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The Lost Boys (thoughts)

February 5, 2008

First off, today’s the final day to be in my drawing for an ARC of The House at Riverton.  If you’ve done my meme, and your name isn’t appearing on the list, please let me know!  I’m only human after all, and while I’ve tried to keep up with all of the participants, it’s entirely possible I left some people off.  And if you haven’t done it yet, you still have today to get it up and leave me a comment linking it!  Thanks to everyone who participated-it was so much fun to read the different answers, although Herman Meville might not agree. ;) Now, on to the book review.

Orson Scott Card’s The Lost Boys gave me plenty of food for thought.  I’m still not really sure how to rank it, because it wasn’t at all like my expectations.  And it doesn’t fit into the sci-fi challenge either (which, when I remember that I asked Chris for Card recommendations that were not sci-fi-sorry for the earlier typo that did Chris a total disservice-makes a ton of sense!).  Most of the book is just describing the day-to-day life of a LDS family: the dad’s troubles at work, the mom’s experiences and struggles at home, the oldest kid’s school problems, etc.  It’s told from alternating points of view between the mom and dad, but it’s Stevie, the oldest kid (at eight), who’s really at the heart of the story.  Because ever since they moved into their new house, Stevie’s been meeting imaginary friends and playing very impressive computer games with them.

What I’m about to say isn’t a spoiler, since it’s the point of the Prologue: this book involves little boys being kidnapped, violated, and killed. It’s not a huge part of the majority of the story, but the ending is all about it. If I had known that going in, I probably wouldn’t have read this one, but I’m glad I read it just because I learned so much about LDS that I didn’t know before. The characters feel like they live next door, sometimes it’s almost eerie how real they are! The book’s a bit dated (especially all of the computer stuff) since it’s set in 1992, but I almost thought that added to its charm (aww-look at how life was like before the PC, lol). The big problem, for me, is the arc of the plot. Card takes a ton of time to get to the climax, and then the book’s over. There’s no real space given to resolution, or any kind of exploration of what happened. It just ends. Which is why it took me so long to figure out how I felt.

I found the identity of the killer to be very obvious, and I thought that sometimes the parents were oblivious to things that they shouldn’t have been oblivious to. To be fair, they had a lot on their plates, but I feel like I would have noticed certain coincidences if they were happening to me in real life! I enjoyed the super-natural elements of the book, and I can’t help wishing that they were given greater prominence. When he wants to, Card can be quite spooky!

In the end, I’m giving this three stars, since the plotline could’ve been much better and in the last third the religious devotion of the characters begins to feel like proselytizing. But, I can see why Card is considered such a great author, giving how vividly he brought the characters to life, so I’m looking forward to the other two books of his I have: Enchantment and Magic Street.

And some link mania to round off this post: the deadline’s almost up for the February edition of the Bookworms Carnival. The theme is basically fantasy, but Book Ninja (the host) explains it more fully. And if you promote the book carnival, you get entered in two drawings to win a free book (of your choice!). There haven’t been too many submissions, so everyone dig up anything fantasy/sci-fi related and e-mail it over. If you don’t have time to do a book review, how about posting about your favourites in the genre? Help make this carnival a success!

Stephanie’s giving away a copy of The Friday Night Knitting Club and it comes with a Starbucks gift card! Woo-hoo. :)

10 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2008 6:35 pm

    Ooh thanks for the reminder about the carnival. I have to see if I have any posts that will fit.

  2. February 5, 2008 8:53 pm

    Yeah, Lost Boys isn’t one of his best plot wise, but I really liked it. I loved the family and like you said, I learned a lot about LDS from it. I agree that it was predictable, but it was still so sad…I could never read this one again…too traumatic, but I’m glad that I at least read it once. I always enjoy Card’s characters and getting to know them…I think that’s my favorite thing about his books. Magic Street’s one of my favorites of his, but I don’t know if you’ll be crazy about it. I hope you like it though! I think you’ll love Enchantment!

    Did I recommend this as Sci-Fi? I’m so sorry!! I don’t know what I was thinking, lol…Enchantment and Magic Street aren’t either :/ His main sci-fi books are the Ender books, the Homecoming series, Treason (which I haven’t read), Lovelock (which is awesome!!), The Worthing Saga (haven’t read), and Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus (also really cool!) I’m so sorry I told you Lost Boys was sci-fi…I probably thought you just asked for OSC recommendations and totally missed the sci-fi part :p

  3. February 5, 2008 9:32 pm

    Enchantment I really enjoyed. I read the free chapters of Magic Street online and they just didn’t grab me.

    Ender’s Game is his sci-fi classic and it deserves its reputation.

  4. February 5, 2008 10:01 pm

    Hope you enjoy Magic Street, altho I don’t think it’s his best. More of a fantasy lean than sci-fi. I haven’t read Enchantment, and never desired to open Lost Boys until I read your description of how well the family life is described. That intrigued me, but I don’t like reading books about kids being killed. Really sad, I get quite disturbed. Pastwatch is very good, really stretched my brain!

  5. February 5, 2008 10:18 pm

    Kim, I hope you find something!

    Chris, I really liked parts of it, but it was way too disturbing. I still have no idea how to rank it, even though I ended up going with three stars. Parts of it were five stars, other parts, I just don’t know. See-I haven’t been this conflicted about a book in a long time, which is probably a good thing! And I meant to say I asked you for Scott recommendations that WEREN’T sci-fi-so sorry about that! I was trying to say it was my fault, lol. Amazing what a difference a couple of letters will make-I’ve fixed it in the post. Sorry again. :( I super appreciate the recommendations you did make me, and from the description of Magic Street, I’m prepared to love it (Enchantment too).

    Walrus, did you read my meme? Ender’s Game is a book that, no matter how many recommendations I see, I just can’t bring myself to read. Maybe I’ll get over that one day! I’m glad you liked Enchantment!

    Jeane, you could just not read the prologue or the last two chapters-then you’ll have a neat description of family life and pretty much nothing else. ;) I haven’t heard of Pastwatch-I’ll have to hunt that one down!

  6. February 5, 2008 10:24 pm

    I second Jeane’s recommendation and agree that you should hunt Pastwatch down ;) It’s awesome!

  7. February 6, 2008 4:15 am

    I have yet to read anything by Card. Though Chris does have me convinced to try Ender’s Game (it’s on my nightstand right now). I didn’t even realize he wrote anything other than sci-fi…shows how familiar I am with him, huh? I actually think I’m going to add this one to my wish list though. Thanks, as always, Eva!

  8. February 7, 2008 10:54 am

    Thanks for the plug for my giveaway – I’ve officially added your name twice on the drawing!

  9. February 7, 2008 4:52 pm

    Chris, I will. Eventually, lol

    Debi, Chris is quite the missionary, isn’t he? I hope you enjoy this one-it made me very sad.

    Stephanie, no problem-thanks for adding me to the drawing!

  10. February 10, 2008 3:09 pm

    I enjoyed both Enchantment and Magic Street, but especially Enchantment, and I think you’d like it too. It has a lot of elements of Russian folklore, which was one of my favourite things about it!

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