20 November 2010

Day 238: Behemoth

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld.  ISBN: 9781416971757.

I started typing this up and realized it had turned into a review, if a somewhat disjointed one.  Anyway, take 2.  So when I put this book down, after finishing the last chapter at 12:30ish in the morning, I had to fight the urge to go immediately to my stack of books and start another.  In fact, I so much wanted to pick up another book I thought about just grabbing the next closest book and starting that one right away.  It was just a pleasure to read.  Part of this is probably because it's not so heavy handed on the character development and is mostly plot-driven.

People don't seem to be writing/publishing plot-driven books much anymore, so this was an exceptionally wonderful thing to read, because I just hadn't seen it in a while.  Most of the teen books nowadays are focused on the relationships between characters or how characters mature and grow into real people and not sniveling brats.  This can certainly be interesting, but it is much harder to make interesting than throwing your characters into a World War where there are fabricated monsters and crazy-ass machines with freakin' lightning towers.  Your characters aren't going to sit around and have tea all day and talk about their feelings, they're going to run away from or fight whatever is chasing them from plot point to plot point.  And I want to ask authors and publishers, WHY aren't books like this being published right now...  or is it just that they aren't being marketed/talked about?

There are really very few books out there that make me instantly want to go and read another book, especially since I started taking up the blog.  With the blog I have to give myself a little time to stew and think about what I want to write about.  This is not always possible because, holy crap I post everyday at noon and it has to get edited first because I comma* splice like whoa.  But this one definitely managed to give me that rush of, "Everything is happening, and I want it to keep happening!"  It almost brought me back to my first days of reading, when all of the stories were still new and fresh and I practically lived off of them.  It was kind of incredible to be put back in that emotional mindset or situation, because I so rarely get excited about the act of reading.

That's not exactly true, but with this I was almost giddy: it wasn't just something I enjoyed, it was something I got real, verifiable pleasure and reward from.  That's it, it felt rewarding to read this.  I felt like I got a pay off from this instead of the, "Well, that was interesting, what's next on the list?"  It was more of a, "Nice! I can't wait to read my next book!"

What books have made you feel like this?  I will say His Dark Materials had some of this pull for me, although I really just wanted to read the next in the book.  Behemoth gave me a more Must Read Everything feel.

*My editor wants me to note that I originally wrote "coma splice".  I blame NaNoWriMo.

This was a pretty apt review from One Librarian's Book Reviews, and I agree with the statement about the cover switcheroo from A Dribble of Ink.  If I had plans for collecting these books, I would be beyond pissed off, because the original Leviathan cover was freaking awesome.

1 comment:

  1. I can't help but think that "coma splice" would be a good name for a bad book. Or an album. Or a band.


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