Thursday, November 09, 2006
Doesn't Seem To Be A Problem
I keep worrying that the Septimus Heap books by Angie Sage will suffer because of their similarities to those other wizard books.You have a boy who is a powerful wizard but didn't know it for the first ten or eleven years of his life; a large, poor wizard family with one son who goes bad; a powerful evil wizard; a powerful good wizard; ghosts.
But all these overlaps don't seem to matter.
Maybe that's because the Septimus Heap books are well-written. The plot and world are more logical than other wizard books that come to mind. There are no parallel universes, for instance. (Just how does a wizard and human world co-exist, anyway? How can you possibly get from one to another? And if those wizards are so smart, why are they using parchment and quills when the lame humans have word processors?) There are no dramatic swings between cartoon portrayals of humans and deep important themes. There are no long stretches filled with clever details that don't necessarily move the story along.
We're only into book two, but so far the kids are staying young, which helps to keep the story focused on wizardry and evil instead of dating and whose taking whom to the wizard equivalent of the prom.
I listened to the first Heap book on CD. I read the second, and I have to say I appreciate the size of the book. While it has a hefty number of pages, the pages aren't large. The book fits in the reader's hands, and is easy to read in bed.