Cradle and All
by James Patterson (Goodreads Author)
Indonesian translation, entitled "Awal Mula Segalanya"
Berbagai bencana melanda kota-kota di dunia. Wabah penyakit, kekeringan, kelaparan, banjir, dan berbagai malapetaka lain. Semuanya menandai kemungkinan datangnya bencana yg lebih besar.
Di Boston, gadis muda ditemukan hamil dalam keadaan perawan. Di Irlandia, seorang gadis muda juga mengalami keadaan yang sama. Salah satunya mungkin mengandung Juru Selamat yang akan membebaskan dunia dari bencana. Dan salah satunya mengandung putra Iblis.
Anne Fitzgerald, mantan biarawati yang menjadi penyelidik swasta, disewa Keuskupan Agung Boston untuk menyeliliki kasus kehamilan perawan ini. Bersama Anne, Pastor Nicholas Rosetti mendapat misi dari Vatican untuk menemukan siapa di antara kedua gadis ini yang mengandung Juru Selamat. Mereka pun harus berpacu dengan waktu dan mempertaruhkan nyawa mereka saat berhadapan dengan legiun Setan yang berniat menguasai dunia.
PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 2007
Saya: Kisah tentang Iblis dan Yesus yang lahir kembali ke dunia?
Samnatha: This book.. is so much more than a book to me. This book is a beautiful, yet bittersweet memory for me. I remember reading this book when I was about 12-years-old. I had spent the weekend with Nana (my mom's mother). She had taken me to the library that Friday to get me a stack of Sweet Valley High books. I had read through them, and wanted to read something else. Nana grabbed the book she had finished, she had just gotten it. And it was Cradle and All. She figured that I might enjoy it. I began reading it, and couldn't stop. I was excited and into it! I finished the book by Sunday afternoon. I kept going on and on about how great the book was. And how much I loved the ending. How it was a twist I didn't expect.
That evening I went home and I found out that one of my closest friends, a girl I had been baptized with had passed away at 9-years-old of Cancer. And then in 2007, Nana passed away, three days shy of 67 years old. Last year, for Christmas, my husband bought me a First Edition of this book. It is one of my most prized books and will be till the day I die.
Pam: James Patterson does a passable action story, and I can see that his books would translate well to film. On the other side, characterization is almost non-existent. The action in this book involves events surrounding the "virgin" pregnancies of two teenaged girls, closely scrutinized by the Catholic Church. The protagonist is a former Catholic nun, turned private detective, and hired by the church to watch over one of the girls. Presumably, one girl will give birth to the Saviour, and the other to the anti-Christ. The story gives hints that either girl could give birth to the anti-Christ, despite twists and turns and a reasonable amount of action. What is missing, is any sense that the author has attempted to develop the personalities of these two teenagers, or even of the nun/P.I. . Much more work would be needed to convince me that the author has ever even conversed with a teenaged girl, much less had any idea how one thinks or feels. Internal dialogue is a huge thing for understanding young women, and there is none of that here. So, if you're looking for an action book with a religion-entwined plot, you may enjoy this. If you're looking for any depth of character, religious thought or emotion, look elsewhere.
Nayarit: Ok, so my opinion of this book might be totally bias because this book is honestly the first book I ever remember reading that wasn't a "school assignment" or those Goosebumps books in middle school. (go R.L. Stine!)
So it was my first "adult" choice book. And I'm SO glad it was, because it did the job. I don't know if I'd be as taken with reading if I didn't like this book.
Thankfully that wasn't the case. Have I read things I've loved more since this book? Of course. But you're always gonna have a soft spot and love for your "first."
I loved the plot, it kept me turning the pages. I rememeber being SO engrossed in what was going on and not knowing WHAT would happen next. I REALLY loved the locations in the story, I remember thinking they were beautiful and I could completely picture them in my head. But more so, I loved the two girls (the main characters). I felt like I could relate to them.
I fully intend to go back and read this agian to see if I still love it as much and really figure out what did it for me, but having said that I'll always love this book for what it signifies to me. And I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a good suspenseful plot and a fun, quick page turner!
Shireen: Boy, does James Patterson write short chapters. That was my first thought, this from someone who writes short chapters herself, but not quite that brief. This style of writing moves the story along rapidly and doesn't require the author to put in transitions in between scenes or even mid-scene. But it doesn't create suspense. The plot itself is suspenseful -- for about a third of the way in. Then we know what the mystery is about. Still, the main story is engaging enough to keep one reading to find out who is whom, but Patterson resorts to predictable techniques to create suspense, which don't work too well because they are predictable. My objection to his style of writing is it's loose and has rather a feel of being dashed off. It's OK to zip through the writing as long as it doesn't feel like you did. Also things happen and then everything goes back to normal and you're left hanging, wondering what happened to so-and-so.
The romance was OK but it didn't move me. I wasn't rooting for the couple. Perhaps the rapid shifts in point of view kind of broke that spell. The revelation in the final chapters is unexpected, so it has that going for it, but there's no sense of "oh yeah!" to it, which IMHO, a good mystery or thriller ought to have especially when you absolutely don't see the solution coming. And the very ending at the very end was truly disappointing. It's supposed to make you hear that doo-doo doo-doo music. But it is unbelievable. And it is such a cliche, the eyes roll heavenward.
It's too bad Goodreads doesn't have half stars, otherwise I'd give it 2.5 stars. I did give it 3, but then on reflecting back that I didn't look forward to reading it like I do an Agatha Christie, I downgraded it to 2.