Saturday, December 26, 2009


Here's hoping everybody is having a great end-of-the-year holiday season.  I know I'm enjoying some time off and spending time with my family.  My reading time is actually suffering some due to all of the other activities this time of year.  Nevertheless, I did manage to find time to complete my reading of the third book of the Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke, Inkdeath.

I confess to stalling quite a bit before getting around to this one.  I quite enjoyed the first book in the series but felt the second one, Inkspell dragged somewhat.  It was probably a necessary evil because Ms Funke did not take the easy way out and simply rewrite another version of the first book.  She greatly expanded the "Inkheart" universe and the number of characters and subplots jumped tremendously.  Now, here in the third book, I was afraid the whole thing would fail to wrap up in a satisfactory manner.  I happily discovered that not to be the case and even though I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book, it was still a good one.

There are numerous characters in this book.  I read somewhere that there are 114 of them which makes things hard to keep track of.  Fortunately, an appendix is included which contains a short blurb about each one and even some reminders of their roles in the previous novels.  I referred to that quite often, looking up several characters more than once to get that "oh yeah" moment.  The plot moved along pretty well in this novel with lots of jumping around among the many points of view.  I was, however, disappointed in the vastly diminished roles of Meggie and Farid, both major characters in the first book.  Mo has a major role once again, taking on the persona of a Robin Hood sort of figure called the Bluejay. 

This trilogy has really evolved over the course of the three books, becoming darker as we move along.  The attraction for me, and what I believe makes this a good trilogy for youngsters, is the idea of being able to bring characters out of fictional stories by reading, as well as changing the very reality of the story you are living in by writing new scenes.  That's just cool and gets to the very heart of young people's imaginations.  On a deeper level, I suppose, it addresses the idea of predestination vs. changing your own future through your actions.  I tend to take it more at the first level and just let my imagination go.

I commented to Anita, who wrote a comment here a couple of blog entries ago, and whose blog I also follow, that I think these books are best when read aloud to the whole family, particularly if you can do many different voices.  I used to do that with my family (when my kids were young) with classics like Narnia, Harry Potter, etc.  That sort of setting really brings the story alive and lets you sink into the characters.  I really miss those evenings at our house.

I also completed the last short story in the L'Amour collection but I will do a seperate blog about that in a couple of days since it is the last story.  Next novel, and last of the year is finishing up yet another series which I began years ago: Unicorn Point by Piers Anthony.

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire