Monday, April 23, 2007

Gushing Again Over TITANS OF CHAOS,
Only A Bit More Coherently This Time

I know that my previous review of Titans of Chaos was comprehensive, so detailed as to make your brain overflow, and I really needed to add not one more word. (Ahem.) Nevertheless, I'm not done blabbering praise, so you will simply have to allow me to gush a bit more.

I posted a review of TITANS OF CHAOS over at Do help my ranking by going over and clicking that it was helpful. Come on, help the Mir out.

I give no story/plot details, no big spoilers. I think this is one volume where you just have to trust me that it's faboo and go off to your fave reading chair and prove me right or wrong in my enthusiasm.

Here's a slightly edited version of that amazon review:

WARNING: Spoilers for books one and two of The Chronicles of Chaos

Ever read a novel and the adrenaline starts spurting in your body and you keep going, "Wow!" as you read? Well, this conclusion to the fabulous fantasy series by John C. Wright did that to me. Now, that's not to minimize the fun, smarts, and utter enjoyability of books one and two in the Chronicles of Chaos. It's simply to assert how slam-bang and adventuresome and satisfying this one was: A perfect, awe-inducing finale.

So, in book one we met our "orphans", who, through great smarts and innate powers (only just blossoming), manage to escape the clutches of the mythological beings holding them captive, including the sexy-bad-boy Boreas, alias Headmaster Boggin, and a really creepy Grendel. They've figured out they are much older than they seem to be and that they aren't students, but prisoners. They can't remember their true identities, but they have remnants of memories, and those memories bespeak of origins that are strange and wondrous. Despite their valiant attempt at freedom, they are recaptured, and their memories are erased. Ah, but a bit of Amelia monadal fiddling makes sure that we get to book two...

...where Amelia begins to regain her memories. Eventually, a successful escape ensues, along with further discoveries by our heroes and heroines of who they are and what they can do. Plus, a truly titanic encounter with the monstrous and beautiful and very, very dangerous Echidna (kicking scene!), before that book ends with the Olympian martial fleets coming at our intrepid heroes and heroines: Amelia (the first person narrator and inhabitor of multi-dimensions at will), Victor (Amelia's big first crush, our man of logic and matter manipulation), Vanity (the lovely one whose dreamship aids in their escapes and adventures, and whose boundary stone does some tres cool stuff), Quentin (our Dr. Strange of sorts, our magic-man with an honorable soul if some nasty apparati), and Colin (our randy bad-boy who needs to stay inspired to accomplish wonders, and who seriously wants him some Amelia).

So, we open with our fugitives trying to escape the clutches of Mavors' (Mars/Ares) army of lizard-men and Atlanteans, and the mountainous, pyramidal ships of the war god that I thought were a delight to visualize. And I will offer no big spoilers here of a truly terrific series of adventures, discoveries, and mind-boggling battles. Just about anything I say would be a spoiler, given how packed this novel is and it's breathless pace.

I will say that we get some lovely mixes of the fantastical-mythological with the science fictional, so that we are tripping in a real best called science-fantasy (in one sense of that classification), that gorgeous hybrid that Mr. Wright manages with dazzling deftness, and in particular in a segment of the novel that thrills with imaginative space travel. I dare you not to go, "WOW!"

You'll see our fugitives in San Francisco, LA, back in England, on a deserted island, up beyond the stratosphere, down in dreamland, and wherever they go, trouble follows in ever-increasing and astonishing measure. I've never had such fun reading showdowns. I mean, geesh, wait til you get a load of these Maeanads. It gives girlpower a whole new spin.

Along with some wonderful intellectual musings, some Christian allusions (oh, lord, how I felt utterly moved by the magnificent intrusions into the prelapsarian world), some randy coming-of-age antics, some very funny bits that had me barking--one has to adore Colin with his war cry of "Amelia Windrose!"--and some truly dark and terrifying moments when it seems as if there is no way our kids can win the day, then even darker and scarier ones when you think, "Okay, THIS TIME, they're done for," even if you know better. When the climactic showdown with the one who has manipulated people and events and plotted the demise of our "orphans" finally arrives, it's like being on the wildest, craziest ride in some fantastic amusement park run by a lunatic genius.

But all rides end. Sigh.

A quieter, but no less of a battle, conclusion lets us feel a true denouement (but not without leaving room for more Chaos stories, which I hope will come). The reader can feel satisfied because love, loyalty, cooperation, abilities, friendship, sacrifice, hard work, brilliant problem solving, and audacity do, indeed, bring an ending to smile about. Oh, happy day.

Well, you can tell I loved TITANS OF CHAOS, right?

If you like the dazzle of superpowered heroes in comic books, if you like science-fantasy, if Zelazny's AMBER series zinged you, if you like intellect that isn't stuffy, the high mixed with the low, if you want to see what Cupid/Eros would be like if he lived on the West Coast and had entrepreneurial leanings, if you loved Harry Potter and want to see how it might be fashioned if there were five Harrys, not just one, and the enemies were much more numerous and powerful than Voldemort, if you want to see what happenes when "kids" who can destroy an entire universe have to figure out the way to walk the tightest of tight ropes in order to survive themselves and not destroy Earth, this is the series for you.

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