Saturday, April 9, 2016

Review: Station Eleven

Station ElevenStation Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What would you do if you survived a super flu with a 99% mortality rate? This novel follows the story of a few folks who did. The characters are all connected, intertwined without knowing it. The Georgian Flu spreads across the globe with lightening speed. Think the former Russian republic, not the state. Cities, then states, then whole countries go dark.

We follow the characters before and after the collapse, mainly focusing on Kirsten of the Traveling Symphony. They're a group of survivors who travel from town to town performing Shakespeare and symphonic arrangements. When they arrive at St. Deborah by the Water, Michigan they realize something's wrong. Their existence is threatened when they encounter a prophet who will do anything to get what he wants.

The story was gritty but well thought out. The character’s existences were all intertwined. You start connecting the dots as the story plays out. It was intricate without being overly complicated, Once I started reading this, I wanted to keep going. It held my attention very well, I look forward to reading more from Emily St. John Mandel.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Review: A Long Way Down

A Long Way Down A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It took entirely too long to read this book. I could never find enough interest to read it for longer than a few minutes at a time. I guess the easiest way to describe how I felt about it, is to simply say I disliked the characters from the start and that turned this book sour from page one.

The story revolves around four different people with one common goal. They each want to jump off a rooftop rather than live. Each had a different reason, they have no common ground besides wanting to jump, and none of them were likable. At some point Maureen became bearable, but that wasn't enough.

I didn't like character interactions or the story telling. Each chapter was told from the point of view of a character. At some point, as insensitive as it sounds, I realized that I would have liked this story better if they had all jumped and the story ended quickly or followed the aftermath of their joint decision.

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