Friday, August 7, 2009

More book reviews

Again, continuing from this post.

#9 His Dark Materials
First, His Dark Materials is a series made up of three books "The Golden Compass", "The Subtle Knife", and "The Amber Spyglass". This makes it a crappy addition to this list.

The Plot: Two kids and their metaphysical representations run around doing everything metaphorical the author could think of. Then they go kill God.

The Good: The first book in this series is the best of the three. The author creates a lovable main character in Lyra and I found the portions that dealt with daemons charming.

The Bad: This is obviously a response to the Narnia series. The similarities (new worlds, talking animals, creation metaphors, strong female villains) are a little bit in your face. I got the impression that the author decided that subtlety was overrated by the third book, which is when the 'killing God' bit went from an interesting, albeit heavy handed topic for a children's book, to the stick that the author chose to beat his message into the reader.

In addition, the third book becomes more of an adult love story, which breaks the themes of innocent loyalty and friendship that have been paramount up to that point. It was a disruptive decision, and one I wish he'd left out.

The Verdict: 3.5 out of five for The Golden Compass, 2.5 for the other two books. Probably offensive to some who can't tell the difference between reality and books.

#53 Cold Comfort Farm

The Plot: A society woman goes to live with her redneck relatives at Cold Comfort. She neatly arranges life around her to her liking.

The Good: Clever language and a plotline that was written to be tongue in cheek. The author succeeded at writing a very amusing book without seeming like she was trying too hard.

The Bad: The book is a little slow at the beginning.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5. Charming! I especially love the cows.

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