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datchristy's reviews | All From Books

Discussion in 'Member Book Reviews/Journals/Blogs' started by datchristy, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. datchristy

    datchristy New Member

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    I have a (mostly) book review blog called All From Books that can be found here http://www.allfrombooks.com/

    Here's an excerpt from my latest review, which is of From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón.

    This book has a lot of twists and turns, but it is fascinating. I have no idea about whether the superstitions and beliefs are accurate for the 15th century Iceland, but I would like to believe so. Sjón includes what I believe are period accurate superstitions about things like coral in little sections that have a feel of a dictionary. These seem to be randomly interspersed throughout the book, but tells the tales of sea serpents and some possible home remedies.

    Jonas narrates the story, and I got the feeling that he was a little crazy. This was the first time that I felt like I was actually reading a story by an unreliable narrator. I’ve been told in school about unreliable narrators and read stories that featured them, but I was never able to really feel that they were unreliable myself. I mean any story from a first person narration needs to be examined from all ends, not just narrator. In this book, there were small discrepancies and it made the story more enjoyable and entertaining as I tried to figure out if Jonas was losing his mind or just leaving out details on purpose.
     
  2. datchristy

    datchristy New Member

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    Here's another excerpt from my latest review, from the book My One Square Inch of Alaska by Sharon Short.

    This book is packed with emotion. It will make you feel things. I wasn’t expecting this at all. The back has some slight spoilers (so if you really want to be surprised don’t read it), in the way that movie trailers do. So, I knew a bit about what was coming ahead (I was expecting it to happen a lot sooner), and when it did hit me, it hit me hard. I didn’t think it would hit me as hard as it did.

    While it introduces you to a wide range of characters, the characters aren’t as fleshed out as they should be. They aren’t flat, but they don’t really feel real, not in the way that Short meant them too.

    While the characters may not be fully developed, they are all memorable. Short doesn’t include characters unless they are for a specific purpose, something that many writers seem to fall short on. Each interaction is purposeful and seems to get brought up later on in the book.
     
  3. datchristy

    datchristy New Member

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    An excerpt from my latest review, the book The Settler of Catan by Rebecca Gable (based off the board game):

    The book wasn’t put into my good graces merely because it was based off an extraordinary board game. Gable originally wrote this in German, and while the translation is great, sometimes I think the quality of writing goes down from the translation. It is engaging, but no masterpiece.

    Gable does her best to keep close to what Vikings really are, which includes some unsavory aspects of their life including slavery, domestic violence, polygamy, and so on. While these things aren’t considered appropriate today, they were very much a part of life back then. The scenes that Gable includes with these elements do not feel gratuitous, but have the feel of unapologetic narrator.
     

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