repetitive at times, even a little simplistic in its plot, and from start to finish, it kind of felt like I was reading two completely different stories that only sort of meshed together.

There was one part of the book that I really liked though, and I feel like that alone made it worth reading. I actually mentioned it in a previous post, which you can check out here. In short, the protagonists Alex and Jax were having a deep discussion about the similarities between magic and technology, and what our world would be like if we suddenly didn’t have access to any of our modern day technology. I find myself often saying that I’d be able to live without my phone and my computer if I had to, but I never stopped to consider it on a global scale, where the majority of humanity relies upon having access to technology to survive.

I also enjoyed the conspiratorial tone at the beginning of the book, evoking plenty of paranoia and suspense, as neither you nor Alex had any idea what was going on. I even enjoyed how they introduced Jax, this mysterious woman who comes out of nowhere, and initially gives Alex the cold shoulder following his rescue attempt.

So, not a great book, but not altogether terrible. If you want a sneak peak into the Sword of Truth series before reading it, then The Law of Nines might not be a bad place to start. I would classify it as the kind of book you read a few pages of before going to sleep every night. I don’t normally like to give a book a bad review, but I just found it too difficult to lose myself in this one. However, even bad or moderately good books have their merits and deserve to be read. You never know what you might glean from them.

What do you look for in a good female protagonist? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or on my blogs Facebook page, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Dragongirl

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

 

I think what I love most about dragon myths is that regardless of whether these mythical beasts are portrayed as good or evil, they are still amazing to me. After all, what’s not amazing about a giant reptilian creature with wings that can breath fire? It’s something that could never exist in our reality, and yet they might as well be real given how much they appear in our literature, our movies and our imaginations.

I’m not sure where my own fondness for these ancient legends comes from, but it feels like something that has always been there. That’s why when I first got my hands on Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series, I knew I would be hooked for good.

The first book in the original series was published all the way back in 1968, gradually giving birth to dozens of stories which took us to every intricate part of the universe McCaffrey had envisioned. The interesting thing is that I started reading the books after I played a video game that was based on the series. Admittedly, the game was nothing to write home about. It was made for the Dreamcast, and even though it had a lot of potential, the game just wasn’t as great as it could have been. That being said, I really loved it. Not for it’s graphics, or it’s dialogue, or even it’s gameplay. No, I loved it because it painted a beautiful image of the bond between humans and dragons that I’d always wished to see if dragon’s ever did turn out to be real… I guess not all childhood dreams come true, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop dreaming them.

When I discovered that the game was based on a series of books, I immediately purchased the first three and fell in love. My first surprise came when I learned that they aren’t actually classified as fantasy, but science fiction! I understood why as I began reading them. For those of you unfamiliar with the Pern universe, here is my simplified summary of it from one of my previous blog posts:

“Basically, it’s a story set in a future where most forms of advanced technology no longer exist, reminiscent of a more medieval time period where the people are governed by lords, the lands are divided into different Holds and Weyr’s, and of course there are dragonriders – hence the title – which is really all the allure you need to get into it.

Humans have colonized a planet called Pern, located in the Rukbat system, and which is under the constant threat of Thread, which is some kind of space spore given off by the another planet called the Red Star every fifty years or so. The only means they have of defending themselves during the Threadfalls, as they call it, are their dragons, an indigenous species on the planet along with fire lizards and other native and non-native organisms, who are able to produce a phosphine gas from the consumption of firestones, which is not only very flammable, but also very potent against Thread.”

 

Anne McCaffrey created a version of our future where dragons are not only a reality, but they are also the key to our very survival as a species. She had such an incredible vision, and even though she sadly passed away in 2011, I was surprised when I found out that Pern’s legacy had been passed on to her son, who has carried on the series to this day.

Dragongirl is the third book to be published with Todd McCaffrey as the sole author, and even though I didn’t read the sequels, it was written so well that it took me very little time to figure out what was going on, what had taken place prior, and the direction in which Todd is looking to take the stories. So without further ado, here are my thoughts on Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey:

*Note: As is the case with most book reviews, there is the possibility of spoilers. I will try my best to keep it spoiler free though.*

51W+hRyELmL__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Review: Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey

stars-4

If you can’t decide whether you’re in the mood for science fiction, fantasy, or romance, then you definitely want to read this book. With plenty of time travelling, epic battles between Dragon and Thread, complex love triangles and a group of memorable and loveable characters, Dragongirl is a beautiful addition to Anne McCaffrey’s legacy.

