Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Some long overdue reviews from 2009

Back in '09 I read Robert B. Parker's Chasing the Bear, a young adult novel featuring a teenage Spenser.

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I'm not sure how canonical the book is, as it moves Spenser's birth forward by several decades and eliminates some long-established facets of his life. It was nice to finally glimpse the all-male family dynamic that created the character, but I was visibly jarred when 'Spenser' was mentioned as a family name. To my recollection, the adult series has always been coy about never mentioning if it was his first or last name.

I liked the book a lot, and thought it was a great way to introduce Spenser to a future generation of buyers. What bothered me, however, was that the teenage Spenser kills a man. In defence of another, certainly, but even so, was it appropriate given the age of the character and of the intended reader? I don't think so.

At around the same time I rented the movie Mirrors, starring Kiefer Sutherland.

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I remember I was alone in not liking it, but pbbbtttt. My opinion is the one that counts - it's my blog ain't it? So I stand my assesment: predictable, not frightening and average at best.

In '09 I also read Stephen King's Firestarter

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It was written for a younger audience, and it shows. It's one of his weakest efforts, and it reveals the egotistical biases of King's generation. To overthrow the status quo and reveal the 'truth', they go to the only source that is independent and bold - Rolling Stone magazine. I didn't know whether to laugh out loud or gag.

That bit of hee-hee aside, it was an OK book, just nowhere near the level of King's usual standards.

I know folks love Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, but I have to admit the one and only book I've read (Storm Front, the first in the series) fell flat.

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I could tell Butcher was a good writer, and I enjoyed his style. I just find it hard to get into witches/warlocks/fairies, etc, and I found some of the plot paint-by-numbers.

I'm sure the rest of the series is great, but with all the books on my "To Be Read" pile, do I want to devote the time to giving him a second chance? At this time, the answer is 'no'.

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