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I'm mad at author Daniel Roy Greenfeld. I'll explain why...
I read fiction rarely...usually at lunch. While I wolf my food down, I peck at what I'm reading...slowly. I read whatever book I'm working through at a snail's pace...paragraph by paragraph...page by page. Because I'm often distracted, I read--and _re-read_ passages multiple times. The process takes months for even the most modest volume.
The time I spend reading is very precious to me. I read a book and brag about it for months. I quote from it during meetings, and even to my lover during heated debates. A book is meant to give you _power_...social cache'. The upper hand at a gaming convention or FantasyCon at the very least.
Danny is an extraordinary guy because he's not only an imaginative author, but literally a wizard. Not a wizard like Gandolf or Dumbledore, but one of the leading computer code gurus of our time. However, he doesn't want to be known for that dark techy magic. He's _already_ known far and wide for that. He wants you to know him as a _writer_.
I read once that the measure of a good programmer is definable along several mental benchmarks...everything from the person's Stroud Number (how fast they think) to their Halstead Length (the size of one unit of memory). With regard to memory, the average person has a Halstead Length of about 250. Good programmers have a Halstead Length of upwards to 60K. They can hold _a_ _lot_ of abstract information in their heads all at once.
And that's what makes writing a book so hard, you see--you have to remember ev-er-y-thing. Even if you've got a gazillion three-by-five cards Scotch-tapped to your wall, keeping a whole book's plot clear and organized in your head ain't no easy task.
Danny--he's innately an expert with regard to mentally surfing long and complex lines of abstract thought. It's the grandiose display of this talent that makes me agog when I read the works of Tolkien or even C.S. Lewis. You might say it was James Joyce's clever surmounting of this challenging problem that makes Ulysses so masterful.
The plot for Into the Brambles, however, is just complicated enough and clear enough that it let's one know Danny sees the big picture from the outset and writes with the end in mind. He purposefully measures out the action he's embedded in this narrative in teasingly easy-to-digest and tasty bites. The language, itself, which he employs in Into the Brambles is straight-forward, too. It isn't an overly ornate vernacular, which is good.
Altogether, this is a book for people who _like_ to read--and read a lot...or: it's great for people who like to read, but read infrequently. It's for people who read quickly. And--it's great for those who read slowly. It's for young readers and old readers alike. It's good for Amuricans, and it's probably a good book for those who's first language isn't English, too. In other words, it's a book to be read without too much fuss by just about anyone. It's purpose built to be widely entertaining.
All to say: Danny's book is _fun_. If you studied contemporary literary criticism, this is not the book for you. If Hemingway and Dostoyevsky are your thing, this probably ain't your cup o' tea. If you like torturous epics spanning thousands of pages, sprawling lineages of dwarvish history, and which include a complete etymological breakdown of some Elvish dialect--well, you might be disappointed. But...if you like _fun_--then this book does quite nicely.
Danny's book _is_ fun...and that, dear reader, is why I'm angry. I did not crack the cover of Danny's book expecting to have too much of _that_ stuff, really. I thought I'd like it--yes. But fun? No no no no _no_. We all know that fantasies should be so full of wordy gristle that they sit in your literary gut digesting for a year, should include a map of Middle Earth, should be heavy to carry around, and most definitely should give you bragging rights among nerds when spotted in your backpack next to your Alienware laptop. You cannot use this book for _that_, unfortunately. But you can only use this book for fun. (Also: you can easily option it into a movie.)
Alas, I personally wanted to brag.
Instead I got fun.
I have not had fun reading a book for a very long time. When it becomes clear Danny has set the reader up for more of it, and, yet, the sequel is still not here...well, that means the good times are temporarily suspended, and not only does he make things fun, but he twists the knife a bit, methinks. I hate waiting for good things to come. He didn't tell me I'd have to languish in anticipation for my next round of good times. Seems to me to be a bit of a sneaky trick. (Kind of like the way Hollywood teased us with the final Harry Potter flick.)
So, I say--Danny Greenfield--don't tease us: laissez les bon temp rouler.
PS: This book is _exactly_ what every lover of fantasy should have in their stocking this Christmas.
Into the Brambles is a beautiful fairy tale, not unlike Peter Pan or Neil Gaiman’s Stardust (although I have to say the grim world of this story reminded me of the movie Noah). The story is fast paced and easy to read (even for non-native speaker). Author doesn’t spend too much time with descriptions and focuses instead on the story itself and character development. One thing I disliked were occasional sentences with bit awkward structure, but I guess it will improve with practice.
I’m ready for second part.
I am hoping the author would unravel the world more in the coming books. Focusing so much on the main characters, I had to satisfy myself with imaginations of what the mechanics/dynamics of the world were.
If you enjoyed stories like The Hobbit, then this book is for you.
Avoiding many of the overused tropes so common for its ilk this book tells the tale of two opposing cultures and their inevitable clash.
Great fun, I positively can't wait for the sequel!