Power Vs Force is a fascinating look at how spiritual power is superior to physical force. Dr. Hawkins backs up his book with thousands of tests to support his position. I recommend this book as a very good read, it is interesting and informative. Plus I like the way Dr. Hawkins shows how good will always overcome evil in the end.
Book Review of The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood: 3 Treasure Boxes
Second Book of the MaddAddam Trilogy
Random House Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 14 hours and 4 minutes, ASIN: B002Q1IUNK
The Year of the Floodbegins in a post-apocalyptic world with Snowman living alone and yet somehow connected with a group of human-like creatures. As Snowman stumbles through his life, the events that lead up the ruination of the world are slowly revealed through flashbacks. Snowman is the same character as Jimmie from Oryx and Crakeand both stories run in parallel. I liked how The Year of the Flood explained the ending of Oryx and Crake, because I felt that ending was a bit too open.
Margaret Atwood is a famous Canadian writer born in 1937, and she has written numerous books, short stories, books of poetry and essays. She has won more than 55 awards, both Canadian as well as international. The Year of the Flood is speculative fiction and the story is told in the first person narrative by the main protagonist, Snowman.
This trilogy presents a grim view of the havoc that genetic engineering could cause. I thought the characters were great and I liked where the story went, but at times I thought it was a bit too much preachy. I was listening to the audio book and didn’t care for the religious songs. I am looking forward to reading the final book in the series to see where this trilogy is headed.
I recommend this book as a very good read, but it is important to read Oryx and Crake first.
Favourite Quote: “But I prefer to say, ‘We are what we wish’. Because if you can’t wish, why bother?”
Book Review of Revolutionary Road: 2 Treasure Boxes Revolutionary Road is really well written, but I am finding it quite depressing. I find it difficult to pick up the story to read it, due to the bleakness that emanates out from within the pages. Additionally, I do not really like any of the characters because I found them unlikable. Frank, the husband is cheating on his wife and for me this is a real turnoff. The story revolves around an unhappy couple.
The story addresses mental illness, and brings awareness to this issue. Revolutionary Road was released as a movie in 2008, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. I saw this movie in the theater, so I knew what was going to happen, and because I knew where it is going I was not able to fully appreciate the novel.
The writing was amazing and I give Revolutionary Road 3 treasure boxes for the writing, however the story was depressing and I did not like any of the characters so I give the content 1 treasure box, which leaves me to give the overall book 2 treasure box rating.
I have written an interesting essay about Revolutionary Road called The Fragility of Masculinity. Please click on this link to read the essay.
Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
First Book in The Abhorsen Trilogy
Publisher: HarperTeen; First Edition edition (August 23, 1997), Paperback: 496 pages, ISBN-10: 0064471837, ISBN-13: 978-0064471831
Sabriel is a necromancer, but instead of raising the dead, she returns the dead back into the grave.
Garth Nix has written numerous young adult fantasy novels and series, including: the Old Kingdom series, The Seventh Tower series, and The Keys to the Kingdom. Sabriel is the first book in the Abhorsen Trilogy and it is told in a third person narrative from the perspective of the main protagonist, a young woman who can control the dead. The story takes place in a world filled with magic that can be controlled through sound. Particularly the sound created by whistling or bells.
The story was intriguing from the first page. The characters were all interesting and the concept of the world was unique and captivating. I was never too sure where the story was going but I was anxiously turning each page to find out what was going to happen next. There was plenty of action during the fight scenes against the dead.
“Sabriel” is a standalone novel. There are two other books in the series, but each has its own characters and storyline, which only lightly touch each other. I recommend this book as a very good read.
Book Review of The Wyrmling Horde: 3 Treasure Boxes
Runelords, Book 7
Scions of the Earth, Book 3
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc., Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 11 hours and 38 minutes, ASIN: B008S7BBU0
Fallion, the son of the Earth King and a powerful fire wizard, has bound two shadow worlds. One shadow world, the world of Gaborn Val Orden and the place we have come to know from the previous Runelord books, has amalgamated with a dark version of itself. With the combining of the two worlds, there has been a combining of the two versions of the people within, as well as a combining of the land and the magics.
However, the darker shadow world has a ruling class of evil wyrmlings. These creatures are actually loci, sinister parasites that feed on human souls. The wyrmlings are powerful and plentiful. They have created a self-serving, cruel society that seeks to dominate and destroy the world. The wyrmlings have devised a new form of forcible, one of compassion, and it is used to transfer pain. Fallion is captured and has received hundreds of endowments of compassion. He is made to continually experience the pain of others; pain of torture, dismemberment, and despair.
