The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson

January 21, 2011

Dude.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is most likely the best thing to come out of Sweden. I loved it.

The book had an excellent hook which sucked me in right away, and the rest of the plot had more twists than a mountain range road. The characters were unique, in particular, the heroine, Lisbeth Salander.

I expected Salander to be the main protagonist, but she was more of a side kick. She was a really different character to any other I’ve read about: an outcast in society, anorexic, doesn’t give a damn about rules. She’s a total badass.

After the hook/prologue, I thought the beginning was a bit slow, and I initially had doubts as to the quality of the books. But I read through the beginning and it quickly began to pick up the pace. It was such a good read, I probably read the last half of the book in two or three days, reading for hours on end. I simply couldn’t put it down.

It was a really gritty book, with murder, rape, and torture, and at times, it probably wasn’t the best thing to read at night. It had a strong theme of sexual violence, and interestingly, the original title in Swedish was Men Who Hate Women.

I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good murder book. It’s a disappointment that author Stieg Larsson isn’t alive today to enjoy his international success and continue to write. Great work, Stieg!


Guantanamo: My Journey, by David Hicks

December 22, 2010

In Australia, David Hicks and Guantanamo Bay are controversial topics lately, as David Hicks, and Australian man found guilty of providing material support to terrorism (as stated by Wikipedia) by the US Government. Hicks was released from Guantanamo in 2007 and finished his sentence in an Australian prison before being released in December that year. He has since released an auto-biography titled Guantanamo: My Journey.

I’m not writing this post to start a debate on terrorism, or Guantanamo, or whether Hicks really is guilty or not, but I want to share with you just how awesome his book is.

I copped a lot of criticism for wanting to read his book, most of it along the lines of “you’ll be supporting terrorism!” so I borrowed it out from the library.

I loved it.

The first part of the autobiography reads like a travel diary. Hicks details his journeys around the world, from central Australia and Eastern Europe, to Japan and Afghanistan. I thought part one would be boring, but I got really sucked into it, to the extent like I felt like I was really there.

Part one ends with Hicks being captured by Afghan militants and sold to the US military. The second part describes Hicks’ time in Guantanamo, from his trial to his alleged torture.

The writing style of the book was great, and I think Hicks missed his calling as an author. The descriptions made me feel as if I was actually there and the voice was friendly and inviting.

I loved this book and found it really interesting. I’m not sure if/where it’s available in the US, but it should be available in Australia in all department stores in libraries. It was a fascinating read and definitely recommend it, even if you only read part one.


Putting the Book Down

August 4, 2010

I’m reading a book at the moment (Golden Serpent, by Mark Abernethy), and I’m not enjoying it. I don’t feel as though I know/care about the characters, and the plot is so-so. But what is really irking me is the writing itself. There’s just something about the prose that I don’t like. My inner editor says that the book is badly written.

I’ve been reading the book for over a week now, yet I’m barely 100 pages in. Reading the book has become a chore.

So, my question to you: When do you put the book down? If you’re really not enjoying it, what do you do? Put it down as soon as you begin to dislike it? Read the first 100 pages before putting it down? Or do you toughen up and get through the book?


Book Blog – Area 7

May 15, 2009

I’m sad to admit that this probably isn’t my best Book Blog, but I’m tired, and want to post this tonight.

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Area 7 is an action adventure novel written by aussie author, Matthew Reilly. It’s his fourth book, and second featuring Matthew’s hero, Captain Shane Schofield.

The novel starts with the President of the US visiting his country’s most secure facility (Area 7). Protecting him is Schofield and his team of US Marines. However, when an Air Force General, Charles Russel, begins a plan which he had been working on for over a decade, everyone is plunged into a game for survival.
Russel and his team (7th Squadron) take control of Area 7 and place the compound into lockdown.
Before the President was elected, a transmitter was attached to his heart during heart surgery. Once activated, the transmitter sends signals to a satellite. If the Presidents heart stops beating, then the transmitter fails to tranmitts signals, resulting in major US cities being blown up.
To make it even harder, the President must place his hand on a fingerprint snsor on the Nuclear Football, to keep those cities from exploding, every 90 minutes. This Nuclear Football is kept in Russel’s possesion.
When Russel attacks, many of the Marines the Secret Service are initially killed. The President, two Secret Service agents, and Schofiled and his friends manage to escape.
While moving through the compound, the President, and his guards he is travelling with, come across a set of prison cells, in which a scientist is locked up. After freeing and questioning him, the discover that prisoners are being tested on.
Meanwhile, Schofield and his group, after fleeing from the ground level hangar, make their way into the sublevels where they find a bedroom of a 6 year old boy named Kevin.
The president reveals the reason for his visit – to check up on a vaccine being developed for the Sinovirus, a genetically engineered virus that differentiates between the amount of pigmentation in a person’s skin, allowing it to target only people of a specific race. The president explains that to develop a vaccine for the Sinovirus (and protect America from biological weapons containing the Sinovirus) the scientists had to create a genetically engineered human, a boy named Kevin, who’s blood could be used to produce antibodies, and the prisoners being held at Area 7 are used as guinea pigs to test the vaccine.

Want to find out the end? You’ll have to read the book =)

Anyway, I rather enjoyed the book. Matthew Reilly has a new book, The Five Greatest Warriors, being released October 20, 2009, in Australia, and January 2010 for America and Europe.

8/10

Always Writing,

Little Scribbler


Book Blog – Eragon

April 15, 2009

I was going to have a different book featured in this months Book Blog, but I ran out of time, so I had to feature this one (it was my only backup).

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Written when the author, Christopher Paolini, was 15, Eragon is a novel about a teenage boy named Eragon. It’s the first in a series of four (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, and an unwritten fourth book), and takes place in the fictitious continent of Alagaësia.

