Reading in the rain – Septimus Heap

Let me start this post by saying that while I enjoy reading children’s literature, not just any children’s literature will do. Like many adults, I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, as well as His Dark Materials (The Golden Compass, et al). I also quite liked the Peter Pan series written by Ridely Pearson and Dave Barry (apparently a fourth book is now out, but not on the Kindle. Grrr.). Other notable children’s literature titles that I have enjoyed are Coraline and The Graveyard Book, both by Neil Gaiman.

I think what all these books have in common is an understanding that parents often read books to children, and so, they have included intelligent plot lines, good character development, and adult humor (that still comes across as PG). Some books, like His Dark Materials, seem better suited to adults anyway, with their rather heavy and thought-provoking premises. Others, like the Harry Potter series, matured over time, as their characters, and readers, grew up.

The Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage, (of which I’ve completed the first four {books 4, 5, 6, and 7 on my countdown} – Magyk, Flyte, Physik, and Queste) falls somewhere in between. The books are fun and quick to read and have moments that are fairly suspenseful, as well as characters that are endearing and, if not well developed, are at least more developed than say, the hungry caterpillar. Some of the plot points were pretty obvious – for example, in the first book, it’s pretty clear from the start who Boy 412 actually is, but there are a few twists and turns along the way. Additionally, the books all end fairly happily, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when discussing books marketed at younger people. Unlike Harry, Septimus doesn’t have a mortal enemy, so while the stories have a common theme, none of them end with what I would call a cliff-hanger (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

Basically, I’d recommend the books to people who, like me, enjoy every once in a while tapping in with their younger selves. The books are not challenging but they are enjoyable and a nice way to pass a rainy Saturday, which, as you know, happens pretty frequently in the Northwest.

I have the fifth book, Syren, ready to go in my Kindle, but am not sure when I’ll get to it. The line up of books is pretty steep, although I’ve now put a moratorium on buying more Kindle books (which is really too easy to do) until I’ve finished the 5 I’ve already purchased.

Grades:

Magyk A-
Flyte B
Physik B+
Queste B+

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4 thoughts on “Reading in the rain – Septimus Heap

  1. So, as you know, I am not a big reader at all. I mainly read online news, parenting and health articles. But I must weigh in with my opinion regardless…

    What is up with the spellings of those book titles? I got it that “Magyk” is Magic and “Flyte” is Flight, etc., but I just don’t get what the point is. It seems like it is teaching kids to spell things phonetically or “more creatively” (aka wrong). Maybe I just need to loosen up and put my kid hat on again? 🙂 Or maybe it is from J telling me that I shouldn’t say things like “wa-wa” for water and “ba-ba” for bottle since he thinks Eli will not know the proper name for things.

    Eh, anyway, you are totally awesome for reading so much!!! Cheers!

  2. I didn’t like the Barry/Pearson Peter Pan stories, since they completely contradict the originals by J.M. Barrie. Pan had a backstory… this is not it. Plus, it has numerous mistakes throughout. If it’s supposed to be a prequel to the Disney version, it goes against that, too.

    If you want a faithful Pan story, click my name. It’s based on Barrie’s own idea for more adventure.

    His Dark Materials, Coraline and The Graveyard Book are great. Will have to check out the others you mention.

    BELIEVE!

  3. Lisa – I think that the words are spelled funny to be “magical” and “old-timey” since the series takes place in some world in a less modern time. It’s a little annoying, but you get over it. Everything else is spelled properly. I usually feel the same way – like when people write “nite” or “lite.”

    Second poster – I haven’t read the J.M. Barrie book, so I can’t really say how true to the original the Starcatchers series are. However, reading them, I thought they were funny and engaging. I heard Ridely Pearson and Dave Barry speak about the books several years ago. Pearson explained that they wrote the books after one of his children asked about what happened before Peter became Peter Pan.

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