The Host and altruism

June 16, 2009 at 6:36 pm (books) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I just finished reading The Host by Stepanie Meyer, you know the Twilight author.  I found a few similarities not only in the ideas of motherhood in the Twilight series but with some of the later books in Orson Scott Cards’ Ender’s Game series.  There is the idea that motherhood is desired no matter how much pain is necessary to go through it.  If you read Breaking Dawn you could never forget that horrifying birth scene.  In the Host the mothers essentially die when they give completely of themselves in order to give birth. 

Well both Stephanie Meyer and Orson Scott Card are Mormon, and I haven’t seen the occurance of such sacrifice and altruism demanded of the mother in other books.  Since I don’t know too much about the Mormon religion I have to ask is this a treasured value?

The book is really good though and I recommend it, especially if you liked Twilight although remember it is a completely different story with different characters. I didn’t find any of the characters dislikeable, like I mustly found Bella, but I didn’t find  any of them as loveable as either Edward or Jacob. 

A similarity that I did not like between the Twilight series and The Host, is the amount of pain that the beloved causes the girl, but what’s a love story without that?


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Twilight vs. Harry Potter

August 26, 2008 at 3:22 am (books, rant) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I don’t see why the critics keep comparing Twilight to Harry Potter. Its on the cover of New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. The authors are totally different and their books target different audiences.  Maybe what they’re really trying to compare is popularity.  Harry Potter was a huge huge hit that has gotten and is continuing to get a lot of young people to read in a time when people are afraid children aren’t reading as much as they used to.  It also showed that children are willing to read bigger books than were previously thought.  I read the first Harry Potter book when it came out when I in 5th grade I think.  I’ve now read all seven of the books.

I’ve also read the entire Twilight series. Stephenie Meyer’s books target the people most interested in a love story, teenage girls. It has vampires which are always interesting if written about well. It is about the decisions a girl is then forced to make. While Harry Potter has magic and is about a boy growing up in the shadow of his own name and legends.

I think that Meyer develops the emotions of her characters better (she is writing romance), while Rowling has a really amazing grasp on storytelling, in that she knows myths and legends very well and is able to portray them as she wants.  Also she has a good understanding of what people would do in desperate times.  Both are excellent authors in their own right and have an excellent sense of humor.  I’ve laughed outloud from reading both.  I’ve also gasped outloud too at the terrible things that happen to the characters at times.  I’m glad the authors could lighten things up at times. 

The last book in both series upset fans although they were both good books in my opinion.  The epilogue was terrible for Harry Potter (Why was that even there? It was like she had written that when she was 7.  Everyone stayed together even though I think that would have been highly unlikely and it unfortuately hinted at the small size of the magic community in England which made me think Ewww. I think it would have been perfection without it, but I guess Rowling wanted people to know the afterward. As for Breaking Dawn the book was written a bit different than the other ones and was rather graphic in parts.

A test of skill and popularity is whether they write something popular outside of the series that made them popular. Meyer wrote The Host.  I didn’t get a chance to read that yet and I didn’t hear any reviews about it just that it was hyped up. Rowling has written the fairytales mentioned in the seventh book that sold for millons, but that’s not outside of the HP universe, which may be so big that she may never have to leave.  And money not exactly a good test, because Rowling has gotten over a billion dollars from HP from its wide audience (me included) and the fact that its so transferable to material goods and movies.  Ever tried Bertie Bott bag of jellybeans? Well I guess I ended up comparing the two more than the critics… Maybe American critics want an American author to have such acclaim. 


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The Far Sweet Thing

June 27, 2008 at 3:10 am (books) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

All of Libba Bray’s novels in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy have many poetic and artsy themes not to mention there is a poem to start them off that is the theme of the novel.  The first book, A Great and Terrible Beauty begins with the poem the Lady of Shalot by Tennyson. The second book, Rebel Angels, is framed by the rebel angels of Paradise Lost by John Milton and the fight between the angel Michael and the devil.  While the final book, The Far Sweet Thing, begans with the Rose of Battle by W.B. Yeats. 

