Despite being enamored with all of Neil Gaiman’s novels, his short stories usually don’t do it for me for the most part. I read them though, because f...moreDespite being enamored with all of Neil Gaiman’s novels, his short stories usually don’t do it for me for the most part. I read them though, because for every “The Goldfish Pool and Other Stories” there are fantastic ones like “We Can Get Them for You Wholesale” and “Babycakes” and “Troll Bridge,” which are so amazingly well written, tell such whimsical, horrifying and beautiful stories that I firmly believe my children or grandchildren will be reading them in a literature class alongside John Cheever’s “The Swimmer” or Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”(less)
Overall, this was a pretty underwhelming book. Personally, the only redeeming factor about this book was the ending, which was rather realistic and da...moreOverall, this was a pretty underwhelming book. Personally, the only redeeming factor about this book was the ending, which was rather realistic and darker than I had expected. There is no fairytale happy ending here, instead, it’s all rather bittersweet.
I was already pretty iffy about this novel when I realized just how similar it was to Labyrinth (which is a huge guilty pleasure from my childhood. Who doesn’t love David Bowie in makeup and exaggerated hair dancing around in super tight leggings with an obvious bulge?). But The Goblin Market reads like Labyrinth with shades of The Iron King (I don't know which came first, Kagawa's book or Hudock's because I know Hudock had originally premiered this story as a podcast or something). At first I was willing to enjoy it for the ride, the adventure and the similarity to Labyrinth. But it was too similar.
If you're interested, here are the similarities to Labyrinth: (view spoiler)[1. Kothar is the Goblin King. Jareth (aka David Bowie) is the Goblin King.
3. Both Goblin Kings challenge the girls to take back their siblings, but don't think they'll make it to the castle.
4. Meredith needs to travel through the Darknjan Wald, which no one has ventured into and passed. Sarah needs to find her way through the labyrinth, which I'm also assuming no one makes it through, or at least hasn't in hundreds of years.
5. Meredith gets help from Gorigast, a minion of questionable loyalty. Sarah gets help from Hoggle, a creature of questionable loyalty.
6. Both Gorigast and Hoggle get threatened by the Goblin King (Kothar wants Gorigast to bring Meredith to the castle but kill Him, while Jareth wants Hoggle to make sure Sarah doesn't get to the castle), they both chicken out and decide not to "help" the girls and then change their minds later and go back to help them for realsy.
7. Meredith loses her memory, arrives at the castle and takes part in a masquerade ball, is dressed up like a princess and sort of charmed by the Goblin King before Gorigast finds her and she comes to her senses. Sarah gets trapped in a bubble where she loses her memory, is dressed up like a princess and takes part in a ball where she is sort of charmed by the Goblin King before she breaks out and is found by her friends, who help her regain her memories.
8. When Meredith finally remembers, she runs around the castle trying to find her sister and discovers that it's strangely reminiscent of an M.C. Escher painting with stairways going nowhere. Sarah finds herself in an M.C. Escher painting while she runs around, going up and down stairs, trying to find her brother. (hide spoiler)]
And then came the super cheesy insta-love. Nothing sours me on a book faster than poor romance that relies on insta-love. I’ve just become so sick of the plethora of books that use this crappy plot device to get to the romance, and The Goblin Market relies heavily on it when it comes to Meredith and Him.
"... and though she knew they had barely known each other for the full cycle of one day, she felt as though they'd walked that forest together for the length of several lifetimes." (Emphasis mine)
"One night, and already she couldn't imagine a day apart from him. One night, and she was already thinking about forever."
Also, this is self published, so it's lacking some copy editing. There are periods in the middle of sentences, there are words incorrectly spelled and there were a few odd instances where a sentence had been changed halfway through but the original wording wasn't deleted. All in all, the actual text is very much readable, and these issues are not overwhelming.
Hudock isn't a bad writer, in fact she's pretty good. But I just couldn't get over the fact that the story she was telling was so similar to something that came out a quarter of a century ago. Oh, and that pesky insta-love nonsense.
If insta-love doesn’t bother you and you haven’t seen the movie Labyrinth, then The Goblin Market is going to seem like a really unique and fun ride.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It would be difficult to read the Percy Jackson books and not compare them to another series about a magical young, prepubescent boy. But Percy Jackso...moreIt would be difficult to read the Percy Jackson books and not compare them to another series about a magical young, prepubescent boy. But Percy Jackson is sort of like an inverted Harry Potter. Harry tries to spend his whole life being invisible so Dudley and his friends won’t beat on him, whereas Percy, with his ADHD and various other issues, can’t help but act out. Like Harry, Percy finds answers to all of the weird happenings in his life when he discovers the truth of what he is and is brought to a place to train those like him. Only, where Harry Potter gets to live at Hogwarts during the school year and dreads summer, Percy dreads the school year and makes the choice to only attend Camp Half-Blood in the summer.
If I had read this book when it was first published I might have enjoyed it more. I’m a little older now, and much of The Lightning Thief was a little juvenile for me. I wasn’t a huge fan of the quest because it was a little repetitive: the group goes here, they run into trouble, they get out of trouble and move on to the next destination where they run into trouble and get out of trouble and then move onto the next destination…
I think I’ll still give The Sea of Monsters a try (eventually, but not right away) because I like the overarching plot that this book set up at the end (view spoiler)[that Kronos is a threat once again and trying to come back (hide spoiler)]. I’m also interested to see if both the writing and Percy mature a little as the books go on.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
For roughly two-thirds of this book I didn't like Gen's personality. He was a mean person and just as the rest of the traveling party thought he was s...moreFor roughly two-thirds of this book I didn't like Gen's personality. He was a mean person and just as the rest of the traveling party thought he was street scum, so did I. I don't know if I was supposed to think he was amusing or witty, but I simply thought he thought he was amusing and witty while really just being nasty, petty and a jerk.
But in The Thief, almost nothing is as it seems. People have hidden agendas, gods are secretly intervening (at least, I think they are even if it's never explicitly said) and you can't even trust the words you read. I liked that a lot of the characters that I felt were poorly developed at the beginning really evolved throughout the book.
I really enjoyed the story, the journey and the world building. There was some really interesting and unique mythology created and I felt Turner did a great job explaining the relationship of the three countries (Sounis, Eddis and Attolia) all while hinting at a common foe they all have (Medes - perhaps this will be what future books focus on? The three countries fighting against Medes?).
One rather large complaint I have, and what kept this from being 5 stars, is that the book is told in first-person (Gen's POV) and yet at the end of the book we find out that he is not a trustworthy narrator at all. (view spoiler)[I think the twist that he had been lying to everyone and was actually the Queen of Eddis' thief and relative and that he had stolen back the Hamiathes' Gift was wonderful, but not as told from his POV. I believe that should have been third-person or from someone else's POV. Because he wasn't just lying to his companions, he lied to the readers and I feel like it makes me question how much I can trust him in future books. Because I will be reading the rest. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I read this whole series a long time ago, but I still think back fondly on it every once in a while. Admittedly, Angel Sanctuary isn't for everyone. T...moreI read this whole series a long time ago, but I still think back fondly on it every once in a while. Admittedly, Angel Sanctuary isn't for everyone. There's incest, there's concepts that religious people will find offensive, there are angels who are very bad, there are demons who are very sympathetic (there are also good angels and bad demons, though) and there's drama, drama, drama!
Overall it's a strong series, although there were times when I thought maybe I could do with a little less craziness and a little more getting back to the main point.(less)