Friday, September 17, 2010

Book Club Report: What We Thought of the Queen's Thief series and other books

Last night my book club got together for the first time since our summer break. We had lots to talk about! In fact, I even had a schedule which we sort of, not really, a little bit, followed!

Here's some of our random thoughts about the different books we discussed:

The Passage (a few of us read this over the summer, those that wanted to came a little early to discuss it.)

  • Some thought it was slow moving in parts.
  • Some even skimmed the end to hurry and it over with!
  • Some are pretty creeped out by the realistic bad guys.
  • "It's way too long!" say some.
  • "Did you know it's a trilogy?" I said. "NO WAY!" pretty much they all said.

The Queen's Thief series (yes all four books to date)
  • I was surprised at how many ended up not liking the series much at all.
  • Many felt it was way too political.
  • Many felt there was too much geographical description.
  • A few felt betrayed in the first book, given the big reveal at the end and that it was written in first person.
  • Some found the character development interesting. How you could love and hate a character at the same time, and how your whole perception of certain characters changed over the course of the series.
  • We had a small discussion on how to pronounce Eugenides (soft G vs. hard G.) 
  • Pretty much everyone agreed that Megan Whalen Turner has a unique writing style. We talked a bit about her use of the "show don't tell" technique.
  • Everyone mentioned their favorite of the series, and it was different all around!
  • Several agreed that the Newbery Honor awarded to The Thief was well deserved.
  • We all wondered how many more books are left to come in the series. Anyone know?
  • The question "did you like it?" was alway followed by a long pause before answering.
  • Were the books about just Katniss? Katniss and the boys? Katniss and The Capitol? Or the Capitol? Once that question is answered, you can decide if the ending of the book resolved who or whatever the main problem was.
  • She (as in Suzanne Collins) was ruthless with some of our favorite characters!
  • One of the main surprises in this book, many saw it coming! (Ha, but not me!)
  • Overall feeling was that it was a little bit of a let down after the excitement of the other two books, but most people still liked and enjoyed it.
Book club people, if you are reading this, did I understand our discussions correctly? Feel free to add comments to clarify my perceptions!

Some other books that book club members read over the summer are:
  • Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
  • The Duff by Kody Keplinger
  • Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
  • The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty
  • The Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

We originally had planned to read The Wizard of Earthsea for our next discussion, but we made a change in favor of reading Matched by Ally Condie instead. That's because our next meeting falls on the day she will be coming to our local library, so we plan to go and hear her presentation, then stay and have our discussion there at the library.  Between us, we have three ARCs of Matched, so the plan is to pass them around and hope everyone has a chance at it. Sound fun? I should think so!!


  1. Wow...The Queen's Thief too political??? Interesting. Felt betrayed by the ending of the first book?....that is what makes it soooo good! I so agree about the character development, that is what makes the series fabulous. How does one pronunce Eugenides?? Still not certain. Choosing a favorite in this series is a bit tough; I waver between two.
    I thought the series was finished after The King's Conspiracy. You tell me since you read the last book, is there still life left in the series?

    Wish I was a part of your bookclub. Sounds fun.

    By the way, just starting my read of Mockingjay...skipped over your bookclub's thoughts on that one...will come back to them after I am done with the book.

  2. That many didn't like the series at all?!? I would have wept openly had I been there, Suey...

    There will be two more books. For certain sure. :)

  3. I have never been a part of an adult book club (although I do try to recreate that kind of atmosphere in the literature classes that I teach). I LOVE reading your summaries - it makes me feel as though I was there :)

    How exciting that you will be able to hear the author of the next book you read. That should be a great book club meeting!

  4. That's too bad that The Queen's Thief series wasn't a big success. I actually really like that series and cannot wait for the next book!

  5. I wish I'd said more about how much I adore The Queen's Thief series, but it's been so long since I read them. Seriously, the endings really are my favorite :)

    And as far as the Passage...well, I wish I'd remembered more about it so I could ask questions. Skimming obviously didn't do it justice.

  6. I just checked out The Passage from the library and then found out it was part of a trilogy, and now I won't read it! I've learned it's best to wait until a whole series is out. My memory is not good enough.
    I skimmed the info on The Thief as I've only read book one and plan to read the rest. I love Gen!

  7. Ibeeeg: According to Angie (see comment below) there's two more! My favorite so far is The Queen of Attolia. Good luck with Mockingjay!

    Angie: I wish I could articulate like you to explain these books to them! I did very very poor job of it.

    Molly:So glad you enjoy these summaries. They seem pretty disjointed to me!

    Kailana: Do you know when the next book is expected? Yes, it seems everyone but a few of us just thought they were okay, or they just really didn't like them at all.

    Melissa: I loved our Passage discussion! Cracked me up totally!

    Shelley: Oh no! Still read it! I want to know what you think.... and have fun with the thief series. Gen is the best!

  8. That about sums it up! I had a delightful time discussing all of these books. I'm so glad we're back in session.

    I did enjoy The Queen's Thief series, but I did feel betrayed by the ending of The Thief, and I didn't feel like I could quite trust the narration in the rest of the series.

    I'm super excited about Matched and seeing Ally Condie. I just read Freshman for President yesterday, which was pretty cute.



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