Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Voices by Ursula K. Leguin

voicesVoices by Ursula K. Le Guin(Book 2 in the Annals of the Western Shore series) 341 Pages 2006 4.25/5 Can you believe it? A book review finally! I feel like I'm finally getting out of my reading slump and this is a great book to come out of it with! Kailana and I decided to read and review this one together. I asked her some questions and she asked me some! You can head on over to her site to read her answers and her review. First, a quick summary: Voices is the second book in Ursula K. LeGuin's The Annals of the Western Shore series for young adults. With Voices, we shift main characters from the first book, Gifts. The main character of this one is Memer, a young girl with the ability to open a secret door in the house of the Waylord which holds books that have been banned. The Alds have invaded their land and banned books or any form of the written word saying it is demonized. They fear it, trusting only in the spoken word. But Memer has a gift that allows her entrance into the hidden library. And through the books she speaks with the voice of the oracle. A time is coming for an uprising, a shift in power..or so they hope. Characters from the first book in the series, Gifts, are central to the story, but not the main focus of the story. Orrec and Gry make appearances with Shetar, a lion that I fell in love with. The funny thing is, I think I liked Orrec and Gry even better than I liked them in the first book! Anyway...onto the questions! Would you call yourself an Ursula Le Guin fan, or is she just an author that you read when the chance presents itself? Why or why not? My relationship with Ursula LeGuin is hit or miss. I've loved some of her books and then there have been others that I just couldn't stand. I've steered away from the Earthsea series for some reason and I don't know why. I've heard great reviews of it, but still haven't tried it. I think I was scarred for life by The Lathe of Heaven. I really couldn't stand that book and it turned me off of LeGuin. But the Annals of the Western Shore series seemed different from her other stuff, so I decided to give it a try and I'm loving it so far! Hopefully that trend continues with her work. I'd really like to read Lavinia, one of her newest releases. Are you glad that you read this book? Would you recommend it to others? I'd whole heartedly recommend this book to others and I'm thrilled that I read it! I think that any lover of books would appreciate this story and I think it only strengthens the first book in the series which was already wonderful! This is a really good series! Tell us about a favourite scene or moment in the book (idea borrow from Dewey's Review questionnaire). Easily, my favorite scene in the book was Memer's first journey into the library at the beginning of the book and her descriptions of the books. When she talks about how the books speak to some of them frighten her, how some of them calm her. How true is that of books in this non-fantasy world? LeGuin's description of the library itself with it's old volumes, dark corners, reading tables was just perfect. I could truly imagine myself there. And of course I loved any scene that Shetar was in. That's one cool lion :) What did you think about the library? (Sorry, had to use this one too!) See above. I loved it...truly loved it. Yet it was so unconventional from what we think of libraries. I pictured stone floors and old bookshelves. Scary corners, dampness, a sense of haunting. I just loved it! I wish I could visit it myself! What was your favourite thing about Voices? Your least favourite, if you had one? My favorite thing about Voices was the characters. Memer was a fantastic lead with a heart of gold and a quite, restrained innocence about her. Yet at the same time, she was such a rebel, such an inspiration. The Waylord was one of those fantastic older characters that are just so wonderful in fantasy. And I loved loved loved meeting with Orrec and Gry again. Like I said earlier, I liked them better in this book than in the first. Maybe it's because they've come into their gifts more. Who knows. What didn't I love? Hmmmm. I guess it dragged a little bit for me at times. There were a few times in the book where I though "get on with it" but literally only a couple of times. That's a truly minor complaint. What did you think about the fact that the main character was entirely different from Gifts? Did you like how the previous books main characters were still included, but as secondary characters? I'm answering all the questions before you ask them :p Before I started the book, I thought I'd be turned off by the idea of a different main character, but I wasn't at all! I loved Memer and I think it just worked perfectly incorporating Orrec and Gry into the book. It's a natural progression really. I can't wait to see what she does with Powers (which is nominated for a Nebula by the way)!! What would you do if books and writing became banned in our society? Die.

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