Wednesday, January 25, 2012
In Mieville's story, one girl, Zanna, is the Chosen One -- what she's chosen for, she has no clue about, but she first realizes that something is watching her and and another malevolent force is out to hurt her when she's at school with her friends. After an accident that is clearly somehow related to her, she and her friend, Deeba (who is the only one to stick by her after the accident) stumble into Un Lun Dun, where they begin their journey to find out why and for what Zanna is chosen.
Un Lun Dun contains themes that are found in many Mieville tales -- the idea that an entire reality can exist alongside another with the citizens of at least one of those realities completely ignoring it is especially realized in his novel, The City and the City. His take on this theme for a YA audience is so far enjoyable and appropriate for that audience, while not being dumbed down in the least. I first discovered Mieville when I picked up The City and the City for its lovely cover. I've continued to read his novels and short stories and he has yet to disappoint me. Although Un Lun Dun is written for a younger audience, older readers can also enjoy this story of an alternate London where milk cartons can be pets.
Sunday, December 04, 2011
In volume 1, Medley first retells the Sleeping Beauty story and you see the castle become surrounded by brambles. A century later, Sleeping Beauty's castle has first been abandoned and then taken over by a motley crew of interesting characters -- Simple Simon and his mother; Lady Jain and her odd but cute baby; Sister Peace (a bearded nun), and Rackham (a stork who acts as steward in the castle.) Sleeping Beauty's ladies-in-waiting also live at the castle, which seems to exist as a haven for those who need it.
Instead of retelling fairytales, Castle Waiting provides the reader with an insight into the daily lives of the characters who inhabit the castle. There's also backstory for Lady Jain, who has fled her husband and is in search of a place to stay, and for Sister Peace, who started out as the daughter of a pub owner and, when she began to exhibit facial hair, left to join the circus, and ended up as a nun in a convent of similarly bearded women. I liked both storylines and I liked both volumes of this graphic novel -- although they are both over 300 pages, they take no time at all to read. I just wish Linda Medley hadn't taken a break from the story because volume two just ends -- period -- at what seems to be the start of a new storyline involving dwarves (here called Hammerlings).
Monday, October 24, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Saturday, July 09, 2011
I don't think I've ever seen such a faithful adaption of a book anywhere. I think I could have started reading the second book without having read this first one because the HBO series dealt with the plots and characters from this book in much the same way Martin does. That said, I'm glad I read A Game of Thrones as I feel it gave me further insight into the motivation of each character. I ended up feeling sorrier for Sansa in the book than I did in the series; she was younger in the book (most of the characters are) and more innocent and trusting.
Arya is still my favorite and I look forward to reading more about her exploits in A Clash of Kings. Running a close second to Arya is Tyrion Lannister -- the Imp. I don't know if that's because of Peter Dinklage's portrayal of him in the series or because I just would have gravitated toward his brand of snarkiness anyway; probably a little of both.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
- the Salem witchcraft trials
- The year between the end of season 5 and the time Dean finds out Sam is alive
- Soulless Sam
- The Necromonicon
- The endorsement of Eric Kripke, the show's creator
But in the end, none of that meant anything; the book was just plain bad. The characterization was thin -- I know I am and should be familiar with these characters from the show, but please! Give them some personality; don't depend so much on my familiarity with them. I could barely distinguish Sam from Dean, nor was it clear to me that Sam was Soulless Sam -- he could have been anybody given that he was so one dimensional.
And the plot was all over the place. It's as if Dessertine decided she'd throw in all kinds of supernatural creatures -- ghosts (pirate ones at that), a ship that's just a museum that suddenly drifts out to sea while Ben and Dean are touring it, witches. The witch story was the strongest, why not just stick with it? I expected more of a book endorsed by Kripke and written by his assistant. Apparently, I shouldn't have.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Ishiguro's style is literary in the best sense of the word; Never Let Me Go is about more than just friendship and loss -- compassion and forgiveness. Its themes cover the nature of humanity and society, all in an intimate story with only three main characters. I liked this book when I first read it, but it stuck with me and I keep thinking about it, turning over what it means in my mind. Now I love it. It's the best book I've read this year.