Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Book Review: CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight 
by Sarah J. Maas
(Throne of Glass #2)

Published: 2013, Bloomsbury USA

Genre: YA / Fantasy

For the sake of not spoiling anything, I'll try to focus on my reactions. As the sequel to Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight has a much more satisfying story with a less-contrived plot. The competition structure of the story with its intriguing subplots in the first book had felt contrived - there's none of that here. Crown of Midnight is filled with plot twists, betrayals, and mysteries that keep me with the story.. 

But I had to take an two-month-long hiatus when I hit the middle of the book.

Why, you ask? 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sunday Scoop #17

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Hope your weekend is going well. I've been productive this week: book reviews, classwork, and whatever else I do when I'm offline. ;) I *finally* finished reading Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas - the review will be out on Tuesday.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Book Review: THE POWER OF THE RING: THE SPIRITUAL VISION BEHIND THE LORD OF THE RINGS AND THE HOBBIT by Stratford Caldecott



The Power of the Ring: The Spiritual Vision Behind The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
by Stratford Caldecott

Published/Edition: 2012, Crossroad Publishing Company

Genre: Non-Fiction / Religion / Literature / Fantasy / Secondary Source

(For the short version of my review, see the bottom.)

I consider The Power of the Ring a great secondary source to commentary and analysis on Tolkien's works from a strongly Catholic perspective, but the biggest issue I have with this book is the misleading phrase in the title: "The Spiritual Vision." Now, this was probably not the fault of Caldecott but more likely an attempt by the publisher to sell the book to a wider audience. 

The word "spiritual" is often tacked onto Christian literature, but the word also applies to other elements (from Buddhism to Cherokee philosophy), and so I came into the pages expecting to get a good coverage of the spiritual backgrounds and origins that went into Tolkien's work, including both the Christian and the pagan. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Scoop #16

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Heya bud. Welcome to the Sunday Scoop. I've become enamored with Middle Earth in the past few weeks, especially upon completing The Silmarillion and starting on Fellowship of the Ring. I'm actually contemplating building a sort of reference library about Middle Earth and have gotten a couple of books that analyze and speculate how Tolkien's work tied in to his worldview and other mythological origins.

One of my tamer memoir shorts was published in the Quarterly Quill, a publication by the New Inklings at UCSD. Check out the online version here. I'm on pages 16 and 17. 

So this week:

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Book Overview: Studying THE SILMARILLION By J.R.R. Tolkien



This meme characterizes my experience with this tome.
The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

Genre(s): Fictional history / Fantasy / Literature

Well. It took me five whole weeks to finish The Silmarillion, which is halfway into the quarter. Yes, I had fallen back on readings.

My friends, especially those of you who love Middle Earth, here's some advice in terms of how you approach this book: you don't just read The Silmarillion; you study it like a history textbook written from the perspective of the Elves. There are multiple names for characters due to the varying languages of the world.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Scoop #15

My life has been monotonous but busy over the past week (mostly consisting of class, gym, studying, begging professors to be my adviser or reader for my thesis project), but there have been perks. 

My craziest piece of writing is getting published! YES. Scratching another thing off of my UCSD graduation bucket list. I might publish it on here one of these days. One of the editors said she loved how "raw" it was.