Monday, May 17, 2010

The Passage by Justin Cronin

I'm back! $50 later I have a new cord and my computer loves me again. Yay!

So, I finished The Passage last week, but have had to take some time to get my thoughts together before I did a review. First of all, I previously read Trish's review at Hey Lady! and have had to re-read it to make sure I didn't accidentally plagiarize. I felt similar to her and didn't want to not realize I was taking something from her review.

Now for my review...

The Passage is a book that takes vampire to a totally new level. Most books focus on hot vampires and teenage angst. Some more graphic, some erotic, some - well you get the picture. I enjoyed almost all of those books, but was glad to take a break from them. This is vampires, but so much more. Yes, they are the basis of the entire novel, but Edward they are not. What happens is more scientific and horrific. These are man-made monsters that wipe out most of the world. They jump at astounding levels and speeds and glow in the dark. They have no idea who they are, but will attack you and rip you apart for your blood once the dark sets in and they are free to roam. This is the world after the rampage. Man against beast. Man is trying to survive in a sheltered, safe existence, and the vampires just want to be complete.

Many main characters exist in this novel. There were times I had to look back to make sure I had the right character background with my story. I think that is because I am usually able to skim parts of a book and still have full comprehension. In Mr. Cronin's novel you have to pay attention. The great thing is that you totally want to. I was thrown into a new world and I was on the edge of my seat as they fought for their lives. Not only was that happening, but there were strong relationships and beautiful histories. There was a world created that was amazing. I read this and wondered how long it took the author to create this new world. It was so deep and every piece came together and made complete sense.

Back to the specific characters, they were great. Each had a very distinct personality. Even though they were all different, you found a way to relate to almost all of them. It seems impossible, but I even felt for the vampires as they slashed people. They were victims as well. Everyone in the novel is searching for something or someone, but it isn't redundant. You don't get tired of the journey, though I did long for peace for them.

Per Justin Cronin's own daughter's words this is the story "about a girl who saves the world". (Mr Cronin asked his daughter what he should write and this is what she requested) I for one can't wait for each part of the journey to unfold so I can be a part of the world she saves. I want to see who remains, and how it all comes together in the end. I don't know when the next novel comes out, but I will be buying it as soon as I see that pre-order button!

Now that I have gushed and probably made little sense to you here is the synopsis from the books website.
About the Book
“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die,
another to be born.”

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.

With The Passage, award-winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger. Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction.

This book was given to me by the publisher Random House. Thanks so much! I enjoyed every minute of it!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Technical Difficulties

Hey all! My computer cord fell into pieces today. I am logged on for a brief moment on Mark's work computer. I will be going to get a new cord later today and then I will be back with my meme and a review on The Passage by Justin Cronin. It will be a glowing review...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday 5/8/10 (ok Sunday the 9th)

Welcome to My Meme!

Each Saturday You will post the answer to these questions. The number indicates the number of answers you will provide.

1 Book you read and/or reviewed this week
2 Words that describe the book
3 Settings where it took place or characters you met
4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it

5 Stars or less for your rating?

1 Book: Little Bee by Chris Cleave

2 Words: Cruel summer

3 Settings/Characters: Sarah- she's lost her husband and is trying to figure out how to pick up her life again. Is she sad or numb or indifferent? Now she must care for her son and pick of the pieces of the past that torn them all apart. 2. Little Bee - she comes from a different world, but changed Sarah forever. She's only a child, but what she has seen and known makes her older than all of us by many years 3. Nigeria- The place that changed all of their lives.

4 Likes/Dislikes: 1. I liked that the novel addresses the atrocities that occur in 3rd world countries. It is easy living in the USA to ignore the wars and poverty that so many face. 2. I liked the voice of Little Bee. Her thoughts on the world were thought provoking. "...I ask you right here to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived." To me that was such a beautiful thing to read. Her ability to take these types of truths from tragedy was inspiring. 3. I can't decide how I feel about the secrecy surrounding the novel. The back cover even promotes it. I get that you don't want to ruin the story, but who wants to be told anything in any storyline before reading it? Isn't that normal? 4. I am also torn about the ending. Obviously, I won't say what happens but I can't decide if I thought it ended right or if I should throw the book at the wall.

5 Stars or Less: I say 3.75. I really liked it, but I didn't fall in love with all the characters and couldn't decide on the ending.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday 5/1/10

Welcome to My Meme!

Each Saturday You will post the answer to these questions. The number indicates the number of answers you will provide. Since I was gone for awhile some of you were posting a Mr Linky on Jenner's Blog. I will figure that out, so we can do that here. Thanks Jenner for keeping this going while I was away!

1 Book you read and/or reviewed this week
2 Words that describe the book
3 Settings where it took place or
characters you met
4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it

5 Stars or less for your rating?

1 Book: The Opposite of Me by Sarah Pekkanen

2 Words: Sisters, Insecurities

3 Settings/Characters: 1. Lindsey - the successful twin sister. Always known as the "smart" one, never popular, never time for anything but work. Once she loses her job she moves home with her parents and tries to start over, but nothing is coming together quite like she imagined 2. Alex - the beautiful twin sister. She has the looks,the easy life and the fairytale wedding, but suddenly everything is changing. 3. Maryland - Lindsey and Alex's hometown. Each of them find much more here than they are looking for once they are together again.

4 Likes/Dislikes:
1. I love the writing style of Sarah Pekkanan. She has a sense of humor that comes through in her writing, but she can also make it deep and emotional. 2. Though parts of the ending are predictable, the story to get to the end was a great read. I couldn't put this book down, and I enjoyed every minute. 3. This book was chick lit, but it also made you think. What would you do if you found out things were different than you had always believed? What would you do if your career fell apart and you had to reinvent yourself? How would you learn to love and communicate with your twin if there had always been differences too great to let you bond? Are you labeled in your family? It's all in growth, personal growth, secrets, love, and Change. 4. I loved the supporting characters. They had great personalities and stories of their own.

5 Stars or Less:
I give it a 5. It was a quick read and thoroughly enjoyable. It may be "chick lit", but it hooked me from page 1.

This book was sent to me by the author (and I bought a copy).