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Erick SetiawanCríticas

Autor(a) de Of Bees and Mist

1 Work 859 Membros 78 Críticas 1 Favorited

Críticas

I don't like this book that much as it was quite rambling and weird. But I was moved by the love that Noah showed his grieving grandmother and also his solidarity with his mother.
 
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siok | 77 outras críticas | Oct 1, 2023 |
Like the Addams Family without the Addams family values.
It’s atmospheric and full of INTENSE family drama. There were characters I HATED (looking at you Eva) but I wanted to see how it played out.
I liked the magical elements even though the “rhyme and reason” of it wasn’t explained (akin to magical realism more than fantasy).
I did not like ANY of the romances. So toxic. Everyone in the book is messed up (except maybe Noah and poor Permony.)
Full of generational trauma, poor communication and some personal empowerment - can’t say I found it “enjoyable” but it was interesting in its own quietly seething way.

Watch reviews here: https://youtube.com/@starkissedstories
 
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spiritedstardust | 77 outras críticas | Jul 20, 2023 |
Meridia defies death as a newborn barely minutes old. This is how Of Bees and Mist begins. Such a near tragedy doesn't explain why her father is verbally and sometimes physically abusive, or how her mother can't seem to remember Meridia even exists. Ghosts in the mirror are misconstrued as fragments of leftover dreams. The color of the mist outside the family door matters: yellow, ivory, or blue. There was a time before the ghosts and mists, but no one can remember it. All Meridia wants to do is get away from her heartless and cruel family. At sixteen she gets that chance when she meets handsome and charming Daniel. Within a year they are married, but like all good fairytales, Meridia soon finds out she has traded in one horror show for another. This time, her evil step-monster mother performs all the torturing. Helped by an army of fantastical fireflies and bees, Eva manages to make Meridia's life a living hell even worse than when she lived with her parents. Eva acts as a modern day Iago, letting her vicious tongue as her deadliest weapon destroy those around her. No one is safe from her vile talk. Rumors and lies spew like poison. However, as Meridia matures she finds the strength and fortitude to fight back even if that means giving up everything she loves. Mother and daughter-in-law engage in an interesting dance of push and pull for supremacy in the household. There seems to be no end to the animosities.½
 
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SeriousGrace | 77 outras críticas | Mar 26, 2023 |
I thought I'd like this more than I did based on reviews and synopses I'd read. As is often the case, I think my opinion was affected by having listened to the audio book rather than reading it myself. The narrator came off as a little arch, or insincere, which impression of course rubbed off on the characters, who perhaps didn't deserve it.

Some reviews used "magical realism" to describe this, but I'd call it fantasy. But it was interesting to contemplate how and why I felt it crossed the line. I think the setting, which was not any one identifiable time or place or culture, pushed it over the edge into fantasy. I may have liked it more had it stayed more firmly rooted in a realistic setting. Then its message about destructive family secrets and how they twist relationships over the generations might have struck closer to home. As it was, I kept thinking of the adage, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." The characters often struck me as incredibly obtuse about being deceived over and over again by the same person.

 
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Charon07 | 77 outras críticas | Jul 16, 2021 |
Meridia grows up in a house with ghosts in the mirrors, mysterious mists outside, and a staircase with strangely shifting dimensions. Also a cold, belittling father; a mother who often seems (possibly quite literally) to forget she exists; and vague, troubling memories of something very bad that happened when she was a baby. Eventually she grows up and gets away from that horrible place only to end up living with a mother-in-law who is a million times worse.

The fantasy elements here -- or maybe they're magic realism elements; I admit I've never been entirely clear on or cared all that much about the division between the two -- made this seem like it would be right up my alley. But while there were moments where those elements were interesting, mostly they just didn't do all that much for me. I get what the author is doing with them. There's a lot of taking the characters' personal issues and magically projecting them out into the world, so that marital infidelity might manifest as a descending mist, or the manipulative words of an abusive gaslighter take form as a swarm of bees. And that seems at least potentially interesting, but, I don't know, in the end it didn't necessarily feel like it added much to these characters' stories. And those stories themselves are just overwhelmingly awful, a constant cavalcade of oppressive, abusive nastiness. Which, again, could potentially be worth reading if I felt it was saying something really profound about abusive family dynamics or providing some moving emotional catharsis or something. I suppose I could see how some might find those things in it. But for me, mostly it was just... unpleasant.½
 
