This book is terrible.
This book is terrible even before you acknowledge the craven recursive layers of salable pop culture reference.
Why is this book terrible?
The protagonist is garbage. He shrugs off the death of his
Oh, it's a movie by now, they show it in the friggin' previews.
His family dies, and he blows it off like 'i didn't like them much lol' as if a half dozen children haven't just been murdered in front of him.
His best friend? A black lesbian who is forced by her own, what, self-loathing? Some odd repressive culture? To LITERALLY wear the digital skin of a cis-het white dude to fit in and have ANY FRIENDS AT ALL. Oh, she's homeless, too. Her arc, by the way? Isn't.
Oh, and here's the deal with the OASIS: It's become a de facto nation, with the most stable economy and currency on the planet. And at the end, Gandalf the Disappointing, the Willy Wonka ripoff the book is based on, gives the seventeen year old protagonist the power to DESTROY THE ONLY FUNCTIONAL PIECE OF A CRUMBLING GEOPOLITICAL LANDSCAPE because it's a video game, at its core, and Ernest Cline had to throw a bone to the wal-mart/target mom/aunt /gramma crowd who's gonna buy this to connect to their gamer child but secrety wish their gamer child would give up the games and play in the sun.
Want an analog? Imagine if at the end of the matrix, Neo was told that: A) the matrix keeps all humanity alive, and is essentially a giant life-support system, and B) he has the power to shut it off because it's a video game and we need to put games aside. Doesn't make any sense? Kinda disappointing?
SO IS THIS BOOK.
The sticker over her butt doesn't come off, it's part of the cover.
You ever buy a classic book because it's all about sex and then it turns out it's about a girl getting assaulted over and over by priests and the only reason they don't call it assault is because the book was written before the phrase 'sexual assault' entered the lexicon? That's what happened to me with Justine.
And also Clifford the Big Red Dog, but that's more about my personal hangups.
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
"READ THIS BOOK" *****
Read this book.
No matter who you are, where you come from, what color your skin is, whatever, READ THIS BOOK.
For one thing, Coates is a flipping genius, one of the better writers working today.
But beyond the author's inarguable skill, the content of his message is terrifically important for all ages, in all ages, but especially in this one.
READ THIS BOOK.
The Bone Traders, by Mark Roper, is, overall, a fun romp through a strange, post-apocalyptic environment rife with menacing figures, desolate towns and intriguing magic. The story, set twenty years after a solar storm devastates Earth, follows the adventures of Joe, a man with a mysterious supernatural ability, as he searches for a way to set things right. Along the way, he encounters a beautiful woman, Dayna, and the menacing rulers of a small, desperate township, Trader and Sky. Told in a sparse, blow-by-blow style, the story is easy to read, and pulls the reader along with the action.
Split Second is a great idea hobbled by poor writing. To reiterate, because the following review sounds pretty harsh: The scifi story at the core of this thriller is cool as hell, terrifically well-thought out, and worth the price of admission. It's just that the writing is rough.
The science is excellent. The application of said science is damnably creative. The plot, a fair example of the thriller model, hums along at a good clip. But the writing...oof.