The adventure starts when Eragon finds a strange blue rock, while out hunting. He soon realizes that the rock is in fact an egg – A dragon egg to be precise!
After his house is destroyed, and his uncle killed, he, his dragon (Saphira) and his mentor – Brom (a storyteller) – set out to chase and kill a pair of fearsome “Ra’zac”.
Along the way, Eragon discovers that Brom is really an associate with the Varden – a rebel group. He also learns how to become a legendary Dragon Rider.
One night, they are ambushed, and, although a stranger named Murtagh saves them, killing the Ra’zac, Brom dies. Murtagh sets off with Eragon to find out about the Varden. However, Eragon is captured, and sent to a prison, where he finds a drugged Elf. Murtagh and Saphira come to Eragon’s aid, and they rescue the Elf, and try to take her to the Varden, where she will be looked after.
When they arrive at the Varden’s secret location, which the Elf, named Arya told Eragon about telepathically, they are finally able to rest.
However, an army of Urgals – the enemy – find the base, and attack. The Varden manage to win the battle, and Eragon kills a Shade – a magical sorcerer. He blacks out, and is told telepathically (through his dreams) to go to the Elves, who are hidden in a forest. He is told that Arya will take him.

The book was good, however, some say that the book is similar, plot wise, to Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. I can see how Eragon is similar to Star Wars, with the evil Empire, the rebels in a secret base, and the MC setting off on an adventure with a mentor who was secretly involved with the rebels, after the MC’s home was destroyed. I don’t think too much was taken from LotR, as fantasy books are allowed to have Elves and Dwarves as characters in them.

Overall, I give the book 7/10. It was interesting, and will definitly be getting book number 4.

Always Writing,

Little Scribbler


Random Topics

March 23, 2009

There’s a few things I wanted to write about, but each topic on its own was too small to get its own blog, and I had no blog to add these topics onto the end of, so,  I’ve decided to put them all together in one blog. (I came up with the idea in the shower!) Here it is:

1. Email:

After much pondering, I decided to make an email for my writing self. You can use it to email me at anytime with questions, or just anything. I’ll do my best to respond within a few days.  Please, feel free to email me. I love emails!
You can email me at: littlescribbler@hotmail.com

2.Twitter:
If you are now dying for an excuse to email me, here is one: I’m thinking of getting Twitter. Email in, and tell me about Twitter (especially if you have it). What’s it like? Is it easy to use? What are some good points? Bad points? If your on WordPress, is there anyway I can put it onto my blog, with the most recent updates? I’ve seen it done on Blogger. Most importantly, if I had Twitter, would you follow me? Please tell me.

3.Rogue Angel:
In the comments section of the recent Book Blog (Black Wind), one reader, Feywriter, told me about a good book series – Rogue Angel. Thanks Feywriter! I looked it up on Wikipedia, and agree, it does sound good. Unfortunately, when I tried searching for it in my library’s website, they didn’t have any of the books!! :-O I’m disappointed because I was going to do a Book Blog on it, but now, I can’t. Perhaps, if anyone has read one, they might like to write me a Book Blog on it. I’d like to have interactivity on this blog. If you’re interested, email me, so I can discuss it with you.

Well, that’s all, and I must say, it’s a reasonable blog size. Don’t forget to email me!

Always Writing,

Little Scribbler


Book Blog – Black Wind

March 16, 2009

The book, Black Wind is an action/adventure novel, written by Clive Cussler in November 2004. It features Cussler’s main protagonist, Dirk Pitt, and Pitt’s son, Dirk Pitt Jnr. (referred to as Dirk).

The novel opens in the Aleutian Islands, where Sarah Matson and a team of CDC explorers are infected with a deadly illness. After Dirk (who was onboard a nearby NUMA [National Underwater Marine Agency] vessel) saves them, Dirk returns to the Island to investigate the virus. However, their helicopter is gunned down by a mysterious trawler, but Dirk survives and determines the virus is a compound of cyanide and smallpox.

Meanwhile, a US Ambassador is golfing in Japan when a sniper, who the author identifies as Tongju, kills him. Tongju also assassinates the Ambassadors deputy, while leaving clues that the hit was from a Japanese terror group.

Dirk visits St Julian Pearlmutter (a marine history researcher) who happens upon a sunken Japanese submarine – the I-430. Dirk and his sidekick, Dahlgren dive on the wreck, but its ordinance has been removed.
Meanwhile, Pitt and Giordano are also discovering Japanese ordinance poisoning the marine life in the Philippines.

In South Korea, Kang, a North Korean sleeper agent is attempting to reunite the two countries. He plans to frame a US Service man with the murder of a young South Korean girl to cause unrest, while Tonju steals more Japanese toxins. Kang orders Tongju to kill Dirk. However, Dirk manages to foil the attempt on his life.

NUMA researcher Hiram Yeager discovers the toxins are from a Japanese submarine in the South China Sea. Dirk, Pitt, and his daughter (Dirks sister Summer dive on the wreck, but Tongju and his team seize the vessel. After taking the recovered toxin and kidnapping Dirk and Summer, the North Koreans sabotage the salvage ship and leave the imprisoned crew to drown. Fortunately, Pitt helps the crew escape.

Dirk and summer are taken to Kang’s yacht, where he taunts them, before leaving them to drown. They manage to escape and make their way to the USA.
The NUMA team, with the aid of the US government, search all cargo vessels that may be carrying the toxin, but the real plan is revealed when Tongju and his team hijack a blimp with the intention to fire a warhead filled with the toxin at a G8 summit.
When the plan is uncovered, Dirk and a team of Navy SEALS attack Kang as he attempts to escape on his yacht.

Overall, the book was very good, and I enjoyed it.
7/10!

Always Writing,

Little Scribbler