Thanks to Amazon's Kindle Books, I downloaded this for free (on my iPhone, no KIndle here) and was rightfully rewarded for it!
I found this book to be...moreThanks to Amazon's Kindle Books, I downloaded this for free (on my iPhone, no KIndle here) and was rightfully rewarded for it!
I found this book to be rather enjoyable and engaging, with his fast-paced plot, endless cliff hangers and mysteries, this new world of mysterious powers, brave knights, spunky princesses and beautiful and wise queens. I loved the detailed action, and especially how the characters are so well developed, where even the third person narrative changes tone depending on which of the many characters are the focus of the chapter. One of my biggest pet peeves is a book where all the characters talk and sound the same, despite the supposed differences.
The details of the world, powers, and various peoples can be a bit confusing, as the author is obviously big into language and I just want the plot to move on.
I was happy to discover that there were three more books to the series, and wasted no time in getting the rest. Highly recommend if you want just an enjoyable, engaging read.(less)
My New Year's resolution was to get serious about my writing, so I thought I'd start light with this NY Times's Notable Book of the Year by Francine P...moreMy New Year's resolution was to get serious about my writing, so I thought I'd start light with this NY Times's Notable Book of the Year by Francine Prose. It is based on the idea that Ms. Prose loves books so much that it led to her eventually become a writer. I looked forward to having a new way to read books, especially the classics (some of which I did not appreciate as much as I was told to), as well as another tool with which to improve my writing.
I am 3/4 of the way through the book, and am thus far incredibly disappointed. I must have had serious rock star English teachers when I was in high school, because most of the analysis in this book reeks of papers I could have written back then. Most of the chapters caused me to think, "Duh, of course that's the point of specific word choice/sentence structure/paragraph breaks." Her chapter on Dialogue was a string of summaries of the dialogue passage she just cited - again, high school essay assignments. Boring, frustrating, disappointing. The closing paragraphs on each chapter have thus far been most jarring, for they look and feel like tacked on transitional sections an editor said, "You need a closing paragraph. Hm, maybe you should reference the idea from your opening paragraph." I've read better closing statements in textbook.
The pros, however, must be named. I have learned to be skimmer-reader (a habit which has been annoying me lately), and this book has "given me permission" to read a little more closely, and for some specific things other than plot. It has also given me a guide line/list of books to return to and appreciate, which I will do in the near future, many book of which I have wanted to read but only because they are often mentioned and cited as Book You Should Read. This book has also reinforced some if not many of my ideas about how I write (poorly structured reviews not withstanding), and has given me strong reason to write my high school English teachers to thank them for their influences.
I have a couple more chapters to read, and from the reviews I've read they are the better ones. Hopefully my opinion of this book will be salvaged with this final reading.
UPDATED: Having finished the final chapters of the book, I stick with my original review. While the last couple of chapters were the better ones, more insightful and engaging, I found the overall book lacking what it seemed to promise. Given the title of this work, I expected more than a basic high school English lesson. If more of the book was like the one on Chekov, I would have been more satisfied.(less)
I've been a sucker for these free Kindle books, as this first one is, and so far they're doing a good job sucking me into purchasing the rest of the s...moreI've been a sucker for these free Kindle books, as this first one is, and so far they're doing a good job sucking me into purchasing the rest of the series. (less)