Read Hades by Mark Z. Danielewski Online


When a viral video puts twelve-year-old Xanther under a spotlight of scrutiny at school, her little white cat—still slumbering, still unnamed—offers the only escape, though it comes at a price. Not even Xanther’ parents can deny the strange currents now shuddering around their eldest, touching off inexplicable happenings. Entities troubling the dreams of the twins seem toWhen a viral video puts twelve-year-old Xanther under a spotlight of scrutiny at school, her little white cat—still slumbering, still unnamed—offers the only escape, though it comes at a price. Not even Xanther’ parents can deny the strange currents now shuddering around their eldest, touching off inexplicable happenings. Entities troubling the dreams of the twins seem to have singled out Freya. Despite invitations to a gala at The Met, Anwar fears the solution to their financial difficulties might expose more than just his family to dangerous consequences. Something greater is at hand, something terrible is at stake. And all the while, faces unfamiliar to the Ibrahims draw closer and closer: Jingjing, in Singapore, clutching charms, boards a plane for Los Angeles; Cas and Bobby, with visions of Xanther in Mefisto’s Orb, must elude attacks from the sky. Strangers collide . . . though will those intersections lead to alliances or war? And does the dance at the center of Volume 4 augur the liberation of our better angels or the release of a creature set to feast on the wings of hope?...

Title : Hades
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780375715006
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 880 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Hades Reviews

  • Ian Scuffling
    2019-02-04 16:44

    Re-read Update: While there is maybe some legitimate critique about the plot spinning wheels in Vol. 4--to re-frame the conversation in TV-speak--it's clear this book is setting up the chess pieces for a real walloping blow in the "season final" that is book 5. Also, if you're reading these books simply for the plot and not connecting with the layers of significance, connexion, meaning, myth, and mystery, why read MZD at all?-----The self-doubt and the skepticism I once felt upon picking up the newest installment in The Familiar is now gone by Hades, volume 4 in this insane, spiraling 27-part (fingers are crossed quite determinedly and [semi-]permanently) series. And as soon as I cracked the first page, I was hooked, drawn fully, immersively back into its tangling web-world of elucidations, obfuscations, mystifications and cascade of reflexive, referential themes, easter eggs, motifs and more. This is not just a story about a 12-year old girl and her cat. It's not even "just a story" at all. Danielewski, in destroying narrative form, exploding genre tropes (particularly with his sights on pulp genres) and applying the rubrics of the classics (if the title Hades wasn't signifier enough) has created in The Familiar a contemporary myth. It is also an essential Global novel (it has a bit of the zeitgeist, but, really, it feels beyond that even) with the scope of uncovering identity as a shared experience, rather than an individual one.It's not even a single myth, it's a full mythology in a scale that's on par with the ancients. We have creation myth (one that seems to be pointing to ideas of simulation & simulacrum; is reality real?), we have myths of morals (new morals for the contemporary, global world that search beyond good and bad, though must operate within those parameters), a myth of unity (one that is slowly drawing together an almost [almost] comically diverse rainbow coalition) and, of course, entertainment myth, where rich lines of connexion are drawn between distant players, elevating the acts of mere mortals to the power of deities--the myth of uplift (though, methinks there will be inversions to come).To even begin turning over the stones on the rich web of narrative in The Familiar is a trip down a rabbit hole, a rabbit hole with paper-covered walls of conspiracy. A conspiracy whose conclusion is one thing: Truth. That capitalized, metaphysical version of the word. The version that one can only get to through myth and story--the reason Humanity has these forms. I don't know what Truth Danielewski's working towards is--though I have some inklings, it would be reductive and myopic to limit them to a parenthetical. But I do know I'm along for the ride as long as it goes.While these 880 page books read like 250/300 pages, it's significant to note that by the time you've finished Hades, you've torn through (at least) 1,000 pages and 120 chapters in the blink of an eye. I'm already prepped to dip back in for a full re-read in preparation for Redwood, Season One's conclusion. Perhaps you'll join me?In my reviews, to this point, I don't think I've broached the book-series-as-TV-series topic, nor have I really done much explication of plot, or speculated about where the story lines are headed. That's mostly because I don't want to be prescriptive by engaging that in a review--these are the things you go out and have a conversation about. And I think this is a significant part of Danielewski's design. A beautiful vision where water cooler talk takes aims at big, hairy ideas enrobed in a peculiar book featuring a little girl and a kitten; a vision of talk about "what happened this time on The Familiar" instead of reality shows and formulaic scripts. Just accessible enough for every Tom, Dick and Jane, but rewarding and rich enough for those of us with a predilection for "big" books. In essence, everyone should read The Familiar.It should be clear at this point that The Familiar series is going to wildly surpass House of Leaves in terms of literary accomplishment--and that's even if Pantheon doesn't let MZD see this thing through to all 27 volumes. We're only at 4/27ths of the story (and only promised 10 so far), but I know one thing for certain: Pantheon had damn well better.Volume 1: One Rainy Day in MayVolume 2: Into the ForestVolume 3: Honeysuckle & Pain

