reviews from Goodreads

Afterworlds

AfterworldsAfterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Scott Westerfeld is one of my go-to authors. When books are being released, I always consider reading his books. That’s why when this book came out in 2014, I got myself a copy to read. Now, almost two years later, I have finally started the book. That’s already a bad sign- waiting over a year to read it. The plot seemed interesting and I read anything that interests me. However, my main interests are science fiction and fantasy and this book disappoints in the fantasy area. I am not exactly a fan of YA paranormal romance. I have to be in a special mood for that. I also do not like the ‘child as an adult’ protagonist. That turned me off the first story. I was willing to go with the second story but I do not like skipping parts of a book. I’d rather leave it unfinished. So I have stopped reading this book at chapter 16 and I will not continue.
Another minor issue is the characterisation of the protagonist. She is apparently Indian-American but this is not apparent until she recounts a tale about her mother coming from India despite the fact that her last name makes multiple appearances in the first chapter. It just did not dawn on me that Patel is an Indian name (despite the fame of Dev Patel from Slumdog Millionaire). That and another issue which I would not name to avoid political incorrectness firmed my resolve to drop this book and never pick it up again.

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here

The Rest of Us Just Live HereThe Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’d read the Chaos Walking trilogy and I was just blown away. However, I have been dithering about reading Patrick Ness’ other books based on their synopses. Now that I’ve read this one, I think I may have been right to dither. The synopsis of this book led me to believe that I would be reading about normal people with superhumans in the background. That was not the case. Maybe, it is just me but I disliked the protagonist. I may just be some horrible unsympathetic person but I had no sympathy for that protagonist and that coloured my whole perception of the book.

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Gone Girl

Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gone Girl was a surprise. I don’t read thrillers. I make exceptions for crime and mystery stories. I avoid horror like the plague. However, this was the ‘it’ book a couple years ago and since it was handily there in the library, I borrowed it to read. I was pulled in. Both narrators were very unreliable in the beginning. However, I have to wonder if I was more disparaging of Nick than the wife because he was a man and I am a woman? The diary entries that Amy wrote were convincing to me until Nick revealed that it was all a plot. Now I was not seeing him as a murderer. The wife was gone and Nick may have been responsible but there was no evidence to prove it. Besides, who would think of a sociopath when there’s a case like this? You expect a crime of passion or a random event. The thing that bugs me though is, how did her parents not realise that their daughter is a sociopath? They have degrees in psychology.

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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of PilgrimageColorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this book because it was recommended for the Carnival season in the Trinidad Guardian. The reviewer said good things about it and the plot seemed interesting when she described it. So I borrowed it from the library and read it. I did not like the first few chapters at all. I am not a hard, unfeeling person but I can’t stand over-depressing stuff including suicidal thoughts. Fortunately, the protagonist (first person narrator) moved past that. However, the pessimistic tone remained throughout. This may be a spoiler but I don’t care. It was hard for me to go through all that negativity.

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Planet of the Apes

Planet of the ApesPlanet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Why is it that alien sentient species are either in direct or indirect opposition to us humans? Are we so tribal that we can’t accept anyone who is different from us? Well, considering the situation in the world today, the answer is a resounding YES! In fact there was an incident recently where football fans chanted, in public, “We’re racist and we like it!” or something to that effect. They actually blocked a man from entering a train. So why do we bother to have space programmes? Because we want to prove our superiority. In space science fiction, we are either the most prolific species in the galaxy and in charge or we are the struggling heroes in a human-led rebellion (or both). In Planet of the Apes, the premise seemed to be that apes (or monkeys as they were still popularly called) have the ability to imitate anything that a human can do. Taking that to its natural conclusion, you have apes in charge of civilisation. This meant that humans had somehow regressed because of course no other race can have sentience with us, humans large and in charge.
Somehow, I don’t think that will be possible. Even if apes gained sentience as we, humans have, a situation as shown in the recent remake, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is more likely. Actually, the problem I had with the fate of the humans of Soror was in the way they lost their reason. Being apathetic and lazy is not a way to lose sentience. Neither is being focussed on one thing to the exclusion of all else otherwise there would be large swathes of the human population today that we would have to treat like animals. I guess this was simply a case of science marches on which is why it didn’t jibe with me. However, the thought did occur to me that if a drug or disease could be created that could produce such an effect (i.e. make a human lose sentience) well…

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Witch and Wizard

The Fire (Witch & Wizard, #3)The Fire by James Patterson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I started this series more than two years. While the plot is engaging, (you can’t help wanting to know what’s going to happen next), I didn’t really like the characters especially the main ones. So I stopped reading it after two novels. Well, I spotted these books in the library and remembered that I’d started the series and it wasn’t that bad. Also, I don’t really like to leave stories unfinished unless it’s truly horrible and/or boring. Since the library had all the books, I borrowed them and I am now working my way through them again.

There are many glaring plot holes in this story. The author seems to be going for a world that is controlled by lids but it only seems to reinforce the idea (at least in my mind) that it’s best to leave governing to the adults. It seems that all kids are good for is going on adventures. That may include battling a big EVIL and/or learning about powers that they never knew they had. Whatever message this author had (and it was painfully obvious that there was a message, the protagonists’ narration pointed it out many times), the plot didn’t do it justice. So I ignored that message and read on to find out when and where the protagonists will get power-ups and defeat the big EVIL.

I will continue to read the rest of the series because I already borrowed them and I do like stories with magic. I just wish that the characters in this story could be more fleshed out.

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