The Wolves of Midwinter

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I certainly forward my thanks to Sourcebooks for graciously offering copies of two new releases in their developing line of Young Adult novels. Being someone who remains encamped in the young adult section, I am positively overexcited by the eagerness for publishers to expand their catalog to include this niche in publishing. Even with that, I cannot simply overlook this book's glaring errors all because of respect for a company's willingness to include more young adult books amongst their releases. Peering at the premise, I became stoked for what appeared to be a novel about justice, vengeance, and love in Gothic wrapping.

Instead, I procured a book that expressed promise of a well woven tale with these elements subtly expressed. Yet, the writing itself did not reveal this promise even after fifty or so pages. Consequently, the book's weak, ineffective prose left me feeling detached and uninterested in the fates of the main characters. More concerning was the repetition of certain words or images.
Can you not see my predicament? Some minute part of me fervently wished to be completely invested in the novel's story. A major part of me wanted to empathize with the characters and be emotionally affected by their plights. Being as the greatest stories cause their readers to be affected by the troubles that befall beloved characters or identify with the pain wrought by certain tragedies that happen to some of the characters.

It pains me to express such negative feelings about this particular work since the novel itself has a very attractive cover. Additionally, Sourcebook's marketing strategies have allowed a bridge to connect readers and publishers. This bridge has effectively caused readers to feel a potency of power over the types of books they wish to see released through this publisher.
Certainly, many readers will enjoy this work and may even find Eden Maguire's story to be edifying.

Again, this opinion remains only one solitary opinion among a breadth of differing opinions, ranging from negative to positive. As with most reviews, I allow room for the reader to ultimately decide upon their opinion of a specific work. I encourage everyone to at least check out this work and not feel discouraged in any manner by this review. Since everyone will hold different opinions, based on different expectations and tastes.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Interview with the Vampire Review


Normally, I restrict myself to reviewing recently released books or books that were offered charitably to me for review. But because of my recent Anne Rice obsession, due to being inspirited by her fascinating conversion story, I have decided to review the first of the Vampire Chronicle books. This book has remained the epitome of vampire novels and in my opinion, nothing marginally compares to it.
The Review:

Anyone has been focusing on Anne Rice for the last two or three years with her recent conversion to Catholicism. In my own words, I love to term it the return to her sanctum. Nearly every Christian news outlet have been overflowing with discussion about her newly released religious novels or the honest, emotive testimony that has caused even me to reanalyze my own personal creed. Typically some Christians, from what I've encountered, see to it that any of Anne Rice's publications never be read by any evangelist. More specifically, they denounce her works, hoping other Christians will follow suite. Because reading anything with creatures of darkness, in their opinion, could greatly besmirch one's religious beliefs.

Personally, I've seen the film and read the book in high school and never felt drawn to becoming a vampire or having a belief in their existence. Similarly to Harry Potter and other fantasy stories, Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire," has an interior story about alienation and loss of spirit or faith in the solid world.
The interior story of melancholia is the ignition for people's love for these books. Anne Rice's carefully crafted first person perspective provides us with an outlet to express the inexpressible feelings we develop in the real world. Out of fear of being accosted for our feelings of disillusionment, we mentally place ourselves in Louis's head. From his perspective, we see ourselves mirrored back in stark detail. In typical Anne Rice fashion, we see the potential monster in ourselves that seeks to manifest itself. Additionally, we resonate with Louis's futile attempts to understand the oftentimes meaningless elements of our mortal lives.

Symbolically represented through insatiable blood lust, we covet other people's happiness and seek to sap them of their happiness in order to abate ours. Even more apparent is the metaphor of blood lust as the representation for our base desires that wish to be sated. Because, doing so prevents us from thinking upon the truth of our existences our at least the truth of the darkness.
According to Anne Rice's "Called Out of Darkness," she has mentioned that she had difficulty wit reading books all throughout her life. Her writing style is derived instead from the images that were implanted in her mind rather than a style crafted completely by the large number of different texts she read.

Personally, I feel that this appreciation for the images in our world helps her own writing to be a sumptuous detailing of the physical and abstract elements of our world. Without this ardor of images, her writing would definitely not be as intoxicating as it is.
Identically to many modernist poets, her images allows for her stories to be nonlinear and to allow for readers to shape their own meaning. If Anne Rice were a technical writing, I honestly believe her books would not nearly be as popular. Due to the ability for people to become enraptured by Anne's descriptive prose, people remain loyal readers and continue to read all her works in order to piece together the tapestry of the human psyche that the books of the Vampire Chronicles vividly paint. Also, just as most of the images of the Catholic Church remains in her mind, a number of the images from her stories are unconsciously embedded into our minds as well. For example, though I am unable to recite certain quotes from her books, I can remember the desperate need Louis has for companionship because of the number of images in Anne's books that subtly present this.

For any Christians, such as myself, please bear in mind I am not proclaiming these books to be definite Christian novels. But I cannot say that they are not Christian in spirit. "Interview with the Vampire" portrays disillusionment with God far better than many other novels. For that reason, I truly believe the need for God that Anne Rice had helped her to write a number of novels that intelligently describe this need in some shape or form. To others, please read these books especially if you have read any of the Twilight books. Since these books exceed Twilight in all areas, especially in terms of substance.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Now, it's official, I'll be attending Book Expo America on May 24th of this year. Be sure to be on the lookout for pictures and a full report of the happenings of that day and any other pertinent details.

Instead of writing a full review today of one said novel. I have decided to include a five small snippets of reviews of five novels I've read in the past that I highly recommend. Due to being dependent on old memories and feelings, the review shall be terse and reflect the limited nature of the brain's limited storage. And instead of including all five books here, I will post an individual review each day of this week, beginning today.

First Recommendation:
The Door Within Trilogy:
Even though it's been an estimated three or four years since reading these books, I still remember key elements, characters, and events. That alone attests to the quality of the book since most books only offer fleeting experiences. Wayne Batson's writing style suits the epic nature of the story and helps lead the reader excitedly through a story filled with ingenious allegory. Most readers will overlook the fact the book's defined as being a part of the Christian Fantasy genre. And the reason for this lies with the subtle allegory that imbues the story with spirituality that empowers.

Expect action sequences, an eclectic band of characters, underlying Christian themes, and a detailed map. Remembering this book causes me to have a great need to reread it. Even if the exact points of my opinion changes after reading through the book again, I'm fairly confident the story will be as riveting as it was during my first read through. I highly recommend this book for persons of any age and any reader with varying interests.