Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Under the Dome ~ Stephen King review

Under the Dome
Gallery Books
June 11, 2013
1088 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

The CBS summer series, Under the Dome based on Stephen King's novel of the same name, premiered last night. While it's still too early to be sure just how different the series and the novel will be, based on the first episode, it seems a bit.

In Under the Dome the town of the Chester's Mill, Maine is suddenly and inexplicably surrounded by an invisible and impermeable dome. (In Under the Dome it's also sound proof.) No one knows how -- or why -- the small town has been sealed off from the rest of the world, leaving the residents inside to fend for themselves.

No one knows how long it will last, either.

In the novel, it's a calm and beautiful Saturday October morning. Some residents are in neighboring towns, some preparing to leave town . . . possibly for good, someone's reaching reaching across the town line, two are in a plane during a flying lesson.
Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens -- town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing -- even murder -- to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.
In a small town where everyone knows everyone -- or knows someone who knows them -- the dome changes things more than anyone thought possible, faster than they thought possible.

In just hours, the dome and its unbelievable uncertainty has brought out the worst in some . . . possibly the best in others.

With most lost and unsure of what the future holds, a select few seem ready to grab the unknown future and take hold, whether it means 'good' for anyone but them or not. Soon the town looks ready to descend into chaos if it's not careful.

A line from the premiere episode of the series probably sets this up best. When Barbie is talking to Angie about the dome being 'stuck in a giant fishbowl,' she replies:
“I used to have goldfish, but then one died, and the other one ... ate him. Did you know they did that? Goldfish?”
If you keep that in mind, have maybe read Lord of the Flies, and remember that this is Stephen King (and he does give you some hints about the characters in the beginning), it's a good idea about where the novel will go. Not all of where it will go, but a good start.

The characters look like they're going to be different in the television version of the story -- with some seeming to be more a part of the story and some less/not at all. (The adult characters are almost all a also younger than I pictured them while reading the book, too.) I'm not sure how that will effect the story, but we'll see.

Under the Dome was creepy but it was, definitely, very much a character story so I am a bit disheartened to see that character differences.

It is absolutely a long book -- with a lot of characters that are, at times, hard to keep straight -- but it does not feel as long as it is and things play out as they need to. There aren't extraneous events or rushed occurrences, either. King connects you to his characters (though after this and Salem's Lot, I take issue with him on something that I can't say for spoilers!) and weaves their lives together incredibly well. The tension arising from both the dome and the characters' actions is fantastic.

The ending was not one of my favorite endings, nor was it a letdown and the novel does give readers something, or somethings, to think about.

Rating: 8/10

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick this week is: The First Affair by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
out August 27 in hardcover from Atria - Goodreads

In the latest novel from #1 New York Times bestselling authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, a woman looks back at her summer internship at the White House when she was seduced by the President of the United States and drawn into a complex affair destined to destroy both her and the presidency.Following college, Jamie McAllister wins a prestigious internship at the White House that she has no idea will irrevocably alter her life. An unexpected flirtation with the handsome and charismatic Gregory Rutland quickly leads to an emotional relationship she is ill equipped to handle at twenty-two. Each time she tries to extricate herself Greg is unable to find the strength to let her go. Meanwhile, the opposing party mobilizes to annihilate his presidency by any means necessary.

As Greg’s conflicting desires drive her to the breaking point, Jamie can’t help but reveal intimate details to those closest to her. But she must have unburdened herself to the wrong person—because within a matter of weeks Jamie finds herself, and everyone she loves, facing highly calculated destruction at the hands of Greg’s political enemies.

With her every mistake dragged out for the world to judge, Jamie has to endure an unprecedented trial in the court of public opinion—with the fate of the President, his party, and the country at stake.

Now, years later, can the woman infamously known as the “girl in the blue dress” make sense of this affair, and the trauma it wrought, for the world—and for herself?

I really loved Between You and Me when I read it last summer (thank you Atria & NetGalley!!) and I've just been *hoping* that the authors would have another book out I could read this summer.

Their last novel had that fantastic mix of celebrity and family drama  that I seem to love -- and wish I could find in more (well written) books. It was a brilliant summer book. (Really, an any time book, but especially for summer.)

The First Affair looks like it's going to be fantastic as well. It's clear that it's mirror something that did actually happen, but I expect that to just be a starting point as it was in Between You and Me.

I really can't wait to read this one and see where Emma and Nicola take the character of Jamie and her story -- and where the 'years later' part takes things, too. Should be a fantastic read.

(And Between You and Me came out in paperback with a great - and very apt - new cover, yesterday. Perfect way to go get it and read it if you haven't already!)

What are you waiting on this week? Link me to your post if you have one and/or tell me in the comments.
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