Book Review: Fantasy & Science Fiction

Review: The Well of Lost Plots

Posted on Updated on

The Well of Lost PlotsBook Review
3 of 5 stars to The Well of Lost Plots, the third thriller and mystery book in the “Thursday Next” series written in 2003 by Jasper Fforde. For those new to the series, it’s a detective story where crimes occur inside books, and real-life people can jump inside the book to fix the problem or solve the crime. In book 3, things take a bit of a turn… Thursday, the main investigator, needs some down time, and goes to the “Well of Lost Plots,” where unpublished books go to die. But crimes and murders start happening there too… and it’s confusing poor Thursday because she doesn’t understand who would care about a book that hasn’t been published yet having its story changed! (Not sure how I feel about that as a writer myself…) But then she’s trapped inside a story she doesn’t know much about. That can be scary. The series is complex, full of fantasy and drama you never quite understand. The concept of the well of lost plots is delicious, but it made things even more complicated. It was here that I decided to stop reading the series as it started going over my head a little bit. I felt silly and inept! I may go back soon to pick it up again, as I’ve never read another series of books like it… and this one takes the cake of all 3 I’ve read to date.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: The Two Towers

Posted on Updated on

The Two TowersBook Review
For as long as I can remember, I have loved serial fiction and saga stories. The Lord of the Rings trilogy and associated books by J.R.R. Tolkien are a treasure. I first found the books when I was 14 and had to re-read again when the movies came out in the last decade or so. The second book, The Two Towers, was a worth follow-up, enhancing every original love I had with the story. I’m generally not a fan of the fantasy genre, and have only read perhaps 20 books in total, less than 3% of my entire reading history. But something about these books absolutely stands out among to me as a truly amazing series. I liken it to Star Wars as a movie and film phenomena, when it comes to the saga story. But this one started out as a set of books, which makes it even more fantastic. My rating: 4+ of 5 stars

For me, although I loved all three in the series, the middle one was the least favorite, but they were all still 4+. The first one introduces everything and sets the stage. The last one is the epic battle. The middle one… pure awesome storytelling… but it’s the middle. Full of history, secrets, revelations, explanations… you learn the most here. But you also get a little overwhelmed with the sheet amount to remember. But I like that about it too. And to tell the story of dark versus light. To see people you love fall to their death. To think so much will change for the worse. It’s a challenge to decide which part of the story to love most.

If you’ve not read the series, it’s probably 2000 pages in its entirety. I still think you should read it… but start with book 1 of course. You can’t read out of order. Then let’s chat again! 🙂

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Lost in a Good Book

Posted on Updated on

Lost in a Good BookBook Review
Jasper Fforde had a stroke of brilliance with the “Thursday Next” series of adventure books. Lost in a Good Book is the second release in the series and I’ve given it a very high 3 of 5 stars. As it’s a very difficult book to truly wrap your head around, it couldn’t get a 5 from me. When I compared it to the first one, The Eyre Affair, I had to give it a slightly lower rating just because I enjoyed the first one more. A few really cool things about these books:

1. Thursday is a literary detective who can jump into a book to try to solve whatever crime has occurred within the book.

2. Crimes can include changing plot lines, removing characters, introducing chaos…

3. You have to be mad or brilliant, or both, to come up with these kinds of stories. In this one, “The Raven” and “Flopsy Bunny” are major character arcs. Can you imagine dealing with that?

4. The book has footnotes on every page, but they’re not real footnotes. They are commentary or thoughts about what’s being said in the book that the person talking wouldn’t necessarily know, but the reader needs to know them. I’m sure you’re confused if you’ve never read one of these books. So am I from time to time, and I’ve read three of them.

5. It’s such a great concept, and sometimes well-executed. And it’s got your typical romance component in it too.

6. But it can get very confusing if you don’t read slowly and think about every single action. There are so many made up words, actions, histories… it’s an alternative fantasy universe and you never know what might actually happen.

7. At times, I think it’s one of the best stories I’ve read. At others, it’s still confusing me. But I focus on the little parts surrounding the realities of the characters and what they are doing.

Phew…. complicated to write this review. It can’t be a normal one without it going on for pages about what is actually going on. All you need to know is if you have a huge imagination, don’t need structure, and love books… you must give it a chance.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Neverwhere

Posted on Updated on

NeverwhereMy rating: 3 of 5 stars to Neil Gaiman‘s Neverwhere, a fantasy full of quirky characters and commentary on society, published in 1996. This was another book group selection (not mine), but by someone who has very good taste in books.

I’d never read Gaiman before, but he seems to be immensely popular. We read it in 2009, many years after it first hit print, but still at the cusp of my interest in fantasy books. I think it was too much of a fantasy for me, as I tend to need some rules or boundaries, and I couldn’t tell what was real here. Seems it’s all real, but for a newbie at the time, I was lost.

Essentially, a man wandering around London, falls through a hole of sorts… into fantasy world… and when he returns, everyone has basically forgotten who he was. Right from that point… I’m not sure what’s real anymore. But I stuck with it… and he meets tons of people after him, including a mouse (yes a mouse)… Door (yes, that’s her name) is his new friend, and she’s helping him thru this new world, but then she disappears. Very complex. Door must stand for something. I might consider re-reading this one again to see if I’m more open-minded about it.

And this refers to my understanding of the book and the graphic above about “I’m lost and returning…” Never happened.

Key Take-a-Ways
1. The characters are wonderful. Imaginative. Vivid. Very likable, but also a tad confusing. Was this Peter Pan in Neverland??????? Alice in the Wonderland?

2. London is very dark. Scary dark.

3. Life is not what it seems. Don’t ever try to be a Good Samaritan and rescue someone. NOT WORTH IT!!!!

4. Gaiman is a master at intense visuals.

5. I’m not as creative as I think I am.

So… read this if you love fantasy. If you don’t, I wouldn’t chance it. This was a very “out there” type book for me… though it had many funny and wonderful parts.

Good Luck if you cross that one…

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife

Posted on Updated on

The Time Traveler's WifeMy rating: 3 of 5 stars to Audrey Niffenegger‘s novel, The Time Traveler’s Wife, published in 2003 and later made into a movie. This one is a hard book for me to rate. There was so many great things in it, but there was also a lot that made me step away and think about how it all happened…

Overview
A young couple are constantly ravaged by the husband’s ability to move between time periods, but rarely in a controlled way. They are stuck in a haphazard relationship, never knowing when he may just disappear for months at a time. As a result, readers put the pieces of their love story together chapter by chapter… knowing the conclusion to some things before you find out how it happened.

What I Liked
1. The entire concept of moving around throughout someone’s life, not knowing what time period it is until a few things happen. This created a lot of suspense and drama, which for the most part worked significantly well; however, on a few occasions, it pushed me over the limit of confusion.

2. It’s a heart-breaking tale of what happens to a young couple who very much want to be together, in love and share a lifetime of orderly memories. Note, I said, orderly memories.

3. The images created are quite wonderful. With words being the tool to convey the emotion of something none of us have ever been through, it’s especially important to have strong visuals. This was successful on most occasions. And when it wasn’t, I didn’t dislike it; just wasn’t anything special.

4. It was unique… hardly ever, if ever, done before, in such a way or manner. The author should be praised for it.

What I Didn’t Like
1. The concept was too complicated. I kept stopping to think if the author built the scene correctly. I naturally doubted it, assumed there was a mistake in the time sequence. Maybe that says more about me being a Doubter than it does about the book… OK, maybe I should stop here on this item.

2. Some of the passages were included purely for humor, and the effects on other people of his time travel were a bit too much. I’m good with someone getting beat up, or some silly naked embarrassment… but it felt too contrived and one-sided.

3. I wasn’t happy with the ending… and that’s all I say.

Final Thoughts

You really should read it and then watch the movie. It’s a different way of handling the story, so that’s why I suggest both. Ultimately, it’s the kind of book where you think you love it, but then things start falling apart in your mind about the gaps and the confusion… and you feel like you had part of a story, not the whole thing. But this is one you need to check out for yourself. Just go in knowing it’s not a brilliant and perfect piece of literature. Still a good story, and possibly a bit higher than a 3 on my scale, but I’m sticking with the rating.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: I, Lucifer

Posted on Updated on

I, LuciferMy rating: 3 of 5 stars to I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan, a fiction novel with some elements of fantasy buried about. Sometimes I don’t know how books fall into my lap, sometimes I do. With this one, it flew in the wind, also known as a former book club, and slapped me in the face. I still feel the sting every so often. While I didn’t dislike it, the book felt a bit like a satire of a satire — and frankly, I’m just not that clever enough to always get it.

I really enjoy books where Satan makes an appearance. I know how that makes me sound, but it’s true. Lucifer brings in the drama, especially when he’s reincarnated as a normal man named Declan Gunn, who has just died — but I guess he really didn’t since Lucifer took over his body on a little wild venture into human reality.

The premise of the book is brilliant: Lucifer wants to know what it’s like for real people, as well as to cause a little fun and crazy on Earth, so he inhabits a body just before death. Sometimes he knows his “victims,” but not always. When he enters Declan, he assumes he’s got a quiet little ride where he can do some exploring. Nothing ever goes as planned.

Up til this point, if you’re not offended by or able to read books where the Devil is the protagonist (I get it, not everyone’s cup of tea… totally understand!), then you probably think this is gonna be a great ride. And parts of it were. But sometimes the satire was over my head and over the top.

I think because I read this in the very beginnings of my “foray into fantasy,” I wasn’t as open-minded as I might be now in reading something a bit abstract.

That said, it’s not a common theme or option, so I’d suggest it is worth taking a chance. But put your seat belt on because the hilarity and venom is all over the place. Randomness is the style and if you prefer a bit more order, add a harness and “oh-shit” handles onto the car, so you have something else to keep you from flying out the windshield of what you thought you knew about this jalopy.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.


View all my reviews

Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Posted on Updated on

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From what I can tell, I’m not in the majority when it comes to rating The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I’m giving it a 3, which means I still liked it… but unfortunately, I wasn’t as fond of the humor as most people are.

This was a book club selection from about 6 or 7 years ago. We agreed to read just the first one in the series. And it was the first science-fiction novel we took on. I was excited. Several had already read it but wanted to again.

I’m generally a fan of crazy humor. I love Spaceballs, the movie. I kinda liken it to that, but for some reason, this wasn’t as funny as I felt everyone said it was. Tons of laughs. Many great lines. The characters were memorable. I’m pretty sure there are a few movie or cartoon adaptions of it.

And I honestly would recommend that everyone read it — even non SF fans. There are parts you will totally enjoy. But it’s hard to get into for a non-SF reader right from the beginning. My first reactions were “Oh that’s not possible…” But then I realized I wasn’t reading a typical novel, so I suspended the lil’ bit o’ grouch in me… and I was able to enjoy it.

Very imaginative. Lots of cool commentary on life as other people would see it. A fair approach for someone new to the universe, so to speak.

I may go back and read it now that I’m older and have read a few other SF and fantasy books. I’m curious… what’s the huge appeal for others about this book?

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.


View all my reviews