0

Book Review – His Dark Materials

his dark materials

Title: Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass

Author: Philip Pullman

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk

Length: 423, 352, 560

Rating: 3.5 Star average

BuyFrom_Grey_160x30

Description/Synopsis:

Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the alethiometer. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called “Gobblers”—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person’s inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I was going to review each of these books separately, they all cover completely different things in their stories since they all take place in separate worlds, but I realised I just straight up don’t have that much to say about any of them all by themselves. I also had one of resolutions that I would do short ones or group reviews on things so that this remains fun for me so this seems like a good place to start.

This first part will be a more overall discussion of the stories without revealing any of the plot points, but after I shall go into more details about things and those who do not want to be spoiled will have to give the second half a miss.

In terms of writing for this book I both loved and hated it. I really liked the descriptiveness of some things and I was really getting into the pictures that were being painted of the world. But then the descriptions didn’t stop, and they went on and on about things that didn’t need to be talked about. I am talking pages of useless description and all of a sudden my nice pictures in my head were covered in words like flies. Then of course there were things I actually wanted them to explain but of course that didn’t happen.

I also found there were a quite a lot of throw away characters and the ones that were not throw away, I found most of them didn’t have much depth to them. The one I thought had the most depth had to probably Lyra, who I actually liked as a character. She had spunk and was not afraid to stand up for herself, but most of all she seemed to learn from the mistakes she made along the way. I also really loved her and Pan’s relationship. I think I liked all the daemon/human relationships. They were the strongest. The next surprisingly would have to be Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter. At first I hated them both then all of a sudden there was a switch and the feelings I had for them were not so clear. Mrs. Coulter was the most surprising in the sense she was a gradual and I didn’t expect to have my feeling son her altered, but Lord Asriel was more of sudden switch and I didn’t really get it. I don’t know if I missed a part that had altered things or if I just didn’t understand him from the start.

I know that to some this is considered a childrens books, but I don’t really understand it. If I was not completely paying attention to the ramble, then I missed some complicated political thing that was happening or was being explained and I just don’t see how that is entertaining to or even understandable to kids. I suppose this ‘childrens book’ label can be used as an excuse for the simplicity of the characters, but I don’t really want to let it have that excuse. To me this was a YA book series.

Beyond this point is the more spoiler ridden section of the review, so if you are leaving me here I would give this series a miss if I could go back in time and tell myself my own thoughts. However, so may people rave about this book, so perhaps at the very least don’t do it in audio book.

Ok, can we talk about the huge religious element in this book. It was basically the entire plot and they went on and on about it all the time. That dust was religious and created by original sin, and they were in war with angels and God, have to say was probably the second big downfall for me next to the over description. I felt like I was being preached to in the most complicated way possible. The plot got so jumbled I really had no idea what side I was supposed to be leaning towards or anything. Really it was just very frustrating. It might not have been so bad if it just didn’t keep going on and on.

I also thought the end of the book was a bit sad. I felt horribly for them both, I wont say who, but I liked the book just a bit more because of it because it didn’t go with the standard every book has to have a happy ending. The ending was sad but it left room for hope of happiness.

So yes, again I would not read these books again. There were things I liked, some of the settings sounded amazing and I adored the whole daemon/spirit/soul thing and wish I could learn to see my own, but the writing, the depthless characters, and the overall lack of enjoyment in the driving plot, which by the way doesn’t come up until the second book, just was not doing it for me. Unless you know someone else who you trust their opinion on books and they suggest this series to you, I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone.

 

Till Next Time…

Advertisements
0

Book Review – Little Women

Little-Women-by-Louisa-May-Alcott

Title: Little Women [Little Women 1]

Author: Louisa May Alcott

Genre: Classic, Young Adult

Length: 400

Rating: 2.5 rounded down to 2 Star

Series Review: 1, 1.5, 2, 3

BuyFrom_Grey_160x30

Description/Synopsis:

Rich or poor. we will keep together and be happy in one another.

Christmas won’t be the same this year for Meg. Jo, Beth, and Amy, as their father is away fighting in the Civil War, and the family has fallen on hard times. But though they may be poor, life for the four March sisters in rich with colour, as they play games, put on wild theatrical, make new friends, argue, grapple with their vices, learn from their mistakes, nurse each other through sickness and disappointments, and get into all sorts of trouble.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I think this was something I needed to read at a younger age.

