The Wolves of Midwinter

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Quick Updates

I apologize in advance for all my readers who looking forward to this week's review of "Magic Study." For the past few days, my entire schedule has been largely occupied by college orientation and socializing with friends. Before they themselves head back to college. Septembers sorta like an avalanche of events for me where I'm continuously flitting from one activity to the next. And when my rest period finally comes, it's usually dedicated mostly to sleep. Instead of working upon my book blog and writing more reviews.

With this, I'm going to have "Magic Study," being reviewed this Wednesday, the second of September. And my review of "Fire Study," shall be sometime late the next week. And I'd also like to remind my readers that I'll be partaking in the tour for Kaleb Nation's "Bran Hambric." Sorry again for all those who are recently following my blog because of Maria V. Snyder's generous referral to my blog on her newest newsletter. I'm highly gracious for how she responded to my review and it's really helped to increase my confidence within my blog that's still within the early stages of development.

To all my college aged readers: I wish you a wonderful semester where you'll continue your sometimes futile search of yourselves. And to my other readers; I hope you'll have a wonderful and safe Labor Day. Please check out this Wednesday's post of "Magic Study!" Again, I apologize for the delay!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"OffWorld" Giveaway Results and "Within Temptation"

Before I begin my blog post about one of my favorite musical acts (from Holland); let me first announce the winner of this week's g
iveaway,which was a free copy of "Offworld" by Robin Parrish. In order to certify a completely fair, unbiased results; I utilized a freeware program called "The Hat." And as the name implies, it works similarly to the traditional method of drawing individual's names from a real hat. As result from my drawing, the winner of the "Offworld" giveaway is Abby. Abby, please send me an email at narniafanatic(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address. Thanks to all those who read and commented upon that specific review. There'll be plenty of other opporitunities within the immediate future.

This week's Band of the week's Within Temptation. From here on out; I'll be writing a blog post with a featured band from my playlist. Along with it, I'll be posting two of the band's notable songs. In addition I'll be writing a terse detail with the main details as to why I especially like the band amidst the crop of other bands out there.

Within Temptation's a very unique band to those of us who live within the USA. For their music fuses both rock and classical music in a manner that's very catchy and rememberal to the listener. Also many of their lyrics evoke a wide array of emotions including confliction, betrayal, unrequited love, sorrow, and more importantly the promise of hope contained within some of our darkest moments.

Unlike many American bands, they have more of a dependence on vocal power. In this band's case, Sharon den Adel really separates this band from the many generic imitations with her unique mezzo soprano sound. Also, she's able carry these vocals over from her recording to their live concerts. Where her vocals literally undulate through where they play. Very few vocalists are able to sing with this capacity especially when moving amongst the stage.

Sharon, in this case, brings her own dance moves during songs. These dance moves consist of emphatic hand motions that really connect well with the rhythm of the songs being performed. Her hand gestures can be seen during live performances of "Mother Earth" and "The Promise." But she's been known to do these hand motions to a lesser degree in the midst of the instrutmental only sections of various songs.

In regards to their lyrics, as opposed with American bands. European bands prefer to write lyrics that tell a story that expresses more than one emotion. For example, the band's song "Jillian" is based upon existing mythology that tells of someone whose been reincarnated severeal times in order to carry out their life duty. This life duty is to find their destined lover and spend eternity with them. But as the song's character is unable to obtain that love so as such she's destined to be reincarnated to find the love she's sought after. Of course the song could also be metaphorically detailing how some of us have that one person we envision to spend eternity with. And we're in some ways being reincarnated in various ways in order to earn our lover's notice. This reincarnation reflects the various stages of growth we go through. And how these certain situations transform as as people. Basically we're never the same person throughout life.

