June 9, 2010

Review: Diana Wynn Jones

I've recently read these books after falling in love with the movie Howl's Moving Castle, an adaptation of the book by Hayao Miyazaki. These books aren't a series but they all continue in the same world and Sofie and Howl make appearances in all of them. But I have yet to read the third one Castle in the Air. But here are the reviews for the books I did read and fell in love with even more than the movie.

Howl's Moving Castle

About: Sophie Hatter reads a great deal and soon realizes that as the eldest of three daughters she is doomed to an uninteresting future. She resigns herself to making a living as a hatter and helping her younger sisters prepare to make their fortunes. But adventure seeks her out in the shop where she sits alone, dreaming over her hats. The wicked Witch of the Waste, angered by "competition" in the area, turns her into a old woman, so she seeks refuge inside the strange moving castle of the wizard Howl. Howl, advertised by his apprentice as an eater of souls, lives a mad, frantic life trying to escape the curse the witch has placed on him, find the perfect girl of his dreams and end the contract he and his fire demon have entered. Sophie, against her best instincts and at first unaware of her own powers, falls in love.

Review: I absolutely love the Hayao Miyazaki's film of Jone's book. I used to fall asleep watching it almost every night. Finally I decided to read the book which I instantly fell in love with. I love all the characters: Sophie, Howl, Michael, Calficer. The book is a bit different from the movie, like the ending and some other minor things the movie left out. But I enjoy when it expands on the characters and you learn more about them through the book. I actually recently bought the book and can't wait to re read it. I don't suggest any particular order, watching the movie or reading the book first. Because either way they are enjoyable.

House of Many Ways

About: Sheltered teenager Charmain Baker is sent by her domineering great-aunt to house-sit for a distant relative, the royal wizard. She finds that his residence has magical rooms and hallways. She soon learns that there is trouble in the seemingly peaceful kingdom of High Norland. The treasury is disappearing, and no one knows where the money is going. Princess Hilda invites Sophie Pendragon, the main character from Howl's Moving Castle, to come help solve the mystery, with her husband, Howl, disguised as an annoying preschooler, and the fire-demon Calcifer. A lubbock, and its offspring, the lubbockins, threaten the kingdom, and it's up to Charmain and her nascent magical talents—and her new friends—to save the day.

Review: I liked the plot in this book a lot. I was afraid somethings in the book wouldn't conculde or really have a point, but they all did and added to the story. Jone's characters are always unique and Charmain isn't an exeption. She's a head strong, bratty, book worm of a girl, but I still like her. I was all giggly when Howl and Sohpie came into the story, you really have to read Howl's Moving Castle to appreciate their characters in this book. I like the way Jone's can tell a story, this book was just as fun as her last, and I can't wait to read the next.

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