Book Review of the Bloodstone Key by Theresa Beckett

Here’s my review of the novel The Bloodstone Key by Theresa Beckett:

I have read the book “The Bloodstone Key” and I think it’s full of clichés and plotholes. The main character is NOT an orphan, which is a no-no in writing fantasy for children. The fact that he still has his parents to rely on rubs me the wrong way. I do have my parents, but there more times when I wish they were gone so I could do what I want to do.

Plus, Dylan Drake is 100x cooler than Cyrus Nicholson, but that’s a given.

The story takes everything bad about fantasy and mixes them together in a jumbled mess. You can tell when an author has written themselves into a corner, and they most certainly have. I would not recommend this book for ANYONE to read; if you’re reading this book, destroy it immediately and go read C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. You’ll be glad you did.

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The Other NaNoWriMo Story

The story I wrote for 2010 NaNoWriMo is called Harry Potter SucksA Novel for those who have had it with the Harry Potter Phenomenon and the Hype that it caused. In this story, a young boy describes his town’s obsession with Harry Potter and what happened when that obsession led to murder of a high-profile Harry Potter fanatic.

Daniel Dickens is an avid reader of anything fantasy-related, but he isn’t a huge fan of Harry Potter (In fact, he never got past the first books). His family doesn’t like Harry Potter and they try to control how many fantasy books are allowed in their house. The cit where the Dickens family lives is obsessed with Harry Potter, even to the point of shutting out other books.It doesn’t help that there were laws made so that only the Harry Potter books were to be read.

Meanwhile, Daniel’s next-door neighbor, an older boy named Adam Wilkins, is being exploited by his foster family by being forced to star in a homemade movie about Harry Potter. Adam’s disappearance leads to rumors about his death and Daniel’s recruitment into the movie. But Daniel’s resistance leads to the entire town to admit its problems and being forced to clean up its act.

Stats:

  • Last Chapter written: Chapter 11 completed; total 15 chapters plus prologue and epilogue
  • Finished: no
  • words written: 30,429
  • Story renamed as How Harry Potter Ruined My Town

Why is the story not finished: story needs re-editing and chapter 12 needs to be completed. Story to be finished at a later date.

56 Books to Read if You Love Harry Potter

56 Books to Read if You Love Harry Potter.

Basically, this post is for all of you who love Harry Potter and need something else to read. Here’s my opinion of the lists of books:

  1. Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan: Completed books 1 and 2. Currently reading book 3.
  2. Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer: Completed books 1-7. Have yet to read book 8.
  3. Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer: Completed all four books, including the novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.
  4. Septimus Heap Series by Angie Sage: Haven’t read the books yet.
  5. Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins: Haven’t read the books yet.
  6. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman: Completed all three books.
  7. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis: Completed all seven books
  8. The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black: Haven’t read the books yet.
  9. The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini: Completed all four books.

Well, maybe I should review one of these book series this summer then.

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy (Photo credit: AerachLeon)

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.

via The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.

Here be-eth a forum discussion of review’s about J.K. Rowling’s latest book, “The Casual Vacancy“. Well, reviews are mixed, but I wont be reading the book at all.

Here’s a brutally honest (and funny) review of the book: Oh, for one multi-faceted Severus Snape, with his venomous tongue and his doe Patronus! Oh, for a many-layered Dumbledore with his upright heart and his murky past! Why do the kids get all the fabulously-drawn characters with their wrongs and their rights, their petty hatreds and their monumental graces and we adults get landed with a novel full of nothing but Dursleys?

Oh, the horror of it all! What? Are we adults not allowed to have adult books about magic? Even George R. R. Martin writes fantasy, and his “Game of Thrones” books are strictly for adults. (Even the “Lord of the Rings” was for adults) But why do we have to read this pile of crap? (to be honest, Id rather read “Fifty Shades of Grey” than “The Casual Vacancy“, and that says a lot about my taste in books!)

So here’s the thing; Ms. Rowling, if you’re paying any attention, hear this: we don’t want to hear about any Dursleys; in our heads, they don’t exist. If anything, we want an adult Harry Potter, please.

That is all.

Harry Potter & the Methods of Rationality

Harry Potter & the Methods of Rationality movi...

Harry Potter & the Methods of Rationality movie poster (Photo credit: claireviolet82)

This blog post talks about the most talked-about fan fiction that’s circulating the internet: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality!

So, what is Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality? Well, it’s a fan fiction written by Eliezer Yudkowsky / Less Wrong on FanFiction.Net.

What is this story about, you ask? Here’s the answer:

Suppose that Petunia Evans does NOT marry Vernon Dursley; instead she marries a biochemist named Michael Verres. James and Lily die (just like in every alternative reality) and Harry ends up being adopted by Petunia and Verres. He grows up learning about science and reading science fiction. By the time his Hogwarts letter arrives, Harry is a genius and he sets off attempting to apply the methods of rationality to a world that has never heard of science.

Well, that’s that.