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bragan | 77 outras críticas | Apr 3, 2020 |
From birth Meridia seemed different. She sees ghosts in the mirrors of her magical and mysterious home, and her parents treat her oddly for reasons unknown to her. Gabriel her father resents her, never allowing the girl to speak unless spoken to, while her mother, Ravenna, forgets she exists. Even her nurse acts weird and won't let her out of the house much, for fear of infections and a mist that never leaves their front door. Oh, how she longs to escape her miserable life.

When Daniel enters her life it's a magical moment of true love, and they soon marry, but with marriage comes another odd family, and poor Meridia seems to leap from one strange house
hold to another; swarms of bees appear at will, along with that colour changing mist again, but worse of all her mother-in-law, Eva, appears to only be happy when making Meridia and Daniel's life hell. Both sets of parents are as bad as each other, and will use whatever method they can to get what they want, regardless of the mental torture and troubles they put Meridia and Daniel through. How many secrets can these two families hold? Can Meridia fathom out what is going on, and stay one step ahead, before her own marriage is destroyed? And what will become of her own child who doesn't seem to stand a chance?

If anyone believes themselves to have Mother-In-Law problems and they read this book, I guarantee they will feel so much better about their lives. Both Meridia's parents and her In-Laws wore me out with their conniving, scheming ways that almost tear the young couple apart, but that's what made me read faster in order to find out how the story ended. This is a
story of love overcoming everything, while at the same time it's also heart breaking. I found it to be something of a cross between a modern fantasy and a Grimm fairytale, which is down to the author's wonderfully bizarre imagination and his unusual upbringing; Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Chinese parents. Of Bees and Mist is an atmospheric epic of a story. I loved the way Meridia and her husband learn to overcome the two forces that try to break them up and the clever techniques that the young girl is forced to put into place to protect her family from the atrocities thrown at them from both sides.

Overall: This engaging plot, along with Setiawan's captivating descriptions and ability to make the story flow in such a mystical and strange world, makes this tale one to recommend.

Review posted on Amazon UK.
 
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SassyBrit | 77 outras críticas | Nov 27, 2018 |
Generally, I liked this book. I liked the main character and her strength & resiliency. I was OK with all the symbolism in the beginning of the book (the bees & the mist), but it got to be a bit too much after a while. Who/what was Hannah supposed to be? I have my guesses, but I am not analyzing books here. The men in the book were total dolts as well. All of them. I wondered about the culture and the setting in the book. It wasn't clearly defined. Any insights would be appreciated!
1 vote
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CSKteach | 77 outras críticas | Jul 20, 2018 |
A friend lent me this book to read. This is an interesting (if depressing) read. The book is well written and flows well. It’s kind of a fairy tale-esque story about a couple generations of women whose hatred of each other (and slight magical abilities) destroy the lives of those around them.

This book definitely has a heavy dash of magical realism, from that aspect the tone reminds a lot of the Waverly family books by Sarah Addison Allen. The Waverly Family books are much more beautifully written though. Additionally, while the Waverly Family books leave you feeling hopeful and magical, this book left me feeling downtrodden and depressed.

I enjoyed the first few chapters of the book. The haunted house with a chilly mother and father that Meridia grew up in was beautiful, fascinating, and very fairytale like. However after Meridia grows up and marries things go downhill quickly for the story. For the next two third’s of the book the story is all about Meridia and her mother-in-law, Eva, trying to make each other’s lives miserable. I mean seriously I get enough of this dealing with people in real life...I don’t need to read about it.

There are no good characters in this book; aside perhaps from Meridia’s son Noah. Every character in this book is selfish, short-sighted and easily mislead. The magical realism throughout does not create a sense of wonder but instead shows the irritation and evilness perpetuated by these characters. Seriously not something I want to read about.

