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Feminist Killjoy. Badly Behaving Bookliker. Writer and reader of all things speculative. 

Currently reading

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Michelle Hodkin
Diablo III: Storm of Light
Nate Kenyon
Progress: 133/341 pages
William Gibson
A Taste of Blood Wine
Freda Warrington
Progress: 380/501 pages
Ancillary Justice
Ann Leckie
The Enemy (The Enemy #1)
Charlie Higson
The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern
Ann Aguirre
The Passage  - Justin Cronin Chapter One: Long sob story about poor, small town girl who gets herself knocked up at 19 by an abusive man. Woman eventually loses house, has to prostitute self out to keep a roof over her head and her daughter's. Eventually does something bad and has to strand daughter with a bunch of nuns. Verdict: Cliche, stereotypical, possibly a bit misogynistic. Also, wtf is up with the dialog?Chapter Two: E-mails from doctor/scientist guy on secret mission for something involving vampires in South America? IDK. Mission attacked by crazed killer bats. More than once. Many die. Verdict: So B-movie, it hurts. Also, Ron Charles of The Washington Post is apparently a wussy.Chapter Three: Sob story about ill-educated homeless black man who killed the rich white woman who made him her charity project and paid him to mow the lawn. Sob story about FBI agent whose marriage dissolved after wife lost first child. Flashback. Exposition. Extraneous shit. FBI agent saying killer's name over and over and over again while talking to him. Verdict: Cronin is apparently incapable of writing people without sob stories; if the novel thing doesn't work out, he should do casting for American Idol. Had I been the person editing this, I would've gone homicidal with the red pen; it's nothing but backstory. Story does not seem to know if it wants to criticize the idea of curing aging, or of making super soldiers. Also, Ron Charles of The Washington Post is definitely a wussy. Chapter Four: Lacey, a black nun from Sierra Leone who hears the voice of God in the world around her and probably has a sob story too. Is very nice, kind of like her. Also, New Orleans was wiped out by Vanessa "a few years" after Katrina. Now it's a...thing? Not a city, but people appear to live there and the murder rates are through the roof. If I was black, I'd probably be looking askance at Cronin by now. I kinda am anyway. This, on top of an attack by Iranian jihadists that killed hundreds at the Mall of America, a 15+ year war, and the fact that gas is $13 a gallon. Verdict: Cronin is obviously an optimist. Book still not scary. Wtf, Ron Charles of The Washington Post?Chapter Five: Sob story about child molester who was raped by his stepfather and whose father committed suicide. Also, vam...pires? I guess. They sparkle glow, their skin is like diamonds glass, and they hang upside down. Guy in charge called Richards, who's a dickhead and way too obsessed with free cell. And backstory, of course, because forward is not a word this book seems to know. Verdict: After a hundred pages, nothing of consequence has actually happened. The Vampire Apocalypse: Not that scary. Chapter Six: Sister Lacey. Yay! I like Sister Lacey. Sister Lacey does indeed have a sob story, only she doesn't remember it, because she has selective amnesia. Sob story and amnesia! Justin Cronin is the Nicholas Sparks of vampire apocalypses. Sister Lacey takes Amy (the girl abandoned by the mother in the first chapter) to the zoo, where Amy...communes with polar bears? And the whole zoo goes insane? Because she has creepy little girl super powers? One would think the presence of vampires would negate the need for those. And the FBI agents show up and take Amy away! Oh noes! Verdict: Cronin's writing is so much better when it's not bogged down by flashbacks and backstory and all the random extraneous crap his characters think about. Chapter Seven: Murderer guy is back. His name is Anthony Carter, BTW. He's being driven to the Vampire Research Facility. One of his guards decides to mess with his head and call him a rapist and a retard. When they arrive at the VRF, Richards, the free cell loving asshole, realizes what's been going on, so he messes with the guard's head by holding a gun to it. I approve. Also, FBI agents botched the pickup and now have to change cars cause people might think they kidnapped Amy. Verdict: It's actually starting to be worth reading. 130+ pages in. At least it's not Breaking Dawn. Chapter Eight: Sob story FBI agent (Wolgast) decides to...take Amy to a country fair. Just, at random, they're driving and there's a fair. They go on a ride. Amy, who is creepy in a way children only ever are in stories, lies to some nice people. Wolgast hatches a plan to rescue her, which fails. Verdict: I know this scene was meant to make us see that Wolgast is really a nice guy, and I did like it. But 150 pages and no apocalypse yet? Sheesh. Chapter Nine: Child molester (Grey) is hearing voices? Is confronted by asshole soldier who called Carter a retard. Asshole is all, I'm okay with you raping children if that's what floats your boat cause that's my opinion this is still a free country amirite, and you know you'd find this ridiculous if you hadn't talked to this guy on the internet at least once. Oh, and Carter has a flashback to what really happened to that nice rich white lady. Verdict: Are we there yet?Chapter Ten: Wolgast, partner, and Amy fleeing because now it's all over the news that they kidnapped her. Back to the nuns, with Sister Arnette, who's annoying and also the Bible has got some misogynistic bullshit like whoa and OH NOES Sister Lacey is gone! And then Grey, who gets this weird vision in his head from the vampire, Zero, and we get to suffer through both of their icky rape-like thoughts. Then Grey throws up. I feel your pain, dude. Verdict: It's kinda nice to see vampires being creepy again. But also, ew. Do not want.Chapter Eleven: Wolgast realizes his attempts at fleeing are failing and decides to turn himself in to local law enforcement at a tiny podunk town. Then Richards shows up, kills three people, and smokes the entire town. Fucking sociopath. Also, this: "How surprising death was, how irrevocable and complete, how much itself." Like, no fucking duh, Einstein. This shit is bestselling hype machine material? Verdict: Passed page 200. APOCALYPSE NAO PLX.Chapter Twelve: Flash forward a month. At the VRF, Amy is in a coma until Wolgast spends three days talking to her and she wakes up. Carter goes vampire (obviously) and kills some redshirt. Also, apparently Richards wasted all the nuns. Verdict: Apocalypse must surely happen soon. Can't wait until Richards gets eated. Chapter Thirteen: Somehow Lacey has found the VRF. She runs around in the forest outside it like some divinely inspired guerrilla commando before infiltrating via army delivery trunk. Wolgast's partner Doyle may or may not be a messenger of God? No idea. Grey gets nommed by Zero. Verdict: Is that a vampire apocalypse I see on the horizon? Chapter Fourteen: Vampires get out, explosions occur, gunshots are fired, soldiers die left and right--basically, shit finally hits the fan. Lear--the guy responsible for making the vampires--shows up and releases Wolgast and Amy. Doyle and Lacey meet up and, like a pair of Jeanne d'Arcs (complete with instructions from God and impending doom) come to the rescue of Wolgast and Amy with extremely convenient timing. Richards tries to go all badass on the vampires with an anti-tank grenade launcher (!!!) but misses and is satisfyingly torn apart by Carter. Verdict: At last, the vampire apocalypse! And it only took 243 pages! Also, ladies and gents, this is why you monitor the brain activity of your immortal, invincible vampiric super soldiers. To Be Continued...