canadian_kazz (canadian_kazz) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Reviews of 5 Books - Hunger Games/Catching Fire, Going Postal, Stardust, The Bloody Chamber

The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins

Just about everyone is reading this book thanks to word of mouth and the film that came out this year. I hopped on the bandwaggon after I saw and enjoyed the movie.

This book, it's been said, is one of those that you can't put down. This was very true for myself and my family. My boyfriend finished it in a few hours. I only had time to read it on the train so it took me a week, but if I had time to just sit and read, I probably would have finished it in a day as well. It's easy to invest in Katniss and the other characters - you want them to survive. You want them to do well. The wonders and horrors of the Capitol through Katniss' eyes make them seem more like the Fae than human. I think the book is fairly well paced and well written. I recommend it for sure for teenagers, young adults and everyone else older than that. The point is, if you haven't read this book already, then you should. Chances are pretty good that you'll like it.


Catching Fire by Susanne Collins

This is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. It obviously continues on the story from the first book. I didn't like this one as much as the first book, but this one still had plently of exciting moments. I feel that the plot in this only really takes off once the games begin again. Before that, the story seemed to drag on a little bit with a lot of action taking place elsewhere that Katniss wasn't involved in, only hearing about. I think that if these books weren't all from the one POV, then we would get a better look at those events that happen "off-screen," as it were. Ironically, maybe when the film for this book comes out, we'll get to see those events.

This is still not a bad book by any means, and if you like the first one, then you should read it if you want to know what happens next. (Then, of course, the third one, which I haven't gotten to yet.)


Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Going Postal is the story of Moist Von Lipvig, a con man who is offered the chance by Vetinari to redeem himself by becoming the head Postmaster of the Anh-Morpork Post Office. The post office is run down and disused, thanks to the Clacks. (Sort of a Morse code system.) Moist has to work on redeeming himself and getting the struggling post off the ground, while at the same time going against the leader of the Clacks company, Reacher Gilt, who is like an evil version of Moist himself.

I really like Moist as a character. He’s smart, really smart, and is a good con man, but he has some good morals that cause him some angst later. I enjoyed reading his character development, how he grows to care about being Postmaster and how he sees what he could have become in Reacher Gilt.

Going Postal is an enjoyable Discworld book. It has lots of fun cameos from other Anh-Morpork citizens. I also like how it expands the Golems and their role in the city.


Stardust by Neil Gaiman

I got this book as an audio book read by Gaiman. I did this in particular because I've discovered that I love listening to Gaiman reading his texts. This audio book was, therefore, gold for me. He has a lovely voice to listen to, and he tells this story very well.

I really enjoyed Stardust. It's an adult fairy tale, with all the magic, mystery and whatnot that one should expect from a good story. It isn't a long story, but I don't think it's too short. There are some bits that could be expanded and not detract too much from the rest of the story, but as it is the plot is fine and doesn't drag on.


The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

I first read this series of short stories as a part of my Gothic Horror Uni course. I re-read it this month. Angela Carter made a bit of a name for herself in the way she took classic myths and fairy tales and used them as a jumping-off point to write some truly twisted versions of fairy tales. The Bloody Chamber, the first story in this book, is about Bluebeard. There’s several re-tellings of the Beauty and the Beast story and a couple variations of Red Riding Hood, playing with werewolf myths. My favourite story in this book is Puss in Boots, which was Carter’s first attempt at writing a comedy. It’s told from the point of view of the cat, Puss, as he goes about helping his master with his good fortunes in life and love… only in Carter’s telling, she leaves in all the sex and violence. Carter is masterful with her descriptions, leaving just as much to your imagination as not.

Some of the stories will hold your attention better than others, but all of them are short, and the book itself isn’t very long. If you like darker literature, or are interested in different versions of classic stories, then this should entertain you for an afternoon or two.

Tags: adventure, audio book, award winner, comedy, dark fantasy, fairy tales, fantasy, fiction, futuristic, literature, modern classic, myth and legend, pre-teen, recommended book, short stories, supernatural, teen lit, thriller, urban fantasy

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