Thursday, May 24, 2012

Three Sequels

Crossed, Ally Condie
Sequel to the YA dystopian romance, Matched.

The sophomore so-so slump strikes again.   Although Crossed felt small scope and tiresome in places, Condie has somehow managed to sell her particular brand of dystopia to me well enough that I finished the book, and I intend to read the final instalment.  Comparatively weak prose (after reading Rothfuss*), unlikeable small players, and hollow, obvious dialogue and relationships had me cringing. The covers and titles are very clever, this ending picked up the pace, the key problem is solid, and it is still dystopia, after all; my time wasn't utterly wasted. 

Pandemonium, Lauren Oliver
Sequel to the YA dystopian romance, Delirium.
Oliver and Condie's trilogies have much in common (including great titles), but if you're only to read one set of three, it should be Oliver's.  Even if this sequel did some of what I hoped it wouldn't (love triangles...gah!), it also surprised me.  I think Pandemonium was just as good as the first book, if not better.  It was more of a page-turner.  Although I would say to Oliver, "The next time the word 'scrabbling' pops in your head, get the thesaurus.  Please."  

While we're on "dystopia," this timeline is awesome; my love affair with dystopia commenced long before The Hunger Games was published, but I am pleased it has revived wide-spread interest in the genre.  

*The Wise Man's Fear, Patrick Rothfuss
Sequel to the heroic fantasy novel, The Name of the Wind.

I am quite taken with Kvothe and Rothfuss (the hero and author, respectively). Quite.  
  • Like the first, this novel consists of a string of heroic episodes and exploits that make up an exceptional character's life.  Each episode is relevant...
  • ...although things get a little to steamy for my taste, chapters 95 through 105.  Ya, ya, I get it, it's a coming-of-age tale with a male protagonist, but 10 chapters?  
  • The episodes are retold by Kvothe in flashback, which often grates on me.  In this case, I relish the conversational tone it lends to the language, as well as the depth it gives to the character sketch as a whole.
  • I just like saying his name.  "Kvothe."
  • Throughout the sequel, I was reminded of the thrilling moment I knew I was pledged to the fantastical hero in book one, as my loyalty is regularly reawakened and quickened by events as they unfold.  
  • I fiercely disagree and dislike Kvothe at times, but I am fascinated by him.  That is quality characterisation, to me.
  • The supporting characters are unusual and intriguing.
  • The second book adds upon and enlarges the world...
  • ...but could have been pruned back better.  Have you hefted the thing?  It didn't all need to be there....but none of it was torture.
All in all?  Highly entertaining...nitpicking aside.
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