So I spent my first day of break reading my butt off. I read plenty of academic crap, but Hunger Games and Catching Fire are seriously just about the only YA fiction I've read in a long while. Well. Okay, and Compound, but I keep wiping that from my mind. I have intended to go with "popular, at least around here" over "something I actually want to read," but I have not proven strong enough. So as long as it's a YA novel and I read a fair share of both categories (sometimes they intersect!), I'm good. I need to start making a popular adult fiction list as well. Fun, fun.
First on my list was Percy Jackson series, namely The Lightning Thief. I am attempting to read more than just the first book, but I'll admit, I had a hard time with this one. The world didn't work for me. If you're going to play lightly with mythology rather than carefully construct a vision of how Greek gods would function in today's worlde, please pick a style and tone and stick with it. I feel like an old fart saying that, since I really have no problem with folks distorting and adapting on their source material or trying to balance humor with pathos. But Athena having a billion kids for some unknown reason (!) and Demeter and Aphrodite's demigod children being unimportant because, duh, you can't fight monsters with AGRICULTURE and BEAUTY and Hades being compared to Hitler(!) in one breath and complaining about his realm's urban sprawl in the next-- I got rubbed the wrong way and often. I couldn't tell whether Riordan wanted me to take his story seriously or not. I kept leaning toward the not, because Percy is just so darn overpowered and after you've been in quickly negated peril one too many times, the oh no starts to wear off. And then there will be some serious real world issue tacked onto the silly derring-do and my already strained suspension of disbelief strains a little farther. I also couldn't buy that demigods were, like, magically predisposed to read Ancient Greek and fight. Not in a serious story. In a satire, yes. I liked the book best when it approached satire.
Anyway. I'm willing to believe these get better and a lot of brilliant folk like them. I am just not able to as yet.
Picked up The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian next, which does balance tone far more artfully, but this is Sherman Alexie and he definitely knows what he's doing. Good book with fantastic cartoons, very quick read. Funny and sad and lively. If all first person was this engaging, self-depreciating, and warm . . . oh, right, Percy Jackson is also first person. I'm just saying. There's a lot of first person YA works, a lot of first person fantasy. If first person fantasy could be less explanatory and more exploratory, I would just be so happy. There. That's my lame review of a delightful book that does, indeed, deftly handle real world issues. (None of them involve Hitler.)
And here, have more evil Dragon Age adventures as a bonus. All such adventures from hereon out will be spoilerific.
( Dragon Age - How Bad Can You Be: Part 2Collapse )