Birdish Book Blog

The book-loving bird. Mirror to my tumblr book blog of the same name.
The Dark Lord of Derkholm - Diana Wynne Jones

[Originally posted on tumblr on 2. August 2013]

 

There are books that make me wish I read them when I got them. ‘The Dark Lord of Derkholm' by Diana Wynne Jones is one of those books. From the beginning to the end this was extremely entertaining. The thing about this book is though, the title is extremely misleading: This is actually the companion book to 'The Tough Guide to Fantasy Land' which is a playfully written encyclopaedia of clichés in fantasy novels (it's not one of those 'you shouldn't write this' kind of books though).

'The Dark Lord of Derkholm' actually deals with the situation of a world in which people from another world (probably one like hours) travel to a world that has all sorts of fantasy stuff in it. Magic, dragons, that kind of thing. Derk's world. The people there don't do these 'pilgrim tours' of their own free will but are actually forced to do it by a businessman who made a contract with a demon.
The story follows Derk and his family (which consists of his wife, his human daughter and son as well as his five griffin ‘children’) who have to organize the tours since Derk has been appointed the Dark Lord for this year.
The thing is, everyone is trying to put an end to the tours so there’s sabotage left and right.
This story actually uses as well as mocks a lot of fantasy clichés - which is really funny! The characters are really loveable and yes, there is also a lot of drama in the story.
So yeah, shame on me for not reading this earlier. What an amazing book! I have to read the second Derkholm book as well, although some people say it’s not as good as the first one.

A Madness of Angels - Kate Griffin

[Originally posted on tumblr on 28. July 2013]

 

I finished ‘A Madness of Angels’ by Kate Griffith this week. Finally! Unfortunately I have been negleting my reading as of late so it took me a bit longer than this book actually deserved.
If you saw my last post about this book you know I was a bit confused at first about everything that happens in there. That’s because the author doesn’t infodump stuff when it first happens. That is actually good in my opinion.
Also, please don’t be rude to me, I liked Kate Griffith’s London MUCH better than Gaiman’s London in Neverwhere. These two novels are both in the urban fantasy genre and somewhat comparable.
The thing about this book is that at first I had no idea what was happening because the protagonist refered to himself as ‘we’ and ‘us’. That’s because the so called ‘blue electric angels’ inhabit his body along with him. You get all the neat explanations about the different kinds of magic users but I think the kind the protagonist is is the most important: He’s an urban sorcerer. He’s the sort of magic user that draws the power from all around him in the city and uses it in a quite raw fashion. That’s actually really cool because the magic in Griffith’s London works in a fascinating fashion: Life is magic. That means in this book that life also creates magic. The life left behind on the telephone lines created the blue electric angels. It’s sort of like as if a belief comes to live if a lot of people think hard enough about it. Crowd influenced magic.
That’s not all there is to the book. The ‘bad guy’ also comes across not as bad as he might be at first. He seems confused and that made him really interesting to me. The protagonist’s allies don’t even like him all that much which is also a bit funny.
And then there are the blue electric angels.
Oh wow. They’re a great bunch.
At one point they decided to take a break and go to the movies:

a book quote

I admit I laughed far too long about this. They also visited the theatre but to my great shame I have no knowledge of theatre plays and I didn’t even mark the page, my bad.

Anyway, I like Matthew Swift and his world so much that I want to read the second book as well. Especially since it seems to be about someone who wants his hat back and leaves hard to oversee messages about it. Hilarious!

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

[Originally posted on tumblr on 17. June 2013]

 

So, ‘The Fault in our Stars' by John Green. The most negative critique I heard so far before I actually read the book was that the characters didn't talk like teenagers and so on.
Let me tell you something.
I had a friend when I was still in school who made her characters talk like that. Technically speaking, she talked like that. On paper. So it’s not a valid argument that there are no teenagers who don’t talk like the teenagers in ‘The Fault in our Stars’. I don’t know if this is a John Green thing or a ‘characters who are close to death’ sort of thing.
Okay, so did I like it? Yes, yes, yes. I mean, it was a bit awkward because like I said - that friend I had also sort of wrote like that. So I pretty much see John Green’s writing style in Tfios as one of a philosophical teenager. Sorry, Nerdfighters but we all see things differently. I still associate Joghurt with Panic! At the Disco for some reason. The human brain is a funny thing.

