“You’re right, we can’t let that happen. We’ve got to stop it.”

January 23, 2010

Here are some of the gems I just had to share from the third installment of the Alcatraz Smedry series.  The second book was delightful and so was this one.  Very very unfortunately I think I’ve run up against the end for now and will have to wait impatiently for the next book.  I hate it when that happens.  I really hope Brandon Sanderson (oh I’m sorry, Alcatraz) is one for a speedy publication.  I hate waiting around for years to find out what happens to my favorite characters.

I know I didn’t post about the second book – I was doing other things at the time and read it very quickly anyway – but I did read it. Not to have read it would have been a serious breach of readers etiquette.  Here’s what the author himself says on the subject:

… if you haven’t read book two, you missed out on some very important events.  Those include: a trip into the fabled Library of Alexandria, sludge that tastes faintly of bananas, ghostly Librarians that want to suck your soul, giant glass dragons, the tomb of Alcatraz the first, and — most important — a lengthy discussion about belly button lint.  By not reading book two, you also just forced a large number of people to waste an entire minute reading that recap.  I hope you’re satisfied.

Incidentally I have to agree with him here.  The first series I read as a kid, the Trixie Beldon mysteries were bogged down by a total recap of all the characters and their relationships with each other for the first five pages of each and every installment.  It was maddening.  And the author “cleverly” inserted this little reprise into dialogue which set up the new mystery so you couldn’t even skip it.  This is due to all those horrible people out there who pick up books and read them without bothering to find the earlier segments.  Darn you!

So, gentle readers, go out and read the first two books … then come back for the third one.  Its very funny.  Here are a few of the asides which made me guffaw while reading this Alcatraz Smedry tale:

Socrates was a funny little Greek man best known for forgetting to write things down and for screaming, “Look, I’m a philosopher!” in the middle of a No Philosophy zone.  (He was later forced to eat his words.  Along with some poison.)

Although he’d just done it several chapters earlier (see Socrates) he warns against the dangers of summarizing in stories.

For example, take this story: “Once there was a furry footed British guy who has to go throw his uncle’s ring into a hole in the ground.”  Sounds dumb, doesn’t it?

And of course he leaves you wanting more … and tapping your toes for the next book:

Things are about to go very wrong.

Oh, didn’t you know that already?  I should think it would be obvioius.  w’re almsot to the end of the book, and we just had a very encouraging vicotry.  Everything looks good.  So, of course, its all going to go wrong.  You should pay better attention to archetypes.

I’d like to promise you that everything will turn out all right, but I think there’s something you should understand.  This is the middle book of the series.  And, as everyone knows, the heroes always lose in the middle book.  It makes the series more tense.


Oh … ok.  One more for the road.  From the Author’s Afterword (don’t worry its not a spoiler):

No, we’re not done yet.  Be patient.  We’ve only had three endings so far; we can stand another one.  Both of my other books had afterwords so this one will to.  (And if we need to send someone to Valinor to justify this last ending, let me know.  I’m not going to marry Rosie, though.)


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