Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Hobbit

J. R. R. Tolkien

I had read The Hobbit in high school a couple of times. I think my mom bought it for me when she used to bring me used books from her shopping trips to Rio Piedras. I wasn't aware of the Lord Of The Rings, but I liked The Hobbit fine as it was.

Reading it now (after watching the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and almost finishing the books) it feels like a very rushed book. There are big battle scenes that flash by, and there's world building chapters that screech to a halt. Contrast the description of the Halls in the Lonely Mountain which go on and on in detail, with the really quick resolution to the Smaug problem. It's a similar situation with the characters, some you really get to know and others you forget are there. I forgot about half the Dwarves in the company of Thorin.

The Hobbit is more filmable than the Lord of The Rings trilogy so I'm not worried about the movie. What I'm very curious about is how the Ring will work. They really built it up as a sinister force in LOTR and in the Hobbit the Ring is just another magical object. When Frodo puts the Ring on it's a direct line to Sauron (because he was looking for it), but when Bilbo puts on the Ring it means harmless invisibility (and he exploits a lot). Since Bilbo loves to hide in times of trouble, and since in Fellowship of The Ring we never see Bilbo's point of view while wearing the Ring, I'm almost afraid that Bilbo won't be seen for a whole movie!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Slippery Slope

Lemony Snicket

Sunny is separated from her siblings and Violet and Klaus must climb Mount Fraught to rescue her. In the way, Sunny learns some new recipes and Violet and Klaus meet new and old characters. Carmelita Spats is back, she was the bully in The Austere Academy (Volume #5) as well as Bruce from The Reptile Room (Volume #2) but the most important ones are: Quigley Quagmire! The third Quagmire triplet! (Quagmires were in The Austere Academy, then in Count Olaf's clutches until The Vile Village- Volume #7) The other new characters are the "Man with a beard but no hair" and the "Woman with hair but no beard".

The Man and Woman (for short) make Count Olaf very nervous, but intriguingly they are in disguise. They are doing exactly what Klaus and Violet did to hide themselves in the Carnivorous Carnival. The Man has a high voice and the Woman has a low voice. Even though it is explained that both sides of the Volunteer Schism are employing the same techniques for disguises, I can't shake the feeling they are not as evil as they seem. They are dead set on getting the Sugar Bowl with a secret message inside, and it could be because they are evil or because they are good Volunteers in disguise.

The theme of becoming villainous by fighting villains is explored here when the kids dig a pit to catch Esmé and trade her for Sunny. The kids regret it and invent another plan, but the line in the sand moved slightly.

The most alluring thing from the Lemony Snicket storyline is the letter hidden to his sister, where he writes that he is to meet her at the Hotel Denouement (the last safe place for Volunteers) and it is heavily implied by way of a recipe that the Baudelaire's mom is Lemony Snicket's sister and that she is alive! Here's hoping that it is true!

Wonder Girl #1

J.T. Krull
Adriana Melo

Cassie visits her mom at a archeology conference in London, but I don't know why. Her mom is so mean to her! She has the most hilarious sourpuss face during the whole visit! She even comes off as slightly stupid, asking Cassie why she couldn't fly on a plane like regular folk. But let's be real here, this is not an issue about Cassie and her mom patching things up, it's about meeting Solstice and how she's so well adjusted.

Solstice is Desi-american (or is she English?) and she's really, really cute! Her costume is bright and sunny, very simple but pretty. Like her! She's strong, and has light base powers. Solstice and Cassie fight Lady Zand! RULER OF ZANDIA! (sigh) and they win, duh!

The ending was kinda rushed, and I don't really believe Cassie's mom is that bitter. Solstice parents are super happy (like her!) but Cassie has a long way to go with her mom. It's only an issue (and a short one at that!) and I wish we'd have some space to explore her mom and her prejudices, because any parent would be proud of Cassie. Except that time when she hung out with the Kryptonian cultists.