Is this book overrated? Maybe! It’s sort of a thing everyone has to decide for themself. I mean, I figured out so far that the thing about reading a popular book has something to do with expectations. If you expect a book to be good and if it’s not as good as you think it is then you have to expect to be disappointed. Sorry. It’s hard, I know.

This book is pretty much about about two teenagers dying. Well, that and falling in love and being super wordy about their thoughts on the world.
I have to admit, some quotes from the book sound good when you read them. ‘Pain demands to be felt’ is sort of clever because it’s logical. You’re in pain because there’s something wrong. Maybe not with you but you feel pain because there is something that causes it. Pain demands to be felt because it is important to know that there are things that are wrong. Sometimes you can fix those things, sometimes you can’t.
And yeah, that’s my own interpretation.
Since John Green is on Tumblr there is probably sort of a chance that he sees this post. Or probably not. I don’t know. I also want to add that I’m not a ‘nerdfighter’ (I thought that was sort of important because I still don’t really know what a nerdfighter does and I’m honestly not all that interested either).

Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman

[Originally posted on tumblr on 10. June 2013]

 

I finally sat myself down and finished 'Neverwhere' by Neil Gaiman. For some reason, Gaiman’s books fail to … blow me away. You know. That feeling when you get when you finish an amazing book.

I mean, I really liked the story and the book overall but for some reason it didn’t excite me all that much. As for magic realism, Gaiman’s London Below seems really believeable to me. Like, in itself. (I guess you fantasy/book fans get what I mean.) Richard though wasn’t such an appealing character to me. Of course this raises yet again the question if there is really any need for a likeable character. I mean sure, I get him. I understand what’s up with him, especially because it’s easy to understand that being ripped out of your life is freaking horrible. Still, I couldn’t get myself to be excited about the things he does.
Speaking of ‘horrible’, amazingly brutal things happen in this book and they’re just … there. It scares me a bit that this didn’t draw much of a response from me.

Anyway, I’m not sure if I want to read any other of Gaiman’s books because … Stardust pretty much had the same effect on me. I liked it, sure, but it wasn’t that exciting. I like Neil Gaiman as, let’s say, the person he represents (since it’s hard to say that you like someone you don’t know personally) so I might change my mind again about this.

Krabat - Otfried Preu├čler

[Originally posted on tumblr on 23. May 2013]

 

I finished 'Krabat' by Otfried Preußler yesterday. This is one of the books that was popular with kids when I was little. So yeah, it’s a book that around here is for children, but interestingly tagged as ‘young adult’ on Goodreads. Decide for yourself. After looking through the ‘Krabat’ tag here on Tumblr I figured out that probably a lot of English speaking people were not really familiar with this book or only heard about it or read it in German class (as far as I know there are translations).

It’s the story of an orphan boy who gets lured to a mill by a miller who practices ‘dark arts’. Of course Krabats doesn’t know that when he gets there. You could probably say, it’s one of those ‘boy gets magical powers’ sort of books BUT with a dark undertone because the miller sacrifices the boys so that he himself can escape death (from what I gather he is probably older than normal humans could be, so he might actually rejuvenates himself). Krabat doesn’t know that at first because - let’s face it - he’s still a kid and a bit ignorant at first about the stuff that’s really going on at the mill. There’s an interesting dynamic between the other boys (there are usually 12 of them) and even if you can’t remember all of their names it doesn’t really matter. It’s actually a really dark story for a book that was written for kids.

There’s also a movie adaption in recent years which was extremely ‘dumbed down’ because otherwise it would probably not work as a movie. Or at least they couldn’t aim it at a bigger audience.

Since this book was first published in 1971 the language might appear a bit ‘oldish’. Also, the story is set in the region ‘Lausitz’ (appearently this region is now both Polish and German) during the ‘Great Northern War’ (1700-1721; read it up if you’re interested, it’s not necessary to know anything about it to read this book though). Which means this book has a non-medieval setting that is also not modern and has fantasy elements (the magic, obviously). I wanted to mention that because I know that many people dislike medieval fantasy.

