Monthly Archives: November 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Unbroken by Paula Morris

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The second installment in Paula Morris’ “Ruined” series sees Rebecca Brown, once again, getting mixed up with the ghosts of New Orleans.  This is a sequel, but Morris provides more than enough context for one to enjoy this novel on its own.  The writing is heavy on dialogue and fast-paced, with non-stop supernatural action.  I’ll briefly outline what I enjoyed about Unbroken and the areas where it falls slightly short of greatness.

Morris’ main strength is her ability to create vivid imagery of New Orleans.  The sights and sounds of the streets are so well described that New Orleans is practically a character in the story.  The city comes alive off the pages and gives the reader a feeling of having been there already.  Too often, the setting of a novel is incidental and writers fail to capture the unique characteristics of their chosen city.  Morris is from New Zealand, but lived and worked in New Orleans from 2005-2010.  Not only does her depiction of the city add depth to the story, her fascination with New Orleans is highly infectious and after reading Unbroken you will, more than likely, want to visit.

The major flaw in Morris’ writing is the lack of character development.  As stated earlier, this novel is heavy on dialogue and full of fast-paced action.  At times, the story reads more like a screenplay than a novel.  This isn’t all bad, since it makes for a quick read and avoids pointless description.  You may be disappointed if you’re a reader who likes stories which reveal aspects of characters over time, since any character development in Unbroken is quite shallow.  However, if you enjoy an exciting story with no dull moments, this novel has a lot to offer.

Unbroken is not a formulaic Young Adult novel; it offers a fresh interpretation of supernatural fiction.  While reading, you will feel as if you’re walking through the streets of New Orleans.  It’s far from being a classic, but Unbroken is definitely worthy of being added to your “to-read” list.

Find this book and more in the Library Catalogue!

Review by Mark Hamilton

EMERGING GENRE: MYTHPUNK

Many readers are puzzled by what mythpunk actually is.  Is it a new genre?  Is it adaptations of fairy tales in a postmodern style? Is it a fusion of fantasy and cyberpunk? Is it just another marketing gimmick to sell books?  Opinions vary, but there are several writers releasing exciting stories under this banner.  I’ll give you a brief description of the type of stories you can expect and some of the most popular titles.

Basically, mythpunk retells mythology, folklore and fairy tales, but uses characters that are less rigidly defined in their roles.  A large number of writers under the mythpunk umbrella are young women, and a common theme is the redefining of gender roles within the fantasy genre.  Catherynne M. Valente, who first used the term mythpunk in 2006, aims to distinguish mythpunk from the majority of other fantasy genres by describing these works as a post-Tolkien style.   Check out this interview Valente did with Strange Horizons, which explains how mythpunk is challenging mainstream fantasy.  Also worth reading is this article by author Theodora Goss, in which she gives a more in-depth analysis of the nature of mythpunk writing.

When all is said and done, mythpunk is only a name and it is the writing that will speak for itself.  It’s hard to say whether authors are writing mythpunk intentionally or if these works are being lumped together for marketing purposes.  Regardless, innovative and forward thinking writing has come out of this genre, so take a look at some of these popular titles:

Head over to the Library Catalogue to find these titles and more!

BOOKS ON FILM: Past, Present and Future

Books are turned into movies more often than you may know.  Common complaints are that the film version takes too many liberties with the book or that the movie omits important aspects of the story.  Maybe you saw a movie recently and liked it so much that you want to get the whole story?  We’ve got you covered here at the Wellington County Library!

BOOKS WITH FILM VERSIONS

Did you see a movie and want to know the WHOLE story?  Check out these books that have been adapted into movies:

Search the Library Catalogue to find these books and more!

UPCOMING FILMS BASED ON BOOKS

Read the book before you go see these upcoming movies.  It’s always better that way!

  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (in theatres now)
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth (first book in the Divergent Trilogy)
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner (first book in the Maze Runner Trilogy)
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (first book in the Vampire Academy series)

Search the Library Catalogue to find these books and more!

Is there a book that you think would make a great movie?  Is there a book you think should NEVER be made into a movie?  Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section. Feedback is encouraged!