Overall this book is well-written and flows nicely. It’s also an interesting blend of fairy tale like magical realism and a story about generations of hatred. However, I really didn’t enjoy it much. There is just so much hatred and selfishness throughout this story; it left me feeling depressed and sad. Honestly this is a story I could have done without ever reading.

The style and magical realism reminded me a bit of The Waverly Family novels by Addison (although those books are much more well written and have a much more positive and magical feel to them). If you did enjoy the style of this book I would recommend The Waverly Family novels as a better written and more uplifting alternatives.
 
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krau0098 | 77 outras críticas | Dec 18, 2016 |
A magical fairy tale type story that I could not put down. A battle between two families and their children goes on for years; a battle filled with magic, deceit, and shifting alliances. Many of the characters are so unlikeable, yet I could not stop reading. THe author does not say when or where this novel takes place, but I formed a definite picture in my mind of place and time. The story is filled with many strong female characters, and while many are evil, horrible people, they are most assuredly strong. The monstrous mother-in-law is one of the best written characters; her army of bees that swarm her nemesis are quite intriguing. For those readers who like magical twists and turns in their stories, this is truly a book that is hard to put down.
 
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bnbookgirl | 77 outras críticas | May 27, 2016 |
Meridia is unhappy at home while growing up. When she falls in love with Daniel, and seems to get along well with his family, she is happy to marry him and move into his home. Unfortunately, what she learns of his family (and especially his mother) has her very much questioning her decision.

This is probably my highest rated book of magical realism, as I'm not usually a big fan. However, I really enjoyed this one (though the parts where the magical realism came into play, I wasn't as interested in). But, I was very interested in the main storyline and finding out what was going on in Daniel's family. And I certainly can't disguise my absolute hatred of his mother!!!
 
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LibraryCin | 77 outras críticas | Apr 5, 2015 |
"Few in town agreed on when the battle began. The matchmaker believed it started the morning after the wedding, when Eva took all of Meridia's gold and left her with thirteen meters of silk. The fortune-teller, backed by his crystal globe, swore that Eva's eyes did not turn pitiless until Meridia drenched them in goose blood three months later. The midwife championed another theory: The feud started the day Meridia held her newborn son with such pride that Eva felt the need to humble her. But no matter how loudly the townspeople debated, the answer remained a mystery — and the two women themselves were to blame. Meridia said little, and Eva offered conflicting explanations, which confirmed the town's suspicion that neither one of them could actually remember." (excerpted first lines of Erick Setiawan's novel Of Bees and Mist)

Catchy introductory paragraph, huh? I was immediately sucked in. Long-standing feuds, familial enmity, magical manifestations of guilt, anger and loss - these are the things that attract me to a story, and Mr. Setiawan writes with grace and fluidity, rife with imagery. So why the mediocre rating? Of Bees and Mist was not, overall, a pleasant experience. The tale told was dark and painful, riddled with unlikeable characters who struggle for, but never achieve, any sort of redemption. They are twisted (in some cases, literally so) by hate, feeding it on from generation to generation. Ultimately, the story was compelling, but depressing.
1 vote
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Debra_Armbruster | 77 outras críticas | Mar 24, 2014 |
I'm a sucker for fairytales and romance and the supernatural so when I saw the description that mentioned all that plus ghosts and witchcraft I knew I had to buy it while it was on the Book of the Week offer.

The book isn't a literary masterpiece but it is absolutely engrossing. It starts off with the tale of a girl's traumatic birth and the way, from then on, her parents marriage falls apart. We get snippets of her life growing up and the traumas that her parents fractured relationship causes her. Her mother becomes stiff and forgetful whereas her father becomes cruel, taunting and cold towards her. In between finding out that her father is having an affair that her mother is aware of and that their is some terrible secret about the two of them there is the little fact that there are coloured mists surrounding the house and ghosts in the mirrors.

