Review: Briarpatch

Briarpatch
Briarpatch by Tim Pratt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So this guy Darrin has a string of really bad luck. His girlfriend Bridget leaves him, he loses his job, and then his car. To top it off, he’s heading out to lunch one day and sees his old girlfriend just as she leaps off the Golden Gate bridge head first and kills herself. Next Darrin starts seeing things. Alleys and paths that aren’t supposed to be there. This place is called the Briarpatch, and with the help of Arturo, a strange guy with a strange car, Darrin is beginning to find connections between this place, the guy Bridget left him for, and Bridget’s suicide.

I found this book in the bargain area of my Chapters and was kinda skeptical about how good it would be. I expected some kind of fairy world and magical blah blah, which I tend to hate, but it also hinted at something more interesting with the suicide idea.

I was surprised in a good way when I found out that this book was not about fairies! It is actually closer to books like the Otherworld series by Tad Williams, but without the tech aspect.

Another good surprise is that this book is aimed at adults!! No whiny teen characters, no censoring of language, and overall more realistic character traits. In general, the characters were intelligent if not entirely informed, and I can’t think of any choices characters may have made that bugged me as illogical or irrational. I like fiction, not stupid fiction.

The writing was well done and interesting. There were no instances where the wording was awkward or required re-reading (unless you weren’t expecting what was said). The plot was fast-paced and didn’t focus too long on events that weren’t pertinent to the plot, while slowly revealing some of the mysteries in just the right way.

The ending was satisfying and reasonable. It closed the conflict while still leaving open the possibility to return for a sequel. All in all, a good book worth reading.

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Review: The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor – Part Two

The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor - Part Two
The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor – Part Two by Robert Kirkman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This one was a little boring because of the overlap with the main events from the comic(/show), and at times it was frustrating that the characters just blindly followed the Governor even when his behaviour was extreme.

However, it was interesting to read it from the other side of the conflict, and get an idea of how other groups where handling the pressures of the walker plague.

The writing is great in general, fast paced, and flows well. There was a bit of repetition that could’ve been edited out, such as how often we needed to read about the morning/afternoon/evening air. Without revealing anything, I will say that I was pretty sure the continuous mention of something else made me think it was going to be a major plot point but wasn’t. I supposed it might be in the next book, but if it’s not, then this is an example of the unnecessary repetition.

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Review: 77 Shadow Street

77 Shadow Street
77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is my first Dean Koontz book, and I’m not sure what to think about it. It has an interesting plot, but it takes so long to develop. It was as though he couldn’t decide between a plot driven book or a narrative driven book.

The plot:

A grand house built over a fault in time/space, allowing time to overlap occasionally with a frightening future. The residents of this recently converted condominium are thrown into the future without any idea of what to expect.

The Characters:

Generally the characters were pretty interesting, and for the most part diverse. There were some who were so similar though that it was a bit hard to remember who was who. For example, there was an ex-marine, and a retired lawyer, both without families, both strong male characters. There were also to single mothers, one with a very serious son, and the other with an autistic daughter.

I don’t really have anything to rave about, but I have no negative thoughts on it either. It’s a decent book with an interesting plot and characters. I felt it was a bit slow, but that may have been simply because I had other things I was more interested in while I was reading it.

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Review: The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

The LeftoversThe Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A good book, but not at all what I was expecting. I saw the first couple episodes of the show, and it seemed pretty exciting, but while it followed the details of the book for the most part, they weren’t the same. The book is character driven rather than plot driven. Nothing really happens, you just follow some characters for a year or so and see how they are coping after the rapture.

It’s interesting enough, and certainly has my attention for the HBO series. I just wish there was a book version of the tv show.

The characters are mostly relatable, but even so, I think there is a bit of a disconnect between thoughts and behaviour for some of the characters. Maybe I was just hoping for something darker, grittier, and less life-goes-on.

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Review: Fool Moon

Fool Moon
Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good sequel to the first book, Fool Moon keeps a good pace going by adding in some new world expanding plot line. This time its the werewolves that are the problem. It turns out that the different names for werewolves mean different types/breeds/species of them.

Harry Dresden keeps up the self-depreciating humour while getting the utter crap beat out of him again and again. I had a bit of a hard time figuring out the bad guy, which was good, but I was also getting frustrated by all the secrets that made the situations worse.

The book was a quick read, with interesting lore, and a good installment for the series. I’ll definitely continue reading. Still a good series for supernatural crime along the lines of Sandman Slim, and the TV show Supernatural.

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Review: BioShock: Rapture

BioShock: Rapture
BioShock: Rapture by John Shirley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Gives you everything with regard to a prequel for the game. I haven’t played the games myself, as I’m not very good at remembering the right buttons to push, but I have watched roommates play. I’m fairly certain it sets up both the first and the second Bioshock games.

There’s nothing outstandingly good or bad about the book. It will likely only appeal to you if you already have an interest in the history/lore of the game. The only I wish was better was that the time line jumped large chunks, and i wasn’t always paying attention to the year, so I would have to go back.

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