Tag Archives: time travel

Book Review: City of Dark Magic

Book: City of Dark Magic

Author: Magnus Flyte

Recommend: Only if you can’t find something better (which shouldn’t be hard to do…)

Okay, so when a book is supposed to deal with time travel and Beethoven, to someone who has a degree in music and loves science fiction, you’ve immediately given them something that must be read – no questions asked. While I don’t regret reading the book, I wished that it hadn’t taken so much time to get through because frankly it wasn’t worth that much time.

I have a few issues with this one. The first is that there is just simply too much time spent in a museum. I get that researchers find out all kinds of details that general public doesn’t know which makes a great jumping point for a novel, but there has to be a faster way to get to the point without wasting so much time. The next issue is the amount of sex the main character engages in, in various levels of inappropriateness. The main character and her love interest are completely uninteresting is the next on my list of issues. There is this wonderful thing called character development. This character needed development badly. When secondary characters are more interesting than the main, that’s a problem.

There were some things I loved though. The discussion of Beethoven was just fun. Occasionally the authors would spin a powerful sentence that made me feel like that right there, experiencing exactly what the main character does. For example when she touches a Beethoven manuscript with a bare finger to feel it.

I never really was quite able to escape into this one and found myself putting it down frequently. Interesting but nothing to write home about.

Final Rating:

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Book Review: The Future of Us

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Book: The Future of Us

Authors: Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Recommend: This was a great read but honestly I think should have been aimed at people in their late 20s to early 30s and not teens.

After reading Thirteen Reasons Why, I decided that I had to pick this one up even though I was rather skeptical of it due to the subject matter. This book is set in the late 90s when a girl receives a computer from her father; a guilt gift for abandoning her and moving away with his new family. However when she logs into AOL, she finds herself on this odd webpage called Facebook, staring at herself fifteen years in the future.

I really enjoyed this because I was in high school in the late nineties. I got every reference and knew every song. I remember what AOL was like. I had a computer in my house but many of my friends didn’t. Cell phones were still a tool instead of a toy and most teens had pagers instead of cell phones. While this helped me connect with the story more, the core of the story is basically what every time travel story is about. Should you change the future/past or leave it alone and how to the decisions of today effect tomorrow?

This book automatically had me. The main character is a band geek. Any book that includes high school band is always better for it 😉

This was a fun read but definitely made the reader think. I appreciate Asher’s books because they really force people confront themselves in a way a simple story doesn’t. Worth the read and if you’re my age, a fun trip down memory lane.

Final Rating:

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Filed under 2012, Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Summer book challenge, Teen Book review

Book Review: The Map of Time

Book: The Map of Time

Author: Felix J. Palma

Recommend: Definitely worth the read!

I originally saw this book sitting on the shelves at my local Barnes and Noble. I really wanted to pick it up and read it but there was something else I needed to read and so I decided against it. I subsequently forgot about it until I saw it on the shelves at the library a couple of weeks ago. Immediately I recalled my desire to read it and hastily shoved it in my overflowing book bag. I cannot go to the library, it seems, without filling my bag to the brim and beyond.

This book was not what I was expecting. The jacket gives a hint of the plot at the end of the book, but is rather misleading. I’m not sure the jacket writer actually read the book. The Map of Time begins with a wealthy young man falling in love with one of Jack the Ripper‘s victims and his attempt at suicide. His well-meaning cousin enlists the help of H.G. Wells and they fake an episode of time travel to ‘save’ her, even though he cannot be with her.

H.G. Wells, 1910

H.G. Wells, 1910 (Photo credit: LSE Library)

The basic idea of the book is how one writer’s flight of fancy can have an effect on the real world in simple yet profound ways. I found the book very interesting and was able to make it through rather quickly, even though I am currently fighting off a reading slump. Particularly, the very obvious narrator was written in a refreshing, humorous way that made me laugh out loud a few times.

The only negative I can find with the book were some moments that could have been left to the reader’s imagination that were for some reason described in detail. For me, this is a personal pet peeve since I end up skipping over such material, even though I don’t like missing part of book.

This one is definitely worth picking up, especially if you are a fan of H.G. Wells, time travel or speculative fiction in general. I personally enjoyed it more than the work of Mr. Wells itself. I am very eager to read his next book, which should be out in the near future.

