I can’t say I expected this to be the best Sandford book I’ve read…and trust me, I’ve read them all (even the art one he did way back when), but I certainly didn’t expect it to the worst. I was wrong. The thing I love most about Sandford (and he is the ONLY author I’ve read every single year for the last 20 plus years) is his dialogue between characters. I absolutely love the relationships he builds between people via dialogue….it doesn’t matter if they are life long friends, or complete strangers. He has a gift for dialogue that I’ve never seen matched.
This book had none of that. Sandford presented us with some characters that could have been phenomenal. There were there. However, the building up of their characters and the thrill of discovering what makes them tick just wasn’t. There actions made them seem flat and uncaring, simply because we weren’t allowed to have insight to them. Sandford simply dropped tantalizing bread crumbs, and we found ourselves excited to finally get to the tasty cake at the end….to reach the end of trail and be met with only an empty package.
The book was bogged down with endless details of things the reader didn’t need to know….yes, we needed to know how grave the situation was at times…and how smart the characters were to overcome any obstacles…but I think Sandford could have spent less time in those details and more with the details of the relationships of the main characters.
I will say that I can see this playing out 50 years from now. I will also say that this novel and how politics played into it gave me very little faith or hope for the human race. The value placed on human life was non existent. As was the care for the tax payers money and the lies and deceit that played into hiding this information from the general public. Yes, that might sound political. It probably is. However, this novel was chock-a-block of politics….
On a side note, and completely unrelated, Sandford has now done a couple of books outside his normal crime thriller genre. I sincerely hope he isn’t bored with it all. As a writer he is completely free to write whatever he chooses. However, I would be totally gutted if he gave up that genre. I can honestly say I find his Pey books better with each new release. He is the ONLY and I stress ONLY writer that has ever managed to keep me so engaged with a character for any amount of time….let alone 20 plus years….
Until next time…
ARC provided by Edelweiss for an honest review
Buy it now Saturn Run by John Sandford
On one hand, this latest book from Karen McQuestion is your typical young adult-love found-love lost-love found again story. But on the other hand, it’s just a little bit different…
Young Emma has found the love of her life in Lucas. They’re meant for each other, and she just knows they’re destined to spend the rest of their lives together. There’s just one problem, however. Lucas has cancer, and it’s not the kind of illness he’s expected to rebound from. Everyone, even his family, has given up on him. They’re resigned to the fact that he only has a short time left. But Emma isn’t having any of this. She’s certain that he’s going to survive.
And sure enough, he does make a seemingly miraculous recovery. It’s a miracle, everyone says. He’s come back to us, everyone proclaims. Emma couldn’t be happier to have her soulmate back from the brink of death.
But is it really Lucas? Little pieces of a puzzle begin to add up, and Emma has her doubts. Who is actually residing in Lucas’ newly healed body? And what has happened to Lucas? And why are mysterious federal agents tracking their every move?
I admit, I’m not a huge fan of spacey, alienish science fiction. While I’ve read a few keepers from the genre, it’s not my go-to choice of reading material. And this book is a little bit of that. But it’s not the biggest part of the story. It’s more of an afterthought, a supporting character even. This is a love story, sure. But it’s more of a friendship story, a story with a little bit of suspense and a lot of hope.
Buy It Now: From a Distant Star
It should come as no surprise if we were to find out that beings from other planets look down on humans with immeasurable disdain. After all, we’ve managed to destroy species of life, make a mess of our planet, are controlled purely by our emotions, and can’t seem to stop fighting amongst ourselves.
This is the exact reason “Alien” from Vonnadoria has been sent to Earth. Otherworldly beings see Earth as a planet characterized by violence and greed. Professor Andrew Martin has made a discovery that may finally cause the downfall of mankind. Alien’s mission is simple: take over the body of Professor Martin, destroy any evidence of his discovery, and eliminate any humans with knowledge of this discovery. An easy enough mission considering that Alien is disgusted by everything about humans-their looks, their need to wear clothing, even what they eat. But as he lives in Martin’s skin, he begins to reconsidered his original views. For what is life without pain as well as joy? He begins to see that a Utopian society leaves much to be desired. He develops a special fondness for Martin’s son, Gulliver. As Alien grows increasingly attached to life on Earth, he finally comes to the realization that it is, indeed, a beautiful planet. Maybe even the most beautiful planet of all. However, there are consequences to his change of heart and the story concludes in dramatic, thrilling fashion.
This was an amazingly well written story that had me eagerly reading it to the end. It’s very different from everything else I’ve read lately, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s filled with humor and all too real descriptions of life on Earth. My favorite part of the book is when Haig describes Gulliver as belonging to a subcategory of humans known as a teenager: characteristics being a weakened resistance to gravity, a vocabulary of grunts, a lack of spatial awareness, copious amounts of masturbation, and an unending appetite for cereal. How much more accurate could that be? I couldn’t decide if I was pulling for Andrew Martin to survive his “bodily takeover” or if I wanted Alien to live happily ever after on Earth. Matt Haig truly has a gift for words and has given us unique, engaging story in The Humans.
Buy it Now: The Humans: A Novel