Thursday, June 24, 2010

When Good Books Go Bad

Is there a point when our favorite books go stale? Can our favorite characters or authors lose their sparkle? I think there is. What did you really think about the very last Harry Pottery book? Did it really capture the magic for you like the first four books? For me, I have read all the Harry Potter books up to book seven twice. The last two just weren't the same. I purchased the latest Artemis Fowl book, but have yet to read it. And as for the Warriors, I became too tired of the cats. And let's not even start at how the brilliant Mr. Snicket was really just stretching the plots of his Series of Unfortunate Events by book number 5. Did the last book in that series even make sense to you? It sure didn't to me.

Yes, even the most creative and beloved authors can get stale. I take case in point Georgia Byng and her creating Molly Moon. As my readers (and spammers - for some reason, they love spamming that entry) know, I am actually quite fond of little Molly Moon. But her latest adventure, Molly Moon, Mickey Minus, and the Mind Machine had me scratching my head.

In this adventure, Molly and her friend Rocky go to search for her missing twin brother. To find out who took her brother, they go back in time and follow the culprit who took him. But then, they end up having to follow the kidnapper to the future. Only this is a future ruled by a preciously evil six-year old Princess Fang. Everyone in the kingdom bends to her whims thanks to Molly's brother's powers of hypnotism.

Overall, the book isn't terrible. I still think Ms. Byng to be a fun writer and still find Molly spunky and energetic. But overall, this story was strange. First of all, why does Molly have to acquire a new superpower with every story? Okay, okay, she actually loses her former powers and thus takes on the new power, but still? Why can't she learn to use the powers she already has and expand on them more? Also, I found the humor I loved in the first three stories to be lacking. What I liked was how Molly dealt with her terrible situation at the orphanage with spunk and humor. But she's in a strange new world, that seems to get stranger and stranger as you read on (particularly when you get to the part about the half human-half animal hybrids).

I know there's another Molly Moon book out there. Even though I have not read it yet, I understand Molly's acquired yet another superpower. I think I might give that book a pass for a while and look for something a little fresher out there. Don't get me wrong - I love series. It is always fun to read about further adventures of beloved characters. The problem is when I feel the authors are starting to stretch their stories too thin. Then we readers are left wondering if the authors are still in love with their characters, or know the characters still sell books?

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