Final Rating:

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Filed under 2012, historical fiction, mature themes and subject matter, Review, romance, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Summer book challenge

Book Review: 11/22/63

Book: 11/22/63

Author: Stephen King

Recommend: I loved most of the book..

I have been wanting to read this one for quite a while. A friend recommended it. I’ve been hearing tons of buzz about this one. When I found an available copy of it at the library, I decided that I simply had to pick it up. I was up all night finishing it.

What if you could go back in time and change the future of the world? What if you could prevent injuries, tragedies, or even the assassination of JFK? What if you could only go back to one point in history and had to live five years of your life in the past in order to be able to change that event. How would you wait five years in history to accomplish it. What if history didn’t want to change?

Stephen King is a masterful story-teller. His characters are well fleshed out and he can make almost anything seem completely believable. Even time travel and figuring out how to stop Lee Harvey Oswald from killing JFK. The complication of love to the storyline made it feel exactly that – complicated. The book was well researched and bursting with interesting characters and places.

I loved most of this book. I hated the ending, just like the last Stephen King book I read, Under the Dome. Why King seems to be able to completely trash something that could easily have a really good ending is beyond me. You spend the whole book wanting the main character to somehow be able to change history for the better and be able to take the woman he loves to the future with him. That’s what the reader wants. That isn’t what King writes. He seems to be incapable of writing a completely satisfying and happy ending. The ending to this book just made me frustrated and mad. After almost 900 pages, I want an ending worthy of the massive read I just made. The ending to this book was not.

While most of this book was well worth the read, I wish I could simply rewrite the ending – again. I’m starting to lose faith in King’s ability to end a book!

Final Rating:

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Filed under 2012, general fiction, Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Summer book challenge

Book Review: Overseas

Book: Overseas

Author: Beatriz Williams

Recommend: This book was amazing. This goes double for fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife.

I have been trying to read this book for two weeks now. Something always seems to be getting in the way. Finally, today once I was out of work for my final day of the school year, I was able to sit down and finally get started on this book. Once I was started I couldn’t put it down even though I spent the whole rest of the day with my mom running errands. By the time I reached my cousin’s birthday party this evening, I was at the climax of the book and couldn’t seem to put it down. Thankfully my family is used to, as my husband calls it, my antisocial tendencies and mostly left me alone to finish my book.

Sometimes there are books that just grab your attention and pull you along. Something you can’t put down. Something you can’t forget. This is one of those books. I think this is going to be a book I come back to repeatedly simply  because the story is just too good to read once and never revisit. This book tells the story of Kate, an investment banker who gets assigned to work on a case with one of the richest men in New York. Instantly they seem to hit it off. Then he disappears only to rescue her in the strangest way. There is something intense going on between them. Is it just love at first sight or something much more that started long before either of them could have been born?

While there are some adult scenes, it is not the focus of the book and for the most part they are brief and some form of a fade-to black (although not as chaste as other authors I could mention) and doesn’t distract from the story. I actually admire her restraint and class on this. I’ve been wracking my brain for a negative of this one all night and one just isn’t coming to me! When I can’t come up with something bad to say, the writer really has something special. I can’t wait to read more from this author!

Final Rating:

Need more than one copy!!

Final Rating:

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Filed under 2012, general fiction, mature themes and subject matter, Review, romance, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Summer book challenge

How to die in a science fiction universe… of boredom!!

 

The cover should have tipped me off!

Book: How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe

 

Author: Charles Yu

Recommend: Umm… no

Okay. I am a huge fan of all things science fiction. I have read a large amount of science fiction and honestly enjoy the genre. So when this book came up on my list of recommended books on my nook, I had high hopes for it and I was extremely disappointed with it.

This book is supposed to be about a guy who gets stuck in a time loop while time traveling. The problem was that the plot line wandered around for half the book until we finally got to the plot line. It was like reading a bad copy of something by Douglas Adams minus the comedy. Honestly it was one of the biggest wastes of time I have ever read. I got the point but honestly I just thought it was a huge waste of the couple of hours it took me to read it.

The writing was poor, the plot was a jumbled mess with very little logic behind it. The only thing mildly amusing was a few Star Wars references. It was literally the only bright spot in the whole abysmal work. I want the hours of my life back that I wasted on this pathetic waste of trees or in my case web space.

Final Rating:

 

TRASH IT!!

 

 

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