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You are currently browsing the Log et al – Peter Curd blog archives for the day Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016.

Nov

22

Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

By pcurd

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was looking forward to this book as to me, this is when the story starts. The scene setting is out of the way and the last main character (I think) is introduced. I was strangely saddened when I finished it, as it really sags in the middle. The first 1/3 flew by, the last 1/3 I pretty much read in one night, but the middle 1/3… I lost all enthusiasm for it.

Umbridge is a potent character and her presence in this book is not as extreme as it was in the film, which I think captured the repressive atmosphere better, but she is still unlikable. It felt like she is intentionally over-evil to make Dumbledore all the more over-good by comparison. His flaws and his attitude feel very different to the previous books in which he was all-knowing.

I believe this is intentional, it shows Harry growing up and realising he has to stand for himself, etc, but it’s heavy handed. The film again covers this better.

There is some foreshadowing echoing Fred and George to Harry, Hermione, and Ron which I missed the first read through but I’m not convinced it’s intentional!

It’s OK, but not as good as I remembered sadly.

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Nov

22

Review: Sharpe’s Tiger

By pcurd

Sharpe's Tiger
Sharpe’s Tiger by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m listening to Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe books in chronological order as recommended by his fans and so this is a “middle” book in the series but the first book in Sharpe’s life. He is 22, a private, and bored with the army.

Throughout the book we learn quite a bit about Richard Sharpe and his desires. The characters are (in typical Cornwell fashion) well fleshed out, the baddies are bad, the goodies are complex, and the rest are just doing what they think best.

I was attracted to the series because they are acclaimed to have a fair and true representation of the period and I’m a sucker for historical fiction.

Other than some terminology that had to be researched (what is a shako!) I’ve found it easy and comfortable to follow – it’s written entirely in modern English bar some slang – and a delight to visualise the environments and characters going about their life.

For many people I imagine the book is a little boring since you know what is going to happen to Sharpe but I’ve managed to stay fairly spoiler free so I honestly don’t know what will happen to him (I assume he doesn’t die, there are at least 21 more books!) as he progresses through the story.

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