This was a well told story and picks up right after the end of Worldbringer. New characters are added, and some of the older characters have changed and morphed with the combining of the worlds. We learn more about how the one true world split into thousands of shadow worlds, and we learned more about the netherworld. This is a story of good versus evil, with the underlying message that evil can only be destroyed through love.
I really enjoyed the story, but I was shocked when it ended. I did not feel that the story had come to any kind of a conclusion. It felt more like the end of a chapter than the end of the book. Luckily for me the next book, Chaosbound is available. I will be picking it up in the next few days because I am anxious to see where this story is going.
I highly recommend The Wyrmling Horde and all the Runelord books, but they do need to be read in order. These books are all very good reads, and anyone who enjoys fantasy with enjoy these stories.
Book review of MaddAddam: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book three of the MaddAddam trilogy
Publisher: Random House Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 13 hours and 23 minutes, ASIN: B00E7YHASU
The world has been remade, because most of mankind has been deliberately eliminated and many new species have been developed. Before he died, Crake developed what he thought was the perfect humanoid, a new species of people that are beautiful, yet socially very different—they do not wear any clothing and they eat nothing but leaves—they are referred to as the Crakers. Now, all that remains in the world are a handful of humans—both good and bad, the Crakers, some sly new creatures including pigoons, pigs who have been spliced with human stem cells to enable the creation of human organs, and the resurgence of vegetation.
Margaret Atwood is a famous Canadian writer born in 1937, and she has written numerous books, short stories, books of poetry and essays. She has won more than 55 awards, both Canadian as well as international. MaddAddam is speculative, dystopian fiction and the story is told primarily in a first person narrative by the main protagonist, Toby, a woman who has survived the waterless flood and the end of mankind. Much of the book is presented in the form of stories that Toby relates to the Crakers about various events that have occurred both before and after the flood.
MaddAddam is much lighter, and included quite a bit more humour than the previous two books in the series. The story is well told and I really enjoyed it. This book continues immediately after the events in The Year of the Flood. Jimmy the Snowman is very ill, the two psychotic paintballers are still on the loose and Adam One is nowhere to be found. The Crakers have relocated themselves along with Jimmy to stay with the group who were once known as God’s Gardeners. Due to Jimmy’s illness, Toby has replaced him in the role of storyteller to the Crakers.
Through and because of the stories, much of Zeb’s past is revealed, which I found intriguing and a bit surprising. It was also interesting to watch the development of the Crakers, and even though Crake created them to be without art or religion, the human need to create and to connect seems to override what Crake intended. It seems to me, that in light of the potential damage from genetic modifications, that this is an important tale to tell, and it comes across without being preachy, yet it also leaves the reader with an overall feeling of hope.
I recommend this book, as a very good read. However, to truly appreciate the story it is important to read all the books in the series in order which I recommend to anyone who enjoys speculative, dystopian fiction.
Book Review of The Power of Six: 2 Treasure Boxes
Book Two of the Lorien Legacies
John, AKA Number Four, has joined forces with Six and now the charm is broken, they are no longer protected. Instead, with the help of John’s human best friend, Sam and his shape-shifting dog, they are devising a plan to defeat the Mogadorians. But first they need to evade the evil aliens, who seem to be everywhere. Meanwhile, halfway around the world, Number Seven, AKA Marina of the Sea, has her own problems but she is certain that John is Loric and is desperately trying to figure out how to contact him.
The Power of Six was much better than the first book, I Am Number Four. There were more characters, which made the story more interesting, and we learned a bit more about the deeper story. Also there was lots of action, which was exciting. I recommend The Power of Six as a good read and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Rise of Nine.
Book Review of I Am Number Four : 2 Treasure Boxes
Book one of The Lorien Legacies Series
Publisher: Harper Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 11 hours and 24 minutes, ASIN: B003YV7AKK
John Smith is one of nine children from the planet Lorien. This small group of aliens came to earth about 10 years ago, seeking refuge because their planet was destroyed by evil, extraterrestrial beings, the Mogadorians. These nine children, now all teenagers, have been isolated from each other and living incognito. Up until now, this has been necessary to ensure their safety and to allow them to develop their legacies, or super-human powers. However due to a powerful charm, the Loriens can only be destroyed in a certain order, and children one through three have all been murdered. John is next, because he is number four.
