Thursday, September 27, 2018

Book Review #772 - A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan


Visit from the Goon Squad captures the moment where lives interact, and where fortunes ebb and flow. Egan depicts with elegant prose and often heart-wrenching simplicity, the sad consequences for those who couldn't fake it during their wild youth - madness suicide or prison - in this captivating, wryly, humorous story of temptation and loss.

My Rating: 4/5

I read this book for my 1001 Book Challenge and it is also the third book I have read that has won the Pullitzer Prize.

This is the most unique styled book I have ever read. It is so unconventional but it has a really engaging story and realistic characters that make it work.

When I first picked this book up I was really confused and put it down after two chapters however when I picked it up and started from the beginning the very next day I flew through it.

The nonlinear style frustrated me whilst reading it but once I finished it all kind of clicked and I completely understood that it could not have been written any other way.

There aren't any main characters in this book. There is more an ensemble of amazing characters all of whom have such distinct, unique individual voices and I found it amazing that they were all written by the same author.

Music is one of the main themes of the book (time being the other major theme) and is the conduit used to show the passing of time or reversal of time in each story.

This is the first modern book I have read from the 1001 Books list and whilst I had to struggle through it at times I definitely do not regret finishing it.

One thing that I didn't like about this book was the fact that it jumped back and forwards in time with no warning or awareness of what direction it did. I would have liked chapter headings to stipulate this. I know the author used this to surprise the reader as to the passing of time but this would have eliminated the majority of my confusion and frustration whilst reading.

Just when I thought this book could not get any more unconventional, chapter 12 was told entirely in powerpoint and also told from the future both of which I liked and found an intriguing method for an otherwise contemporary book.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Book Review #771 - Dust and Decay (Rot and Ruin #2) by Jonathan Maberry


Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them. 

Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland –where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all… could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive? 

In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive. 

My Rating: 4/5

Just like book one in this series Rot and Ruin this book is action packed and moves at such a break neck speed that I was unwilling to ever put it down.

I loved that the rot and ruin was explored more deeply in this book with the majority of the book set there as it is such a mysterious yet interesting place.

The relationships between all the characters continued to develop and I love the banter and camaraderie between them all. 

The main cliff hanger from the first book was not resolved nor was it ever really addressed but considering how much other stuff was happening it didn't really bother me.

This is definitely my favourite zombie series and I can't believe how underrated it seems to be.

Benny evolved so much in this book in stepping out of his brother's shadow and especially the way the book ended I can already see his development is going to be massive in the next book.

The romance in this books is so subtle and rather juvenile considering the ages of the characters. It is very much toned down as well considering the amount of action happening which I really like that it is not trying to take the main focus.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Book Review #770 - Road to Riverdale Vol 2 (Road to Riverdale) by Mark Waid, Chip Zdarsky, Marguerite Bennett, Adam Hughes and Fiona Staples


In the past two years, the little town of Riverdale has changed in a number of amazing ways. The entire Archie universe has been given a fresh coat of paint and it's only getting bigger and better from here. Road to Riverdale presents to readers all of the second issues of each of our new series so far, including Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats and Reggie & Me, timed to the Season One Finale of the brand new CW series Riverdale. This volume also contains a new story based in the show's universe as a bonus for viewers!

This graphic novel features riveting stories and dazzling artwork from superstar writers and artists like Mark Waid, Adam Hughes, Marguerite Bennett, Fiona Staples, Chip Zdarsky and much more. You won't want to miss out on this collection that shines the spotlight on the New Riverdale, and serves as the ultimate guide for both new readers and long-time fans.

My Rating: 3/5

This is the second graphic novel I have read centered around the Riverdale gang.

I loved that this one had a lot more emphasis on Jughead as he is my favourite character but also showed a lot of the secondary characters as well in starring roles.

I really loved all the different stories following all the different characters throughout as well as all the different art styles as each story is written/illustrated by a different author.

As far as the story goes I liked that the plot of the TV show Riverdale was mentioned in one of these stories.

I also like the modern approach these books have as the original Archie comics were published so long ago and these versions contain so many pop culture references.