Saturday, 30 January 2016

The War of the Worlds (H.G. Wells)

Time flies so quickly, doesn't it? I was hoping 2016 would show a continuation of the consistent posting that I had achieved towards the end of 2015. But sadly it did not and I'm sorry about that. It's so easy to forget how much time University actually takes up after being off and working for 4 months. Now that I am back in school, I guess that means I can't continue to expect my reviews to be posted bi-weekly. Saying that, however, I am taking that English course I mentioned and I have finished two of the books; one of which I am going to talk about in this review!

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. That's a pretty well-known and classic title in the world of science fiction. This novel is, as I learned in my course, the father of the genre; it is the first footprint made in a now wide-spread and fast-selling family of books. The War of the Worlds is a story of aliens vs. humans in an uneven battle of technology and lifestyle. As human beings, we see ourselves as advanced and merciful creatures; however, in the face of extraterrestrial beings, we are fearful and under equipped. The novel follows the journey of one man and his brother, experiencing the same terrors of alien threat but in different places in Europe. The aliens, mechanical creatures that reflect the image of a tripod, have unimaginable technologies that allow their domination over humanity. But these aliens are defeated by something they could not foresee and something the humans will forever be thankful for: microbiology.

I'm expecting quite a few people reading this to have either done one of the following: read the novel or watched the Tom Cruise movie. If you've done both, you'll know there is some disconnect between the two, so I shall leave the movie out of my review.

The War of the Worlds was originally published in 1898, so it's safe to say the literature and writing-style has aged considerably; but the story itself holds quite well. Being over 100 years old, the cultural context plays a significant role in the characters presented to the reader. H.G. Wells used archetypal writing to reflect his opinions and the world around him. For example, the Curate represented how the church and religious figures would react in the event of an invasion; the artilleryman represented the army and how they would react; his brother represented science and how their stable or open minds would give them an edge during invasion. H.G Wells was not only a science fiction writer, but he was an incredible executor of literary devices. I understand why Wells is so respected in the genre; he dreamed up these intelligent creatures and the concept of flying spacecraft. He had an imaginative mind.

The Many Covers of WOTW - 

Stepping back from the analysis of Wells' writing, and his pure genius of genre creation, my overall opinion of the book is less idealistic. Though the concept of aliens vs. humans was new in 1898, the idea in our present day society is old and overindulged. As a reader of many science fiction books, it was as though I'd read the story already; of course that isn't Wells' fault. I just wish the story was timeless. If I were to also push this aside, I'm still left with the dry literature and the lack of character presence. Since the writing used archetypal characters, you don't bond with them or learn about them as you go: you already know them. Discovery of character is my favourite part of reading!

Overall I would rate The War of the Worlds 3/5 because I have to give H.G Wells credit for the incredible feat he conquered over 100 years ago. He created a genre of novel that is well respected today and my favourite one to fall back to. However, being published in 1898, the story and writing have aged which means the captivation is lost.

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

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Saturday, 2 January 2016

12 Bookish Questions

Happy 2016 Everyone!
 To ring in the new year, I thought I'd give you some insight into my life, the books I've read, the books I plan to read and just a general behind-the-scenes of sorts. Enjoy :)
  1. What was the first book you remember reading/being read?

    For someone with a terrible memory, this question becomes quite difficult to answer; however, I did used to have a drawer FULL with Dr. Seuss books such as "Green Egg & Ham" or "Oh The Places You'll Go" as well as some Disney ones. So I guess those would be the first ones I vaguely remember reading or being read.

  2. What is your favorite book of all time?

    This is a tough question as well since I've gone through so many different phases with the books I read. I haven't always been a Science Fiction enthusiast - I used to read a lot of Romance before that. I guess I can always default to "Harry Potter and the Prison of Azkaban" but if I were to go with a different answer, it would have to be a fairly recent book: "Erobos: It's a Game. It Watches You"

  3. Which book has left the most lasting impression on you?

    One book that definitely had a lasting impression on me, and still does to this day, is "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" as well as it's movie adaption. When I first read that book, I was in a rough place and related to Charlie so much - I felt like an outsider and as though I didn't have a place to fit in. But that book taught me to keep living because there is always a ray of sunshine and a rainbow after a storm.

  4. What books are on your bedside table at the moment?

    I actually have quite a few right now due to Christmas and the upcoming school year (I'm taking an English course). For school I have: "Foundation" by Isaac Asimov, "War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells, and "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson. From Christmas I have: "In Real Life" by Joey Graceffa and "The Amazing Book is not on Fire" by Dan & Phil.

  5. Name one book/author that you really can't stand?

    If you read the review then you know I truly cannot stand "Room" by Emma Donoghue. The writing style was awful and the plot line was both slow and predictable.

  6. What type of books do you like reading most?

    Currently I am a hardcore Science Fiction lover - that's actually the English course that I am taking this term; I love it that much!

  7. If you were given $30 to spend on a book today, what book would you buy?

    If I was given $30 to spend on a book today, it would be one of the textbooks I need for this term. Lame, I know - but it's the truth!

  8. Where's your favorite place to read?

    When I can, I like to read outside in a comfy chair underneath the clouds with the sound of the birds in the trees. If I can't be outside, then I like to be curled up in some blankets on my bed underneath my fairy lights.

  9. Which character in a book do you think is most like you?

    I've never really thought about this before - especially reading Science Fiction - but if I step out of that genre, I'd have to say Charlie from "Perks of Being a Wallflower." I'm still learning to be comfortable with the person that I am, and I'm still trying to find a good group of people, but I hope for his happy ending. Also, he's a student and I'm a student so there's that.

  10. Which character in a book would you most like to be?

    I would love to be a low-level character from any "Harry Potter" book, but Luna Lovegood would be good. I love the wizarding world JK Rowling created and I wish it was a real place I could go to. Also, Luna Lovegood is such a whimsical person and I wish I had her outgoing and self-loving personality :)

  11. What book do you plan to read next?

    Since I'm starting that Science Fiction course, I will be reading either of those 3 book I mentioned previously - the order will depending on the course outline I receive Monday night! But I will be reading Joey Graceffa's book hopefully along the way too.

  12. Which literary character would you most like to have a 'significant relationship' with?

    This question is a little open ended, so I'm not sure if it is heading towards a romantic relationship or a strong friendship, so I shall cover both! For a romantic relationship, I would like to have one with Chael from "The Bodies We Wear" by Jeyn Roberts; he was so caring and only wanted the best for Faye. I want a relationship that is meaningful, trusting, and you know your significant other has your back. For a non-romantic relationship, I'd love to have a close friendship with Luna Lovegood because I feel like she would have so much insight and wisdom, both for the grounds/castle of Hogwarts and for life's problems in general; I would love to hear her advice to anything you might go through.

Well there we go! A little insight before 2016 really gets underway. As I mentioned in a couple of my answers, I'm back at school which means I'll be busy. I had hoped to read more over the holiday break to line some reviews up, but I didn't actually do that. That means there will be a delay, but I will be back to review the books I read for school, and probably Joey and Dan & Phil's books too.
Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)

*questions came from HERE