book review: under the dome

Under the DomeUnder the Dome by Stephen King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sweet sassy molassy this was a long read. (That phrase is one I stole from Secret Pizza Party)

Anyways, the most surprising thing about this book, for me, is that I actually teared up at the end. I was really not expecting that. Another thing I wasn’t expecting was that I’d be rooting for a religious crackpot meth addict. Live and learn.

I started reading this book after having already watched several episodes of the TV series. What I found when I started, which anyone both reading and watching will already know, was that: the TV show they made is NOT like this book very much at all.

Within the first hundred pages or so, a bunch of characters I was still seeing in the show had already died. So that was a bit different. Once I accepted that the book was not going to neatly parallel what I was seeing on TV, I set out to enjoying this story on its own merit.

The basic plotline, a small town in Maine getting unexpectedly sealed in by a mysterious Dome, wasn’t that crazy to me – I’m already a huge fan of the GONE series, which also features a Dome. The best part of this book was trying to figure out why this had happened, and how the people of Chester’s Mill could possibly survive it.

There was a lot of small-towny descriptions, and people just generally towning around. I found the pacing to be fairly steady throughout, with spurts of dramatic shoot-outs and other gruesome deaths showing up every once in a while. Gory descriptions abounded, as did some quite frankly disgusting details about dead bodies and the pieces thereof. Thanks Stephen, haha. I suppose I knew what I was getting myself into, so I can’t complain. But I can say: gross.

I actually liked the way the narrative was laid out. Omniscient, so we could have everyone’s varied perspectives (including Horace, the corgi), and sometimes the removed perspective of an observer outside the story. I enjoyed the bits of narration where the author addressed the reader, asking us to observe with him a particular scene. I liked the random bits of humour interjected- like when one character asked another if they’d seen the movie The Mist. The dialogue was also fairly realistic.

Overall, though it was a long, slow read (and it put me 8 books behind in my reading challenge – gah!) I did like the book. Thankfully there’s resolution in the end, so you don’t end up having read 1000+ pages and not finding out what actually caused the Dome. It wasn’t what I was expecting at the beginning of the book, but I do feel that things were explained well, and made sense in the end. And yes, by the end of it all, damned if I wasn’t crying for Ollie Dinsmore and Sloppy Sam.

If you’re enjoying the TV series, or just think the idea of a small town trapped under a Dome might be interesting, I’d recommend giving this book a try. 3.5 stars overall!

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book review: revel

RevelRevel by Maurissa Guibord

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

3.5 stars for the sea monsters!

This book was unexpected in many ways. The beautiful watery cover and cheesy back cover blurb warning of the dangers of Trespass Island didn’t prepare me for what I found in this book: a creepy adventure with sea monsters galore!

When Delia attempts to leave home in search of the grandmother she’s never met, she doesn’t expect Trespass Island. First of all, it’s not on any maps or ferry routes. When she finally arrives, she’s met with Wicker Man-like creepy natives, warning her: “we don’t have visitors on the island”. The first mention of something dangerous and not-quite-right quickly hinted to me that this wasn’t going to be the mermaid book I was sort of expecting. With interest, I discovered that the dangers of Trespass Island lay in the age-old pact the islanders had with the First Ones, descendants of Poseidon and the like.

Delia is then thrown into the islanders’ secluded lifestyle, and she slowly comes to discover the truth about the First Ones. There is, of course, a sort of love-triangle, or at least two possible love interests for Delia. I have to admit- I’m all about Jax all the way. Human-like sea god, with gills and all- I still found him infinitely more interesting than the other boy, who made such a little impression on me that I can’t remember his name. (Sean?)

The surprising truth about the Revel ‘festival’ is also slowly revealed, and then the book quickly spirals into some battles, a kidnapping, another battle, and some intrigue. The ending felt a bit abrupt to me, and I see there’s no mention of a sequel, which I find a bit puzzling. Certain interesting developments don’t occur until almost the very end of the book, and I was expecting a “to be continued” or something, hinting that we’d get more information in a forthcoming sequel. As is, the story kept me interested, and made me much less likely to swim in any open water in the near future! It wasn’t amazing by any means, but it’s a fairly enjoyable summer-ish read.

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