Monday, November 07, 2005


So, I just finished reading Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling (review). Having read other books by him in the past, I was prepared to be unimpressed, as I'd liked his ideas, but never cared much for the story he builds around them. Going in with those low expectations, this wasn't too bad. Again, he took the story in a way that I thought was less interesting than what I had expected, but he doesn't do to badly with it. The worst part was that he seemed to be reaching for a world where his geeky fantasy interests would become valuable skills, and you can almost see him jacking off as he writes it, fantasizing about becoming King in a world thrown back into the dark ages. Anyway, the story was ok, and if you liked other stuff he's written, you might like this too. The most interesting thing about the story, to me, wasn't even mentioned in the book, but was something I read in one of the reviews, so I don't know if it is true or not, but it said that the world in this book is the world left behind when Nantucket disappears in Island in the Sea of Time. This looks to be the beginning of a series, so if that is the case, I assume it will be revealed at some point.

Anyway, having looked at the library for something else interesting to read next, and not finding anything, I decided instead to re-read The Chroncles of Narnia, in anticipation of the movie coming out. I read these several times as a kid, and thought they were great. I managed to mostly miss all the religous stuff woven into them back then, except in The Last Battle, where it's impossible to overlook, but I hope that doesn't take away from the great stories I remember. I'll be starting with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe even though some idiot somewhere decided to start marketing these books in chronological order, making this book the second in the series. I can't imagine reading them in that order. One of my most vivid memories reading these the first time was finding out five books later, where the lampost came from. Who makes stupid decisions like that, anyway? That would be like watching Star Wars in chronological order, bleh! Anyone else bothered by this?

Anyway, what's everyone reading? Any recommendations? Anything to stay away from? And no Harry Potter, freaks!

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sumo said...

JRH...I dedicated my post to you about the new Harry Potter movie...heh! I actually would prefer to have seen Star Wars in chronological order. If I pick up a book and see that it is in a series and the book is third...I have to go buy the others and start them in order. I'm just screwy like that. I haven't read the Narnia series but have always been now you have me all pumped up (yikes! sounds like Arnuld) to read them. The promo on TV for the movie did look good. Although, since you are a Potter Hater maybe I shouldn"t take your word for I kid!

Shakespeare's Sister said...

I'm reading a book about American myths and mysteries, the name of which I can't remember, and I'm too lazy to walk upstairs to go get it. It's okay, but I wouldn't recommend it, unless you need something with short chapters to keep in the bathroom, lol.

John Howard said...

I agree, sumo, I would never start a series in the middle, but what I'm talking about is going in a differnt order than it was published. Seeing Star Wars in chronological order would suck, you would already know that Vader was Luke's father before he tells him, it just wouldn't be the same. And you should always take my word for everything.

Chris Howard said...

Michelline and I feel exactly the same way about the Narnia books. I really don't think the Magician's Nephew would have been nearly as magical if I hadn't been finding out where all this stuff came from. In its proper place, it's my favorite one in the series. I heard that Disney is really hoping to get their own Harry Potter type franchise going with these movies. That would be great if they're well-done. I am very glad that they're starting with the real first book.

Robert Bayn said...

Dosent talk about harry potter than


John Howard said...

Yeah, I would be disappointed if they started with The Magician's Nephew, I just really don't see how anyone could ever have thought that was a good idea. It would have to be someone who never read them.

John Howard said...

Robert, you can talk about Harry Potter if you want, but I'll probably just skip over it.

The Disgruntled Chemist said...

I just finished reading Life of Pi, which I thought was quite good - it's a metaphysical journey, kind of disguised as an adventure story. I think I'll probably need to read it again before I review it, but it was a good read. I'd recommend it.

Lisa said...

I've been reading The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory. I've read the first two books - The Outstretched Shadow and To Light a Candle. I'm a sci-fi/fantasy fan, and I've enjoyed these.

John Howard said...

Chemist, I've heard good things about it, but haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

Lisa, I like mainly fantasy and science fiction, but I haven't really read a lot of fantasy lately.

sumo said...

You are right of course JRH...I didn't even think of the darth Vader thing...the impact certainly would have been different. I bow to you on this one. So which book should one start with in the Narnia series?

John Howard said...

The correct order is:

1. The Lion, the Withch and the Wardrobe
2. Price Caspian
3. Voyage of the Dawn Treader
4. The Silver Chair
5. The Horse and His Boy
6. The Magician's Nephew
7. The Last Battle