Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday update: Two Days Until Christmas edition

I read another book a couple of weeks ago.  I've started on three more since then, and I don't know that I'll get any of them finished before 2011. 

The Great Hunt
by Robert Jordan
Tor Fantasy, 1990
585 pages

This is the second book in Jordan's Wheel of Time series (the first, The Eye of the World, I read a few months ago).  As a writer, I find it a little depressing to read Jordan's epic because I realize I will never, ever, ever write anything anywhere near this good.  A friend recently told me that this, Eye of the World, and the third book in the series (The Dragon Reborn) were originally intended to be one book instead of three.  That would have been a very long book.  However, it does explain why, in a lot of ways, this book felt like it was the middle of a story and not a story in and of itself. That isn't to say that it was bad or even unsatisfactory, because it was neither, but as a novel its structure wasn't quite as solid as Eye.  The climactic final chapters felt a bit like they had been forced together and souped up a bit in order to bring the book to an exciting conclusion.  (And, indeed, the ending itself is strong and launches perfectly into a new volume)  As with Eye of the World, everything was solid.  It's a thoroughly enjoyable fantasy reading experience, and while it's still not so convoluted that a casual reader can't keep everything straight, I can see where the larger story may be in danger of spreading itself a bit thin (a complaint I've heard from a few who've ventured further than I have). 

In short, I enjoy the story, the characters, the mythology, and the tone of the narrative.  One of the most fun fantasy stories I've ever picked up. 

Currently thumbing through The Sacred Romance (a Christian nonfiction book about discovering the hidden yearnings of our heart), Relic (a murder/crime investigation novel that is apparently about some sort of monster, as the first two quotes on the back cover have compared it to Jurassic Park), and The Dragon Reborn (which will most likely be the first of these three books I finish).  Got to get one of them done before New Years to boost my page total ever so slightly for the calendar year!

Merry Christmas, by the way.  In the immortal words of Handy: "READ A BOOK!"

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