The story plays out like a serial fiction, with Harry attempting to apply science to a magical world. If you want to read it, be forewarned, for this story nitpicks at the original Harry Potter story and it also destroys everything that you thought you knew about Harry Potter.

Or as the writer says: This fic is widely considered to have really hit its stride starting at around Chapter 5. If you still don’t like it after Chapter 10, give up.

So, what’s different about Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality? Harry sees Draco Malfoy as a person and not an enemy. he also sees Ron as dull and uninteresting and so, they don’t become friends. Harry calls Snape out on his bull during potions class. (And that’s just the beginning of the story!)

This is one of the most popular fan fiction stories about Harry Potter out there and I highly suggest that you read this story immediately.

Plus, rational Harry is so much better that Rowling Harry.

Links:
The Story: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5782108/1/Harry-Potter-and-the-Methods-of-Rationality
The Website: http://hpmor.com/

Harry Potter: Destiny Unfulfilled Review

anti-Harry Potter stamp

anti-Harry Potter stamp (Photo credit: claireviolet82)

OK, so I have taken to reading this analysis and I must admit that the person had the right idea when they wrote it, as Harry Potter did NOT live up to his potential, both as a hero and as a book series.

The essay analyzes all the Harry Potter books and talks about what’s wrong with them, and what should be changed to make the books better. Believe you me, a rewrite of the Harry Potter books is badly needed.

Before I reveal too much, here’s what I have to say about the book:

And so, we have reached the end of this essay. Hopefully, I’ll be using it when I’m writing my alternative Harry Potter fan fiction, aptly called “Harry Potter Redux”.

I’m actually glad that I took the time to actually read the essay, since my decision to stop being a Harry Potter fan was rather abrupt and too soon for my liking. I had to really sit down and wonder how and why I ever began reading the Harry Potter books in the first place. It wasn’t that the series was cliched and repetitive, but it felt poorly written and too rushed for my liking. As a person who reads mainly fantasy, the Harry Potter books was a step backward for me in those terms.

I really hope that the series can be rewritten and made better. I want to see Harry as a real hero (not just the title), Dumbledore as a mentor, and a real villain because Voldemort just doesn’t cover it. *SIGH*

Well, the books could have been worse.

And here’s my (official) review:

What a great and wonderful essay about the Harry Potter books. I’m glad that I have read it and learned about where Harry Potter succeeded and failed. I hope to take what I have learned from the book and apply it to my alternative Harry Potter fan fiction, aptly called “Harry Potter Redux”. I really hope that one day, the series can be rewritten and made better. I want to see Harry as a real hero (not just the title), Dumbledore as a mentor, and a real villain because Voldemort just doesn’t cover it.

So there you have it. I think everyone who is a Harry Potter fan or loves fantasy or is studying English in college reads this book so that they can learn about how the Harry Potter phenomenon crashed and burned to the ground.

Barry Trotter (another Harry Potter parody)

Just who is Barry Trotter, anyway?

Barry Trotter is a Harry Potter parody written by satirist Michael Gerber. In fact, he has written three Harry Potter parodies. They are as follows: Barry Trotter and The Shameless Parody, Barry Trotter and the Unnecessary Sequel, and Barry Trotter and the Dead Horse.

The Barry Trotter series not only pokes fun at Harry Potter, but it also pokes fun at so many other things as well. I suggest that you read these books ONLY if you love parodies. Plus, you can read some of Mr. Gerber’s other parodies, which are just as silly as the Barry Trotter books.

Website: http://www.mikegerber.com/

And of course you can buy the Barry Trotter books from Amazon.com.

The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman

The Books of MagicThe Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Long before we had the dreaded “Harry Potter“, there was one boy who was destined to become the greatest magician who ever existed on the face of the earth…

This is the story about a young boy named Tim Hunter, and he is taken by the “Trenchcoat Brigade” (a.k.a. John Constanine, the Phantom Stranger, Dr. Occult and Mister E) and they take him through history and different realms in an attempt to educate him about the magical world and his place in it. He meets many magicians and makes a choice that will change his life forever!

Years after I read The Books of Faerie, I put aside the story until I began hearing about how JKR must have ripped off Neil Gaiman’s Books of Magic. After I stopped reading Harry Potter, I began to wonder if I should read Tim Hunter’s story.

And I did…after 6 years of putting it off.

I must say that this story was excellent; not because it was done by Neil Gaiman, but because it turned out to be a fantastic story that unites everything that I love about sci-fi and fantasy. I really wish that I could read the whole series and discover more of Tim’s world.

And as an afterthought, this should have been the biggest movie of all time, and not Harry Potter.

View all my reviews

Movie Characters discuss Harry Potter

Harry Potter

Image by plainsight via Flickr

OK, here’s Jacquel Spartan, Karema Smittand, and Derrick Virgil and they’re here to talk about your favorite books!

And this week, they’re discussing…Harry Potter.

WARNING: anti-Harry Potter reviews ahead!!!