So, if you never heard of this book and decide to read it: keep in mind that it was written for children. Of course that doesn’t mean that adults can’t enjoy it!

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman

[Originally posted on tumblr on 20. May 2013]

 

Just finished ‘Good Omens' by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (or the other way around or whatever floats your boat).
I LOVED it!
The humour in this book is really amazing and I guess everyone should read this book because it’s just too funny. As for the thing about this book falling apart/getting lost/dropped into the bathtub: my copy at least shows some signs of use on the spine, which is probably normal … if it wasn’t for the colour coming off. There seems to be a hilarious curse on this book or whatever.
(Oh and Crowley and Aziraphale? My new (not strictly bro) OTP. Because seriously now. Why not?)
I don’t have much else to say about this other then that it’s a great book and I don’t know where to put it on my shelf (next to Pratchett’s books? Gaiman’s? My bookshelf is organized alphabetically according to the names of the authors).

The Last Werewolf - Glen Duncan

[Originally posted on tumblr on 14. May 2013]

 

I finished Glen Duncan’s ‘The Last Werewolf' which I mostly read when I was sitting in public transport or had some time at work.
Again, I don’t know a thing about genres, this is probably a lit fic though. The narrator (the main character at first, then another character) talks in this kind of complicated, highly intellectual way. Why not, though? He’s more than a hundred years old and got some time to think about stuff. So yeah, I’m totally buying that the werewolf narrator puts down his thoughts in his journal (which the book is supposed to be) in this kind of way. The plot is actually very simple: Jacob (the MC) is the last werewolf and some monster hunting organization is trying to give him a good finale. (Which means a final fight.)

Well.

If they just could because some vampires also had an interest in him for some reason. At least this didn’t become some kind of Twilight thing, because the werewolves and the vampires can’t ‘smell’ each other.

Also, the MC is the last werewolf for a reason. Not just some fancy amazing thing like, the hunters killed them all. I guess that’s what the protagonists of Supernatural would like. Because of some virus the werewolf curse kills people instead of turning them. Well yay, huh? Unfortunately, that virus makes it possible for vampires not to start burning when they go out into the sun, which is why the vampires want to figure out how to use the virus.

The plot of the book pretty much takes some turns which makes it really interesting because at some point it seemed like there were just too many pages left for the direcction the plot was currently taking. So the ending came as quite a surprise. At least to me. (You know, I’m not all that good at guessing endings unless they’re extremely cliché.) The way it was written made it a little tedious to read, but not too much. I guess that’s because, after all, this is some kind of literary fiction book.

So yeah, I think this was quite an interesting book even if it took me longer to read than it actually should. Ah, also, there was some explicit stuff, some sex and of course werewolves killing humans, that kind of thing. At least that didn’t get too tedious because explicit stuff in books can turn repetitive and boring.
An okay read. I don’t know if I want to read the other books of this trilogy though.

Northern Lights  - Philip Pullman

[Originally posted on tumblr on 2. May 2013]

 

I finished ‘Northern Lights' by Philip Pullman this morning.

What can I say?
I’m probably a bit biased. You know, when ‘The Golden Compass’ movie came out (of which I can’t remember much) there was once again some kind of witch hunt originating from religious groups about this movie and book series. I admit I don’t know a thing about the authors religious beliefs and frankly: I’m glad I don’t and I DON’T need a reblog or message or anything like that in which some user thinks they’re smart and explain to me the religious belief of a person that is not themself. Which means, don’t even try, guys. Unless you’re Pullman yourself you got no right to tell me about his beliefs.
So back to the thing about me being biased: Well, I’m not a religious person at all so reading a book by an author who uses the religion in his book as a story device rather than a tool to preach to the readers is extremely refreshing. I like that. I’m also biased because in Jo Walton’s amazing ‘Among Others’ the main character made the comparison about how Philip Pullman did a good job to write ‘our world’ + fantasy elements while C.S. Lewis wrote religious stuff in the guise of fantasy novels which made the main character pretty much dislike the Narnia series.
Now, let’s not talk about that further, let’s just say I liked Walton’s comparisons.
So yeah, I’m biased because I liked what other people said about ‘His Dark Materials’.

