This comic continues to be a great continuation of the TV show, but I really wish Aang and Katara would stop calling each other "sweetie." It makes alThis comic continues to be a great continuation of the TV show, but I really wish Aang and Katara would stop calling each other "sweetie." It makes all of my insides cringe....more
I must have read this book dozens of times when I was a kid (I think I had an illustrated version as well, but I can't find it, nor any record of it oI must have read this book dozens of times when I was a kid (I think I had an illustrated version as well, but I can't find it, nor any record of it online, so far all I know I may have made it up?), but I haven't read it, oh I don't know, at least since middle school? I also never read any of L.M. Montgomery's other books. No idea why I did this. Even as a kid, I was all over sequels, a little completionist in training. But maybe it's because just reading this one book feels like enough. It ends where it ends, and at a place that feels like an actual ending.
All that is to say it was sort of surreal revisiting this book. I have all these distorted memories of the book's events floating around from childhood, and those memories of the way I used to see the book kept clashing with my current perceptions. And current me has a very different reaction to some of them. How did nine year old Ashley not know how utterly heartbreaking this book was??
I guess it's not really all that surprising from a distance, and I really should have seen it coming, but even though I feel a great fondness for Anne Shirley (and the scene when she thinks she's going to be sent away from Green Gables was wrenching), it was Marilla and her reactions that got to me this time around. As a kid, you sort of buy in to Anne's self-created mythos. She's an aspirational figure who has romanticized her own life, and the impulse is for kid readers to do the same. Anne is the tragic orphan who is romantically adopted by a childless pair of siblings and grows into a kind, thoughtful young woman as a result (while getting into lots of ridiculous scrapes, of course). But from this side of adolescence, Marilla's struggles in raising such a headstrong, talkative and imaginative child (a thing she'd never imagined for herself), and the love that grows between them without either of them realizing it is just so bittersweet.
I would like to continue on with this series eventually, I think, but I'm going to sit on it a while. For now it's enough for me to know that Anne will be okay, and yes, she probably has kisses with Gilbert Blythe in her near future.
I did read the new Audible version this go-round, narrated by Rachel McAdams (Canadian!). I ended up really enjoying it, but it was sort of difficult at first not to just keep thinking, That's Rachel McAdams! the whole time. Once you get past that, though, she really manages to capture Anne's breathless dreaminess, Marilla's stern kindness, and Matthew's quiet solidness, etc....more
Well, if this is the last new Riordan book I ever read, it's a great one to go out on. Despite my fatigue with Riordan's shenanigans, I've actually reWell, if this is the last new Riordan book I ever read, it's a great one to go out on. Despite my fatigue with Riordan's shenanigans, I've actually really enjoyed this series. It was *just* fresh enough, with the Norse mythology and some all-time great characters of types he hadn't written before to make it worth my time (Hearthstone and Alex Fierro are my children). I also appreciated that it was a trilogy, and not a stretched out quadrology (I was super surprised several weeks ago when I learned this was the last book in this series).
This book picks up soon after the last one ends, with Loki having escaped his bonds, and Magnus and his friends determined to defeat him and put him back, prolonging Ragnarok as long as possible. This involves a bunch of Riordan-like quests and mini-quests involving Magnus and his friends and a long journey, as per the usual, but I am actually very invested in several of these characters, so the repetition didn't bother me as much here as it has in the past. Alex Fierro, the genderfluid child of Loki, is a magnetic presence (for Magnus as well us as us readers--wink), and Hearthstone and his relationship to his family and his gentle and kind personality continues to break my heart. Also surprisingly poignant were the side-stories given to Mallory (who finally learns of her godly parentage), Thomas Jefferson Jr. (who is simultaneously an entertaining presence while providing the others constant food for thought on ethical matters), Sam (who is fasting for Ramadan while going on this quest), and Halfborn Gunderson (who goes home for the first time and has to face up to some things he's been avoiding for a thousand plus years).
And as potentially cheesy as the ending might have been, I appreciated the feel-goodness of it, that (view spoiler)[Magnus's version of an insult contest was to build up his friends, and so make Loki feel small by contrast, as opposed to tearing Loki down with negativity (hide spoiler)].
I will also admit that I loved the resolution of all the Magnus/Alex Fierro hints we've been getting since last book. I liked that (view spoiler)[they weren't in lurrrve, and that Magnus accepts Alex and his/her changeability, that they won't ever have a traditional relationship, and that's okay. Also, I loved that Riordan went for it with Alex kissing Magnus while identifying as both genders. Alex is the same person either way, and that's such a positive message to put out there, that Magnus just loves *Alex*, regardless. (hide spoiler)]
Jury's still out on whether or not I'm really done with Riordan, sigh, especially after really having enjoyed this, but I'm seriously tempted to just go out on a high note. Time will tell, I guess....more
At this point I think I've given up expecting to see anything new from Rick Riordan, and yet I'm going to keep reading his books, soWhat a silly book.
At this point I think I've given up expecting to see anything new from Rick Riordan, and yet I'm going to keep reading his books, so I think I shall make a vow to not talk about how repetitive they are, and how he just keeps doing the same thing over and over again with variations. After that sentence I mean. In the future I shall call this The Riordan Factor and link back to this review as an explanation. It will go something like this:
Excepting The Riordan Factor, this book was actually pretty great. This is largely due to his sense of humor, and his supporting characters. Magnus is an engaging hero, and even though you can easily predict where this is going, even if you haven't read previous Riordan books, it's still fun getting there. I particularly love the elf and dwarf duo, Blitzen and Hearthstone, and the addition of new character, Alex Fierro, who I will say nothing more about so as to be mysterious.
If y'all haven't read any of Riordan's books yet, it would be okay if you started with this series, but I highly recommend starting with the original Percy Jackson series, because that is just straight up great, and if you like it enough, just know there's lots more where that came from, at only slightly more diminishing returns....more