Thursday, July 26, 2007

And here we are at number 19 of the year, the greatly anticipated Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. So here we are at the end of the Harry Potter epic, and I cannot say I was surprised by anything really, but I also cannot say I was disappointed by anything either. It was grand, and answered everything, had lots of action and plenty of people died. Which, is something I always find needs to happen at the end of something big and epic. That was one of my main complaints at the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer; not enough people died. So yeah, it was a nice ending, Voldemort is defeated without question this time, Harry gets to live happily ever after, which I admit, I discovered that was important to me, we discovered Snape truly was on the side of the angels, Dumbledore chose his death, one of a pair of my two favourite characters didn't survive, and of course, Ron and Hermonie end up together.

Its funny, at the end, there is an epilogue that takes place many years later and gives us the "And Harry lived happily ever after part", but as usual, I"m left wondering what everyone else has been doing. The new baby who was orphaned, what happens to him? How does one character go on when pretty much his other half is gone? Stuff like that. It reminds me of how I felt at the end of the Fionavar Tapestry, when I really, really NEEDED to know what happened to some characters. And i know though, that without the epilogue, I probably wouldn't have needed to know so badly, I would've just accepted that everyone lived happily, as best they could.

It was a good ending. Not a great ending, but a good ending to an enjoyable series of books overall.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Number 17 of the year is Fluke by Christopher Moore. I love Christopher Moore, I've read quite a few things by him and Lamb has become one of my favourite books.

Fluke is about whales. Its about a whale researcher, Nate Quinn, and his motely crew of fellow researchers. Life with the humpbacked whales in Hawaii has been going on without real incident for years now, but Nate is no closer to learning why they sing than he was when he started, and he's starting to feel discouraged. Then, one day, he notices a whale exhibiting some distinctly un-whale-like characteristics, specifically the words "Bite Me" written on his tail.

Moore's books are always odd, humourous and a little... not disturbing, but definitely always thought provoking. They're also lovely little fantasies set in the real world, and Fluke is no different. Nate ends up 'kidnapped' by the whale, discovering that there are actually whale 'ships', ships designed to look and behave exactly like real whales. Who are they designed by? Something called Gooville, which has the ability to write its genes into anything, including the whale ships, and their pilots, the genetically unique, humaniod whale-like whaley-boys.

This book is a bizarre romp, and its hard to really describe what this book is about, as it gets almost science-fictiony, which I think is a bit of a departure for Moore, its usually magic he incorrporates into his books. But the characters are a lot of fun, and his research and respect for the whales comes through swimmingly.

I liked it a lot, but not as much as Lamb.

I'm... hesitant to claim number 18 of the year, but well, it is a book and I did read it... Yeah, its a cheesy little romance-type novel, but I finished Fluke and my re-read of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the cottage, and so I was searching for something to read, and all I could find was Late for the Wedding, by Amanda Quick. Guess its not too bad, cheesy romance novels really do lend themselves nicely to being read while sitting near the water. So yes, this was... ok. It was basically a Regency-era romance where the two main characters are running a 'private inquiries' business, basically meaning they're P.Is. I have a weakeness for 80s private investigator shows (LOVE Magnum P.I and Simon and Simon and Remington Steele), so I did find this one kinda a hoot. Won't go into the plot, there's no point, but the characters weren't too annoying, and there was a good amount of action in it, so it was a fun read at least.

But now I'm onto Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Number 16 was a pretty quick read , but for the most part, I find collections of short stories are generally quick reads. So number 16 is a collection of short stories, The Love of a Good Woman, by Alice Munro. I like Munro's writting style, its blunt and poetic at the same time. I liked all the stories in this collection, all told from the pov of a woman, sometimes first person, sometimes third, sometimes in the form of a letter, with a common thread of adultery weaving through them. Which of course means that sometimes the stories end quite badly. I also found a lot of the stories ended quite abruptly, which I found jarring at the time, but upon reflection, realize that might just be the point, so many relationships end abruptly and that's what these stories are about alot of the time, endings.

Munro is so good at capturing unhappiness, unhappiness in a relationship, knowing that there must be soemthing better out there. Sometimes her protagonistis find it, sometimes they don't. There are few 'happy ever after' endings in her writing. Its not that things are bitter or bad or horrible or happy, the endings are just... realistic it seems. And I really appreciate that about her writing.

Wow, I think this is the shortest review in this blog yet. Not to short-shift Munro at all, but I think I just feel her stories more than I can really rationally write about them.