Sunday, December 05, 2004

I woke up this a.m. to the sound of a "fart mobile" - at least that is what my son-in-law called them when I complained about the small Honda type cars with basically no muffler that the young guys drive down here. Lucky me, one of them moved above us on the "goat trail' we live on. And I don't think the guy ever sleeps. I go to bed to the sounds of him racing by the back of our apt - the one miniscule strip of straightness on the road - and I wake up to it. The speed limit on St. Thomas is 45 and it is difficult to get above it with the hairpin curves, hills, and very narrow lanes and the often stand-still traffic, so they make up for it in the amount of noise they can make.

If I had a magic wand like Harry I would zap all of the cars on this island so that they are mute! I admit I have not read beyond the 3rd Harry Potter nor have I seen the latest movie. I am not a big Harry fan, but I do love what his popularity has done for Children's/YA publishing and for the fantasy genre.

HarperCollins has a new fantasy series coming out March 05 called Septimus Heap. I read the ARC for Book One, Magyk, and I really enjoyed it, all 564 pages of it. Hopefully the books won't increase in length as they go along as did Harry. HarperCollins is targeting the 3rd through 7th grade readership. Book One sets the stage, with the money poor, but rich in love, Heap family of wizards discovering that their adoptive daughter is a long lost princess and that the son they thought had died at birth is actually very much alive. He has been right there with them during their escape into the swamps from the wicked DomDaniel who has returned to regain his place as the Extra-Ordinary Wizard. The son they thought had died is the lonely and confused Boy 412 of the children's army who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and forced to flee with them. But, it is the best thing that ever happened to him. On a solitary walk through the swamps he falls down a "rabbit hole" and finds a magical ring, which changes his life forever. Add the wonderful swamp Boggart, whose breath can extinguish pixies, and myriad other magykal beings and you have a delightful cadre of to envision. That's one of the cool things about reading - the visuals I make up in my head based on the character descriptions are so much better than what appears in the movie versions of the books! :-) Book One ends with Boy 412's identity as Septimus Heap, the seventh son of the seventh son, revealed and his acceptance of an apprenticeship with the Extra-Ordinary Wizard, Marcia. Can't wait for Book Two!

Because I have the ARC for Magyk I don't know what is on the Magykal CD that comes with the book but I did go to and browse around a bit. There is a a basic author bio of Angie Sage and a bit of chapter one available. My sound isn't working right now so I can't attest to any sound effects. Looks like it is going to be a fun website to supplement the book.

All for now. I am going make some tea and sit out on the balcony for a bit and read.