I think it's impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.
-Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
-Phillip K. Dick

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Invisible Man

Genre: Science fiction / Historical Fiction / Crime
A man comes across a magnificent discovery.  He discovers that man can become invisible, and in doing so he turns himself invisible.  Griffin becomes known as the invisible man, but also is deemed a criminal.

Back Cover:
The Invisible man is the fascinating take if a brash young scientist who, experimenting with himself, becomes invisible and then criminally insane, trapped in the terror of his own creation.

I thought this book magnificent.  I will say that it was pretty slow going to begin with, but the story quickly picks up.  It seems at times metaphorical.  I don’t want to give anything away, but I think this is worth a read if you’re an H.G. Wells fan…and even if you aren’t.  If you’re interested in the hardships and what it means to be invisible from a darker perspective, this book is for you.

Shame on anyone who thinks evil of this.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Speaker for the Dead

Date Finished: July 6, 2012                                                          

Genre: Sci-fi / Aliens

Ender finds himself in a place called Trondheim where he finds a new friend named Jane.  Jane is special in the way that she has nearly no limitations to her existence.  She helps guide Ender into a new world where he plans to uncover mysteries as well as possibly start a new life for the Hive Queen in order to resurrect the buggers he once nearly eliminated in the xenocide.  The one thing that Ender must lose on his journey is time with his sister and her children. 

Back Cover:
In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War. Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens ways are strange and frightening…again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the dead who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery…and the truth.

Let me start off by saying I was really excited to read this book after having read Ender’s Game twice in the course of the past 10 years.  Why did it take me so long to read this?  I simply didn’t come across a copy of it until I went to the bookstore back in March of 2012.

This book started out kind of slow and didn’t feel much at all like an Ender book.  This isn’t anywhere close to being anything that Ender’s Game was, in my heart.  After reading the reviews on the back of the book I was pretty intrigued.  They were saying this book was better than Ender’s Game; I have to strongly disagree.  A friend of mind also said this is one of her favorite Ender’s books.  After having read this I can see why she enjoyed it more than I did.  Before you jump to conclusions and think I hated this book, allow me to tell you that I didn’t.

This book brings a few new characters into play, as well as a new species of aliens that is more interesting toward the end of the book.  The problem with this was getting me interested enough to keep reading.  I started this book back in May 2012, and I didn’t finish it until July 2012, mostly because I had nothing else to do but read, so I just decided to finish it.

I did enjoy some of the new characters that came from this, for instance Jane.  Jane’s got a personality that I can instantly connect with, for what reason I can’t explain, nor would I want to give anything away.

So why did my friend find this book so intriguing?  My only guess is that it’s got many elements that base themselves in Biology, which is part of her major.  It deals with diseases and evolution of species.  It was interesting enough, but given my lack of interest in that particular science, it just didn’t capture me as much as it would with anyone who might enjoy the concepts it brings into play.
With all of that being said, read this for no other reason than to continue Ender’s Saga.  You might find that this one meets your interests more than Ender’s Game did.  It also might be interesting enough if you enjoyed the first book.  Just don’t do what I did and expect it to be a repeat of what went on in Ender’s Game because you will be severely disappointed.

Shame on anyone who thinks evil of this.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Date Finished: July 12, 2012
Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy / Historical Fiction / Dystopian

A man invents a time machine and travels into the future to a world where humanity has lost its intellect and split into two groups: morlocks who live underground and eloi who live above ground.

Back Cover:
The Time Machine conveys the Time Traveller into the distant future and an extraordinary world. There, stranded on a slowly dying Earth, he discovers two bizarre races: the effete Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—a haunting portrayal of Darwin’s evolutionary theory carried to a terrible conclusion.

Let me start by saying, I watched the movie of this first.  I know, I know, worst thing to do ever.  The movie, however, reminded me of my need to read the book that I’d already been wanting to read.  I found my copy at the bookstore, and it’s actually a split copy of The Time Machine and The Invisible Man.  With that being said, I must tell you that if you’ve seen the movie and haven’t read the book, but still want to read the book, you must know not to expect grave similarities. In fact, the only similarity between the book and the movie is that the Morlocks live under ground and eat the Eloi who live above ground.  Other than that there are no similarities, at all. The movie was almost and entirely a rewrite of the entire story.  This of course, isn’t to say that the book wasn’t a good read, nor is it to say that the movie sucked.  I enjoyed both for their own reasons. 

The book was kind of slow going at the beginning, and I didn’t really connect to any of the characters, but for its time this book was well written. Having previously read War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, I wasn’t expecting much from this book; however, this book surprised me by being far better than War of the Worlds. It’s too short though, and I do wish I knew what happens in the end, since it’s kind of left open to your own fantasies of it.  This was one of the better books I’ve read this year.

 Shame on anyone who thinks evil of this.