Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Deception Point

Deception Point
Dan Brown
December 2001
Reading Level: Adult


When a new NASA satellite detects evidence of an astonishingly rare object buried deep in the Arctic ice, the floundering space agency proclaims a much-needed victory...a victory that has profound implications for U.S. space policy and the impending presidential election. With the Oval Office in the balance, the President dispatches White House Intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton to the Arctic to verify the authenticity of the find. Accompanied by a team of experts, including the charismatic academic Michael Tolland, Rachel uncovers the unthinkable - evidence of scientific trickery - a bold deception that threatens to plunge the world into controversy...

This book had me riveted from the very start. This book was a complete page-turner, and I absolutely could not put it down.

After reading The Da Vinci Code, I was convinced that Dan Brown's books were just not for me. However, one of my friends (who is a huge Dan Brown fan) assured me that most fans of his think that The Da Vinci Code is his worst book. That, combined with the fact that reading materials were sparse during my study abroad trip, convinced me to read Deception Point.

I am SO GLAD I did. As I've already said, the book was riveting. I enjoyed every moment of it, and I couldn't wait to find out what was going on. The suspense was insane, and it was all just so incredibly interesting that I couldn't help but fall in love with the story and the characters.

However, the book is not without flaws. The one thing that bothered me is the complete impossibility of it all. I wasn't even halfway through the book when I came across the first instance of utter ridiculousness, and many times throughout the book I said to myself, "That is impossible, she should be dead." Rachel just seems to get out of every horrible life-threatening situation without a scratch, and after awhile it just seemed to get a little bit silly.

Still, if you're a fan of fast-paced thrillers, and are not too picky about little technical details, then I would pick this up. Also, if you hated The Da Vinci Code, you might like this novel better. I would say that it's a great book just to pass the time, and it offers something unique and fun that you don't find in a lot of novels (or at least, not novels that I've read).

Friday, December 2, 2011

Double Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer && The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain

These are books that, to most Americans, need no introduction. These are classics by almost any standard, not only because they are required reading in many schools (although not mine, unfortunately), but also because they offer incredible insight into the lives and minds of the average primary school-aged child growing up during the 19th century. It's true that these books are outdated, and irrelevant to the lives of most kids today, but there is still something so innocent and magical about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn that I couldn't help but be drawn to.

Despite the fact that these books were written more than a hundred years ago, I found them to be very easy to read and really fast-paced. I would also like to comment on the specific edition of the books I was reading: The Barnes and Noble Classics Series Editions. I read these on my NookColor and I just loved the introduction, the glossary of terms, the timelines, and everything else that added to my knowledge of the books and of Mark Twain himself. If you're looking to pick up these books, I would highly recommend the BN edition.

It's really hard to review these books, because so many people have read them. I'm sure a lot of people have very hard feelings towards these books because they were forced upon many people as young students, but I was lucky enough to willingly expose myself to these books, which perhaps enhanced my reading experience. I also have to comment on the fact that many people have an issue with the racism in these books (especially in Huck Finn). I am not racist, and I do not support openly racist books, but in these books I am willing to accept the fact that it was a common occurrence. This does NOT make racism right, but it is something that is very real to the time, and to make Huck Finn entirely unaffected by the racial issues of the time would be an insult to the reality of the time period and the novel. In addition, I believe that these books do not support racism in the slightest; the writing is very satirical, and Twain's purpose was to shed light on the ridiculousness of the common ideas, not to promote them.

But I do not want to discuss racial issues, because I know some people will have problems with this book regardless of what I say, and some of the more opinionated people might want to pick a fight about it. So moving on...

Overall, these books are interesting, fun, and fast-paced. I loved being able to take a look at the thoughts of such unique characters, and I'm glad that I was able to experience it without having to over-analyze the whole story within a classroom.