I enjoyed reading the sries and I would like to see what else the author has in store.  She has great literary knowledge and sense of humor although I suspect that its a bit dark.  Anyways anyone interested in Victorian England, magic realms, and or poetry should really read these.

Throughout the novels the characters go through many conflicts and dilemmas which change them and not always into better people.  All the characters are flawed, no one’s except.  Each of the characters show a surprising mix of good and evil and are capable of love and hate.  The on going love story is both painful and enjoyable to read as I’m sure all good love stories are.

Gemma Doyle also changed from the girl who dream of balls and gossip to one who cared absolutely nothing for either.  She went to wishing for the happiness of the past and realizing time past can never return and so she must move forward into the past with its memory still intact.  I think this is a lesson many of us struggle or are struggling to learn are are many of Gemma and her friends’ lessons that they are forced to learn.

Well throughout The Far Sweet Thing Gemma was kind of scaring me could of her choice of association (circe), her boldness, and use of her powers.  Well Pip scared me too. Did anyone else who read the book feel this way as well?

KagehimeGemma Read the rest of this entry »

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Oh so Wicked

June 17, 2008 at 2:53 pm (books) (, , , , , , , , , )


So I just finished the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.  I know it made a hit a few years ago (maybe more than a few) when it came out then went on Broadway so I’m behind reading it.  The marketing of the book is really smart.  How many green books do you see out there? 

I bet its really interesting to see on Broadway.  I just hope that what’s used to make the witch green is safer than what was used in the movie the Wizard of Oz. I mean the witch almost burned up. 

Throughout the whole book there is the question of what is evil, where does it come from, and when is someone evil.  I think those are good questions for someone considered the wicked witch of the west.  I mean she gets labeled as evil but is far from the most evil character in the novel. 

I admit to being biased when starting the book because the image of the wicked witch of the west from the movie was in my mind.  Now I kind of want to go back and watch it.  I’ve also never read the original books by L Frank Baum.


PS. Don’t you wonder what Glinda is whispering?

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I’m back for a while at least

June 12, 2008 at 4:55 pm (books) (, , , , , , , , )


I haven’t written on this blog in a long time.  Sorry, but I do write on another blog, William and Mary Comics. Currently my friend who runs the blog hasn’t been on it to update it so although I wrote stuff no one will she it until she puts it up.  In the mean time I can write on this one.  Its summer so I have time to write two (if she ever gets online). 


On another note I’ve read some good books (can’t write that on the other blog). There may be spoilers following this statement, but the backs of the books themselves are sometimes spoilers especially in the case of Uglies.  I read the whole uglies series including extras. How does a trilogy get a fourth book?  I guess when its popular and the main character is someone else in a different place namely Japan.  I think the first three were in California mostly.  I wish people used the slang in this book it was so awesome.  I would so use words like littlies, pretty making and special head.  This series reminded me of The Giver and Brave New World.  Everyone was all for pleasure and people were content to live in a world that was less that liberating to say the least. I was mad at the end of the third book when they basically went off to become terrorists in a mission to save humanity from itself.


I also read the Maximum Ride series. I really loved Max.  She cracked jokes on everything even refering to death as dirt naps.  Of course she also kicked butt, beating up everything from super kid to a giant frankenstein creation thing.  So the fourth book did get a little soapy with its global warming stuff and captain planet rhetoric, but hey that is a serious problem. Max and the flock, for all their butt kicking and car stealing took the good way to save the world unlike the bad guys who wanted to kill half the human population in order to start off in an orderly world that sounds kind of like in Uglies except for in Uglies people were wiped out pretty much by accident.  The scientists in Patterson’s series wanted to beat the accident to the punch. 

Destroying something or hindering people from being free are not the way to save the world or planet.  Protecting people from themselves is not really a good business to get into. And terrorism doesn’t work either. Well both series are good and four books long.  Also, the people are trying to save the world.  Everyone has there own way and to be extremely corny what’s yours?


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