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Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm not entirely sure that I would be able to do justice in describing Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane. The book is equal parts nostalgia, beauty, terror, and magic. Nostalgia for a simpler time when magic was all entirely too possible for a young child; the book is beautifully written, nothing forced, it just is; Gaiman's writing is capable of creating such terrifying imagery to what can scare a child, something that would not be possible in less deft hands; Gaiman has created a magic all his own for adults, by reminding us that once upon a time, our childhood selves did believe in magic, and somehow he reawakens that sense of wonder in this small volume he has crafted. It's a wonder that such a slim little book is capable of manifesting so many emotions in such a short time. This is Neil Gaiman we're speaking of, so of course it really comes as no surprise to me when I really think about it.

I think I may just leave this review, for what it's worth, at that. I mean, I could go on and on about the book, but I don't want to give anything away. The magic of the book is in letting it speak for itself, telling you its story, and letting you take it all in.

So, if I haven't made it obvious, this is a book worth reading. I know it will be topping my list of books for the year, and I know it's going to be one that I will be revisiting over and over again through the years. This book and I are going to become best friends.

Go and read it. Read it again. You won't be sorry.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

Lost Stars Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I won't lie, I wasn't exactly sure that I was going to finish this book. It started off little too "YA" for my liking - I can think of no better way to describe it than that. However, after all is said and done, I'm so glad that I stuck with this book. In Lost Stars, Gray creates a rather complex story as we see the Empire thru the eyes of young cadettes who feel that they are joining the great Empire and are out to do good in the galaxy, while being told that the Rebellion is comprised of nothing more than terrorists and murderers. We watch as these cadettes justify their actions in the name of the Empire, while simultaneously questioning whether or not these actions are actually for the betterment of the galaxy.

Beginning shortly after the creation of the Empire, we see the events of Episodes IV, V, and VI play out as the backdrop for these young people's lives, and see how these events shape and mold them into adulthood. Left vaguely open for a continuation, I'm hoping that Gray revisits these characters in the future and we can see how their lives have changed in a post-Empire galaxy.

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