Well, that was a significant time commitment! I feel so light and free, now that I have finished it, and yet, it was a surprisingly easy burden. The endless specifics of whaling are hardly a subject I am interested in, and yet, at times, I just had to read it aloud. The story of Ishmael, Queequeg, Ahab, and his crew, is often funny as well as strange and ultimately moving. I am happy to have read this, and to never have to go whaling.
I was slowly drawn into this fractured family trying to live (I should say survive) in the Nebraska Sand Hills after two bodies are discovered. You are then taken through the events following this discovery and the events that led up to the murders. The story was harsh, sad, hopeful and a good history lesson, a very good western story. I learnt about the horror of Wounded Knee and the harsh life of a rancher. And like any good western it had a touch of romance as well.
Captive is all action with a cause. Set in South African national parks, and Mozambique, it follows Aussie lawyer, Kerry, as she comes to volunteer at a wildlife orphanage. No time to settle in, as violent action ensues, as the good guys fight the war on poaching, where the enemy is not always as expected. Captive is fast paced, with lots of African scenery and wildlife, an international cast of characters but a deeply Australian, even ocker, flavour. Lots of fun.
There was a high body count, humour, love and a bit of philosophy of life in this book. As you read about the gruesome killings, you also read about the coming of age of Jack and the background stories of his companions. It was an odd bunch of characters, but they were well developed and worked well together. Texas at the beginning of the oil boom was a great setting. It reminded me of the movies True Grit and Django unchained.
This was a fun escapist read. It reminded me of many Hollywood movies where an ordinary person is thrust into very dangerous situations and manages to beat the bad guys. And of course there is some hot romance as well. Sarah was an interesting character who was strong and determined and then silly and undecisive, making me alternatively cheering for her or rolling my eyes.
This was a fun romp through early America and the Bone Wars (which actually happened!). We are thrown into the middle of two palaeontologists rushing to find dinosaur bones in America’s west. It did feel a bit rushed, but I guess that is because Michael is not around to fully develop the characters and storyline. I enjoyed reading about the harshness of life in the west, the adventure of it all and the thrill of discovery.
It’s great to read a trilogy once it is complete. I have read them all this year, and I am sad to leave them behind. MaddAddam fills in all the gaps, showing how the world came to the “waterless flood”, and how they will move forward now that the world has been reset. Like the other two, it is a spookily possible future for us, frightening, but also hopeful. It’s funny, clever, full of endearing characters and cutting insight.
The well known story of Peter Pan told from the viewpoint of Captain Hook. We see his childhood and how he turned up in NeverLand. It was an enjoyable story that shows the villain to be not so villainous and how J.M. Barrie got the story a little bit wrong.
I wish I had read this before The Count of Monte Cristo. The Three Musketeers is a wild adventure, with duels, daring escapes, abductions, affairs galore, political machinations, treason, betrayal, romance and friendship. Milady is a clever villain, brilliant evil, and the four ‘heroes’ were almost as bad – vain, callous, manipulative and adulterous. The book is fun, but having really loved The Count of Monte Cristo, I was disappointed.
I have enjoyed previous novels by Kate and this one did not disappoint. Set around the Malay invasion by the Japanese in World War II the story focuses on the wife of a rubber plantation owner. With its descriptive writing and mixed cast of characters, it was a story that drew me in and kept me interested.