Tag: Paperback

Isaac Asimov – Nightfall One | Review

Title: Nightfall One

Author: Isaac Asimov

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 176

Rating: 3.5/5

This book was unfortunately a little bit of a letdown, which itself is quite surprising. This book is pretty odd because it was published alongside Nightfall Two in paperback, while the hardback just combined the lot of them. I think that might have been the best way to read it.

Perhaps part of the problem here is that the stories are all listed in chronological order, and so Asimov got older as the collections went on. That means that his older stuff comes later, and I personally feel as though he developed as a writer over the years. Not everyone agrees with me.

It’s still worth reading though, if only because everything Asimov wrote is worth reading. I just didn’t get quite as much out of it as I was expecting. Another reason could be that these stories were longer than those in the other book, and Asimov’s great at ideas. Shorter stories means more ideas to consider.

Learn more about Nightfall One.

 


Dan Brown – Origin | Review

Title: Origin

Author: Dan Brown

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 473

Rating: 3.25/5

You know what you’re getting with Dan Brown, at least to a certain extent, although I do feel as though in this one, there were fewer twists and turns and a lot of the plot was more linear. There was also a twist at the end which was pretty easy to figure out, although I will admit that the motives had passed me by. It happens!

The main problem that I had with this book is that something happened at the end of the last book which really ought to have had repercussions. Instead, it wasn’t even mentioned. I guess that makes sense given Brown’s style, because he tries to make each of his books function as a standalone. And in all fairness, this one does work as a standalone – as long as you haven’t read the one that comes before.

What was cool was the way that this investigated artificial intelligence. Brown’s portrayal of it wasn’t particularly realistic, especially at the time it was first published, but if we give it ten or twenty years, we might not be far off it. There were also some interesting ideas about the ultimate fate of humanity – or to quote the book, “Where do we come from? And where are we going?”

They’re some pretty important questions, and I thought it was interesting to see how Brown – and his characters – approached them. I’m not sure whether I agree with their conclusions, or whether the science involved is even possible, but it was still a pleasant journey to go on. Sure, I got infuriated from time to time by Brown’s writing style, in which he sets up a mystery and then takes a dozen chapters to reveal the actual answer, but it also did its job and kept me reading.

What I would say is that it’s worth going out of your way to get a paperback copy if you can. I had the hardback and it was difficult to hold while I read reading it. Admittedly this is totally a firstworld problem and not one that everyone would have, but it did bug me a little bit and hamper my enjoyment. Actually, this may be one of those rare books where it would work better as an e-book or an audio book than when it’s physically in print.

All in all then, I’m glad that I finally picked this up, if only because I’m a completionist and I’ve read all of Brown’s other books. I’ll probably pick the next one up too, assuming there is one, but I won’t be pre-ordering it. I’ll try to grab it from a charity shop if I can. I’ve got to be honest, I fancy my chances. And that’s about all I’ve got.

Learn more about Origin.