Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hilarity Ensues by Tucker Max

Hilarity EnsuesHilarity Ensues by Tucker Max

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Basically what I expected from Tucker Max, no more, no less. Some of the stories were really funny, while others just kind of made me shake my head and groan. It must have been a fun time collecting all these stories, but at the same time I'm not surprised at Max's epilogue and essentially his retirement from his 20's.

The one thing I wasn't really a fan of was his over-the-top arrogance in his stories. The other two opened with some kind of preface about who he is and what he does, this one just kind of assumed that everyone was aware of who he is and why he's a big deal. Not that I didn't expect narcissism, I just didn't expect it so blatantly in his style of writing.

I generally liked this book, because it was still hilarious but does show a different side of Tucker Max. He wants marriage and children, and he's finally at that point in his life where he realizes that he won't get it through drinking and whoring his life away. I mean, early 30's is a little late for that kind of epiphany, but better late than never. I hope he finds what he's looking for, and finds success with writing that's not 'fratire' as he calls his stories.

Additionally, I'm really looking forward to seeing new books by him, maybe something with some kind of sustenance? He's a fantastic storyteller so I'm sure a work of fiction by him would be good. I mean, it can't be worse than Snooki's 'A Shore Thing', can it?

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik

Empire of IvoryEmpire of Ivory by Naomi Novik

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My comments from when I first started reading this book...

Somehow a good deal more entertaining than the past few books in the series. The introduction of the fire breathing Iskierka added a good deal of humor and lightness to the wars with Napoleon, and the epidemic of some unknown illness grounding almost all of England's dragons. I'm looking forward to seeing how this story ends, and desperately hoping it does not develop into the same plot line as the past three books in the series. Because it got pretty old, pretty fast.

I also really hope that Temeraire's hopes of better treatment of the dragons is realized if not now, then soon. They're some of my favorite characters, as well as the more unpredictable and dynamic characters.

Oh, and my concluding summary and opinion of this book, the fourth in Naomi Novik's Temeraire series...

Waghhhh this book was crazy. From England, to Africa, back to England, and then to France. I'm pleased that I had faith in this book; I was not let down. Much more unpredictable and fun to read than the second and third books in the series, and I am pulling strongly for Laurence and Temeraire. 

Interesting way to bring politics into the book though, I almost feel like Novik truly believed African tribes to almost all be savages. Although, for all I know maybe most history books portray them as such. Their tribes were being destroyed and enslaved by the white men, of course. Maybe I should have paid more attention in my history classes...

In any event, I feel like this was one of the strongest books in the series so far, I like that my favorite characters are all present and accounted for, and that a relatively happy ending came about without it being boring, lame and predictable. This book moved more smoothly and naturally than the other books (still not happy with the forced drama during the ship ride to China in a previous book). Two more to go in the series, and I really hope Novik can keep up the momentum of Empire of Ivory in them,

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Child 44Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I first put this book on my 'to read' list at least a year or so ago, just from seeing it while at work. It was recently on sale for 99 cents on my Nook (what a bargain!) so I couldn't say no. And now, after having finished it, I can say that this was one of the best dollar Nook books I've bought so far.

I've never read much about or set in the Soviet Union, and as such was a little nervous picking up this book, taking place in Stalinist and post-Stalin Russia. The politics got a little intense at times, but clearly only to emphasize how politics really were. Everyone mistrustful of everyone else, people constantly arrested and never seen again for off-color comments about the state of their country, or simply because someone in a position of power/authority didn't like them. I can only imagine how terrifying it must have been to have lived in such times.

Child 44 is a phenomenal combination of history and politics, true crime and psychological/detective thriller. All of the mini-stories in the beginning, each about a different child, *almost* completely unrelated to each other, are all tied up by the end of the book. And you can't help but get swept into the thrill of this book. I am incredibly pleased with this book, and am looking forward to picking up the next book by Tom Rob Smith, called Agent 6.

Oh and PS, turns out this story was loosely based on the true story of Andrei Chikatilo, nicknamed the Rostov Ripper, who murdered at least 52 women and children between 1978 and 1990. Chills are going down my spine, just from reading this Wikipedia page. Seriously, do yourself a favor and go read this book.

View all my reviews