Friday, August 9, 2013

Book Review VII: Grave Minder

Grave Minder
by Melissa Marr

Another one of my random downloads. This book takes on the "timely" (and/or cliche, overdone, is this still a thing?) theme of zombies and gives it a unique twist.

Here's the thing. It takes a long time for the story to get started and there's all this mystery at the beginning, but this mystery is totally spoiled by the fact that every description of the book has already told you the full extent of the problem: unless dead people in this town are tended by the "Grave Minder" they come back as zombies.
To be honest, I read this, enjoyed it, was sad when it was over, but then totally forgot about it. Even while I was reading it, I knew there was something I was enjoying, but it was like sucking on sugar cubes. Sure, it's sweet, but it's rather flavorless.
The writing was a bit flat. The characters were a bit cliche and there were just too many words. I know I was finished complaining that Gaimon used to few, but this was too many. There has to be balance here people!

I am guessing that this book will be a part of a series as there were a lot of open-ended questions. And obviously the adventures of the Graveminder and her sexy Undertaker boyfriend could go on. I don't know if I'll read it though...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Book Review VI: Ocean at the End of the Lane

I realize that it's pretty rare that I actually pick up a best-seller these days. Instead, I read whatever I can find under the "free" and "nearly free" section of Nook. Recently however, I was complaining to a colleague about the general lack of quality that I have been experiencing.

"Well, maybe you should try actually paying for a book. You get what you pay for you know. Those books might be free for a reason."

Oh. Well. Okay. Maybe. Fine.

So, with that in mind, I set out to find a "real" book- and Gaimon's was on sale.

I don't remember how much I paid but it was more than $.99, so I was instantly disappointed when I opened it and found that it only had 159 pages and BIG font.

I would say that it left me feeling a bit empty. Gaimon's story invents a wonderful world where kittens come out the ground, a lake is really an ocean, and shephard's pie sounds way better than the kind they were always eating in Harry Potter.

But then, BAM, 159 pages and it's over. Gaimon barely spends any time in this world that he created, instead he seems almost uncomfortable with his fantasy elements, spending more time describing, "how he can't describe" or a face that is only a face so long as one is looking at it, details forgotten as soon as one looks away, etc. I'm sure there were more examples but I've forgotten them.

The details and character development are sparse, although they seem rich at the beginning. Honestly, if it wasn't published I'd believe it really was only a rough draft. The story starts out with great detailing, the color of the car and the grotesque details of the dead man inside. Then the character enters a fantasy world that slowly leaks into their real life as actual details of the story leak away. A throw-away one-liner explains the character's relationship with his father, despite earlier scenes where an entirely different father/son relationship is displayed.

Overall, super disappointing. Even a bit lazy or worse cliche. And this guy is famous. And I paid!

Okay, next time I reading something free.