Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: finished-copy-from-pub
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2014-02-28 02:09
The Sense of Touch
The Sense of Touch - Ron Parsons

I don't often read books of short stories. Same thing with anthologies. Going into 2014 though, I wanted to try to widen my horizons and to read things I don't read often. I am finding that a lot of the genres that were bringing me joy are starting to feel tired and repetitive. For the most part, this venture has been a success. I started it last year with darker contemporaries. Now I am trying short fiction. First up in that genre is The Sense of Touch. 

This is an odd little collection because the stories are not what I expected at all. The endings are all very ambiguous and open ended. Rather than feeling like conclusions, to me this book felt like little snippets of life. I tend to like my books with a beginning, middle, and end. I know that this is all subjective, and someone else might very well feel that these stories have that, but I was left feeling kind of unsatisfied. 

That doesn't mean that I didn't like them though. Because the fact of the matter is this: they are incredibly well-written. No, seriously. I would give my right arm to be able to right like this. Poetic sentences loaded with imagery that feel full of life and expression. Sometimes that is enough for some readers. This book takes on a very literary quality, and there were parts of it that I did very much enjoy. My favorite stories were "As Her Heart is Navigated" and "Big Blue." The first is about a twenty-something girl who is in a relationship that she is not sure she really wants to be in. A blizzard hits on Halloween and she goes to dig out her car and then meets someone very special, but it's not what you think. The latter is about a big blue wiffle bat, and a man who trips over his memories of his childhood and grandfather. I think I liked these two the best because I could relate to them a bit. 

I'm not sure I would recommend this for everyone. Definitely for fans of literary fiction. Most of the stories are set in Minnesota and the atmosphere is palpable throughout the prose. I just wanted more from the stories themselves. I enjoyed them, but unfortunately not enough to rate this over three stars. It's actually more of a 3.5 though. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2014-01-08 05:06
Burning Paradise
Burning Paradise - Robert Charles Wilson

I don't know what it was about this book, but it was one of the oddest reading experiences I have ever had. Burning Paradise was ridiculously compelling while also boring me to tears sometimes, and other times I had zero idea what was going on and yet I couldn't stop. The book, for me, was pretty much unputdownable, and yet, I am hesitant to recommend it. Basically, my thoughts are all over the places and it has me wondering if all his books are like this. I can tell you one thing: I want to read more of his books because I have a feeling they are better, but how am I to go about reviewing THIS book?  

No clue.

The story is weird, weird, weird. That's a good thing though as it was one of the parts I enjoyed most. The book kept you guessing, and I can honestly say that I was stumped until the end. I had my ideas but they were all wrong. That was the good thing, and I can say that the ending did NOT let me down. The build to the conclusion is the best part of this book, and it's very difficult for me to say what or how without spoiling anything so I think I am just going to skip that part. You can read the summary for yourself, and while it is a teensy bit misleading, it does cover the most important parts. What I can tell you is that it's a book about aliens and they take the shape of humans. In my mind, these are the scariest kinds of aliens because you can't see them coming if they look like you. Here's the bad part though: there weren't NEARLY enough scenes with the aliens. When it was good it was great, but there are some things I really didn't like at all. List time.

1. The pacing was all over the fricking place. There was a lot of driving from one place to another, a lot of scenes where not a whole lot happened, and then something exciting would happen, and then it would be infodump, infodump until the next bit of action. Annoying.

2. There was a lot of scientific jargon that really made my eyes gloss over. I was worried that it would affect my understanding of the events that occurred later on in the book, but it didn't. So the fact that I really didn't absorb any of it didn't matter one iota, so why was it there. It made shit drag majorly.

3. None of the characters were likable. I have been having this issue a lot lately with books though. I know the author tried to make characters like Cassie and Leo likable but I just couldn't relate to them because I don't feel like they were developed enough. I was on the fence. The characters were compelling enough, but when you don't like any of them, is that okay? I guess that depends on the reader. 

Here's the thing though. There were some really grand ideas here that I have not read anywhere else. I've read about aliens that take human form before but not in the way that these did. The events that happen in this book are pretty terrifying because it's not so hard to suspend disbelief. I do think that something like this is possible. The universe knows no bounds and who knows what is going on out there somewhere else? To think that there are not other worlds out there that sustain life like ours just seems ignorant to me. But again, you have no idea what I am talking about without me spoiling the book for you and I won't do that. So what I say to you is this: if the blurb sounds interesting to you, then perhaps you should give it a shot. It wasn't my favorite book but I definitely don't regret reading it, and I think down the road this will be probably one that sticks with me for some time. Technically, I believe it could have used some work. But that's not all there is, is there?

Also, I need to add in at the last minute because it would not fit anywhere else: the world-building is excellent, though I suspect this is what this author truly excels at. He takes you from rural Vermont all the way to the Atacama desert in Chile, and it alternates from viewpoint to viewpoint, and he does it well. So, I am conflicted, and you can see my dilemma. Which is why I will read more of his work to truly decide. He's won the Hugo award so I have high hopes. 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?