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Tales from the Bargain Bin

DrMM's blog about books, the universe and everything (actually, just books). I currently read mostly YA/MG fantasy, although the only thing I won't read is horror.

Pulse - Patrick Carman I wanted to like this book. In fact, I'm still trying to like this book. Pulse does contain a lot of fascinating concepts that I really liked. I particularly loved how Carman tried to confuse the reader on whether or not the States were good or bad for humanity.

However, I don't think I'm ever going to succeed in liking this series.

In the first case, I can't say I had any particular fondness for any of the characters. Faith, the main character, wasn't particularly interesting. While I didn't dislike her (at least yet, she has a ton of potential to become quite annoying in the future), I found nothing about her to like either. However, where Carman has really failed is in creating likeable male leads/love interests. Faith should have figured out that Boyfriend One was trouble long before he drugged her just by his general unlikeable demeanor and treatment of her friends. As for Boyfriend Two, so far he has absolutely no personality beyond his looks and his ability to teach Faith to use her powers (and seriously, standing outside someone's bedroom at night for months watching them sleep is called STALKING -- I don't care what his excuse was, he was really just stalking her). The only character I found interesting at all was Hawk, but Carman just seemed to use him as the generic technogeek character and gave him no depth whatsoever. In fact, all the characters in this book were flat and boring with no personality. Perhaps he'll manage to give them more personality in the sequels but given he had three-fourths of the book to give them personality before he actually bothered to explain the plot, I'm skeptical.

Second, it took far, far too long to actually get to the plot and action. Three-fourths of this book was bland, boring and utterly forgettable (and I struggled to finish this until the last third where it actually got interesting). World-building is good, but I understood the basics of this world in the first two chapters. I think the rest of the boring beginning was supposed to be for character building but it didn't work.

I will probably read the sequels because the last section was decent enough to make me curious about what will happen. However, it failed the reread test (I have no desire to reread it). Ultimately, this book has reminded me of a lot of the other books I read by Patrick Carman -- good ideas that just aren't executed very well.