Jacquel Spartan: When I first heard of Harry Potter, I didn’t know what to say. As I was a college student studying the literary classics, I looked at the books with a very critical eye. And I found out that it wasn’t worth the hype; not with the theme of child abuse and wizardry and witchcraft and crap that is so prevalent in fiction nowadays. And when I got past the first chapter of the story, I saw that it was so boring and bland that it wasn’t even worth continuing. And when the movies started coming out and I just couldn’t stomach the hype surrounding it. Even my children got tired of Harry after I tried (and failed) to read them “Chamber of Secrets“. But what about the characters? Please! Harry comes off as a nerdy little boy who lives with abusive relatives and gets bullied every single day. Now, if that were me, I’d be running away and trying to get help for myself. And I’d go find a new family. And new friends. The friends he has sucks. As for Ron, I mean, his whole life is worse than Harry’s; and he’s not even an orphan. His mother yells at him, dresses him in maroon, and belittles him at every opportunity. His father, however, locks himself in a shed and studies muggles (non-magical people) like their science projects. Hermione is a girl who buries herself in books and not the type of person I can call a friend at all. I apologize to all the fans of Hermione who will hate me for saying this, but she’s just not the girl I can call a friend, let alone a role model for my daughters. And Ginny, Ron’s sister? Please don’t get me started! She’s a freaking Mary-Sue. A stalker. A Fangirl. She was programmed to do one thing, and that is to marry Harry Potter. Now I don’t see her as a character at all, just an entity of the author herself. I would surely ground Treasure, Fern, or Fawn if they started to act like that little brat. And would you believe that that woman had the nerve to put them together? I say that’s a bad idea, considering the fact that Harry Potter is the hero and Ginny is the “Love Interest” who knocked aside all the other girls Harry could have married just to have him? That’s not love. And Hermione and Ron being married? I smell DIVORCE for them in the future. And that’s my opinion of Harry Potter; it wasn’t the book of the century, let alone the new millennium. It’s just a piece of garbage that never should have been written in the first place.

OK, that’s quite enough from Jacquel the non-religious skeptic. Now we shall hear from Karema, the almost-pagan pacifist…

Karema Smittand: As an almost-pagan, the Harry Potter series deeply offended me. There was no magic in the books at all, just a bunch of teenagers dressed in dark robes waving flimsy wooden sticks and shouting some mumbo-jumbo crap. Any idiot can dress up in a robe and wave flimsy wooden sticks and shout some mumbo-jumbo crap, but it takes a special person to actually create magic. In short, the Harry Potter series ruined the entire fantasy genre for me. And don’t even get me started on the movies; I saw the first 2 with Jacquel and we both agreed that it was all crap. I can’t stand the hype over that crap. I’m pissed at adults, who don’t even consider reading the classics, who would think that Harry Potter was the best story ever written. Grow up, people! it’s a stupid story; there’s other books out there for you to read, and you insist on reading this piece of crap book. If there is a God out there, may he have mercy on all your souls because you are stupid if you think this was the greatest thing in this millennium. Excuse me while I go do some real Wiccan chants to make the Harry Potter hype go away for good.

Now that we have heard from a pagan who thought the series was crap, we go to a Christian for his take on the saga. Don’t worry, folks, Derrick isn’t one of those religious nuts who think Harry Potter comes from the Devil and all that shebang.

Derrick Virgil: I was about 15 years old when I was given Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone to read; I had just lost my parents and was the sole supporter of my sister Connie. So I turned to a storybook character who shared the same problem as I did. But being a Christian had its challenges, like when a person in my church said that Harry Potter was full of witchcraft, and I had a fun time challenging him about that. But what I discovered that the book didn’t have one ounce of witchcraft in it (and boy did that guy’s face cracked when I told him that!) but thanks to Karema and later Jacquel, I discovered that the books just weren’t as great as I had originally thought, not since Jacquel introduced me to The Lord of the Rings and gave me the meaning of the word “wizard”, which Gandalf was and Dumbledore was not. I also discovered that the book format kept repeating its self, from harry escaping from his uncle’s house and going off to Hogwarts and having to fight Lord Voldemort and then back to his abusive relatives, where the cycle begins all over again. I was a bit guilty of buying into the hype (glares from Jacquel and Karema) OK, so I did buy into the hype for a long time, until the girls convinced me that Harry Potter was a piece of crap (THERE, I SAID IT! HAPPY NOW?) and that I need to put it down and read an adult novel. (BTW, it took me forever to convince Connie to set Harry Potter aside and read Percy Jackson; she was as much of a fan as I was.) So as for the magic part of the story? There was none. The characters seemed to be flat and boring. And the finale didn’t do much to impress me. I guess I wasted a lot of time being a Harry Potter fan and I want to help others who have lost parents to not turn to a sad pile of books that can’t even help you escape to a world of fantasy.

Now that you have heard the honest opinions of the Movie Characters on the Harry Potter books, we can honestly say that they never did like the books at all (save for Derrick, but that’s for later). Next week, we’ll be hearing their reviews on the Twilight Saga.