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Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book involving Hawaiian Mythology, April 11, 2008
This review is from: Fires of Eden (Mass Market Paperback)
After finishing this novel, I'm still not 100% sure what I think about it. First off, it takes place in Hawaii, a place I have never been nor do I know all that much about. There is a tremendous amount of Hawaiian mythology in this book and to be honest with you, I have no idea if Simmons made it all up or not. I'll give him credit, if he made it up, it certainly sounds plausible for Hawaiian mythology. Simmons' writing style is high quality, but there are bits and pieces that detract from the book as a whole.

The one paragraph synopsis is as follows: An enormous resort was built in Hawaii by a real schmuck of a businessman (Trumbo). He's demolished quite a bit of nature to construct the thing and now wants to unload it on a group of Japanese buyers. They all meet at the resort to seal the deal, unfortunately two of the local volcanoes begin erupting and people start disappearing and reappearing in bits at pieces. Trumbo's soon to be ex-wife, soon to be ex-girlfriend, and current fling all show up to make things worse for him. Add in a professor with a diary from her distant relative that seems to follow the same series of events from over a hundred years ago, a plump little housewife from the Midwest with a gun and a foul mouth, and an assorted cast of other guests and you have quite the mix of personalities. The lava starts flowing, business negotiations heat up, and the number of people in the resort dwindles while a select few try to solve the "mystery" by using the diary.

First, this book is billed as horror, but other than people disappearing and pieces of them reappearing at in-opportune times, it never really felt like a horror book. So if you are looking for a nail biter, look elsewhere. Second, it becomes very apparent what is going to happen about a chapter before it happens, so there are no surprises. Perhaps I've just over-read the horror genera and have developed a "sixth sense" about horror novels, but nothing in here surprised me, there were no shockers. I would have to say that my biggest complaint with the book is that the "present day" characters are almost ridiculously stereotypical. It almost started to remind me of "Scooby Doo 2" (the live action one). You have the big bad business man, his 3 stereotypical women, the blatantly obvious good guys, your standard plethora of henchmen, and the native people who want to protect their lands. The most interesting parts of the book were the Diary excerpts; unfortunately their placement in the text of the main story left a little to be desired. Not only were the breaks between the two stories at inopportune times, but the diary chapters pretty much told you exactly what would happen in the following "present day" chapter. I was fairly disappointed with that.

I know that I have pointed out a lot of negative, but have given the story 4 stars. Simmons is a brilliant writer, his words (even the profanities) flow with beauty and even if you don't like the story, or hate the characters, you can't help but to admire his prose. I don't think this was one of his better books, but I still think it was an excellent book on the whole.

**Random Note - Someone in another review stated that this was an over 500 page book, I don't know what version they were reading, but mine was 408 pages**
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 16, 2008 5:23:35 PM PDT
The Demon says:
You had me sold at disappering and pieces of them reappering!!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 16, 2008 6:18:17 PM PDT
Ravenskya says:
I still have my copy if you want it

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2008 7:02:02 AM PDT
David Girod says:
Let me know if J. took you up on the offer of the book....if not I'd be more than happy to take it off your hands.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2008 9:56:05 AM PDT
Ravenskya says:
It's still available if you want it.

Posted on Nov 1, 2011 7:02:16 AM PDT
Lynne Larson says:
The mythology is the real deal, and Simmons uses it in a completely modern, and darkly humorous way. I loved the book - so much fun.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Ravenskya
(VINE VOICE)   

Location: Toledo, OH, United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,852