Inkheart



I actually finished Inkheart a few days ago, I just haven't gotten around to writing up a review for it until now.

I broke a rule with this one. Usually, I wait until after I've read the book to see the movie. But I was so excited, I saw the movie first. I don't think it really affected my judgment of the book, and they did compliment each other, even though the book ends slightly different and leaves room for its sequel, Inkspell.

For those of you who don't know the story, it's about a girl named Meggie (yes, I spelled it right) who discovers that her father Mo has the power to read characters out of books. But not without a price. When he accidentally reads out fire-eater Dustfinger, knife-wielding Basta and the nefarious Capricorn out of Inkheart, his wife gets sucked into the book. Now he has to deal with the nasty villains while trying to find the last known copies of Inkheart so that he can set things right.

I have mixed feelings about this book. On the whole, I enjoyed it. The characters jumped off the page (no pun intended), especially Elinor and Dustfinger. But I didn't feel there was any sort of climax. The book glided along on calm seas. Things were always happening, of course, but there was no urgency to them, even when you would think there should be.

Another thing that confused me was that they were constantly getting CAPTURED! It's the same way in the movie too. It seems they just can't stay away from Capricorn's fortress-village of doom.

On the up side, I really liked Meggie's descriptions of her relationship with her father. It was clear that she would follow him to the ends of the Earth, even when he refuses to tell her about his powers until the end of the first quarter of the book.

That got a bit annoying. Even more so in the movie. WE KNOW HE HAS MAGICAL READING POWERS, JUST TELL HER ALREADY!

Ahem.

But don't get me wrong. It's a good story. I'll probably get the next one to read, because there's quite a few loose ends on this one, and I want to know if Resa gets her voice back (*spoiler: in the movie, she does. In the book, not so much*).

**SPOILER ALERT**
The way Capricorn keeps talking about Resa (Meggie's mother), it makes it sound like he's been sleeping with her. Apparently she's his favourite maid, and one of the few allowed in his bedchambers. I don't know whether anything happened between them, but it doesn't really seem to faze Resa that she's trapped in this terrible village with men all seemingly to want to get into her pants. Or dress, rather. Even Dustfinger admits his affections for her. I was just hoping for more of a reunion between Mo and Resa.

**END SPOILER**

So, if you're looking for a laid-back adventure about people who love books, you should read this book. The author is obviously well-read, as the characters constantly reference different books pretty much every page. But if you're looking for something with a faster pace, you might want to pass.

Unintentional Voyeurs

So...guess what happened to me.

For those of you living in Halifax, you know there's been lots of construction going on in and around my apartment building. The whole street is torn up. And the new owners of Fenwick are renovating the exterior.

It was really early in the morning--8:30 or so. I was drinking some herbal tea and browsing the internet when I happened to swallow the wrong way. Ben was sleeping in the bed next to me. I didn't want to wake him up, so I hurried out of the room, coughing my guts up.

I was about to round the corner back into the bedroom when two guys on a platform outside our window appeared, tied to ropes with construction tools in hand.

Did I mention that I was half naked?

I quickly found my housecoat and proceeded to wake up Ben. The men--young men, my age or so--didn't seem to care that there were two distressed occupants behind the glass. They proceeded to blare their terrible rap music (not to say that rap music is terrible--but this particular musician was, and c'mon, at 8:30 in the morning?) and use loud scraping tools to work on whatever they were doing.

Then, it got worse.

They got stuck.

As if they weren't swearing enough.

They had a cell phone and were calling their supervisors. I didn't really know what to do, but apparently they said their bosses were coming to OUR apartment to get them out. When they got here, however, I was quick to inform them that our windows could only open a few centimeters, for safety reasons, since we're on the 27th floor.

So you know what? They spent the better part of the day, in my apartment, trying to get these boys out and trying to fix the platform-lift thing. I mean, does it really take 6 men in my bedroom to fix a lift? Not to say they weren't polite. No, they were fine. But they seemed to think the situation hilarious. I don't know about you, but I hate having a lot of bodies in my personal space. It changes the energy. It's like an invasion. It is an invasion.

I moved my computer to the living room and proceeded to work on my honours project. I did get quite a bit done, considering the constant interruptions.

I thought that was the end.

But I thought wrong.

The very next morning, I woke to loud rap music. I looked at the clock. 8:30am.

You would think that they learned their lesson. Or that they were finished outside our window.

Ben got out of bed and grabbed some clothes. I thought, no, they won't stop at our window, I mean, they were already there yesterday. Surely they must be done. They'll pass right by, and I'll go back to sleep.

How naive I am.

They started scraping the sides of the building. The music was loud, but I covered my ears and hid under the blanket, waiting for them to leave. Then one of them turned on this drill that was as loud as the bagpipes that used to wake us up at the Gaelic College. I sat up, startled.

