Also not quite as good as the first, although better than the second, since it reunites the characters that the first book put so much work into inves...moreAlso not quite as good as the first, although better than the second, since it reunites the characters that the first book put so much work into investing us in.
And I did highlight some things. For instance:
"That's your first hint that something's alive. It says no... No is the heart of thinking."
"At the bottom of philosophy something very true and very desperate whispers: Everyone is hungry all the time. Everyone is starving. Everyone wants so much.. Everyone is hungry and not only for food - for comfort and love and excitement and the opposite of being alone. Almost everything awful anyone does is to get those things and keep them... Most often you have to make the world you want out of yourself."
"Though it is true that no one understands other people. Other people are the puzzle that will not be solved."
And as with the earlier books, some references that kids could surely never pick up on are scattered throughout. Such as a character named Turing who says:
"I am alive as makes on difference. I do all the things an alive thing does. Do you know another test for living."
I am sure I am a geek because I laughed and laughed at that.(less)
I bought this series for my 9-year niece for Christmas, so I figured I should read them first. The first is definitely the best and the world-making i...moreI bought this series for my 9-year niece for Christmas, so I figured I should read them first. The first is definitely the best and the world-making is great. There's a great adult layer to the writing that will go right over kids' heads. Sometimes, this layer is a bit much as it's pretty obvious preaching - the author is trying so hard to subtly tell readers about the world and how to best be in it. But other times, it's bits of clever writing.
An example that manages to be both kinds at once:
"This is for washing your wishes... For the wishes of one's old life wither and shrivel like old leaves if they are not replaced with new wishes when the world changes. And the world always changes. Wishes get slimy, and their colors fade, and soon they are just mud, like all the rest of the mud, and not wishes at all, but regrets. The trouble is, not everyone can tell when they ought to launder their wishes."
"I cannot help that readers will always insist on adventures, and though you can have grief without adventures, you cannot have adventures without grief."
The cleverness was best when the preachiness was more subtle, or was not anything children could understand:
"September had to admit that sailing at night by one's lonesome was so awfully pleasant she could hardly bear it."
"It becomes alive. It gets a name and griefs and ambitions and unhappy love affairs. It is not always a good bargain."
I also mostly liked the author-as-narrator conceit:
"[this] is a thing I may not describe to you. It is true that novelists are shameless and obey no decent law, and they are not to be trusted on any account, but some Mysteries even they must honor."
"She did not know what is was she saw. That is the disadvantage of being the heroine, rather than a narrator."
I maybe have only known an author to write themselves more into a story when Stephen King made himself as critical character in the Dark Tower series.
And I liked the recurring nods to the genres from which this series was born.
"There's more than one way between your world and ours. There's the changeling road, and there's Ravishing, and there's those that Stumble through a gap in the hedgerows or a mushroom ring or a tornado or a wardrobe full of winter coats." (less)