Friday, October 16, 2009

Literary Feast: The Warrior Heir Final Thoughts

Well, friends, this is it. We've reached the end of our first Literary Feast. I am now full, sleepy, and sick of hanging out with the same people for an extended period of time. It's just like Thanksgiving!

Shel and I wanted to close the book out with a few of our thoughts. Brace yourself. It's not going to be pretty.
I hate to admit this -- well, no, it's pretty obvious given my previous posts -- but Warrior Heir was *not* my particular cup of tea. There was never a moment when I thought to myself, "Ooh, yes, I am SO glad I am reading this!" I'm not saying there was anything tremendously objectionable to the thing, but my overall opinion rates just above "Meh," which obviously isn't saying much.

I think the most important thing for me is recognizing Warrior for the First Attempt that it is. Writing takes time and practice just like anything else (a shocking thought, I know), and while it certainly wasn’t a horrible book, I think there were concepts that might have needed further development. Some of the characters played a little too close to clich├ęd, some of the plot points seemed tacked on for the sake of adding Magic Flaming Sword Action, and the ending rushed itself just a bit. At its worst, if I can dare to say it, the book read like an excuse to make a movie. (In fact, I'm sure that the film rights have already been snapped up, and legions of rabid fan tweens will happily flock to see good-looking boys and girls battling CGI ghosts and whatnot.)
To be fair, if I'd really loathed the book, I wouldn’t have cared enough about the characters to be bothered by them. (Curse you, Hastings!!) As it was, the Meh rating stands. I am willing to assume that the later books in the series will have progressed along the learning curve, growing better and better. I just don’t plan on reading them.
What do you think, Shel?

I have to second your "meh." I was very excited by the idea of this book, of a *Fantastical Ohio!!!!!!* surrounded by sparkly magic, rainbows and an extensive history of powerful magic. (Stop laughing! I'm a proud Ohioan! I believe in the magic and mystery of this flat and supposedly-boring land!) But the execution was a bit lacking of my admittedly high hopes.

I do feel that the author put a lot of herself in the novel and maybe given some more time with the drafts and more editing, could have improved upon the story's development. Of course, this is just my crazy book-starved opinion. After feasts, I often feel like everyone around me is content and happy, loosening their belts a notch and I'm left wondering if we're consuming the same thing as I pick at the remains before me. Perhaps part of the reason I'm so book starved is that I'm also a very picky book eater.

What do you think our few but beloved readers, are Monica and I too picky? If there's a public outcry I would be willing to venture on to book two, The Wizard Heir, and write a review.

Quotes of Note:

Will had a certain trajectory about him. Like a great sailing ship, he was slow to turn, but once he got underway, look out. (P. 212)
Events were moving forward briskly, giving him little time to think. Maybe that’s how they convince young men to go to war, Jack thought. You’re just swept along until you find yourself looking death in the face, and you wonder how it ever happened. (P. 329)

Tasty Rating: !!! !!
(Hey! It wasn't two exclamation points worth of bad!) (Probably....)

Anyway, take a minute or two to breathe after that feast, guys -- we'll have a new book to announce within the next day or so.
So far I've only read the back cover, but initial thoughts = yummy.

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