Pittacus Lore is the pen name for the dual writing team of James Frey and Jobie Hughes who wrote the young adult science fiction series, The Lorien Legacies. Not only is Pittacus Lore the name of the author, but he also plays a character in the series, a Loric Elder, from the Planet Lorien. I Am Number Four is the first book in the series, and to date three books additional books have been released. The story takes place on earth, and is told in a first person narrative by John Smith, a 15 year old teenager from the planet Lorien. James Frey is also the author of A Million Little Pieces; a book that was originally, inaccurately released as a memoir, because many details in the book are fictional.
John and his Lorien teacher and protector, Henri have never stayed in any one place for more than a few months. They know that the Mogadorians are hunting them, but when they come to a small town in Ohio, things start going wrong. This story has an interesting concept, but it is not very original. The book spends a little too much time in exposition and not enough in real character development. In some ways the characters are a little too stereotypical, and although the writing is fairly weak the story was still captivating. I wanted to know what was going to happen next.
The book was good enough to entice me to start the next book in the series, The Power of Six. If you enjoy young adult, science fiction then you will enjoy this book. If you enjoyed The Dangerous Days of Daniel Xby James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge then you will really enjoy I Am Number Four, because it is a much better story yet it is similar in many ways. I recommend this book as a good read.
Book Review of Assassin’s Apprentice: 3 Treasure Boxes
The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1
Publisher: Tantor Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 17 hours and 18 minutes, ASIN: B003ATP9VI
A young boy, FitzChivalry, is an outcast, because he is the bastard son of the King-in-Waiting. From the day he was dumped at court by his grandfather, he never felt connected to anyone or anything, except his little puppy. Fitz has magically bonded with the little dog, but soon learns this is an evil thing to do, and has his dog cruelly ripped away from his life. King Shrew has decided to earn Fitz’s loyalty by turning him into an assassin. During his training Fitz is faced with many different tasks and challenges, including uncovering a sinister plot that if successful will place a cruel and uncaring man into power. Meanwhile, the red ship raiders have a secret weapon that turns the captured citizens of the Six Dutchies into living, soulless beasts.
Robin Hobb is a pseudonym for Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden and she has written numerous books, primarily in the fantasy genre. Assassin’s Apprentice was written in 1995 and it was the first book in the world of the Six Dutchies and is the first book in The Farseer Trilogy. The Tawny Man Trilogy was released in 2001 and continues the story, but from a different point of view. Assassin’s Apprentice is in the epic fantasy style because in this world there is a form of magic, no modern conveniences and there is a ruling class of aristocrats, including kings and princes. The story is told in a first person narrative from the point of view of the main protagonist, FitzChivalry.
The magic in this fantasy novel is subtle. There is a mental type of control, called The Skill, and it is where, if one has the ability and is properly trained, a person can enter into the mind of another person. There is also another gift, a deeper, darker gift, that is considered evil or dirty, and it is the ability to join minds with an animal. The story is original and enjoyable. Fitz, even as a young boy, is a danger to the crown as the bastard son of the King-in-Waiting. For this reason, King Shrew decides to keep him close and to earn the boy’s loyalty by secretly training him to become an assassin.
Fitz is a great character, and there are other interesting characters in the book, but most of the other players are not well developed. They tend to be one-dimensional without any real depth. Unlike most epic fantasy novels, this story does not have any real action, but it is well told and well paced with a steady stream of tension throughout.
I recommend this book as a very good read. The story was intriguing and from start to finish, I was never quite sure where it was going and I found it hard to put the book down. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Royal Assassin.
The narrator, a man who suffers from insomnia, is continuing looking for meaning in his life. He starts going to various different support groups, like The Vctims of Testicular Cancer support group, The Parasitic Brain Parasites support group and numerous others, pretending in each one that he too is ill. He goes to a different support group everyday as a method of dealing with his life and his insomnia. In the process he meets another person, Marla Singer, who also attends these meetings faking illness. While he is stumbling through life, he becomes involved with Tyler Durden, a man who is even more emotionally and spiritually messed up than himself.
I read about half of the book and then I had to stop. I found that these people were sick and I did not enjoy sharing their twisted view of life. I have also seen the movie, so I knew where the book was going. I did not like any of the characters, and I did not think the writing was especially good. Instead, the main focus seemed to be how to disgust and shock the reader. I stopped reading shortly after Tyler was urinating in the soup. It was at this point that I realized, I did not care about these people and I did not want to read anymore.
I do not recommend this book, I thought it was a piece of trash. Perhaps there is a veiled message against consumerism, but overall it is not worth reading.