Borders 3 for 2 – Eragon, Inkheart, Trojan Odyssey

Even though it is part of the Evil American Empire Taking Over the World, I really do like Borders; especially their 3 for 2 tables. I know all about impulse buying and luring people in to buy things they don’t really need, and I don’t really mind that it sometimes works on me.

Eragon, by Christopher Paolini
I didn’t realise, until I got to the author bit at the end, that this was written by a teenager… although I had guessed that it was a first novel, by some of the clunkier bits in it. But I really loved this book; it’s got some good ideas and some great characters, and it’s obvious that it can be developed, probably into a trilogy – I know the second one is out now. I like that there are a couple of secrets not revealed and questions not resolved, and that these haven’t been played up too heavily in the story; there hasn’t been a whole lot of griping about them, nor have there been many clues, so I at least am not positive about how they will be resolved. I am definitely going to read the rest. I like being back with dragons!

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
This book captured my heart. It’s fantastic. Whoever translated it was brilliant; I can’t even imagine how hard translation work like that must be. I love that there were quotes from different books, real books, at the start of each chapter; it’s such a nice touch, particularly when I knew and loved some of them – The Neverending Story (which of course was written in German originally), and The Princess Bride, to mention only two. It’s also given me some new books to find! But back to Inkheart… lots of people have thought about meeting the characters from books, but this is a whole new twist on the idea, and it was very well realised. The characters are wonderful, the intricacies of the plot are brilliant. It’s a kid’s book – teenagers maybe – which is partly obvious from the hints you get throughout that the heroine, at least, has a future after the adventure; my gosh, though, I would recommend this to adults with no hesitation. I’m also going to buy the author’s first book, Thief Lord, which I saw in the shop the other day.

Trojan Odyssey, by Clive Cussler
After Valhalla Rising, I swore that I would read no more Cussler books… it was all just getting way, way too tacky for me, and so formulaic I felt I could guess what Dirk and Al would say to each other. But then I saw this on the 3 for 2 table, and my itchings to keep following their adventures got the better of me. Even though I knew the writing would be a bit painful, I was willing to put up with it for the sake of the adventures. And I was as right as I knew I would be: the writing was a bit boring, some bits were excruciatingly average, but the adventure was a whole lot of fun. Given the ending, I am pretty sure this will be the last Dirk Pitt adventure. I really, really hope that Cussler doesn’t think he can continue the franchise with Dirk Jnr; that would be just wrong. I’m thinking now of going back to the old books and seeing for myself whether it was me or the writing that got old. But I don’t think I will read the other Cussler series; I just don’t have the emotional attachment to the characters to be willing to put myself through it.

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