Welcome to The Spoiler Alert!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan review

I had my hopes set way too high.  That's what I get for reading 5 million reviews before deciding to pick this up thinking it would be the best thing since Ready Player One.  I should have known the bar had been set way too high to try to compare it to that book since it is one of my favorites, but I kept seeing comparisons to Ready Player One and so I was vibrating with anticipation to read this and stalked my mailman all day long while I waited for it to arrive from Amazon.

I really liked the writing in this book, but I think I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more if I understood more about "tech" stuff.  Some of the references were way over my head, which is why I may not have enjoyed it as much as Ready Player One since it was all video game and 80's references and that was right up my alley.  Still an enjoyable read though.  I wish there had been more to the puzzle solution but the fact that it wasn't anything "heavy" made it feel more realistic. 

Not a life-changing book by any means but still a fast enjoyable read, just don't expect as intricate of a game as RP1 has.  I think the comparisons between these two books revolve more around the easy to read, geeky writing than the plot itself.  If you go in knowing that you will still enjoy this book.

3 out of 5 stars

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern review

     Okay, so first let me say that I'm not trying to be different in my opinion of this book just to be "different".  I truly wanted to enjoy it since all my friends did, but I didn't and I couldn't.  Is the circus magical and amazing and just as awesome as every other book reviewer in the world seems to think it is?  Absolutely!  The problem lies in that this is where the magic stopped for me.  
     I cared nothing about the characters, to me they were all just skeevy and conniving (maybe this is why I didn't like them, since I prefer to always try to see the good in people). I felt no connection to the "love story", the ending was very "meh", and we never get a good enough sense of the characters emotions and personalities since so much of the book is spent explaining the different intricacies of the circus itself.  
      After I read a book that I don't like, I try to go back and think about what the author could have done differently (for me, I know that others adore this book and I'm in the minority) that might have made me like it, and with this book it's a problem I don't think could be fixed, because the only way the magic of the circus would still be there and yet the character development become better would be if it was another 150-200 pages long to give a more in-depth look at the characters lives outside the circus.  
     This would present a huge problem as by the end I was already bored and just wanted to be done with it, so if I had to slough through another 150 pages it might have become a DNF rather than just a book I didn't enjoy but did at least complete.  
     So with all that being said, I'm torn.  I love the atmosphere and the descriptions of this amazing place, but it was definitely very forgettable and I feel like in a couple months time someone could try to discuss a plot point in the book and I won't even remember what they're talking about because I've pushed it to the back of my brain in favor of other, better books.  Like I said, I'm definitely in the minority, but just because a book is about magic doesn't mean that it IS magic like a lot of people had led me to believe.

Rating:  2 out of 5 stars