“A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle

Image result for a wrinkle in time bookI have to admit, I don’t think I’ve ever read this book before now. Obviously Disney is releasing a movie version in a couple months, so I had to know what was going on. Apparently a lot of other people did too because the holds on this book and the other books in this series were/are ridiculous. But it was a short read so I got it fairly quickly and now I can pass it on to one of the dozens of other people waiting on it.

Anyway, this book was released in the early 1960s, so some of the language is a tiny bit old-timey, but it’s a nice change from the books of today. The story follows our heroine Meg Murry who, with her little brother Charles Wallace and new friend Calvin O’Keefe, get tessered across space and time by Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Which so that they can rescue Meg’s father, who has been gone for quite some time now.

There are a lot of things about these characters and their personalities that I hope will be explained more in the other books in this series. We know that Charles Wallace is different than most other children. He can sense things about people and he just thinks in a much more mature way than you would think he should. Calvin is pulled to the family like he belongs, but we don’t know too much about him yet. And Mr. and Mrs. Murry are both scientists who seem to be extremely close to making a breakthrough in their respective work.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Disney conveys parts of this book to the big screen. There were some things described that I couldn’t even imagine, so I have no idea how they’re going to present it visually. I know it will be amazing though, because Disney. Mostly I’m looking forward to Aunt Beast, who is described as having four arms, tentacles instead of fingers, no face, and covered in soft fur.

While I wait on the next book in the series, “A Wind in the Door,” I’ve started on “Brisingr,” the third book in The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. I’m not too far in and I think I won’t make real progress until my audiobook hold comes available. Hopefully it won’t be too long.

Until next time,
Maegan

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“Thor: The Junior Novel” by Elizabeth Rudnick

Image result for thor elizabeth rudnickAlas, the junior novelization of the movie “Thor.” Reasons for reading this book include, but are not limited to, the following: Marvel, length (it’s super short), ease of read (it’s literally called the *junior novel*), same author who wrote the “Beauty and the Beast” novelization.

Honestly though, I feel like this book barely scratched the Thor surface. We see Thor about to be king, Thor does a bad, Thor is banished and does not become king, Thor meets Jane, Jane’s research is snatched, mystery creature shows up, the end. I was in the last chapter (of literally a six-chapter book) thinking of all the things that happened in the movie that hadn’t happened yet, and then it was over.

I guess I can’t complain that much because I brought this on myself, but still.

Next up is finishing “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle, then starting on “Brisingr,” which is the third novel in The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. All my series (serieses? Spell-check says no) are running together. I promise (probably not) that one day I will only read one series at a time.

I’m definitely lying,
Maegan

“Eldest: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 2” by Christopher Paolini

“Eldest” is the sequel to “Eragon” and it’s a little better than the first book, but some of it is more of the same. The story is a little more exciting this time because all the backstories have been established and we get to see Eragon train to become a better Rider. Plus, the story is told from at least three different points of view at times, so we get to see what’s going on outside of Eragon’s small world.

The kid really does have the “out of sight, out of mind” thing down. He actually forgets about his cousin who he abandoned for weeks at a time. Plus he claims to have mourned a lost friend, yet there is barely any thought of them once the character is gone.

One thing I can say about this book: There was a big plot point that was revealed at the very end that I absolutely saw coming. I’m talking 100,000% predictable. And then, just when you think the big reveal has been made, BOOM. Another huge plot twist! I did not see that coming at all and I absolutely loved the surprise. I wish more books had that kind of big reveal.

Anyway, I’m not going to lie, I actually started reading a different book in the middle of this because it just got so heavy that I wanted something light to break it up. So I started reading the junior novelization of “Thor.” That will probably be my next completed read. Then while I was in the middle of this book and “Thor,” my hold became available on “A Wrinkle in Time,” so obviously I had to start reading that one too. I have made absolutely no progress on “The Casual Vacancy,” though.

I think once I finish these books/series, I’m going to try to slow down and take a little bit of a break. Then again, I say that virtually every time.

We’ll see,
Maegan

“Eragon: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 1” by Christopher Paolini

Image result for eragon bookThis series has been on my list for a little while now. I started reading this book several years ago when the “Eragon” movie came out, but I don’t think I ever finished it. I remember thinking when I watched the movie that there were several things that seemed like they would be explained more/better in the books, but I just couldn’t make it through. I also have the second book in the series, “Eldest,” but I don’t think I’ve ever cracked it open before now.

Going into reading the book this time, I vaguely remembered that the main character is named Eragon and that there is a dragon involved, but that was basically the extent of it.

The story does follow Eragon as he discovers a dragon egg, the egg hatches, and he winds up as a Rider with a dragon named Saphira. Their minds are linked so that they can mentally speak to and draw strength from each other, which is one of the coolest parts of the plot, in my opinion. However, it’s a little weakened when we discover that somewhat random characters can also speak to Saphira, so the bond isn’t as unique as I would have hoped. I guess it’s useful in some ways for others to communicate with Saphira at times, but I think it could have been done better.

The land where the story takes place is called Alagaesia, and lots of people, places, and things have similarly unique names. I like that these names lend a special feeling to the book, like that there is nothing else anywhere like them, but there was a time when we were introduced to many new names so quickly that I started getting different things confused. Even at the end I don’t think that I could match up all the places and things with the names used.

Overall, with a story like this with a land where dwarves and elves live and magic is used regularly, I feel like there was a lot of untapped potential. Even when things got interesting and there were battles and sieges, there wasn’t actually very much fighting. Maybe because it is aimed at kids there is less fighting and dying, but it makes the whole situation less realistic. I mean, even less realistic than a magical land where a teenage boy raises a dragon and learns to use magic.

Plus, Eragon is just not a very likeable character. For his youth, he seems pretty wise, but his emotional growth was stunted at some point. He feels despair over the death of a man he knew only a few weeks, and for lives lost in battle, but he seems barely phased by the death of the man who raised him for almost 16 years. He is in anguish when the wound is fresh, and then it is barely mentioned again. Same thing with his cousin, who he claimed was closer than a brother. They had such a strong bond, yet once Eragon leaves home, he barely thinks of his cousin at all. He actually seems much more affected by the town storyteller, who trained him for a few months, than the loss of his actual family members.

One final pet peeve: Saphira is described to be a gentle dragon who is very protective of Eragon. She shows affection to him and most of his mental dialogue is aimed at her. Yet in the audiobook of this story, she literally sounds like the Cookie Monster. I can’t stand it.

Anyway, I have already started “Eldest,” so I will let you know how that goes once I’m finished.

Until then,
Maegan