How do I approach this book? I want to be honest, but I don’t want to be too over the top in either direction. I received a copy of Marionette via the author, who is a great blogging buddy, and this is my honest response and I received no compensation for my response.
I guess I’ll just rip the band-aid off. I HATED the first half of the book. (Sorry TBM!)
I can’t put a finger on it, but I’ll call it sophomore slump. I’ll talk more later in the response, but I just could not identify with Paige even though there was a great line which convinced me I was going to! TBM’s first book, A Woman Lost, was a phenomenal debut novel, but this one fell short (at least for the first half of the book). However, with that said, the last half of the book was AMAZING (mostly :-D).
I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book. If I guessed it’s probably the same reason I out off reading The Casual Vacancy, that I didn’t want Rowling to disappoint. And in this instance she didn’t!
With The Casual Vacancy Rowling faced a lot of justified criticism in that the book did nothing and went nowhere. And although I disagreed with the numerous critics, I can see why and how readers would think this. Personally, I preferred the quiet and slow reveal of the story line and the intimacy of all of the characters and the small-town feel. With The Cuckoo’s Calling Rowling answers all of this and more. She provides a fast-paced and gripping thriller with adult characters whom the reader can identify with. As I went into this book, this was my chief concern, whether or not Rowling could write a book solely featuring identifiable and sympathetic/empathetic adult characters.
What a great ending to the trilogy. It wasn’t exactly what I expected and it definitely left me wanting more, but overall I think it was a great book. If I hadn’t read these books back-to-back with this book’s release I can definitely see how I could have been disappointed in this denouement, but as I didn’t have to wait for the next books in the series I thoroughly enjoyed all of them.
Although I enjoyed The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam neither were as great as Oryx and Crake. I’m not sure if it’s the change in writing style, which was minimal or if the last two in the trilogy didn’t have the wonderment of discovering a new old world, but they just didn’t quite live up to the first book. All three made me feel emotions and were beautifully written, so I would definitely recommend them!
What a great continuation of this series! And for a middle novel of a trilogy it definitely held its own which is not always the case. I also enjoyed reading Atwood from a different angle, although it was only a tiny bit different from her other books.
As I mentioned in my Oryx and Crake review every book I’ve read by Atwood has a single narrator who tells their story through a series of flashbacks. This book continues that theme, but rather than it being the same narrator there are two narrators, Ren and Toby, in this book telling their stories.
However, there were again SO many similarities. Each of the narrators, similar to Snowman/Jimmy, experiences the post-apocalyptic world in isolation until about midway through the novel. So looking back at all the characters of Atwood, they’re all isolated (physically, mentally and emotionally) and they all tell their stories from their own perspective. But this is not a bad thing! Atwood gets into each of her character’s minds and creates believable and unique characters which are amazing mirrors of humanity.
I honestly cannot remember the last time I devoured a book this quickly or the last time I was this excited about a series. Let’s put it this way, I’m desperately trying to think of people to recommend this book to I enjoyed it that much. And I have no doubt I will devour the next two books in this trilogy as rapidly did this first installment.
Having only ever read The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blind Assassin, It has clearly been some time since I read anything by Atwood. When I found out recently that she would be visiting Harvard Book Store to give a talk and read from her new book I KNEW I had to go see her if only to get my copy of The Handmaid’s Tale signed. She will be reading from her newest book MaddAddam and as I haven’t read the first two books in the MaddAddam trilogy I thought I probably should, so I picked up copies of Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood from the library and I am SO glad I did.