Rick’s Reads: A Collection from the Blog

Of his long, long list, here’s the three books I’ve read and what I’ve thought…

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan

Rick’s Opinion
Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan, by John Flanagan. It’s been a while since I read a classic sword and sorcery fantasy novel, but I enjoyed this one a lot. In fact, it had no sorcery at all, which was kind of refreshing. It was a believable, well-grounded alternate medieval earth. In Flanagan’s world, young wards of the state have to choose professions, and Will is reluctantly recruited to become a ranger. The relationship between Will and his Battleschool rival is particularly well portrayed, and Will’s training as a ranger makes for great reading. The novel was a bit long on the explanations for my taste — a lot of telling about the characters especially at the beginning when showing would have sufficed — but that did not stop me from enjoying the book. On a purely technical note, this was one of the few books I’ve read that uses third-person omniscient point-of-view and actually pulls it off. We know what most of the characters are thinking all the time, and yet it doesn’t get confusing. I will definitely look for the rest of this series.

My Opinion
This is one of my top favorite books. All the characters are really great and throughout the series, they really come to life of how they mature and learn. I love the joking and the fight scenes. Each thing is really thought through. The main character, Will, is the one of those lovable characters just like Percy. While reading the series, print off the map that is on John Flanagan’s website. It really helped me to visualize where they were.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Rick’s Opinion
Twilight, Stephenie Meyer. I’m a sucker for a good vampire story, so I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. The story was a page-turner: regular teenage girl falls in love with a guy who turns out to be a vampire. I thought the writing needed some editing. If the girl’s heart skipped a beat one more time or the vampire smiled his “perfect crooked smile” I was going to fling the book across the room. But hey, I kept reading to see what would happen next. I’m sure the book will be popular. It would make a good movie.

My Opinion
I’m sure like the rest of you, I had to see what was so great about these books, so I read the whole series. This was my first book to read that was in first person view (like PJ). Being a writer, I found that intriguing in itself. I kept hoping for more of a fight as I’m big into action and stuff along those lines, but there really wasn’t much of it. I think my favorite thing about the series was how Edward wanted to wait until they were married to have sex. But otherwise, it was too much drama for me.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

Rick’s Opinion
Patrick is also making his way through Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which is a minor miracle. Both my sons have been highly resistant to Harry Potter for years. They wanted nothing to do with the series, probably because by the time they were ready to read it, Harry Potter was so overexposed. There were Harry Potter birthday party decorations, Happy Meal toys, action figures, video games, movies, etc., etc. Every time they turned around, they felt like Harry Potter was being shoved down their throats. As a Harry Potter fan myself, I had trouble convincing them that the books were really good despite the hype. I’m glad Patrick’s finally giving them a try!

My Opinion
This was one of my first books to read that I actually liked, so as a twelve year old I really enjoyed it. The one thing that always got me was the length. There was too much filler of Harry Potter going to class and whatnot. The whole idea and the adventure was really cool. So if you’re young, you’ll probably like them!