  • Neil
    2019-02-16 19:01

    In this chapter/volume of The Familiar, I found myself regretting that I am reading copies from my library rather than purchasing my own. The reason for this is that the Narcons make a lot more interjections in this volume and many of them are references back to preceding volumes which, of course, I could not look up because the books have gone back to the library!"Narcons" won't mean much to people who have not read Volumes 1-3, but these "narrative constructs" are much more active and make the overall meta-narrative aspects of the series more prominent. Add to this that the distinct story lines are starting to merge more rapidly now and it feels like things are really starting to get moving.But we know this sense of movement is a bit of an illusion. Danielewski is taking his time with this story. Each volume is 840 pages long and there is no sense of a rush to get anywhere. I imagine that anyone who has got as far as Volume 4 has decided to commit to the journey. If all goes to plan, there will be 27 volumes with Volume 6 due out soon-ish and the others following at roughly 6-month intervals. The question is whether both publisher and (enough) readers will stick around for long enough to see it through. Also, I suppose there is a question as to whether Danielewski will stay with the same story for so many years. Or will he do a Mantel and head off to other projects leaving his readers frustrated?The typesetting remains a distinguishing feature. As I read some parts of this one, I was reflecting on how many writers introduce tension or panic into their stories by shortening their sentences so the reader feels like they are rushing through. Danielewski takes this one step further by putting each of those shortened sentences on its own page. The physical experience of turning the pages so rapidly really does make you feel the sense of urgency at those parts of the story. And that contrasts well with the pages that are graphic or full of unusual markings where you are forced to slow right down and spend several minutes on a single page.There is little point in summarising what happens in this volume. For me, it was largely about establishing more and firmer links between the different stories. Jingjing is now in America and has met with Luther. Luther and his gang have encountered Ozgur. These are just examples of how things are connecting. Meanwhile, Xanther continues to take centre stage (at one point literally) with her unnamed cat whilst her parents continue to struggle for money and have to make a big decision about the ominous looking Galavadyne corporation.There is a very real sense of pieces being moved around ready for a grand finale.Finally, I can't believe it took me until part way through this fourth volume to realise what "katla" means. It's been staring me in the face for 3-and-a-bit volumes but I somehow never thought about it. Very Bladerunner.I will read Volume 5 soon and that will complete the first series. I am keen to know how that works out and interested to know how it will pick up in Volume 6 whenever that is available.

