Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thoughts on Sequels.....

I read The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau a few years ago and loved it. It is now one of my favorite children's books. So when I found out there was a sequel, I picked it up at the bookstore to take a look, only to put it down again after reading the first chapter because it was so darn BORING. (I only recently read the whole thing and the rest of the book did not improve much.)

My dear readers, have you ever, after reading an awesome book and eagerly awaiting/immediately seizing the sequel, been disappointed that it was not as good as the original? I would have to say that my biggest pet peeve (besides lame books in general) is lame sequels to really good books. I feel that it's almost insulting to the original book. 
So, my question is, has this ever happened to you?


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Me, Myself, and I

Until that fateful night, I lived alone on the streets, scrounging for food and sleeping under the stars. It was, to say the least, an unpleasant existence, and I searched long and hard for my family but was unable to locate anyone. Once, when I was nine, I was visited by an enigmatic woman who, as far as I could tell since she spoke only in cryptic riddles, claimed to have known my parents. She stayed with me for a week and then mysteriously vanished, leaving behind a note. Of course, since I had never been to school I could not read it, but I kept it in my pocket, hoping to someday find someone who could.

I continued my endeavors, but to no avail. One wintry night (the night, I would later discover, of my fourteenth birthday) I lay, as usual, underneath a ragged blanket and watched the sun slowly sink past the horizon. As the last rays disappeared, I became aware of a presence drawing near. Scanning the near-darkness, I saw nothing until they were almost upon me. Somehow I knew what they were, despite never having met a zombie before. Feeling cold terror grip my heart, I bolted up and scrambled away, but in my blind panic I soon found myself in a dead-end alleyway.

As I turned to face the zombies, I felt a new sensation, a glowing feeling of power welling up inside me. It started in my fingertips and quickly expanded to fill my entire being, flowing out of me as my tongue spoke strange words in an unfamiliar language. The zombies began to retreat, as if repelled by an invisible barrier.

A burst of intuition inspired me to dash off down the street towards the local library, for the first time in my life. I had never felt the need to visit a library before, because I could not read, but as I chose a book at random and leafed through its pages, I found that the same strange power allowed me to understand every word. Astounded, I spent hours discovering the pleasures of books until the library closed for the night.

The next morning, I rose and was about to bound back inside the library when something stopped me. A faint crinkling sound inside my pocket. I reached and pulled out the mysterious woman’s note from five years previously. The parchment was rumpled and the calligraphy faded, but surprisingly, the note was still legible. It contained only two things: a name and an address. I eagerly returned to the library and, after acquainting myself with the wonders of the modern world and technology, was finally able to locate Castle Nyx and my fiendishly evil cousins.