Monday, July 17, 2017

Fresh And Engaging!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          I have two confessions to make, girls.  First, I am not a fantasist.  I have read the Harry Potter books, the Lemony Snickett series, and of course, the Tolkien trilogy.  I mean, regarding this last, if one is alive, let alone somewhat, if not expansively, literate, how can one not have read it?

                                           But this does not mean I hunger for the latest "Game Of Thrones" or the next Diana Gabaldon.  My time is more valuable than that.

                                           Second, I purchased this book, under false pretenses.  Charmed by the presentation of the cover--which can often be a mistake--I thought both the illustration and the title were a riff on "All The Light We Cannot See," which I consider one of the gems of the last several years.  I thought "All The Birds In The Sky" would be similar to Doerr's book.

                                             So, it was with great trepidation, I picked this book up.  I came to it after coming off of Emily St. John Mandel's  "Station Eleven," and the thought of more dystopian science fantasy was not something I looked forward to.  Then I opened the book, and got a surprise.

                                               Pitting Magic against Science, Anders follows two characters, a boy named Laurence Armistead and a girl named Patricia Delphine, a more sophisticated version of Harry Potter and Hermione Granger, from childhood to maturity.  Though Laurence is a Scientist, and Patricia a Witch, human issues such as fitting in with one's peers, or dealing with adversaries in Life, are sensitively explored.  As is youthful human sexuality, once the hormones kick in, something the Harry Potter books wisely avoided.  Though this novel is more suited for adults than Rowling's fan base, advanced Young Adult readers are encouraged to give it a try

                                                  The novel stands magnificently on its own, but I am wondering if there will be a series.  I would not be surprised; I found myself wanting to know about Patricia and Laurence after I closed the cover.  Even if never found out, the story here is good enough to stand alone, and a welcome breath of fresh air, in a year, that, so far, has not had any real literary events.  Had I discovered this, when it came out, in 2014, I would have proclaimed it  loudly.  Nevertheless, if there are those, who, like me, keep a list of books read during the year, this would be found to be among the most cherished reading experiences one could hope for.

                                                     Thank God I reached for this to cleanse my palette, and not a Harlequin Romance.  That is, if there are any still out there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Victoria Adams said...

I, too, judge a book by its cover. Always have.
I also peek at endings...

The Raving Queen said...

I used to read the last sentence
of a book, curious to see how
the rest builds to it, and whether
it succeeds. I stopped that a long
while ago.