”Next” by Michael Crichton
A 2006 release that takes place in the present world, where both the government and private investors spend billions of dollars every year on genetic research. The novel follows many characters, including transgenic animals, in the quest to survive in a world dominated by genetic research, corporate greed, and legal interventions. — Description from wikipedia.
Having been a long time fan of Michael Crichton this is his latest and one of his funniest. It has many characters to follow and sometimes it hard to keep them identified in your mind from the way he tells the story.
Crichton is constantly jumping to a different character and sometimes not picking up from where he left off with the character. But once you identified the character and keep them identified in your mind the story flows quite easily.
“Next” brings to the light some question that will plague our civilization in the next five to ten years. The questions like: If a company patents your gene, do they own you? Where does ownership end? Is this a new form of 1984 where people can be kidnapped and sold on the black market for their genes?
The funniest aspect of this book is the transgenic animals. They give a humor that I’m not sure was intention but I found appealing. As Crichton’s books are ripe for Hollywood movie these transgenic animals will be the highlight and appeal to draw in children and fans. They have some of the funniest line in the entire book and give a much-needed levity to the hard facts that he is telling.
This is classified as science fiction but this is more of a unrealized future than science fiction. Everyone should read this book just to inform oneself of an impending doom. Because it’s just a matter of time before it happens and then he will be viewed as a visionary.
“The Death and Life of Superman” by Roger Stern
This is the novelization of the comic book arc that became a world media event during 1993. This comic book story arc is Superman fighting the unknown entity dubbed “Doomsday” to the point of his supposed death, the resurrection of four different heroes claiming the mantle of ‘Superman’, and the true Superman’s rebirth to reclaim his mantle.
Before this I knew of comic books but never really read them. I thought they were for little kids. After reading this novelization it made me put away those misconception and take them seriously. I still like reading novelization but I have a new found affinity for graphic novel.
This book was my baptism into the comic book world and although I never gotten into collecting comics, I love the graphic novels and novelizations. This story helped me get through a tough time in my life. I read this book constantly once I finished it I would start it over. I read it at least 26 times from August 1995 to January 1996, and have read it at least once every two-year since.
It showed me that comic books have interesting story telling and are very entertaining. It you have never read a novelization of a comic book this is a great first introduction. It captures with words what the comic and the graphic novel do with pictures. You feel for Superman and those that love him. Even when your reading the death of Superman, it has the impact of a hit in the gut.
Roger Stern blends the past and present events in Superman’s history beautifully. Stern story telling drives you through the book and it makes you want to continue the story. “The Death and Life of Superman” gave me a glimpse at an American icon and showed me a side of the hero that I have never experienced. It gives vivid descriptions that allow you to use your imagination. Having not really paid attention to the media hype when it was happening, it made me see why it was such a big deal.
In the 3.500 years of known “Civilization”, Peace in the world has on seen 230 years.
Who is the third Dragon Rider?
My guess are Katrina or Arya, as its likely the next rider will be female. As so far all riders alive are male. Katrina has been capture by Galbatorix at the beginning of Eldest and has been captive as long as Murtugh who was revealed as a rider. It could be Arya because of theory number two.
What is the weapon under the Menoa Tree?
Solembum’s words. “When the time comes and you need a weapon, look under the roots of the Menoa tree. But what will this weapon be? One of the definitions of root means origin. The origin of the Menoa will be his weapon. Meaning that Eragon uses the origin of the Menoa tree to defeat Galbatorix by using his love for Arya, if she is the new rider.
For more theories visit:
“Eldest” by Christopher Paolini
“Eldest” is the second book in the Inheritance trilogy. It is the sequel to Eragon. It continues the story of Eragon after the battle of Tronjheim and his training with the elves of Ellesméra, and the battle of Surda. Eldest was first published in hardcover on August 23, 2005, and was released in paperback in March 2007. Like Eragon, Eldest became a New York Times bestseller. – Description for wikipedia
I think this book establishes itself from the derived nature of the first but still has allusion to Star Wars. Granted Star Wars is one of the greatest stories ever conceived; Eldest moves further away to create its own world and characters that Paolini expands and elevates to new heights.
“Eldest” is by far a more descriptive, in-depth and more imaginative. He established the world in “Eragon” and then took the reader on a new journey that continues Eragon’s growth but also shows new and distinct places with rich histories in world of Alagaësia.
As in his age Paolini has developed as a mature, prolific and entertaining writer. The directions that he takes his characters are what drive the story. The surprises that he throws at you are far between but they are entertaining and satisfying when they happen.
Even if you have never read “Eragon” you can navigate your way through this story but its more rewarding to have that background information. It is still entertaining in its own right but a great addition to the continuing tale of “Eragon”.
If you hope to see this own film don’t hold your breath. The hack job the filmmakers did with Eragon left several key elements from the movie. Only about a third of the book made it into the film, Some of the minor plots in “Eragon” became major plots that drive “Eldest” where entirely left out Eragon (film).
This is a great setup to the final book. There are so many questions left unanswered it will be interesting to see how Paolini handles the situation he has written himself into. Many theories are out there and I have highlighted a few on this entry.