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review 2018-11-12 15:17
A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Time Quintet #3 by Madeleine L'Engle
A Swiftly Tilting Planet - Madeleine L'Engle

Years have passed since 'A Wind in the Door'. Charles Wallace is a teenager and Meg Murry is the pregnant wife of Calvin O'Keefe. Dramatic changes in her protagonists seems to be one of L'Engle's hallmarks, and with a little research, I see she can go back and forth on a character's age. Much like Gaudior, L'Engle sometimes finds moving through time easier than space.

 

It is Thanksgiving and the family is gathered together, except for Calvin who is away on business. Calvin' mother, Mrs. O'Keefe, however, is at dinner and a little out of place. During dinner Meg's father receives a phone call from the President saying that nuclear war is imminent based on the threats of a South American dictator. Mrs. O'Keefe responds to this news with a "rune" calling upon heaven's aid to help them in this dark time. Charles Wallace feels the importance of this, and resolves to use the rune to prevent the war.

 

I may be pushing against the tide here, but this was the most enjoyable one yet. I really struggled with the flatness of 'A Wrinkle in Time'. This novel has some problematic elements, especially with its romancing of Native American culture and its lack of dynamic female characters. For the first charge there is only the defense that L'Engle's People of the Winds were one tribe only, she doesn't say that all Native Americans were "pre-fall" innocents. In the universe of these books, she would have represented all humans, Native American or not, as being that innocent before the Echthroi's corrupting influence touched them. Not the most satisfactory defense, but it works for me.

 

The second charge against female characters I can say much less about. In this book they are all tools for breeding and marrying except Mrs. O'Keefe providing some critical plot assistance before shuffling off, and Meg Murry providing some kythe-aid while pregnant and in bed. There's not much defensible in that, but I feel Meg has deserved some time with her feet up so it didn't bother my reading.

 

Anyway, this was entertaining from start to finish, something I couldn't say about the previous two.

 

Time Quintet

 

Next: 'Many Waters'

 

Previous: 'A Wind in the Door'

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review 2018-11-06 19:43
A Wind in the Door, Time Quintet #2 by Madeleine L'Engle
A Wind in the Door - Madeleine L'Engle

It took awhile for me to warm to this book, but in the end I liked it better than 'A Wrinkle in Time'. Why? I liked that L'Engle was writing more in the open about science, and about faith, and the hocus-pocus that comes about when you put the two together. I mean that in the best way possible. It worked for the story, and for Meg, who really shines here.

 

Meg is a girl who was portrayed as troubled and a little at odds with the world outside of her family. Only by comparison with Charles Wallace does she seem able to get along at all. This book being about Charles Wallace's struggle to adapt was fitting.

 

I was on the fence about reading more of these - I never did as a kid - but now I'm confidant that I'll keep going.

 

Time Quintet

 

Next: 'A Swiftly Tilting Planet'

 

Previous: 'A Wrinkle in Time'

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review 2018-11-02 21:04
Wildcard, Warcross #2 by Marie Lu
Wildcard - Marie Lu

I liked 'Warcross', it was a nice sf thriller for youngish readers with a bit of romance and future nihilism thrown in. I liked the twist.

 

'Wildcard' promises to be more of the same and it wraps up loose ends nicely, but I couldn't get back into the flow. For one thing, the gaming wasn't as central here, and I'll be the first to say that Quidditch was my least favorite thing about 'Harry Potter', here it added important flavor and the supporting characters around the game colored the book. I missed them here. I mean, they showed up, they were present, but they were very much a sideline job even when individual teammates were actually doing important plot things.

 

Anyway, the plot revolves around Chen's bargaining with Zero, the shadowy terrorist behind the shenanigans in Warcross and her decision whether or not to help him shut down the neurolink that her ex-love interest is going to use to mind-control the population into obeying the law.

 

I liked it enough, it just didn't spark the imagination.

 

Warcross

 

Next: Seems pretty wrapped up to me.

 

Previous: 'Warcross'

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review 2018-07-23 18:09
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
A Wrinkle in Time (Time Series, #1) - Madeleine L'Engle

I'm on the wrong side of history here, but I didn't enjoy 'A Wrinkle in Time'. I'd read it before (at too old of an age) but had forgotten everything except the back garden and an alien planet.

Meg Murray and Calvin are great characters, but there didn't seem to be enough of a story for them to move within. I liked the Mrs....I loved the imagination...but it left me cold.

It's not you, its me Madeleine L'Engle.

 

Time Quintet

 

Next: 'A Wind in the Door'

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review 2018-07-10 02:09
The Boy From Tomorrow by Camille DeAngelis
Boy From Tomorrow - Camille DeAngelis

This is the kind of novel I would have loved as a kid, and happily it's one that I love as an adult. Josie and Alec share a house, even a bedroom, but have never met. It's because they live a century apart. Through the use of a spirit board - is Ouija trademarked? - the two become friends. Their communication is severed, but not before Alec gets a hint of danger ahead for Josie and her little sister. Is there anything that Alec can do to help them from a hundred years in the future?

Historical fiction is tricky business, and the hurdles may not be more difficult when writing for a younger audience, but they certainly get a little silly. DeAngelis skillfully leaps those boundaries without sacrificing any of the wonderful details of the past that she inserts into this story.

This is a great new-house story, historical mystery, and a touching depiction of an impossible friendship. OK, you won't cry as much as you did at 'The Fox and the Hound', but you have two children 100 years apart - there's sadness ahead, we both know it. A good story.

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