Oh, Whatever the Weather (SO#9)

    I’m probably going to move south when I get older. Seriously. After this winter in this darned northern state, I’m tired of 20 degree mornings and snow in the middle of the April. I guess we can blame it on the lake that’s about an hour away, or we can blame the fact that we’re leagues and leagues away from the equator and all of its palm-tree, balmy glory. HOWEVER. Finally, YES, FINALLY, we’re starting to hear the birds chirp outside… and it’s nearly May.

    Darn you Michigan.

    Anyway, leaving this grudge aside, I must say I am glad to see so many people outside now. I can hear the screaming of college students as they hit volleyballs around the sand court, feel the romantic feeling of the sun landing on my skin like a small bird, chill in my flip flops at any time again. Though the trees still do not have a single bud, there are a small assortment of flowers throwing in some color into our almost-green grass environment. Goodness gracious, spring, you took WAY too long to get here. You’re certainly forgiven though.

    And then, of course, the PERFECT activity to do in this kind of weather… read a book.

    Oh, don’t look at me like that. You probably think I should go frolic in the grass or something… Well, no. Actually, breathing in some pure air while reading is just what I need for a perfect day like this. Or taking a walk while reading… just priceless. Though my room is a perfectly suitable outlet as well, it can be stuffy and the barrage of my things crowding me certainly bugs me. It makes me want to clean when I want to be reading a book. I know, annoying, right? Haha, just kidding.

    So, the reason for our beautiful book cover image at the top of this blog is because it is an example of one of the books I just finished… and frankly, this book is just amazing. I’d read it any season, but I read the entire thing during what’s supposed to be considered ‘Spring’, at least by calendar standards(not Michigan standards apparently.) I love it so much I’ll give it a mini review, yay!

    Let’s look at its individual aspects, shall we?

  1. Plot: Though I won’t go all out to say this is absolutely the most wonderful plot in all of existence, it definitely is one of the better ones out there. The basic concept is an English captain captures a dragon egg off of a French ship, the hatchling takes a liking to him, and basically, the captain loses any life they he could have had normally and becomes a dragon handler. Laurence, this captain, goes through war training with Temeraire, the dragon, and faces quite a few people who grew up in the business who do not like him because he got a dragon without having to go through years of training. This only becomes worse because he actually has a rare Chinese type of dragon, which, the Chinese are known for breeding dragons for beauty, so it looks like Temeraire is pretty speical. But he’s actually much more. And, etc. I won’t ruin anymore of the plot because you need to read this yourself, but overall, the plot was filled with tension, and kept you reading.
  2. Setting: Setting goes from the sea to England for Dragon training. I felt the setting was missing some aspects, though the author got the major aspects. She didn’t give enough information for me, and it would have been nice to get some visuals on the British landscape, but she did give enough details to live through the book. So it’s acceptable.
  3. Dialogue: Laurence, being as respectful, but ultimately hot-headed and caring as he is, keeps this aspect of the book interesting. It’s endearing to see how he learns to love this dragon that basically took his normal life away. He finds life in Temeraire I guess, and Temeraire just loves him to death for good reason. There was tension, action, anger, slight connotations to romance (oh, but nothing huge, just like a page of just hints. This is by no means a romance novel, and don’t expect anything. You’ll be disappointed if you do.). Novik does a great job in this aspect of her book.
  4. Characters: Love Laurence and Temeraire, I feel like Novik gave us very clear pictures of these two major characters. But some of the minor characters I felt were a tad lacking. They get some more of the spotlight perhaps later in the book. She doesn’t do that badly of a job, but I do feel at some points I felt disconnected from other characters. They seemed more tools to enhance the plot than actual human beings. But I’ll let it slide. Laurence and Temeraire are enough for me.
  5. Overall: I gave this story a 4 star on goodreads (you can friend me here: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/16049922-mary-snook) just because Id di really love reading this book. Couldn’t keep it down for long because of the underlying tension and the wonderfulness of the main characters. Though there were points I wish were a tad better, definitely believe that Novik really has potential for a great series here, and I’m currently reading the second book and have been impressed so far.

So great book to go pick up guys! If you’re into this kind of fantasy genre thing. I’d suggest this book to be at least in the adolescent to adult age. There’s really nothing inappropriate other than some war violence and some baby-making offers(don’t ask), but even that doesn’t get all bloody gory or not even close to sexy. So, it’s a good read for anyone, I think. J

I have a wonderful short story I wrote this weekend for you on Wednesday, so be excited!

See you Wednesday!

A.C. Rooks

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