  • Jill
    2019-02-07 14:46

    And we're back to Book 1, where it feels more like the parts than the whole. The narratives were bland (did anything at all happen, actually, aside from Xanther going to see a ballet and some Very Obvious "they're all connected" moments?). The writing style bugs me again (I know everyone says Xanther speaks like a twelve-year-old girl, but does everyone also teach high school and hang out with twelve-year-old girls all day because they don't sound like that -- the use of slang was often cringeworthy ("on fleek"??! no one EVER said that seriously, even in 2014!)). I cared less about characters I'd previously enjoyed; I didn't feel creeped out or even, really, engaged. Even the design seemed less affecting (save a few gorgeous pages). Danielewski no :( I was with you, man!But I'll be back. I've come this far; I'm in it for the long haul. I just can't take much more of the following things:- Jingjing and Shnork's language patterns (I'm sorry, I don't find it in any way effective)- Xanther being so perfect and everyone loving her even though she comes off completely average (this MIGHT be because of the 'cat', in which case: forgiven. Otherwise omfg. I loved Xanther, but she irritated me bigtime in this volume.)- Relatedly: the Ibrahim family having ALL these wealthy and famous friends??? Why??? They seem pretty average??????? This needs to be explained; intercharacter connections (and, cough, a book like this) only work if they're not deus ex machina, and it's looking a lot like that, right now.- Characters doing the same thing over and over without any real progress (Cas' narrative was initially my favourite, but like...they're scrying and running. Like ok thanks that's enough do or explain something already.)- Weird graphic design for the sake of weird graphic design (not ALL the design -- some's really effective -- but some of it is just "look what we can do with a computer, aren't we cool!")- The constant self-referencing (that "tFv1 p.235" shit). We get it. You're writing a big ole book and you want us to know things will come back. Don't be precious about it. If we want to doublecheck, we will -- or put out something online with all the references. It takes from the detective work and the reading experience to see it in-text.- Things that are BORING. A lot of this is BORING. I don't need constant action but give me something that isn't characters speaking in tendrils. I worry that the form is getting in the way of the content; that this could easily be a single volume. The padding is getting a bit...apparent.- The cat. I don't like cats. Can it transmogrify into an eternal being or whatever it actually is already.However -- to be fair, and because the back of Vol 4 had Goodreads reviews so I don't want Danielewski to hate me, things I loved:- Astair. I love Astair. I JUS LOVE HER. She's the realest and most layered of the characters, for me, and I love how her internal personal & parental conflicts are treated. Stoked to hear about her family history and rich-ass parents!- CONSPIRACY THEORIES can we have more of these, please?! Fewer animal references, more Galvadyne!- The Hades & Persephone ballet. FUCKKKKin' eh. Can that be choreographed in real life?! Someone! Brilliant interpretation of the myth.- other things maybe? I enjoy these books, I do; I just...didn't have much of an experience with this particular one. I hold Danielewski accountable to actual literary quality: he can do it, and it doesn't have to rely on these little ~mysteries~ and printing errors to be decoded on Reddit. More of Vol. 3's intensity, characterization, and interwoven plotting -- less rambling & snarky hat-tips.P.S. Before y'all jump on my review bitching that I didn't "get it," yeah okay maybe I didn't! But my barometre of books I don't "get" is whether I CARE enough to "get" them -- and I cared about Vols. 2 & 3. I went back to them. And I ain't rereading Hades. Gimme Volume 5 --- let's have a season finale worth giving a shit about.

  • Jonathan Pool
    2019-01-21 11:05

    Part 4 of The Familiar accelerates the merging of the different storylines, as expected. Jingjing flies to LA from Singapore and is immediately confronted by Luther. He, and Tian Li pursue their search of their cat; 8,778 miles away!Steady Eddie Anwar potentially sells his soul in search of paid employment, an income. The obviously nasty Galvadyne inc. reveals a small part of itself.The police force and gangland Los Angeles circle one another, where Oz and Juarez have an unlikely respect, or admiration, for the other's shooting skills.The HADES of the title moves Xanther centre stage in the story (literally and metaphorically!).Classical performance drama; Persephone in Hades, by the deliciously named choreographer,"Myla Mint".Lightning stones (or nightmare stones) bring together storyline narrative and what I had previously taken to be simply the logo/ image of the book's type setters. I gather that Danielewski has coined the phrase "signiconic" or sign + icon wherein text and image merge. The stones are a good example of this.To anybody reading this without knowledge of the series, such quick summary extracts will sound disjointed, random.A lot goes on in The Familiar. Mark Danielewski has taken his time in constructing a multi layered, subtlety referenced work of some scholarship and imagination. It's a glimpse of a future, the incorporation of the mystic, the reality of life's dangers, the togetherness of a family unit.It's a big time commitment such that I fear not enough readers will sign up for the long ride, and then how commercially viable is the series continuance?That's for contemplation when I've completed the final instalment of the first series, Redwood.

