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.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just got the ARC of the third book in my library two days ago. Of course, I've not read the first two so I gave it to a kid that was desperate for it. I think it's called Physik.

gail said...

Yes, I saw that there was a third one. I love the spelling of these titles.

Reading Fool said...

Contrary opinion: I read the first one in the series and got irritated because it couldn't seem to decide if it was tongue-in-cheek or wholly serious. The tone didn't work for me. I did find the storyline at least somewhat interesting. But I haven't felt compelled to read or listen to the second (or third).

gail said...

Well, I did listen to the first one instead of reading it and that may have had an impact on how I reacted. A good reader--and the fact that you're trapped in a car with nothing else to do--can make a world of difference.