Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Books I Thought I Would Hate: Ranger's Apprentice

I don’t know if your friends ever lend you books. Mine sometimes do. Sometimes they lend me two books, and I put them in a pile and I forget about them for months on end and then realize that I’ve been keeping them for three months. And then I feel like I’ve kidnapped someone’s baby and forgotten about it. It feels terrible.

What? No, that didn’t happen to me with The Ruins of Gorlan and The Burning Bridge.

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Why I Thought I’d Hate It:

Because my best friend recommended it.

That sounds terrible, but it’s not an offense against her. She loves, adores, and promotes many awesome books and if that weren’t the case we probably wouldn’t be friends the same way we are friends right now.

Unfortunately, I also have this thing where I am a malevolent reader. I have to discover books under specific circumstances with specific things to make me want to open them. I was not compelled by the immediate introduction—I sort of had to figure it out on my own.

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What Changed:

I was cleaning my room and realized I still had the books and realized I NEEDED to give them back—but it’s not like I was going to give them back without having read them. Like it was three months. I had no excuses.

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Why It Turned Out I Loved It:

John Flanagan is FUNNY. He is INTELLIGENT. His stories are filled with ADVENTURE and EXCITEMENT and CULTURE and WORLDBUILDING and AMAZINGNESS. It is FANTASTICAL and I LOVED IT.

Vague, but true.

To specify a few things, I think it’s necessary to say that I love that John Flanagan never culminates into one of those “battle-to-end-all-battles” tropes. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, The Grisha Trilogy, The Inheritance Cycle, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Matrix—THE SUPER SPECIAL HERO is geared towards defeating THE GREATEST EVIL OF ALL TIME in the MOST INTENSE BATTLE EVER that will END ALL EVIL FOREVER.

Oh, really.

What I like about Ranger’s Apprentice is that the story culminates into many battles, but no matter what, it’s just another day in the life of being a Ranger. It is Will’s job to deal with these evils. And evil doesn’t come condensed into one man alone—bad things show up, they deal with them, and they prepare for the next time they’re needed. It’s just another job. And there’s a great deal of honor in ordinary jobs.

I mean, as ordinary can be. There’s internal corruption and politics and enemies, which is different than just being an accountant or something.

And again, I have to emphasize that John Flanagan makes me LAUGH. His characters each have very intricate lives, but they also are sass-masters who are bringing the country to this joyful, crazy place. It makes me happy.


There's also a happily ever after: I own all the books now so I don’t have to kidnap them from my best friend!

What were your expectations when you first approached the Ranger’s Apprentice books? Did the books live up to them?


12 comments :

  1. I'm still read the Ranger's Apprentice series. But I agree, they are so hilarious! I love the characters.

    I never really thought of it before, but you're right. The Ranger series doesn't really have a huge battle of all battles. It really is very realistic about the whole thing. I like that.

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    1. I hope you keep enjoying it!

      And I like that too—I personally have had enough of the "end-all situation." That isn't what real life is like! So Flanagan's style always pleases me in that way. :)

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  2. Ohhh I'm glad you were converted. I LOVE THIS SERIES. Although, admittedly, not as much as I used to? But then the latest prequel book was just not what I thought it was going to be about, so that saddened me slightly. *sighs* ANYWAY. I started reading them because my brother's friend was reading them. My brother started, then I started, and omg, war-between-siblings-on-who-got-to-read-it-first. (I won, of course, because I read fast.) WE WERE OBSESSED. Best childhood ever. :')

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    1. I haven't read the prequel, so I can't talk. :( But, I will say that as you get older it's not unusual to find books written for a younger age group to be less enticing. I've certainly felt that way with Rick Riordan. Still, you can always look back on that awesome childhood you had! That's nothing to be sad about. :)

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  3. One of my friends really likes these books. I think I even got the first one from the library once and then I didn't read it- I'm so guilty. But I should, I
    m just in the Midst of SO many books right now. And Winter is coming (literally) But thanks for telling the story :)

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    1. Well, at least you didn't leave it in your basement for three months! But yeah, I hope you like it if you read it. AND I KNOW. I'M GETTING THE AUDIOBOOK FROM THE LIBRARY AND I CANNOT WAIT.

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  4. This has been recommended to me too, and I just have never got around to it. But I must confess that you're selling these rather well, and the no-battles to end all battles thing sounds like like a plus :) . However, people sell me books all the time, and I have a big TBR *mentally adds Rangers Apprentice to TBR* Maybe I should do a 'books I didn't think I would hate' for Mortal instruments... no, too mean

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    1. Haha, yeah, I do like TRA and so will sell it with all I've got. I hope you like it if you get around to it! And I haven't read Mortal Instruments, but if you'd like to talk about it, then nothing shall stop you.

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  5. I don't remember if I had any expectations before reading Ranger's Apprentice; I think I just needed something to read, lol. But like you, I ended up LOVING them. They are brilliant in every way (especially the later ones), and I just ADORE the sass. Like seriously, I have laughed out loud during Ranger's Apprentice /so many times/. They are beautiful. :D

    Who're your favorite characters, btw? Mine are Horace and Halt, with Will coming in at a very close second.


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

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    1. Right? THE SASSINESS IS THE BESTINESS. It's really fun to listen to them being read out loud in the car! The audiobooks are very fun and enjoyable. :)

      Also Horace is my favorite character, and then probably Pauline and Halt and Will and Erak. OH AND SELETHEN. Gosh, Selethen is so attractive in my head. I love his character. But, y'know. They're all good.

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    2. Oh, I haven't gotten the audiobooks before! I'll have to find them sometime and give those a listen.

      *nods* Yeah, definitely. They are /all/ good. And ALL THE GOOD SKANDIANS. I'd forgotten about them, but they are wonderful, too.

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    3. Yes! They're quite good.

      AND YEAH I LOVE THE SKANDIANS. They're so funny. :)

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