Hey, all, it’s Alexa, finally returning to the world of reviewers! Hopefully, for good, but life is life and as such I can make no promises, lol. As an example, in the time since my blogging break post, I have
- Nearly finished one of my first college classes (this one’s an 8-week)
- Had to change around my normal work schedule… 2 times? Maybe 3?
- And unexpectedly moved across the city.
So yeah. Life’s been a little wild for me recently, but hopefully, things have calmed down.
At least for a little while. 😉
Anyways, I am here today to offer my reviews on two books that came out around the beginning of this year. Only one of them ended up being a full 5 stars for me, but I did enjoy them both and hope that you’ll be able to do the same. 🙂
An Eagle in the Snow by Michael Morpurgo
From the first paragraph, I knew this book was going to be amazing. It’s got that perfect sort of writing that immediately draws you into both the setting of the storyworld and the mind of the main character. But… it more than draws you; it’s almost as though you fall gently into it, like you open the book, blink your eyes, and suddenly you’re there, slipped seamlessly into the story before even finishing the first page.
The really interesting thing about it though was that, for writing so thoroughly excellent, it broke two foundational writing rules: telling vs. showing and info-dumping in the dialogue. Yet it’s written in this clever style that allows it to get away with those technical faux-pas specifically because they keep it from sounding written. It sounds told, like you’re that little boy opposite an utter stranger, sitting in the dark of a still train as this master storyteller unfolds a striking narrative to chase the dark away. And when he strikes that single match and looks deep into the little boy’s eyes, it’s your eyes he’s looking into, as that miniature flame burns between you and the words connect somewhere deep inside your chest.
Quick disclaimer though: it is a war story and because of that I’d be careful about recommending it to anyone. However, it isn’t told in a gory or graphic way, so if you think you can handle that kind of imagery being alluded to (though never completely spelled out), I would highly recommend you give it a go.
An Eagle in the Snow: 5 stars out of 5.
Traveler by L. E. Delano
It’s kind of funny; this is the third dimension-travel book I’ve reviewed in the past four months (Infinity and Otherselves being the other two). I love the deep questions they all explored about various versions of yourself living their own lives in other realities, but I think this one went the deepest as far as considering your own identity. It was interesting, this idea of all the you’s in other worlds still being you, no matter the circumstance… but to me, it didn’t come off quite as well as it could have.
Don’t get me wrong, though, I did enjoy the book. It’s just that there were a couple of things about each piece that kept me from loving it completely.
Allow me to explain:
The plot was like a winding mountain road of twist and turns, super exciting—but I felt like there was a bit of a pacing issue: the incidents themselves were riveting, but they often seemed to either happen too quickly or take too long. The characters were good, interesting and fun to follow (I mean, Jessa was a writer!!! <3 plus, Finn was super sweet and Ben was an adorable nerd, constantly making all kinds of wonderful references), but Jessa fit just a tad too well into her character mold and I sometimes found it difficult to connect with what she was feeling in the scene. Like I said above, the idea of having other you’s in other worlds is so intriguing to me and I thought the variations in the worlds they visited was quite creative—but their system lacked believability. Sounds funny, I know, but it just didn’t make sense to me the way they’d so often and so flippantly jump dimensions without considering the consequences and while repeatedly messing up each other’s lives. For the insistence on the fact that they were all the same person, they certainly made different choices when faced with the same circumstances.
Still, I did enjoy it overall and I do think it’s a good story. Just a few things kept it from being an absolute favorite.
Review: 4 stars out of 5.
Well, that is it for this week, hopefully, with more to come next!
So how’s life been for you all in my absence? What have you been posting about and have you seen any trends in your reading/reviewing lately? Can’t wait to hear from you all, and I will see you in the comment section!
Love, Alexa <3
Content: An Eagle in the Snow: some descriptions of war violence, nothing gory or explicit. Traveler: some cursing, violence, and intense content, sparsely spread over the book.