I sometimes get embarrassed to admit that I like this series. It is Middle Earth fantasy for beginners. Then again, it is a young adult book. It is so...moreI sometimes get embarrassed to admit that I like this series. It is Middle Earth fantasy for beginners. Then again, it is a young adult book. It is sort of the book you read in middle school when The Lord of the Rings is still a bit too heavy.
In other words, it's fast food reading. You know it's junk, but you still find yourself totally hooked.
This book, unfortunately, treaded water. My understanding is the series was intended to be a trilogy, but now it is a tetralogy (one hopes). So expecting a big pay off from this book will only leave you disappointed. However, if you just sit back, grab some popcorn and enjoy the ride, this book is far more active than the others in the series.
With most of the characters motivations set up in the previous two books, there's a lot more movement of these characters towards the ultimate conclusion in this book. I will say this: Christopher Paolini is far better at not getting sucked into the same minute details that bogged down J.R.R. Tolkien, then again it was J.R.R. Tolkien's intense detail that established the tenants that are still considered sacred in most fantasy fiction--including this series.
There was only one point where the book got overly tedious, and that was the sword-making segment. Though it was a fairly accurate and probably overly-detailed retelling of the way that a Kantana was forged in Medieval Japan.
Despite this, the book movies freely, though it leaves you wondering, what's the point?. I can only assume that the actions in this book will coalesce into a something worthy in the next novel.
Now there are a few important things that happen in this book. Mostly in terms of revelations about several of the characters. There was one very big surprise, which I won't ruin, that I had not expected at all, but once realized, made complete sense, and obviously wasn't an afterthought, as there certainly was an establishment of this revelation in the earlier books.
If you're already into the series, this is a worthy third book, but it knocks the series down somewhat in my esteem. I have hope that the next book will help redeem this book.(less)
**spoiler alert** I had been warned by several people whose opinions I trust that this book would let me down, and leave me disappointed. Perhaps this...more**spoiler alert** I had been warned by several people whose opinions I trust that this book would let me down, and leave me disappointed. Perhaps this lowered my expectations, perhaps I came into it expecting more of the same.
This was by far, the best book in the series. This was the reward for sitting through all 90210 crap in all the other books. I will say this however: Reneesme is the WORST NAME EVER. It's REALLY bad. Cringe-worthy, actually. Every time your eyeball traipses across that name (and it does a lot in the second half) you will find yourself shaking your head and wondering when a name like that will make it onto People Magazines "Silliest Celebrity Baby Names" list.
Like all the previous books in the series, this one is totally predictable, right down to the ending and the finale. There are no surprises, but like a well-crafted work of art, you maybe familiar with it, but you still enjoy it, even if it has no novelty.
For me, this book was far more fantastical from beginning to end than the previous three, and I think that was its appeal. The less rooted in reality Stephenie Meyer is the better, it seems. This book also brought about the return of the Volturi, which as I've said before, was what redeemed Eclipse for me.
This book was far more mature (read: NOOKIE] than its predecessors as well, and I think that helped its appeal as well.
Still, there's nothing new. From the minute Edward and Bella finally get it on, you know how the rest of the book is going to go, but still, it's fun, craftily written and engaging. I was not disappointed at all.(less)
In many ways, the Twilight Saga could easily be a trilogy. Eclipse was far better than New Moon, where I thought New Moon simply spun its wheels for t...moreIn many ways, the Twilight Saga could easily be a trilogy. Eclipse was far better than New Moon, where I thought New Moon simply spun its wheels for the majority of the book, Eclipse had a far more appropriate (read: interesting) pace.
This book however, makes it obvious that this series was written for 13 year old girls. Edward and Bella toy with the idea of marriage and sex, and to any adult, you just want to scream "for all that is undead, get it OVER with already...," but when you remember back to when you had to wrestle with your own mores, values and virginity versus your love, lust and hormones, these near misses seem far more relatable in context.
The book is far less 90210 than its predecessors, Bella's human friends get barely a mention, and that's fine with me. If I wanted to read a book about high school, I'd go back to reading Sweet Valley High. Instead this book starts to address the larger mythical creature world that exists out of Forks.
I appreciated that this book started to create a mythology all its own. While the end of New Moon did start this mythology, it was grateful to see it flushed out in this book. It makes things far more readable.
Despite being a better book, it is still flawed. Things happen too easily, outcomes are predictable, for the most part there's nothing that will surprise you at all. The big twist at the end of the book really wasn't to any astute reader, but once again, Stephenie Meyer's writing it so fluid and rich that you really don't care, you're along for the ride regardless.(less)
**spoiler alert** Ahh... so I couldn't help myself.... These books are so like potato chips. You know its not good for you, but you just cannot stop.
N...more**spoiler alert** Ahh... so I couldn't help myself.... These books are so like potato chips. You know its not good for you, but you just cannot stop.
New Moon The Twilight Saga Book2 is much weaker than Twilight. Like the previous book, it is contrived, relatively predictable and simplistic, but like Twilight, for some reason despite its flaws its still such an enjoyable read.
I found the middle section of this book so boring, I actually took a week off from reading it. It grinds so painfully, and since anyone with half a braincell knows what's going on, you just want to get to the point where Jacob reveals he's a werewolf and Edward comes back to rescue Bella. I mean c'mon.... do I really need chapter after chapter of (literal and figurative) wheel spinning?
But it's worth the drudgery, once Edward enters the picture again, the book picks up, and actually gets very fantastical and quite interesting. Once the book moved out of 90210 territory and moved into the Volturi storyline, things not only got interesting, but the book redeemed itself on many levels.
This still isn't anything other than fast-food fiction, but once you remember that this is not for adults, it's for middle school girls, you realize what a daring and good book this is.(less)
I'm going to start off by saying, I do did not want to like this book. Really, I thought it was some tween Buffy ripoff. Then my neighbors started rea...moreI'm going to start off by saying, I do did not want to like this book. Really, I thought it was some tween Buffy ripoff. Then my neighbors started reading it, and like a some literary plague, it spread through the neighborhood Moms. Everyone told me I should read it.
So I did.
Oh my gosh, I liked it. I really didn't want to, that cynical perkygoff in me really wanted to roll my eyes, but I just couldn't put the book down. I"ve written academic papers on the vampire in literature, and I could see the analogies and metaphors, and I *STILL* liked this book.
The amazing part is that Meyer has taken the true essence of the concept of a vampire in literature, and written it in a way that is both enticing and acceptable for teen readers. Bella is what many teenage girls are, and one thing I really appreciated about this novel is that she acted very much like a teenage girl. Most novels written by adults about teenage girls tend to create a character that is either too childish or too adult to be relatable. Bella was spot on. My 17-year-old self could so easily put myself in her shoes.
Likewise Edward Cullen ends up being every girls fantasy. Typically the vampire in literature represents sexual fantasies and desires that cannot be fulfilled. Meyer has taken this to a new level. Edward is beautiful, strong, protective, and likewise dangerous, mercurial, and rebellious.
Meyer's original twist on the vampire has to do with Edward's desire for Bella. I think in many ways this is the crux of why this appeals to women. What woman doesn't want the ideal guy to be so attracted to them they they are afraid they cannot control themselves? Meyer has created the perfect man.
So despite my cynicism, and despite that the book really is a collection of romantic cliches--yes, there is a damsel in distress, multiple times--this was just, hands down, a good read.
... and yes, the minute I finished the book, I was off to get New Moon(less)
OK, I admit, I went and purchased this book because I liked the movie. I had been warned by several friends to expect something very different.
I w...moreOK, I admit, I went and purchased this book because I liked the movie. I had been warned by several friends to expect something very different.
I wasn't aware of this when I purchased the book, but I am Legend is actually a novella. The book itself is a novella and several short stories. I'm going to take on both separately, because I can't do a fair review with them all together.
The novella is excellent. I really enjoyed it. There were some flaws in rationale, and parts of it are seriously out-dated, but for the most part, it was a good bedtime read. It flowed very well, kept you interested, and was not predictable.
It is worth it to compare the novella and the movie. The movie was based on the concept of the novella. There's really no relation between the two other than the concept and the main character's name. If you're expecting to read a more in-depth version of the movie, you'll either be enthralled (as I was) or totally disappointed... as the two have no relation to each other.
After really enjoying "I am Legend" I started biting into the short stories, and found that I just couldn't enjoy them. They were painfully juvenile. They mirrored many of the stuff I wrote in high school, in style, cadence and theme, and I'll admit, perhaps its a bit of self-loathing that made me put the book down. I just couldn't get into the short stories, it was just too easy for me to predict how each would end.
This is worth reading. I wouldn't recommend going out and spending a ton of money on it, perhaps a good library read, or used paperback, but it is a very unique and original story (unlike the short stories) that's worth the time.(less)
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
Firstly, this book came *HIGHLY* recommended by several people whose opi...more Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
Firstly, this book came *HIGHLY* recommended by several people whose opinions about books are something I really respect. It was a must read from them.
The book did not live up to the hype for me, and I feel I need to explain why. Back in the later years of elementary school, I fell in love with The Wizard of Oz and many of its sequels (I never got around to reading all of them before the obsession wore off), but it is a series near and dear to my heart.
So I had a hard time with this book, because it took place in a world that I immersed myself in as a child. So I kept on nit-picking things. Throughout the whole first half of the book I found myself more annoyed than anything, completely bored, and sometimes even angry.
Then somewhere around the third section of the book, I decided to forget that the story was supposed to take place in Oz, and I stopped looking for familiar characters, places, things, and took the book on its own without reference. All of the sudden, the book turned into something interesting.
I found myself enjoying the last half of the book, and even when the story lines between Wicked and the original Wizard of Oz crossed, I didn't find myself nearly as upset as I was when I started the book. By the time you get to the final section of the book, you're more than ready for that perspective.
So, in the end, I recommend this book, but with the caution that if you are a fan of Baum's works, that you forget that this is supposed to happen in the same universe, you will enjoy it so much more.(less)