What is there to say about this wonderful book that hasn’t already been said in some way or some form? Not much honestly, so this isn’t much of a review. It’s more a response/regurgitation of my immediate thoughts having finished reading it Wednesday evening.
I’m glad I squeezed in a re-read of The Hobbit this year for a couple of reasons: it’s the 75th anniversary of its original publication; I haven’t re-read it since high school; the first of the films comes out this year; and there was an awesome panel at the 2012 Boston Book Festival about the book, the movie, the previous adaptations and the associated artwork.
What I enjoy most about The Hobbit is that it’s a tale told as a story. Tolkien tells the story as if you are one of his children snuggled up in bed waiting to find out what adventures happened from the night before and you can hear and experience this in the writing. And this is one of the things that makes me want to perhaps try an audio version of this book.
However, at the same time that this makes the tale magical, it also detracts, only minimally, from the story. The writing at times isn’t as concise, clear or powerful as it could be because I believe Tolkien sacrificed some of this for simplicity and spoken voice. But, as I said, I am perfectly okay with this.
I decided to read Seraphina after seeing Grace’s review of the galley over at Books Without Any Pictures, and I am very glad I did. Of all the dragon novels I’ve read in the past few years, and I’ve read quite a few, this one is probably the most unusual.
I’m not sure if it has been done before, I vaguely recall perhaps Irene Radford having done it, and I know Christopher Paolini has one character that is somewhat of a dragon/human, but having the dragons transform into humans was definitely interesting. And then narrowing the focus even more was beyond incredible.
THERE MAY BE SOME SPOILERS! DON’T READ THE NEXT PARAGRAPH! (After that you’re okay, I think!)
This is the book where everything changes. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban really shows the wider wizarding world, but Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire really sets the stage for the rest of the series. It’s funny though that I didn’t really get this until Fiona, over at The Book Coop, shared her views about Book 3. I definitely agree with her that Book 3 shows that these are going to be a much broader series than just about a boy wizard at school, but what I think this book does is it shows just how dark this series has the potential to become.
Let’s face it Harry Potter is a dark series. It’s about good versus evil and surviving the lowest lows to get to the highest highs. Book 4 starts with a murder and it’s a plain fact. Every book prior to this mentions deaths and murders, but there are none that happen on the pages of the book and with this book it happens within the first 30 pages setting the tone for the rest of the series.
How many times can I say ‘WOW’ to open a book response? Especially if I’ve read the book already? Apparently, every time because these books just make me so happy. Definitely considering abandoning all challenges next year and just reading whatever strikes my fancy, but I doubt I will.
When I first read this book, I wasn’t that impressed. For some reason it just didn’t mesh well with me, but unlike Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets this book has definitely grown on me. Whereas Book 1 introduces us to the world of Harry Potter, Book 3 introduces us to some of the vitally important characters to the world and the series. How can you not be intrigued by Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew and want to find out even more about Severus Snape? You can’t! Rowling gives you just enough information to make you question what you know about all of the characters, but not enough to reveal who or what they really are or where they’re going or who they’ll be at the end of the series.
YES! I’m definitely glad I bucked all my challenges for the month of July and just explored what I wanted and took time for a few re-reads (specifically seven of them ).
I can’t believe it has been over three years (probably closer to four) since I last read the Harry Potter series. That really makes me sad. I really should just have my sets (yes, that is multiple sets of Harry Potter books) sent up from North Carolina. There’s always something missing from my bookshelf when they’re not there. I guess I’ve made up for it by slowly accumulating another set in hopes that Tom will read them. Everyone should comment and tell Tom how great this series is so he will start reading them. Plus tell him they’re fun and relaxing so he can’t use stress as an excuse!
I’ve split this response into three quick sections: a brief background on my first time reading the series, a few quick thoughts on this first book and finally a few brief thoughts on Pottermore. Check it out!