Preskoči na glavni sadržaj

Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold (book review and recommendation)

Yesterday I posted a review on goodreads ( you can read it here ) stating that is my first novel by Lois McMaster and adding how I didn't know much about this author when I picked it up. Well, that is all still true. Yesterday, I did some reasearch on Lois McMaster Bujold (and I learned to pronounce her name so yaaay for that) and the more I got to know the most I felt like I was missing out on great writing. At this point, I feel saddened by the fact that I have read only novel by her so far.

 I still don't know anything about Vorkosigan saga nor did my knowledge about this author greatly improve, but I'm determined to learn more and read more of her works. I will probably do a bit more research on her and the Vorkosigan saga because it all sounds mighty interesting to me. Let's get back to talking about this novel that I loved so much (  I happen to think it deserved the prize it got). Since writing my review on goodreads,  I became more interested in the saga and now I plan to read it. However, my opinion of this novel is still the same so what you're about to read is more or less the review as it was originally posted. In any case, this review will focus solely on this novel and explore it as such. My focus with this review is the novel itself and what I believe are its literary merits.

Let's get to reviewing part, shall we? Saying that I really liked this novel is kind of an understatement but the reason why I’m giving it four and not five stars is that I like to keep five stars for those novels that really changed my life. This one didn’t feel life-changing to me nor did I have a sensation of having my mind completely blown away…. what it felt like was a great novel. …really brilliant piece of writing!

 I really do feel like singing praises to this novel because I really think that it is great, its characters are incredibly well developed and the plot is bullet proof. As a story, it is a page turner! I enjoyed reading it so much. As a SF novel, it is everything I love about this genre. The very reason why I love SF so much is that it often explores the most complex questions of our existence, the philological and moral dilemmas that lie deep in our soul. 

This novel has really gone into depth, into what makes us human, what makes us moral or immoral. In addition, I liked how it showcased that making a moral decision can be incredibly difficult and seriously challenging. That all being said, it still managed to be such an exciting story. It is action packed and keeps you on your toes, all that while managing to contain a real message and feeling of profoundness? Did I manage that the characters feel so alive that it impossible not to love them and feel deeply for them? If that doesn’t make it a fantastic read, what is a fantastic read? If this isn’t a great novel, what is a great novel?

I would even go so far as to say that I can’t imagine an average SF fan not liking this novel. As soon as I started reading it, I had that warm feeling inside that good science fiction always grants me. Sure, we all have different tastes and I’m sure that there are people who won’t fall madly in love with this one, but it just seemed to me that it is a novel worth liking. Not that you should like it, I mean we live in a free world or at least that is where we should be living. 

I just have this idea in my head of it being likeable because I don’t see it as having any weak points. The story is great, the writing is very good and it flows naturally with the story. Yes, the writing isn’t exactly poetic but for this kind of story it need not be. It is logical, well organized and it works with the story not against it.

Where does the main literary merit of this novel lie? I’m kind of divided on that one. I would say it has two main strongpoints: its focus on ethics (it presents very credible ethical dilemma and explores it wonderfully) and its characterisation (the protagonist is masterfully portrayed and the author even managed to make a whole new species look credible- no easy task at any rate).

My final thoughts?


This is an amazing SF novel, among the best that this genre has to offer. I immensely enjoyed reading it. I can’t find any flaws with it whatsoever and I consider it to be an exceptional piece of writing. That all being said, I didn’t feel that special connection with it, that feeling of having my soul stripped bare but that sensation only happened a few times in my life, so that doesn’t make this novel a lesser one. It is not one of those novels that changed my life, but it felt like a great piece of writing nevertheless. 

I’m as certain as I can possibly be that this novel deserves to be praised.

photo taken from my instagram account, originally published yesterday  @modaodaradosti

Popularni postovi s ovog bloga

All the King's Men,a novel by Robert Penn Warren ( Book Review and Recommendation)

THE DARING INTRODUCTION THAT REVEALS A BRILLIANT WRITING TALENT
All the King’s Men opens sharply, throwing the reader into the midst of things. Jack Burden, a young ex-reporter/ writer, a guy who walked out on his PhD, finds himself in the service of Willie, a raising political force. Willie, whose background doesn’t promise a successful politician, but who is ready to fight against the odds. Jack is there by Willie’s side, not because of the money, not because of the power, not because of anything like that. Why is Jack there? Jack isn’t sure himself. It is a complex question, one that keeps popping through the novel, one that gets answered many times and yet remains open to interpretations. Willie, who is commonly called the boss, says that it is because it is in Jack’s nature? Is it so? But what kind of nature are we talking about?
THE NARRATOR OF THE STORY IS OFTEN THE FORCE BEHIND THE EVENTS
Jack Burden is, true to his surname, a burdened man. Burdened with both his and his future p…

Invisible cities by Italo Calvino (book review and recommendation)

Invisible Cities is a novel by Italian writer Italo Calvino. Originally published in  1972, this novel remains popular with modern readers. Before I get to the review, I have a confession to make. I'm actually using a few photographs from another book (written in Italian) because I have listened to an audio version of this book. I could find and repost a photograph of this book, but what would be the point? I prefer to use my own book photography, because it feels more authentic.





I listened to an audio version of this book twice (which technically puts it into a 'reread' category), for two days in a row, while I was working on a new painting. The painting turned out pretty much perfect, should I thank Calvino for that? I'm not kidding, perhaps the beauty of his prose really helped (or somehow improved) my painting process. It is not such a far fetched idea as it might seem at first. The first time I listened to this book, I was mostly focused on the form that is to say…

The Lagoon, a short story by Joseph Conrad (book review and recommendation)

Published in 1987, this story is one of the shortest works by Joseph Conrad. Like many of Conrad's other works, The Lagoon is a framed narrative. Before I continue this review, and explain what the book is about, there is something I need to comment on. Most publishers and sites I've come across describe Lagoon as a story about a white man called Tuan, but I personally can't agree with that description. 
This short story doesopen up with a white man, but the story is really, for most part, about the man's Malaysian friend Arsat. Perhaps the most accurate thing to say is that the story is about both of them.  Another thing worth noting is that we never do learn the name of the white man. Tuan is just a word that means 'sir' in the native language of the inhabitans. When other characters address the narrator as Tuan, they are calling him 'mister' or 'sir'.




The opening lines of The Lagoon are quite descriptive, not only setting the tone but introduc…