Other songs are even based upon movies and books which the band has either read or watched. "Hand of Sorrow," from "The Heart Of Everything," album's based upon Robin Hobb's Royal Assassin. As the song tells of an asassin who has given their life over to the kingdom. And the kingdom sees to it that he carries out certain covert missions. Though he's aware of the importance of this role, he's torn inside because of the intense love he feels towards a certain woman. But he's aware that being the king's assassin prevents him from being with this woman. Therefore, he hopes this immense sacrifice will be known to the girl sometime within her life.

On a final note, for all those curious about this band. There happens to be a special live performance where the band performs live with an orchestra. Usually the band relies on prerecorded tracks of the orchestral sounds for their live performances. Seeing as the price for an orchestra to travel along with the band would be a very high cost. Yet they were able to perform one time with an orchestra in February 2008 and this special concert was apporpriatley titled "The Black Symphony." For all those who've never heard of this band before my blog post. Please do yourself justice by gracing your eyes with at least one of the tracks from this concert. As it's one of the best live performances within the last decade and something of this caliber will probably never be repeated by this band.

All in all, I love this band immensely as their ethereal sound transports any listener from their surroundings to a whole other dimension. And for all writers, their sound really inspirits us to write. To all those skeptical of most rock music and are usual listeners of classical music. Please attempt to listen to this band because they're are not your standard rock band with discordant grunting and uninspired lyrics. They are really a band that creates melodic, nuanced music.

Below are clips of the two songs that were mentioned, "Hand of Sorrow," and "Jillian." Along with those is a clip of one of their Black Symphony performances. Here's a clue for next week's band; two of the this band's albums are one complete story. If you're able to guess right, you'll be awarded with Chris Evan's " A Darkness Forged in Fire". All answers must be emailed to narniafanatic(at)gmail(dot)com.


Hand of Sorrow

Black Symphony Performance of "Our Solemn Hour"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

There's a certain combination of elements within a novel that readily intrigues me. That specialized combination's one of Gothic romance and horror. A Certain Slant of Light begins amazingly, as it pulls us into a story featuring a rogue soul whose psychologically never accepted the idea of death. Due in part to a lingering loneliness in relations to unrequited romance.

One day as she's watching over her host, Mr. Brown. She spies another soul, though this souls implanted within a host's body, instead of shadowing it. A pivotal conversation is held between both of them and thus the story ensues. We are immediately swept into a wonderfully engrossing romantic tale of both souls overcoming the challenges of finding suitable host bodies, so they may share the passionate love they both hold for one another.

Though the story's premise and overall plot are extremely compelling; the story seems to move rapidly and various elements are left shrouded. The main character's past memories remain only slightly touched upon towards the end of the story. Also various details about her host's parents are omitted all in favor of presenting passionate love scenes between the two souls.

But even with these minor blunders, the story soars and is wholly engrossing. Be prepared to have your heart tugged as we delve into the fractured psyches of two teens. Then we are shown how these souls must overcome the trauma these host bodies felt while developing their relationship all the while. This book's definitely recommended for any fans of Gothic romance aka. Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. An extra bonus for all Bronte addicts, there's an allusion to Jane Eyre during the latter half of the novel. Hopefully some will find this gem of a young adult novel and be as touched intimately as I was.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This month's CSFF Blog Tour Book:Offworld by: Robin Parrish

(Giveaway details below)

Christopher Burke and his crew of NASA astronauts are the first human beings to walk on the surface of Mars. Their return to Earth was supposed to be a momentous day. But a surprise is waiting for them there that's beyond imagining.

Safe after a treacherous landing in Florida, the crew emerges to find the unthinkable: every man, woman, child, and animal has vanished without a trace.

It's not a dream.

It's not a trick.

It's real.

Alone now on their home planet, the crew sets out to discover the extraordinary secret behind the disappearance of mankind. And whether or not everyone can be brought back.

But they may not be as alone as they thought.

