This started off SO good. At first, I really enjoyed the way it was similar to Harry Potter in some places, a...moreThis was like Hogwarts: The College Years
This started off SO good. At first, I really enjoyed the way it was similar to Harry Potter in some places, and to Narnia in others. Unfortunately, as promising as the magic school Brakebill seemed at the start, it didn't really live up to what I was expecting of it. For a school of magic, it was extremely dull and nothing much happened there. One of the things that stand out to me is that the students were matched with their particular "discipline" or the branch of magic they had the most affinity with. This started off rather intriguing, but then went nowhere. They were just sorted into their groups and that was that.
The characters are what saved this novel for me. They were enough to keep me drawn into the story wanting to know more about them and their motives. There was a few times where the author almost went into possible controversial subject matter, but then kind of let it go instead of following through. This was kind of disappointing. The main character, Quentin, was a bit of an anti-hero as well. I liked him less and less as the story progressed. If the school would have been as interesting as the characters, this would have been an amazing read.
Once the story progressed to the introduction of the Narnia-like world, the similarities between both of the more famous series (Potter and Narnia) was beginning to be annoying. The Magicians is so much like them that it was almost as if the author simply replaced the original characters in both series with the ones he created. Ultimately however, I did enjoy The Magicians, both because of the compelling characters and because it was an interesting retelling of Narnia with a Hogwarts-like beginning.(less)
I kind of liked the story, but the writing seemed a bit disjointed at times. The dialog was just kind of off, like trying to explain the plot through...moreI kind of liked the story, but the writing seemed a bit disjointed at times. The dialog was just kind of off, like trying to explain the plot through conversation in a way that just didn't feel real. I hated the way Drina did the whole "let me fully explain my every motivation, your previous history with Damen, and other random information as I'm attacking you" thing. But, again, I liked the story. I've read the reviews where this was compared to Twilight, and I can see some similarities, but the way that it differed was in that Ever was not obsessed with Damen to the point she felt her entire existence was dependent on his being with her. And there were many other differences too, of course. I may at some point read the second book in the series in the hope that the writing style improves, because the story itself is interesting and it kept me reading it regardless of the flaws.(less)
I put off reading this book for so long, but then so many of the end of 2010 recaps had this among their favorites of the year so I figured I would gi...moreI put off reading this book for so long, but then so many of the end of 2010 recaps had this among their favorites of the year so I figured I would give it a try. And I loved it. I think a lot of what caused me to put off reading this was people talking about the � unusual� writing style, which I usually take to mean � flowery prose that must be deciphered� So, I decided to listen to this on audio. Allan Corduner does an amazing job of narrating as Death, as well as bringing to life the amazing characters of Liesel, Rosa, Hans, Max, and Rudy. I was caught up, entranced, and swept away and finished this 14 hour audio in jut 2 1/2 days. The Book Thief� s strength is in its subtleties I think. There are no extreme action scenes, no fast moving plots, it felt like a stroll through a series of memories and finally, like a smile through tears. Of course, as everyone knows, its narrated by Death. What I found to be intriguing was that Death starts the narrative by telling us how it will end. So that as I was getting to know these characters, feeling for them and with them, I already knew what their ultimate fate was in the book. This story kind of snuck up on me. I knew that I enjoyed it, but I don't think I realized how invested I was in the characters until I found myself with tears rolling down my face and a knot in my throat. Even though I already knew how it would end, there were no surprises.I haven't read any other books about Nazi Germany, so I'm not sure how this compares, but I was happy that it doesn't go into any graphic detail about the horrific deaths of the Jews, I don't want to read about that. It does paint a vivid picture of ordinary people, living, coping, surviving in a dangerous period of time. One part of the story that really struck me was when a father was trying to explain to his young son why he shouldn't publically idolize the gold medal winning Jesse Owens, because of his skin color. How do you consciously teach a child racism, even when you don't really understand it yourself? But you know you have to do it to keep him and your family safe. This was a powerful story, focusing mainly on Liesel and the people in her world, and the stolen books that represent key moments in her life. I was a little unsure about reviewing this, because I don't know that my review will do it justice. I can only say that this is a story that will stay with me long after I put it down and move on to the next book. When I hear a discussion about Nazi Germany, I'll think about this book and Death's words and the boy with hair like lemons. Unquestionably rating this a 5 and highly recommend for anyone.(less)
Waste of my time, I don't know why I even finished it. The plot to the story was fine, the problem was the writing. The characters said the most ridic...moreWaste of my time, I don't know why I even finished it. The plot to the story was fine, the problem was the writing. The characters said the most ridiculous things and said them repeatedly. I don't remember where I saw this compared w/ Gaiman, but its not even close. I gave it a two because it may have been a really good story if someone else had written it.(less)
I didn't finish this one. So many people have said what a great book this is, and one of my closest friends asked me to read it but I found it a bit t...moreI didn't finish this one. So many people have said what a great book this is, and one of my closest friends asked me to read it but I found it a bit too graphic for my tastes.(less)
"Before she came ill, David's mother would often tell him that stories were alive. They weren't alive in the way that people were alive, or even dogs...more"Before she came ill, David's mother would often tell him that stories were alive. They weren't alive in the way that people were alive, or even dogs or cats. (...) Stories were different, though: they came alive in the telling. Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by torch light beneath a blanket, they had no real existence in our world. (...) They lay dormant, hoping for the chance to emerge. Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change. They could take root in the imagination and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read, David's mother would whisper. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life." — John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
What a wonderful book... I know that I don't have the way with words to do justice to how I felt about this book. I could relate so much with the character and how he felt about books. I fell in love with stories as a very small girl when my Nana would tell me stories about growing up in the twenties. I still remember all of them. As I got older, naturally my love of stories turned into a love of books. When I picture my dream house, the first room I mentally furnish is my library. :-) But John Connolly portrays that love of books so well in this story.
The story itself is a dark combination of Narnia and The Neverending Story mixed with some of the most twisted version of fairy tales I've ever heard. The boy, David, becomes part of this twisted fairy tale world and through his adventures, he confronts many of his fears and faces many of his own shortcomings. A wonderful albeit dark coming of age story that I think a lot of people can relate to.
This is a little outside of what I normally read, much more focused on romance. However, I loved it all the same. My complaint with the book would be...moreThis is a little outside of what I normally read, much more focused on romance. However, I loved it all the same. My complaint with the book would be that I dislike how it came to a rather abrupt end without any kind of resolution. Luckily, I do have the rest of the series here so I'll be able to continue right away.
In this story, Rain, the King and Tairen Soul of the Fey fears the end of his people and is looking for a way to save them, there are too few and most still carry shadows of the war of 1000 years ago within their own souls. As he searches for a solution, he hears a 'true mate' call from the city and finds himself in front of what appears to be a mortal girl, Ellie, who captures him heart and soul, binding him to her. Ellie who has been raised to be afraid of all things magic, has nonetheless always had a fascination for all things fey and for Rain Tairen soul in particular. So no one is more surprised than she when he claims her as his true mate.
This is a beautifully written story about how Rain and Ellie begin falling in love, with some very emotional touching scenes. At the same time they deal with a society that looks down on her for her common birth, and distrust of him because he is fey, as well as trying to convince everyone of the evil presence of the Eld mages that Rain feels becoming strong in the world again.
I look forward to finding out how this story continues in the rest of the series. I would have liked more plot and more resolution which keeps me from rating this a 5, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.(less)