Monday, July 25, 2005

Book Review, New Layout

.:Today's LSS:.

I heard this from Paolo Santos. I loved his cover.

The Lady Wants To Know
by Franks Michael

Daddy plays the ashtray, baby starts to cry
The Lady wants to know the reason why,
Daddy's just like Coltrane, baby's just like Miles
The Lady's just like heaven, when she smiles.

The lady want to know, she wants to know the reason
She's got to know the reason why
This Man has got to go, This man is always leaving
How he hates to say goodbye.
But what she doesn't know, is there really is no reason
Really is no reason why.

Daddy he hates airplanes, but baby loves to fly,
Lady wants to know the reason why,
Daddy just like Coltrane, baby's just like Mile s
Lady's just like heaven, when she smiles

.:A NEW Layout!:.

After almost three years in MY BLOG, I finally decided to give the layout a change for the better. It's a lot cleaner, a lot less cluttered, and yes, that's a Chatterbox to the right! Whee!

I hope you guys like the new look, and rest assured, it will change again in a few months, hopefully to something less plain than black. Nonetheless, it's all good. I'm extremely pleased with how the new layout is, as it's perfect to welcome the new comic strip which I've already pencilled, which I just need to ink and then put text bubbles into.

Of course, as I'm not much of an artist, I'd love to feature guest artists do the comic strip from time to time. I'm quite certain it'd look much better that way. I'd be the first to admit I'm more of a writer than a comic book artist. Lol.

.:Book Review: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince:.

Yes, there will be SPOILERS.

Quite simply, this is a book that I definitely appreciate. It tied up a lot of loose ends that existed from Book Five, but alternatively, opened up a lot more questions that needed answering.

The book starts off with a nice little recap of Book Five, and this is only the first of the references to past books, which means optimal enjoyment of the book means a good re-reading or stock knowledge of the past five books. Nonetheless, it was pretty all right, to say the least. The recap was amusing, and introducing new characters like Rufus Scrimgeour (About as useless as Fudge, apparently.) and Horace Slughorn (Very endearing despite being quite the social climber.) all added a nice touch, as Rowling was “on” with her writing, cutting through a lot more fat than she did in the last book where she rambled on meaninglessly about random insignificant characters such as Grawp. Admit it: Grawp was useless. Otherwise, he would've been used more in the sixth book than he actually was.

In any case, I liked how Harry's character developed away from being angsty, and took charge a lot more this time around. I also appreciated how Ron and Hermione finally came into their own through their own ways. The Dawson's Creek-type of romances put me off a bit as it was a whirlwind that could've been spread out over at least three books, and some of the plot points in the relationships business felt rather... rushed. Tonks and Lupin? What point did that serve? I honestly think Rowling is horrible as a romance writer and having her characters stick to playing detective instead.

Nonetheless, I liked the flow of the story, and how the Half-Blood Prince's book really plays an important role in the story. Despite that, I don't like the revelation of Snape as the Half-Blood Prince, as it simply didn't make sense to me how Dumbledore would be so blind as to trust Snape fully, until Rowling wants to make us go “ohhhhhh” in the seventh book as Snape actually does something to redeem himself.

I'm a fan of the book, insofar as it was better than the fifth one, but this book is not without some odd quirks, such as the fact that the potion Dumbledore was drinking in the cave towards the end of the book seemed to have been a potion he could simply have tossed into the water. After all, he was able to use a cup to get the liquid. Why did he need to drink it?

And who's watching over Azkaban now? The Dementors are gone, so that's another lose end they never quite explained, so it seems.

I know I'm just jumping from point to point, but for the most part, the book worked, and it really tugs at the heartstrings the moment Dumbledore died at the hands of Snape, of all people. It was definitely surprising how it happened, though the fact that it did was only a matter of time. I wasn't too surprised, but I found that his death kind of reminded me of how DC likes building up some of their characters only to kill them off, i.e. the way Blue Beetle got killed in Countdown. Dumbledore was an amazing character who drew parallels to Gandalf The Grey. Killing him off like that so senselessly certainly left a bad taste in my mouth, and made me almost completely ignore that Draco Malfoy was showing hints of turning his back on Voldemort come the seventh book.

All in all, this was a good read that I appreciated a lot more than the fifth book. It's worth a read, assuming you can keep up with all the references to previous books. If you don't, then you'd simply be bogged down in details.

“Fun” Evaluation: A
“Critical” Evaluation: A-

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