Entertainment, Life

Head in the Clouds… Actually Books ­čôÜ

Anyone who loves to read, loves the world’s in their favourite books. You imagine what it looks like, smells like, and how the characters would be with you- if it was in fact reality. This is the life of a book worm! We can’t help it. These books provide us escapes, adventure, support, love etc. Authors are truly gifted. And the best authors make the world come to life around you. So, we all have our favourite places (fictional world) to visit. Today, my post is about that. My favourite worlds. I just believe that reading is important and the best time to introduce it into a person’s life is when you are a child.

I have a little story. Recently, I was at the doctors and in our waiting room there are books. Yes! It’s good because it encourages a child to read. This little boy picked up a book, asking his mum to help him read. Unfortunately she proceeded to berate him for picking a book up and he sat there upset while his mum played a game on her phone… we could hear the music. As I headed to my own appointment, I couldn’t help but wonder how this would affect him later in life. Would he enjoy reading? Would he grow up with his face in his phone? You see, our behaviour is learned from what we see. And would she complain when he was older that he was to busy on his tech instead of his head in books?

Will he ever have favourite fictional worlds?

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Now, put your reading glasses on because we are about to go on an epic adventure. To begin;

Morganville

Off to Texas we go, with 16-year-old Claire Danvers- a girl with a big brain, big dreams and overprotective parents who sent her to a smaller University till she got ‘older’. With sun shining regularly, she sure had to grow-up fast when you find out the town is owned and run by VAMPIRES…not her parents best decision. This is why you should always research where you attend school.

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I love this world. Rachel Caine is a genius. I bought these books when I needed a new set to read. And now I own them all. What drew me in? That was the complex, beautiful world she constructed. It’s an adrenaline rush for the reader, so imagine living there. I always wonder if I were there, would I be able to survive? Would Claire, Eve, Michael and Shane take me under their wing? Or would I find my own way. Mostly set in Morganville, I can picture the town in my mind- the Founder’s Houses, the university campus, Myrnin’s Lab, Common Grounds etc. And the characters- Amelie and Sam, Oliver, Hannah and Richard…even Monica. Rachel is that good.┬á

Hogwarts

*Crack* Whew, thank god I haven’t splinched. That would have been messy. I’ve just arrived in Hogsmeade and I’m on my way to the school. Hope Hagrid kept my cuppa warm. Harry and his friends go on many an adventure. From travelling the world in book seven, to fighting in the Ministry of Magic, to the great many battles faced by all the wizarding world. J.K Rowling is amazing. She wrote the first books by hand, and she keeps the world alive today. I don’t have to imagine what this world is like because we all went to Hogwarts when Harry did.┬á

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This world is my childhood. My mum started reading the books to myself as a kid but, I had no patience and finished reading them all myself. Aside from the constant fear of death, Harry is a pretty well-adapted kid. He has a homicidal, psychopath who craves power constantly trying to kill him, to deal with being raised in an emotionally abusive household, being bullied at school and going from having no sort of family to a huge support system…it is a lot. Especially for an eleven-year-old. I’m surprised he didn’t have a breakdown.

Camp Half-Blood

A killer summer camp anyone? Or maybe the feeling you are constantly being watched and chased by various mythological creatures? If you want that, or experience that then you are probably a demigod with one of your true parentage being a Greek God. Not only that, but you can also attend a Roman camp wherein your parent was probably in his Roman form. Percy, Annabeth and Grover will guide you through this world. And as they meet friends on their way, you’ll get to know them too.┬á

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This is one of my favourite fictional worlds because I see it being so much fun. In my head, the campers are laughing, forming familial bonds with their half-siblings and planning the next prank. Also, you get to meet Gods! If you are lucky. Although, it has become much better now Percy won the battle of Olympus. It is one huge dysfunctional family from the jealous cousins (Ares) to the scheming Aunts (Hera). You have to love it!

My point is that reading is important. All of these books provide myself with an escape, they enable me to relax and become a part of their world. I go on adventures with Percy, fight vampires with Claire and experience a world of magic with Harry. And everyone should get that feeling. This is what reading provides. Alongside, the ability to comprehend words better and advancing your child’s’ literacy skills. What are you waiting for? Go and find yourself a book now. We all have different tastes. What is your favourite fictional world to visit?

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Entertainment

American Gods: Book Review

Normally I’m a pretty fast reader. Ask anyone who knows me. I completed two Game of Thrones books in a weekend, the entire Harry Potter Series over four days and both The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings within a week and that is a long book. This was only 600+ pages. For me, that is child’s play but, I took my time with this book. Not because I love it more than some of my favourite series, or because I absolutely hated it. I took my time with this book because from the very first page I realised, this book needs to be read slowly, re-read and savoured.

*Disclaimer- the book is completely different to what I have seen of the show*

Firstly, I am going to talk about the overall story, then the characters and finally recommend ten times over that this is a book you should all read.

I did not see the story ending how it did. It was magnificent. With some books, the ending has a twist but then it isn’t explained, or it comes too late in the book instead of building from the beginning, or the twist is so damn predictable you could have written a better ending. And those are the most disappointing kind. I won’t tell you how the book ends because that would ruin the surprise for anyone reading it however, I just had to begin with the ending because as you can see I’m still in a state of shock and awe.

The book begins with Shadow facing a personal tragedy resulting in his early prison release. What the follows is mystery, action, adventure, myths and legends coming to life, a little bit of love, family, betrayal and renewal. And most of the time, these kind of books aren’t good because there are just too many elements however, Neil Gaiman is a magician and has managed to sow these elements together to create a wonderfully, original story wherein you don’t always realise a new clue to the overall mystery has been identified within the story. Furthermore, the characters as there are so many names and descriptions to remember all bring an individual piece of the puzzle with them. Some openly know what bearing their knowledge has whilst others simply trade on it assuming it useless to Shadow.

So, with all those characters I’ll rattle off the few which stuck in my head.

Shadow- We discover the mystery through him, and only when he finally understands a part of the puzzle then so does the audience. Lost and angry, Shadow is the key to the whole picture with obstacles always thrown in his direction whilst grieving for his wife and friend. He is every gods pawn until he realises the true power he holds. Your classic protagonist who is rough around the edges and broken deals with identity issues stemming to his childhood. Overall an amazingly complex character who is great to follow within the story and provides the reader with a relatively normal character to follow the story through.

Wednesday-┬áA man in disguise. A mystery. A scared god who uses Shadow to complete his true plan. However, you constantly get the feeling he is trying to tell Shadow all along who he is and what he needs. Wednesday demonstrates that the biggest conman in the world are the gods within this story, they’ve lost themselves and stooped to the level of humans (a travesty to them) to survive. He just admits this fear. He plays the bad guy trying to be the good guy. Or does he?

Low Key-┬áI never actually got this until the end. A very good ploy by the author to disguise one of the many antagonists in plain sight. Introduced to this character as Shadow’s mentor in prison, the man who helped him cope and gave pearls of wisdom to him, it is hard to understand how I missed his true godly identity. It was smacking over the head the entire time. This is why I love this character because you think someone so minor was just to set up the story but, instead he plays a major role. The author brilliantly hid this character till the perfect time for which he revealed himself cementing the entire con.

This is just a small taste of the book but I recommend you all pick it up and give it a go. Without trying to give too much away, I hope I’ve told you why I love this book. And I’ll say it again; there is shock and awe, the characters are brilliantly written and developed and you never understand the full picture of the book till the end. This is because the author wants it like this to pull in the audience. It is definitely worth the read.

Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it! Read it!