Thursday, July 23, 2009
Isn't that a beautiful cover? What's even better is that the story inside is even more beautiful and intricate. I love Robin McKinley. I read her Beauty years and years ago and it's been a favorite of mine ever since. Robin McKinely's writing is absolutely gorgeous and she's pretty much the queen of fantasy and fairy-tale retellings. In other words: my hero.
Chalice is a winner. The world it takes place in is imaginative, original, and purely magical. Plus, I love honey and Jon and I have talked about wanting to keep bees someday. If you want to find out what on earth I'm talking about you're just going to have to read it.
There are a lot of dragon books in this world. Have I said that before? Sometimes I feel like dragons are way overdone, but then I read a book like Dragon Spear and change my mind. Everyone else should stop writing about dragons, but Jessica Day George can keep going as long as she likes. I adore Creel (the heroine of this tale) and all her dragon friends. Just a personal preference, but I thought the romance in this book (and the other two in the series) was a bit underdeveloped. Obviously, I wouldn't want it to come anywhere close to the book reviewed below, but a little more love couldn't've hurt. It's perfect for younger readers, though.
This book's predecessors are Dragon Slippers and Dragon Flight; both books are fantastic reads. If you haven't discovered Jessica Day George yet, you really need to. I just received another book by her as a gift, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, (thanks mom!) and although I've read it before I'm so excited to read it again, and sooo happy to own it! I'm also dying to get my hands on her latest release: Princess of the Midnight Ball. Hopefully it'll be coming my way soon from the Idaho Falls Public Library...
Don't waste your time!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I read these novels, once again, because of Masterpiece on PBS. During the summer they have a Masterpiece Mystery series. Usually, I'm not into mystery movies and books; I have an incredibly overactive imagination, and it's not really a good thing for me to sit around thinking about murder and scary people constantly. I avoid Horror altogether. Despite that, I've always been a big Agatha Christie fan. When I was in junior high-ish, I went through a big Agatha Christie phase and read tons of her books. Part of the amazing thing about Agatha Christie is that she's written over 80 mystery novels, yet they all manage to be unique and unpredictable. In fact, there are several things she is a master of that any aspiring writer would do well to learn from her novels. For example:
- Suspense. Obvious, perhaps, but Agatha Christie is a genius when it comes to suspense. And, really, isn't that what every good plot on the planet needs? Otherwise, what's the point of reading to the end of a book?
- Clues and Foreshadowing. This goes right along with suspense. Agatha Christie knows exactly how to give her readers just enough to keep them hooked and guessing, without actually giving her ending away. I rarely guess her murderers (or murderesses) right.
- Character Development. When you're going to write 80 novels, you're going to run into hundreds of individual characters, but somehow Ms. Christie's characters always manage to be unique people. Agatha Christie never has the problem I've found in other authors (*cough* Cornelia Funke) where characters from their novels appear to be clones of each other - with different names.
So, I recommend Agatha Christie as a fun diversion from your usual read. Her books are clean (minus the murder :D), interesting, and fun to read. Of the three novels I just read, A Pocket Full of Rye was probably my favorite, although my all-time favorite Agatha Christie novel is And Then There Were None.