I can kind of see why they make people read it in school even though I didn’t have to. The main kind of theme to this book is appreciate what you have while you have it because it might not last long or things can change quickly. It also has a kind of underlying theme of working for what you want rather than being spoilt. As I have been doing all those things for many years now, this theme was just kind of obvious to me and didn’t really hold any interest.

I suppose following the antics of the girls was enjoyable enough for a time. I kind of cared about what they were doing and I felt a bit panicy when I thought one of them was going to die. I also was hoping that their father would return safely. Jo’s and the boy next doors relationships was very entertaining to me, and Beth was a sweetie.

But thats all that really held me captive. Liking the antics of children trying to grow up can only keep you entertained for so long and I soon was counting the pages until the book ended.

The style of the writing and the dialogue also had me cringing at times. While I get that there was a theme that was trying to be brought across, the characters talked like those really bad motivational cards and it drove me nuts. Yes, I got it. Work for what you want. Learn to take care of yourself. Blah Blah Blah. No one talks like that so please stop.

Despite how bored I was with this book towards the end, I am still planning on picking up the next one because perhaps now that they are larger and closer to me being able to relate to them I will find the book more enjoyable.

 

Till Next Time…

0

Book Review – Go The Fuck To Sleep

Image

Title: Go The Fuck To Sleep

Author: Adam Mansbach

Genre: Childrens, Parental Humor

Length: 32

Rating: 5 Star

Description/Synopsis:

Go the Fuck to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland. Profane, affectionate, and radically honest, California Book Award-winning author Adam Mansbach’s verses perfectly capture the familiar — and unspoken — tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night. In the process, he opens up a conversation about parenting, granting us permission to admit our frustrations and laugh at their absurdities.

With illustrations by Ricardo Cortes, Go the Fuck to Sleep is beautiful, subversive and pants-wettingly funny, a book for parents new, old and expectant. You probably should not read it to your children.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

My alternate title to this review is The Best $20 I Have Ever Spent!

Though I have yet to have children, I have baby sat and I remember what I was like as a child, and I think this book can relate to a lot of parents.

It really takes you on a journey from at first hopefulness, and then gradually frustration then into despair. This is really funny to me but I suppose that makes me a bit mean and crazy but I think its funny cause I find it true.

My favourite line hast to be:

“The flowers doze low in the meadows

And high on the mountains so steep.

My life is a failure, I’m a shitty-ass parent.

Stop fucking with me, please, and sleep.”

I love the combination of how children stories normally read with the simple but nice rhymes and with cute and pretty topics, combined with foul mouthed feelings of the parent as you go through the book is what makes the book.

The artwork is nice, but the people and the kids are a little scary looking.

Now if it didnt sound awesome so far why don’t you go listen to it being read by Samuel L. Jackson. He does a pretty damn good job I must say, and you get to look at what the book looks like.

Since I want to hold my children off from swearing as long as possible I probably wont be reading them this as a child, but if anyone has this kind of humour I seriously suggest buying it. When I’m not feeling so great it always makes me laugh. It is very recommended!

0

The Book Chain Exchange Idea

ImageI have been thinking about this for awhile now, and the more I think about it the more I really want it to happen.

I would like to start up a book chain exchange.

How it would work would be someone, myself for example, would post a blog stating they are looking to find a another person out there in the world to exchange books with, and we would post each other a book we have already read. The title and genre of this book can be left unknown if the giver so desires. But before we post the books we shall write on the inside of the front cover “This Book Was Read By” and we would write our own names and state and country underneath to start a column. For example I would write Jazmin Pitt-Gill VIC AU. Then once we have read the book we shall write our details down under the other persons, then find another person to exchange books with and post the book onto another person! And so the cycle continues.

To keep track of how far your original book has travelled around the world and how many people have added their names to the list, each person who is putting the book up for exchange will just repost the original blog to do so. This was the original giver can see how many times it has been exchanged :) Or you can post a picture of the names in your own blog, and share the link with the original person.

You may start more than one chain.

I dont know how well this idea will work, but I think it would be awesome to watch the list grow, and to see how many names may be already be on a book you receive. If anyone out there is interested in starting this up with me, give me a shout!