I just want to start by saying if by some odd chance you’re the publisher of this book, you need to pay for better copy writers. There were quite a few mistakes in this novel in the text and maybe it was part of the ‘style’ but I really doubt it.
Although I’ve enjoyed reading both of the books in the Kane Chronicles so far, I still think it is the weakest of Riordan’s series. They’re definitely action packed and entertaining, but overall I just can’t truly appreciate the characters as much as I can in his other two series and I’m not sure why. Part of this I think comes from the style of the writing and the other part comes from the inability to identify with any of the minor characters. Although I think he did a better job with this book, it just didn’t click perfectly with me. However, don’t get me wrong it was still a fun read and I appreciated seeing Carter and Sadie grow and meeting new characters. I just wish there was more.
This novel picks up not long after the last novel, but there is A LOT of information that is never filled in and that drives me insane! This novel just sort of picks up and a lot of things have changed and it’s like you’re supposed to accept that and move on, which you have to do, because there’s no other way to get that information. Part of this comes from Riordan’s style of writing in that this novel is just a transcript of a tape he ‘discovered’ and that added to the personalities of Sadie and Carter this time, but it left so much information out like more information where the other magicians came from, what they’re doing and what they’re planning to do!
While waiting on another book from the library I decided to request a copy of Blessed Isle from NetGalley. I had luck with the Tucker Springs series and wanted something light and fun to read and I wasn’t disappointed. This is my honest opinion and I received nothing in return.
This is how you write a romance novel! (To me at least.) There’s no rushing into things, there’s no the world is ours after 2-3 months (or shorter) and there’s plenty of conflict and potential heartbreak. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for the Wham Bam style of romance novel, but they’re just not the type of love story I’m generally drawn to. In addition, there’s a subtlety about Beecroft’s writing and her efforts (and total success) at keeping the sex out of the book. In doing so she created a novel that was much less low-brow than you would assume and the focus was shifted to the love story and the time period, which really only adds to the story. And to top it off, Beercroft did a good job of building at least one sympathetic character,
“But one day, perhaps, when the world has grown kinder, this journal will be read by less jaundiced eyes. To them I will be able to say there was fidelity here, and love, and long-suffering sacrifice, and joy. To them I will be able to speak the truth.”
I received a copy of this via request on NetGalley and I am so happy I requested it. This is my honest opinion and I received nothing in return for it.
It’s times like this when I wish I went into teaching at some level to share a story like this with my students. It’s heartbreaking, but hopeful and I can only imagine what it would be like if I were an Irish teen reading this in the mid 1990s after it was written. Honestly, I would’ve felt just like Neil when he found out he wasn’t ‘the only gay in the village.’
I wasn’t sure what to expect of this novel and Tom Lennon (a pseudonym to protect his Catholic-school teaching identity and he’s still unknown) as an Irish author writing about LGBT characters had the decks stacked against him: Jamie O’Neill can do no wrong, John Boyne won me over with The Absolutist, Damian McNicholl put up a good effort with A Son Called Gabriel and Oscar Wilde is, well, Oscar Wilde. Needless to say, Tom Lennon did not disappoint, and as I listed all of those authors I realized his story pre-dated all of the rest by at least a decade with the exception of Oscar Wilde, so I’m excited his story is being introduced to the US.
Now, having read two books by Michael Ondaatje, one thing is certain: his writing is incredibly smooth and beautiful, especially when it comes to the description of scenes and settings. The best comparison I can think of is a deep voice talking soothingly (like James Earl Jones or Donald Sutherland. And in all honesty, I’m pretty sure I read Ondaatje’s books with a Sutherland voice in my head. In the Skin of a Lion is my third Mount TBR book, but not an officially listed book, but one I expected to read.
As I read the story, I kept forgetting that the novel is told as a retelling of the story. It starts out with, this is when (and how) this story is told and I just forgot about it. And forgetting about this really affected my ability to enjoy the story. I kept thinking this is pretty disjointed and wondering who the narrator was talking to. Rereading the ‘forward’ helped put it back into perspective, but I should’ve paid more attention from the start.
I’m so disappointed I didn’t discover this book in High School, but at the same time I really doubt I would’ve appreciated it as much as I do now. Although I was an incredibly straight-laced kid in High School and couldn’t relate to some parts of the novel as a high school student (sex, drugs, partying, Rocky Horror?!?), I could definitely relate to many other parts. I haven’t seen the film but will definitely see it soon. I’m still shaking my head wondering what took me so long to read this book!
The scene where Charlie gave out perfect Christmas presents to each of the people in his immediate circle of friends, just from having listened to them was great! I mean that is the same thing I do. I listen and suck in all the details about people and then awkwardly regurgitate facts to them later about what they’ve said at that party or at previous parties. It’s a great party trick, but at the same time it often makes me come across as anti-social or creepy (so I assume, no one has ever reinforced this thought).