"Balsa stood on a rocky ledge beside a cave, the overlapping ridges of the Misty Blue Mountains dropping away beneath her."
I read the first book solel"Balsa stood on a rocky ledge beside a cave, the overlapping ridges of the Misty Blue Mountains dropping away beneath her."
I read the first book solely because I was a huge fan of its anime, and I was not the slightest disappointed by it. It is difficult to find a fantastic heroine these days, and when I saw Balsa and watched her story unfold for the first time, I was utterly enamored by everything about her. To my knowledge, there isn't (yet?) a version of the second book in anime, and so when I stumbled upon it in the library, I grabbed it and didn't let go fearing others might snatch it if I decide to come back for it. Little did I know, that the book will return this favor to me just as fervently. As with the first installment, Guardian of the Darkness had me turning the pages until that moment when you suddenly, somehow just snap out of reality and realize it is so late in the night and you have absolutely no idea how it happened. Marvelous.
The book is well-written, well-translated (this is very important), and at 245 pages lends a story far richer than other longer books I have read in a while. Not to mention, its cover is strikingly fetching, and as I recall when I first opened the book I exclaimed rather embarrassingly (although only to myself, but still) "Ooooh, the font!" I am rendered incoherent in front of pretty typeface and paper. I apologize for nothing.
Although this is the second book, it recapitulates what has taken place from the first at various points in the novel, so anyone will have a clear view of the story's continuing timeline with no difficulty at all. I think what drew me into the character Balsa is not only her physical/inner strength and willpower, but also how strongly principled she is. She has a very sad past, but she carries on as best she can and this, is universally relatable. Doing penance, forgiving and forgetting—seriously, becoming half the woman Balsa is would be a great life goal to achieve. I would also be extremely handy wielding a spear. A welcome bonus.
Guardian of the Darkness is a book that shouldn't just be borrowed or shared, it is one that should be owned. The tale of Balsa Yonsa is tragic but one that empowers anyone who has ever faced pain or uncertainty in life. Basically, anyone.
I found myself wanting a hug or some form of comfort when I finished this book. (A pint of ice cream in the fridge proved sufficient for the time beinI found myself wanting a hug or some form of comfort when I finished this book. (A pint of ice cream in the fridge proved sufficient for the time being.) John Green's writing is sharp, his characters witty, funny, and very real. Not to mention super eloquent. I only wish I was half as articulate as Hazel when I was seventeen.
It is poignant, relevant, and brilliantly expressed. It pulls on your heartstrings and makes you reassess your own life; appreciate all the things around you and becoming a worthy part of the equation. ...more
It started on page 281. I wept uncontrollably as I read the words and couldn’t believe it was happening. The culmination of many chapt“I AM A COWARD.”
It started on page 281. I wept uncontrollably as I read the words and couldn’t believe it was happening. The culmination of many chapters of back-and-forth changing point-of-views, which mostly confused me, if I’m to be perfectly honest, is finally unfolding the ugly conclusion of the main characters’ stories and it broke my heart into a million shards.
Fact is, this book was surprisingly dragging for me, considering it’s one of the most highly acclaimed and lauded books from last year. It took me months to finish, which frustrated and disappointed me as a reader. It is 332 pages and it really only came together for me when the story was almost over. For most of the book, I was lost trying so hard to understand the actual mechanics of flying fighter planes. Between the switching of POVs in the narration and the technical terminologies of jet planes, I got so lost and eventually lost interest. And though I understand that all these things were essential for this epistolary novel to tell its story, I couldn’t do it. And so I trudged on ever so slowly, week after week, because if there was a book I wasn’t going to finish, this wasn’t going to be it. In the end, I was left feeling like a whiny little brat for complaining about it on the first place. For all its flaws (for me, anyway), minor as they may be, I forgive it, for it more than redeemed itself in the end. In that aspect, it even made me feel like “Verity,” because she never quit, never caved until the very end. The beauty of this novel is in the nuances of the experiences as told by the narrator. And as with every story worth telling, you let it unfold itself to you in its own time—never rushing it. Patience, after all, is a virtue.
It stays with you. The contents of this book lingers long after you stop reading it. It has that eerie, haunting quality that quite frankly, I tried tIt stays with you. The contents of this book lingers long after you stop reading it. It has that eerie, haunting quality that quite frankly, I tried to brush aside initially. But when a story is presented so strongly and gets a firm grip of your mind, most often than not, we, as readers, are rendered helpless until it finishes its tale.
A story within a story, perfectly intertwined. It gave me chills (I couldn't sleep last night - true story), the thrills of a great mystery, and most of all—I can't stress this enough—a fantastic ending. This is the kind of writing that's so magical it just takes over without you noticing. Its characters' stories brew inside your brain until slowly, gradually, one by one they come out as pieces to the puzzle ready for completing and revealing its picture. It's strange; it sort of carries you away to another space (a proven and tested sign of a good book). It did with me, anyway.
Stories are nothing without its readers, but if there's one thing I have learned from reading this book, it's that stories have their way of knowing when to show themselves. All in good time. ...more