I think of this novel as a kind of throwback to early Sci-fi, with characters stiff in the rational sort of way we hope humanity achieves someday but probably isn't very realistic. I mean, the main character's best friend is a robot who has more personality than she herself has. And also, like early Sci-fi, the ideas and the scientific elements are in the forefront. The difference, is that this is written by someone who knows how to write english well, and can therefore explain abstract and unusual concepts such as the use of linquistics and the alien world with skill, making it a deeper, intellectual exercise. Better paced than The City and the City, I enjoyed this read quite a bit.
A unique, well-written thrill ride (much better than the Hunger Games by the way) set in the Gulf Coast, dealing with survival, family, economics and human ecology. Don't worry though, it is not a tough read, and these themes are laid out in simple terms that you don't need to understand to enjoy the book. There's some drinking and swearing so it's not for every young reader, but it's still a tolerable leverl.
It's a good book, very well-written and had a great story where the Hunger Games from the previous two books have finally caused the pending revolution to finally play out in full. Katniss's role in the revolution is well-plotted and brings light to her character. What's missing, and was missing in all the books is that there is no character development for anyone but Katniss, who's character is always being discussed and pondered over. There were some great characters I wanted to see much more involved, more thought out. That would have made the read so much better. I had a few other minor disappointments, such as the new system of government being proposed was exactly like America's (c'mon, give me something to think about here!) but they were minor compared to my real complaint. Therefore, what could have been a great series in general, only succeeds in being a great YA series.
This book is written like sf/urban fantasy, though there is nothing scientific about the characters' "gifts" the physical effects of those powers are well-described and made for a good system with which to set up the interactions between characters. The author was not lazy about this part and I think that's where the potential for this story or any future stories lie. The story was well written and had a thoughtful amount of worldbuilding where the world of normal humans is touched upon, but the Liminal people's world is, though in the forefront of this novel, is setup as being behind the scenes in our world, with different power players pulling strings. Very interesting stuff. I think the plot could have been more captivating, but it was not bad. The characters were pretty interesting, and their gifts made them more so. Some gifts were pretty straightorward, but the high powers in the novel had gifts that were so subtle and well-used it was hard to tell what exactly they were, and the main characters didn't seem to know either.
Not the super amazingness of the previous three books, but seriously, it can't be possible to write the best book ever written four times. So, I give him a break and enjoy learning what happens as things go further with the characters and see some of them off. As usual, I learned more about the human race, myself, religion, and diplomacy from reading this. I know this isn't really a review, just blabber, but I'm tired and I'll edit this some other time.
I was really excited to read this, I love Neil Gaiman and hadn't yet read anything by Terry Pratchett. I'm sorry to say I found the novel very boring. Okay, that's not totally fair; I found the beginning to be hilarious and witty, in fact every part with Crowley and Azeropheal(sp) were pure genious. And the parts with Agnes Nutter and her prophecies were great too. It was the antichrist I was disappointed with. He took up the bulk of the novel (or so it seemed) and added absolutely nothing. The potential for him was so great, but his story just fizzled. Same with the horsemen of the apocolypse, just did nothing for me. If I find out that Gaiman was responsible for the Crowley/Azeropheal parts, I probably won't read another Pratchett novel, but if perhaps the oppositte is true, I will definitely give him another chance.
I loved how the book began, it was so frightening and surreal, the mystery kept unfolding as the people/creatures made their way out of the horrible accident that occured somewhere along a journey to colonize another world. There is some frightening and wierd stuff in here, and in the end, I'm not sure I got all of it. The science is so far advanced as to seem utterly fantastic and chaotic, and the characters subject to the limitless capabilities of the ship's powers that actually unravelling what happened is very difficult. That may contribute to why the ending didn't have the satisfaction I had hoped--it was an ending set so deeply into a mix of scientific possibility that I was not able to relate with it comfortably, and so I lost my grasp on it. Perhaps if I had a mind more open I would have been ready for it.
At first I thought this book was satirical, I couldn't take seriously the ministry of plenty, the ministry of truth, etc. How could a society be fooled by a government who so obviously touts the lies by which it functions? Ah shoot, it got me. Doublethink, the process by which people speak around the actual truth, using language to present what the government wants them to believe, is what explained it to me. And the author adds that in order for doublethink to work properly, the thinker has to be conscious of the very lie they are believing. This book messed with my head in a way that will never be undone. I hate it. Thank you Mr. Orwell.