For this month's review of "Offworld," I'm offering a free copy of the book that will be rewarded to anyone who posts upon this blog. Your chances will increase for each additional comment upon another blog post of mine. Last month, no one won the award as no one commented upon my blog albeit the author. Please read and comment!! My blog's been rather lonely as of recently.
Winners shall be announced on Thursday morning's post, which I'm planning to share my thoughts, concerning Angel and Buffy.

I've been reviewing an innumerable amount of books today. Probably due to the amount of book blog tours which coincide with each other this month. This month's CSFF Blog tour book is "Offworld," by Robin Parrish.

From the start of the book, we are introduced to a diverse cast of characters whom are returning from a mission on Mars to Earth. And Robin Parrish ease us slowly into the story with some conversational dialogue between all the passengers of the ship. I really love that sort of approach to the story and it reminds me distinctively of a Joss Whedon approach with Firefly. Both seem to have a motley crew of various people all crammed upon one vessel. Actually this beginning sequence reminds me of the beginning of "Event Horizon." For within both stories we are thrust right in the midst of a normal conversation between a band of travelers. And right from the beginning, Robin Parrish allows us to gain insight of the personalities of the characters and their pasts. He succeeds with an approach that's an anomaly among this genre. Because most stories begin immediatley with action instead of dialogue.

As the astronauts arrive on Earth. They are confounded by the absence of Earth's population Just as the cover shows a lone bike amongst a bare street; there's no remnaint of any living soul upon the Earth's surface. Parrish's way of shifting the story from space exploration to a post apocalyptic story greatly impressed me. Every part of the story seems natural and the emotions of the astronauts are accurate upon finding that the Earth's vacant. It's this mystery element of this segement of the story that's the most gripping element of the story. Robin Parrish shrouds the reasons in mystery and hopes the readers follows along with him, as we and the astronauts slowly divulge the reasonings behind this sudden event.

Just as with Robin Parrish's other stories, the faith elements do not feel preachy or seem like they were tacked on in order to meet the requirements for being incepted within the Christian market. Instead we are left with a story that matches and even surpasses books within the secular market. For me, Robin Parrish and Karen Hancock both set the precedent for Christian Fantasy and Science Fiction. Both are from Bethany House and prove that this particuliar publisher knows what stories are able to seep into both markets simultaneously. And it's both these books that have really raised my expectations for furture Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy books. With the quality of both books, they deserve to be marketed within the general Fantasy and Science Fiction section's.

Other Links of Interest:"> Brandon Barr"> Jim Black"> Justin Boyer"> Keanan Brand"> Gina Burgess"> Canadianladybug"> Melissa Carswell"> Valerie Comer"> Karri Compton"> Amy Cruson"> CSFF Blog Tour"> Stacey Dale"> D. G. D. Davidson"> Jeff Draper"> April Erwin"> Karina Fabian"> Linda Gilmore"> Beth Goddard"> Todd Michael Greene"> Katie Hart"> Ryan Heart"> Becky Jesse"> Cris Jesse"> Jason Joyner"> Julie"> Carol Keen"> Krystine Kercher"> Dawn King"> Melissa Meeks"> Rebecca LuElla Miller"> Mirtika"> Eve Nielsen (posting later in the week)"> Nissa"> John W. Otte"> Lyn Perry"> Steve Rice"> Chawna Schroeder"> James Somers"> Speculative Faith"> Stephanie"> Rachel Starr Thomson"> Steve Trower"> Fred Warren"> Dona Watson"> Elizabeth Williams

:About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered a reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace, and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust, and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and she develops magical powers she can't control. Her life’s at stake again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear!

Not all my reviews are of books offered by either tour promotions or authors. Some as with today's review are books recently read of my own choosing. One of my friends whom I met nearly two years ago, "Lexie" has recommended this book by Maria V Snyder and it's sequels, "Fire Study" and "Magic Study." She happens to also be a book blogger and has written some great reviews over at her blog. Every week, I'm planning to post a review of one of the three books included in the series. Along with each review shall be a song that reminds me of this book.

Beginning with Poison Study, a song that reminds me of the book is "Blue Eyes," by the Dutch Symphonic Metal band "Within Temptation. Below's a video with the song and the lyrics for all those who may not be able to decipher them clearly. I'm allowing the readers of this blog to freely interpret the song with regards to the story.

Towards the beginning of the book, my first impressions of the story included empathy and extreme tension as I pored over the pages, wondering to myself as to the fate of "Yelena." Maria V. Snyder from the start stunned me with her evocative language and mastery of imagery. Every stark detail was fully realized from Yelena's tension to the hues of the world amidst her. From the beginning, I sympathized with Yelena's plight and her conflicted feelings surrounding her sentence. The tension right from the onset of the story transports the readers from their surrounding setting to Snyder's wonderfully envisioned world. And, before long, the story successfully ensnares us and we the readers clamor for more details to be divulged.

Never once did I lose interest within Yelena. Unlike many other female protagonists, she's assertive and strong willed. And her struggles of trust feel natural within the story as Snyder slowly bridges her past memories of betrayal to the present, where she seeks company with those who'll inevitably help her or thwart her efforts. We're never fully aware of what lies ahead for her as her choices are never definitive. For when more things are revealed to her, she'll be shocked to find how complex a person's motives are and how everyone hides secrets beneath their cleverly designed facade. Meaning some people Yelena trusts from the onset turn out to be unworthy of trust while some others surprise her.

Maria V. Snyder's characters are neither a complete shade of black or white. Instead they all contain varying degrees of gray. For many of these characters make choices based upon love or other cases, money. This factor adds a great deal of realism to the story as within the real world, many people's choices are driven by desire. And the way in which the dialogue works is similar to a game of chess, where each character must carefully act or talk in way to gain the trust of another character. Another wonderful feature of her story involves the fight scenes which do not seem forced but necessary in order to advance the plot. Never does she befall the trap that many of her fellow fantasy writers fall for. That is the inclusion of unnecessary fight scenes all in pursuit of having extraneous gore and carnage within the story.

And just as with the fight scenes, Maria V. Snyder carefully plots a rather predictable but believable romantic subplot. Now, I am not going to reveal whom falls in love but from the context clues provided within the story. I found the revelation to be quite expected from seeing the subtle signs, starting from the beginning of the story. But every blush or caress is passionate and even makes a guy ( such as myself) blush slightly. And who can help themselves when their romance is fully actualized and really allows for the readers to become invested with each stage of their relationship. Nothing ever feels as contrived or lacking of chemistry as with "Twilight." More importantly, the author does not include romance just so there's some "fluff" for all the self acclaimed fluff lovers to gush over. The relationship complicates the plot and makes sense within the development of story. With this, I throw my cap off to Maria V. Snyder for including romance that's not contrived and forced.

As to my overall reaction to the story, I was largely impressed and greatly enraptured by every aspect of this story. I've been in futile search of this sort of story for the past year as everything failed to impress me recently ever since discovering Angel and Buffy. But now I can attest to the fact that there are good stories outside of "Whedonverse" and the nineteenth century. And that there are writers who respect the English language and are able to understand the importantly of having authenticated characters. Thanks be to Maria V. Snyder for having me making me a giddy fanboy!! You've irrevocably hooked me to your books and now I must devour "Magic Study."

For all those interested in Maria V Snyder's books, please check here.

Next week, be prepared for my review of "Magic Study," with "Fire Study," the following week.

Bonus: After much contemplation, I thought this Within Temptation was even more appropriate, especially since it relates so closely to a certain incident within the book.

