Thursday, 19 May 2011

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I think Wuthering Heights could be the most original book I've ever read, I see why it’s stood the test of time for so long. With Characters like Heathcliff and Catherine being such anti-heroes it made for an intriguing and intense read, I can only imagine the controversy it must have created back in 1847.
I’ve decided not to look at any of the Goodreads reviews in risk of it swaying my opinion; I wanted to write what I felt now, after I've just finished it. This review is freshly squeezed from my memory.

I admit it took me a long time to get into it and was very confused by the narration, my mum had to clarify to me that the first narrator was actually a man as I thought it was a girl for some unknown reason. But once I got into it I couldn’t stop, I don’t know if I was enjoying it or just pushing on in horror, the story was so gripping I lost count how many times I read into the wee hours of the morning.

The tale is told to us by the maid of Wuthering Heights, Nelly Dean and she tells us how she lived with the Catherine and her servant Heathcliff when they were children. And how Catherine could not marry Heathcliff even though she wanted to but Society did not approve of it. The heartbroken Heathcliff leaves Wuthering Heights and this is where the story really begins.

I read on in horror as Heathcliff returned as a seemingly well mannered Gentleman but quite quickly he showed his true colors inside I believed he was evil I also thought the transformation was too quick there was no build up from good to evil, but I guess that could have been intended, I know a lot of people say if you read the book without any judgments its beautiful. And I tried that but I just could not see any redeemable qualities in him, he ruined too many peoples life’s and enjoyed it, he beat old men and girls up, brainwashed his family, kidnapped people and all kinds of horrible things.

I wasn’t expecting this book to be such a bloodbath even the characters that are ruined by Heathcliff somehow at the end do something redeemable, but Heathcliff couldn’t, he never learnt from those who he destroyed, he still let his hatred control his life.

I loved Isabella and I thought it was beyond mean what happened to her and how her brother abandoned her. We all make mistakes and I didn’t think Isabella deserved to be judged so harshly when she innocently developed a crush on Heathcliff. But she was one of the few characters who managed to reduce Heathcliff to tears which I felt he truly deserved and he still didn’t get half of what he deserved. And I really liked the dynamic between Isabella and Hindly, though their page time together was so short their mutual respect for each other was one of the biggest impacts I felt from the book.
All in all I think Emily Bronte deserves five stars as the characters she created have paved the way for generations of inspiration. And she quite possibly created the most hated character of all time. It was an experience I’ve never felt before when reading a book and I doubt I’ll ever forget. 


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Blue Fire by Janice Hardy

Part fugitive, part hero, fifteen-year-old Nya is barely staying ahead of the Duke of Baseer’s trackers. Wanted for a crime she didn’t mean to commit, she risks capture to protect every Taker she can find, determined to prevent the Duke from using them in his fiendish experiments. But resolve isn’t enough to protect any of them, and Nya soon realizes that the only way to keep them all out of the Duke’s clutches is to flee Geveg. Unfortunately, the Duke’s best tracker has other ideas.

My review...

Blue Fire was another incredible book by Janice Hardy. Everything from the world building to characters to writing was amazing. What I really loved about this book was you have absolutely no idea what will happen next, so you only open the book and hold on tight for the ride.

Blue Fire begins shortly after the ending of Pain merchants, Nya and the gang continue their quest to rescue the takers who’ve fallen victim to the duke’s cruel experiments. But as the guards lock down Nya and her friends she realizes she can no longer stay in Geveg. But her escape plan goes horribly wrong.

Once again Nya finds herself in all kinds of risky and perilous situations. I found that Nya’s voice really shines through in Blue fire; it’s the first time when we can see a faint light at the end of the tunnel and her raw determination really pushes the story forward, I mean this girl gives Katniss Everdeen a run for her money.

The secondary characters were okay too, and they somehow managed to keep up with Nya. Well most of the times. What I love about the secondary characters is they all have their uses, and their flaws. Old faces from Pain merchants return for the sequel, good and bad guys. Unfortunately Soek wasn’t in this one much, which I was looking forward to as he showed a lot of promise in the first one but hopefully he’ll be back for the third one. My main problem with the secondary characters was that their opinion never took center stage, in places they did but for the majority they just listened to Nya, but I still love them.

Blue Fire was unputdownable; fans of the hunger games who are still recovering from their post Mockingjay depression will love this. Perfectly paced with action, magic, thrill, humour and a tad bit of romance Blue fire should definitely be on your wish list. The Pain Merchants is the first one; it’s called the Shifter in US. And I can't wait for the third book which is shaping up to be an epic finale to a great series. 

Read my interview with the author Janice Hardy

Also I'm sorry for neglecting this blog for so long but my reader brain has been switched back on and I can't stop! Expect more reviews soon.