The book really takes off when Merida is 16 and goes to a spirit festival where she sees this young guy and, after trying to find him throughout the festival is lured by the sound of music to a tent where she is told that the spirits will find her soulmate. As that is said Daniel, the guy she had been looking for during the festival appears through the tent. It is pretty much love at first sight and the elder tells them that he can ease their path in the future for money. Daniel, a sceptic, refuses the price and the elder says that for Merida's one coin he will make sure that they 'always find comfort in each other'. Pretending they are going to pay, the two youngsters make a run for it without paying the price and thus begins their relationship. (Gotta say - one of the most romantic lines in it is spoken by Daniel when he tells her that he knows she was looking for him and she says he wouldn't know that unless he had been looking for her as well and then he says he knows because the only place she didn't look was behind her. I know, I'm a sap but when he said it I was 'awww'.

The two eventually get married and move in with Daniel's family. His mother Eva seems perfectly pleasant at first and Merida relishes the fact that the family is a family after the coolness she had grown up with and is slow to notice the fact that Eva is using her as a glorified servant. Time progresses and Merida soon notices things - like an incessant buzzing of bees around the house, and the cruel way that Eva treats one of the servants and the fact that Eva is manipulating Daniel in order to spend more time away from Merida. It is Malin, one of Daniel's sisters who has never got on with Merida who ultimately opens her eyes and shows Merida what her mother is really like. The relationship between the inlaws breaks down and she leaves the house after a fight with Eva, Daniel staying with his parents.

Merida goes back to her parents and Daniel eventually comes for her but her parents do not wish for her to return after the way Eva had treated her, but as she discovers she's pregnant and recognises that Daniel is sorry, she takes him back with the understanding that they have their own house and business. Everything is going fine until it is time for Merida to give birth and Eva interferes until she nearly dies of the trauma, only saved by her own mother's input. Her womb is destroyed though and she is unable to have any more children, a fact that Daniel attempts to hide from her.

Over the rest of the book we see Eva's twistedness develop until she drives her own husband to a temporary madness where he physically harms his own grandson, tries to cripple Daniel and Merida with debt, tortures the poor maid if they didn't comply (despite the fact that the woman had raised Eva as her own) and torments her own daughter with vile accusations out of jealousy and spite when her husband doesn't want anything more to do with her. When Merida's own mother goes mad with grief over her father's death, Eva uses that influence as a method of driving a further wedge between Daniel and Merida. It comes to a head when Merida looks out the window and finds the blue mist that had taken her father every night to his lover, take Daniel from the house to his.

Merida, hanging onto the last of her marriage waits days, trying to reach out to him until one day her mother leaves and she finds the strength to leave him. She waits until he comes home and goes to bed before leaving the evidence of his betrayal and her wedding ring behind and taking their son and leaving to go live in her parents old house. Daniel, trying to get her back is blinded by mystical fireflies that appeared when Ravenna (Merida's mother) disappeared and can't reach her and is taken home to be nursed by Eva who torments him with lies of Merida's indifference to his plight and her refusal to allow him access to their son.

What I really loved about this book was that the main character, Merida, was ultimately a strong woman. I think sometimes that in writing that women characters are either to damselly or too hard but this one is strong but soft at the same time. I am staggered that a guy who was a first time author wrote such a well-rounded female character.

I am a sucker for romance and I had to admit, the romance between Daniel and Merida captivated me and although it was sad to see Daniel cheat, I loved that she loved him enough to save him from his mother's grasp yet still couldn't ultimately take him back after his betrayal leading to their divorce. I also loved the open way the book ended with her offering to take him back once Eva died.

The imagary of mists where things were obscured and kept secret within a relationship and the influence of manipulation via words and lies (the buzz of the bees) worked so well. We obviously had the physical manifestation of them due to the magical aspect of this story, but I did like the idea that we got to see how easily walls can build up and ultimately destroy a person given the right, or wrong conditions. Merida's parents were ultimately destroyed because of her mother's post natal depression that her father didn't understand and instead he sought comfort with another woman which her mother couldn't forgive and ultimately tried to kill him because of. Her relationship was damaged by her mother in laws interference and it was only when Daniel finally removed himself from her influence again that he was able to refind himself.