After actually reading the first book:
I love it.
I really like Lyra. Sure, she’s the chosen one in this story, but she’s smart and witty and you know, she’s everything male characters usually are - without being obnoxious. Also, it’s probably because I share the sentiment of not loving your parents. (That though is a personal thing I don’t want to talk about in a book post - let’s just say it’s not at all a thing of abuse but a thing about neglet.)
I also love the thing about the dæmons. How they’re basically a part of a person, a part of their ‘heart’ but actually outside of their body.
Since I already knew the plot of this one somewhat I wasn’t too surprised about many things in the beginning. It was only near the end that I had a few moments when I couldn’t put this book down. You know, there’s a plot twist at the end of this book that made me look up and … you know, I made that look you make when you can’t believe what you just read in a book. (I guess that’s a common thing, right?) I also like the theories about ‘Dust’ in this book. It’s like a mystery you want to find out as a reader. It’s not just the characters - it really drew me in!
I really liked this book and I can’t believe that it took me so long to start reading this series.
Oh also, I got the books in an omnibus with a really beautiful cover. Just look at this beauty:

 



The leopard on this amazing cover was originally made for ‘The Amber Spyglass’ by the illustrator Dominic Harman. Take a look at his website here:
http://www.dominicharman.com/

This book also includes the illustrations Philip Pullman made for the chapter titles. <3

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

[Originally posted on tumblr on 22. April 2013]

 

‘The Time Traveler’s Wife' by Audrey Niffenegger was recommended to me by a friend (Spiegelfaenger here on tumblr). I finally got around to read it. Like, almost a year after actually getting this book. Took me long enough.

First of all, I’d like to point out something weird: It seems like some people rate this book badly out of spite. I can perfectly understand if you simply don’t like a book. People don’t like the same things and that’s alright. It’s only that I think some people disliked this book because of the genre:
In my opinion this is a romance book with science fiction elements. If you label this science fiction than of course you won’t be satisfied. Henry’s time travelling was more like a story device than the main plot. The main plot is about Clare and Henry falling in love with each other. A romance story. Simple.


I thought this was a pretty entertaining book. The middle part felt a bit long to me because there wasn’t really much going on. Then, all of sudden the last part of the book was just tragic. Well, the good kind of tragic because all of sudden I really cared a lot about what happened to the characters.
There were parts of this book that made me stop reading and look up for a moment because… I don’t know. Did you ever have such a moment when you read a book and then had to stop and look up and you know…? Like, something’s hitting you but not really.
I guess this only makes sense to people who had this happen to them.

I liked this book well enough. It won’t become one of my favourites but I liked reading it. :)

Drachenpfade - Sergei Lukyanenko, Sergej Lukianenko, Nick Perumov, Anja Freckmann

[Originally posted on tumblr on 17. April 2013]

 

And I finished another book. In the German translation it’s called 'Drachenpfade', according to Wikipedia the translation of the Russian title is 'Not the time for dragons'. Some sort of co-written book by Sergei Lukyanenko and Nick Perumov.

Well.
Do you know Avater: The Last Airbender? You better forget about that when you read that this book has ‘elemental clans’. Lukyanenko is known for not writing any coddling kind of magic. In one of the first scenes in this book someone gets ripped apart by a water whip.
Oh btw, this starts out in ‘the other side’ which is what they call ‘our’ world in this book. Then there’s the ‘middle world’ (not middle earth) which has some magic, elves, gnomes and humans (as well as those elemental clans and totemic clans - the totemic clans seem to have only canid and feline animals though) but also some electricity and even trains! Then there’s also a third world which is made purely of magic. (Unfortunately I don’t know how to translate the name of that third world because the English language has a lot of words for things we only have one word in German. The closest I can get is ‘the world of the heirs’ which might be nonesense and ‘the world of the natives’ which is also close but doesn’t sound right apart from what the characters tell the main MC about it.)

