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  1. #16
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Hmm, it doesn't sound like Willis to get a lot of the history wrong. And she's usually not bloated, though she takes her time. However, there have been some complaints about this biggie. I guess I'd have to see. I haven't loved everything she's done, but she's done some very interesting novels and short stories.

  2. #17
    I am close to half way through All Clear and having a hard time maintaining interest. Blackout was fine. Right now I am reading a chapter (of All Clear) or two at a time. It seems like it is running in place and stuck a sort of bad sitcom mode.
    If you invented a time machine, would you let this group of unorganized seat-of-their-pants historians use it? Part of the plot is whether or not they can affect history by their (the time travelers) actions in the past. They are so worried that minor actions will change the outcome of history. It is more likely their stumbling bumbling actions will affect history. Right now my money is on Germany.

  3. #18
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgw View Post
    I am close to half way through All Clear and having a hard time maintaining interest.
    I saw this in the shops a few days ago but it is unlikely that I'll buy it. It's massive and I don't really want to wade through that much inept bungling for the sake of finding out what happens to a few people.

  4. #19
    I'm hoping someone will say the second half of All Clear will make it a worthwhile.

  5. #20
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    I was certainly frustrated through the beginning of All Clear and definitely found the end to be worthwhile and think it certainly explained my frustrations adequately. But your milage may vary, as always.

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by cgw View Post
    I'm hoping someone will say the second half of All Clear will make it a worthwhile.
    I found the book to be pretty consistent throughout. If you're not enjoying it half way through All Clear, my guess is that it probably wont get all that much better for you, although the segment of the story involving the manor full of orphans does end eventually.

    If you manage to slog all of the way through, the ending -- the real ending that is, at the end of Blackout -- was really well done. I found it very touching.

  7. #22
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    I'll elaborate a little more on my above answer. I was very frustrated through the first half of All Clear with what seemed like silly decisions by the characters and what seemed like arbitrary difficulties they had to face in getting things done. I thought it either had to be bad writing (which isn't usually Willlis) or very specifically controlled writing for a particular purpose. My ultimate enjoyment of the book hinged on how these issues were explained. For me, in the end, these things were explained well enough that I really liked the whole package and I see just why everything was done as it was. It's one of my top reads for the year.

  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by winterkill View Post
    I found the book to be pretty consistent throughout. If you're not enjoying it half way through All Clear, my guess is that it probably wont get all that much better for you, although the segment of the story involving the manor full of orphans does end eventually.

    If you manage to slog all of the way through, the ending -- the real ending that is, at the end of Blackout -- was really well done. I found it very touching.
    I just looked at this again and realized I made an error. When I said the real ending I meant the ending of the second book, which I guess is All Clear.

  9. #24
    lost thing spaziocain's Avatar
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    I think there's some things to criticise in these books -- flabby writing, clichéd characters. I can certainly sympathise with people that found the first half of All Clear a little bit of a chore, but this might not have been so noticeable if the books weren't split into two. I have to say that I found Connie's prose to be very warm and readable, and that got me through much of the duology. I also found the main characters quite likeable and easy to spend time with; their flaws and mistakes made them more endearing to me. And at a certain point in the book, maybe a little over half way, I found it very hard to putdown; it becomes a very compelling page-turner. The time travelling aspects of the book actually turnout to be very well thought out and integral to the resolution of the story. I also found the book had a satisfying emotional payoff; without giving too much away the resolution is bittersweet and has staid with me since closing the books.
    Last edited by spaziocain; November 25th, 2011 at 03:26 PM.

  10. #25
    BTW, I finished All Clear a while back. The end does wrap things up and explain everything. I can see why she spent the time. However some of it was fairly predictable and in the end I would say it was OK but not really up to the level of Doomsday and To Say Nothing of the Dog. Kind of like Cryoburn by Bujold - nice but not really at the level of some of her earlier stuff.

  11. #26
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    I've just finished reading "black-out" and "all clear", that story is awesome !

    But I have 2 questions : (Spoilers)

    Spoiler:
    1. When Mike join Fortitude South (Operation Fortitude) as a spy, he decides to disapear from Eileen and Polly's life. They believe he is dead. I don't understand why he has to "die" for that...
    2. At the end of "all clear" we can read the following : "She turned to look at Colin. He was looking uncertainly at her, and his soot-smudged face was as open to her as hers had been to Sir Godfrey. “Colin, I—” she said, and stopped, amazed.
    She hadn’t seen him clearly either. She’d been so intent on finding in his face echoes of the seventeen-year-old boy she’d known, so entranced by his resemblance to Stephen Lang, that she hadn’t seen what was so obviously there. Though Eileen clearly had.
    No wonder Eileen had said, “You know I didn’t go back.” And no wonder Colin had looked at her after she’d said, “Colin knows I stayed, don’t you?” for that long, silent moment before he’d said, “Yes, I know.”
    How could Polly not have seen the resemblance before? It was right there. No wonder, at the last, that Eileen had hugged Polly and said, “It’s all right. I’ll always be with you.” No wonder she’d called Colin “my dear boy.”
    It seems that Eileen is the ancestor of Colin, but why does Willis mentions his resemblance to Stephen Lang if Eileen is supposed to marry Vicar Goode ?
    Last edited by Hobbit; September 10th, 2014 at 02:39 PM.

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