Book Review – Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Title: Ender’s Game

Author: Orson Scott Card

Format: Paperback

Published: 1991

 

As of late I’ve been simply hunting for books to read. I’ve been wanting something different something science fiction in nature and I don’t know what else. I’ve been struggling to find books for what I was in the mood for and decided to suck it up and read Ender’s Game. Not that I have issues with Ender’s Game. I guess it was just a matter that I read the first page once before and it didn’t grab me and it is a book that has been raved about to me before. Now as a blog that talks about books and gives recommendations it seems almost hypocritical of me to reject a recommendation, particularly when I say I take recommendations rather seriously but there is a difference between a person saying, “I think you would like this book or, I really like this book and think that everyone should read it.” Versus “This is the best book ever you got to read it! See look there is a movie so yeah read it!” The Rave I had received was a long the lines of the latter and it felt like it was a matter of the recommendation being part of the movie craze rather than being a legitimate recommendation.

 

Any way, I finally check it out of the library and started to read it and found my self uncertain. I kept reading knowing that as early into the book as I was that I couldn’t say it is bad and give it up. I kept reading and before I knew it I had devoted a whole night reading finishing the next day only because I couldn’t remain awake long enough to finish the last twenty pages, otherwise this would have been a 1 day book.

 

Normally for me a one day book indicates that it is that good of a read but I think it was more a matter that I was very much in the mood to simply read a book and Ender’s Game wasn’t bad and had a bit of intrigue to it. Over all, it is hard to say what my official opinion about the book is. The story is chiefly about a young boy named Ender who is hoped to be the answer to a long fought battle. Thus at the young age of 6 Ender is taken off to Battle School where he is pushed to his limit s to become the commander they hope he can be. The book goes through Ender’s struggles and his training and the extreme conditions that he finds himself placed under.

 

Over all, it is a bit of an odd book and in a lot of way s though it was written between the two book felt a bit like a mix of the Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies. With it obviously pre-dating the first and post dating the later. Having read both books, I feel that the shock value that this book could provide did not for me. In the end I think I would give this book a 3 out of 5 page review stating that you are not wasting your time with the read but it isn’t a book I’ll be running to tell people about. Though if you have read the book I would gladly welcome a discussion about it because I do feel it is a good book to have a discussion on, much like Lord of the Flies.

Advertisements

Book Review – Silver Needle Murder

TITLE: The Silver Needle Murder (Tea Shop Mystery #9)
AUTHOR: Laura Childs
FORMAT: Hardback
PUBLISHED: 2009

 readingchallengesmall

The tea shop mysteries are a series of books that center around Theodosia Browning and her little tea shop in Charleston, SC.  She’s an amateur sleuth that just happens to be somewhere that gets her involved in a mystery at any given time.

In this one, a film festival is about to be held, and she’s catering something with sandwiches and pots of hot tea when the speaker gets murdered in front of everyone and the killer knocks Theodosia out of the way to use the dumb waiter as means of escape.  Thus, she’s involved.  Oh, and her friend-slash-employee gets knocked out in the kerfuffle.

The book is supposed to be a cosy mystery.  And it sort of is, but Laura Childs has a pretty extensive vocabulary and so the book isn’t the same easy reading as Sue Grafton’s ABCs or the Miniatures series I reviewed last year.  The resulting effect is sort of, um, obnoxious.  Everyone sounds pompous and a bit arrogant and as a reader, I just kept wondering when they could relax already and say something that didn’t leave them sounding like a snob.   Because education and vocabulary are fine and all, but when every character sounds like an Ivy League stereotype, you’re doing it wrong.

A couple other issues I had… I know these are tea mysteries, and thus the theme is going to be in everything, but I can’t imagine that *anyone* cares this much about tea.  Even Laura Childs.  A high society film festival is in town, let’s brew some tea.  The main detective in town (hello, it’s Charleston…there has to be more than one somewhere, but she only ever talks to the same one…) wants lunch, so he miraculously loves sipping fresh brewed tea and having finger sandwiches.  I live in a household with somebody who likes tea.  I can guarantee you that she’s never gone to a tea house.

Also, I know it’s nit-picky, but there are like a dozen food references and each one of them is some over-done seafood extravaganza.  I don’t even like to smell seafood, so every time they started talking about what was in the meal, I started skimming and not caring.  The meals in her “meager shop” were several courses and probably $15+ each and the most unappetizing drivel ever.  I will spare you the bad analogy I want to use here, but it was like food porn for the author’s sake and nothing else.