  • Chris
    2019-01-22 18:56

    This far in, my reviews will become much more specific. Previous entries: One Rainy Day in May, Into the Forest, Honeysuckle and Pain.I’m starting to get worried here. The series has gone from front and center in the new section of Green Apple Books to requiring a kind of sojourn where I have to ask multiple people and look all over for the latest episode. “Looks like there is no review copies this time”, says the clerk. I fear for the series reaching 25 or whatever.Which is a shame, because Volume 4 is excellent. It finally, finally, begins to get over the issue I had taken in the past few volumes: Too slow. Characters treading water. Hades drives the characters together, develops plot and mystery. Even Shnork, our most aimless character, coughing and driving his cab around for 3 volumes, receives the character development he sorely needed.Nearly every chapter has some relationship to the greater plot. Anwar is still job hunting, but this thread now takes him down shadowy corporate wormholes. Most of the characters have now converged on LA. Ozgur meets half the rest of the cast, previously isolated. It’s all tense and well connected. Though not flawless. Erstwhile and supremely creepy hitman Isandorno spends most of the book with a mysterious woman, whose identity is heavily hinted at (and it’s intriguing), and then spends his last chapter doing nothing.Indeed, there’s still quite a bit of teasing — we leave one character with a warehouse full of guns and an idea of what they’re going to do with them. Actually now that I think of it, there’s two characters with cliffhangers involving separate gun mysteries. But with the next volume referred to as the “Season 1 finale”, this feels appropriate, and I’m seriously looking forward to this fall.The series has flirted with horror and continues to do so. Danielewski achieved notoriety through House of Leaves, of course, and his grasp on spatial horror remains sharp. Xanther’s little sisters are plagued by nightmares (surely the kitten is to blame…), and in one scene, one of them is crying and pointing at a corner, repeating “There is a ladder in the floor.” Instant chills.This was originally published at The Scrying Orb.

  • Loring Wirbel
    2019-01-22 11:40

    By now, some of you are deciding that I'm going to award Danieleswi an automatic five stars 27 times, assuming all volumes of this ambitious project are released. Truth be told, I'm more than willing to remove a star, perhaps two, if the story line starts to flag or the art progression become predictable. But damned if Danielewski isn't weaving together the characters and story lines with just the right touch of suspense, while leaving many things unexplained. There is even a hint of why the prelude capsule story of the last days of Anwar Sadat matter to this book - though as is the case very often in The Familiar series, we are often unsure as to whether we dare to know how the elements are weaving together, or where the story is headed.The other Anwar in this book is pondering a job with the effusively huggy and chummy Silicon Valley company Galvadyne ("no, don't do it, Anwar!"), which has no obvious horrific sides, but seems linked to subtly nefarious things, and whose CEO shows too much interest in Anwar's daughter Xanther, and in Anwar's transitory friend Mefisto. Said Mefisto, meanwhile, is tied ever closer to Bobby, Cas, and the underground protectors of The Orbs. Mefisto also seems to show up in the same clubs as Turkish LAPD Detective Ozgur, who is sharing information with Israeli researcher Warlock. Warlock, meanwhile, appears tied in with the Orb-minders.Some may be shaking their heads at this point, convinced they do not like novels with an international cast of characters numbering in the dozens. But have no fear! Danielewski makes it easy for us by color-coding the top outward-facing corners of the book's pages for easy reference to one particular sub-plot. Each succeeding book makes greater use of page references to previous books to help the perplexed.Our central protagonist, Xanther, travels outside California in this volume, and progresses further in understanding that her odd seizures may not be epilepsy at all, and that her relationship with her still-unnamed cat helps to ground her expanding adolescent personality. Danielewski makes greater use of visual art in Hades in order to bring Xanther into sharper focus. The seizures are illustrated with dense and dark forests, collections of stones which may represent nightmares or something worse, and scorch marks on the pages as Xanther sets her wider world on fire.There will be readers who find all of the trappings of the series too clever by half, but they would likely be the type of readers who would never consider picking up a graphic novel, either. The Familiar is a larger-than-life speculative fiction tale, told with grace and bravado, that deserves to announce itself with artwork and type-fonts that leap off the page. Most of its readers no doubt anticipate that Danielewski must take a breath or two at some point, and that a volume in the series will lag a bit in its ability to carry the story forward. So far, we have not hit that point. Danielewski is delivering a relentless panorama as big as the planet.(In answer to a question on Goodreads, let me reiterate that these books are not self-contained novels. If they seem interesting, begin with Book 1 and progress through the volumes sequentially. If your eyes glaze over, you can quit early. But chances are, you will find The Familiar a bullet-train series in speculative fiction. The train left the station, but you still have time to scramble on board.)

