Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Good and The Bad

Ranger's Apprentice: Book One: The Ruins of Gorlan, by John Flanagan. This was a pretty good book. Although it feels like it was indeed written for readers about the same age as the main character (about 15), it's not dull or forbidding to older readers. This was an excellent book in that the characters were real. So many children and teen books contain characters that don't act anything like their age, or like any real person at all. Dragonspell, by Donita K. Paul. And speaking of characters that don't act like real people, I am forced once again to ask, what is it with the winking? I have never winked at anyone, much less a child, but so many kids' books have winks flying all over the pages. I don't understand it and it frustrates me. Actually, this is not filed with my library in the juvenille section, but it really ought to be. Although there's a little blurb on the front proclaiming it "a fantastic journey of discovery for all ages," it really isn't. The main problem is the central character's pessimism and thickness. She really makes the story drag for everyone able to think faster than her. That should be anyone over the age of 6. Although the plot in itself might have something to offer, what could have been a good story is really not much more than a platform for the author's preaching. I guess it's about what you can expect from an author whose claim to fame on the back jacket is that she is a professional storyteller at her Sunday-school. Christian or religious fiction is one thing, and it's fine. Changing a few names but not the main ideas shouldn't let you slip in under the radar and clog up my fantasy reading.

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