If Theodosia’s shop were real, I wouldn’t step foot in it.

So the story in this particular book is a little weak.

I mean, not a lot happens, but Theodosia keeps having conversations that don’t seem all that important to me, and there’s a whole not a lot revealed until the very end where she’s suddenly smarter than the police and figures it out.

When I started reading it, I wanted to give it a better rating, but as the book progressed, I kept getting annoyed with things.  So I’m going to end the review at a 3/5.  Worth a read when you’re in the mood for a cozy, but a lot of room for improvement to make this an awesome story.

readingchallengesmall

This book satisfies the MYSTERY
component of the reading challenge.

1 book down and 51 books to go…

Book Review – American Nudist

TITLE: American Nudist: The lost journal
AUTHOR: Tony Young
FORMAT: Paperback
PUBLISHED: 2013

American Nudist is a collection of essays and articles that have been written over the years about the nudist movement in Hawaii.

The back cover talks about how a filmmaker (Clinton J. Wallace) found a manuscript at a garage sale and bought it, later turning it into the movie American Nudist.  [Note: I’m unfamilliar with the movie, although I’ve heard of the title.]

The interior of the book, though, is just a collection of articles and stuff.  This nudist organization is now accepting dues, or fyi, we’re not allowed nude on a certain beach anymore.  But there’s not a lot of substance that would get the average reader.

I held off on this review because I don’t know what to do with it.  The way it’s written, it’s not going to appeal to anyone who isn’t seriously into the history of the Hawai’ian nudist movement, and it’s too bland to hook a casual reader.  In the end, I’ve chosen not to give it a rating.  The book itself was professionally done, but the limited demographic/appeal makes it difficult to rate the book fairly.

Book Review – Road to Marvel’s The Avengers

Title: Road To Marvel’s The Avengers

Created By: Various/Multiple Authors and Illustrators

Format: Paperback/Comics bound as a graphic novel

Written: 2010-2012

Published: 2012 (this binding)

This book features four ongoing comics – “I am Iron Man!,” “Iron Man 2: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” “Iron Man 2: Public Identity,” and “Captain America: First Vengeance” – and runs at least a hundred pages (they’re not numbered, I’m totally guessing).

These are supposed to be the lead up to the Avengers movie (and movie cannon).  The first part was written after the movie and based totally on it.  The other two Iron Man parts are sort of a lead up to the second movie.  Captain America is a lead up to when Rogers was chosen to be Cap –so the first bit of the movie.

Here’s the thing, I tend to like comics for their artwork.  (There’s not enough substance to the story for me to justify them otherwise.)  The artwork in here was –dark.  It sort of lost a little for me.  Most of the backgrounds are dark, there is hardly any white, etc.  I think that it would have benefitted from brighter artwork.

And the story lines are meant to be related to the movies, but the drawings don’t exactly look like the Tony Stark or Pepper Pots that we’ve seen so many times on the big screen.  If this was really done as a way to bridge comic fans and the movies…  what did they draw?  A hybrid?  Whatever they wanted?  I’m not familiar enough with the comics to know if they kept that aesthetic or started a new one.  But for what it is, I sort of expected Tony Stark to have an uncanny resemblance to Robert Downey, Jr., instead of just sorta looking like they could pass for the police sketch. Nevermind Chris Evans – he doesn’t look a thing like the drawings of Captain America.

Which brings me to another issue that I have with this.  There’s like one page that mentions something about old magic and shows a drawing of Odin.  Not even Thor.  If this is really the road to the Avengers, why don’t we have a Thor story of some sort, something about Hulk, etc?  There’s a bit about Natascha (Black Widow), since she goes undercover to keep tabs on Stark, but that’s it, and not a single word/mention/nod in Hawkeye’s direction.  I would have liked to see it a little more rounded.

In fact, I think that if it weren’t for the Captain America/Daddy Stark connection that they would have considered discluding him, too.  (And yes, I probably made that word totally up.)  This also opens my rant that they did stuff bass-ackwards and I would very much have liked to see Cap before Iron Man, just so you get the chronology and Iron Man’s history in the right order.

In the end – if you’re a fan of the Iron Man movie franchise, go ahead and pick this up.  If you’re psycho into the Avengers, you should have it because I’m quite sure you have everything else.  But if you’re a casual fan, you can watch the movies, skip this entirely and not have missed anything at all.  Not sure where that fits on the pages scale, I guess a three?

%d bloggers like this: