Posted in BATliotheca

BATliotheca #1: The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix


Heeeeyyyyyy! Welcome to an experiment of mine. I know Point Horror / the Devil’s Elbow is full of recaps of various horror movies / books / etc. It’s a great site and we have a lot of wonderful recappers involved, you really should invest some time and check them out!

I wanted to do something involving books, because I love books and I hope I never have to move ever again because half my house is full of books and moving books is awful and heavy and I hate it. I talked to Wing about what I wanted to do and the result is this, the first entry into BATliotheca!

That said, I suck at recapping books. Movies, great, it may be a novel-length recap, but I can handle that. I’m better at live tweeting along with television but, I’m old now, and 24 no longer makes new seasons. Why are books so hard? Because recapping a book reminds me of writing book reports. I made the mistake of doing a book report in 8th grade on Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, which if you don’t know, has 67 chapters and an epilogue to boot. This was not only over ambitious but stupid of me, because I did not understand all the intrigue going on in the book and wasn’t remotely familiar with the period of French history in which the story is set. Yeah, don’t trust a Disney-fied simplistic film “version” to base your decision on when choosing a novel to write a book report on. (Yes, this another piece in my Kiefer Sutherland: Trival Pursuit token. Sigh.)

I think that’s why the thought of spending hours attempting to recap a book entirely turns me off. BUT! Reviewing and getting people interested in something (movie / television / books) I’ve enjoyed? THAT I CAN DO. [Wing: I have never read The Abhorsen Trilogy and possibly nothing by Garth Nix at all, so this also bat’s first challenge: Can she hook me on something I’ve long known about but never picked up? (Odds are stacked in her favour, true, I love a lot of things she recommends to me.)]

I read. I read a lot. Not just fiction. I read a lot of non-fiction medical and science, history (okay, a lot of specific history but still history), fantasy, YA, YA fantasy, some horror, some sci-fi, I’ve read some of the classics (I don’t like being told what to read and I don’t think every book on some list is worth reading, especially if you don’t enjoy it) and I AM VERY GUILTY OF BASING MY CHOICE ON WHAT I’M READING ON COVER ART.

Woe be the author who ends up with shitty cover art. Because I will be an instant snob and walk right on past. Cover art sets the tone for me, it can spark my imagination, and is almost better than any plot summation blurb on the back. And god help you if you change the art mid-series and it no longer matches the initial books. The Saturn side of my OCD brain will scream and murder you, I am not kidding. I have taken books to Powell’s and turned them in to have credit to buy copies of the same books with the CORRECT cover art, just because I hate things not matching.

And there are book series from my childhood that if I do not own the copy with the correct cover art, I am less likely to read said book until it is the cover that cemented in my memory. (This is also true of DVD and CD art. Do not ask me how mad I am about not owning the correct CD art for the Stone Temple Pilot’s album Purple, after my mother made me sell my first copy at a used CD store because she didn’t approve of it and it took me years to get another copy but it wasn’t the right artwork and I’m still pissed… that was in 1994, right? Well, it’s been a long time.)

All this ranting about cover art is actually an excellent segueway into the series I’ve chosen to for the inaugural review of BATliotheca. See, I did that on purpose, totally.