Review: The Prisoner of Heaven

“I opened the book and looked for the page with the inscription the stranger had written out.

For Fermín Romero de Torres,
who came back from among the dead
and holds the key to the
future.
13

Then I heard the tinkle of the doorbell and when I looked up, the stranger was gone.

I dashed over to the door and peered out into the street. The visitor was limping away, merging with the silhouettes that moved through the veil of blue mist sweeping up Calle Santa Ana. I was about to call him, but I bit my tongue. The easiest thing would have been to let him go and have done with it, but my instinct and characteristic lack of prudence got the better of me.

This book is the third of what will be four novels that make up The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. They are beautifully written and expertly crafted in a way that they all relate to the same story, but can be read separately and in any order. Each book adds shocking details and perspectives to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books world.

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Review: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest

Facts
563 pages
Author: Stieg Larsson
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Series: Millennium Trilogy #3

Summary
This book follows The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (#1) and The Girl Who Played With Fire (#2) of the Millenium series.  It picks up where The Girl Who Played With Fire left off and Lisbeth Salander is in intensive care in the hospital with a bullet in her head following a confrontation with her father.  She faces trial for murder if she recovers and risks being sentenced to jail time or worse – a lifelong sentence to a psychiatric ward.  This book follows Salander as she fights for her life and innocence and as the people around her – Blomkvist, Armansky, and Holmgren – all team up to unravel the secrets surrounding the Zalachenko affair.  However, when they discover each new part of the mystery they put themselves and Lisbeth into more danger, as a secret group of government officials will do anything to keep their existence secret.

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Review: The Girl Who Played With Fire

Facts
630 pages
Author: Stieg Larsson
Genre: Mystery
Series: Millennium Trilogy #2

Summary
This story is the sequel to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo which I reviewed here.   In this book, Blomkvist decides to use his magazine, the Millenium, not only to expose corrupt financial leaders, but this time to expose an extensive web of officials involved in a sex trafficking scandal.  However, right before the magazine planned to publish this controversial exposé, the two journalists working with the Millenium on the issue are found dead in their apartment.  The police arrive at the scene and find the murder weapon — with Lisbeth Salander’s fingerprints on it.  The police are initially confident of her guilt and issue a nationwide search for Lisbeth, but she uses her cunning resources to disappear into hiding.  Blomkvist refuses to believe Lisbeth might be guilty and tries to defend her innocence by doing some detective work of his own and searching for the real killer.  The story gets more complex the deeper Blomkvist digs and the book leaves off with a shocking cliffhanger.

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Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Facts

216 pages
Author: Douglas Adams
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Hitchhiker’s Guide Series #1

Summary taken from the back of the book

Seconds before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.  Together, this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by a galaxyful of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian (formerly Tricia McMillan), Zaphod’s girlfriend, whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; and Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he’s bought over the years.  Where are these pens?  Why are we born?  Why do we die?  For all the answers, stick your thumb to the stars!

Overall Impression

Honestly, I’ve been trying to make myself do this book review for days but couldn’t bring myself to do it since I really wasn’t a fan of this book.  I copied the summary from the back since I couldn’t trust myself to do an unbiased one.  I was surprised by my reaction to this book since I have heard such great reviews of it in the past, but maybe my expectations were too high.  Also, I neglected to consider a few important facts.  1) I’m not a huge fan of science fiction 2) I don’t like completely random books.  This book really bothered me because the plot lacks direction.

Having said this, I did enjoy Adams’ witty remarks and creative ideas throughout the novel.  I think the clever puns are the cause of such high reviews for the book.  Adams writes well, but I don’t think simply having a funny book merits its reputation.  I also really enjoyed the character Marvin, despite the concept of a depressed robot being incredibly sad.  I didn’t find the other characters very likeable or special which definitely contributed to my dislike for the book.  The book is pleasant if you’re looking for a different and easy to read book, but I did not find it very captivating and had no motivation to continue reading.

I think the best and scariest message of Adams’ book is that anything we do on Earth is relatively insignificant, since we really have no idea what else is going on in the galaxy or what bigger plans we are a part of.

Rating
5/10

I feel like this is a very low rating for such a highly acclaimed book, but I really struggled getting through it and I want to keep my reviews honest, if nothing else.  For this book, think of my rating as being more personal rather than a recommendation or warning – since I think others might appreciate this more than I did.  It really was the randomness of the novel that got to me.

Trailer
The movie adaptation for this book came out in 2005.  The trailer is shown here.