storytimewithbuffy

Posts Tagged ‘Joanne Harris’

Runelight

In Book Reviews on November 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm
Doubleday 2011

Doubleday 2011

‘Loki,’ said Frey with conviction. ‘He’s the child of demons, and everybody hates him. Plus, he was the one who opened the gate to Netherworld in the first place. Who else could it possibly be?’

‘I’m not sure I like the term demons,’ said Angie, interrupting. ‘Some people might find it offensive.’

‘So what would you rather?’ Heimdall said.

‘Persons of chaotic origin?’

Gods!‘ exploded Heimdall. ‘Maddy’s lost, Loki’s escaped, the End of the bloody Worlds is at hand, and you’re lecturing me about political correctness?’

Nutshell blurb: The old regime is gone, but there is nothing in its place. The old gods are trying to rebuild the sky citadel and reclaim their place, but an old enemy and a new one will thwart their attempts.

This is the second book in this series. If you would like to read my thoughts on the first one you should go ahead and do that first.

Like the first one, I really enjoyed this book. I probably enjoyed it even more. I’ve found that sometimes the first book in a series will serve to set up the characters and world whilst being short on story and plot. I didn’t think that too much of of Runemarks, however I felt much closer to the characters in the second book and by this time knew a bit more about how the world in these stories works. I think that the characters were much more interesting in this book. (They are the same characters, by they way.) I really liked the characters in the first one, but I guess it’s that thing where you finally get to know who they are and what they’re all about and then the book ends. Then you pick up the second book and they are much more like old friends. I suppose it’s the nature of the beast rather than anything to do with Ms. Harris’s writing.

It’s given me a lot to think about in terms of my own writing. I’m world-building as well so I’ve been trying to figure out how to go about making it a place that a reader can understand without too much exposition whilst seamlessly merging it with the story.

One thing that was confusing for me was that there are two girls in this book and the view point shifts between them. One is Maggie and the other is Maddy. (Maddy is from the first book.) I didn’t really realise this because, again, I didn’t read the back of the book. So the prologue starts in Maggie’s PoV which didn’t make sense to me because I was thinking that it was in Maddy’s point of view. I read the whole thing and was like ‘wat?’. And then I realised my mistake and had to reread it with the correct person in mind. It absolutely makes sense the more you read the story and realise their origins, but it was confusing from time to time.

This was also helpful to me for my writing purposes. You see, I have sisters in my story and they have very similar names. I’ve now decided to change them as I’m thinking about having the story told from both PoVs. I don’t want to confuse people. Please don’t think that I’m criticising Joanne Harris for this, however. She’s written a few more novels than I have. (And by ‘a few’ I mean ‘oh so many’!) Once I twigged what she was doing, I was ok with keeping the two straight throughout the rest of the book.

I consider it a good thing any time a book leaves me thinking about it long after I’ve finished it. She’s given me a lot to think about with regards to my own writing, which can only be a good thing. She’s also given me a charming and delightful story that I may decide to read again one day.

Runemarks

In Book Reviews on August 27, 2014 at 6:00 am
Doubleday 2007

Doubleday 2007

Seven o’clock on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the End of the World, and goblins had been at the cellar again.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I picked up this book. I must say that my thought process wasn’t at it’s peak when I saw this in the library. I think that it was something like “Ooh, cool cover. A story to do with runes. Mine.” Upon looking at it further when I got it home (thought process still not really engaged) I thought something like “Oh, there are wolves on the front. Is this a werewolf book?” Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t not read a book just because it has werewolves in it, but I don’t tend to gravitate towards them.

So anyway, then I had a flash of inspiration and actually read the back. Imagine my surprise when I found out that it was a book based on Norse mythology!

Nutshell blurb: Maddy Smith was born with a runemark on her hand. She learns that this mark means that she has magical powers and she goes on a fantastic quest and discovers what this power really means.

I also didn’t realise that this book was a YA book when I picked it up. But don’t let that deter you, adult peeps, because it was super fun.

Ms. Harris (who also wrote Chocolat) has some mad world-building skillz and this made the story really engaging. Her writing is witty and, well, anything that makes me giggle can only be a good thing.

At the beginning of the book, there is a list of characters as you would have in a play and I knew that it was going to be fun when I saw the list of Norse gods who all had some reason to dislike Loki. The gods had great personalities and all of them genuinely had reasons to hate Loki.

He can't be all bad, can he? He's got a book!

He can’t be all bad, can he? He’s got a book!

I always enjoy learning about the different rules that authors give their worlds and the magic within them. In this book, the glam that a person can cast runs out after a period of time. Low stamina, I guess. It can be replaced by eating and sleeping. These details make a story much more interesting and it inspires me to pay attention to the details in my own writing.

This book has lots of adventure and lots of action. I loved it. I’m quite intrigued by her style of writing and would like to pick up more of her books.

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