Yes! Yes! Yes! If I were ever going to work in/own a bookstore I would want it to be like this!
This is like The Da Vinci Code or some other better written mystery/thriller for book readers and bibliophiles! I definitely need to purchase a copy to add to my permanent shelf. I’m not sure where I came across this book or why I decided to read it, but I’m glad I did and I’m glad I requested it from the library.
There’s so much to talk about I don’t really know where to begin. I want to talk about the secret society, the awesome pop culture and technology references, the hilariously quirky minor characters, the ending, and the bookstore itself among other things. Not to mention that it was a fast and entertaining read. I loved Clay, the protagonist, and all of his friends and people he interacted with made the story that much richer. Throw in the art and culture, museums and games (D&D spin off) and fantasy novels and classics and it’s like a nerd-gasm.
I received a digital galley of The Reluctant Assassin from NetGalley and this is my honest review and I received no form of compensation. (Clearly, who would pay for my ramblings, but thank you to whoever approved it, I’m not sure I should have been approved because of the reader preferences on the publisher’s page!)
Although the story starts off slow, I feel this is a great beginning to a new series! I didn’t have an issue with the slowness in this story, but it was the one detraction. As with any first novel introducing new characters and concepts, there will be some pacing difficulties. How much action should there be? How much back story do you reveal? There were a few times where it seemed Colfer struggled, but it wasn’t enough to deter me, because the story is sound and engaging and the cast of characters are definitely interesting and keep you on your toes!
What an ending…It’s not very often an author can write an ending to a series that is simultaneously powerful and lackluster. Perhaps when I re-read this series I won’t think this (similar to how I was not impressed with Rowling’s inclusion of an epilogue 19 years later), but I’m not sure. There were good and bad parts to The Last Guardian, but honestly, I’m still digesting this book. I read it in less than 12 hours (had to get some sleep didn’t I?), but I’m not sure that was a good thing.
In this, the final installment of the Artemis Fowl series, I have to say I was somewhat disappointed. However, I can’t say why. There wasn’t as much hype, for me, as there was in either Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle or Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I think it has to do with the fact that the books within this series have really been hit or miss, and maybe even that I didn’t read them when they were first coming out and I was younger. I did review all the other books on this blog (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7), and perhaps my lack of WOW for this book is because I didn’t re-read the prequels before I read this, the final.
I stumbled across The Secret Lives of Codebreakers on NetGalley and decided to request a copy as I planned on reading David Leavitt’s The Man Who Knew too Much, and I am glad I did. This book tells the stories of the individuals of Bletchley Park—not just what they were working on, but what they did in their spare time, where they came from and where they went after the war. In essence, it does everything I wanted The Man Who Knew too Much to do about Alan Turing but didn’t.
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley from the publisher. This response to the novel is my honest opinion and I did not receive any compensation for it. Penguin Group USA is releasing The Secret Lives of Codebreakers by Sinclair McKay in September of this year.
My background reading on Bletchley Park was incredibly limited, as in I had a vague recollection of having heard of it before and knew Turing was associated with it and that’s about it. I found this accounting of Bletchley Park to be riveting and I couldn’t put it down for the most part. There were a few things that were off-putting, but overall if this is the only book I ever read about Bletchley Park I feel like I’ve taken something from it. I thoroughly enjoyed the mixture of the history of the war, the technology, the social existence and the personal stories.
Overall this book was ‘meh’. I couldn’t get into it and it wasn’t what I thought it would be. With the title and the blurb I assumed the book was about Alan Turing and his life and not the history of inventions which led to modern computers. I was clearly wrong.
The book was interesting, but I just didn’t enjoy it. There was too much math and science (sometimes explained nicely so that a non-mathematician could understand it) and not enough biography. Again, this was apparently my misunderstanding. The one thing I took away from the novel about Turing was that everything that is known about him has to come with a grain of salt. He sounded like someone I would love to talk to and find out more about. What I found most fascinating was that
“Turing had displayed a remarkable degree of self-confidence and comfort in his sexual identity. That he saw his sexuality as part of his identity in the first place put him at odds with the prevalent thinking of his age, and reflected, no doubt, the years that he had spent in the privileged corridors of King’s College.” (195)