Friday, December 7, 2012

The Struggle that is Hilary Mantel and my YA Break

So.... I've have been working my way through Wolf Hall for almost two months now.  When it comes to my reading method, two months is an eternity.  I don't necessarily read quickly, I just sleep very little.  There is no question that she is a genius writer.  It's probably also safe to say that she is just a general genius given her knowledge of history.  It would take me about 500 years to get a thorough enough understanding of the Tudor period to write a piece of historical fiction like this.  I don't dislike Wolf Hall.  I am genuinely interested in the story line and the characters, I just can't pull it all together.  I am constantly flipping to the character list at the front of the book to figure out which "Thomas" is speaking.  I have to stop every few paragraphs to make sure I'm really understanding what I'm reading and not getting caught up in dialect.  Worst of all, I worry about all the other great books I'm missing out on while I toil over this one.  Even when I'm reading the best of books, I'm like an impatient toddler who has no more picked up one toy before they are thinking about what they will play with next. 

In the interest of my sanity, I took a couple days off from Wolf Hall for a YA break.  Recently, I got into this series by Michael Scott, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.  There's no use trying to lie and convince myself or anyone else that I just happened to stumble upon this series.  Finding this author was purely the work of my Harry Potter obsession.  It has been years, and I still mourn the ending of the series.  So when I saw this on the shelf, I jumped; Nicholas Flamel, the philosopher's stone, alchemy.  What if this is the next series I've been waiting for?

Well, it wasn't.  Nothing will ever compare to Harry, but it is good, and smart.  It's a series I will read all of for the enjoyment of it.  Not out of a sense of obligation.  I am currently on the third book of the series.  They books continue to be smart and incredibly engaging.  The characters seem to be historically accurate, whether they be from history or lore.  I appreciate that the main characters are brother and sister, and I don't have to deal with a ridiculous adolescent love story in the middle of it all.  The series is definatly one I would recommend.

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