For a book that spanned around five hundred pages so much was covered. I just very much enjoyed it - there was so much to like about it and even though I hated Eva in it, part of me felt so sorry for her at the end when Merida ultimately found her alone, abandoned and mistreated in her own home with her son having left her to a maid's care because he couldn't bear to look at her after what she had done to his life. I was pleased to see Merida be the bigger person and make sure Eva was cared for even if she didn't deserve it and the way she and Daniel were to be reconciled once Eva died left the book with a hopeful ending. I think the ending proved the man's words right on their first meeting - ultimately they would always find their comfort in each other.

I am very much looking forward to seeing what the author's next book is going to be.
 
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sunnycouger | 77 outras críticas | Sep 20, 2013 |
What a beautiful way to start October.
A book so suffused with magic - not Harry Potter magic but more.... realistic magic - that I can't even properly summarize it. It plays out in your head while you read like an episode of "Pushing Daisies" written by Ray Bradbury. It is like a warm cup of cider on a Saturday morning in jeans and a longsleeve t, walking through the autumn leaves and feeling that tingle of energy in the air... but it's that feeling in a book. Absolutely splendid.


More autumnal love for the book at Raging Biblioholism: http://wp.me/pGVzJ-hM
 
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drewsof | 77 outras críticas | Jul 9, 2013 |
I really kind of hated this book, but at least it wasn't boring.
I can't imagine why you would dedicate a book to your mother, and then have the whole thing be about two of the worst mothers that have ever existed.
I know I'm always going on about the roles of women in fiction, but seriously, this guy apparently considers women to be barely sentient.
I mean, most of us really have better things to do than try to destroy the lives of everyone around us.
2 vote
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JenneB | 77 outras críticas | Apr 2, 2013 |
I was enchanted, charmed, and magicked by this magical realism kind of version of Romeo and Juliet.

Meridia, who grew up in a cold house where the mists whisked her father off every night and returned him in the morning while her mother spent all day in the kitchen speaking a secret language, has grown up very sheltered and lonely.

Daniel grew up being dominated by his mother, as did everyone else in the family and possibly the town. Her bees are relentless and wear everyone down eventually.

Meridia and Daniel fall in love, marry and try to make a life together, but there are too many secrets in the way.

If written a touch darker, this book would be a terrific horror story. As written, it is dark, but it is also magical and charming. The characters are so real that you want to reach in and slap Daniel for listening to Eva's lies and bees...I was thoroughly enchanted by this book.
 
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bookwormteri | 77 outras críticas | Sep 25, 2012 |
Took a while to disengage with the real world and just enjoy the story but when I did I could not put it down.
 
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ssellis | 77 outras críticas | Aug 31, 2012 |
I picked up this book for the cover out of a bargain bin, then it stayed on my bookcase for almost a year before I finally picked it up. I regret fully that I waited so long! It has quite a few elements comparable to Garcia Marquez and Allende in terms of "magical realism"- fantastical things happen, and no one else finds them odd. Full of characters you will love and hate (some both!) I finished it in one day. I think I'll reread it again soon, since I flew through it so quickly. Definitely worth a second read.

And I'm glad to head he's so good to his fans! I can't wait for a second book of his to come out...this one was definitely not appreciated by the public like it should have been.
 
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LaurenAileen | 77 outras críticas | Aug 1, 2011 |
I picked up Of Bees and Mist on a random perusal of the book store, and immediately jumped into it with relish. The story is a fairy tale just outside the realms of the real world, standing timeless in the past, present, or future. Setiawan uses wonderful physical entities (mist, bees, fireflies, cold) to describe human emotion, suffering and conflicts. The writing is strong, provoking, and inspirational. The author doesn't talk down to his readers, and lets you decide what is real, what is symbolism, and how you feel about each character he presents to you. I can only hope that Erick Setiawan writes another novel, and another, because the only disappointment in this book is when you finish the last sentence and you have to find another book to top the masterpiece of adult fairy tale that you just read.

UPDATE June 30th::
I would also like to add that Erick Setiawan is amazing to his fans and will write back to you if you contact him via his website or facebook. He is a very humble and kind man who is thankful for his followers and happens to be working on his second book.
 
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Jennifyr | 77 outras críticas | Jun 27, 2011 |
This was a fascinating and mysterious novel. The premise itself was interesting. Meridia was raised in a house where ghosts peer out of mirrors and mist appears in the evenings. Every night she watches her father leave the house surrounded by a mist protecting a secret which will eventually tear apart her family.

