Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I'm reading through the series for the 1st time, having already seen all the movies. This book was the first one that stood out to me as being far better than the movie. That is, they are all superior to their film versions, but this is the first where I felt like I had missed a great deal by not reading the book.

The climax and denouement of this book are the key transition in the series. It does an excellent job of transitioning from the lighter fears of the previous books to the darker menace of those to follow.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Review: Black Seas of Infinity

I found it worthwhile to experience Lovecraft's writing first hand. A lot of interesting ideas. I found the longer stories to be rather tedious, especially since they tended to be very similar (The Shadow Out of Time, The Mound, At the Mountains of Madness). Others were absolutely haunting (The Rats in the Walls, The Color Out of Space, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Thing on the Doorstep, Winged Death). In general, he is an author who has many flaws (lack of characterization, repetitiveness, overwrought prose) but who makes up for them on the whole by having a unique vision of existential horror. I think he succeeds more when he explains less, which is reflected in the stories I called out above. His mythology works better as a backdrop to these stories than it does as science fiction proper.