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Thread: Anyone read these books?
June 24th, 2010, 10:59 PM #1
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Anyone read these books?
I recently came across this review while perusing around the Internet searching for sci-fi or near-sci-fi books.
James O'Neal is the author. Book is called Double Human. Got some good reviews on Amazon. Seems sci-fi... but more modern / apocalyptic as well.
Anyone read them?
August 6th, 2010, 04:51 AM #2
October 12th, 2010, 05:47 PM #3
Definitely different, but good. I would like to read his other book as well. It moves slow sometimes, but is a good book. Post apocalypse Florida, complete with evolved feral dog packs and bribing National Guardsmen to cross into the quarantine zone.
October 12th, 2010, 11:33 PM #4
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I got it because it looked like I could learn something...
...because I didn't find the writing style to be perfect. There's a fair bit of stuff that could be cut, like explanations of previous events in the first book (which I didn't know when I bought it, they're all covert this is a sequel, hrmf.) and also a bit of 'Character A realized X' when we full well know it anyway.
It isn't perfect, but in places it suffers from copyediting or the lack thereof. Some times there is Hive, the proper noun, otherwise not. Within two paragraphs.
And for someone who's so "researchy" he manages to confuse concrete and cement. Gauntlet and gantlet.
I got it moreso because I wasn't in the mood for Gauntlygrym and figured that would be remaindered, so why not wait since I'm a good three books behind anyway and wouldn't read it, and didn't want Who Fears Death because while post-apocalyptic of sorts, it's all writer's awards and stuff and I wasn't looking for something like that. Not that I gave it a shot, I didn't even read the first few pages. I mean, I'm reading Sanctuary now and that's literary enough for now and confusing enough for now. I wanted something with straightforward writing. And the post-Apocalyptic tickled my fancy. I figure the cop thing also appealed along with the "meticulous research" (well, I paraphrase, but for a fellow who's a historian, I expect research to be well-done). Anyway.
And there are elements of this fictional future that just bounce to me. Many of them, honestly.
For convenience, one of the heroes has a nine shot nine millimeter handgun. I've asked around but not found one. Not that I've tried that hard, but the sales brochure on the back of the book was all "he's a brilliant researcher" and I'm not seeing it. Tehran is destroyed by a fusion blast because they located the weapons research facility beneath the capitol? To quote John McCain, "Oh, Please." Hugo Chaves is the "South American Hitler"? With what resources, I ask you. And dogs that have language in how many years into the future? Without any obvious evolutionary pressure? I don't buy it.
Oh, and U.S. society & federal government is still functioning more-or-less, yet the internet is in tatters--which serves a purpose, plot-wise, so they cops can't find the guy simple-like. That's just not working for me. All these terrorist attacks would make the federal government want the internet up that much more badly. And make it that much more of a priority. That or the military would be much bigger and inserting into this power vacuum big time.
I know I'm coming in on the second book, but there's so much backstory about what happened in the first book I don't see the need to read it. So-and-so's a member of a long-lived family, so and so was the maid, so and so was killed protecting this and that, it's all a big secret but he's yelling the secret in a bar on page 83 in my copy. I'm on about page 170 and it keeps breaking with logic / reality in my opinion.
The writing itself isn't that bad, but really could be tighter, the plotting and exposition could be better done--there are scenes that serve no obvious purpose and pages that have no point but to detail some obscure part of the setting that's completely irrelevant. There's really no need to drop in a section about Vancouver's public transportation system when they're not in Vancouver, and that's where the editor is supposed to come in and find the places to make cuts, but obviously didn't.
The setting could be a lot more believable, really. You should see what happened to Cuba. Now that's implausible. I laughed. p. 151.
He tends to favor the two adjective noun style of writing and that is slowing the pace of every sentence and hence the book for me. As a thriller, it rattles.
It feels rushed, like it's 80% done and needs a little setting time to finish cooking through.
But. I'm picky. I'm trying to learn from everything I read.
I'll grant one thing I like--and it's only been in the past twenty pages or so. He's using metaphors to fill in the setting. So when a dog charges (say) it moves as fast as India invading Pakistan. That I like as it accomplishes two things and also makes the reader imagine world events through small actions in the story.
One more peeve -- He skates around Mad Max and McDonald's describing one as an Australian Apocalyptic movie and the other as having "golden arches." I mean have some guts, man! You could blame the publishing house for that one, but it's TOR. I don't think they are that skittish.
Last edited by expatrie; October 13th, 2010 at 12:30 AM. Reason: added more points.
October 13th, 2010, 05:49 AM #5
January 24th, 2011, 10:05 PM #6
Haven't read it
Haven't read it but does sound interesting to read.