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Review Date: 12/11/2007
Helpful Score: 4
Thank you PBS, for introducing me to my new favorite author! This book was unlike anything I've ever read. Taking place in a Mad Max-like, post apocalyptic wasteland, a new race of psychically gifted, impossibly gorgeous hermaphroditic beings known as the Wraeththu emerge from the ashes to assume their rightful place as the highest life form on earth. These creatures are able to reproduce by two different means: the "old-fashioned" way, and also by injecting their own blood into a worthy human recipient, much like a vampire. Incepted into this race by the latter means, a young man named Pellez is sent on a journey in which he must realize his destiny as the leader of this fledgling race and thereby bring peace to the land.
Equal parts political intrigue, erotica, and coming-of-age, this was one hell of a book I couldn't put down. As one of the previous reviewers pointed out, there are indeed lots of sex scenes, but they were all very tastefully and beautifully written (as were the descriptions of the wraeththu sexual organs. Trust me, they weren't graphic at all.) There were lots of very interesting and well-developed characters, my favorite of which was the regal, imposing and seemingly cold-hearted Vaysh, who in reality was actually a big softie. There was even some very interesting social commentary on the status of women, the division of the sexes, and gender inequality that rings true even now, almost two decades after the book's publication.
There were some things that bothered me, however. One was that it was riddled with typos. This book really could've used a much better editor. Something else I found extremely irritating were all the words and phrases unique to the Wraeththu tongue. That in itself didn't bother meâ¦would bothered me was the fact that I had to keep referring to the glossary that contained spoilers! Knowing crucial elements to the plot ahead of time didn't deter me from reading the rest of the book, but I still would have liked to have been surprised.
All in all, this was a great book that I highly recommend. I can't wait for the next two books in the series to be posted here on PBS, so I opted to shell out the 30 bucks for a revised omnibus edition. I therefore re-enter this amazing book into the system in hopes that another fellow PBSer stumbles upon this literary gem and falls in love with it, just like I did. Hope you like it!
Review Date: 1/1/2008
Helpful Score: 2
This dreadfully boring tale about a young girl who discovers she's the long-lost, centuries-old daughter of the King and Queen of Faerie was easily one of the worst books I've ever read. I really wanted to like this book as I have a fondness for the Fey Folk, but the writing was so bad it had me scratching my head as to how the author even managed to get this tripe published.
For one thing, Jones does a lot more "telling" rather than "showing" when describing her characters. As for the characters themselves, they were all rather bland and uninteresting, and not a single one managed to endear themselves to me. The main character Tania/Anita was the worst culprit of them all, as she pretty much had zero personality and was flat as a board. Her slew of sisters were all merely a bunch of stock characters (the silly sister, the brainy sister, etc.) and the "villain" was pretty much just your generic, run-of-the-mill, power hungry bad guy with no real reason for doing what he's doing.
With it's lackluster writing and eye-crossingly boring storyline, I recommend this cliche-ridden crapfest only to very young readers (I'm talking no older than 10 or 11-year-olds here)...older readers will most likely be turned off from the start. For those Faerie fans with more discriminating tastes however, I highly recommend Holly Black's Tithe, The Chronicles of Faerie series by O.R. Melling, and Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr.
Review Date: 12/7/2007
Helpful Score: 2
This hilarious and thought-provoking novel follows the exploits of Julie Katz, the miraculous progeny of the humble, lighthouse dwelling Murray Katz and God Herself, as she traverses the hellish terrain of a New Jersey ruled by a tyrannical, Fred Phelps-like theocrat and comes face-to-face with the Devil. There were lots of very funny and memorable characters with whom many readers will definitely connect with, but my favorite by far was Julie's ill-behaved lifelong best friend Phoebe. Outrageous, irrepressible, and unflinchingly loyal, the bisexual hedonist Phoebe was an excellent foil to the more conservative and oftentimes deeply conflicted Julie. The story itself is reminiscent of the film Dogma and also reminded me a little bit of Neil Gaiman's and Terry Pratchett's book, Good Omens. Highly recommended to those readers with an open mind and a good sense of humor.
SarahAuthor: Book Type: Paperback40
Review Date: 9/7/2008
Helpful Score: 1
I was apprehensive about getting this book because of the hoax perpetuated by the author, "J.T. Leroy." What can I say? Knowing this woman is capitalizing on what everyone believed was a real childhood rife with sexual abuse, child endangerment, and drug use just left a bad taste in my mouth. I was still curious however, and decided to get it off PBS.
I was quite shocked to find I really, really liked it. It's a very quick read (I finished it in 2 days) but it's very entertaining and the characters and crazy situations they get into are interesting, sad and sometimes even funny. I was especially fond of the gun-toting geisha boy Pie and the sexy cheerleader Sundae. They made a very cool team when they went to rescue "Sarah" a.k.a. Cherry Vanilla from the evil Le Loup :-) the story itself is fast-paced and borders on magical realism, and the dialogue is replete with all these colorful Southern sayings. I'd also have to disagree with a previous reviewer who said that "The Heart is Deceitful..." was better. "Sarah" elicited a variety of emotions in me, whereas "The Heart..." just made me feel uncomfortable. I heard this book was also slated to become a movie, but was ditched after the truth of Leroy's identity was discovered. That's too bad, as I think this would've been a really cool, campy film, right up there next to "Rocky Horror Picture Show" or "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert."
So anyway, this is a really awesome book and I highly recommend it. I don't recommend however, that you buy a new copy. Try to get it from PBS or the library. As much as I enjoy Leroy's works, I don't enjoy the thought that this delusional psycho nutbag is cashing a royalty check with her crazy lies.
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