Wednesday, March 08, 2006
I'm not fair - so sue me.
Here's something you need to know about the way I select books. There isn't a whole lot of logic to it. If it got good buzz in any of the number of buzz-creating places I frequent, I might read it. If it has a good cover, I might read it. If I come across a good review or summary, I might read it - but know that I very rarely read such things in their entirety - mostly the first couple sentences and the last couple. I find that this way, I won't accidentally discover too much, while still getting the gist. Or, as with today's title, it has a curious title, I'll feel compelled to read it. Thus, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp.
Like a crazy magnet of coincidence, this is indeed another take on the Arthur legend. Since I have that habit of not reading full summaries this was a complete surprise to me. I saw cars and helicopters on the striking black, grey and red cover and thought, "Hey! An Alex Rider rip-off! Cool!" Because, I like the Alex Rider books, and do intend to finish them someday, and who doesn't want to find more boy books? I almost feel that I didn't give this book a fair chance, I was all ready in the first few pages to love it. It was great; very fresh, very humorous. It kind went downhill from there. The disbelief that I exhibited, had there been anyone to witness it, upon my realization of the tome's Arthurian connections, would, I'm sure, have been comical. I have well expounded my unease toward the genre in this space, so I don't feel I need to go there again. The originality of the first few pages quickly turned into a boring exhibition of annoying characters and a stupid series of events that naturally places the whole world in danger of well, needing to be saved from and by Alfred. Hey - I did say that I didn't give the book a fair chance! It should go well with fans of Alex Rider, nightingale or Silverfin, and possibly Darren Shan. Boys 12+
Can I say that I'm really excited that Ranger's Apprentice Book 2: The Burning Bridge is coming out on June 15! I so know what my belated birthday present to myself will be!