Archive | November 2013

High Tide, I and Thee

Waves crashing upon the sea
The tide rising over me
Once engulfed in waters hard and rough
I felt it all and it was enough

No more will I, this feeling cross
After this last turn and toss
We’ll part our ways, I whole and one
For what deep cuts left will be gone
No longer will the waves find me
Scared and taken to the sea

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The Fall of Five Book Review

WARNING: This article contains spoilers. Do not be disappointed with experiences related to this book you may or may not experience after reading this book review.

The Fall of Five by “Pittacus Lore” was definitely thrilling for the reader. It opens up with Sam Goode’s reunion with his long-absent father, Malcolm Goode, who appears to be buddy-buddy with a Mogadorian named Adam (the Adamus we were introduced to earlier in the series). This book of the Lorien Legacies is quite the eye-opener for most of us who put our faith and placed our bets on the happenings of this saga early in the series.

First and foremost, I want to address the most awesome aspect of the novel; its conveying that the Loric underdogs are not all perfect. Not even perfect, but good. The Garde gang find Five. Hooray! Except for one thing: he is a diabolical, brainwashed, and frankly creepy character! I mean it is genius the way he is first written as an annoyingly weak and inept butthole, and I really really disliked him from the start (I’m not using the word “hate” because how I felt then is nothing to what I felt at the ending). In one scene, Marina is helping Five clean the living room after Five fought with Nine. Five asks Marina in what was conveyed as an innocent tone what he did wrong, and that almost had me not dislike the loser. However, I wasn’t completely fooled by Five. I had my suspicions throughout his stay in Chicago, and I was literally screaming that he was a traitor when Malcolm’s detailed notes of the Garde’s belongings were found translated into Mogadorian, then retranslated into English. Mr Lore, I am mentally applauding you for your lifelike characters.

The character, Adam, though not prominent, is very interesting. His mentality is the byproduct of Mogadorian experimentation on his and Number One’s minds. But what does that mean? He escaped, and is a Mogadorian traitor, obviously. Does that mean the Mogs will now never experiment on their kind’s very closed-off brains? But they are a curious species. Will they just continue with the experiments until they work as planned, discarding the Mogs with humane mentalities? How about those “useless” Mogs? Can they escape as Adamus did? Or is Adam…special? Adam’s contrasting views versus his species’, like Five’s, was well done. I can’t wait to read more about him.

The roles of the three humans, Sarah Hart, and Sam and Malcolm Goode, had me scratching my head at times and yelping with glee at others. The reunion of John (Four) and Sarah, and Sam and his father were all quite touching. John and Sarah were a tad too willing to share their affection, even when Six was still kind of awkward around the two. I was alright with it, though. Hey, Sarah was locked in prison for a long time, remember? What is so compelling about the trio of humans is that they could easily have been “dead weight” or “damsel[s] in distress”, but they work with their human abilities to help the Loric as much as they can. At first I thought Sarah to be selfish, going with John on the mission to find Five because she was worried, overlooking the fact that her being there with him would make him nervous for her safety. However, when she proves herself useful, I swelled with pride knowing someone of my race was useful in this endeavour against technologically-advanced aliens. The Goode’s are less brawny here, more brainy in their efforts to help the Loric. In all fairness though, Malcolm Goode is not a bad shot, and a better soldier.

The breakout character in this instalment is Marina (Seven). In her previous appearances, I found her kind of annoying because she was not much except a healer. A nurse on the run. Her obvious infatuation with Eight at first left me embarrassed to read the books, but in The Fall of Five, it is sweet. What is also great about her is her role as the glue, or the nuts and bolts of the group. Where John is the leader, Marina is a silent constant, less appreciated, for lack of a better word, but still so, so important. She really proved her worth being a mediator, an older sister, a friendly face, and a sweetheart all at once. My one problem with her in this book, a huge problem, but one that cannot be simplified any more in my eyes, is her mercy to Traitor Five (let’s call him that from now on;he’s not Five, he’s Traitor Five). The author evoked true emotion in her last scene, her strength coursing through from the emotional gashes Eight left behind, allowing her power to kill Traitor Five but control to stick to her moral compass. I just really really really wish she killed Traitor Five.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was not as full of surprises as I had hoped it to be, but I don’t know if that has something to do with how the book was written or if I just have killer instincts. With the exception of Five, and Malcolm because I have nothing to compare him to, the characters grew well and made me yearn for more. John and Nine remain my favourites with Marina making her way up the ranks. The romantic love that exists around the characters, John and Sarah, Sam and Six, Ella and her crush on Nine, and what Marina and Eight had, added the touch of sweetness a thriller like this needed. It refreshed us as a mint refreshes the palate. The complex but not really all that complex status of Loric, Mogadorian, and presumably human traitors became still so fascinating. For the Garde’s sake, though, I am very displeased with Traitor Five’s conduct. I am glad to see the Loric were not all written as heroes as that would have made the series boring of it went down that route. Adam and Five reminded me of great characters before them who did the opposite of what people who should mean their world pressure them to do. Kind of like Wormtail, or a strange character from Doctor Who. I know that Ella, with her strange past and even stranger and scarier future, will be of utmost importance at one point, but I am more concerned with the more immediate dangers. The book ended at such a cliffhanger. I am desperate for the next book to see what becomes of these characters who have become my friends.

Photo from epicreads.com

We Shall Remember Them

Today my school held three assemblies to celebrate Remembrance Day. I took part in the ceremonies, working on a photo essay to raise awareness of our hard-won First World rights, and collecting donations for the poppy fund.

The slideshow of Canada’s fallen mixed with the beautiful musical arrangement students performed left me with tears in my eyes. It struck me how fortunate I am that thousands of people before me risked, and many gave, their lives to ensure their descendants’, and everyone else’s, have the rights we have now. We are not yet living in a world where everyone can freely express their basic human rights. I feel very fortunate to be living in such a well-off country.

On November 11, I encourage you all to celebrate Remembrance Day in any way at all. What you do can be as simple as wearing a poppy over your heart. You can also attend a Remembrance Day ceremony, or if you live near Ottawa, visit the Grave of the Unknown Soldier.

They shall not grow old as we grow old:
Age shall not weary them, not the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
User : Lauren Cathy Turner