Viktor, one of the main characters has quite an unfortunate journey into this world because people randomly try to kill him. Our author duo was nice enough to switch POV in the middle of every chapter so we actually figure out that the second main character - a guy called Ritor - tries to kill the ‘dragon killer’ because he wants the last dragon to return.
Okay, so timeout, the middle world was once ruled by dragons who were great about keeping the invaders from that third world out of the middle world. Another thing about the three worlds: they are actually one world, it only depends on what part of it you’re in. I don’t really get it but one of the characters actually said this is no parallel world thing.
Back to Ritor and the dragon killing business: they suspect Viktor to be the next dragon killer and therefore try to off him. Since Viktor gets all kind of weird dream sequences you don’t know at first if he’s actually really the dragon killer. The dreams kind of spoil the ending and I wasn’t surprised about it.
So yeah, Viktor has to go through elemental trials (defeating mages and stuff) so that he would gain the power of the dragon killer.

Oh I almost forgot about the third main character.
Now that’s a character I would like to slap the authors for.
Loj Iwer is the head of the cat clan, she’s a mage of the highest class, clever, cunning and stuff like that and knows how to influence people BUT!
But the only ‘weapon’ she’s actually using is sexuality.
Now, I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all to have characters who are open about their sexuality and Loj wasn’t ‘shamed’ by others because of how she acted.
Still! Why make her such an amazing mage with such a witt if the most important part of her being a main character is that she has sex?
She also has NINE LIVES! She dies twice in the story! This should actually be the most amazing character ever but the way the authors used her in the story was just fucking stupid. I’m so done with this bullshit.

Also, there were times when I wanted to throw this book against the next wall for all the stupid sexist phrases the authors put into this book. Like, the retarded patriachic statement that ‘women naturally want others [men] to like them’. MY BULLSHIT SENSE IS TINGLING. That’s only one of those stupid phrases that are in this novel. What the hell.

Sorry, but the sexist stuff made me so angry that it overshades that this story was actually mostly okay.

The Sword-Edged Blonde  - Alex Bledsoe

[Originally posted on tumblr on 12. April 2013]

 

Alright, yesterday evening I finished Alex Bledsoe’s ‘The Sword-Edged Blonde’, which is a nice genre mix novel.

This story starts out with our first person narrator and main character Eddie LaCrosse sitting in his office. Kind of noir-like, yes? After that it’s off to his new case and when the hero of the story suddenly stepped into a tavern I got the feeling this was suddenly a ‘western’. Nevermind that, because suddenly there’s some kind of spy (‘special op’) who saves the hero’s ass and then takes him somewhere else because of a new and more important case.

Up to this part everythings was a little awkward because usually you wouldn’t suspect this kind of genre mix in a fantasy novel. Though I knew about it beforehand. Yep, that’s right, the enviroment is actually medieval-ish fantasy though everyone talks quite ‘modern’ and the characters have names that are easy to remember and are pronounceable. Which is really refreshing because I have quite the problem with
a) names that are of the ‘what the hell is that word supposed to be - oh, it’s written with a capital letter so it’s a name and
b) I’m not sure I could pronounce. Ever.
So yes, thanks for non-‘fantasy’ names. Keyboardsmashing unfortunately rarely results in getting you quality names. Actually looking up names does. (No offense to people who actually are so amazing and make up their own languages. I bet you guys can actually pull off inventing names that are actually pronounceable.)

The thing with this book is that when the main character gets to the actual main plot the plot suddenly advances ‘in reverse’. You get some nice flash backs that actually move you forward in the story because it’s vital information for the plot. I think that was very interesting and very much better than simply infodumping the main character’s past. Especially since he’s the kind of ‘tragic past’ hero so he doesn’t want to think too much about it because it sends him into fits of angst but that’s okay.

Also, the narration is extremely witty. Just for example, there are two scenes in which Eddie gets knocked out and in the first one he pretty much explains how it’s never like in one of those usual hero stories that the hero is suddenly wide awake. I liked that. The second time that happens someone drugged him and the room is spinning. And there are some lines that amused me endlessly:

"It took four tries, but eventually I got to my feet. The room showed its appreciation by trying to turn inside out."