  • J
    2019-01-24 15:52

    Danielewski is up to his best tricks again. Questionable reality. Questionable truth. ⠮Satya?⠝ So many questions. ⠮So buttons?⠝ An origami of characters coming together. katla katla-katla. Drawing the reader in, not only to engage, but to be apart of, to experience, what they are reading. ⠮Reddit couldn't do it, maybe goodreads can?⠝

  • Scott
    2019-02-12 11:45

    The back of this book contains review blurbs of Volume 3 from GoodReads users who liked it. They didn't pick mine. Maybe I can be on Volume 5. Here's my review:"A magnificent tour de force! I couldn't put it down!" --James Patterson"Danielewski is a wizard. Xanther's story will resonate with today's youth and I love all the font changes and shit." --Ursula K. Le Guin"Fans of Game of Thrones and Harry Potter will love it!" --Neil Gaiman or someone

  • Tanner Cooper-Risser
    2019-02-14 14:40

    Best book yet. No surprise there. Exceeds expectations. Brilliantly begins to tie in the characters to each other more. Volume 4 begins to show how each of the main characters are connected. Great read and left me wanting more! The Season finale: Volume 5 needs to come out soon! So excited for October!

  • Daniel Williams
    2019-01-26 17:39

    The Familiar has taken a breath in the most incredible way. This book slowed down the plot a hair. It felt like a cat that was rearing back to pounce, and The Familiar is ready to pounce. Structured like a TV show, this "episode" is right before the finale. Even it a tad bit slower of pace it has still succeeded in being my favorite volume of The Familiar. #BeAHymnForGood

  • Myles
    2019-02-14 11:51

    Yes, it's still really good. It's getting better, even, but there's still some indulgent content and formatting that kept me from fully immersing myself in the novel. Danielewski is keeping his mammoth story tightly reined in, and we're getting more and more references back to previous installments complete with volume and page numbers.Hades finds Xanther back at school with a viral clip hanging over her head. She's still unable to find a satisfying name for the little one and a solution to the pain she feels when they're apart. Despite this, and more normal terrors, Xanther is finding strength in herself and her friends to face these problems. Astair and Anwar make a crucial decision and Xanther's sisters begin to be effected by the powers at work with Xanther.Shnork finally gives us something to go on, while Jingjing and Tian Li arrive in LA and put all of our characters in the same hemisphere. Unexpected developments occur with Luther and Ozgur, Cas and Bobby's flight takes on broader implications as they encounter unexpected allies, and Isandoro....can't simplify it much. His perspective seems to give way entirely to the Mayor and Teyo.We swing from cliffhanger to cliffhanger, character's continue to unwittingly cross paths and yet somehow were' all set up for a big conclusion next volume when the first season comes to an end.The Familiar, Volume 3: Honeysuckle & PainThe Familiar, Volume 5: Redwood

  • Joshua Hoffert
    2019-01-25 16:57

    If you're looking for a read that transcends words on a page, The Familiar is it, as Danielewski has me scouring the internet, feasting on information in regards to this wonderful universe he's created. And being as the books are set up as a TV series, I am looking forward to binge-watching the rest (of the show (even if it does span the better part of a decade)).

  • podzo
    2019-01-21 17:44

    What (in heavens((or hells)) name ) the frick is going on.Xanther the focus point, aided by which? (witch) a young *OLD* blind toothless kitten*DOG*? Is she the (FONT?) source of Power that the rest of the cast are revolving {resolving} around either willingly or not, while shady and other worldly [wordy] forces attempt to affect and manipulate?The Familiar continues to astound beguile and mystify in equal measure. Strongly advise anyone to get into this genre defying epic before the proposed 27 volume becomes too daunting.Better than Christmas because it comes around twice a year

