Sunday, May 17, 2015

Book #20: Enchantment [my first foray into fantasy/science fiction]

You guys are going to be so proud of me. I stepped outside of my box and read a genre I never would've previously considered. The library sticker labels this book "science fiction," but I'd really call it fantasy. Either way, it was incredibly different than what I usually read.

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I just finished the book at 11:47 at night and Lena will be up in 6 hours, but I have to write this all down now while it's still swirling around in my brain.

Orson Scott Card is perhaps best known for Ender's Game. I've heard of it, even read the synopsis, but just didn't get the appeal. But then a friend who knows my reading style well insisted that I would like this version of Orson Scott Card, and I vowed to give it a try.

At first, I was not impressed. It was slow and confusing and written from the perspective of a 10 year old boy - not my cup of tea. But in the space of a few pages, he grows up and things become much more interesting.

It was an exciting story. Some of the time travel elements confused me, but then it would get into relationships and events that transcend genres and kept me flipping pages. There were times when I felt that I didn't like it. But I eventually realized it was just because it made me feel stupid. Haha. Seriously. I had to think while I read. It's not written in a difficult or archaic tone. I was actually surprised by some of the humor. But the subject matter can be confusing. It's science fiction. It doesn't make sense to my rational brain. I had to remember which rules don't apply in the fantasy kingdom, how they moved between present day and history, and of course, I felt like there was a constant symbolism that I wasn't quite grasping. I'm still not quite sure I totally grasp it.

Is the story meant to be an allegory? Is Card a Christian? The book was peppered with profanity and sexual inferences, but much of it was set in 900 A.D. when Christianity was spreading like crazy throughout the world and accepted as truth most of the time. So the book is full of references to God and Jesus and the Bible.

But . . . there are other gods - immortals. And a heavy presence of witchcraft and magic. At times, it felt Narnia-esque. There was a witch in Narnia, but she represented evil/the Devil. Unfortunately, my pathetic little brain can't quite grasp if the witch in this book is supposed to represent evil and the "good" witchcraft is supposed to represent Christians . . . and the power of the Holy Spirit . . . in a kind of twisted way?

The moral of the story is this: I'm too dumb to really understand the symbolism, but I appreciated the story. That said, it has not convinced me to jump headlong into science fiction/fantasy. I don't like thinking that much . . .

1 comment:

  1. I AM proud of you! I'm totally not into trying to squeeze meaning out of a book... as far as I know, this is not allegorical. It's just a much more fleshed-out and interesting version of Sleeping Beauty. Card is Mormon, and I have no idea how that influences his writing.

    Your preference for reading "fluff" books for entertainment does not make you unintelligent!! I feel like I barely have two brain cells to rub together these days (darn kids); I just prefer the sci-fi and fantasy styles and stories! Never mind that I immediately forget every book I read...

    Thank you for trying :D

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