Dragongirl continues the story of Fiona, a young Weyrwoman who has travelled back to the present time after helping a group of dragons reach maturity in order to continue the long and arduous battle against the deadly Thread that continues to threaten their survival on Pern. She sought to bring hope to the hopeless, and even though most welcomed her with smiles and open arms, the hearts of some were not so easily won over.

It also didn’t help that many of the dragon’s were succumbing to a mysterious illness for which there didn’t appear to be any cure. Needless to say that things were not looking so good, and after the disaster that befall Telgar Weyr, it seemed that all hope was lost to the citizens of Pern.

A very interesting aspect of this book is the relationship that Todd McCaffrey created between Fiona, a seventeen year old Weyrwoman who is very much driven by her emotions, and Lorana, a much older and wiser former Weyrwoman and the protagonist from Dragonsblood, who suffered a great personal loss, and who has not only the ability to hear other people’s dragons, but somehow Fiona’s thoughts as well. This connection they share is both a blessing and a curse, and it makes for a very unique character dynamic between the two.

This book also explores the effects that travelling Between [aka travelling though both space and time] can have on both dragons and their riders. Time travelling, as a concept, is always a tricky thing to deal with in writing, because there are so many different variables and strains of logic that you have to take into account. For instance, if you travel to a certain point in the future and witness someone’s death, can you do something in the past that will prevent it from happening? It also addresses the issue of what kind of physical affects it can have, and how often you can travel to certain points in time.

Admittedly, it took a bit of getting used to for me. Despite his knowledge of the Pern universe and its history, and his ability to give a crucial role to every character in the story, Todd’s writing style is visibly different than his mother’s, and I feel like he has a bit more to learn about story development and pacing. Overall, though, I was very leased with his work, and I look forward to seeing what other stories he’s able to come up with in the future.

What do you look for in a good science fiction story? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on my blog’s Facebook page, and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Book Review: The Last Command by Timothy Zahn

 

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

 

Greeting Fellow BookNerds,

I know that my last post was rather heavy, but in light of all of the horrible stuff that’s been happening recently,  I felt unyielding need to say something. Hopefully, amidst my chaotic ramblings, at least some of you were able to take something away from it.

Okay, let’s set aside the heavy stuff for now, and get back to something that, even in the worst of times, can still fill our hearts with joy: books!

I’m admittedly embarrassed at how long it has taken me to finally finish the Thrawn Trilogy, but the deed has been done, and I find myself very satisfied with how this particular storyline was tied up.

Star Wars The Last CommandStar Wars: The Last Command by Timothy Zahn

5-stars

The one thing that has remained consistently good throughout these three books is Zahn’s ability to capture the personas of our beloved characters through his mastery of the English language. It truly feels like this is where their lives would have gone had the original star wars movie saga continued.

To sum up what happens in this book without giving too much away, Master C’baoth, who is very clearly not in his right mind, is willing to use any means to get his hands on Leia and her two children, in the hopes of turning them to his side and training them how to use the force as a tool to control and conquer. This does not sit well with Luke, who first encountered C’baoth on Jomark in book two, and new almost right away that this was not a man he wanted anything to do with.

Mara Jade, who until now has been hell bent on striking down Luke with her Lightsaber, has become an unlikely ally. What’s more, we finally learn the truth behind her connection to the Emperor, who has remained a constant presence in her life since his demise. Han, as you can imagine, isn’t overly pleased with the idea of having her tag along, but he shares similar sentiments about Threepio, and he still manages to put up with our beloved droid. Besides, she’s their only hope in getting to Wayland, the source of a deadly weapon which, if allowed, could prove to be one of the greatest threats to the New Republic, possibly even the entire universe.

Leia senses danger on the horizon, involving her brother as usual, who will face off against his worst enemy… but who could that possibly be? Don’t worry, I won’t give away the answer, but I will say that it genuinely surprised me.

So, that’s the gist of it. I tried my best to avoid any spoilers for those of you who haven’t read it yet. As for my personal opinion on the book, for the most part I was pleased with its conclusion. I do feel like the final battle between **** and **** could have been a little more dramatic, but that’s just based on my own preferences. It just kind of felt like it started and ended rather abruptly, but I suppose you could say that it’s more realistic when done that way.

Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed the third installment of their journey. It includes all of our favourite characters, as well as a few new ones whom I have grown quite attached to, like the mischievous Karrde and Grand Admiral Thrawn who, despite being on the side of the imperials, is surprisingly likeable, not to mention very clever and witty. It’s just further proof of how great of a writer Zahn is, if he’s able to create a likeable villain.

One of my favourite aspects of the star wars universe is being introduced to new races and creatures from other planets. That was the only thing that kept me watching the newer star wars movies, despite their crappy dialogue and cheesy acting… well, that, and Ewan McGregor of course. They could not have chosen anyone better to take on the role of Obi – Wan Kenobi. One of my favourite creatures was the giant green one from the second movie that looked kind of like a praying mantis. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for creatures that are composed of various parts of other creatures… and I just realized now how strange that actually sounds. Doesn’t stop it from being true though.

Anywho, there aren’t a lot of new creatures in this series, but the ones they do have are fascinating, like the ysalamiri, who are surrounded by a kind of invisible bubble in which the force cannot be used. As you can imagine, this posses quite a few problems for every Jedi, regardless of which of the force they’re on. I would love to see a picture of what they look like. In my mind, I kind of imagine them to be something like a sloth, but I could be WAY off. As for new races, Luke and the gang end up working alongside the Noghri, a relationship which had a bit of a rocky start [you’ll find out when you read the series] but I guess that could be said about any relationship. I never was able to create a very clear picture of what these guys looked like, but I would love to hear what you guys were able to make of them. They’re a race of alien beings who, for most of the story, you’re never quite sure which side they’re on. In the third book, however, you find out the horrible things that the Empire had done to them, making their actions and attitude a lot more understandable.

I could go on for hours about all of the stuff I loved about this series, but I don’t want to risk spoiling anything for anyone. I’ll just finish by saying that it had a very satisfying ending, and the series overall was very true to the Star Wars we have all come to know and love. As always, I would love to hear what you guys have to say about it, so don’t be shy and leave your thoughts in the comments below or on my blogs Facebook page, and until next time, keep on reading 🙂

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

Book Review: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

First off, for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you were all able to enjoy it with your friend, family and loved ones, with lots of good food and anything else you do to make the occasion truly special.

Secondly, a reminder that there are only a couple weeks left until Nanowrimo, so if you haven’t registered your story online yet, you might want to add it to the top of your to do list. For those of you who don’t know what this is, in brief, the National Novel Writing Month is an event which comes around once a year in November, and it’s a chance for aspiring writers to finally yank out that idea for a story they’ve had stuck in their heads forever and get it down on paper… or on your laptop, whichever way you choose to write. For more information, visit www.nanowrimo.org.

Now, down to business. When I first picked up The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, I had zero expectations, mainly because I have actually never heard of this book before. I have been a diehard Neil Gaiman fan for a long time, but I’ve only actually read Good Omens, which was a collaborative work between him and Terry Pratchett. I had yet to read something that was purely his own, and so this book was my first taste of that. My first impression… bewildering.

ocean_the_end_laneThe Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

stars-4

Memory is a funny thing. It is often the case that two people will recall the same event in very different ways. Who knows why this happens, but it can make for some very interesting conversations as you continue to grow and share your life stories, which seem to change just a little bit with each telling.

So what if something happened to you, something that couldn’t possibly have happened, and yet you would swear up and down until the day you died that it did?

This seven year old boy, with a boundless imagination and who loves to lose himself in a good book – much like many of us, I’m sure – lived through the seemingly impossible, a monumental event which may could very well have caused the whole world to disappear, and yet he is the only one who remembers… well, him and the Hempstocks.

It is a story rife with wonder and fear, with magic and darkness, and it’s all brought together seemlessly by Gaiman’s uncanny ability to string together the english language in new and unexpected ways. He pits you against some of your worst childhood fears, but not without leaving a light of hope glowing at the end of the tunnel.

This book explores the boundaries between what we can rationally accept, and that which is beyond the comprehension of most, both of which are witnessed through the eyes of a child who, like most children, possesses an open mind and an eagerness to explore the strange and the bizarre, which is exactly what he finds. Or I suppose it would be more accurate to say that it finds him, in the form of Lettie Hempstock.

Lettie’s an eleven year old girl who isn’t actually eleven, and not really a human girl either. But that doesn’t matter to our protagonist, who only see’s a friend whom he could trust with his life. And thus, their adventure together began, taking us on a journey where nothing is as it seems; where a pond can be an ocean, and an eleven year old girl can be as old as time itself.