  • Darrell
    2019-02-03 10:47

    "Just one cage finding another. Maybe wider. Maybe bigger. Still cage. All of it. With horizons for bars."The Familiar, Volume 4 takes place between August and September 2014. All of the different characters in The Familiar are really starting to come together. Luther and Ozgur see each other at the gun range. Jingjing and Xanther just barely miss each other at the airport. Luther sells drugs to Jingjing.There are also thematic overlaps between the characters. Luther suddenly knows a word he shouldn't know, like Xanther suddenly knowing French. Xanther is the star of a viral video and gets unwanted fame. Cas also gets unwanted fame in her own circle. Cas spends some time in little Switzerland and Xanther's friend says he wants to go to Switzerland. After the events of Volume 3, the first few chapters imply Xanther is dead. Also, Cas almost gets blown up.Now that she's in eighth grade, things seem to be looking up for Xanther since the bully she had the most trouble with is now in high school. Shnorhk, the least interesting character from the first three volumes, finally becomes interesting as we learn that he has been avoiding dealing with the loss of his daughter.Ozgur is having relationship troubles. Anwar gets a job offer in New York. Luther, who's had a voracious sexual appetite up until now, is now having impotence issues. Astair is haunted by the lion that almost killed Xanther. Jingjing comes to Los Angeles with his aunt, although the long plane ride is particularly difficult for him due to his drug withdrawls.We learn Bobby and Cas are also known as Sam and Hailey (which were the names of the main characters from another Danielewski novel, Only Revolutions.)Cats continue to be a theme. Shnorhk's wife adopts a cat. Ozgur noticies a Bast pendant he gave someone has been regifted. Cat emoticons are hidden in the code Mefisto left Anwar. Luther sees a cat appear on the firing range.In addition to the ubiquitous cats, cages was another theme I noticed in Volume 4. For example, Anwar wonders if thoughts can have hinges and suddenly swing open like a cage. Also, he and Xanther watch a show about cages. I liked the part where Anwar's friend told him "The hangover grants us the pleasure of experiencing a return to health."There's a scene I particularly liked in which Xanther and Anwar are backstage at The Met. Although they appear ethereal while performing, the second the audience isn't watching, the ballerinas drop their facade. If they get injured on stage, they don't let on until they're backstage. We see sweat pouring from them, smell their body odor, and hear their profanities. We see how difficult it is for them to make ballet look effortless.As an aside, I noticed the back cover of the book had a few five star Goodreads reviews for the previous volume. It occurs to me this is a good marketing strategy. Not just the usual strategy of putting good reviews on the cover to encourage people to buy it, but the strategy of including regular people's reviews to encourage them to leave five star reviews in the hopes of seeing their name on the back cover. (The Familiar also includes pictures of cats people send in, another way to encourage people to buy the book to see if their cat picture made it in to this volume.)

  • Miguel Plante
    2019-02-14 16:48

    Bon, on me dira que je suis vendu à cette série. C'est incontestablement de plus en plus vrai.Familiar. Cette ambitieuse série de 27 livres programmée par Danielewski, dont la prémisse du 1er volume était «Une jeune fille épileptique sauve un petit chaton blanc vieux de mille ans et l'adopte», mais qui parvenait tout de même à nous pondre un 800 pages intéressants sur le sujet... 4 volumes plus tard, les attentes sont toujours récompensées, alors que tous les personnages de l'univers de The Familiar (avec autant de codes narratifs, visuels et logiques poussant la lecture à un autre niveau) gravitent, leurs destins se rapprochant dangereusement.L'histoire, qui avance si peu, mais tellement à la fois, ne prend pas une ampleur monstre durant le quatrième volume. Mais au moins, on nous offre plusieurs réponses à nos questions, sans trop en poser de nouvelles. Anwar mène sa famille de belle manière depuis qu'il a reçu le coup de fil de Galvadyne, l'entreprise de jeux vidéo/informatique/programmation/contact avec d'autres dimensons l'a appelé pour une entrevue. Lors d'un voyage à New York avec Xanther, qui emmènera la fillette loin de son chat (à ses dépens!), le père de famille réalise l'ampleur de la compagnie, mais jamais autant que le lecteur, qui crée des liens (enfin) entre l'histoire de la famille, Luther, Galvadyne, mais aussi Bobby et Cas, Isadorno, Luther et tous les autres. Et au-travers de cette intrigue qui se dévoile, Jingjing et sa vieille tante débarquent en Californie, déterminés à retrouver leur chat...Voilà un résumé plutôt risible pour quiconque lirait cette critique sans avoir lu The Familiar. Mais si Danielewski continue à parfaire son sens extrême (presqu'autiste!) de la recherche méthodique et à l'appliquer à son oeuvre, les conséquences sur ma manière de voir la littérature vont être monumentales.

  • AJ Reinwand
    2019-01-20 12:37

    Surprisingly, not a lot happens here.More connections are made, more characters meet each other, more bullshit undecipherable JingJing nonsense - by the way, is he a villain? Will he and Xanther team up? I feel like he's an obnoxious villain. I want him gone. I don't want him around for 27 fucking volumes.Luther pees in some Big Gulp cups.Cas looks into her orb again a few times.Panther goes to a play.Hope you don't want to know what happened to that tiger that escaped, because that shit is never touched upon here.Another mildly interesting cliffhanger.I get that this is 27 volumes, so this will be a slow burn, but a lot of this feels like what has already happened with very little movement forward. But I get it, we're only 1/7 of the way through this thing.Kind of curious how much total time this story takes up. We're 4 volumes in and it's been about five months. Will it continue as about a month per book? So a little over 2 years? Hmm. Interesting, but really limits what can happen I think.

