Last week, I was feeling a bit under the weather so I kind of just chilled. It was nice but I’m sorry for breaking my schedule. I’m back however with my Stand-Alone novel reviews.
I want to point out that a few of these novels are part of a larger/longer series so they’re not stand-alone in the truest sense of the word. They’re stand-alone in that I only read one book of the series and I’ll go into why I didn’t finish the series during the reviews.
Howl’s Moving Castle
I decided to read Howl’s Moving Castle because I really enjoyed Studio Ghibli’s cartoon film of the same name. The film addes to the storyline of Jones’s original story and while I really enjoyed it, I found it had some really interesting but not fully explained plot points. Jones executed a better plot line–better flow and no gaping plot holes like that of the film.
Another thing I loved about Howl’s Moving Castle is that it was a quick read. It’s really nice to devour a book within a few hours instead of a few days.
Howl’s Moving Castle is part of a series, but from my understanding, the subsequent books do not feature the same characters only the same world of magic. I didn’t continue on with the series because I wanted to know more about Howl and Sophie not the world.
I’d recommend everyone to check out the whimsical world Jones created, it’s a fun read.
Haroun and the Sea of Stories
I absolutely, positively love Salman Rushdie. He’s a prolific author, penning really famous works such as The Satanic Verses and Midnight’s Children. I haven’t read The Satanic Verses yet but I am familiar and in love with Midnight’s Children. The thing with MC is that it’s really, really difficult to get through. I read it as a 20 year old undergrad student and after every chapter I had to write down what happened to keep track and each chapter was a 1-2 hour endeavor. It was literally the hardest fiction book I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, but it was so, so enjoyable.
So, what does that have to do with Haroun and the Sea of Stories? Well, Haroun is Rushdie’s children’s story that is accessible to all. It’s a great story about Haroun helping to defeat a fantastic evil that threatens to ruin all stories and to save his father from never being able to tell stories again. It’s a fantasy story that plays on the themes of heritage that Rushdie is a master at. This is an impeccably written, one novel story; Rushdie’s Harry Potter of sorts.
There is another Children’s story that Rushdie wrote, similar to Haroun, called Luka and the Fire of Life. Both stand alone and I currently have Luka on my to-read list. I strongly urge you to check out any of Rushdie’s work. He’s an amazing man that has put his life on the line to share his thoughts and the history of his people.
The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride was actually the first book I read this year and it was a fun, quick read that inspired the cult classic film by the same name. I think we call all spend a bit of time discussing our favorite lines: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” and of course “As you wish.” (Please feel free to share your favorite if I missed it).
Anywho, movie talk aside, the book was interesting–things were different but much along the same lines as the film mostly because Golding also worked on the screenplay. It was an interesting read and I’d recommend it but not overly strongly. I would, however, say that the film is a must see for all people. Ever.
I did a full length review of this novel in November: Book Review: Dan Harris’s “Ascension Point.” However, because Harris is a new, independent author, I thought I’d give him one more plug.
Ascension Point is a great piece of sci-fi that I’ve found myself craving because of his novel. I actually decided to seek out more sci-fi because of Ascension Point. It’s a first novel and so it’s not pristine like the work of Rushdie but it’s an amazing first novel and a great read. If you love or even like sci-fi, check it out.
Check back Wednesday for my take on four “classics.”