Friday, July 20, 2012

Book Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

Snow White and the Huntsman
by Lily Blake

Date Read:  07/18/2012

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★

I saw the movie before I read this book. I enjoyed the movie so much, that I had to pick up the book and see how they compare. Now, I know this book was written based on the script, so I knew it was going to be very similar. There were things I liked better in the movie and some things I liked better in the book.

Better in the movie:
1) Most of the backstory was told at the beginning of the movie - you knew who William was before she was trying to escape, etc. In the book, only the part about the Queen killing the King was really at the beginning, so a lot of the backstory came from memories in the characters' heads. So I felt like I didn't relate to them as much because it was just a quick recap of something important that needed to be said, but it was more in passing.

2) I didn't get as attached to the dwarves, and specifically Gus, in the book. They spent such little time with the Dwarves in the book, and Gus wasn't really mentioned in the book [SPOILER: except when he danced and then when he got killed.]

Better in the book:
1) You get inside Snow White's and the Huntsman's minds more. You are able to see their relationship build better. Obviously in the movie you root for him because he's one of the main characters and he's Chris Hemsworth for Pete's sake. I liked seeing that relationship grow. And you could see and feel better why the Huntsman is the one who wakes her.

2) In the book you really see the Huntsman's transformation from sulking widower to having some hope again, which I really enjoyed. Even though the book was only 220 pages with a lot of wasted pages for chapter numbers, you still really saw character growth in Snow White and the Huntsman. Now, perhaps some of this came from it being a movie script prior, but you really don't get to see the inner thoughts of Snow White and the Huntsman in the movie, so you attach to them better and really see why the things that happen do happen.

3) The book still ends the same way without a kiss! What kind of fairy tale ends without a kiss???? In the movie she just smiles at him in the end while he's kind of off to the side. [SPOILER: But in the book, he told her that he couldn't stay with royaly. So he leaves!] I liked in the book, though, that it specifically called out that she only thought of William as a friend, but she really liked the Huntsman. I liked how it wrapped up who she actually cared about, but I was so annoyed at that ending, when he obviously loves her - the only girl or person in the world who was able to pull him out of his depression. Sigh. I know it's based on a fairy tale, but I'm really hoping for a sequel that will have a happier ending in terms of love!

Overall thought I really enjoyed this Snow White story. The only thing was that in some parts, the perspective changed abruptly. One moment it was Snow White's perspective, and then the next paragraph it was the Queen's. That was a littl jarring. Normally perspective changes happen with breaks in the chapter or just a new chapter. But this had several times where one paragraph was from one perspective and the next another perspective. I understand that the author needed to tell the scene from two perspective sometimes, and obviously no one wants to read the same scene twice, but it was still jarring for me. But otherwise it was great. I think if you liked the movie you will really enjoy the book and vice versa. And I thought this was a very good version of Snow White. Modern yet still true to the medieval times that Snow White is usually told.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Book Review: Frey

Frey (The Frey Saga #1)
by Melissa Wright

Date Read:  07/07/2012

Rating:  ★ ★ ★

I enjoyed this book. It wasn't all consuming. It wasn't the most poetically written book. But it was enjoyable. I absolutely LOVE the cover. The hint of color, the script font, the girl with the ruins in the background. Love it.

The main character, Frey, was interesting enough. She was a little naive sometimes. It took her longer to catch on than me, and that always annoys me. If I catch on, the character should catch on too. It annoys me when they're so oblivious to things for so long. From her interactions with Chevelle to things that unfold when she reads the diary, her naivety annoyed me sometimes. But her story was very interesting.

I really liked reading about an elf. And the magic was fun. Her training might have lasted a little long for my taste though. I would say about half the book was traveling and learning to use her magic. It is interesting to see her magic grow, but at the same time, I wanted more to happen to the plot of the story.

There wasn't much dialogue at the beginning of the book. Though it was interesting to learn about Frey's world, it is still nice to have some character interaction, which didn't happen until about 20-30% into the book.

I liked the other characters in the story: Ruby and Steed. They had their own unique addition to the story.

I thought the addition of the diary to the story was a great way to tell a story when the character who wrote it wasn't there. It helped the reader and Frey understand everything that happened, which, if another character had just recited the information, it wouldn't have been as awesome.

The ending was very anticlimactic for me. I wanted more. There was a bit of a fight, and then all of a sudden it was over. And then the last few paragraphs left me wanting more too. I'm not really sure where the next book is going to go. But I liked the characters, so I will read the next book.

It is a very quick read. It's not too long, and reads easily. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, and hope the author steps up her game in the next book.

Book Review: Eragon

by Christopher Paolini

Date Read:  06/30/2012

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★

I had a hard time choosing a rating for this book. The first 300 pages were very slow. It wasn't necessarily boring, but it wasn't that engaging either. I know that most first books start out slow as the characters and the world are built...and this is quite a fantasy world that Paolini had to create. But it was harder to get through those first 300 pages, nonetheless. But the last 200 pages were great. The action increased, the characters got more interesting. Things started clicking together. So I think to myself that the first 300 pages would only get a 3 star rating. The last 200 pages would easily get a 4 star rating. So which half should my rating on goodreads lean (since I can't give half stars)? I decided that because the book ended well and left me wanting to pick up the second book right now, that I would lean toward the 4 star rating. However, my real rating would only be about 3.5 stars overall.

Things that I liked about this book were:
1) The dragon. Saphira sure added a lot to this book. I really enjoyed her personality, and I loved watching her grow throughout the course of the book. I loved how protective she is of Eragon, and how much she enjoys battle.
2) I thought the mind speak was very unique. I like how it is only something that Riders and a few others can use, and therefore, it is actually a very valuable skill to have. To be able to communicate to each other in different battles like that was amazing.
3) Eragon's growth. He went from a helpless farmboy to a strong warrior by the end. Sure, he still has a way to go and a lot to learn, but he grew a lot over that long journey. I think losing some of the people he cared about helped with his growth, even though I hated it.
4) Arya and Murtagh. I loved Murtagh. Once he joined the story, it really picked up. He was unique and as the story went on, you found how deep he was. His past was interesting...[SPOILER: I never guessed that Murragh was going to be Morzan's son!! That was quite a twist that I didn't see coming, but gives so much more to Murtagh's character!] So I am excited to see more from Murtagh and I hope to see great things from him. Arya wasn't really in the book, but when she was I liked her strength and her resolve to fight, especially after what she went through.

Things I didn't like about this book were:
1) The pace of the first 300 pages. It was very slow. There was the first big conflict at the beginning and then the next like 50 pages were just traveling. There were a few things here and there like practicing sword fighting, etc, but it was mostly just traveling, and that is so boring.
2) The amount of people that Eragon had cared for that died in the book. [SPOILER: It was bad enough when his uncle died. But at least you weren't too attached to the character at the time it happened. But the reader gets very attached to Brom and I did not expect him to die. That one really upset me. I feel like Harry Potter, where everyone he loves dies. But i suppose sometimes the characters need it to get that strength to keep going and have something to fight for.]

3) There wasn't a clear conflict. Obviously King Galbatorix wants the riders and he had teamed up with the Urgals. But the main things was just that Urgals were chasing them. There was the Shaede, but I wasn't sure why he was chasing Ergaon for a while either. And with only 50 pages left, I had no idea what was going to happen..was it just going end without any fighting? I'd like a clearer battle.

Overall the book was good, and the ending was pretty good. The battle at the end was great and it's pretty clear that he is going to travel with Murtagh and Arya in the next book. I'm going to read the next book, but i wasn't as awed with the book as some people are. Though, I hear that the next book is the best. So I'm looking forward to it
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