Wednesday, December 17, 2008

exceptionally dorky post

I've been Back Home at my parents' house since Saturday, after a night of pre-travel insomnia and grueling flight with my cat. Since then, I've mostly been living the same way I do Up North; I read, drink tea, watch tv via the internet and my laptop's magic ability to connect to a telemovision. and I read.

So far:

I'm feeling pretty ambivalent towards OSC. it's not that I didn't enjoy the book, it's more the same thing I felt on reading the fourth and fifth books in Asimov's Foundation "trilogy." The novelty just gets more and more dilute. hard to explain, exactly. plus, dude is a Mormon and I get way too caught up trying to suss out his evil LDS anti-gay agenda.

this, however, was effing brilliant. ever since high school, when I read the Name of the Rose, I've been partial to any novel that takes place in a medieval monastery. or hell, anything remotely related to that millenium. for the first 5 or so pages, I just figured I was reading a historical-type novel about medieval monks that takes place in a in a parallel universe. except then I realized that in this particular universe, they've had rocket ships for 3000 years. there was some sort of self-inflicted technological mass destruction and since then, all the philosophers and physicists and tech wonk geniuses have been shunted into a monasteries called "Concents." like concentrations camps, I guess. the plot and backstory just get more and more mindbogglingly convoluted and brilliant til at the end you've got alien ships from parallel universes, time traveling, and of course, a rather adorable love story.

I know Christopher Paolini is a prodigy who wrote the first novel in this series at the age of 15, but I can't stand his style. he's just completely unoriginal. there's very little in his novels that can't be traced to Tolkien or Robert Jordan or Terry Brooks or other, less talented authors (anyone who writes a series with a TM in the series title, for example, like those godawful Dragonlance books. might as well just play D&D, FFS.).

and yet I keep reading. they aren't awful, just rather ponderously written and entirely too predictable. I imagine that if I were between the ages or 8 and 11 or so, I'd find them every bit as enthralling as I did Brian Jacque's books about intrepid warrior mice and *gasp* medieval-type monasteries run by good-hearted woodland creatures.

So, three books in 4 days. next up, post-apocalyptic teens with magical powers join forces with elves to flee evil into another dimension...

good times.

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