Friday, March 22, 2013
Book: The Second Ship
Author: Richard Phillips
Grade: D+ to B - (I'll explain, I promise)
Recommended to: God. Knows.
Life has been crazy. The hubs and I bought a new house and we move into that house in one short week. Our apartment is in shambles and we have not achieved nearly enough packing. Plus, I started a new job this week and although the new job has started slowly, my prior employment was a crazed whirlwind in the last two weeks. So, I haven't had that much time to read. It doesn't help that The Second Ship is alternately a wretched mess of WTF and a fairly good story probably written for teenagers.
This book probably clocks in at about 500 pages - but I got it on my kindle for 2 bucks along with the other two books in the "Rho Ship Series." I had never heard of this, but it was cheap and Goodreads gave it some decent reviews, which is usually a winning combination.
This book is about three teenagers who discover a spaceship in the Los Alamos desert. Naturally, they explore, have huge changes in their abilities, and blah blah blah.
Unfortunately, this book feels like it was written by three or four different authors and then mashed together in a rotten mess. The dialogue is some of the worst that I've read in a long time. And I can't figure out if this book is written for teenagers or not. There are some very adult themes, like a creepy dude named Priest, who kidnaps women and then rapes them. There is an enormous cast of characters with lots of different story lines and plot points that don't necessarily make sense. Many of the characters are flat and one-dimensional and often plot points happen with little to no explanation.
Fortunately, there are some (few) good bits. And they are enough to keep my attention for the nearly two weeks it has taken me to finish this book. I don't know if I will be reading the next two in the series, but I can't in good conscious recommend this book as a good read to anyone.
Goodreads failed me on this one.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Book: The Forgetting Tree
Author: Tatjana Soli
Grade: C -
Recommended to: Crazies.
I got this book for Christmas because I really liked Soli's first book The Lotus Eaters. Unfortunately, The Forgetting Tree did not have the same depth.
This book was about a woman who's son was killed in a kidnapping-gone-bad. That's the first two chapters. Then, the book advances 25 years and the husband has left, the two other daughters have grown and moved on and the woman, Claire is running her citrus farm by herself. Then, she finds out that she has cancer, so she hires a complete stranger to care for her during her convalescence.
This stranger starts stealing her stuff and selling it, does crazy voo doo magic, and basically lets the farm go to waste. Sounds interesting right? Wrong, the book meanders back and forth and blurs the line between reality and voo doo visions. I can't relate to any of these people. Claire has a demonstrated history of wise decisions regarding her life and farm and then makes the incredibly stupid decision to hire a nutcase. The story didn't work for me.
The one good thing about this book is that Soli is a pretty good writer. I loved her first book which had serious depth. But, this book left something major to be desired in terms of story, characters and content. The reviews on goodreads were similarly so-so.
Because I have limited reading time, I probably won't read anything by Soli again unless her next book gets really outstanding reviews. Like I've said time and again, the first book is usually the best book.