Monday, September 19, 2011

Ruby Red

The other day I was browsing in the teen stacks at our library and came upon this gorgeous book by Kerstin Gier. The cover is a deep red with silver filigree and has ruby jewels on the front. I definitely judged this book by its cover, and I quickly read the synopsis. A young girl has a time travel gene, but her mother lied about her birthday to conceal this fact from the family. I checked out the book, abandoned my other current reads, and delved in. I loved it. The story was moving along, and it was great. About three quarters of the way through the book, I realized that there was no way the book was long enough to answer all my questions. Sadly, this book is part of a trilogy. Not only that, but it is a translated copy. Kerstin Gier writes in German. Because I really enjoyed the first book, I hope to see the next two books in the trilogy translated soon.

This book is for anyone who enjoys fantasy or history; it is an interesting combination of the two. Women and girls will probably enjoy this book most, as there is a strong female protagonist. The book is directed towards a teen audience, but other age groups will also enjoy the book. This book is worthy of its cover.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Update on Game of Thrones

I have made it through the rest of George R.R. Martin's books that belong in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. I quite enjoyed the first couple, but then my enjoyment began to decrease. This often happens with the middle books of a series. I like to call them "bridge books" because they tend to have necessary plot and character development without tying up many loose ends. Since the series is not complete (two more books are currently scheduled for the future on George R. R. Martin's website) this makes the last three books currently available middle books for the entire series.

After some pondering, I realized that the fact that these books were middle books wasn't the only frustration I was having with the books. I like my books to generally work out for characters. I don't enjoy investing in a character and then having that character die. Martin clearly has no qualms about killing off characters, as well as thwarting them in ways that seem impossible to reverse. I am not saying I never read or enjoy books in which main characters die, because that isn't true. But I felt that these books were brutal. The books also deal with a lot of darker issues of humanity, and I just don't find that as enjoyable as other books. Will I read the rest of the series? Yes. I think I will. Will I stay up and have an all night read session? No, probably not.

Many people will enjoy these books. They are well written, epic fantasy. The characters are developed and seem real. The story is fascinating, and Martin's writing moves along quickly even though the books are large. If you enjoy epic fantasy, and aren't put off by the idea of you favorite characters failing, you will want to read these books.