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Topic: 2010 Fantasy Challenge -- NOVEMBER DISCUSSION THREAD

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Subject: 2010 Fantasy Challenge -- NOVEMBER DISCUSSION THREAD
Date Posted: 11/1/2010 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Coming into the home stretch!

I only have 11 more books to go to finish the challenge, which is doable for me now that the SF Challenge is complete; but NaNoWriMo is going to make whittling away at that number difficult this month.

How are you all doing?

And be sure to check out the thread I've posted about ideas for next year's challenge -- would love to get some input on what you thought worked and what didn't about this year's!

Date Posted: 11/4/2010 12:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,865
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (sword and socery):  This is a competition to die for. The Hunger Games is a competition where participants use stealth, tricks, brawn, swords, knives, bow and arrows and spears to maintain their edge.  Volunteering to save her beloved sister, Prim, Karniss becomes the female representative of her district, District 12. The trainers pair her with Peeta Mallark, the baker's son who saved her, Prim and her mother from starvation when they had no food after her father died. Karissa and Peeta train together, paired as sweethearts but the test comes when one must kill the other. The competition becomes intense as district representative after district representative meet their ends.  A well written story, Karness and Peeta become a team to try to defeat the others.  Can they do it?  An interesting aspect to the story is that those who are killed are turned into deadly and intelligent creatures (magic or socery) who hunt the remaining representatives.   The story ends, leaving a wonderful opening for the second in the series.
 

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (urban fantasy):  Wonderful read that takes place above and below the metropolis of London!  Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy an author's writing until I read another novel by that author.  Such was the case with Neverwhere.  It is a very good read.  Who could not like the bumbling hero, Richard Mayhew, and the talented heroine, Door.  The plot is so good and the book flows so well that one cannot wait to turn the next page and suddenly the book has ended.  I wish it could have lasted longer..  And, who cannot help but smile at the antics of the rascal, the marquis de Carabas.  I give this one 5 stars!  Wonderful job Gaiman.  This read encouraged me to order Stardust by Gaiman.  I hope it is as good as Neverwhere.



Last Edited on: 11/27/10 6:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 5
Date Posted: 11/10/2010 1:50 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Just finished: Work originally written in a language other than English
Filled with: The Castle of Crossed Destinies, by Italo Calvino
Other categories this novel could fill: Fairytale Fantasy; Told from a first-person perspective; Author from a country other than the U.S.A., the United Kingdom, Canada, or Australia.

My capsule review: Kind of splendid, and challenging in the best way.

My full review, no spoilers: http://community.livejournal.com/fantasyreaders/97052.html

Subject: Voices & Powers, by Ursula K. Le Guin
Date Posted: 11/18/2010 3:27 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Just finished: Told from a first-person perspective
Filled with: Voices, by Ursula K. Le Guin
Other categories this novel could fill: High Fantasy; Young Adult Fantasy; Protagonist younger than 18; Work written by a Gandalf Grand Master/World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.

Just finished: Nebula Award Winner
Filled with: Powers, by Ursula K. Le Guin
Other categories this novel could fill: High Fantasy; Young Adult Fantasy; Protagonist younger than 18; Action takes place while traveling; Told from a first-person perspective; Work written by a Gandalf Grand Master/World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.

My thoughts:
I wanted to write a joint review of the three volumes in The Annals of the Western Shore (Gifts is the first one) but somehow the plots slip away from me as soon as I finish and the themes go soon after. This was a gentle, beautiful trilogy that didn't shy away from tackling hard issues (it was all about power dynamics, including between races and genders) and that was really a love story to the power of storytelling in general and the written word in particular. The series got stronger for me with each volume; Gifts was a 4-star book, Voices a 4 1/2 stars book, and Powers definitely earned 5 stars from me; this mirrors their increasing complexity and the increasing complexity of the sectors of the world they explore. However, other people have different favorites, so I think it really depends on which protagonist (each book follows a different young person in a different part of the world in the first-person, though the protagonist of the first book is a supporting role in the second and has a cameo in the third) you identify most powerfully with.

A lot of the reviews I've seen of these books talk about how boring they are; I found them gripping, and read each of them in big chunks, even though I read them all during months I was supposed to be insanely busy (I read Gifts during May, when I travelled almost 8500 miles; these last two I read this month during NaNoWriMo). It's true that they have little to no action, and are even shy on dialogue; they're all about the personal journey of their narrators, and I loved them.



Last Edited on: 11/18/10 3:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 1