I am very skeptical when it comes to Indonesian literature, let alone the contemporary/YA ones, but let me just say that if there are more works like...moreI am very skeptical when it comes to Indonesian literature, let alone the contemporary/YA ones, but let me just say that if there are more works like this one, I will be looking forward to read more of it with absolute delight.
Nocturnal tells of a young girl, Adel, whose life changed when she found out the truth about her paternal family. She is part of Nocturnal, a mythical clan of warriors with feline-like superhuman skills. Not only is she a Nocturnal, she turns out to be the next in line to lead the clan due to her Baroness grandmother's ailing health.
The story follows the journey and changes Adel experienced as she adapts to her new life as a future Baroness and her training as a warrior. But it's not all sunshine and daisies as while Adel is experiencing all of these, the situation around her gradually becomes darker and more dangerous as the vampire clan of Vladimir wax obvious threats to the lives of Adel, Nocturnal, and the kingdom of Adlerland.
Nocturnal has everything you expect a YA fantasy book to have, and then some. Though the premise of a Princess Diaries kind of journey is no longer a novelty in the genre, Nocturnal shies away from being too generic by its blend of the normal and the amazing. The characters grew nearly seamlessly from your normal 17 year old Jakarta teenager to become a warrior with super skills as the world changes from the Jakarta madness to the enchanting fairytale grandeur of Adlerland. All through this, the story also grew, engaging the readers up until the big battle climax before you know it!
In the world of YA fantasy, Nocturnal is a good book - easy, palatable, and fun; however, in the world of contemporary Indonesian fantasy literature, Nocturnal - with its freshness, engaging writing, and originality - is a great book and worth every second of your time!(less)
I will happily admit that I am one of those old timer when it comes to Take That, having been a fan since I was 12 (trust me, that's a long time back!...moreI will happily admit that I am one of those old timer when it comes to Take That, having been a fan since I was 12 (trust me, that's a long time back!). Unfortunately, even the enticing journey of the band failed to make this book interesting.
It's probably more suitable to say that this book is more about Take That's journey from people around Take That than from Take That themselves. Everything is basically a rehash and abridged of most other Take That related literature, no new information from the band members. Plus, Roach seems to can't stop himself from putting forward his opinion of events happening when it's not necessary (bordering on annoying sometimes).
Still, it's a nice read and an amusing down the memory road... another testament to how extraordinary this band is and how amazing their journey has been! (less)
It is quite a feat how a Scottish professor could capture the feel of Africa to make you forget that the writer isn't African himself, but that's what...moreIt is quite a feat how a Scottish professor could capture the feel of Africa to make you forget that the writer isn't African himself, but that's what Alexander McCall Smith did with The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency.
My initial expectation of this book is to go into some sort of Miss Marple-ish mystery, but I was proven wrong. Ladies' Detective Agency does have a little bit of sleuthing, but it's not what drives it. It is a collection of loosely-tied light detective work and backstories that builds the life of Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only lady detective! It actually deals more with human nature and culture, some very definitely African on the surface but have very universal parallels to people everywhere. For that, I think this book will appeal more to general readers than mystery fans looking for a thrilling detective story!(less)
As most other people who bought this postcard book, I bought it simply because J.K. Rowling is in it. The two postcards that she wrote tells an episod...moreAs most other people who bought this postcard book, I bought it simply because J.K. Rowling is in it. The two postcards that she wrote tells an episode in the life of young James Potter and Sirius Black from "the prequel I was not working on"! While it's too short to be anything amazing, it's such a sweet little treat for Harry Potter fans still craving for more, and it is for that reason alone that I'm giving this a three star.
The other stories are pretty good as well, assuming that you can squint through most of the authors' illegible handwriting. There are also some good short pieces from Waterstones booksellers and customers, definitely worthy of being published alongside the likes of JK Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Nick Hornby, and Margaret Atwood. (less)
Reading this story, I cannot help but to feel that the story lacks focus. Even at the halfway point, I still can't figure out what the plot is except...moreReading this story, I cannot help but to feel that the story lacks focus. Even at the halfway point, I still can't figure out what the plot is except for this build up of a homosexual love between a number of beautiful people, all of course ambivalently masculine and trodding on a thin line between homosocial and homoerotic.
The development puts heavy emphasis on background. There's all these background information, some in detailed exposition, which explained the background rather patronisingly. Lots of the background bits and bobs feel redundant. The work also lacks originality. It almost feels like the author watched behind the scenes footages of The Lord of the Rings cast and decided to use that as a template, changing a few names with names from other queer shows and books. The result is what I'd call more of a fanfiction than a proper published work.
It isn't that the work is bad, it is just that it's a good work of fanfiction, not so much a good published work. There should be less indulgence and more originality. Less shiny people and more relatable character. Less background and more substance.(less)