"See, I told you she was going to do that," said one of them outside.

I was fuming. How dare they interrupt my sleep? Disrespectful! Not a lot of people live here. Go fix some other part of the building that's uninhabited and come back at a more reasonable hour.

I got up, got dressed and went and complained. I'm not sure if anything came out of it. They were there for like an hour. Fortunately, they didn't return this morning. And in case you were wondering, no we don't have curtains because we don't have curtain rods--and c'mon, we're on the 27th floor. Who would've thought we would have people looking in at us?

So, that's been my life for the past two days. How about yours?

First Day of Final Year...Tomorrow!

Egads! I'm starting my fourth year of university tomorrow! It seemed to be only yesterday when my parents drove me to King's, and the Frosh leaders chanted my name as our car rolled into the parking lot (it's a tradition at King's, done for all Frosh).

Part of me feels like I didn't even leave school. My last exam in April was the night before I started working at the brewery for the summer. So I didn't really get a summer vacation. But it was a fun summer experience. I'm still going to work there a few shifts a week, for as long as I can. Until it gets in the way of my school work.

So, my honours project. I'm going to write about science journalism, to tie it in with the psychology half of my degree. Yay. I'm going to try and turn everything in early, so that I can balance work with school. And try and keep up this blog at the same time. And read all my books. And write my novels.

Knock on wood.

Books I'm Reading, and LibraryThing

Today was mine and Ben's two year anniversary. :) Only one more day left until school starts. I guess I'm a little nervous, but I'm pretty excited to start working on my honours project.

Right now I'm reading two books at once, trying to burn through my library so that I can buy more books. It's like an addiction. How long since I last purchased books? A week? Far too long by Clare standards.

The reason I'm blogging today is to mention something really cool I found whilst browsing the interwebs. It's called LibraryThing. It's a free tool that lets you organize your book collection online. In a way, it's like facebook, for your books. (I don't think I could've made that sentence less awkward). You upload what books you have using search engines that scour Amazonia and a variety of other libraries online. Then you can see who else has the same library as you and share book reviews.

Basically, if you love books, it's the place to be. Besides escaping into the pages themselves.

Pages I exist in currently: The Tower of Ravens (Rhiannon's Ride, Book 1) and Inkheart

I find Inkheart to be very evenly paced. This can be a good, or a bad thing. I like to read exciting books where everything builds to a fantastic climax. Inkheart is kind of like paddling on a calm lake with the sun on your back.

As for Tower of the Ravens, Kate Forsyth does an excellent job describing everything. I read every word hungrily because it gives me a clear picture of the scene in my mind. The characters can be made of cardboard at some points, though. But it does make me laugh out loud, which certainly counts for something.



Europe Trip!

This Christmas my family and I are going to Europe!

I'm so excited!

We're doing this trip here, called European Highlights.

Basically, we go to London, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Germany and Paris.

So, in preparation for this trip, I would really like to brush up on my french.

The BBC languages website is really useful. You can find lots of activities and videos for pretty much any language you would ever want to learn.

I also found this other website called Yabla French Immersion TV online. Unfortunately you have to subscribe, but there are some free demo videos. What a good idea for a business. Attractive website, too.

Lastly, I found these videos on Youtube that were kind of interesting. They show trailers for French movies and then quiz you for comprehension.

Here's one for a french movie called Ce soir je dors chez toi ("Tonight I Sleep with You").

Later: I found that the guy who does the Youtube videos has a lot of other videos on how to learn French too. This is his website.

Princess Ben

Yesterday the books I ordered arrived from Amazon.com! I was so excited!

The first book I read was Princess Ben.



And you know what? It was surprisingly good. It combined the fairy tales we all know well--Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty (there's even a hint of Jack and the Beanstalk there!) and magic and dragons and created a original story. And the writing! Although the princess is only 15, she is writing as an old woman looking back on her life. So there is an unmistakable wit when she describes how she sets her hair on fire, learns how to fly a broomstick when the enemy is shooting arrows at her, pretends to be a boy to spy on the enemy camp, and wakes up from a magical enchantment smelling like she hasn't showered in months.

By the way, Ben stands for Benevolence. And she most certainly looks nothing like my Ben. Though they both have fondness for sweets.

Preview of the New Website

After leafing through hundreds of templates on the web, I think I found one that I really like for the Faery Ink Press homepage, and doesn't require much editing.

It's a lot simpler than the other template I was using. But I like it. I hope to maybe alter the splatter in the top left corner there, make it look more like a faery, but we'll see.



I also can't decide whether I should leave that red colour scheme or continue with the blue-purples. Red does give it a snasail look, wouldn't you say?

So, what do you think?