Meridia's father, when he is home, is emotionally abusive. Her mother ignores her existence. In fact, Meridia may as well be living in the home all alone for all the care and attention her family give her. Growing up in such a restrictive environment, she naturally flees to the first person, her eventual husband, that pays her any attention.

Things unfortunately don't always go so smooth once Meridia leaves her parents home for the marriage bed. Her mother-in-law Eva may be one of the most villainous characters I have ever read. The depths of Eva's hatred and terror are incomprehensible, and yet she still gets away with every action.

With such a backdrop, it is natural to want to cheer for Meridia. Nonetheless, there were moments when I wondered if this was the case of the misleading narrator - is everyone really as terrible as Meridia is telling us? Answers are not easy, and the singular perspective does make the reader question different characters motives. She is however a likable character overall, and I felt that the secondary characters added a great depth to the novel.

The book itself was well written. There was a beautiful fluidity to the words which I love. More importantly, I wanted to keep reading till the end and was disappointed when it ended. Like other reviews I have read about Of Bees and Mist, I was enchanted by this unique little novel. I highly recommend it.
 
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mrn945 | 77 outras críticas | May 15, 2011 |
http://shawjonathan.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/suddenly-in-the-depths-of-the-fores...

I stopped reading this soon after page 50, but it was only because I knew other people love the book that I could force myself to last that long. Meridia lives in a big old house whose magical properties – perpetual cold and gloom, a staircase that stretches and contracts arbitrarily, strangely sentient surrounding mists – are pretty well explicitly presented as symbols of her parents’ unhappy marriage, her father’s extreme authoritarian coldness and her mother’s babbling, forgetful misery. Other magical details, such as a woman in the marketplace who grows herbs on her body for customers to snip, seem to be there as decorative afterthoughts. I revolted at the prospect of 500 pages of this sort of thing.

Was it fantasy writer Jo Walton who, when someone asked her what the dragons in her work represented, replied that they were just dragons? I guess I’m the kind of reader who wants my zombies to be zombies. In the middle of a zombie story, I want to be worried for the hero’s brains, not – at least not at the front of my mind – ruminating on modern society’s fear of the mob or feeling for the author’s deeply unhappy childhood.
 
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shawjonathan | 77 outras críticas | Apr 26, 2011 |
I LOVED this book and it is one of my top 10. The characters and setting easily came to life in my mind and I really felt like I got to know the characters, which I find important in any great book. Hannah’s character leaves me wondering if she was real or was part of Meridia ‘s imagination when she needed her. Beautiful metaphors, beautiful book. I think of it as an adult fairy tale/magical realism, but it isn’t so much that should turn people off that might not care for something in that genre. I really wish it wouldn’t have ended. I can’t wait for what comes next from Erick Setiawan.
 
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Sarah.C.Hagan | 77 outras críticas | Feb 28, 2011 |
Tedious: clunky writing and a muddled plot with a lame resolution. I really wanted to like it, but now I'm just glad it's over so I can read something else. Two stars mainly for the cover.
1 vote
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Yarrow | 77 outras críticas | Jan 9, 2011 |
This is truly one of the most magical, enchanting, stunning books I have ever read. It is a modern day fairytale unlike nothing I have ever read before.

The imagery is beautiful and the way the author paints a picture for the reader is unique. The main protagonist Meridia is powerful in her strength and conversely the character of Eva is possibly the most horrible, evil creation ever to walk the literary Earth.

The story is so normal, a married couple with a dominating mother in law and yet, there is so much more to the story. Magic is woven in to the love story, the hate story, the family story. Everyone has shady backgrounds and there is more than meets the eye to every major character encountered.

You can truly empathise with Meridia, who has grown up in a seemingly loveless family,in a house plagued by mysterious ghosts and mists, her only friends a nurse that disappears and a mysterious friend Hannah. Until she meets the love of her life, Daniel.

