Tag Archives: Fantasy

The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald

The Princess and Curdie (Puffin Classics)The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Definitely not the same caliber as the first. This follows Curdie’s adventures in proving he is royal and worthy of marrying Princess Irene through the help of the Grandmother. The delightful fairy tale feeling does not carry through to this novel that feels more like a companion piece than a sequel. Curdie’s quest seems aimless and his actions are guided by a very didactic hand that felt like a step back from the progressiveness of his first title.

The ending is…something.

View all my reviews

1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews

Princess and the Goblin

The Princess and the Goblin The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I truly adored MacDonald’s first of the two Princess books. It was engaging, magical, adventurous and contained only minimal direct didactism (as compared to other books of this era. Princess Irene has agency, and the contrast with the goblins makes for great discourse.

Princess Irene discovers that her Great-Great-Great-Grandmother lives in a tower in her house and this grandmother appears both young and vibrant, as well as old. She provides Irene with agency to save her friend Curdie from the goblins and consequently the whole kingdom.

This fairy tale is delightful.

View all my reviews

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

Waterbabies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby by Charles Kingsley

WaterbabiesWaterbabies by Charles Kingsley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A delightful Victorian fairy tale about de-evolution and learning strength, morality and character. Sometimes the narrator is a bit heavy-handed, but overall, it is an enjoyable romp through the waters with Tom as he learns the right way to play, treat others, and the consequences of being bad.

Rather fun, and filled with tons of Victorian pop culture and budding ideologies.

View all my reviews

2 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-GlassAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tenniel’s illustrations really shed light on Carroll’s work, especially in combination with “Pleasures Taken: performances of sexuality and loss in Victorian photographs”. Carroll’s demand on Tenniel’s pen and ink work and his demand for perfection, reflects his artistic obsession with the girl body. This reread has brought the nonsense of this novel to my awareness. While the cult status of this novel seems deserved because of its precedent in the genre. It has given modern fiction a basis for expansion, because on its own it is episodic and somewhat didactic.

I find that movie adaptations tend to play up the Queen’s role and downplay the Victorian nonsense, which is crucial to the actual success of the novel. Alice’s wordplay, her half-learned knowledge and the use of puns throughout are part of the reason for its cult following.

View all my reviews

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Wildefire (Wildefire #1)Wildefire by Karsten Knight
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A suspenseful, fun and surprising read! While there were many many layers of plot and back story that sometime made reading feel cluttered, Karsten was able to create a story that was unexpected; while initially appearing to be in a specific “Boarding school fantasy” subgenre, “Wildefire” consistently subverted my expectations. Ash’s character development was interesting, though I found some of the other characters less dynamic than I wanted (namely Eve), I was still hooked. I truly look forward to reading his future work.

View all my reviews

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

Veronica Roth’s Divergent

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, I will preface this review with the fact that I TRULY enjoyed reading this book. I love the characters and the character development. Beatrice’s dystopian world is interesting and the choices she has to make prove her humanity.

The premise is that humanity decided to create 5 factions based upon the human characteristics that each group believed to be the downfall of the previous society. Each faction is assigned specific tasks to run the society–the selfless are in government, those who seek knowledge are teachers and researchers, the brave defend, etc. Those who stray outside their faction are often persecuted…which seems to be an obvious flaw in the creation of this society. My suspension of disbelief was un-suspendable for this divisive premise. I cannot see ANY future society attempt a new government BASED UPON DISTINCT DIFFERENCES who shun those with mixed personalities and those who value more than one attribute (bravery, peace, selflessness, knowledge and honesty).Like most dystopias, this one also priveleges the present system of democracy and does not offer any new insights into society’s–or humanity’s problems. This dystopia does not offer a solution for the current environmental, political or societal issues, but instead complicates a possible future in order to emphasize that we have got it right in the present.

That being said, this novel is full of action and suspense and I could not put it down after half-way through. I look forward to the rest of the trilogy.

View all my reviews

1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron (Incarceron, #1)Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow. What a fantastic book.

Years in the future after technology is far beyond our present day, the leaders of the world declared a simplification of time–Protocol dictated that one era would be chosen and all would have to live and abide by the customs of that era. At the same time, the scientists and leaders created Incarceron, a social experiment to reform all those who were outside of society’s help–criminals, handicapped, mentally challenged etc. All put together in a “prison” that would sustain, regenerate and reform this population. Though guarded by a Warden, no one enters and no one leaves Incarceron–the prison was created to sustain those inside it.

Such a unique combination of medieval and modern, adventure and politics. I wish I had the second book to read now! The reason that this book gets 4/5 stars instead of full marks is because of the predictability of some of the plot points, though they are still great!

View all my reviews

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews