**spoiler alert** I think I can finally put a finger on why I despise the series so much. Despite a good attempt of a plot, which at best is predictab...more**spoiler alert** I think I can finally put a finger on why I despise the series so much. Despite a good attempt of a plot, which at best is predictable and mediocre, I think the reason I despise the books is because the way the author over-describe everything with little relevance to plot.
I say this because a seasoned reader will know that one of the joys of reading lies in the freedom it gives you to imagine this world the author has created. Too brief in description can be lacking, but an excess in it can be too restrictive - and that is what I don't like. The author went into so miniscule details that at most times, I feel like I'm being dumbed down.
For example, one scene when Eragon called upon this Elf Queen. Yes, she appeared, that's good, but it is not so good to know that she appeared standing at this angle, wearing this and that. I kid you know, he described the angle of how the character was standing, as if trying to ensure that what the readers have in their minds MUST match what he had in mind when writing it. No freedom for the readers to add their own to the storyworld (i.e. remember the Balrog? Wings or no wings... such a debate as rivalled by nothing else!) and personally for me, makes me want to just slap the author and tell him to get on with the bloody story already.
Another example... he spent a whole chapter describing about how Eragon & Saphira helped made a sword. No kidding. One whole chapter of how the forge looked like, how long it took them to stoke the fire, explaining the process of softening the metal, how many times they heated and folded the bright steel (SIX times if you must know!), how long the handle was (seven foot!), shift his arm here, move the arm there. GUH. An elf made a sword, the sword is mighty, end of chapter. It worked for Tolkien, it should work for everyone else. I do not need to know the minutiae of every step in wielding tools to make a sword. Does the dark ash-grain clay solution that they dried with a quick incantation have anything to do with the story unfolding? Not really, just another barrage of over-indulged prose. Yes, Paolini, you did your research, well done, thank you Google. Now get on with the story already.
Apart from the dry descriptive narrative, in terms of plot and character development, there wasn't really much happening here. The varden is in wait, Eragon freed some blind guy, everybody waited with baited breath for the mighty Eragon's return, lots of over the top superficial war politics, long wedding scene, one battle with the evil brother, heart to heart chat with his master, Eragon got a sword, someone died, that's it. No development in terms of the big story arc with Galbatorix, and quite frankly, no clear plot that makes the book a stand-alone book worthy of publication.
Character-wise? Let's just say in summary, everything that was previously impossible is possible if it was Eragon, because he's the wonderboy who defies apparently everything.
I have yet to read the last instalment of the series, but I can already guess how it's going to turn out - wonderboy will save the world flawlessly (because, really, when is Eragon ever at fault for anything? At least Harry Potter was emo in Book 5 so bad that I want Voldemort to just kill him and end all the CAPSLOCK! But Eragon? The ground he walked on turned to gold dust). Along the way, he'll somehow work that frustrated school-boy crush and live happily in love or something. His world will continue in peace, happily ever after and hopefully will bless us with no more of his adventures.(less)
Fantastic descriptive narrative, but the story kind of leaves you wanting more more in a sense that it lacks something... It feels a little unfinishe...more
Fantastic descriptive narrative, but the story kind of leaves you wanting more more in a sense that it lacks something... It feels a little unfinished. Still, it is worth reading just for the world building. The atmosphere and the details are amazing. Even at points when I don't care about the plot points, I never wanted to leave the travelling circus.
ADDENDUM: One month after my initial review, I keep being reminded of the Night Circus in the most random way. Whilst reading this, I was trying on a new moisturiser for my face. For some reason, now every time I slap on the moisturiser in the morning, the smell always reminds me of Celia and the Cirque de Reves and makes me long to read the story again.(less)
My review will pretty much be similar with most other positive review. I didn't expect to, but I ended up really enjoying the story, whizzing through...more
My review will pretty much be similar with most other positive review. I didn't expect to, but I ended up really enjoying the story, whizzing through the bulk of it in the one day for the want of returning to it every time I put it down.
My only hang up which held me back from giving it a fifth star is the unfolding of stories in the second half of the book. The first half had such a good pace and exposed the plotline so excitingly but it sort of halted midway (not going to explain further as I don't want to spoil the story). The second half is more exposition than action, and it left me a little frustrated.
In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with explaining backstories and crafting the bigger picture, but I wish there was some sort of stand-alone climax and denouement that made it book one in a trilogy, instead of just the first chunk of story out of a three-part one-story book, which seems to be in vogue with YA nowadays. Having said that, I look forward to reading more and finding out what is to happen with Karou & Akiva. Bring on part two...(less)
I enjoy reading YA books but not a lot of them had me sitting and thinking about the story long after I finish. This one is one of the few that did th...moreI enjoy reading YA books but not a lot of them had me sitting and thinking about the story long after I finish. This one is one of the few that did that to me.
I read the first book many years ago and whilst I liked the premise of the games, I found the parts where Katniss talked about Gale & Peeta to be too waffling and too much. Hence I decided not to read the sequels.
Until the movie came out.
I went on a trip not long after seeing the movie and bought the Kindle version to read on the plane. I was hooked again within the first chapter.
Like the first book, the second one had a strong story, retained some elements of the first book that made it familiar but at the same time also grew... more adult, less young. The issue on hand became a shade more serious and the reality became more brutal.
Of course it had to end in a cliffhanger.
The last book picked up the pace and still grew. It is almost a completely different premise to what Book 1 is, but you no longer care. Things are snowballing and they're snowballing big time... and as brutal, if not more.
What I admire most is again the growth. The story grew with you, transitioning from YA to a full-fledged dystopian book. It's gritty, it's strong, and somehow realistic. Katniss is a strong character with flaws, which makes her very human and very relatable. Moreover, the whole Gale & Peeta story is nicely retained without overwhelming the true direction of the story. The ending is perfect. Satisfactory without being too fluffy or extreme.
All in all, as a series, The Hunger Games is a story to be reckoned with, for kids, young adult, and adult readers all.(less)