Right, if you want your favourite novels and series to remain pristine in your mind, cover your ears and start going, ‘lalalalalalalalalala’ right now! The Reading Room blog has uncovered some fairly gaping plot holes in some of the most popular books we love to read. I guess the question is: do we really care? Still, it’s a fun discussion topic!!
As you know, we had a bit of a heat wave over the holidays. I didn’t have much to do except sit in front of the air conditioner and read. I had a lot of time on my hands, so I thought: this is probably a good time to dive into the Game of Thrones series. Of books.
Now, I haven’t see the TV series – which I hear is a touch full on (and most definitely unsuitable for you younger ones). I have refused to watch it for a few reasons. Firstly, because I don’t deal well with onscreen violence (of which there’s quite lot) and secondly, because I always prefer to read the books first.
A lot of students have been asking about whether they should read the Games of Thrones books. Reading them is quite a commitment; each book is about 700 pages and there are five books. With two more to come.
My verdict? I loved them! But they won’t be for everyone. Let me tell you why:
These books fall into the ‘epic’ fantasy/historical fiction category. Be prepared for lords and ladies, knights and peasants and lots and LOTS of characters to keep track of. It can be hard going if you’re not used to reading this type of fiction!
Many people have found George R. R Martin’s writing style hard to read, in the sense that each chapter is from the point of view of a different character. The difficulty is that the reader has to keep track of about eight different key narratives. However, I love this because it’s what makes these books so great. Martin’s characters are all pretty complicated. No one is a total ‘baddie’ or a total ‘goodie’. In fact, just when you think you’ve got the measure of a character, Martin does something that makes you completely question who they really are. I’ve just finished the fifth book and my opinion of some characters is completely different to what it was in the first.
Oh yeah – he likes to kill off characters too. So don’t get too attached!
I have to warn you that these books contain some pretty confronting themes. There’s a lot of violence, swearing, sex and some very morally ambiguous characters. They are definitely adult books and not to be picked up lightly. If you’re not sure whether you should read them, come into the library and have a chat with me and hopefully I’ll be able to give you enough information to help you make a decision.
Now, I’m eagerly anticipating the release of the next book in the series. And steeling myself to watch the TV version.
Ms White 🙂
Are you up to date with some of the latest sequels?
It seems like every novel you read these days is one of at least three in a series. Sometimes it feels like no one writes a single novel anymore! There are two reasons for this. Firstly, teenagers who like to read also tend to get a little obsessed with stories (remember Harry? What about Edward? Jace anyone?) and never want them to end – thus the popularity of the series. Secondly, publishers love this obsession because is means more book sales for them, and they often encourage their authors to write lots of books revolving around the one story or set of characters. If it sounds like your reading practices are being exploited, well, they kind of are – but the good news is that it means more and more books for the reader!
One of the sequels I read over the hols was Marianne de Pierres’ ‘Angel Arias’, the sequel to ‘Burn Bright’. These fantasy novels are an acquired taste; they’re a little bit left of centre. For some reason, I reckon these novels have an Obernewtyn Chronicles feel (which I LOVE, btw) – they feel more sci-fi than fantasy, but not in a robot-ey kind of way. ‘Angel Arias’ picks up where ‘Burn Bright’ left off, with the aftermath of Naif’s escape from Ixion. Some the dark and sinister connections between Ixion and the councillors are revealed, and the battle between the Ripers and rebels continues with some fairly catastrophic consequences. I really like the way Naif is developing as a character, and I really enjoyed the introduction of Jarrold – a classic. Also, these books get my vote for the coolest cover art going around.
‘Tantony’, by Ananda Braxton-Smith, is not a sequel in the traditional sense. She utilises the same imagined world and the same mythology as she did in ‘Merrow’ but tells a story about a completely different set of characters. You can definitely read ‘Tantony’ without having read ‘Merrow’! Braxton-Smith is a very interesting writer – her language is very lush and descriptive. Some people love that kind of thing and some people don’t. I’m not a huge fan of overly long description, but what I like about Braxton-Smith’s stories is that they’re so sad and so real. She doesn’t necessarily give you the ending you want; on one hand it’s refreshing to be surprised but sometimes we’re disappointed when we don’t get what we want in a story! It’s your call – recommended if you want to ready something really different.
Did you love Twilight? Or is that a stupid question?
If you’re looking for another vampiric series to sink your teeth into, try the ‘Blue Bloods’ series by Melissa de la Cruz. The vampires in this series are young, powerful, rich and beautiful vampires of modern day New York. These ‘Blue Bloods’ have kept the secret of vampire existence for centuries – but all of that is about to change. The secret is seeping out at a prestigious private school, and Schuyler Van Alen finds herself tied to the heart of it.
Here’s a teaser from the first chapter of ‘Blue Bloods’:
Across the street, Schuyler saw a cab pull up to the curb, and a tall blond guy stepped out of it. Just as he emerged, another cab barreled down the street on the opposite side. It was swerving recklessly, and at first it looked like it would miss him, but at the last moment, the boy threw himself in its path and disappeared underneath its wheels. The taxicab never even stopped, just kept going as if nothing happened.
“Oh my God!” Schuyler screamed.
The guy had been hit—she was sure of it—he’d been run over—he was surely dead.
“Did you see that?” she asked, frantically looking around for Oliver, who seemed to have disappeared. Schuyler ran across the street, fully expecting to see a dead body, but the boy was standing right in front of her, counting the change in his wallet. He slammed the door shut and sent his taxi on its way. He was whole and unhurt.
“You should be dead,” she whispered.
“Excuse me?” he asked, a quizzical smile on his face.
Schuyler was a little taken aback—she recognized him from school. It was Jack Force. The famous Jack Force.
In reading order:
Misguided Angel – to be released 2010
Check out the official Blue Bloods website: