Thursday, July 30, 2015

Works of Angela J. Townsend

It's paperback book day! And in honor of that, I'm taking a look back through the books that Angela J. Townsend has written, and giving a little review. I welcome reviews from our followers and anyone else who has read Ms. Townsend's books!

Amarok
This book was the first Townsend book I read. I wasn't sure what I was getting into, as it wasn't a section of Y.A. that I usually read. I mean, a young girl running away from home, and getting into some real-life-esque trouble? Not something I'd usually pick up. But it was recommended to me by a dear friend, so I bit the proverbial bullet. Next thing you know, it's 4:00 in the morning, and I'm desperate to finish the dang book. I had to know what happened to Emma, come hell or high water.

This is the point where I was hooked. Angela J. Townsend had caught me in her net of imagination and vivid imagery, and I was a willing victim. As a notorious booklover (ask the bookstores in my hometown about my out-of-control booklust), I spend more time than I care to admit looking for authors to satiate my need for a good read; Townsend filled that need.

Angus MacBain and the Island of Sleeping Kings
The second book of Ms. Townsend's that I could get my grubby little hands on, this book (and the series) remains one of my favorites. The use of celtic mythology was well-researched and thought through, which I appreciate as I am fascinated with celtic culture as a whole. I loved seeing a normal person thrown into a world of mythology. To my mind it was reminiscent of the Harry Potter series. The book was fast-paced, keeping me (as much as I hate the cliché) on the edge of my seat. A must-read for the fans of celtic mythology, especially as it was based on one of the islands of Scotland, the Isle of Iona. Ms. Townsend, in one of her interviews that I ran across, stated that she would love to visit the island, and that the name of the main character came from one of her ancestors. What a fascinating integration of the mystical with the profane.

Moonflower
By the end of Moonflower, I was awed by Ms. Townsend's dedication to understanding the mythologies of different cultures. Here she is, incorporating the religious ideas of Russian culture into a story about a girl raised in Seattle. Seattle! This book made me want to go traveling to Russia, and made me tip my hat to her skills as a researcher. As a friend of many pagans, I loved her incorporation of symbols and various plants to enrich the storyline, and give credit to the magick in the book. I'm quietly praying that there's a sequel, and if there is I'll be first in line for it. This is the other book that is gunning for first place in my heart. 

River of Bones
The first scary story that Ms. Townsend wrote, this one... got me. More than I care to admit. Horror is one of my favorite genres, to read and to watch, so for a book to genuinely scare me is impressive. Part of what made the book affect me as deeply as it did was the fact that I have a younger sister. I would do anything to keep her safe. Seeing Dharma losing her brother was my worst fears come true. I found myself, in classic bookworm style, standing and shouting at her to run, to find her little brother, to get him before it was too late! In the end, this book gave me the heebie-jeebies, and still sends shivers down my spine.

Angus MacBain and the Agate Eyeglass
When this came out, I lost it. I ordered the book immediately, and absconded with it to my secret lair (aka my bedroom) to be undisturbed long enough to finish it. In one sitting. Which I did. I couldn't put the book down - yes, I know... I hate the clichés, too - until it was over with. I'm slowly losing patience as I wait for another book in the series. I'm ever so slightly addicted, and Ms. Townsend is standing in the way of my fix. Sometimes I wish I could crawl into her brain (which I envision as a library) and read the books she either hasn't written yet, or hasn't published. But, as I said, this series truly reminds me of Harry Potter, and as a member of that generation, I recommend you pick it up at the bookstore if you enjoyed the HP series as much as I did. Or I could throw it at you; your choice.

The Forlorned
Yes, you were waiting for me to get to this one, weren't you? I awaited this book with baited breath,
until I was pathetically panting for it. This one scared me even more than River of Bones did, even without having a younger sibling in danger. I had high expectations, knowing Angela J.
Townsend's writing abilities and how badly River of Bones had scared me, but this book... surpassed them. With flying colors. The twists and turns left me guessing, rather than able to predict what was coming.This is a great book to read for an intellectually stimulating and engaging horror story, that is still accessible to young adult readers. I'm planning on reading it on camping trips to my camp mates (we're nerdy like that), then scare the crap out of them in the middle of the night (I'm evil like that).

Now I can't wait for The Forlorned movie, since the book was so engaging. As with any book lover that sees their book being turned into a movie, I'm praying that they don't mess it up (looking at you, Eragon and The Hobbit), and stay true to the book (thank you, J.K. Rowling, for saving Harry from that fate). As Townsend herself is involved with the project - that seems to be key, from what I've seen - I believe this movie will be a cathartic moviegoing experience.


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