As far as Gabriel Bleak is concerned, talking to the dead is just another way of making a living. It gives him the competitive edge to survive as a bounty hunter, or "skip tracer," in the psychic minefield known as New York City. Unfortunately, his gift also makes him a prime target. A top-secret division of Homeland Security has been monitoring the recent emergence of human supernaturals, with Gabriel Bleak being the strongest on record. If they control Gabriel, they'll gain access to the Hidden -- the entity-based energy field that connects all life on Earth. But Gabriel's got other ideas. With a growing underground movement called the Shadow Community -- and an uneasy alliance of spirits, elementals, and other beings -- Gabriel's about to face the greatest demonic uprising since the Dark Ages. But this time, history is not going to repeat itself. This time, the future is Bleak. Gabriel Bleak.


This book lacked the hook "The Calling," had as the first few pages plodded through familiar territory, involving a gun fight within a bar. During this scene we are introduced to the main antagonistic group of the story whose a sect of the government that wishes to control the humans who are able to hone the "energy" contained within the hidden,which the story describes as an entity based energy field. So from the onset the story seems fairly atypical of other urban fantasy stories. And the writing seemed strong from the beginning as the fight scene's very detailed and fairly exciting.

But even the author's adeptness at writing fight scenes could not salvage a story that lost me towards the hundred page mark. As it ceased to hook me at the pivotal moment within a book. That moment were the author can either deter the audience or further immerse the audience. Instead, as a reader I felt more detached as the story progressed and was unable to become emotionally invested within any of the characters. I was willing to believe within the motives of some of the characters. But nothing ever surprised me or had me clamoring for more.

Many are bound to disagree with me; but nothing within this story seemed innovative. Elements of the story seemed emulated from other stories. And some parts seemed wanting to have the depth and humor of a really good episode of Angel. But it never reached that extent as it's attempts to balance humor and drama seemed largely contrived,just as with the development of the protagonist. A protagonist whose dry humor was lost on me and seemed forced rather than fitting with the character.

Nothing within the story either impressed me or shocked me. And perhaps with others, this story may seem outstanding and compelling. As with all reviews and critical analysis's of books; we're all bound to derive a different experience from every story we read. Some may love "Bleak History" for it's conventional elements intermixed with some very well written action sequences. But for me, I usually hope to not only be enthralled but also to care about the characters involved within the story. And this story somehow failed to have authenticated characters, whom you care deeply about.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

No one would guess by looking at Tom Nash that he's extraordinary, and that's just fine with him. A tall, broad-shouldered jack-of-all-trades from Sawyer, Pennsylvania, Tom has a knack for fixing things. He also hides a secret talent: he hears people's prayers. Stranger still, he answers them. Maybe it's because he's a handyman, but Tom feels compelled to fix people's problems. Which is all well and good — until the soul-shattering plea of a terrified girl sends him on the darkest journey of his life…

Heeding the call and leaving his home for New York City, Tom discovers a secret world beyond the range of mortal perception — a world of angels and demons and those who serve them. With the guidance of a knowing stranger named Erin, Tom learns that he himself is one of The Called, born with a divine purpose and a daunting task: to help the powers of Heaven in the war against the agents of Hell, an army of fallen angels known as the Scorned. Thrust into an epic battle of the sacred and the profane, Tom Nash must find the girl who prayed for his help — because her fate will determine whether humanity deserves to be saved, or damned for all eternity…

My Review:

Since I'm attempting to draw more blog readers upon my forum; I've taken the initiative to shorten my reviews. Concise reviews tend to attract more readers anyways and also your points are emphasized better. As longer reviews tend to muddle the details when trying to extend one's review for a few words too long.

Unlike with other books I've read this summer, David Mack immediately hooks his readers by allowing us to enter the action immediately. Usually with books, an author begins the book with character walking alone within a nondescript woods. Thus we're forced to notice the words of the page rather than experience the emotions of the characters. As result we become detached from the action of the book rather than immersed within the story. David Mack luckily separates himself from those writers and overwhelms us in a positive manner.

