Ender’s Game

I’m not a big Science Fiction person. I probably haven’t read all of the best Science Fiction stories out there. Of all of them that I have read, though, my favorite by far is Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card.

(In fact, I am privileged to have an autographed copy of the book.)

Enders Game originally started as a novelette. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, I think he wrote the original story while he was still a student at Brigham Young University. Orson Scott Card later changed it into a full-length novel. Not long after garnering a lot of praise and awards for Ender’s Game, he wrote more books about the same characters including another award winning novel and another novel, Ender’s Shadow, where Ender’s Game is retold from another point of view.

Ender Wiggin is a third, the third child in a family where families are only allowed to have two children unless they receive special permission from the government to do otherwise. The government is constantly fighting against a group of insect-like aliens called Buggers, and Earth is constantly training children up from a young age to be able to fight against them. Earth has already survived two invasions and they are expecting the Third Invasion at any time. The rest of the book recounts his time at “Battle School” where he and his teammates have to compete in a variety of different exercises first against other teams and later against computer-simulated Bugger squadrons.

If I had to pick two words to describe Ender’s Game, I would pick Continue reading Ender’s Game

The Land of Elyon

My daughter read the three books in the Land of Elyon, by Patrick Carman, and enjoyed them immensely.

She asked me to read them, and I agreed.

I enjoyed the first book, the Dark Hills Divide, more than the next two books. The Dark Hills Divide stars a girl who lives in a group of three cities. The three cities have been completely surrounded by a large wall through the efforts of one of the founders of the cities. This wall is meant to protect the cities from the outside and does so rather well, limiting trade with the outside to that which can be tightly managed and keeping the villagers safe. The girl, Alexa Daley, however is a wanderer and does not enjoy being kept within the walls. When she manages to escape, she finds that she is missing out on a magical but dangerous world.
Continue reading The Land of Elyon

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Although it is probably a little much to try and review all 13 novels which make up A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket, I am going to try and do just that.

The 13 novels are written from the perspective of Lemony Snicket, who is a writer and an investigator who seems to be researching and writing a biography on three orphaned children: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire. The orphans are placed into a series of “homes” and find themselves in more and more trouble (usually at the hands of the evil Count Olaf). While they find ways of extricating themselves from a series of unfortunate events, they also discover more and more information about their parents who were not at all who they thought they were.

The best part about A Series of Unfortunate Events is the writing style. Continue reading A Series of Unfortunate Events

Destiny’s Forge

When T.M. Moore approached me about reading and reviewing Destiny’s Forge, I have to say that I was pretty excited. I’m a sucker for a good vampire book and having a vampire book in the Science Fiction/Fantasy genre — well, let’s just say that I couldn’t wait to get started.

With so many high hopes for a science fiction vampire novel, I was pretty much setting myself up for a fall. I was hoping for too much from a self-published novel. Right? Continue reading Destiny’s Forge

The Lord of the Rings and its Blatant Rip-offs

I always find it fascinating and perhaps a bit disturbing that J.R.R. Tolkien is praised at one of the best writers of Fantasy fiction ever. He certainly was one of the first of the genre, and his stories have inspired more authors than probably any other Fantasy work that has ever been written. In fact, just about every review of a fantasy work seems destined to carry with it the phrase “blatant rip-off of Tolkien” if they have any races other than humans in them. Sometimes even if they don’t. If a work has that kind of power, that work must be the best there is. Right?

I constantly have people coming to me and wondering why they are having a hard time getting through the Fellowship of the Ring. “If the Lord of the Rings is the best Fantasy series, why am I having such a hard time reading it? I can’t even get through the first book.”

I have read the entire series and its prequel. I read them while I was still in High School. They were, after all, the best.

I am not sure how I managed to get through them. Continue reading The Lord of the Rings and its Blatant Rip-offs