You will gasp, cry, cringe and smile as Gaiman invites you to see the world through the eyes of a child, and through the mind of the elderly man who used to be that child so many years ago. As a boy, he found a sense of courage and determination that he never knew was there before, and a world which existed outside his books that was both wonderful and terrifying. His life would never be the same ever again, but only if he can remember…

It truly was a delight to read. It was shorter than most of the books I’m used to reading, and yet he managed to fit so much in that small space. It kind of felt like a very mature children’s book, in that it got to the point quickly instead of dragging it out with lengthy, detailed descriptions of every little thing, and yet the content itself was very deep and complex, but without going too far over your head. It’s beautiful, and made me tear up a couple of times, which is something books rarely make me do.

You’ve probably noticed that I only gave it 4 stars. Well, I really liked it, and I don’t really have anything bad to say about it, but it’s not the kind of book that I would go out of my way to read. It’s a great book to read before going to bed, but I wouldn’t take it with me wherever I go, which is something I do with books that I just can’t put down. In short, I really liked it, but I didn’t love it, but don’t let my opinion deter you from reading it. I really did enjoy it, and I would love to hear your thoughts on it, for those of you who have read it also.

So, get yourself signed up for Nanowrimo, grab a copy of The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd   

The Martian: How Would You React To Being Stranded On Mars?

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

I’m going to start right off the bat by admitting that I have yet to actually read The Martian. Everything I knew about it, prior to seeing the film, came from my boyfriends raving reviews, insisting that I should make this book my top priority once I finished reading through the Mistborn series. Well, my list books I would like to read in my lifetime is kind of full at the moment, so it might be a while, but after seeing the movie I will definitely be bumping up much closer to the top.

The_Martian_2014

So, for those of you who haven’t seen the movie or read the book, the premise is fairly simple: a botanist ends up being stranded on Mars by his team, who assumed he was dead after being pummeled by a piece of equipment during a really bad storm. So, now he has to find some way to survive until he can get in touch with NASA, who also believe him to be dead. That’s the gist of it, although my summary really doesn’t do it justice.

Right from the start, his reaction to realizing that he was alone on Mars, with no way back to Earth, was perfect. I mean, what better word to sum up that harsh, cold realization than f***! And it just keeps getting better and better from there. They could not have chosen a better actor to play the role of Mark Watney than Matt Damon. I know, I haven’t read the book, but based on the description my boyfriend gave me, Damon’s acting was very much in sync with what Andy Weir, author of the book, had in mind.

Matt-Damon-in-The-Martian-Movie-Wallpaper

 I think that what I loved most about it was that, despite the horrible situation he found himself in, he still maintained a certain level of wit and humour that kept the movie from becoming too depressing. I mean, there were moments where you could tell he was on the verge of losing it, but he still managed to turn every set back to his advantage. Or at the very least, find some way to get a laugh out of it:

“This will come as quite a shock to my crew mates. And to N.A.S.A. And to the world. But I’m still alive. Surprise!” – Mark Watney, The Martian

 

What really bums me out about most movies of the space genre is that everyone and anyone who is even remotely knowledgeable about space and the inner workings of the universe feel obliged to swarm on these kinds of movies like crows on a carcass, poking holes in it until there’s nothing good left. Obviously, there is still a limit on how realistic we can make something look, especially something like an entire planet that humans have only seen from still images and through a telescope, and sometimes you need to bend the rules of logic just a little bit to make something in the story work.

I don’t really understand the need to point out everything that’s wrong in someone else’s work, but it can be really off-putting for those who haven’t seen it yet. So, I just want to reassure all of you who haven’t seen it yet, that it is DEFINITELY worth it. So what if the dust storm isn’t entirely realistic? Perhaps it was an extremely rare event that happens once every thousand years or something. I’ve always been of the opinion that until you fully understand something inside and out, anything is possible.

For the most part, though, I’m sure you’ll be seeing mostly raving reviews posted all over the internet, and for good reason. This is, in my opinion, one of the best movies of the year… which may or may not change when I see the news Star Wars movie, but until then, it’ll stay in the top spot. Just in case this wasn’t enough of an incentive to go see it immediately, watch the movie trailer below, and then try NOT seeing it 🙂

Oh, and I hope you like disco music… that’ll make a lot more sense once you see the movie. Read the book, or see the movie – or both – and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd