May 14th, 2009

BluePhoenix

Anathem by Neal Stephenson

Anathem Anathem by Neal Stephenson

GoodReads Summary: Fraa Erasmas is a young avout living in the Concent of Saunt Edhar, a sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the outside "saecular" world by ancient stone, honored traditions, and complex rituals. Over the centuries, cities and governments have risen and fallen beyond the concent's walls. Three times during history's darkest epochs violence born of superstition and ignorance has invaded and devastated the cloistered mathic community. Yet the avout have always managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe, becoming out of necessity even more austere and less dependent on technology and material things. And Erasmas has no fear of the outside—the Extramuros—for the last of the terrible times was long, long ago.

Now, in celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fraas and suurs prepare to venture beyond the concent's gates—at the same time opening them wide to welcome the curious "extras" in. During his first Apert as a fraa, Erasmas eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn't seen since he was "collected." But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the brink of cataclysmic change.

Powerful unforeseen forces jeopardize the peaceful stability of mathic life and the established ennui of the Extramuros—a threat that only an unsteady alliance of saecular and avout can oppose—as, one by one, Erasmas and his colleagues, teachers, and friends are summoned forth from the safety of the concent in hopes of warding off global disaster. Suddenly burdened with a staggering responsibility, Erasmas finds himself a major player in a drama that will determine the future of his world—as he sets out on an extraordinary odyssey that will carry him to the most dangerous, inhospitable corners of the planet . . . and beyond.


My review


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han shot first

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen


My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars

The latest Austen reincarnation isn’t an imagined sequel to Pride and Prejudice, the often revisited 19th Century novel, but a parody. Grahame-Smith chose not to rewrite the novel; the original text is left for the most part, unaltered, save for those turns of phrases or choice paragraphs that were better suited to a Mad Libs-like copy and paste for Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! Like the title itself, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Grahame-Smith’s contributions are quirky additions to a beloved novel that, dare I say, enhance the experience to a level never had before.

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  • devi42

(no subject)

I passed a construction site today.Sitting on a pile of wood, his back against a detour sign, was an elderly construction worker. With his relaxed pose and bowed head, I thought he was napping. As I got closer, I realized he was reading.

In the middle of a construction zone, with bulldozers passing within feet of his out-stretched legs, he was calmly turning the pages of a P.D. James book.

It was sort of lovely.
Carnival

#38 Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs

I bought seasons one and two of Bones on a whim. A coworker was selling them for eight bucks each and I figured, what do I have to loose? The answer: all of my free time. I flew through each season with a speed impressive for someone who works full time and goes to school part time. I fell in love with the characters, as well as the idea that you can tell worlds about someone’s life and death from just their bones. So when I found the Temperance Brennan audiobooks, I thought I’d take a chance and tried the first book, Deja Dead. Sure thrillers aren’t usually my thing, but tastes can change right?

Apparently, mine have not.

From the start, I was fully aware that the Tempe Brennan books were very different from the television series. It’s more accurate to say that the television series was not based on the books, but that the books and the television series are both based on the life of author Kathy Reichs. In here, Dr. Brennan is a more mature woman (a nicer way of saying “older”), a recently-divorced, recovering alcoholic living in Montreal and working as a forensic anthologist. When she stumbles across the bones of a young woman, dismembered and stashed in trash bags, she can’t help but think about a past case. As Dr. Brennan begins to dig she discovers multiple connections between a several unsolved murders, all involving woman. Soon she begins to fear for the worse, a serial murderer.

The Tempe Brennan here is much different from her television counterpart. She’s much sassier, and has more of an emotional connection with the victim. Despite the difference in personality, I found her to be an enjoyable narrator, and the audiobook reader did a great job bringing her voice to life. Unfortunately, I connected far less with the minor characters, constantly getting the cast of tough talking cops messed up with each other. As far as the storyline goes, there’s no doubt in my mind that it was a well put together story, written solidly with plenty of twists and turns. But for whatever reason… it just didn’t suite me. I enjoyed the part where Dr. Brennan uses science to discover clues about the victims (you can tell that Kathy Reichs is speaking from experience), but had trouble connecting to the more suspenseful moments. As a result, the reading experience was rather blah.

It’s not that I felt this was a poor book. People that are more into crime/thrillers may find it more appealing. But for me… I prefer my murder mysteries to be more Agatha Christie-like. I like the quirky unlikely detective who solves the murder at the last minute more than tracking down the sexual sadist who enjoys shoving foreign objects up his victim’s vaginas. That’s all I’m saying.

Rating: Three stars
Length: the print version is 416 pages
Source: theaudiolibrary
TBR Pile: 145 books
Similar Books: Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong (my review) also involves tracking down a serial killer. The Body of Evidence Thrillers by Christopher Golden
Other books I've read by this author: This is my first

xposted to bookish  and temporaryworlds 

(no subject)

Apology

The miscommunication of hearts

Now past and lost within an overlapping arch of time

That stops ticking, grinding to a halt

Every time you speak of me,

In the past, in the present,

Stopping time to sigh my name,

So shamefully broken

Never at ease,

Why please, for me

Put time back together

Whole and un-stolen

Life go’s on

For me, for you

Free flowing en route,

Toward the future,

Where,

Pausing time in one sorrowful moment of mute

Will not find me there

Afraid,

Like time, that I’d move on,

Forgive me,

And release time,

Move on,

As I have already gone

And leave us unspoken

Forever lost in time