The Eighth Story of Harry Potter is here! As one could expect with any fan base as large as Harry Potter, readers’ opinions are divided. Some embrace it along with the original series, while others despise it as a cheap money-grab from the publishers. So I’ll add my opinion to the mix straight away and say it was a fantastic read that kept me curious, brought out a range of emotions, and all together was a lot of fun.
Rick Riordan, author of the famous Percy Jackson series is back doing what he does best with the first book in his newest series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. Within other series Riordan has already explored what Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology would look like in the modern world. In this newest adventure we see his take on the Nordic gods such as Thor, Loki, and Odin. Continue reading “Living After Death: Magnus Chase and The Sword of Summer”
As one of the best page-turners I’ve read in years, I couldn’t be more excited to introduce everyone to our generation’s nerd/geek manifesto: Ready Player One. This book perfectly balances the nostalgia of the games of the past with a fascinating take on the technology of the near future. Ernest Cline relentlessly references early gamer/nerd culture and bits of 80’s and 90’s pop culture. In fact, it is difficult to think of a game, comic, or show he does not mention or at least allude to. The spectrum ranges from cult classics like Dungeons and Dragons to the universally known Pacman. Throughout the book we learn lots of little bits of trivia about our favorite games growing up. Although this book is clearly fiction, I found myself learning many fun facts from actual history. For those of us who can remember the excitement of beating an arcade game for the first time, this book is a must read. Continue reading “Ready Player One: Loving Thine Intellectual Enemy”
Award winning author Anthony Doerr won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize with his profound book All The Light We Cannot See. His writing draws pictures in the mind’s eye more clearly and memorably than what most movies offer. One key mark of any truly great work found in this particular book is that the plot isn’t the only thing that keeps you interested. As I read this book I was just as excited to see how the author was going to write the next chapter as I was curious about what would happen next. Continue reading “Seeing Beauty Through Blind Eyes: All The Light We Cannot See”
The Maze Runner has been one of the most popular young adult series for the last couple of years, and now I know why. The setting is a cross between Lord of the Flies and the Cube horror flicks. It has characteristics of an amnesiac psycho-thriller, but with all the maturity of The Goonies. In other words it’s mysterious, thrilling, and juvenile. James Dashner impressed me with his ability to take me back to the young teenage years full of inane conversations and pointless debates. He successfully pulled me into this imaginary world and kept me intrigued throughout.
For Valentine’s day Both Ryan and I decided to break out of our preferred genres and enter into the world of romance. We decided to have our wives (who are much smarter than we are) write the reviews with us. This year our theme is centered around one of the greatest figures in English literature-Jane Austen. Ryan and Stephanie reviewed the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley here. Alex and I are not reviewing an original Jane Austen novel, but rather a book inspired by Jane Austen. Austenland is a novel written by award-winning and best-selling author Shannon Hale in 2007 which eventually became a movie in 2013. It is an Austen-esque romance in modern times, constantly referencing the famous works of Jane Austen. It is a short and well-written story that is sure to entertain, but also contains some excellent worldview content.
What We’re Reviewing
The original Star Wars trilogy gave us more than a set of movies to love. It introduced a new galaxy to be explored by lovers of sci-fi and fantasy. For the more hardcore fans Star Wars created a an extremely successful line of novels called the Expanded Universe. Personally I built a collection of over 150 Star Wars novels when I was in middle school. In terms of canonicity, these novels were not as authoritative as the movies, but were still considered an integral part in the Star Wars timeline. In 2014 many lovers of the Expanded Universe were devastated when they were told that the hundreds of novels they came to love were now going to be called Star Wars Legends. But they were promised the exciting prospect of a new line of novels that would be considered canon to the same degree as the movies. The Star Wars franchise had an opportunity to recreate itself and fix some controversial parts of the Expanded Universe (like the death of Chewbacca). To date there are 7 canon Star Wars novels published (not including young adult and children’s books) and I have given a quick review of all of them below. They are ordered chronologically to the Star Wars timeline.