Shortly afterwards: "I banged my head against the wall until my skull’s thickness scared the room into behaving."

:’D

Since this book is pretty short with only 320 pages you don’t get much of the fantasy world setting. Sure, the narrator explains that there are celibate wizards and moon priestesses (who have some really gruesome rituals) but apart from Eddie’s encounter with a really interesting character you don’t get much about the magic part. As for the world: This book comes without a world map but that’s alright. The narrator explains what you need to know and that’s about it. I guess.
Well, it’s certainly not a high fantasy book. Someone on the Goodreads forums named this genre ‘Sword Noir’ which sounds really good.

The Dispossessed - Ursula K. Le Guin

[Originally posted on tumblr on 8. April 2013]

 

After battling with the way this book was printed which is in a way that makes it hard to read for people like me who have nerve problems in their arms*, I finally finished ‘The Dispossessed' by Ursula K. Le Guin. (In case you wonder which edition I'm talking about: Harper Voyager, paperback, this one.)

I admit I have not much of an experience with science fiction. I really liked this book though, especially the order of the chapters. At first I thought this was a clever trick to make it a more interesting experience for the reader but then I thought this probably also had something to do with the main characters theory about travelling at the speed of light. I don’t really want to go into the details about this one since I guess it would spoil the story a little bit. Then again, I bet a lot of people already read this book and I’m making a fool of myself right now for joining the party so late.

Also, since I didn’t read so many science fiction books before this is also my first book that actually features an utopia, rather than a dystopia. Though it’s easy to be deceived at first when it comes to Anarres the ‘planet’ the main character comes from you soon figure out the problems the society faces there. (Anarres is actually the moon of Urras.)

A thing that also amazes me are the feminist themes in this book. Unfortuantely I don’t know about feminism through the years since this book was published in 1974. All I can say is that unfortunately not much has changed. Actually, the issues in this book are also present in today’s society. There’s more than one scene in which the main character adresses this directly. I think this is one that impressed me a lot:

Shevek (the main character) talks to Vea, an Urrasti woman, about the way men treat her. Then he says that she’s dangerous, upon her asking why he thinks her to be dangerous he says:

"Why, because you know that in the eyes of men you are a thing, a thing owned, bought, sold. And so you think only of tricking the owners, of getting revenge."

Another thing I really liked:

"Pravic was not a good swearing language. It is hard to swear when sex is not dirty and blasphemy does not exist."

Since I feel not educated enough to talk more about this book I should probably stop now. Let’s just say it’s a very interesting book which left me with quite a heartache - yet again! Le Guin has a certain way to end her books and they mostly end with people walking into the sunset and by that I mean you don’t know what happens to them. Yelp.

*In case you wonder what the problem was: It’s really hard to keep this book open without damaging the spine. Unfortunately I opened it too much early on. Ugh.

Inheritance - Christopher Paolini,  Gerard Doyle

[Originally posted on tumblr on 5. April 2013]

 

I told one of my colleagues (the one who drew the pigeon picture) about the thing with the werecats in 'Inheritance' today. I also told her about under which condition the werecats would join the Varden.

She didn’t say anything but made a gesture with her hands that symbolized how the werecats would become extremely obese if they would really get one chicken every day and fresh liver every other day. (This went like this: She made that gesture and then said something like ‘… a chicken every day’.)

Then again, neither of us knows exactly how big those cats are.
I can’t remember and the inheritance wiki isn’t very helpful (‘large shaggy cat’ - if someone here on tumblr knows how big those creatures are please tell me!) but we both agree that the werecat king commanding normal cats into battle is really stupid. Normal cat vs. armoured soldier = animal abuse. Those poor cats.

Anyway, why isn’t Galbatorix doing anything against the Varden? He must be one of the most incompetent villians ever. He’s supposed to be so powerful that the Varden need that deus ex machina spear to even have a chance against him (why else does it appear in the first chapters of this book?) but he can’t even try to seriously try and get rid of his enemies? Meh.

