Here it is, one more post containing book reviews. Or maybe not “book” reviews exactly, more like book-series reviews. I have kept the good one at the last, so if you want skip to last directly.
So, here goes,
- First on our list, is The Ugly: “A Song Of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin: Before you send me hate-comments: The series has grown on me with time, and although I still cringe at some really gory details, I can now appreciate the underlying storytelling enough to wait for next book to come out.
Let’s get the good points out of the way first (they are ever so few). An extremely good website giving information about the Knight models (I love anything to do with knights normally), a story which is many times “unputdownable” if that’s a word (the spell checker says no), and like some people might say, a story with a touch of reality.Now the bad points, they are a lot. The touch of reality becomes many times a little too much, and many characters spend most of their time fo#$%ing and saying the words which would ground a 20 year old to his room. The wars and the intrigues are very well described, so well in fact, that each book in the series has at least one character you like (or come to like eventually) killed, beheaded, married off, ran off from the home while the castle burns behind, ambushed and killed… I don’t want to go further, but I guess you get the point. One more time, I agree with Rayne. (The bat Rayne holds was mine, sent for express purpose). I wonder if Starks had a family curse, much more malicious than Baskervilles.I agree that the Knights were not always the chivalrous lot they are painted like, but then I don’t think they were so crass (for lack of better term) that they would indulge in i*#% and would do the things they do in the books.For the last time, if I want so much reality in the books I read, I will pick up the reports of Nuremberg Trials or about Pol Pot. Till that time, call me isotionalist, call me coward for running away from reality, but I like my books to take me away from this world, not give me nightmares.
- Second comes, The Bad: A series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket:Is this supposed to be what english Kids’ books are now-a-days? What exactly happened to fairy tales, or if you want “real world” Enid Blyton (I still sometimes miss Secret Seven)?This is a very dark portrait of the Baudelaires, whose parents die leaving them a very large amount of money. They have an uncle Count Olaf, who does everything in his power (and he is very very ingenious that way) to get to the coffers. The kids flit from relative to relative trying to find somebody to keep Count away, and he reaches them everywhere.This story, and even the movie if you have seen it, won’t prepare you for the books. Despite the warnings posted everywhere in the books, and on the website, the books is not a dark comedy, it’s just dark. I didn’t go even to the second book, but I won’t be the one to read to my 4 year old niece the part in first book where Count Olaf hangs Sunny in a cage on top of tower and forces Violet to marry him. I don’t think she is ready for that.The series is still only “Bad”, because in between these parts, you have a very wonderful description of resourceful kids who survive (almost) on their own. Just a little touch of “kid-book” to the endings, and it would be a very good series to give to your relative kids (I always say, give them books and see how peaceful life becomes)After all this stuff, I guess you would be very afraid to read ahead. Do not worry my friends, the end is near. And I have two (or more) wonderful books for you.
- So, here comes The Good one: Inheritance Trilogy by Christopher PaoliniAgain, get ready for wizards who help people (and roam around as story-tellers), a hero who does not know he is The One, the Dark Wizards who try to crush the people they are supposed to help, elves who stay away from the humans, but grudgingly help them, dwarves staying in mountains, the dragons and last but not the least, Magic.In short, all the ingredients to cook a very tasty magical kingdom. Add to it a pinch of Dragon Rider tale to keep the recipie different, and you can call yourself a master cook. The story is very good, there are intrigues, traitors, wars and killing galore, but unlike some books, they don’t drown out the rest of the story.All in all, one of the few series whose end I am looking forward to reading in the last book (after Harry Potter of course). If you don’t want to read, the movie is coming sometime in 2006, and if handled as well as Narnia, would be one very good watch.
Well, I had decided to write about one more series, but then, I thought of another one, and another one… maybe of another one. So, to give justice to them, that will be another post, containing all good series (think of it as plural).
Quote of The Day:
It was a book to kill time for those who like it better dead.
– Dame Rose Macaulay (1881 – 1958)