David Mack's story begins with a gun fight between characters of whom we've never encountered. We're unaware of whether they're good or bad. And it's these questions that beg us to continue reading and discover more about these two opposing forces and their true motives. David Mack also transitions to a scene where an anonymous girl's kidnapped for inexplicable reasons. Then quickly he moves to the introduction of the main protagonist of the story and his special abilities. Throughout all this, I read with bated breath, awaiting more details surrounding the two opposing forces, introduced towards the beginning of the story.

David Mack's gripping beginning though does not extend throughout the book as certain generic plot elements detract from the effectiveness of the story. This disappointed me to a degree since upon reading this; I had expected something different from the norm. Something that would greatly intrigue me as a reader and have me begging for the sequel. But the character's seemed replicated from stories which were told with greater strength. Nothing towards the end of story raised my heart rate or had me flipping the pages as much as the beginning,where plot pieces were unfolded slowly. With this, I progressed hurriedly in order to attain more knowledge of the shrouded mysteries of the plot. David Mack can adeptly devise an enthralling beginning sequence that catches the reader's attention, from the onset. But he's unable to carry that heightened interest throughout the story as the story's stale elements come to light.

Overall, I applaud the author for his finesse with beginnings and his ability to write gripping action sequences. But perhaps more effort should have been put towards writing something a bit more creative and unconventional. David Mack is surely able to write with exemplary tact but seems unable to separate himself from the dozen other spiritual warfare stories written before it.With these problems aside, I hope David Mack writes something a tad bit more daring. Because with that, his next book might truly be memorable.

About the Author

David Mack is the national bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including Wildfire, Harbinger, Reap the Whirlwind, Road of Bones, and the Star Trek Destiny trilogy — Gods of Night, Mere Mortals, and Lost Souls. His first original novel, the supernatural thriller The Calling, debuted in July 2009 to critical acclaim.

In addition to novels, Mack's diverse writing credits span several media, including television (for episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), film, short fiction, magazines, newspapers, comic books, computer games, radio, and the Internet.

Upcoming novels in 2009 by David Mack include The 4400: Promises Broken, Star Trek Vanguard: Precipice, and an expanded edition of his Mirror Universe tale The Sorrows of Empire. Coming in 2010 are More Beautiful Than Death, an adventure inspired by the 2009 feature film Star Trek; and Zero Sum Game, the second book of the Star Trek: Typhon Pact miniseries.

Mack has been to shows in every Rush concert tour since 1982, and he finally met two-thirds of the band in 2007. He currently resides in New York City with his wife, Kara.

For More Information about the book and it's author.

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Sci-Fi Guy:
A Journey of Books:
Simply Vamptastic:
Booksie’s Blog:
Patricia’s Vampire Notes:
My Friend Amy:
Morbid Romantic:
Must Read Faster:
All About {n}:
Bambi Reads:
Eclectic Book Lover:
Temple Library Reviews:
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Beth’s Book Review Blog:
My Guilty Pleasures:
Jenn’s Book Shelf:
Park Avenue Princess:
Wendy’s Minding Spot:
Fantasy Freak:
Today's one of my "update" posts that details future happenings upon this fairly meager blog. Right now I'm attempting to create a good layout for my blog. Seeing as the hues of black and red might be an immediate detractor for many readers of this blog. If anyone (who even visits this page,) happens upon it, please comment and share any advice upon developing attractive layouts for blogs.

In other news, I'm currently planning to host Kaleb Nation's "Bran Hambric book next month. Also, later today and on the same day next week, I'll be posting reviews for both "Bleak History," and "The Calling." The latter being the book featured today as part of Pocket Book's Scifi/Fantasy Blog tour. Since I had many vacations last month and no internet connection, I'll be posting my reviews for Chris Evan's books before month's end.

Now for my biggest news, I'm planning on having promotion weeks for dozens of books being released this year. One of those being Barry Lyga's "Goth Girl Returns." For all those who haven't heard, Barry Lyga's having a contest where he asks readers to submit trailers for any of his past releases. Within my promotion tour, there'll hopefully be giveways, an interview, and of course a number of reviews for Barry Lyga's other releases. If this tour's successful, I am planning to have a number of other promotion tours as part of my "blog improvement" project, ongoing for the remainder of the year.

