Friday, October 01, 2010

Week in Review: A Mixed Bag

This week I finished reading three books that are about as far apart from each other on the spectrum as they can be. If you’ve taken the time to look through the entire list of books I’ve read this year which are listed on the sidebar of my blog, you’ll see that I am an eclectic and voracious reader. At last count there were 85 books listed, all of which I have completed. I’ve started several others. Some were abandoned, and most were just set aside because life as kept me too busy to finish them so far, but I will.

This week I have an LDS historical, a Harlequin romance for teens, and a middle grade fantasy-like adventure story. See—I told you they were varied!

Alma the Younger -- H. B. Moore
Disclaimer alert! Heather Moore is a member of my critique group and I actually read early draft versions of many of these pages, but I am always fascinated how manuscripts can change, grow, and characters develop from the early stages through actual publication of a novel. Heather’s novels are well-know for giving vivid details and painting imagery that takes you right to the place she wants you to be, this time ancient America. Based upon characters found in the Book of Mormon, Alma the Younger is a story of redemption with a promise of romance woven in. If you’re LDS, it provides food for thought as you consider the lives of the prophets. If you’re not LDS, this book, and any from her series, are still a great read.

The Iron Daughter – Julie Kagawa
The second book in a series meant to draw younger readers into the romance genre, like the first book this one follows the adventures of Meghan, half faerie and the daughter of King Oberon from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Having fallen in love with Queen Mab’s son, the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey-ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Although I really loved the first book, this one had several spots that I felt were slow, and I was surprised that the language was a little more raw. The last few chapters didn’t seem all that necessary, but I guess the author wanted to tie everything up into a nice, neat package.

Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan – John Flanagan
I’ve had students recommend this book, and the entire series to me for several years. Since the author is now ready to release book #10, I may never get caught up but at least I have gotten a start. This epic fantasy reminded me of The Dark is Rising, where the young boy learns he has a destiny. There were moments of true high adventure that pulled me along and into the story, but there were also chapters where I was confused about which character I was supposed to be following. That may have been my fault as I tend to switch between several books in the same day, or it could be because I had one ear open to listen to my student teacher handle a discipline problem or two in the classroom. I will say that once I got to the end, I felt like I enjoyed it enough to add book two to my list of Books to be Read.


Sheila said...

I can't wait to read Heather's book. I have loved everything that she has written.

I bought the Ranger's Apprentice at a library book sale a few months ago. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I am glad that you liked it. Your opinion means a lot to me.

Yeah for student teachers in classrooms!

Heather B. Moore said...

That is a mixed bag! lol!