The Starless Sea
is a story about the love of stories.
The main plot lies mostly underground in a world filled with
stories—in books and paintings and sculptures and even in people. Zachary Ezra
Rawlings finds an uncatalogued book with no listed author in the library. The
book contains a story about him when as a young boy he missed the opportunity
of opening a door painted on a wall. But the book is older than Zachary. How
could the author know his story? His search for the source of the book leads him
to the labyrinth of stories lying under his feet.
Morgenstern’s novel is filled with unrelated stories, fables,
fairytales, and myths that intertwine and finally connect at the end of the
book. These individual stories contain romance, loss, time and fate, humor…
I’m not usually a fan of fantasy, but I was absorbed in this
book and Morgenstern’s excellent writing. She has a fantastic imagination.
The Parade is a psychological,
political, literary novella about two anonymous contractors hired to pave a
road in an unknown civil-war-torn country. Two opposite personalities travel
from the poor south to the city in the north. The author tells the story from “Four’s”
point of view. His goal is to follow the rules, don’t interact with the locals,
get the job done on time for the parade, and go home. We only see “Nine”
through “Four’s” perspective, as a happy-go-lucky rule-breaker who pays little
attention to the job and spends his time mixing with the locals, partying,
drinking, sleeping with the women, and giving away company property. “Nine” is
interested in what’s happening to the country, its people, and what the road
will mean to them.
I would give the book four stars, except that I guessed the
twist at the end from the very beginning. Maybe I have a twisted mind.
The novel felt like several stories stuffed into one book with no real connection except Ya’ara Stein, an ex-agent of Israel’s Mossad, who is training a group of unlikely recruits to become a black ops unit. There is no overall plot, unless you count the random chapters about the sculptor, which doesn’t tie into the story until the end. There is a story with a plot in the first half of the book, but that ended in chapter thirty-something out of seventy-eight.
Lots of time is spent on character development of the
unlikely recruits. The main protagonist, Ya’ara, is the least likeable—cold and
Slow paced, the story didn’t flow. I wouldn’t call it a