• Books

    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

    My friend Leah gave The Night Circus five stars on GoodReads. I had pinned about book hangovers, and she told me that she had one after it. When I saw the book in the library express shelf, I knew I had to read it too. So going into this, I wanted to like it since we have similar tastes in books. The plot seemed to be intriguing too.

    This was one of the most enchanting reads of the year for me. I consumed it quickly, and I knew when I was reading it, that I would like to reread this novel. I don’t like to reread a lot of novels. This could be one I can enjoy again. It’s a tale of magic and romance. The characters are engaging, the plot moves along, but it has this quality of bringing the reader into its world and characters.

    This is a debut novel, and I can’t remember when the last time I’ve been as engrossed in an author’s first novel as this It doesn’t happen often. The book reminds me of the works of Neil Gaiman. If you love Neil Gaiman, you will love this novel. It has mythos, fantasy, fairy tales, but also has a lot of heart.

    The romance in this novel is told so simply in the good way. There is balance of their relationship with the conflict of the book. The angst is there, but it’s not over the top or excessive. I wish we knew more about the protaogonists. I couldn’t get enough of any of the characters. I rather miss them now actually. Book hangover indeed.

    There are a couple of bad guys in the book, but they aren’t particularly evil, just amoral and cowardly. It’s not a story of good vs. evil. It’s actually more of a tale of star crossed lovers, and as much as a romantic as I can be, I am actually more critical of such romances (Romeo&Juliet is not my favourite Shakespeare play).

    It is also about friendship and being part of a community and family. Most of the characters find and love each other through the circus, and many of them are from unknown origins or lack families. Both the main characters are orphans which is a classic mark of such tales. Everyone is brought together and cemented by the circus.

    The book is suited to those who love fantasy, and stories with myth and magic. It was a pleasure reading this novel.

    Read July 15th 2012.

  • Books

    Timeless by Gail Carriger

    Timeless

    Timeless is Parasol Protectorate No. 5 and the last of this series. I have been reading this series since late 2010 I think. I like it because it has comedy, supernatural elements, steam punk and urban fantasy, but it isn’t as dark as some of the latter two elements usually. It’s fun ‘fluff’, but it also has some wit and great diction. The series is found in the young adult section of the library, but all the characters are adult and there is sexuality in it.

    What I really adored from this series are the characters. That’s usually how it goes for me. While I like Alexia and Maconall, I have a fondness for the supporting characters and relationships: Professor Lyall (who reminded me of Harry Potter’s Lupin), Lord Akeldama, and Biffy. I was pleased that Biffy had even more prominence and perspective in the last book.

    I recommend this series for those who like light supernatural series and Victorian times. It’s light and suitable for adults.

    The next series The Parasol Proectorate Abroad will come out Fall 2013 and is suppose to be set twenty years in the future from the end of Timeless. I hope most of my favourite characters will become prominent in the next series and I look forward to seeing how Prudence grows into her powers.

    Finished reading on the Kindle on April 7th, 2012.

    Visit the author’s website at Gail Carriger.com.

  • Books

    New Moon and Eclipse

    The second and third book in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. So far, my favourite is still the first book though I did like Eclipse and the ending of New Moon. I read both of these on my laptop which is the first time I’ve read such complete novels on the computer. If it were any other books, I would be adverse to try it. These books were short and not too intense for the eyes. There are major spoilers under the cut.

  • Books

    Twilight

    I was aware that this book was popular, but I did not know how so nor did I know what the series was about until my friend showed me the trailer for the movie slated for December 2008. The more I learned about the series, the more I intrigued I became and convinced I would like it. The book’s paperback version is 475 pages, but I finished it in only a few hours. The fast pace of the book is driven largely by its dialogue driven and suspenseful content. Things happen very quickly, and it really is not hard at all to see why this book is so immensely popular especially for females. It has the air of chicklit about it, but better because it is fantasy romance. I don’t read many modern romance centred novels, but I know many popular and classic fantasy series do not have the central, compelling relationship of Edward/Bella. Their relationship is a classic story of forbidden love except he’s a vampire and they are teenagers in love for the first time. I think Meyer is adept at writing a teen girl’s feelings and attraction. While the book is not that full of twisted plots or self-absorbed by its own mythology, it is really good book to escape with.

    This book is fun. Sure the characters (e.g. Edward) are sometimes too perfect, and there is nothing truly distinct about the writing or prose. It has that ability to take you on a ride with Bella in her romance and adventures with these vampires. The relationship is so physically tenuous due to him being a blood sucker, and the fact these are YA books written by a devout Mormon makes the sexual tension rather high in these books. It adds onto the suspense and the fascination with their relationship in the books. The escapist nature of the books makes it immensely rereadable. I say this as someone who does not really re read often or who loves the vampires subgenres. As for the characters, I liked them all for the most part. I give Bella a lot of slack for talking about Edward’s beauty every other page while being self-deprecating. She is 17 after all. It is impossible to dislike Edward; he has been designed to be the perfect romantic and courageous leading immortal male. I also liked the other Cullens (vampires) and will look forward to getting to know them more. In fact, I have already started New Moon, the second in the series.

    As for the movie, the LA Times has a great article and behind the scenes clip of the movie. It really is going to be one my most anticipated films of 2008. The buzz around it is crazy enough; doubtlessly, they will adapt the sequels.

  • Books,  Movies

    His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass

    When I read this book the first time, I was a little older than the protagonist’s age. I’ve reread the books twice since, in audiobook form last year, and yesterday before I saw the movie. I love the HDM trilogy because is an extremely well done fantasy series that is complex and layered. It’s definitely not just for kids and is rereadable for a variety of reasons including the questions and ideas it elicits.

    The idea of a movie has been around for a long time, and I remember there had been some issues with the script and switching of directors. I am really glad it has been done. I enjoyed myself. It was great to see all the concepts in the books such as the daemons, and Iorek visualized. The special effects were some of the best things about the book. The casting is fantastic. I think everyone, including newcomer Dakota Blue Richards, did a fine job. I really want to the film to do well; this is actually the first time I’ve been in a movie theatre since May 2006. The success of this movie will determine whether New Line green lights the other two films. The ending is abrupt as a result which brings me to more in depth comments below.

  • Books

    First Among Sequels

    This is the fifth book in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, but it marks the second part of the series and is the first part of the next four books. For maximum enjoyment of this book, I recommend you start with the first four books. It’s been so long that I don’t remember how good those books are individually, but I love this series as a whole. It’s fun, unique, different, hilarious, and well written. I forgot how many plots Mr Fforde can balance in these books. This may turn some people off because he does have so many plot lines set up, but most of them are closed without much fanfare in the last couple of chapters. The other ones are set ups for the next books. For a more in depth review with slight spoilers from the previous books and this one (nothing major), click below.