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?

Kagehime

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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. 

Kagehime

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Breaking Dawn

August 14, 2008 at 4:12 am (books) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

It took me three days to read when it really should have taken two, but I got through it finally.  When I wasn’t reading it was like the TV was telling me to go read.  We just got HD tv so I was flipping to look at the channels and I see that a documentary of Vampires in America was on two channels…it was seriously saying that Vampires were in America… Then I flipped and a show called Jake 2.0 was on whatever that’s about but that only reminded me of Jacob.  Later all these previews for True Blood, a vampire movie, kept playing.  It was rather annoying and odd.  Now that I’m finished I haven’t seen any of that. 

The Twilight series is definitely the best and most interesting book series I’ve read this year or the best several years and Breaking Dawn sums it up well.  It has everything Twilight fans were looking for or at least I was.  It’s longer than the other three books in the series and most of the story is given in Bella’s perspective, but not all of it as with the other books.  I have to say this book was a shocker.  Throughout much of the book I was thinking “Oh my God!”,  “What!”, “This can’t be!” etc. and I’m not given to thinking these thoughts much less yelling them out while reading.  I’m not sure I’ve ever done that except with this book while New Moon too I have to say. 

I was sort of reminded of Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour and Vampire Chronicles in this one unlike the other ones. Not because of the writing style or anything.  Just that it was dark, extreme, and sensual. Also there’s a surprising shocker (that I will not give away) that were in common in The Witching Hour (which is not about Vampires) and Breaking Dawn.  It is actually something that a lot of Vampire novelist attempt to write about and fail, but Meyer succeeded in having. She continues to have life go on as normal, well show that beyond the vampires its going on as normal.

As for the characters: Edward and Jacob great as always.  I was feeling really sorry for Bella for a while who was not annoying in the least and actually got to be really cool (hmm… 🙂 There’s a lot of surprises from the Cullens and werewolves.  There are a lot of surprise throughout the novel so read it if you haven’t! 

As awesome as I think it is I think its lacking some of the relationship development of the earlier books which was really the thing that got me hooked to them in the first place.  There was a lot more action and a reliance on shockers that weren’t in the previous books.  Endings are really hard to write.  It’s the part that’s most likely to upset fans, but this ending was priceless. Now I’m looking foward to Midnight Sun.  In the mean time I guess I’ll just find The Host.

 Kagehime

PS. I love the cover. All the covers were great, but this one is awesome.  The red pawn looks rather threatening doesn’t it? And the Queen is the most powerful piece in the game of chess.

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