Dresden Files + Narnia

Dresden Files #1 Storm Front — First of an apparently well-loved series that also had a short and unsuccessful stint as a SciFi channel TV show. Storm Front is about as pulpy as pulp fantasy gets, being a cliche-ridden formulaic mash-up between urban fantasy and shlocky detective novel. Entertaining enough for what it is, but the writing was bad enough in places to be distracting. Started #2 but lost interest pretty quickly. Not recommended.

Magician’s Nephew; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; A Horse and His Boy (first 3 books of the Narnia series) — If I have read these before, I don’t recall doing so. The first book was brilliant, the second book was great, the third book started well but slowed and got bogged down and a bit dull. Will finish the rest of the series some other time (I’ve been told it’s pretty much downhill from LW&W, anyhow). Recommended, but I’m not entirely sure I understand the breathless praise the series often gets — nostalgia is a potent force, it seems.

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2 thoughts on “Dresden Files + Narnia

  1. Yeah, not all the books in the series are as good, and even as a kid I found the last one upsetting. The Silver Chair was very vividly scary to me as a kid (in a good way) and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader was pretty trippy. The Last Battle really upset me… obviously I didn’t have necessary religious education to view it correctly. 😉

    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe definitely gets some of its praise due to nostalgia, but on the other hand, kiddie lit does need to be judged partly based on the merits of how much kids themselves love it, and how much it sticks with them through later life. This one ranks way up there on that scale, I think because the world itself is very vivid with some great touches of whimsy, like the lamp-post that marks the beginning/end of Narnia. The hard-core Christian proselytizing is probably also distracting as an adult, whereas for a kid, it’s more likely to go right over your head.

    I have also maintained in the past that some books are best read seasonally, and I think TLtW&tW is a winter story. It was really great as a kid to curl up in the blankets against the chill, look out over the snow, and read about a place where it was “always winter but never Christmas.”

  2. I strongly disagree with whoever claimed it went downhill from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader makes a strong claim for best of the series, as far as my memories go (I reread it several months back; my recollections of the others are what may be lacking), and I think The Silver Chair is up there a ways too (the realm under Bism is really cool).

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