October 31st, 2019

Book with cat 1

Book #69 of 2019 The Hork-Bajir Chronicles (Animorphs) / 2019 book: Keeper of the Books

The Hork-Bajir Chronicles by K. A. Applegate
Traditional or self-published: Traditional
Rating: Liked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

I bet you thought I was done with Animorphs books! There were a few additional stories outside the main plotline, and I had skipped them at the time I was reading the series. I kept hearing such good things about this one, I picked it up.

This one was written by Michael Grant, and it shows. He said of this book: "Hork-Bajir Chronicles was neat because it was basically a Vietnam parable. We even incorporated a version of the famous line, 'We had to destroy the village in order to save it.' HBC was history and politics and philosophy snuck into a kids' book about monsters in trees."

This was one of the best books in the series, and I'm glad I came back to read it. I really disturbingly realistic look at war, especially hopeless ones.

The plot follows two young aliens, one Hork-Bajir and the other Andalite, as they try to drive back the first wave of Yeerks arriving on the Hork-Bajir planet. How do you fight something that takes over the body of your people and uses your people against you? How do you fight an enemy completely willing to slaughter noncombatants? Answer: You don't, not well. You do your best to hold on as long as you can and cause as much trouble as you are able.

The whole story felt so realistic and believable. I suspect I wouldn't have pinpointed it as being about the Vietnam War if I hadn't known that going in, but that's only because of my limited knowledge of that war.

A very enjoyable read! I'll probably go back and read the others I've skipped.

Keeper of the Books by Asher Elliot, Jason D. Morrow
Traditional or self-published: Self-published
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Not the worst book I ever read, but flat and didn't hold my interest. Writing wasn't bad, wasn't good. Dialogue was bad. Characters didn't seem real at all. Descriptions were okay. Plot seemed like a typical Western if you're into that.

In the 6% I read, a bounty hunter tracked down and caught two brothers who did all sorts of crimes, the latest one stealing a magical book that "makes people disappear" (I assume pulling people into a different world).

Not worth continuing.

Partial book credits:
Point reached in this book: 6%
Previous abandoned book total: 660%
New total: 666% (6 books) That's a lot of sixes!