Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Aging Reader and the Dying Series

With everything that's been happening out East in Boston this week, I decided to postpone my snarky comments about The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett, or any other book for that matter, and speak about something a little more sober, if not somber. This being something that's close to my heart, and therefor at least moderately more serious. First of course, I would like to say that my heart goes out to the people of Boston, and to any people who know people out there. This is a trying time for everyone, and you are in my thoughts.

When I was little, I think around 8-12 years old, I found a book in a Walden Book Store, (If that doesn't tell you how young I was, I don't know.) The book was the first in a series called the Diadem Series and was called The Book of Names. In it, three kids were transported from their own individual world to another, where they find out that they can do magic. In the books world, the galaxy was set up in concentric rings, and the closer you got to the center rings, the more powerful you got, but the downside being that if you weren't powerful enough to handle the magic, it would kill you. The book was exciting, I couldn't put it down for days. I also, unfortunately, could never find book two.

Or three.

I found book four a few months later, but honestly, what kind of person actually enjoys reading books out of order like that? There was so much missing from the plot that I didn't know about that it was like coming home to find someone's rearanged all of your furniture, broken all of the lights, and left lego booby traps all over your carpet. I never found the other books when I was younger, and I always felt disappointed at that, because I felt it was a wonderful series and would I have loved to continue it. I used to wonder if the book was only available in other countries and hadn't been translated over, or if possibly the author or publishing company had gone under, and the two copies I had found were all that was left. Very post-apocalyptic, but hey, I have an active imagination

Well wonder of wonders, now that I'm an adult, I found that the books did continue, and that there are a bunch of them out there that I never knew about. On Amazon I found a ton of them just ripe for the picking. But I find myself wondering: am I a bit old to be reading these books. I'd buy them in a heartbeat, knowing that they have a special place in my heart from my childhood, but would they still hold up as an adult.

That's a problem with a lot of these longer book series. I remember the Animorph books, and Everworld by K.A. Applegate. The books went on for so long that, by the time they finished, I was already on to bigger books and I was always left to wonder at what happened to those old friends I left behind. I imagine it must be worse from those older than myself. I remember reading something about a woman who was upset she might not live to see the last Dark Tower book by Stephen King, and I know it was five and six years between the last two George R. R. Martin books.

So I sit here at my computer, glaring between this blog and Amazon and my bank acount, wondering at the time that I missed in Diadem and wondering what happened to the people I once knew so well. Are you well friends? Did you get what you were looking for, and would I even recognize you if I saw you again? I might buy them, just to test the murky waters again, and if I find them somewhat tepid now that I've had time to grow, I may give them to my younger sister, so that she can start a journey of her own that I can foster.

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