  • Shawn Holman
    2019-01-30 17:05

    These books are complicated. They are on one hand brilliant and engaging, yet also on the other hand, frustrating, and vague, and confusing. For an 800+ page book, very little happens. It feels like we're moving to some sort of culminating ending at some point but that movement is at a snail's pace that makes me wonder why I keep going and what some of the story lines have to do with each other. And then by the time the book ends I'm completely sold on reading the next one. The series plot is also nearly impossible to explain. When people ask me what it's about I usually respond with "a cat". And yet it's so much more than that.

  • Jon Schwartz
    2019-02-14 13:05

    Having read 4 of these now, I continue to get more and more drawn into this story. The characters (and the meta-characters) along with the format make this possibly the most interesting story I have ever gotten into. The experience of reading these books is hard to put into words, which is unfortunate because I struggle with how to recommend these books to friends. With 4 books down (and around 20-ish?) to go in the series, I can definitely advocate taking the plunge to anyone who is not scared of a challenging but fully worth it investment. Volume 3 was the first truly un-put-down-able book in the series, and v4 was just as good if not better.

  • Kaylee
    2019-01-30 13:57

    Pretty sure each one of these is better than the last (or the story is more fleshed out, which makes it better than the last). This one was particularly awesome (I actually had favorite quotes, not just pages based on aesthetics). The characters are getting more and more woven together -- and gah at the ending that definitely left me wanting #5 right away!So, all in all, MZD worked his magic yet again, and it's all coming together. Can't wait to see what the final chapter of the 1st season has in store... and where he takes it from there.

  • Fridtjof
    2019-02-03 12:50

    Wow. Wow. Best one so far. Read it in 3 days (previous volumes were taking 1-2 weeks each). It was so great that I'm burning up with anger (even more than initially) because of recent news on TF. I just hope it changes and Mark can finish this the way he intended so we can all continue enjoying this masterpiece for years and years to come. I want this to keep being my companion. This book is my Familiar. Please don't take it away from me.//that escalated quickly, but i had to let it all out.Starting Redwood now.I'm scared.

  • Gene Heinrich
    2019-01-19 18:43

    Well, only 10 more years before this projected 27 book series is finished. Things are pulling together, slowly and mysteriously. Story lines are converging, characters are meeting, the main plot (Xanther and her still unnamed cat) as compelling as ever. There are still times when I have no idea what is happening, but I can't stop reading! One more book to go and that ends the first "season".

  • Bas
    2019-01-19 11:55

    Okay. Everybody. Stop what you're doing right now and go read this! The Familiar is by far the most intriguing, mind-bending, multi-layered reading experience I've had in years, brimfull of puzzles, mysteries, action and cultural references. A book like a top TV-series that will keep you thinking and puzzling all day...

  • Brian Miller
    2019-01-17 17:38

    Each book is a faster read than the last. Hades is more of what we've come to expect from this series, taking us a bit further down the rabbit hole and forming a few more connections before the season finale.

  • Robert Konkle
    2019-02-09 15:52

    An egg which each crack opens up to some prize unlike all before.

  • Gregg
    2019-02-16 14:46

    Everything is starting to come together, sets the stage for what's to come with characters I know well enough to be invested in and still surprise me.

  • Karen
    2019-01-21 12:36

    So glad that I already have Volume 5 so I can start it right away. All of the strands of the story and the characters are interweaving into increasingly meaningful patterns.

  • Yuri Maxim Schneider
    2019-02-15 17:42

    By far the most ambitious, intriguing,beautiful, poetic, exciting, addictive, mysterious and "trippy" series of books you will ever pick up. Give it try. You shall not be disappointed!

  • Daren
    2019-01-28 18:35

    Favorite so far. cant wait to read how season one ends

  • Andreas Veie-Rosvoll
    2019-01-26 15:03

    This is heatin' uppp

  • Adrian
    2019-01-29 11:02

    Ticking along quite nicely, but I can't escape the feeling everything so far could have been told in one volume...