Brisingr (Inheritance, #3) - Christopher Paolini, Gerard Doyle

[Originally posted on tumblr on 4. April 2013]

 

Third one down, one to go.
What can I possibly say that no one else ever said before about this book? I wouldn’t know. It’s beyond me why he had to split this thing into two parts: There wasn’t much relevant plot in this book and I bet there won’t be much in the next one either.

The thing is, the initial plot for the ‘Inheritance’ series was that Eragon becomes a dragonrider and defeats the evil overlord Galbatorix. Easy enough, right?

Not so with this series. The many subplots are extrremely unnecessary to reach this goal. I mean seriously, was it necessary to include Roran’s POV all the time? Or the POV of any other character that wasn’t Eragon? Only if this was a RPG Paolini had with his friends - then this would have been a great adventure. For them! As a reader you stand puzzled why the author of this series includes such unnecessary things. My guess: This wasn’t edited beyond correcting typos and obvious grammar mistakes. I even found a review on Goodreads that actually had the same theory: that the editor didn’t give Paolini any pointers (it’s actually a review for the last book).
So my actual complaint about this book or actually this series is: Why wasn’t this properly edited when a pro publisher picked this up? Just so you know, that’s not only something that makes books bad, it’s also something that makes the publisher look bad. Seriously. If you publish unedited crap people will start talking “Why should I buy books by this publisher if they can’t guarantee to work with their authors?” because obviously if you work with an author, show him where he could do better and of course: CUT OUT UNNECESSARY THINGS you’ll have a chance that a book could actually become readable or even really good.
I don’t know Paolini but let’s just assume he’s willing to listen to critique - the good kind of critique - don’t you think this could’ve turned out better? At least a little bit? Overly obsessing and loving something despite its flaws isn’t helping the author.
Ever wondered why there are so many badfics on the internet? Check the comments section.

Also a more random note: when I listened to this audiobook I unintentionally skipped a chapter or two but I didn’t even notice it much because everything’s the same stuff and the plot gets summed up so many times! (My mp3 player sometimes doesn’t play things in the correct order. I can’t figure out why.)

Among Others - Jo Walton

[Originally posted on tumblr on 25. March 2013]

 

The book I’m currently reading is ‘Among Others' by Jo Walton. Mostly, this is a book about books. You probably heard of it already since it won the Nebula Award in 2012. I'm 74 pages into the story and so far it's hard to tell for me if the magic is actually real or only in Mori's head. Since she's yet another outsider type character I strongly root for her. (Especially since she doesn't care for the competitions at her boarding school.)

 

[Originally posted on tumblr on 4. April 2013]

 

This one was written in a diary style but you can probably guess that there’s more to it than simply being a diary. Mor (the main character) talks in her diary not only about books (mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy, sometimes Plato and others) but also about the sometimes ‘magical’ things that happen in her life. That’s pretty much the interesting thing about this book: You don’t know if Mor is only making it up or if there’s really magic in her life.
The plot is pretty much like this: After losing her twin sister and wrecking her hip Mor has to life with her father - a man she never met before. Her three aunts send her off to boarding school where she doesn’t quite fit in.

I really like Mor because she and I have at least some things in common. She doesn’t care for the games in her school or the competition between the houses, she doesn’t mind keeping to herself and loves reading.

This book is said to be like a loveletter to librarians and to the genres Science Fiction and Fantasy. That’s quite true but it’s also a book about the love for books and that it’s alright and I don’t really know what more I can say about this book other that I think it really deserved that award and yeah. It’s great. <3

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams

[Originally posted on tumblr on 25. March 2013]

 

I actually finished reading ‘The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy' by Douglas Adams.

I really hate to admit it but apart from the first book I didn’t quite like the others as much as they probably deserve. Don’t get me wrong - I think they are great books - but they are not among my favourites.

I actually really liked Random, Tricia and Fenchurch but unfortunately they had only small appearences compared to the male characters (even though Ford Prefect didn’t strike me as a main character at first he suddenly got his own chapters in the last book).

Currently reading

The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins