Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lord of Chaos


**Links: Prequel * Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5**

This is book six in the epic series Wheel of Time. I'm not terribly fond of this book. I found it to be rather tedious. Maybe that's not quite the right word. It just seemed to be a lot of storytelling that wasn't terribly important. At least, not in the grand scheme of things.

You mostly follow Rand, Egwene, Mat, and Nynaeve and Elayne in this book. There are a couple of instances where you follow Perrin, but he's not super prominent until the end.

Really, I'm going to be blunt here. This book (my copy on my Nook) is nearly 1000 pages long. Granted, about 50 of those are just the glossary and other non-essentials. But still, nearly 1000 pages. While there is a lot of story, the good part doesn't start happening until the last 100 pages or so. So, you have to muddle through a lot of pseudo-important crap to get to a really exciting climax and conclusion. And you will end the book unable to trust any Aes Sedai except for Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve. They are the only trustworthy ones. You'll fully understand that if you read this book.

This is a book that you have to get through to get through the series though. So, if you've read the series up to this point, just keep going. That's about all you're able to do. That's all I'm able to do.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Lion Among Men


**Links: Book 1 * Book 2**

Another almost stand alone book in Gregory Maguire's Wicked Years series. A Lion Among Men is the third of this four book series. I'm still super fond of Wicked, and these follow-up books never quite reach the same amazing point.

In this book, you learn a little about The Cowardly Lion's past. But he's not the only person you learn about. You also discover new things about Yackle, the old woman who was always on the sidelines of Elphaba's life. You even learn the reasons behind the Clock of the Time Dragon. It's a very revealing book that cleared up a lot of questions that I was left with at the end of Wicked.

I didn't love this book, but I definitely enjoyed it. It's a great addition to the Wicked Years series and if you love Wicked, you'll at least enjoy this. It takes place about nine years after the conclusion of Son of a Witch, which takes place about 15 years after the conclusion of Wicked. So, these books are covering a lot of time, with a lot of gaps in between.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Son of a Witch


**Link: Book 1**

Son of a Witch is the second book in Gregory Maguire's Wicked Years series. It's a strange book.

Son of a Witch follows Liir, who, it is implied and assumed, is Elphaba's son. It is never proven or disproven, but it is sort of an understood fact. Half of the book is memory. It's told in a flashback state. But through these flashbacks, you learn more about who Liir is. In Wicked, he was a secondary character. He didn't have an importance then. This is his book. You learn his character, which, starting out, isn't really much of anything. He starts off very murky, and you aren't sure who he is as a person. As the story progresses, you do learn that. His character is fleshed out.

I won't say that I absolutely recommend this book, but it has a good story. It's almost a separate story from Wicked, and thus would be a great stand alone book. But, be warned, there is some serious implication of homosexual relations. It's never flat out said, but you come to the conclusion that these two male characters were intimate. So, if you don't like that kind of thing, then you might have problems with a certain section towards the end of the book.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wicked

I'm seriously in love with Gregory Maguire books. I love the way that he takes classic fairy tales and puts an exciting new twist on them.

Wicked is the first book of a 4 book series called The Wicked Years. I love this book. It's such an exciting retelling of the Wizard of Oz where it focuses on the Wicked Witch of the West and her history. The story that nobody ever thinks to ask about, but I had always wondered. Why did the Wicked Witch of the West become so cruel? Was she always that way, or did something happen to make her that? This book covers that.

Following Elphaba (the Wicked Witch) through her life, growing up as a green girl, being different, you start feeling some manner of sympathy for her. Never really loved by anyone until she was grown. Never understood. She tried to be a voice of a revolution for Animals, animals that have a soul. She wanted to be, if not good, at least appreciated. And she was stuck, being this unwanted green girl. You do feel sorry for her.

Read this book! It is a thousand times better than the musical (although the musical is superb as well). There is so much more in the book than there is in the musical. You cover so many other characters and stories that are so important to the transformation of Elphaba to the Wicked Witch.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

I started rereading the Harry Potter series recently because of the big news of Pottermore being open to everyone. I knew I had to do Pottermore, because I love learning things about books that I love that were never included in the book. JK Rowling doesn't disappoint with Pottermore.

This book is a great beginning to what has become a must read series. If you haven't read Harry Potter yet, shame on you. You totally should because the story in just this book is one of strength and growing into a person who does good.

What else can be said about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone? I'll give that the first chapter is a bit slow and almost not necessary for the course of the book. And doing this book in conjunction with Pottermore, you learn about how Vernon and Petunia Dursley met, the history of Professor McGonagall, a lot of history that JK Rowling never included in the book, but were hinted at in the story.

I think I'll always love this book.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Breaking Dawn


**Links: Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3**

This truly is my favorite book of this series. I think the reason is because Bella's character is less whiny than in the other books. The story is much more mature, and the characters are less like teenagers and more like adults.

Bella and Edward get married. They have a baby. Bella becomes a vampire. And then the danger comes from the Volturi, the vampire "rulers". It's a story that has excitement, and you fully understand Jacob's purpose in the story, the reason he became so crucial and couldn't be cut out.

I wish that I could say this would be an amazing stand alone book, but I know it's not. I know that so many of the connections that are prominent in this book are developed throughout the entire series. So, you'd have to suffer through the teenage melodrama that the first three books have (although by Eclipse, it's become less angsty and more serious), to get to the great story in this one book. But I love it. And that's not just through my teenage girl reader.

I'll still stand by the writing not being exceptional. I joked to my husband that the most complicated word on the page I happened to be reading was "chagrin", so that should tell you something. The vocabulary is great for a young adult novel, but I like complex words that take a little time to figure out. But that's just me.

Give this series a chance, if only to develop your own opinion of it. It starts of okay (Twilight), goes to extremely angst-ridden (New Moon), transforms into a more complex story (Eclipse), before ending with a story that will leave you hoping for a happy ending (Breaking Dawn). Or, at least, that's how I see it. Your opinion might be different.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Eclipse


**Links: Book 1 * Book 2**

Eclipse is my second favorite of this series. It's still not the most well written of books, but it's an improvement, especially when compared to New Moon just before it. But I do actually enjoy the story of this one a little more. I think it's because, by this point in the series, I've found myself completely immersed in the lives of these characters and the struggles of each of them is becoming so much more defined.

Granted, you still need to release your mind to a point where you let yourself be a teenage girl, but past that, it's a better book. I do enjoy this one. (Breaking Dawn, the last book, is really my favorite.)

But, like all the books in the Twilight Saga, go into it not expecting greatness and instead expecting an escape from reality for a while, and you'll be golden.