The romance is also beautifully written and you embark on Meridia's journey as a newlywed, in love with the romantic Daniel and flinching at the initially subtle criticisms of Eva. As the story unravels however, Daniel becomes frustrating and weak. As strong as Meridia's love is for him, you just want him desperately to break from the clutches of his bee-wielding mother.

I could not put this book down and I can honestly say it was one of the most beautifully written, enjoyable, interesting books i have ever read!
 
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Abi_Louise | 77 outras críticas | Dec 15, 2010 |
Of Bees And Mist
By
Erick Setiawan

I don’t think that I have words to describe this book. I can honestly say I have never read a book like this before. Ever. In my entire life. I can not even begin to tell you what kind of book this is. I think to accurately describe it I could say it had every mystical thing in it other than vampires and werewolves. There was a huge amount of unexplainable mysterious stuff going on in this book. The mist was the first oddity…the bees came much later. The mind of this author is quite an astonishing thing. I have no clue how he put all of this together into the literally spell binding piece of literature that I have been reading all week long. I feel a bit empty now that I have finished it. I will attempt to briefly highlight the story.

First of all there was the birth of Meredia. And since that was not normal at all it sort of set the scene for everything else that happened. Meredia was a huge character in the book but there were so many other huge characters. Really. Tons of them. After reading this book I am not even sure of the era. There was so much magic and mystery that I did not even care but I think it was a long long time ago in a far away place...almost positive. It was a story of families and love and nightmares and magic…this ever pervading unexplainable magic. The magic was everywhere. And…to be truthful…not all of the magic was good…it was frightening and surprising. It is also a story of families and love and a horrible evil. And I think it is a story of one woman’s strength and beauty and courage among so many things that could send the best of us under the covers.

Now that I have totally not explained this book…I can honestly say I loved it. It sort of made me queasy in the beginning but I learned to love this story. I felt caught up in it and spun around by it and totally taken over by it.

The author is amazing, the book was stunning, and I can’t believe I am finished with it. I wasn’t quite ready for it to end.

So…what do I think you should do? Hmmm…if you love an intense story…you should not pass up this book. If you love a quirky magical story…you should definitely read this book.

This book is my own personally purchased Kindled copy.
 
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PattyLouise | 77 outras críticas | Nov 12, 2010 |
Oh my goodness, what a fantastic novel! I have to admit, I was quite the skeptic going in. I wasn't sure if a male writer could portray the dynamic of three generations of women realistically. Setiawan proved my doubts wrong. Not only did he create realistic and enjoyable characters, but he also created a world I could get lost in.

Before I read Of Bees and Mist, I heard the story called a "magical realism" by few. That phrase is easy enough to figure out what it means just by hearing it, but I didn't fully understand what magical realism was until I read this story myself. This is quite the world Setiawan has created. It is very much like our world, accept magic is just a normal part of life. Also, the reader is never told where the story takes place. There is nothing in the story that points to a certain place in time. It could be in the past, present, or future. I think that helped add to the fantasy side of things.

In the middle of this world full of spells and witchcraft and all kinds of magic, you also have these characters with normal human problems. The heart of this book is about family drama. Neglectful parents, cheating spouses, crazy ass mother-in-laws... if you don't deal with any of these problems yourself, you are bound to know someone who does. The characters made mistakes, and some (one in particular) you honestly want punch in the face a few times, but that made them so realistic. I could sympathize with each character on a different level.

I absolutely adored Meridia. She was strong and wouldn't let people walk all over her, but she was also compassionate and took the higher road. She wasn't perfect by far, but that made her the perfect protagonist. I really loved how she first thought that by moving in with Daniel's family, she would finally have that perfect, happy family. Of course, she finds out Daniel's family has problems of their own. I think a lot of us feel like we have a messed up family, and we assume other families are so much more "normal". Every family has their own problems to deal with, and life is about overcoming them. I enjoyed being on Meridia's journey as she discovered this for herself.

The ending leaves the reader with the beautiful promise of hope. Of Bees and Mist stayed with me and still had me reeling over it long after I finished the last page. This was a remarkable debut for Setiawan. As long as he continues writing stories like this, I will continue reading them.
 
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YAaddict | 77 outras críticas | Nov 4, 2010 |