To all my new readers, please check out my recent reviews that have been posted on this blog. By accessing the "archive on the right side of this page. Please feel free to comment upon this reviews and my other posts! As my blog's in need of some more dialogue besides a back and forth conversation with myself.

Monday, August 10, 2009

"It Happen In Italy," provides an interesting array of accounts of how the Italian population defied the horrors of the Holocaust, by not allowing members of the Jewish population to be taken captive by the Nazi's. Usually when we read of Holocaust accounts, we are bombarded with the evil's of human beings instead of the opposite kindness. Through Elizabeth's stories, we are give another dimension of human beings during a time where all human beings seemed sadist at their core. Reading this enlightens the reader to how God works within all disasters, providing relief while not intervening with the free will of human choices.

There were several slow parts within this story as not the whole story completely riveted me. But from nearly all nonfiction books I've read; there tends to be a few stories or accounts that do not completely compel the reader. Maybe that lies more with the story and less with the writer. Or it could potentially lie with the readers. As different people find different things more or less interesting or fascinating to read.

I'd definitely recommend this as a supplemental read for all those who are interested or partially interested within anything pertaining to the Holocaust. Each one of these stories boasts a true account of the potential good of all human beings. And proof there's a God working within all of us, attempting for us to act upon our good halves rather than our bad halves.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

With the buzz surrounding "Twilight," as of recent all due to the movie adaptations, it's quite easy to ignore her other book "The Host." Truthfully, I once was a Twilight addict, only to be freed by "Breaking Dawn." For that book made me realize the lack of character development and plot throughout the series. But her other book, "The Host seems to be an entirely different species. Though not the greatest book ever written, the novel's highly improved in both characterization and writing as opposed to Meyer's Twilight books.

The main premise of the book surrounds Melanie, whose in search of her remaining family members. All in the midst of the Earth being overtaken by "peaceful" body snatchers. But as she's cornered by a number of these body snatchers, she jumps down an elevator shaft. And these alien creatures kidnap her unconscious baby and insert her with one of their own. Here begins the main crux of the story, the internal dialogue between two beings share one vessel.

One of the errors with Twilight was Stephenie Meyer's tendency to ramble on about the physical traits of Edward Cullen and describe him with too many adjectives for "dazzling." Also, much of the romance seem contrived and as result it seemed unbelievable for one perfect vampire (whose really imperfect in his manner of treating woman) and a common high school girl to fall in love. With "The Host," love's much broader and encompasses both familial and romantic love. Melanie's choices are acted on her intense love for both her brother and Jared. All through this, Wanda sees the propensity for humans to care for the wellbeing of other human beings. In addition she begins to develop love for these humans and overlooks the myths of their violent ways, which many of her other spieces believe that humans can only act.

Stephenie Meyers may not write with the vocabulary of either Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte, but she's able to flesh out all her characters and help us to understand the motives of every one of her characters. Even the more malicious ones such as "The Seeker," whom gave me chills during the first hundred pages of reading.

Reading "The Host," after a year was still as compelling as in the past. Unlike the Twilight books whose errors become more pronounced through rereads. The Host holds up. I do not entirely hate Stephenie Meyers but I do highly dislike her Twilight books. As The Host involves selfless love rather than romantic love that blinds the person to other forms of love. If there lies one error it's Stephenie Meyers easy solutions towards the end of all her novels. Instead of allowing the story to develop naturally. Stephenie Meyers prefers to form quick solutions all in pursuit of a positive resolution. Hopefully Stephenie Meyers learns to include more elements within her stories, besides romance. And also she needs not to be afraid of ending her story within an ambiguous manner. Since everything in life does not end within a perfect manner.