Tag Archives: Circle series

The worst kind of books to read

I don’t get it. Why would people read this??

This list idea came from being in the middle of one of the few kinds of books I really just don’t enjoy reading. There are just some times you end up with a book in your hands that fits a formula that you know, as a reader, is just something you are not going to enjoy but reading it necessary or you feel like you are too far in to give up now. Some of these for me are:

  1. Rambling prose – You know what I’m talking about here. The author’s editor did not do enough to reign in the writer. The story could have been told in 300 pages but for some odd and strange reason, the book had to be over 1,000 pages long. The author feels the need to give the reader every bit of unimportant minutiae that doesn’t help advance the story or help the reader relate to the character better. It just goes on for length’s sake. While I don’t mind a long book that is well written, these are just not the case. Example: Reamde by Neal Stephenson.
  2. Dry and Technical – While I like to learn about how something works or how someone justifies their approach, please, please, please make it at least somewhat entertaining to read! Give an antidote, a joke or something to keep the reader’s attention. This applies to text books as well. There should be some level of enjoyment in what you are reading. Example: too many to pick just one.
  3. Ending on a climax – I don’t care if this is book 376 in your series of insanely popular fantasy novels. Never. Ever. End. At. The. Climax! It is simply a cheap ploy to drag the reader along. It is extremely obvious and is just poor taste. Create a conclusion – please. Ted Dekker‘s Circle series is a very good example of what not to do.
  4. Dull word choice – If your book has an interesting plot line but your word choice is so bad that it sucks the life out of the book,two things might happen. One, it might keep people from reading your book, or two, turning it into an outstandingly successful musical with a much better ending that disappoints people when they actually dust off their copy that they never really got around to reading. Oh yes I have a book in mind – Gregory Maguire this one is all you. Wicked the musical beats the book – hands down.
  5. The I’m-smarter-than-my-readers booksJames Joyce. Ulysses. Yes, he did something very cool and creative. So cool and creative that most people have no clue what he was trying to do. Hurray for confusing everyone and making sure that your book will always be on the books everyone should read list. I think it ends up on the list because someone is hoping that someday, someone will actually figure it out.

Any kinds of books you think I missed? Any that you thought were unfair?

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Book Review: Green

Book: Green

Author: Ted Dekker

Recommend: Definitely after reading the other books in the Circle series or before, depending…

This was a very busy week for me already and it’s only Wednesday. I had my last concert with my students for the year on Monday and next week is my last week of school before summer vacation. This book seemed harder to get through than the other three but I think a lot of it had to do with how busy was schedule has been.

This book is the conclusion or beginning of the Circle series. How can one book be both? Well, it’s simple. The Circle series is actually circular. Green ends where Black begins. The whole thing is a very unusual device but made for very interesting reading. This book spends most of its time in the future reality with only occasional jaunts into the past. This book is more allegory and tells the story of Revelations for the future world.

The allegory takes the spiritual things of Christianity and makes them physical. For example, dying to be raised to new life as a Christian is an actual physical act of drowning in a pool of red water to be brought back to a new disease free life. Sin is an actual disease that damages the mind and body. It is a very interesting way to look at faith. It is a great reminder that just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean that it isn’t real and isn’t there.

The author suggests that you can start with either Green or Black but honestly I think Black is the best way to go. There is too much in Green that wouldn’t make as much sense to the reader if they haven’t read through the whole series first. If you start with Green, I think you’ll be rereading it again once you finish the other three books to catch the things you missed. For a reread though, I think it might be interesting to start with Green next time and go through the Circle from there. Might give a new perspective.

While this isn’t the best thing I’ve ever read, it was definitely worth picking up.

Final Rating:

Get it new!

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Book Review: Red

Book: Red

Author: Ted Dekker

Recommend: This series is growing on me.. looking forward to the next one!

This is the second book of a series of four by Ted Dekker. My sister-in-law sent these to me a couple of months ago and I just finished the second one. At the end of the first book, I wasn’t sure how I felt. At the end of the second book, I’m ready to dive into the third.

The book centers on a man named Thomas who is living in two realities. One is very much like our modern world where a virus threatens to destroy the whole world and the only hope is a woman named Monique who invented the vaccine that mutated into the virus. Thomas seems to know more than he ever should and tries to protect Monique and help her find the cure. However when Thomas falls asleep, he wakes in another reality where anything is possible and the modern world is a distant past only remembered through stories.

At first the alternate reality was a bit too much for me, however in this book Dekker seems to have struck the right balance. The allegory in the dream reality is a bit obvious but has a C.S. Lewis quality to it that makes it engaging and interesting.

I would definitely recommend this series at this point and can’t wait to get into White, the next book in the series!

Final Rating:

Get it used…

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Book Review: Black

Book: Black

Author: Ted Dekker

Recommend: If you have a vivid imagination and don’t mind a story that seems to really stretch the bounds of reality..

I am always on the hunt for a good read. A few weeks ago, I read a book co-authored by Ted Dekker. My sister-in-law saw the review and shipped four more books by Dekker to me. She insisted that I would love this series of books.

I have been putting them off for a while, having a bunch of advanced reader copies of books to read but finally got to the first book. This is the first or second book in the series. This book series can be read starting with Black, as I did or starting with White, depending on your mood. It supposed to be a full circle, which is why it is called the Circle series. I decided to read the books in the order they were published in so that I would get the same effect the original readers did.

This book centers around a young man named Thomas who seems to be a nobody. A nobody who has dreams that are uncannily accurate about a virus that threatens the whole world. A super-virus that has no cure or vaccine. A virus that is a mutation of a vaccine meant to save the world. The reader is dragged through two parallel worlds that effect the other.

I had trouble getting into the first book. The dream sequences were somewhat out there and bit hard to swallow for me. However, after a little while, the pace of the book sped up and I was sucked in, even though the dream sequences were still outlandish. By the end of the first book, I still am undecided about this one. I guess I’m just going to have to read the next book and see if I continue to be engaged and see if I can decide if I like them or not. The first book doesn’t really end, it just stops. We’ll see if the next book picks up where the last left off.

I’m not sure exactly what to rate this one, but I am definitely intrigued and open to see what else Mr. Dekker has in store.

Final Rating:

Get it used…

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