Friday, August 14, 2009

Wally Lamb's much anticipated novel, "The Hour I First Believed" was a thoroughly enjoyable read. With small connections to his previous book "I Know This Much Is True", Lamb's development of characters draws you in and leaves pieces of each with you. Part relationships, crime, family history,and a struggle to discover his true self, the main character, Caelum, is haunted by the Columbine shootings. A work of fiction, Lamb draws upon real events to forge that deeper bond with the characters. A hefty book for sure, I rushed through it in a week, unable to put it down. A must-read for fans of Lamb, the ending will remain with you for some time.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ranger's Apprentice (Book 1): The Ruins of Gorlan

by John Flanagan

A long-time fan of Fantasy, I have been seeing this series on shelves everywhere. Wondering if it was any good, I nabbed a copy from my friend The book recounts the story of Will, the ward of a Baron who grew up never knowing his family. On the "choosing day" (sound familiar to The Giver?) Will and the other wards are chosen by masters of a trade to become an apprentice. When Will is not chosen outright by a trademaster, he fears he will have to work in the fields as a farm hand for the rest of his days, unworthy of any trade. However, the Ranger Halt has had his eye on Will from birth, and Will is chosen to be the Ranger's apprentice. From there, the story goes on to tell of Will's training, a boar hunt, the Ranger meeting, and brewing troubles from an old foe. Slightly typical of plot, it makes up for that with endearing characters and a writing style that is compelling.

If it does have a major fault, though, it's that it has no map. Like so many fans of fantasy, I love a good map for reference.

All in all, I liked it, and I am definitely going to read the next book.