My Constantly Evolving List of All-Time Favorites.

Kyle 's favorites books montage

Gone Girl
The Night Circus
The Woodcutter
The Graveyard Book
Sharp Objects
Dark Places
Shutter Island
The Passage
The Twelve
Rules of Civility
The Aviary
Heir to the Glimmering World
Wool Omnibus
The Weird Sisters
A Song of Ice and Fire
A Game of Thrones

Kyle Uniss's favorite books »

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Getting back into the swing of life, The Strain and Snow Crash

After most vacations I moan that I wish I had a week to recover from vacation. Well, if you are my school-age daughters, you get your wish, thanks to Mother Nature and a mom who didn't look at the school calendar when planning our vacation.

We got home late Monday night, in fact it was so late that it was early Tuesday morning. Between that and the two hours of sleep lost in the time change, I decided to let the girls sleep in and get to school late. They rarely miss school nor are they ever tardy (because they ride the bus), so it seemed like a good decision. They got home from school that afternoon in time for an early March snow storm to bear down on us. No school Wednesday. And half way through the day I looked at the school calendar only to realize there is no school Friday. So that means they came back to one full day of school for the week. Now that's the way to ease back into life!

I got to finish two more books in the last couple of days. On the plane I finished The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Not bad, but not my favorite. It's available right now for your Kindle for $1.99 on Amazon.

The book starts off with a bang, hooking you in from the start. But it turns predictable, as the main character goes through the crisis of job vs. family and the vampires get to spread their virus/parasite because the CDC is made up of politicians instead of doctors. 

This story did not reinvent the vampire myth as it claims. It is evolved a bit, explaining the vampire blood lust as a virus or a parasite (the "blood worms" are seen by the characters, so I'm thinking parasite) that changes the way the body evolves and functions, but it is really just vampires. They have to bite to pass it on, and there it is evident from the get-go that there is a "Master" vampire.

The characters are a bit cheesy, including the old man with all the knowledge. He first encountered "The Master" as a young man in a concentration camp, so by the time this story comes to light he has to be at least in his 80's. Despite his age he is the go-to guy, and won't stop until he gets his vamp. Whatever.

The biggest problem was that I didn't fall in love with the characters. I will probably read the last two books in the trilogy at some point, because that's what I do. This doesn't need to be a trilogy, though. It could have been done in one.
"Rage is never blind. Rage is uniquely focused."

I also just finished Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. This has been on my to read list for a long time. It is definitely worth reading. Stephenson is one of my favorites--he seems to have infinite amounts of knowledge and does a lot of research.
The main character is Hiro Protagonist, a young man who delivers pizzas and collects information for the Central Intelligence Corporation (freelance), for a living. He is a hacker by trade and knows how to sword fight, petty much stays "jacked in" to the "Metaverse", an interactive world where is somewhat of a star and is the world's greatest swordfighter.

Hiro watches a friend and a great hacker as he is exposed to the drug/computer virus Snowcrash, seeing him disintegrate in the Metaverse and finding later that he has suffered serious brain damage and is in a coma. He stumbles upon Y.T., a young skater girl with a lot of spunk and a great sense of humor, and the two set out to figure out Snowcrash and end up saving the world.

This is a funny book protraying a dark, alternate world that is slightly depressing. But that's cyberpunk. The humor is so in your face. I mean, the names say it all. The fact that the hero's name is Hiro Protagonist, which is pretty funny! And Y.T. for the white girl skater? Pretty good. I liked the Sumerian-myth link, connecting it to viruses, computer viruses and how viruses and computer thinking has been around since the beginning.

 There is a lot of information in this book and it is sometimes heavy, but the parts that move, well, they move FAST. It isn't surprising that this was first developed to be a graphic novel or a comic, because it moves that way. It would be a good movie, and I'm surprised it hasn't been made into one yet.

". . .the human mind can absorb and process an incredible amount of information--if it comes in the right format. The right interface. If you put the right face on it."

That's it for today. My advice, get reading! You never know what you'll find!!!

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